Wedding mediation is apparently the new thing – at least according to the wedding mediators throwing up web sites and trying to attract the attention of brides and their grooms. For those who haven’t heard of wedding mediation, the wedding mediator is basically a counselor who helps the bride and groom communicate with family, friends, and wedding vendors while planning a wedding.
From Positively Wed: “A mediator can help a bride (or couple) discover what’s most important and how to be her own best advocate with vendors and family. How to listen and talk so she can have the wedding she wants without hurting loved ones or herself… 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.”
Interesting, last-sentence sexism aside. A wedding mediator will charge anywhere from under $100 up to $500 for one or more in-person or telephone chats. At Positively Wed, the basic package costs $97 and includes one hour-long meeting via phone and seven days of unlimited email access. That’s not all that much in the grand scheme of things when weddings typically cost thousands and thousands of dollars. And yes, planning a wedding *can* be the most stressful thing a 20-something woman has ever done in her life. Are there people who simply can’t keep the peace while involved in planning a wedding? Yup. Are their brides and grooms who have trouble relating to their loved ones? Yup.
Is wedding mediation worth the money and the time? Perhaps for some, though I’d recommend that anyone who is having communication issue intense enough to warrant the introduction of a third party consult a licensed therapist.
This is probably going to sound absolutely terrible, but the first thought that popped into my head when I heard about wedding mediation was “Now we need counselors to help us plan parties? For real?” My opinion is that the appearance of dedicated wedding mediators has a lot to do with the super mega over-glorification of the wedding day, which less than surprisingly is one of the big factors in all the usual kinds of conflicts that arise when planning a wedding.
Society convinces brides-to-be (and MOBs and sisters of the bride and the groom-to-be and, yes, even guests) that the wedding will be the most important day of a couple’s life, which in turn causes everyone to have an opinion about how things ought to be, causing all kinds of hurt feelings and almost forcing people to look into services like wedding mediation. I think that if the “It’s myyyyyy dayyyyyyyy!” culture was less powerful, brides and grooms and their families could plan a wonderful ceremony and reception and guests could attend it without their being a need for a counselor to step in lest everyone start poking each other’s eyes out with the nearest sticks.