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For the Mother of the Bride: 6 Ways You're Making Wedding Planning Difficult (and How to Stop!)

You may not mean to, but you might be making things harder than they need to be.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Tom Merton

Your little girl is getting married. Now that she's got the ring, it's time to plan. With so much going on, it can be easy for the mother of the bride to get caught up in the excitement and lose sight of how your actions are affecting your daughter. Here are a few ways that you might be putting a damper on her big-day plans, plus our best suggestions for nipping your potentially bad behavior in the bud.

 

Related: How to Deal with a Toxic Mother of the Bride

 

Showing no enthusiasm.

For many women, it's their mothers' approval—especially on their wedding day—that they look for. Whether you're trying to avoid stepping on her toes or you're just not that into the decisions she's making, don't check out of the process. "Ultimately a bride will look for approval from her mother, and when she doesn't get that, it can be disappointing," says Darci Greenwood of Greenwood Events. A simple way to fix this is to get involved. Praise the things you like and give her your reassurance.

 

Only focusing on your own vision.

Are you looking at this as a do-over for your own wedding? Have you been planning her big day since her birth? Slow down. "The mother of the bride can sometimes look at the event as a special occasion to host her friends," says Greenwood. The problem is that the couple wants their day to reflect who they are. Instead of trying to take over the big event, see if your daughter would be okay with you hosting a pre-wedding event for your friends or taking the lead on the welcome party.

 

Not picking your battles.

When it comes to mothers and daughters during the wedding planning process, the struggle can be real. You want certain flowers, she wants branches. You want to a classic invitation, she wants an extravagant boxed display. Kate Turner of Kate & Company recommends holding your comments so that you're not always the first one chiming in. If there is something you absolutely want, like Aunt Sally sitting at your table, ask. But if it's something like flowers or style choices, pick your battles. "Remember that the wedding day is one day, but the relationship with your daughter lasts a lifetime," says Turner.

 

Not showing up when it counts.

There is so much that goes into planning a wedding, and that can mean countless appointments, shopping trips, and tastings. While it might be tempting to skip out on an appointment or two, don't. "Regardless of who is footing the bill, show up for your daughter," says Turner. Answer her calls, be her confidant, and let her lean on you during what can often be a stressful time. She'll remember these moments long after the wedding.

 

Constantly reminding her that you're paying.

You're paying for the wedding, and your daughter and her fiancé are likely very grateful. But this can also be a danger zone, says Greenwood. Making comments about how much everything is costing or constantly reminding the bride that you're paying can lead to bad feelings. Greenwood recommends setting a clear, precise budget from the start and sticking to it. It will make everyone happier to know the boundaries.

 

Planning a wedding-day surprise.

Who doesn't love a surprise? Well, lots of people, especially when it happens at the wedding they planned down to the very last detail. The fireworks display you wanted to end the night? It's loud. The glitter drop on the dance floor? It's messy (and the venue wouldn't likely be pleased). Turner recommends leaving surprises for another time. While it's nice that you want to do something special, she says surprising someone on their wedding day doesn't always go well, so why risk it?