Planning a wedding can be a stressful experience. And, we’re not just talking about finding a venue, planning a reception and purchasing best man gifts and groomsmen gifts. Although these tasks can all add more stress to the occasion. Often, stress brings out the worst in people. If you find that an issue has escalated and there are members of your wedding party who are at odds with your spouse-to-be, an in-law, a parent, friend or even service provider, we have some tips to help you bring back order to the day. Even if you aren’t one of the people in conflict, these useful tips can help you mediate first-hand most any situation that has gone awry.

Do your homework. Prior to attacking the problem, listen to both sides of the issue and find out if there is a history or back story to the argument. Is the dispute a ongoing, chronic problem between two people – like someone with an elephant mind who’s not going to let a little mishap from years ago be forgotten. If it’s not a long standing issue, the chances are just that stress has caused one person to get on the nerves of another. Before you approach the parties to negotiate, or if you are one of the people in conflict, think about what you want to say before you open your mouth.

Write it out. Put a pen to paper and write a solution to the problem. By the way, we have a nice bamboo pen set that is perfect to give as groomsmen gifts. Your written solutions can be sent to both parties simultaneously so that you maintain an neutral, impartial position. Always try to be fair to both sides, especially where two different families are involved.

Never criticize or insult. Think about how you would want to be treated if you were on the other side of the fence. Remember, you can’t take words back.

Encourage compromises. Consider the big picture and figure out a solution that will appeal to all parties involved.

Take yourself out of the problem. Maybe this isn’t your fish to fry. If the issue is too large or too stressful, perhaps you shouldn’t be taking it on right before your wedding. Another significant person in your life, like a parent, grandparent or minister, can talk with the person to help restore order.

Play the bride card. If the arguing and disagreeing won’t stop to the point where it is going to ruin the day, ask the parties involved to put aside their differences for the sake of the bride. Suggest that their good behavior be a gift for the bride. Mention how much time and planning she has put into the day and how devastated she would be if it was ruined by their misbehavior.

Stay calm. Having so many friends and family around can cause emotions to run high. Do your best to keep your emotions off your shirtsleeve and remain rational and logical about your decision-making. Solutions to any problems should be simple, practical and easy to implement.

Call in experts. If you are unable to resolve a problem, you can always go online to see what wedding experts suggest. After finding online advice, you can share your findings with the disgruntled parties and see if this helps bring about a resolution.

Last resort. You can always have the people in conflict draw straws or do “rock, paper scissors” to make a hard decision.