Dear Miriam

I am getting married in early September. I am really looking forward to the big day, but there is one thing that is playing on my mind.

Basically, within my circle of friends, two of the girls have had a major falling out with each other. In the end, it was over something that seemed fairly trivial to the rest of us, but it appears to have been coming for a while. It’s an awful shame.

Despite some gentle encouragement from myself and other girls in our group to encourage them to try to make up, there does not seem to be any hope of a reconciliation; at least, not any time soon. I have done my best to stay out of it and not take sides, but it has obviously made life a bit awkward, which is why I’m writing to you.

Obviously, I want both of my friends at the wedding and to have a great day, but I’m worried about how to manage the situation. One of the girls was abroad for my hen, so there was no clash there in the end, but I’m not sure how to handle this.

I would appreciate any advice you might have to share.

Sarah, Cork

Dear Sarah

Thank you for your email. I can understand how this argument in your social circle has upset the group dynamic and of course that is a real pity for so many reasons. Hopefully, in time, both women might find a way to patch things up between themselves. But here is the thing: that is their business. You are not responsible for their relationship and how it evolves from here. So, take a breath and take a step back.

Look, I can see why you might be anxious about how to manage this situation on your wedding day. But again, that is not your job. Of course, one obvious suggestion might be to divide the larger friend group between two different tables so that both parties are seated separately for dinner. However, I think that’s about all you can really do to be perfectly honest.

It’s going to be up to them how they manage the wedding ceremony, the drinks reception or the dancing. But they are both grown-ups. Unless it is a very small celebration, they should be able to stay pretty clear of each other if that is what they both want.

In the run-up to a wedding, it can be easy to overthink things. That’s natural when you feel under pressure. But, ultimately, if they are both good friends of yours, they will want you to have a wonderful day. They won’t want to spoil proceedings with any unnecessary drama. To be fair to them, it does not seem from your email that they have asked you to make any particular accommodations or changes on their behalf.

I would also say that the wedding – while special – is just one day. As life moves forward, these two women are going to have to figure out their own strategy for dealing with each other in social situations. I’m sure there will be more weddings, birthdays etc and, on the other hand, sadder gatherings like family funerals, where this particular friend group will come together to support each other. Trying to over-manage the situation on this occasion is not really going to help anybody in the long run.

So, my advice is to make out that provisional table plan and then put it to the back of your mind. And who knows? Maybe there will be a peace agreement reached during Rock The Boat! Stranger things have happened.

I hope that you have a wonderful wedding day surrounded by those who love and care for you, and I wish you and your partner a lifetime of health and happiness ahead.

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