5 Ways to Be a Conflict Free Mother of the Bride or Groom
As a travel agent focused on romance travel I am usually working with the couple, and hear from the mother of the bride or groom most often when they want to give the couple some extra honeymoon amenities. However, I have seen mothers hijack social media to get in front of a couple’s decisions or try to exert control in other ways. If you, as the mother, truly want your children to enjoy both the wedding planning process and the celebration, here are our 5 best tips for not being that controlling mom.
1. Let the bride and groom be in charge. It's their big day, not yours. Even if you are paying for some or all of it, they are entitled to create the kind of celebration they want within the budget. Let go of your own expectations, and help them realize theirs.
2. Choose your battles carefully. If you feel strongly about some aspect of your child's wedding - perhaps a family or cultural tradition, or certain important guests, or what type of religious ceremony - remember, you still are not in charge. Decide which 2 or 3 details are most important to you, and present them to your children as requests. Then respect their decision.
3. Get to know the other parents. Make an effort to meet the other parents and spend time with them. Some families have specific traditions for doing this, but if not, you could start by inviting the other parents to a family dinner with the engaged couple. Remember, these folks are about to become half of your child's family, and you will make your child much happier if the new extended family gets along!
4. Work with the other mother, not in competition. Wedding planning is often an important start to creating this new extended family for your child and the new spouse. Do your best to get along with the other mother, and be a team. Even if you think the other mother is being pushy, your best response is not to grab for control yourself, but to support the bride and groom in their choices.
5. Do not get ahead of the invitation list. You may want to rush and tell your whole family and all your close friends there's going to be a wedding and they are invited. But that can cause hurt feelings later, especially if your children want a much smaller wedding than you envision. Wait for them to determine the size of the wedding and how many guests you as parents are allowed to suggest or invite.
6. Have a celebration of your own - a Renewal of the Vows. If you're really having trouble letting go of your wedding dreams for your children's wedding, let me suggest an alternative: relive your own wedding by planning a Vow Renewal. When you're celebrating your vows instead of your child's, you really can have it all your way! You can even have your vow renewal as part of their wedding festivities. But - very important! -be sure this is 100% okay with the bride and groom, and that your celebration does not in any way overshadow theirs.
Whether you want to add a vow renewal to your child's destination wedding or plan a separate celebration for yourselves, we can help you plan and book a vow renewal celebration just as easily as a destination wedding. We are romance travel specialists, and a once in a lifetime vow renewal, like a wedding is all about the romance.