By Katherine Sharma
Weddings can bring out the best, and worst, behavior from family and friends. With my daughter’s wedding a little over a week away, our house is filling up with relatives and guests, and, of course, we would like to prevent tensions. How? A Psychology Today article helped put all in perspective by listing the top three reasons for wedding conflicts.
Of course, it starts with MONEY. After all, today’s weddings cost a lot. The price of a nuptial celebration has jumped to an all-time high, reaching an average $31,213, according to The Knot’s “2014 Real Weddings Study.” And the expense burden extends beyond the couple and their parents to the guests, who shell out for travel, accommodations and gifts, as well as to the wedding party, who must spend big for things like bridesmaid dresses they’ll never wear again. With that much money flowing, financial anxieties and unmet expectations are bound to float to the top and spill negative vibes.
Family dynamics are the next big cause of wedding conflict, especially issues of status within the family, notes the article. It is not uncommon to see mature people regress to childish expressions of jealousy and resentment when reminded of old wounds from parental favoritism or sibling rivalry. The fact that many will imbibe enough alcohol to loosen inhibitions and lips increases the chance of an “unfortunate incident.”
The third main source of wedding conflict is the likelihood that some folks will feel “left out” at some point. Honestly, at a crowded event, it is impossible to include and pay attention to everyone equally and always. Unfortunately, various other articles offered no magic oil to pour on troubled wedding waters, beyond old-fashioned compassion and tolerance.
All I can do is vow that every time a complaining relative, an out-of-control drunk, an undisciplined brat, or feuding exes loosen my hold on my temper, I will take a deep breath and consciously shift my focus back to what a wedding should be about: celebrating love.