Whether it’s because your family and you are estranged.. Or it is because your closed ones have passed away. Maybe you had a difficult upbringing (foster care, foster families…)? It can be hard to plan your wedding when your partner has what we can call a “normal family”.
What do I do if I don’t have family? Wedding planning is hard for me.

You grieve what it could have been, you grieve not having anyone on your side, not having those important moments as everyone else. You grieve your mom telling stories about you as a child, or that feeling of not fitting anywhere, that lack of love can be tough.

Yes, you are missing having a family (and if you did not have one growing up it’s difficult to express how you feel). It's normal to want to have someone close to you other than your partner. A person who loves you unconditionally and knows everything about you. You will not have a father-daughter first dance and you don’t have anyone to tell you how much they longed for that day since you were a child. Sometimes, you are even afraid you won’t be good at any of it, you don’t know how to act or react to people's stories and encouragement.

So, really, what to do when you don’t have family at your wedding?

Korean wedding in Ecuador

Be calm dear friend! Love is a potent weapon in the hands of a knight!
With love in your heart, you will find the peace you need to continue planning your wedding without sinking into drama and self-pity
.

My advice is to accept your grief but don’t let it eat you. You won’t go anywhere trying to hide what you are feeling. Also it is important that you accept this is your life and it has so much value. Those sad parts make you who you are. Take time to accept that sadness and think on how to slowly continue.

Wedding planning can trigger anxiety and even depression in your case, and it’s normal. Even if it can sound whiny to some, it is really sad to experience feeling so alone. We know that people who did not have that experience will never understand how one can feel. That’s okay. Let’s not desperate, it is a valid feeling, but feeling joy for what you are going to experience is too.

Advice on how to cope and still enjoy planning and your wedding day.

  1. Write down how you would like to feel on your wedding day and write down what you are grateful for everyday too. Be profound. Be you. Allow you to feel everything. Why did you decided to get married?
  2. Read books about people who are still grateful while having lost a lot. Autobiographies or novels. “Eleonor Oliphant is completely fine” make me feel better and I am not the only one. Try to find books that make you feel good, about real life or novels. Look at life differently, so many people felt how you did today, they did fine. You are, in fact, not as alone as you think. You are lucky to have found love.
  3. What part of planning your wedding do you enjoy the most? Focus on this part, and then on another one, step by step.
  4. Reach out for your community, and not necessarily wedding planning. Discuss your feelings with people who went through the same can be so healing.
  5. Do you have friends you are very close to and can support you no matter what. A friend who is there without judging your sadness and grief? A friend who makes you see joy when you don’t see it? Someone with whom you can truly enjoy the wedding and the planning? If the answer is yes, and you have at least one close and good friend give them a duty to cheer you up. They'll be that one person who will be speaking highly about you at the wedding and share memorable stories.
  6. Are you close to your family in law? Talk to them about how you would like to include them in some wedding duties that should have been with your family.
  7. Remember why you are getting married: list the reasons why you are taking that path with your partner, and remember that it’s worth enjoying the process and the wedding day (write about that too).
  8. If your family has passed, try to feel their presence, do things to include them on your wedding day.

Wedding planning in itself is stressful, wedding planning is hard work. That's why wedding planners were invented :) ! So take your time to reflect on what is important for you, how you will manage the fact of not having a family to accompany you and make this about the love you and your partner have for each other.

Beach ceremony in Ecuador

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