06/24/2014 02:26 pm ET Updated Aug 24, 2014

5 Ways to Survive Family Weddings

It's June and we all know what that means. Summer weddings are among us. In fact, thoughts and dreams of sunshiny days, fairy tale weddings and high-heeled shoes that we can dance in race through our minds. Yes, weddings can be great sources of delight, celebration and reconnecting but family weddings may have a darker side and a real tender underbelly. And, it is that darker side that I want to talk to you about. Look, I am writing this in the service of helping you. Those who know me know that I am no killjoy. In fact, having fun, playing and even being a little provocative capture my essence. So, having established who I am let's get back to surviving family weddings and even leaving said weddings with your dignity and sense of self intact.

Here's what is at high-risk to happen. When we go to family weddings there is a tendency to regress. For goodness sake-your baby cousins, siblings, etc. are are all grown up and pledging to have and hold someone until death do they part. What? This cousin who wouldn't share her dolls is suddenly sharing a life. It is thoughts like this that make us confused, bewildered and maybe even just a little bit more than irritable. "Why,our unconscious is shouting is this relative who wouldn't let me play, didn't invite me to the party or (fill in the blank here) a sudden committed soul who is swearing often under God to do nothing but good from here on in. If you are having these feelings then I must assure you that you are in good company.

The problem is that I don't want you to get drunk, get dis-inhibited and start saying what you really feel out loud. In the service of preventing such unthinkable occurrences I have suggestions.

Sit down and listen up. These suggestions just might make your summer go more smoothly.

1. Get some rest the night before. Do not go to the wedding hungry. We all function better when we are rested and not starving; right?

2. Develop a personal mantra and say it (in your head) repeatedly. Consider "I am no longer a child." "I am a grown-up." Any variation on this mantra should affect your thoughts and hence behavior.

3. Sit next to someone who brings out the best in you. Think about this in advance.

4. Wear something that makes you happy and that you feel good in. Yes, relatives are naturally inclined to judge each other on their physical presentation. I know this to be true and I stand firmly behind it whether wearing my flats or Jimmy Choos, jeans or an adorable party dress.


5. Do NOT drink too much. Yes, there may be an open bar but keep in mind that alcohol is a depressant and may trigger not only a deteriorating mood but a comment that you may regret.

This summer: Put on your party outfit, attend the weddings, dance a bit and hightail it out of the wedding while you are still feeling good. Good luck.