It is often said that in order to have a pleasant time, one should avoid the topics of religion and politics. It is kind of hard to avoid the topic of religion at some weddings but, politics – that’s an easy one… unless your wedding date falls the weekend before or after the first Tuesday in November of an election year. 2012 is an election year, and a big one. There are issues at stake that affect nearly every U.S. citizen and the presidential race is already getting heated nearly 7 months before voters decide who will take the oath of office in January 2013. For couples of mixed political views, you have my sympathy and for couples who are the lone voice of dissent in a family of either political party; I feel your pain. So how, exactly, do you get around the touchiest of topics at your wedding?
Engage a friend. Maid of Honor, Best Man, dear friend, all make a good go-between if you have that certain relative that can’t stop talking about politics and their remarks often border on offensive. Let’s face it – we all have those folks in our midst.
Good humor. Do some research and prepare for the loud voices of un-reason. You can stop a political bully in their tracks with the right come-back (a witty one-liner can do wonders to lighten the moment). No personal attacks or anything racist, please. Good humor means funny, light, witty and nothing insulting. The funniest jokes of all times are not at someone else’s expense. Sometimes talking openly and laughing about your differences makes them seem small. Whereas, sweeping them under the rug makes them a lot more difficult to deal with later.
A more perfect union. If you are getting married very close to a big election, use that as your theme. One couple even designed their own campaign logo and used a red, white and blue color scheme. The “Perfect Union” theme was represented throughout the entire event, the invitations were playful, personal and gorgeous. Their solution was bringing everyone together and having fun with it. Jib Jab mastered this with their 2004 campaign video “This land is your land”. Still the funniest satire I have ever seen about any election…ever. It’s worth watching if you’re considering this option.
Seating. Let’s say you have a cousin who is a big fundraiser for the Democratic party and a beloved aunt who is a staunch Republican contributor. In addition, each one of them happens to be the type who can only talk about one ting: politics. Do your best not to seat them at the same table. You can’t tell people what to talk about at your reception but, putting two heavily invested people directly next to each other is a bad idea. They cannot help themselves because most people generally think their opinion is the only one that matters If you don’t believe me, just go on facebook and scroll through various status updates.
What makes each of us choose our political persuasion is life experience. Oddly enough, the same experience that turns one voter off will turn the next voter into a supporter. You cannot expect everyone to share your passion for an issue or a candidate, you can only accept the differences and move on. In addition, if you decide to turn your wedding into a one-sided political party event, be prepared for some no-shows or dissenting opinions.
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago