Is a wedding an excuse to mend bridges?

It’s five months before my wedding. I’m here, putting the finishing touches on my invitations and making sure I’ve not left anyone out. But the reality is I have left people out. There are people who used to play a big role in my life, who I no longer have any contact with. For one reason or another, we’ve decided (mutually or not so mutually) that we’re best off apart.

There was a short period of time that I was contemplating using the wedding to mend these bridges. I’ve personally decided against it, but I wanted to share my thought process with you. Pretty much everyone has had a major fall out at some point in their lives and figuring out if it’s worth extending an olive branch can be confusing and upsetting. Especially when you constantly have people telling you that life’s too short for fights, that if somebody was in your life to begin with they were in your life for a reason. Weddings are also a sentimental time, a time for reflection and evaluation. So it’s no wonder that people start to look at the past with rose-tinted glasses, wondering if an emotional reunion could be on the cards.

So here are a few things to consider before you pick up the phone to make amends.

 

Why did you fall out? ♥

Some fall outs are silly. They’re over meaningless things, people being too stubborn to say sorry, people overreacting, people being… well, people. Some fall outs, however, are not. They’re about deep-rooted issues in your friendship that can’t be resolved, they’re about years of resentment building up and bubbling over, they’re about a fundamental split in values and soul that can’t be fixed.

Some fall outs, simply put, really are for the best. Some people are only meant to be in your life for a short amount of time and that’s pretty much the crux of it.

So should you make up? Well, is the rosy feeling of making up worth having them back in your life? Are you happier without them? Less stressed? Was the friendship a toxic one? If you make up for the sake of a wedding, you’re not just rekindling the friendship for that purpose, you’re rekindling it full stop. That means that once the excitement of the wedding is done, you’re in this dynamic again whether you like it or not.

♥ Has anything changed? 

Things change – people change – life changes. Sometimes circumstances dictate that a friendship just isn’t on the cards. Maybe you don’t get on with someone’s partner, maybe they were involved with something you don’t approve of. If circumstances have changed and you still miss having that person in your life, maybe a second chance could be on the cards.

Is it time to reconcile? That depends. Are the circumstances that led to your falling out likely to recur? Can you forgive or are you ready to be forgiven? Is the trust broken beyond repair or is there a chance to fix it? Will the dynamic be very different or are you the kind of friends to pick up where you left off? Things may have changed for the better, but they also could have changed in a way that means there’s no going back.

 Was a line crossed? 

In friendships there’s an invisible line. You don’t sleep with your friend’s boyfriend, you don’t betray your friend in any major way. Sometimes that line gets crossed, and personally I don’t think there’s any going back from that. Once that trust is shattered by a single, bombshell event, that’s pretty much the end.

Ask yourself if you’d ever really be able to let your guard down around someone who’d completely betrayed your trust. If you feel you can understand their reasons for hurting you, then that’s a good starting point, but don’t be tempted to go straight back into the friendship without talking about why you fell out.

 Are they ready to hear from you? 

We all make mistakes. But if you were the one in the wrong, losing a friendship can sometimes just be the price you have to pay. It completely depends on the circumstances, but sometimes people might be ready for forgiveness. Other times, they might just not want to know.

It depends on the severity of the situation, but if you feel it’s appropriate, pick up the phone. Do it without expectation, just come ready with an apology, forget the wedding invite as a starting point. If they’re ready to hear your apology, take it from there, but don’t push things. It may just be that an apology and acceptance is where it ends.

Are they likely to behave badly at the wedding? 

If you’ve fallen out with someone because they’ve behaved badly, are these issues likely to come up on your wedding day? If there’s been a family falling out, for example, it’s all very well and good making amends on a personal level, but will still-raw rifts in the family make life difficult on the most important day of your life?

If someone’s prone to outbursts, bad drunken behaviour or rudeness to other people in your life, and that’s why you fell out, it may be best to keep it that way, or wait until after the wedding to talk to them. Otherwise you could end up with a lot of drama you could have avoided.

Repairing friendships can be a great move – as long as you’re doing it for the right reasons. As I said, it’s easy to get swept up in the emotion of a wedding and forget why someone’s out of your life. But it can also be a wake up call when you get married and you realise you’re really going to miss having someone there. 

Each situation is unique and it’s best to follow your heart, but keep your head on standby in case your good nature clouds your judgement! Good luck. 

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