How to have that difficult/awkward conversation…

You know that moment when you realise that your hopes and dreams for your ceremony, aren’t quite aligning to those of your parents/friends/family members (insert as appropriate!)? 

Quite often, when planning a ceremony, there are others who have a vested interest in your ceremony – maybe they are contributing to it financially or they just have very set expectations in their mind of what ‘should’ be said or done in a traditional ceremony. 

Sometimes trying to navigate your way through the heap of different views and opinions everyone suddenly seems to have about YOUR ceremony, can be a tricky minefield. And if you have got someone special in your life that has a particular viewpoint that really doesn’t align with yours, it can feel awkward, uncomfortable and a real challenge.

Perhaps you know the other person really well and feel really confident about approaching them, and know exactly what you’re going to say. But don’t let that confidence lure you into what could be perceived as aggressive confrontation. The key is calm and clear communication.

Well, let me share with you some tips for how you can go about having that conversation…because you want, and deserve, the ceremony you’ve been waiting for.

So, tip number one is PREPARE

Prepare what you want to say – prepare yourself for the conversation by thinking about what it is that you want out of it. What do you want to say? What do you want to explain? How can you convey to the other person what it is that you desire and wish for your ceremony? And don’t forget ‘why’. Why do you want those things for your ceremony? This is a key part of the conversation – communicating clearly and calmly, why you want what you want for your ceremony. Bonus tip: write it down! Not all of us are great at thinking on our feet or remembering all the important things we want to share, in the moment, so writing things down beforehand will help you to not miss anything out.

Tip number two is PREPARE (a little more)

Prepare for what you anticipate will be the other person’s objections or concerns. Do you know already? If you do, you can prepare answers to those questions. (again, you might choose to write yourself some notes or even complete answers). It’s really important to prepare your ‘case’ and be able to allay their fears.

And tip number three?…PREPARE!

Prepare for when and where the conversation will take place. Will you have it in your home, in their home, or somewhere else? The first two locations could be tricky, as being on someone’s ‘territory’ – even your own – can feel uncomfortable for the other party and could even mean the conversation escalating into an argument, which you definitely don’t want if you can help it. You could go to a cafe and have a chat over a cup of coffee, you could go out for a walk (moving whilst talking, and getting some fresh air is actually a really good way to stimulate and keep the conversation flowing). Being out in public can also decrease the risk of confrontation – should you think there will be any – so this is also a good reason to get out and about with the other person. And when will you have this conversation? Having it at 3.05pm when you’ve just picked up the kids from school, or at 7.30pm, when the other person has just come back from their gym class, is clearly not going to work. Choose a time that’s mutually convenient and gives you sufficient time to talk things through.

In summary then: prepare what you want to say, prepare for the other person’s concerns – what can you say to allay them? – and prepare where and when you’ll have the conversation. 

Following these tips will give you the best chance of the best possible outcome. Because whatever type of ceremony you’re planning, the last thing you want is to be falling out with people. At the end of day, it is your ceremony, you deserve to have what you’ve been dreaming of, but it’s always better if you can take people with you on the journey.

Bonus tip!: Speak to your supplier for support! I don’t have an issue with any of my clients coming to me and asking for support. For example, if you’re planning a naming ceremony but your family have very traditional ideas of a religious christening, I’d be happy to talk to you about how you could discuss that with them, and even ways in which we could incorporate some of what they would like to see into the ceremony, as well as, of course, what you are dreaming of – anything is possible!

Coming soon- Guided Audios and Booklets available to purchase for download (and some for free!) relating to reducing stress and anxiety, mindfulness and other useful tips and support.

As always, follow and share The Authentic Celebrant on Instagram and Facebook, find me on Google and if you’d like to have a chat you can reach me via Messenger, text, email or the contact form ; You can also sign up to the newsletter for ceremony  tips, advice and ideas on the homepage

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