5 Common Myths about Wedding Mediators
Weddings are wonderful, but families and friends can make the planning experience hell on wheels. That’s why I decided to share my talents as a conflict expert with brides who want the planning to be as much fun as the wedding. Recently, I came across an article on the web that suggests that pre-marital counseling is a better alternative than wedding mediation. Of course, the writer is entitled to her opinion, but I wanted to clear up a few misunderstandings about what mediation is and how it can really benefit you.
Answers to common myths
It’s the bride’s day. She can do whatever she wants and everyone must go along.
Let’s start with the biggest myth. Yes, as a bride your wedding day is all yours. You’ve found someone special to share your future with. However, you’re not the only one who is excited, has long-awaited expectations and is emotionally involved with how the event unfolds. Your family, especially, your parents have waited even longer for this day. The people who have loved and supported you have needs and desires that need to be acknowledged, even if you can’t (or won’t) honor their wishes. You can’t just say ‘that’s tough’ and then expect that your relationships won’t change as a result.
A wedding mediator can guide you to finding a good way to listen and respond that respects others and still meets your own goals. A pre-marital therapist might help you deal with your emotions about your mom who wants you to wear her dress or Grandpa who wants to invite all his drinking buddies. But, will she be skilled enough to coach you to find the exact words to say to explain or how to negotiate a solution? Probably not.
Using a mediator implies you’re not capable of handling things on your own.
Everyone is into DIY these days which is great. But, doing it yourself comes with it’s own set of challenges. Let me ask you this: If you wanted to dance a beautiful tango as your first dance, wouldn’t you go to a dancing instructor to learn how to do it? A wedding mediator is an expert who can teach you how to talk so someone else, will listen, and hopefully, do as you ask. Investing an hour learning to communicate better will definitely help you deal with family and friends more easily. And the bonus is, you’ll be prepared to handle hubby too.
A wedding is a family event not a business deal that needs someone to reach compromise
Actually, every relationship is based on an agreement that’s like a social contract. You agree to behave a certain way towards your parents and perhaps a different way towards your fianc, and another way with your friends. While you probably didn’t sit down and discussion it directly, these personal agreements have rules, boundaries and consequences. And, there is plenty of negotiation and compromise (think about the last time you made plans to go out to dinner). A mediator can introduce you to different tools and strategies for compromise and collaboration that will make planning your wedding (and your life) less stressful and happier.
This is not something for outsiders
Some people say it’s best to not air your dirty laundry. And, if you feel that way than maybe mediation isn’t for you. However, a wedding mediator is trained to create a safe, neutral space for you to confidentially share your thoughts and concerns without judgment or agenda. The focus is on you and finding a holistic solution.
It’s just another expense
Yes, a wedding is definitely an expensive project with lots of little expenses along that way that really add up. It’s natural to want to save money. You just don’t want to be ‘pound-wise and penny-foolish’ about it. The hour you spend with a wedding mediator is one of your best savings in terms of stress, aggravation and worry. Consider these intangible costs:
- Sleepless nights worrying about the budget
- Fights with your mother over the guest list size
- Anxiety about negotiating with vendors
- Worry about friends and family
In plain dollars and cents, you’ll probably spend more on your shoes or lingerie than the services of a good wedding mediator, which range from under $100 up to $500. What you receive is priceless: A stress-free wedding that you remember for a lifetime.
Try Wedding Mediation
Wedding mediation is a little like Twitter. First, no one knew what it was; then, people thought it was unnecessary. Now, people everywhere have embraced it. Savvy brides who want to enjoy planning as much as their wedding day will try bridal coaching and benefit from it. What have you got to lose except the drama?