I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and if you got married today, I hope you acknowledged your dad in a special way, either at the ceremony or reception.

Our histories have so much to do with the people we are today and the couples and families we’ll make, it it always poignant and elegant to thank them in an appropriate way.

Except when it isn’t. Not all our family histories are happy ones, and you should feel empowered to include those family members who have supported you and championed you, and gently gloss over those who have not. Tradition can be nurturing or abusive, and on your wedding day, you should be able to make the call. If there is a chance to make peace before your day, then go for it. If there are family members or friends whose relationship has always been troublesome, don’t include them.

One of my fellow celebrants had what I thought was a great suggestion for a bride who had a difficult relationship with her father. He suggested that before the wedding day, she would make an appointment to talk at a time AFTER the wedding day. This way, he could still be at the wedding (which was very important to him, and I think her as well), but they knew there was an appropriate time to try and sort out the things that were confusing their relationship.

Your wedding day is about celebration, not politics, and you should be as comfortable in the midst of all the happy stress as can be possible. By letting those around you know that they are important and precious to you (but this is not the day to act out), you’ll bring relief to everyone, including yourself; and that is what really is the most important.