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How to Lower Your Mom's Wedding-Planning Stress Level

And maybe manage your own stress in the process.

Contributing Writer
Photography by: Tom Merton

Whether she's one of your best friends or biggest frenemies, moms have an uncanny way of zapping the zen out of wedding planning. Maybe she's going crazy over the guest list. Maybe she's obsessing over what she's going to wear. Maybe the budget has her totally freaked out. Whatever it is, you've got to find a way to cope before you both end up with sky-high stress levels.

Get to the root of the problem.

Figure out what's really going on that has your mom in a tizzy. Like anyone, moms can sometimes fixate on a seemingly silly issue while they're trying to express something completely different. While you can't be expected to play mind reader, you can have conversations to figure out what's at the core of the issue so you can work through it together.

Find ways to involve her.

Consider whether she may be feeling left out of the process. The truth is, your parents have probably been picturing your wedding day longer than you have. And that means they have expectations. It's not that you should have to abide by all of those expectations, but it'll certainly make your life easier if you find a way to include her in some decision-making so she feels like her ideas and opinions matter. Take her to whatever meeting you think she'd enjoy the most, whether it's the cake tasting or meeting with the florist. You don't have to do exactly what she recommends, but simply involving her will often calm the MOB's nerves.

Take her mind off the wedding.

The number of decisions you make during wedding planning can take a big toll on your stress factor. You could probably both take a minute to reset, so find an activity you can do without even thinking about the wedding. Take a day trip out to a local winery or treat your mom to a spa day. Sign up for a cooking class or take her to a museum exhibit you've wanted to check out.

Give her a project.

If you're lucky enough to have a mom who's champing at the bit to help with something, give her a project. It doesn't have to be some complicated DIY craft, unless she's just dying to make paper flowers. Instead, make it something easy like stuffing invitations or arranging the welcome bags. An extra set of hands is always welcome!

Find something she loves to do and do it together.

Find small ways to show you're still around to chat about things besides the wedding. Gardening, going for a hike, or shopping together can be great ways to take both your minds off the (sometimes contentious) process of planning of a wedding. Even just having a nice meal together could be a good way to acknowledge that you're both stressed out and call a truce.

Accept help when you need it.

We totally get not wanting help, but sometimes Mother really does know best. Your mom has probably attended her fair share of weddings and may have planned a wedding for a sibling or two before you. A big hurdle to get over while planning a wedding is that there's not always a right, wrong, or "normal" way to do things, so you may have to do some volleying to get to a neutral territory. If you're able to be open to some of your mom's ideas, you might make working together a little bit easier for you both.