How To Deal With Potential Conflict At A Wedding

Weddings are a time of great excitement for everyone involved.  The occasion represents the start of a couple’s new life together, and all of the guests are there to enjoy this. Unfortunately, weddings can also prove to be a very stressful occasion, especially if there are situations when conflict could arise.
Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but situations of conflict at weddings are more commonplace than you might think. One thing that certain is that such situations do not just happen on television soap operas or in romantic comedy movies.

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How To Deal With Potential Conflict At A Wedding
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Thankfully, there are numerous ways you can deal with any such situations, or stop them from happening in the first place.

The First Rule: Lose the Naivety

You are planning your wedding and you start to think about the bad things that might happen, for whatever reason. You also think that, because it is your wedding, people are not going to behave in a particular way that might ruin your day.
While we understand why you would think that, it is perhaps best to come back to reality and accept that, if people have a problem, they are likely to act on it, regardless of the occasion. If it can happen, it will, so it is up to you to move first.

Consider the Guest List

This is the easiest and probably the most obvious thing you can do. It might mean that you run the risk of upsetting a few people, but who cares? It is your wedding at the end of the day, and if you are going to have the day you want, it is best not to invite anyone who could cause a stir.
If you are dealing with conflicting individuals, then the fairest approach is not to invite either of them. Remember that a situation might arise where you are happy for someone to be there, but your partner is of the opposite opinion. If you cannot reach a compromise, then it is usually best to call it a ‘no,’ and move on together.
One idea might be to not invite particular people to the wedding, but ask them along to the party during the evening, when they are potentially less likely to bump into one another.

Approaching the Situation

Do you want to explain to someone who might consider you a close friend the reason why you are not inviting them to your wedding?
We cannot answer that question, so it really comes down to how good your communication skills are and whether or not you are happy to tackle what will be a potential conflict in itself. Of course, someone is going to find out eventually they are not on your guest list, so perhaps honesty and a face-to-face chat is the best policy.

Be Clever With Seating Arrangements

If you decided to face the situation and invite everyone anyway, you do not yet have to resign yourself to problems arising at your wedding. Remember that you are in charge and can make people sit wherever you want them to, both during the ceremony itself and during the reception festivities.
There might be dozens or even hundreds of people at your wedding. We know people that have been to weddings before and not even realized certain people were there until days later, when we kicked ourselves for missing the opportunity to interact with people we had not seen for a long time.

Limit Alcohol Intake

The traditional view of a wedding reception is that people start consuming alcohol at a time much earlier than they ordinarily would. Factor in that several guests or people with a starring role to play in the ceremony might have had a drink even prior to this in the name of steadying nerves, and you start to get an idea of the carnage that can ensue.
One easy way around this is to have limited, or even no, alcohol available during the afternoon reception. It is common for the wedding and reception events to be family occasions anyway, with the evening party often being an adults only affair. Limiting alcohol will be a perfectly logical thing to do, which most people would understand.

Vet the Speeches

Do not get us wrong, the speeches are definitely one of the most exciting parts of the day. However, for the married couple it is important that they do not contain any nasty surprises. Regardless of our own sense of humor, we all have things that are off-limits, and do not want to be shared in a room full of people, some of whom we might have only invited because we feel we had to.
The bride, for example, is likely to ensure that the best man is not going to lose the wedding rings or lead her husband to be astray during a bachelor party, so vetting the speeches is an obvious, logical step to take. Yes, you want humor and a laugh to be had by all, but is it really worth upsetting anyone, or getting upset yourself, over one flippant remark that can easily be avoided.

Resolve Issues before the Day

This is a great way to tackle any potential problems head on. Whether you are dealing with friends who do not really get along or family members who have not spoken for years, tackling the issue yourself might work. Yes, we know we told you not to be naïve, but this way you are proactively dealing with the situation. The people involved will likely respect you for bringing them together, and are more certain to behave as a result.

Dealing with Conflict

We know that the last thing you want to be doing during the run up to your wedding, or on the day itself, is dealing with conflict. However, such situations do happen, and are actually quite common around the world. Instead of burying your head in the sand and hoping for the best, take a proactive approach to ensuring your day goes how you want it to, and you have nothing to worry about.
About the Author:

Adam almost found himself in a conflict situation at his best friend's wedding; he was the best man and left the groom's tungsten ring at his hotel, noticing only a short time before the wedding and have to dash back to pick it up. Thankfully, everything turned out well, and to this day the bride still does not know what happened.

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