Post # 1
I’m leaning toward hiring a DOC. I don’t have a planner for the wedding, and b/c I’m cross country planning my Mom has done a lot of legwork. But I really don’t want her taking care of details on the day of the wedding…and there are certain things that I think a DOC will do that my Mom just wouldn’t. Also, though she thinks she is, my Mom is really not that organized…but more importantly, I just don’t want her doing that kind of stuff. I don’t want her to have that stress, and *I* certainly don’t want it.
Here’s the rub. My sister’s coordinator was terrible. She actually called our house on the wedding day asking me to put my sister on the phone b/c she couldn’t find the hurricane vases and I guess wanted my sister’s help to find them??? I had to tell her it was completely inappropriate to ask even me let alone try to talk to my sister about that kind of thing…isn’t it her job to put out fires?? Anyway, that’s just one of many examples of how she was absolutely the worst coordinator I could possibly imagine. The result of this is that my mom is totally, totally opposed to the concept of having a DOC. She actually told me that if I hire one she will refuse to have anything to do with him/her and I can handle any issues that arise. I asked her if she seriously means that if the DOC came up to her and asked her a simple question like, "where do you want me to put this basket?" you would refuse to talk to her or refer her to me as I prepare to walk down the aisle? She said she’s not sure…Now my mom tends to get crazy mellow dramatic, but still…it makes me wonder if hiring a DOC will be a disaster.
I should also add that my parents are paying for the majority of the wedding, but I would happily pay for the DOC myself so it’s not a budget issue. I don’t know what to do…I guess this is more of a vent since the answer really depends on how likely it is for my mom to come around (which obviously strangers wouldn’t know)…but ugh! I’m just really frustrated about it. My mom has been crazy controlling about so many aspects of our wedding. I find myself saying to her, "It’s my wedding too"…when um, it’s my wedding, not hers. It was a really big decision for us to decide to have a big wedding financed by my parents (I’m very happy with certain aspects of it, but I would never pay for it myself b/c it would not be worth it to us. And we don’t want to have a wedding that’s nothing like what we want…which is what it would be if I gave my parents free reign. That said, culturally it would be a huge insult to my parents for me to insist that we were planning and paying for our wedding without their help…so we decided that it would be best for our long term relationship with my parents to have the big wedding but only if we could have it reflect our tastes. I feel like it’s been an uphill battle making that happen, but it’s been working out after some battling. But this feels like all of a sudden she’s dictating to me how my wedding day should go…and she’s making it be more about what’s important to her than what’s important to me. Am I nuts? Or is that what’s going on here? It’s 2 months to go, and I honestly feel like calling it all off and going with our alternative wedding plan (that we would pay for on our own). I know that would destroy my relationship with my parents forever, but I feel like that’s what my mom’s doing right now.
Post # 3
Oh fizicsgirl! I’m so sorry planning is so stressful. I think our parents are the last of the generations where their parents probably planned almost everything wedding-related. (My FMIL said that she helped pick the dress, but otherwise she just showed up on the morning of the wedding — her mom did everything!) If their generational/cultural expectation is that they get to pick and dictate everything, I think it’s hard for parents to accept that modern couples expect to have a significant say in what happens on their wedding day.
So yeah, I think your mom is more focused on what she wants than what you want, but it’s not because she doesn’t love you and value your opinion — she just thinks of this as her party to plan. Which has to be an annoying attitude to deal with, especially with something like the DOC where you’re trying to do something nice for your mom so she can relax!
Have any of your family friends used a DOC that they liked? Maybe if your DOC comes with glowing recommendations from people you know, and if your mom can talk to other parents who say "our DOC helped so much, we were so happy she was there," she’ll stop focusing on your sister’s bad experience and realize what a DOC can do for her.
Otherwise, I would go ahead and hire a DOC anyway, but warn her that your mom is a) a bit disorganized, and b) biased against DOCs because of what happened at your sister’s wedding, and let her know that she probably shouldn’t approach your mom with any questions. I’m sure a good DOC will be able to work around your mom!
Post # 4
Thanks MelissaB. I do think that you’re right about our parents still being of the generation where their parents did everything…my MOm actually told me how she would never have argued with her mom and she did not do a single thing except pick her clothes. But the worse part is that since my FI is not Indian and not a Hindu, it’s not exactly like she could even plan the wedding she’d like me to have. And in a few cases, she’s tried to insist that I incorporate things (nothing about the ceremony, just reception details) that would make his family really uncomfortable.
I’ve been thinking about it more, and I think I may even go a step further. I realize that while I’ve been telling myself and everyone else that my Mom’s done so much to help with the planning, she’s actually done almost nothing to help plan the ceremony and reception except to criticize my decisions and tell me how everyone will hate our wedding (my sister and/or dad has then had to intervene to remind her that it’s more our getting married not the type of chicken we serve at the reception). We’re having an Indian event the night before, plus there are several small family things that happen during the week. My mom has pretty much made all the arrangements etc for those. But even being cross country, for the ceremony and recpetion I found the venue and all the vendors myself. In almost all cases I negotiated better pricing or extra deals, and only myself or my dad has talked to most of them. My mom actually keeps trying to interject herself with the florist, but he’s very much a "it’s the bride’s decision" person so it hasn’t been an issue (he talks to her but defers to me). She really doesn’t know much about the day’s schedule or details…and I guess she’s hoping that I will share it all with her and let her handle it (there are things like getting my family from India to the ceremony that my parents will have to be in charge of). I really wanted to have this be more of a team thing between my Mom and I (FI mostly just wants things to go the way I want them with only a few specific details that he cares about), but all she’s done is make it 100 times more stressful.
My mom is a complicated person, so I do think her criticism is a strange way of indicating how much she wants things to go smoothly and for it to be a great day. But right now having any conversation about the ceremony or reception with her ends up with 10 rounds of battle until I get a call from my Dad with whom I end up working it out or finding a compromise.
I do like the idea of finding a DOC that has stellar recommendations from her friends, but the trouble is that when I ask her who she might feel comfortable with she tells me she’ll handle it. Which is ridiculous since the only vendor whose name my mom even knows is the florist (she doesn’t even know the name of our venue’s point person). So I guess it’ll probably have to be the second route. My florist is from a larger wedding planning business, and I’m thinking of hiring the DOC from them. The florist himself also does a lot of our venue’s in-house flowers (it’s a historic hotel), and if we also hire a DOC from them I think it’ll go really smoothly.
Yikes, though, this is exactly what I didn’t want from our wedding..and what I hoped to avoid by conceding a lot of things immediately to my parents. My sister said that by the time her wedding date rolled around she couldn’t stand being around my parents. Apparently my Dad has learned a bit from that experience, but my Mom has not…