A mediator’s skill set can be applied to many different issues. I started out doing divorce mediation but now do marital mediation, elder mediation, community mediation, employment mediation, and housing mediation. I am always looking for new areas to mediate. After reading, Abby Ellin’s article in the April 4, 2010 New York Times entitled “Burden of Paying for Wedding Bells Shifts,” I have now found a new area – Wedding Mediation. See her entire article at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/04/fashion/weddings/04FIELD.html
Ms Ellin indicates that
“..with these shifts in the financial landscape of weddings have come changes in the dynamics of who gets to call the shots.
According to Lizzie Post, a great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post and a spokeswoman for the etiquette institute in Burlington, Vt., that bears her ancestor’s name, “Money should never be used as a bargaining or leveraging chip.” Nor does she think it is ever acceptable for one family to dictate solely what’s happening in the wedding — especially if all parties are paying. “You should get the two families together in advance and talk very respectfully and candidly about what everyone’s wishes and expectations are.”….”It helps for everyone to discuss this right off the bat,” she said, adding that even if the parents aren’t involved, she always requires the bridegrooms to attend planning sessions. “Sometimes you can see the guy doesn’t want to be there. And I say, ‘If you’re not involved in the meetings, you’re going to get swept up in this tornado and you’re not going to like it.’ “
Glenna Tooman, the owner of Memory Makers Event Planning in Boise, Idaho, agrees that it is better to bring all parties to the table from the start. “I encourage my brides to include the groom’s mother.” She added: “Sometimes you have a person who can be very controlling. But if they have a good relationship with the groom’s mother and she is supportive of the bride, it can be a great bonding experience.”
But as Ms. Goldberg pointed out, these sharing arrangements could easily evolve into competitions. “Everybody becomes a party planner when they’re throwing money around,” she said. ʺ
These are issues where a mediator can be a very big help. I would be surprised if mediators are not already helping out. I can’t imagine these problems being resolved without a mediator.
Brides, grooms, and their families, we are ready when you need us!
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