When it comes to the relationship between a bride and her mother, it all too often becomes a battle for control. On one hand, Mom has a picture in her head of what her daughter’s wedding should be like, while the bride has her own thoughts — the two don’t necessarily jibe with each other.
A mother-of-the-bride asks: ”I’m besides myself. For all of my daughter’s life, I dreamed of the perfect wedding that her father and I will have for her. Now that she’s getting married, I realize her ideas are very different than mine. I know it’s her wedding, but her dad and I are footing the bill, so I think I should be allowed to make, at least, some of the decisions. My daughter disagrees, and all we’ve done is argue. I’m afraid that by the time we get to her wedding, we won’t even speak to each other. Help!”
Dear mother-of-the-bride: Phew, this is a heavy one! I agree that if you continue on your current track, you’ll create a rift between you and your daughter that may never heal. It’d be a shame if something as wonderful as your child’s wedding became the cause of such animosity. You need to decide what’s really important here: your need to be in control, or your daughter’s happiness. That said…
A true gift is given without strings! Difficult as it may be, you need to understand that it’s your daughter who should be calling the shots. Generally speaking, I tell mothers of the bride never to offer advice, unless asked. Trust me, when she’s ready, she’ll come to you with questions and suggestions. (Another piece of advice? Watch your language. Words are important, so try to avoid beginning a sentence with “You have to,” “You should,” or “When your cousin got married…”)
Not to fear; there is a back door into getting your opinion on the table. Get to know your daughter’s bridesmaids. It’s possible that the members of the bridal party will be more open to your suggestions and advice that your daughter, and they can pass on your information.
Most importantly, be as supportive as you can! The time before your daughter’s wedding will be extremely stressful for her. If you can keep focused on her needs (as opposed to your own), you’ll be giving the greatest gift of all!
To submit your own question to the Wedding Guru, email Judy at firstname.lastname@example.org.