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I Do – But They Don't Dealing With Narcissistic People At Weddings And Other Life-Changing Events

Malissa Veroni is the founding CEO and lead therapist at Keep’N It Real Solutions. For the past 15 years Malissa has been a foot soldier in the field of social work; teaching, and serving students and clients alike. She is a published author, mentor, and mental health therapist who focuses on combining theory, practical approach and individual quality holistic care to help clients heal and grow from a variety of concerns.

 
Executive Contributor Malissa Veroni

Ah, weddings—the celebration of love, union, and everlasting commitment. Or so we hope. But what happens when narcissistic individuals infiltrate these joyous occasions, turning them into a spectacle of self-centred drama? As someone who recently walked down the aisle myself, I've come to understand firsthand the challenges posed by narcissistic family members or loved ones during significant life events like weddings.


Husband and wife photo on their wedding day

Reflecting on my own nuptials brought to mind a classic scene from the hilarious award winning show "Everybody Loves Raymond," where Robert's wedding is marred by his mother's antics, making the ceremony all about herself. While entertaining on screen, such scenarios are painfully familiar in families with narcissistic dynamics, often leaving a bitter aftertaste amidst the wedding cake.


In conversations with Rosie Moore, an exceptional wedding planner and owner at 27 Miracles Wedding Consulting, we traded tales of narcissistic individuals wreaking havoc on weddings. From overshadowing the event with their demands to causing disruptions and chaos, their antics can turn the happiest day of your life into a nightmare.


Some ways narcissistic individuals may sabotage weddings


  1. Casting a shadow: Even in absence, their influence looms large, casting a pall over the celebration.

  2. Altering plans: Insisting on standing at the altar or making unreasonable demands that disrupt the carefully laid-out plans.

  3. Making it all about them: Turning the spotlight onto themselves, or stealing the limelight from the happy couple.

  4. Imposing restrictions: Enforcing strict rules and regulations, dictating every aspect of the event.

  5. Intoxication and disruption: Arriving late and intoxicated, causing scenes, and disruptions.

  6. Financial control: Withholding promised payments or making unreasonable demands to assert control.

  7. Drama and seduction: Creating drama, attempting to seduce the future spouse, or causing unnecessary conflict.

  8. Attention-seeking behaviour: Feigning illness or creating chaos to divert attention to themselves. Yes, there have been mothers who also wore wedding dresses to their daughters’ weddings.


8 ways to manage narcissistic behaviour during your special day

Navigating these minefields requires finesse and fortitude. Here are some strategies to help you manage narcissistic behaviour during your special day:


  1. Set boundaries: Clearly communicate your boundaries and expectations to minimize potential conflicts.

  2. Enlist support: Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends and family who understand the situation and can help diffuse any confrontations.

  3. Stay calm: Keep your focus on the purpose of the event and try not to let their behaviour affect you.

  4. Seek professional help: Engaging with a therapist can provide essential support in navigating the emotional complexities of dealing with narcissistic individuals. Additionally, consider enlisting other professionals, such as wedding planners, security personnel, and day coordinators, who can help mitigate risks and ensure your event proceeds smoothly.

  5. Limit interaction: If possible, minimize your interactions with them to reduce potential conflicts.

  6. Stay flexible: Be prepared for unexpected situations and remain adaptable in your approach.

  7. Practice self-care: Take care of yourself both physically and emotionally during this time, engaging in activities that help you relax and unwind.

  8. Pre-marital counselling: Attending pre-marital counselling can significantly strengthen your relationship and provide valuable tools for navigating challenges together.


Remember, narcissistic behaviour knows no bounds—it can come from anyone, not just the mother-in-law, children/step-children, the maid of honour (or "dishonour"), the best man (or "worst" man), siblings, ex-partners, in-laws—anyone can exhibit self-centred tendencies that disrupt the harmony of your special day.


While you can't control the behaviour of others, you can control how you respond to it. Focus on what truly matters—your love and commitment to each other—and savour every moment of your special day, despite any challenges that may arise.


And to those embarking on the journey of marriage—congratulations! May your love story be filled with joy, laughter, and unwavering support. Cheers to love, laughter, and happily ever after!


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Malissa Veroni, Founding CEO & Lead Therapist

Malissa Veroni is the founding CEO and lead therapist at Keep’N It Real Solutions. For the past 15 years Malissa has been a foot soldier in the field of social work; teaching, and serving students and clients alike. She is a published author, mentor, and mental health therapist who focuses on combining theory, practical approach and individual quality holistic care to help clients heal and grow from a variety of concerns. Malissa is known as a specialist in the field of Narcissistic Abuse, Intimate Partner Violence, the LGBTQ2s Community, and in Sex Therapy. She is also a Designated Capacity Assessor and a mentor to several social workers worldwide.

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