Opinion

If the 'royal sisterhood' can't avoid the perils of wedding planning - what hope does anyone else have?

Suggestions of 'tensions' between sisters-in-law Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle have been linked back to the months before the royal wedding in May - but is anyone really safe when it comes to wedding planning drama?

When it comes to planning the big day one thing is for certain - no matter what you do, you won't please everyone.

From the date to the dress, everything one chooses so carefully as one creates their 'dream day' will inevitably be picked apart by even well-meaning family members and friends, and often before the confetti has settled; the damage has been done with friendships - and sometimes even families - can be left in pieces.

A wedding is inherently a happy occasion of course. In a nutshell it's two people declaring their love for each other and promising to stay loving each other even when the going gets tough, however, throw in a hefty chunk of cash (around €26K on average, last we checked) and the notion of all the prep and planning accumulating to the as-advertised 'best day of your life', and you have yourself a whole pressure cooker of pre-nuptial nerves that could boil over at any moment.

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If reports are to be believed, it seems not even the heavily fawned over 'royal sisterhood' was able to navigate the ups and downs that go along with planning a big day, as suggestions that current 'tensions' between the pair can be linked back to before that big day in May.

Recent reports from The Telegraph credit two separate sources who claim that the Duchess of Cambridge was 'left in tears' after flower girl dress fitting for Charlotte, and the suggestion was that it all happened around the time when the British royal family and staff were working around a 'demanding' bride-to-be.

“Kate had only just given birth to Prince Louis and was feeling quite emotional,” one insider said, according to the publication, not shedding too much light on what actually occurred at the pre-wedding appointment.

The exact cause of Kate's crying is unclear of course, so out of context, Kate could simply have been overcome with seeing her beautiful wee daughter looking like... well, a princess, in her gorgeous white dress and shed a few tears.

But let's not let that get in the way of a good story, as they say.

If you've ever planned a wedding you're probably acutely aware that with it often comes drama, whether it's via the guest list, choice of bridal party, or - if you're a soon-to-be member of the royal family - which of the Queen's tiaras you're allowed to borrow for the day.

Harry's grandmother was also said to have been 'surprised' Meghan chose to wear white, seemingly due to the fact that she had been married previously. Add to this the already widely reported rifts on the bride's side of the family and it seems that, looking back, for all their dedicated wedding planners, coordinators, royal aides, private secretaries and stylists, very few parties managed to get out of the royal wedding unscathed. So what hope does everyone else have?!

Related: Newlyweds reveal the worst wedding-related arguments they had ahead of their big day

Microscope

It's not the first time a family has fallen out over wedding plans, and it won't be the last.

When it comes to the big day relationships are inevitably put under a microscope where everything that has been and gone before is thoroughly examined as couples assemble a hierarchy of friends, family and acquaintences.

Indeed it also comes to mind that no sooner were Meghan and Harry out of their own nuptial nightmares than they were right back in one, when they allegedly chose to announce their pregnancy right before Princess Eugenie was due to walk down the aisle - a faux pas that didn't sit well with 82% of our own readers on THEVOW.ie

Kids can be the cause of a lot of the arguments that go along with wedding planning, with some couples even 'banning' them from their big day altogether, leaving the noses of new parents out of joint (while others completely welcome 'a break' from the little ones) while everything from evening invites (or 'snubs' as some people consider them) and ill-timed proposals can cause ructions among families.

With all that in mind there may be no avoiding the drama wedding planning brings, but whatever way you go about it, just don't leave your mother-in-law alone with you dress for too long.

Three common causes of wedding drama among families and friends

The guest list

If you thought compiling the guest list was tough enough already, we now have extras like bridal showers on top of the hen, and 'day after' invites where evening invites might not suffice. The guest list is an unmitigated nightmare for most, between deciding whether kids are invited, if people can bring plus ones, if colleagues can come or whether to give parents a couple of seats at their own table to ask who they want, the guests list is a never ending headache that has the power to cause ructions that'll be felt for generations. The only advice on this one is to stick to your guns whatever you do. And if it's a rule, it's an across the board rule.

Related: 'One of my guests charged a bottle of champagne to my room' - Brides share the most outrageous stories of wedding guests behaving badly

The kids

As mentioned, there's nothing that'll cause quite the rift than inviting a couple and not their kids. If your wedding is to be an 'adult only' event, a blanket ban on all children is really the only way to go to keep everyone (un)happy. Once you start letting Shane and Sarah bring Sophie because she's teething, you're guaranteed to annoy Susan and Sean.

The cost

Traditionally the bride's family took on the bulk of the wedding budget however with the average wedding now a cool €26K in Ireland, many parents have been relieved of the expectation to foot the bill. The cost of the day generally now falls on the couple which should in theory give them more control over who's in, who's out and what colour the bridesmaids wear. Of course that's not always the case and even before plans are set in stone couples can become embroiled in arguments over their proposed budget. The only way to ensure this doesn't ruffle any feathers at all is to avoid the subject all together. Things can get sticky once someone offers to pay for things you want to control yourselves, so remember that before you take that sweet sweet cash.