What to Do When Your Mom Gets Too Involved in Wedding Planning
These strategies won't hurting her feelings.
You welcome your mother's wedding planning advice—at least to a point—but when she crosses that fine line between helpful and downright annoying, what's a bride or groom to do? Whether your mother is footing the bill for your big day or simply excited about planning such an epic celebration, "it's easy for parents to get caught up in their children's lives because, ultimately, they do it out of love and want you to have what they think is best," says Aviva Samuels, owner of Kiss the Planner. "If you think about it, that line between a parent and child is sometimes dangerously, yet understandably, thin."
However, when your mother tells you how to style your hair, for example, or how high your heels should be, she may have crossed that line, and it could be time to take action, Samuels says. "If the plan was for group decisions to be made but somewhere along the way it turned into a one-woman show, it's time to remedy the situation," Samuels says, and offers this advice.
Ask her to change "I" to "we."
When you catch your mother saying what she wants for the wedding—and only what she wants—Samuels suggests asking her to change her language slightly. "When mom has an 'I' moment instead of a 'we' moment, it's the perfect opportunity to point it out to her," says Samuels, "because she might not even be aware that she's doing it. In the nicest of ways, bride or groom can say something like, 'It's so wonderful to have your help, mom, but can we make these decisions together? When I hear you say 'I,' it sounds to me like your mind is already made up and I'd like to have a chance to express my opinion as well.' This gives her a chance to step back and realize she might've gotten carried away in her own world."
Plan a wedding-free day together.
This advice might seem counterintuitive, Samuels admits, but getting your mother to step back from wedding planning might mean you both need to step back—even just for a day. "Plan a day for you and mom, and agree that you won't discuss the wedding at all," she suggests. "Plan an outing and do something fun together. Stepping away from the wedding planning might be exactly what the two of you need to realize that this celebration is just one day in the scheme of your lives, but the love you have for each other is forever. Get back to basics, so to speak, and celebrate that special relationship between a mother and a child."
Have a heart-to-heart conversation.
If all else fails, sit your mother down for a talk. "If you're having a particularly difficult time with your mom, see if you can get to the bottom of it with love and compassion," Samuels says. "Having a heart-to-heart just might be in order. Take the time to carefully think about what you want to say. Put it down on paper if you need to, so you can gather your thoughts carefully, and make sure you don't say anything hastily out of anger. Stay away from blame and really put yourself in her shoes. Even if it's difficult for you to see where she's coming from, remind yourself of the other loving gestures she has demonstrated throughout her life and recognize she may be having a tough time, for reasons you might not understand."