There are just nine days to go until HRH Prince William of Wales ties the knot with Catherine Middleton, and no doubt pre-wedding jitters have well and truly set in.
But while most couples concern themselves with button-holes and buffets in the run up to the wedding, Wills and Kate have bigger problems afoot. The in-laws.
As the silver is polished, and the flowers are arranged, the happy couple will no doubt be contemplating the one part of the day they can’t control: their relatives. Will Uncle Gary create a spectacle when he flies in from La Maison de Bang Bang? And what’s cousin Amelia planning for her biggest public appearance since that incident at McDonald’s Cape Town?
Luckily for Wills and Kate, thecoupleconnection.net – an online DIY relationship support service, which helps couples deal with issues ranging from in-laws to infidelity and offers free marriage preparation materials – is on hand with some top tips for reeling in the replies on their big day.
1. You can say what you like about your own family, but tread carefully when it comes to your partner’s. If Uncle Gaz chats up one of the Spencer girls on the edge of the dance floor, you’d do well to blooming button it, Wills.
2. Think through your seating plan carefully. Do you really want Earl Spencer on a table full of single girls? Would Lady Kitty and Chelsy Davy collude to turn a state occasion into a raucous night at Mahiki? Consider who you’d rather keep apart.
3. Have autonomy over your day. Wills and Kate know that ensuring you make the final decisions gives pushy grandmas less room for manoeuvre. Instead, give relatives specific tasks that will make them feel valued without allowing them to interfere in other areas.
4. If you’re going to invite the black sheep of the family, take the pressure off yourself and insist your partner invites at least one oddball from their side, too.
5. Introduce the in-laws beforehand. If you think one side might be frosty, arrange a pre-wedding outing that will help break down barriers. Wine tasting usually works.
Fortunately for the Royal couple, 29 April is likely to run smoothly. William and Kate undertook marriage preparation in the months leading up to the wedding and have most likely already discussed how to deal with any family issues that might arise.
For those that don’t have the Archbishop of Canterbury on speed dial, it’s now possible to prepare for the big day by working through thecoupleconnection.net’s “making a commitment” articles, which help address issues that may arise throughout a marriage – all in a space and time convenient to them, and without the need to sign up for more formal marriage preparation classes.