Post # 1
So I’m just curious…not even a week into wedding planning and I have seen this whoooole other side of my mother that I didn’t know existed. This is a woman who hates entertaining and formal ‘events’ so much that she has flat out refused to let us throw her a birthday party for the last 30 years.
Fast forward to the moment the word “wedding” came out of my mouth. Suddenly, she is having a minor freak-out on every element from food to venue. We decided to have the wedding where we live and not where my parents live, which is helping us maintain more control over our choices, but even so. Yesterday I get a call that it has to be in the city, not the suburbs, so our guests will have access to public transportation and not be driving around a strange city. The city is three times more expensive, though! I mentioned this and got a cold shoulder followed by “Well I have to go.” Click.
Oy ve. So this is what I’m curious about. If your family member was planning, say, a birthday or anniversary party, no one would dream of insulting their choices! Can you imagine if you went to a birthday and started saying “Why did you pick THAT cake? It’s square, I think that looks weird. You know, you should have picked a bigger venue…” Of course no one but the nastiest person would do that, and yet with weddings it’s open season.
Why do you suppose moms start to react this way during weddings? I really am curious as to what causes this? Some theories I came up with:
– It’s their ‘last stand’ in the mother-child relationship before we go on and start a little family of our own with FI, and they wants to assert themselves.
– That’s how wedding were planned a generation ago – the parents picked everything.
– It’s a public representation of your family and they want to control what image you present to the community.
– They look at us and see a five-year-old covered in grape jam and think “Her, plan a wedding? Not possible!”
Post # 3
“MY BABY’S GROWING UP!!!! AHHHH, SHE’S LEAVING US”
Post # 4
I have no answers, but the grape jam one made me laugh.
Post # 5
Yeah EJS, the funny thing is that a part of me KNOWS that if I have a daughter I will do this some day too! Ha ha, who knows what will be in style by then – “But mom, EVERYONE is doing petting-zoo-and-artichoke themed weddings these days!”
Post # 6
The grape jam line was hilarious! I agree, I have no idea why everyone feels its their right to criticze every element of someone else’s wedding. I think its alot of the reasons you stated i.e. children growing up, the last stand but its also the wedding they never go to have.
Post # 7
As my sister (the one with kids) reminds me, moms do not stop offering their opinions/inserting their dominance over you once you are married. Soon they’ll start telling you how to raise your kids.
I think it’s a combination of the more traditional mindset of “my daughter’s wedding is a reflection of our family not just her and the groom” and “I learned from my own wedding/lack there of that you really need to do such-and-such” (no matter how antiquated that thing actually is today).
Suggestion: take as many of your mom’s suggestions as you can reasonably handle, be open about the details of your budget, and save some of the craziness for your siblings’ weddings. I, thankfully, was the last of three daughters to get married so it seems most of the craziness had dissipated on the previous two. Whew!
Post # 8
I got that cold shoulder from my mom when I opted not to plan my wedding during peak vacation season. She insisted that no one would come if we had it in March & everyone would want to use the trip as their vacation and be able to spend the week before or after here. I got hung up on too. It took her a little bit but she has now moved into supportive mom stage and is out looking up ideas and giving me helpful suggestions.
Post # 9
I think there must just be something about weddings that just sets of the “crazy” gene in moms. Mine didn’t get to plan hers and insists that she won’t do the same to me, yet she still tells me what she thinks I should do. There is going to be some conflict between now and the wedding. It is inevitable. Just gently remind her what this day is about, you and your fiance. Sometimes you just have to pull out the Bride card. I’ll listen to her ideas, but just because she went to this wedding last weekend and they did this and that and it was so perfect, doesn’t mean I want to copy all those things for mine!
Post # 10
In defense of Mom’s everywhere…brides to be can be a lttle crazy too so we have to walk this very fine line. My daughter wants me involved, we talk and plan all the time. If I bring up an idea she doesn’t like..I drop it. On the other hand, she called me at work this morning to tell me aobut votive candles she found for a deal and was doing on and on about the wedding. I brought up something else about the wedding and she said “Mom I can’t even think about my wedding right now..I have to get registered for classes”..WTF??? I just laughed..Ok honey…just remember you called me to talk about it.
Mostly, we are finding wedding planning fun and exciting. But it is stressful and hard sometimes…remember the old song “Be kind to your parents. You know they deserve it. Remember they’re grown ups..a difficult stage of life.”
Post # 11
My mom was very involved in the planning of my wedding, which was mostly fine as she has excellent taste. However, I did not expect her to care so deeply about some aspects of etiquette. She explained it to me this way: Lots of the guests will be our family and friends of our family. The wedding represents not just us but also her and my father. Parents feel competitive about their children. The same mom who wanted her kid to be the best soccer player or ballet dancer when they were 5 now wants her kid to have the best wedding. The gossip mills are churning! I am sure someday I will feel the same way about my kids.
Post # 12
Haha, I wish I could weigh in on this. My mom is the same old calm, not overly excitable mom through this planning stuff, which is where I think I get my attitude. She does not get excited about anything, except the thought of seeing her family and friends. She is always happy for me, and threw my shower last weekend which was great, and is very supportive. But she is just real laid back about everything. My dad worries more about wedding related stuff than she does. She always just says “Whatever makes you happy!”
She did get uber-excited about being IN the wedding though. My FI and I decided to go the traditional Catholic route and have his parents escort him down the aisle, follwed by bridal party, then me with BOTH of my parents. I am so happy she is excited about getting to do more than just sit on the side lines.
Post # 13
I’m with you in trying to figure my mom out.
My mom has TOTALLY changed since I announced my engagement. She’s more physically and verbally affectionate – I think she thinks she’s losing ‘her baby’. I suppose parents will always see us as their little kids, no matter how old or independent we are (and rightfully so).
A wedding and choice in husband (in a round about way) is a public declaration of who you are (and the woman your mother raised you to be) – so I can certainly understand some sense of ownership in the whole process.
…and, it’s also probably a day she’s thought about for a long time (I was just chatting with a friend who has a 7 month old daughter… we were joking around saying before you know it, we’ll be at her graduations and celebrating her wedding). I think it’s a motherly thing to reflect on throughout the years… Now that it’s finally happening – it unleashes all those past hopes and dreams for what she has envisioned your whole life.
It varies by personality, of course… but it IS remarkable how weddings change EVERY thing!!
Post # 14
I was totally shocked by how my mom started behaving too! There are three girls in our family (I’m the oldest) and we were raised very very tomboyish for the most part. Lots of camping, hiking, etc. And my mom grew up farming in North Dakota and builds houses alongside my dad. So there was no dreaming of our wedding day when we were young girls.
The moment my FI and I started planning our wedding, she went NUTS. My sisters, dad, and I were totally perplexed. She was suddenly super into all of these little details and fancy dresses and the whole nine yards. It was like she had spent her entire life thinking about the wedding days of her daughters without our knowledge! She’s calmed down a lot since the inital phases of planning, but it was just so out of character for her.
Post # 15
It’s strange, my mom always tells me the story of her wedding. My parents were engaged and married in just 2 weeks! She seemed like such a free spirit back then – not a hippie, but just more easy going. She critisized her friends years ago for being over-bearing wedding moms, but yet here we are, and she’s doing the same thing to me.
I think that moms really don’t get when they’re being like this. And I think we the brides are also to blame because as others have commented – daughters and brides can get a little self-centered at times. I’m really glad I read this post because it has given me a bit of perspective on why moms are the way they are. I’m going to try and give mine a break and just love her – opinions and all. I know in the end, my wedding will be special for the both of us.
Post # 16
We’ve been engaged for about 6 months and I feel as though my mom has remained distant from all the planning. It’s sad because I’ve always thought my mom would want to help plan each step of the way but instead, she’s said very little.
When my FSIL got married last year, I definitely saw my FMIL’s behaviour change. Slowly but surely these behaviour changes are starting to creep up now that FI and I are in the full swing of planning. We’ve made it clear that since we are paying for the whole thing ourselves, she won’t get a say (sounds mean but seriously, FSIL’s wedding was nothing she wanted and even FMIL has admitted it was the wedding she always wanted). Anyways, FMIL is pushing to add her friends to the guestlist and even wants to come to the food tasting at the venue. I have come to the conclusion that I totally agree with Circus Peanut in saying that the wedding is viewed more of a public representation and wants to control the image of the wedding. I think for FMIL it’s almost as if she wants to use the wedding to show off to her friends and family…does that make senes?