Jan. 12, 2011 -- Anonymous in Iowa writes:
I am currently planning my wedding and my mom seems to want to take it over. There are a lot of ideas I have mentioned and she keeps rejecting them. My friends keep telling me to just tell her that it is my wedding and to do what I want. I really don't know what to do.
Bette Alkazian's Advice:
Weddings are supposed to be a joyful time, but the planning is usually pretty stressful, as you're finding out! Though I don't know the dynamics between you and your mom, I'm guessing that she is probably going through some things. Understanding them may help you feel less angry and more patient with her.
First, she may be living vicariously through you. Depending upon her own wedding experience, she may be trying to repair what she never got to do when it was her turn. She may also be dealing with the feelings that go along with losing you. In her sadness, she may be busying herself with wedding plans to avoid thinking about the fact that her baby is all grown up.
I don't recommend that you follow your friends' advice and just do what you want. That could be a recipe for disaster! As in all conflicts, communication is key.
Sit your mom down and tell her that her efforts are appreciated and that you're grateful, but that you'd like to have some input in the decisions, as well. It is your wedding, after all! Now that you're getting married, it's important to begin to define your relationship as adult to adult. Be strong, but be kind, remembering that this is all new and a big adjustment for everyone!
Good luck and best wishes to you and your fiancé!
Liz Pryor's Advice:
Dear Getting married from Iowa,
First of all, congratulations! This is such an exciting time in your life.
It seems the suggestions from your friends, on how to deal with your mom around the wedding plans don't encompass what you want to put into action, and I get it.
Of course you want your mom to listen to your idea's, it's your wedding, your big day.
Maybe you need a game plan.
How can you take the reins from your mom and get control over these decisions, without too much hassle and drama?
Here are my suggestions-
First, you sit down alone, and make a list of the things that matter the most to you. The big things -- where, who comes, theme, colors, whatever they are. Then, rack your brain for some suggestions your mom has made that you actually like, and add them to your list.
Here comes the hard part, you are going to have to sit down and have a conversation with your mom. Thing to remember? She loves you… So much so, she may be a little too excited about your wedding. My mom would say this is one of the good problems in life to have. Try and remember this because it will help curb the frustration and anger that comes up for you when talking to her.
Next, when you sit down with your list and your mom, tell her the truth. Tell her that you really want her help to make this day what you've dreamed it could be. Show her the lists with her stuff included, it will help her feel needed. Ask her if she thinks you guys can to do this together.
You can do it, I think it's going to be much easier than you imagine. And don't forget, brides are wildly resourceful and unexplainably strong; I don't why that is, but it's true.
I have a feeling you and your mom are going to be able to make an amazing wedding together.
Good luck and smooth sailing!