Real Question: Wedding Planning Moms

Hi Ladies,

I have a burning wedding question…
Our wedding is the first for both our families and we are beyond grateful for all the love and support. But our moms are making wedding plans and arrangements without consulting us first. Both families have generously offered money to help pay for the wedding, but I feel like they’ve taken over in some aspects. How do we tell our parents (mainly our moms) to back off without offending them?

We Love Our Moms


Dear We Love our Moms,

Being the first in the family to get married, on both sides, is a big deal. But just like being the oldest in the family, you are paving the way for all the other weddings to come. This is new territory for your Moms. They don’t have a blueprint yet for dealing with this kind of event. You also don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings but you do want to have the wedding of your dreams. There are many things to consider when approaching this. First off, you have to know that your parents are incredibly excited for the two of you. They have been making decisions for you your whole lives and it is hard to shut off that ‘mom mode’. Believe me, they want the best for the two of you and the wedding.

When family members offer to pay for parts of the wedding day, or the whole thing, you do need to take their opinion into consideration. How much say they have depends on how much they are contributing to the financial side of the wedding. I am glad that you have already identified and understand that.

What needs to happen now is a little meeting between the two of you and your Moms. You need to gently let them know how you are feeling. Make sure that you let them know you appreciate everything that they are doing for you but that you feel the decision making doesn’t reflect your vision for the wedding day. They probably think that they are alleviating the stress of wedding planning by making decisions for the two of you. Moms love to help so make sure that you reiterate how much you appreciate that they care about your big day.

Moving forward, all of you should talk about what parts of the day are most important to each of you. This way you can get everything out on the table and make a plan. If your Mom has strong views about what the ceremony programs look like and the two of you see that as a low priority item on your list, maybe you can just give her that job to create them herself. If there are things that everyone has different views on, as in the location of the ceremony for example, talk it out. Hear everyone’s thoughts on it, and come to an agreement that way. You may realize that she wants you to get married in a location that has sentimental reasons that you didn’t know about. That might add a great element to your wedding you were not expecting.

Going into this meeting, the two of you should have your top three items or parts of the day that mean the most to the two of you. This is where the majority of your budget will probably go. If you have always envisioned your wedding being at the Bessborough, then you should have that. If your Moms feel like it is too pricey, then look at your list of what needs to be hired or bought and see where you can save money somewhere else. If flowers are something that you are not passionate about, then you can opt for less expensive flowers in your bouquet. Honestly, your guests will not know that you have a ‘cheaper’ arrangement than the one they saw at the last wedding they attended. I have found that most parents don’t realize how much the price of a wedding has gone up since they were married. This is the biggest struggle that couples have when working with their parents and the budget for their wedding. Don’t be afraid of coming up with the difference on something that is going to make or break your wedding day if your parents feel it isn’t important. If you want that Vera Wang dress and your Mom doesn’t want to spend over $700 on a dress, offer to kick in the extra $2,000. They might be willing to spend more on the reception and that might be an area of the budget that you won’t have to spend as much on.

In the end I would make sure that you let your families know that you would like final say on anything and everything before it is either booked or paid for. That way there are no negative feelings about a decision that is made for the day. Your parents want the best for the wedding and want to make the two of you happy. Things have changed since they were married. Prices have gone up, there are more choices and things have become more elaborate. This is a learning curve for all of you. The best way to deal with it is to just talk it out and figure out everyone’s thoughts on budget and what is most important on the wedding day.

Sask Ever After

Photo Credit: Danielle Stasiuk Photography

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