You've finally gotten engaged and you're dying to share the happy news with your folks. All you want is to cheer, whoop and maybe let loose a few joyful tears. You definitely don't want your mum to start spurring off names of websites, venues and caterers that would suit your style and theme.
You'll probably start panicking, since you haven't even begun to think about the actually wedding yet!
Be warned- your mum may already be taking control of your entire wedding... Here's a few top tips forms on how to keep the balance during these 'family wedding planning' sessions.
Your mum is most probably in her element and taking everything in stride. She's a superwoman, she maintains her household, juggles the craziness of family life and may even hold down a full-time job too. She will have her opinions, as you will, but why on earth is she turning into a wedding control freak? Why are you opting to hide those little details and updated plans that you fear she will totally derail? And lastly, how are you going to survive the next few months of planning without endless arguments over peonies vs orchids! Sound familiar?
Firstly, you're going to need to decipher what's behind this change from super cool laid-back mum to the wedding autocrat. It could stem down from family tradition, her little girls wedding has probably brought out a little too much tradition and rigidity in her. You may find she's been taught that a daughters wedding is a motherly duty and its her right to coordinate. If you're struggling with releasing some control, be honest and let your mum know that she can't call all the shots. This is a right of passage for you as well as her. Your mum might just be pining the loss of her little girl - so try keep the peace while you keep communication open and unheated.
Your over-eager mum may not even realise that her tri-weekly phones calls inquiring what she can 'help out with' are anything but helpful! We suggest that you set up boundaries at the start of the wedding planning process. Chat to your mum about the role you want her to play in your wedding. This is your chance to lay down the law - kindly and gently.
Target your mum's strength, if she's creative- put her in charge of something artistic like the decor and floral styling. If she's a epic negotiator, let her haggle the catering crew while you select the canapés you love. If you're lucky to have a mum who loves making people feel comfortable - let her tackle the seating chart!
Its easy to get off on the wrong foot with your mum if you are constantly telling her what she's not to do, so rather keep her focused on what you would ultimately like to her to do. This way you'll avoid those terrifying glares she's sending your way.
Nothing ever runs smoothly between you and your mum all the time. So if you're stuck in endless battles no matter how much you've tried, maybe it's time to think about hiring a wedding coordinator? They're great at being neutral in the situation and their knowledge may just help you to see the different sides of an issue. A coordinator can be the referee between the all-time match of Tradition vs. Modernism. They are able to lay out the pros and cons and reach a compromise that ultimately saves you a lot of stress.
Keeping the peace with your mum is more important that the money you spend on your wedding day. A smart bride will pick her battles, so let your mum have her way once in a while. Just consider it a gift to her. Avoiding confrontation with your mum will help keep you focused on what's really important - which is ultimately getting married to the partner you love.
In the end, discuss your wedding budget in detail from the start, and be sure to keep Mum informed.
Listen to her opinions, let her treat you like a difficult teen, let the squalls blow over and do not tell her to butt out of your plans. Just remember that your wedding day is also her 'little girl's' day too, hence the stress for her to make it everything she wants for you, and more.
But if and when this doesn't help and you're both at your wits end; we say- leave everything to your newly hired wedding coordinator!