We know mums can be super helpful when it comes to planning a wedding, but we’re also all too aware of the annoying things she’ll keep saying, and with emotions and stress running high, it can result in arguments between you and your parents.
Here are the five most common arguments you’ll have with your parents when planning a wedding, and how to deal with them.
1. They keep adding distant family members to your guest list
You’d planned to have an intimate wedding, with just close friends and family, but your parents have added long lost family friends, the neighbours and your great aunt to the guest list.
Trust us; guest-list additions are a common cause of family fall-outs. Annoying as it is, keep in mind that your parents are excited about your day and want to include as many people as possible. There may also be familial politics at play, of which you’re blissfully unaware.
The fairest thing is to give them a set number of guests to invite – this is particularly true if they’re contributing financially to w-day. They’ll have more fun of they know some of your guests.
If there’s someone you really don’t want them to invite, be clear about this from the beginning.
2. They are interfering in your plans too much
Do you feel that your parents are over-involved in your planning? Of course they’re entitled to their opinion, but it’s easy for resentment to build if they’re trying to dictate everything.
If they’re getting carried away, tell them so – but with kindness. For many mothers and fathers, the happiness they feel when their child gets engaged is tinged with a sense of loss. The baby they loved and nurtured is now all grown up. What’s more, the baby is creating a family of their own and the parents are no longer the child’s most important relationship.
This often subconscious sadness can lead to trying to claw back control through the planning.
There’s an emotional investment in your wedding going well, and parents may also be trying to remind you of their love by making sure you have the best day ever. Unfortunately, if their vision of that best day ever isn’t the same as yours, then you need to stand firm.
Weddings have changed so much over the years. What one generation considers ‘essential’ (fruitcake and post-ceremony receiving lines tend to figure heavily), you may decide it simply isn’t right for you.
This doesn’t mean you should dismiss such ideas, but just be clear that you and your partner have the final say. Make time to listen to parental opinions and be prepared to compromise.
3. They want to contribute money, but don’t like your wedding ideas
If there’s money involved, the question of parental input becomes trickier, regardless of the level of contribution.
It’s reasonable for them to have some say on how their cash is spent, but not if they insist on things you and your partner don’t want.
It might be worth putting them in charge of a particular part of w-day so they have some decision-making powers. If you think that any money they give you will come with serious strings attached, consider whether you should accept the offer.
4. They aren’t interested at all
It can be just as hard if your parents have little interest in your wedding You can’t expect others to be as excited about your day as you are, and that also goes for your parents.
For some, helping to plan isn’t how they show their love, but doesn’t mean they don’t care.
There are a million reasons why they may not be involved; not least, they could be giving you space for your own day. Ask if they have advice. If they’re still hanging back, focus on the fact you’re marrying the person you love, how you want to do it.
5. Your divorced parents won’t be civil
In an ideal world, all post-divorce parents would have an amicable relationship with each other – not necessarily friends, but with no hostility.
Sadly, this is not always the case. If you think there’s a possibility of w-day warfare, tell them both how much it would hurt you. It might help to ask trusted family members to also have a word.
Think carefully about the seating plan and ask both if they’re happy to be near each other. Don’t feel under pressure to put them on one top table, either; each parent could host their own. Remember: it’s your day, your way.