How to Plan a Wedding with Mom and Not Lose Your Mind
Mom driving you crazy with wedding demands? Not seeing eye-to-eye with your future mother-in-law? Well, you’re not alone. Aside from arguing with your soon-to-be spouse over opinions, conflicts with parents and mom figures can cause a lot of stress.
Skip the drama with these five tips to keep in mind when planning your big day with your mom and future mother-in-law.
1. Be weary of common “pressure points”
Lynda Barness, a wedding planner of 12 years, has seen her fair share of mothers and daughters having conflicting opinions about wedding planning. The planner with I DO Wedding Consulting in Philadelphia, Penn., says the biggest first step is to be aware of common pressure or pain points, the aspects of a wedding that often cause friction between brides and moms.
The first, Barness says, is always the guest list. What if mom and dad want to invite the entire extended family, including people you’ve never even met, along with all of their friends? With this common conflict, Barness suggests compromising – parents should understand that with each guest, the bill goes up, and unfortunately, not everyone can be included.
Consider thinking about how many invites you can spare and encourage your parents to limit invites to close friends or family, preferably people you’re familiar with so your big day isn’t filled with total strangers.
2. Keep the lines of communication open
As with marriage itself, communication is key. Sitting down and talking with parents to find out their wishes is imperative for smooth wedding planning. Knowing the pressure points and communicating openly can save a lot of heartache down the line, Katie Martin, CEO of Elegance & Simplicity, a Washington, D.C.-area event-planning company, says. “The lack of communication kills the wedding planning process,” Martin says. “Moms most of the time do not understand what their daughter’s want and it can cause discord.”
3. Mind the budget
Another big pain point on wedding planning is the budget. If your parents are fronting the bill, you may feel more inclined to heed their every wish, which can cause uproar if their wishes don’t align with yours. Martin, who’s also the editor-in-chief of Eco-Beautiful Weddings, says generally, if mom or your future mother-in-law is footing part of the bill, you should make sure to include them in the planning process. If you’re footing the bill, you should still be sure to ask your mother figures for input on the vendors or parts of the day they really want to be a part of.
On the side of the parents, remember that it’s important to keep in mind that it is in fact, the couple’s wedding. “Does the fact that you may be giving a huge amount of money towards the wedding mean you have the loudest voice? This is something parents have to grapple with. It's the couple's wedding, so again my advice is to compromise wherever you can,” Barness says.
4. Again, it’s all about compromise!
Practice one of the key commandments of marriage early and remember to compromise with wedding planning (this applies to planning both with your fiancé and your mother figures). Barness advises that for moms, you should listen to your daughter and try to explain (not demand) your wishes, and compromise if you can.
On the reverse, for brides, remember that yes, it is you and your partner’s wedding, but if at all possible, try not to rock the boat and compromise on things you know are important to your family.
5. Get help from someone impartial
In some cases, it helps to have a buffer of sorts between you and your mom or mother-in-law. Wedding planners can often provide that outside point of view for brides and grooms, serving as a type of “referee,” says Martin. Other family members might also be able to help both parties see both sides.