You don't have to divorce your mom just to marry your love!
- "You have to use the same caterer your father and I did!" (even though it's been 30 years.... they're probably still totally on point, right?)
- "You don't need a NEW wedding dress! You should take my wedding dress... and have it re-made to fit you!" (The balloon sleeves from the 80s are fine! Just move some buttons around...)
- "People have to have CAKE! No cupcakes, macaroons, and candy! I had a 5 tiered cake for MY wedding.. people loved it!" (Oh, and grandma's cake topper from the 50s? For SURE!)
- "What do you mean you're getting married at the top of the mountain? What will the priest say?" (...but my fiance's Jewish... and the church doesn't recognize my same sex marriage?! and we LOVE Vail weddings!)
- "Fall colors? Wedding flowers should be WHITE!" (What, so my bouquet can blend completely in to my dress?)
- "You want to play WHAT music?! You have to play piano music at dinner!" (...SIGH...)
- "I bought another dress... just in case the four fittings I've had for my first two choices don't quite fit me after I've lost all my winter weight... You know..." (The winter weight from 2005? Mom, you've been a size 14 since I was in middle school.)
How do I manage my 'MOB's at my weddings... Well, here you go. Here's some advice that will help you through it... and let you AND your mother stay sane!
- Talk about the budget up front... make sure you know what she wants to spend (assuming she's paying for this big ole day!) and be respectful of it.
- BEFORE you book anything (except maybe a wedding planner) - Sit down with all your major players - moms, dads, fiancee, etc... and come up with a list of the most important things to all of you. Figure out what those non-negotiable line-items are before you get too deep. That way you can predict things as they come up! If she absolutely MUST have cake - and you and the fiancee are gluten free - you'll know what the issues are before you get into a dessert throwing match at the bakery!
- Ask her how she's feeling. She's probably stressed about things from HER wedding 30 years ago... and doesn't even know it! Take her to happy hour, have a glass of wine - and TALK about it!
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- Her dress is a big one here, and it comes up OFTEN. If you hate her dress? Have it incorporated in other ways! Have the florist wrap your bouquet in it! Use buttons from it for your seamstress to bustle your dress. You can even use the satin from that enormous 1982 train to do a ribbon wrap on your cake! Having her along to your dress fitting may be good - or bad - depending on how stressed she is. Ask your wedding planner what to do! They should be able to help you navigate moms!
- Food. She's worried about her friends here, not yours. Listen to her concerns. If they HAVE to have shrimp cocktail because, "that's just how it's done!" - well, ok. Lets have a cold seafood display at cocktail hour and have shrimp and oysters! Or incorporate them in and have sushi as passed apps! Ask your caterer for advice on ways to make everyone happy!
- Venue/Officiant/Religion... Wow, this is a tough one. If you and your mom, or worse, your fiance and your mom have different beliefs... What to do? Many of my clients will have two ceremonies. One for one set of beliefs and one for another! She's catholic and you're marrying a Jew? No worries! Have a small catholic ceremony at noon for her friends and family who attend that church... then a gorgeous chuppah at the top of a mountain at 4 - followed by a fabulous dinner! Then the only breaking glass will be the one that is followed by a "Mazel Tov!" It may help to hire an officiant with expertise in many religious customs - so you can incorporate the elements that are important to everyone - a great option is Wedlock Officiants.
- Place Cards - Minted is a great resource for that - are a great way to have her help... so are seating charts. Have her play around with seating chart software such as All Seated or Social Tables! If she's not tech savvy, pull out a poster board and some sharpies! It'll consume a ton of time, and keep her out of your hair for a long time!
- Let her handle the dessert! If dessert's not your bag... let mom go to the cake place! Give her a pinterest account, show her how to use it, and pin some of your faves on there... then let her help the dessert expert to find just the right thing.
- Let her help with RSVP management! She's happy to know Aunt Susie can make it... Let her keep track of it! You can even show her how to use a Google Sheet so you can see what she's up to! You should always keep the doc in a place your wedding planner can see it... so they know where things stand without bothering you for information!