Art of Surviving a Wedding: Peace

Jun 11 , 2022
By Eden Sahle

Mine was many people’s dream wedding, I was told by many. It was held at Sheraton Addis, where my high school graduation was held and my father wanted me to wed. The celebrity guest list impressed many, and the wedding video was released live on social media platforms. It was a fairytale, or so I was told.

None of it, nonetheless, concealed the absence of my father, who had done much not just for the wedding but also in my life. It was the day he was eager to witness but unable to attend. Guest invitations were canceled after my father’s passing. I did not like the ceremony and how it was changed against my father’s plan and wish. I worked hard emotionally on myself to survive the day, smiling at family members, friends, and the camera.

At my wedding, I observed people assume that we all want the same thing. They thought the ceremony I had was my dream wedding because it was theirs as well. Instead, I would have preferred to dine and celebrate with vulnerable members of our society. These people have no one and never experienced being invited to a wedding. I would have been happy and my dream would have come true to have these people as my guests. People who knew me close were surprised I had the wedding I had because they knew my wish long before I was engaged.

Yet, the experience during the wedding preparations taught me we do not always get our way in life, but we always learn so much more than we can anticipate. I knew people treat us differently when we lose a parent. I learned people claim to please us while they are only performing what makes them happy. I felt like a curious observer guest rather than a bride. But having my wedding my way was not worth losing my relationship with others that I value so much. I was content to see them happy.

I did not fall apart emotionally but I took all the lessons I could along the way. I have seen the family of mine weep over the absence of my beloved father while the family I was joining was excited and cheerful for us. My husband and I sat and chatted between ourselves during the entire wedding ceremony while many danced and celebrated.

Certainly, in this world, we have various forms of big or small suffering and life is, for the most part, about overcoming them. Not every action that makes others happy is something noble. But we must decide what is right even if we are being wronged. It is always the best decision to avoid conflict whenever it is possible. There is always an appropriate time and place to disagree, dispute, or even confront for a good cause.

When we face adversity, our resolve gets tested to bring either the best or the worst in us. I had to let go of my ego, pride, and desire to live in peace with others even when my bedrock convictions were violated at my wedding. Some said I was weak because I tolerated things I did not want to happen. But they failed to grasp that sometimes we win by losing and allowing others to judge themselves instead of us confronting and judging them.

Does this mean we have to be people pleasers all the time?

Absolutely not. Sycophantic behaviour is corrosive, which eats away at unity, undermines cohesion, causes apathy, and creates dissension. It robs the person of personal impact and discipline, prevents individuals’ needs from being carried through, and alienates the person from making sound decisions in life.

Sycophancy can cause trouble and damage not just to ourselves but also to others. As the saying goes, we teach people how to treat us. But like everything, there is a season to cry, laugh, be silent, fight for our core beliefs, and a season to let people learn by themselves no matter how long it takes them to understand.

We should learn to weigh the impact we create in every decision we make. For me, compromising on my wedding is a small thing if it contributes to a fulfilling married life. Whether we have a big or small wedding, or none at all, it matters little to laying a foundation for happiness or a good life. It is all about the person we are committed to being together with in good and bad times, and everything in between.

PUBLISHED ON Jun 11,2022 [ VOL 23 , NO 1154]

Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at

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