(Closed) Engaged ONE Day, and Pushy Parents Already! (Advice?)

posted 10 years ago in Family
Post # 3
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Well, your mom is just excited.  While that’s better than her hating the idea of you getting married, or having no interest at all, it is a huge PITA.  My mom was a little bit that way – she was ready to start right in on planning – had lists of what needed to be looked at and decided – who needs the Knot?  The thing was, she was right in a lot of ways.  We had a 9-month engagement, and it turned out that 9 months was about when we actually needed to reserve the venue and hire the photographer, so it’s good that she got me up off my butt and moving.

On the other hand, she was like your mom in that she immediately assumed that a friend of hers who is a federal judge would perform the ceremony, and she had a way bigger guest list than we could afford…  What worked for me was to tell here that Darling Husband and I really needed to sit down and decide what size and type of wedding and reception we wanted, and that I would love her help with the details as soon as we knew what they were.  That’s probably what you need to do too.  And she will probably be a lot of help once you need somebody to make appointments at bakeries and florists and bridal salons.  So the best thing is probably to make a few decisions with your Fiance, and then sit down with your mom and let her know that (for instance) you’re not going to have bridesmaids, you want a small service with immediate family and very close friends only, you are going to have the reception at the country club and have them do the catering.

Your mom probably has a bunch of great ideas, and you will probably even like a few of them.  But you’re definately going to have to slow her down before she verbally hires half your relatives and invites the whole town.  How firm you can be about this depends at least a little on whether you are expecting your parents to pay for the wedding and reception, but even if they are writing the checks, it’s not unreasonable for you and your Fiance to do the planning.  I would bet that once it’s clear to her that you expect to do your own planning, and you’re willing to listen to her ideas but you’ll make your own decisions – and once the initial excitement wears off and she doesn’t feel the need to spend all day on the phone spreading the news – things will go a bit smoother.

Post # 4
132 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Wow.  That’s quite a post!  Well, where do I start?

If you don’t mind me asking, what is your background?  I only ask because I’m Chinese, and in the Asian culture, your family is always nosing into your business. 🙂  In addition, are you the only girl in the family?

It sounds like your mother has been planning your wedding for quite some time now.  Sadly, it is YOUR wedding.  Still, I suspect your mom has a reason for what she’s doing, and that this is not intentional in any way.  What do you know about her wedding?  Did she get to plan anything for her own wedding?

A good first step(assuming you and your mother have a good relationship) is to set apart some time to talk with your mother.  Start by thanking her for all the planning and thought she has put into your wedding.  Let her know that you appreciate how this shows how much she cares about you.  Tell her that you were really looking forward to planning your wedding, and say (jokingly) that she’s taken all the fun out of it by doing it herself!  Try to remain calm, and to plan out what you are going to say.  Tell her that you had a different vision of the wedding, and that you really wanted the details to be personal to yourself and your Fiance.  If you’re comfortable, you can offer to let her plan some of it.  If not, you can always be firm and let her know that you will take her comments and thoughts into consideration, but make it clear that you will make the final decision.  It would probably be easiest to do this if you take care of most of the financial stuff, but be prepared to give some if you need her financial help.

Did you have a clear vision of what you wanted your wedding, ceremony, reception, or honeymoon to be?  It may be that she thought she was being helpful because you seemed undecided as to what you wanted.  Part of the solution is to have a distinct vision for your wedding, as that will make it easier to tell her no.  Instead of "no I don’t like it your way but I don’t know what i want," you will be able to say, "No, mother, I’m sorry, but I would like to do it this way."  If you want, you can always offer to have her help you with something, but again, make it clear that you are the final decision maker in this process.

As hard as it might be, it’s really important to decide how important her feelings are to you, because it sounds like you will have to hurt her a little to get things your way.  If you’re okay with that, just do the best you can to compromise on some things.  You know your mother best, so find a way to tell her that although you love her, this is something you have to do on your own.

Ultimately, it might help just to word it something like this:  "Mom, I’m about to have a huge change in my life, and I have to learn to deal with things myself.  I need to be more responsible, and make decisions on my own.  This wedding is my way of starting that process.  I would love for you to come along, but it’s really important to me that I make the decisions for myself, because that’s what I’m going to have to do from now on.  I know you’re just trying to help, but this is the beginning of my new life, and I need to walk that path myself."

I’m sorry that you’re already stressed, but think of it this way: your mother cares so much for you that she wants it to be as perfect for you as possible, and she’s trying to help!  It might help to present a "united front," with your Fiance agreeing with you in her presence. 

As for the other people that she has invited/advised for your wedding, if you need to deal with correcting the issues, just be polite and say that due to changes in the wedding planning, what your mother may have promised/said is being revised.  Be polite and thank them for their support and enthusiasm, and tell them you will let them know if anything changes.

Good luck, and take a deep breath!  Things will get better – and just remember that other people are happy for you too…they just may not know how to show it!

Post # 5
1 posts

We got engaged at Christmas and told people we didn’t want to discuss wedding plans for at least 1 month. It gave us a chance to enjoy our engagement and discuss what we really wanted from our wedding. For us it was the perfect solution to control our well-meaning families ideas and suggestions and decide what was important to us.

Post # 6
2 posts
  • Wedding: September 2009

To Just Me – I feel your pain.  We got engaged while we were on a trip to NY.  When we got back, my future Mother-In-Law was all over the wedding planning.  She told us we needed to pick a date so she could call the nearby Chinese restaurants to see if they’re available.  I was stunned!!!  Granted we are both Chinese, who ever said I wanted a traditional Chinese banquet.  And to make matters worse, my Fiance didn’t speak up to his own mom!  I was furious!!  But that was about a month ago and I think she’s finally accepted the fact that we don’t want a Chinese banquet and Fiance has gotten better about talking to his mom about what we want/don’t want.  My future Mother-In-Law is sooo different from my own mom.  My mom supports whatever we want to do, even if that means getting married in Hawaii (which is what I originally wanted).  But I had to give that up that dream long ago.  We’re in SF and now even Half Moon Bay might be too far! 

Good luck JustMe!

Post # 7
112 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

JustMe – I am so sorry and I absolutely feel your pain.  We got engaged on a trip to Chicago and when we returned home the next day we met up with his family for a celebration dinner.  Remind you it was only 1 day later and I was still on the "engagement high" and his mom was already asking about dates, wedding size (my favorite quote was that "we could have a small wedding and just invite 300 people or so" – OMG), places, etc.  In the end, I realized that she was just excited and had probably been planning this day well before I ever came along : )  

So, I strategized, tried to remain calm and did the following three (3) things.  First, like sparklesparkle, we told everyone that we were  on cloud 9 and wanted to just enjoy the moment before the real work began and that we always told ourselves we would wait 1 – 2 months before we started planning (always mention that this time will never come again so you want to enjoy it and each other without feeling rushed or pressured) (that worked for his mom).  

If that didn’t work I resorted to Exscuse B – "we are thinking of getting married in ______ month" (pick a month over a year in advance – you can always change it later and no one will care) and some new wedding guides say that you should not book anything over 1 year in advance (that seemed to satisfy my dad b/c he doesn’t know any better and he wasn’t going to take the time to look). 

My final one was the best – because I don’t live in the same city as my mom I told her that I was working lots of hours on a major project and that the earliest I could even begin to think of anything wedding related was on xx day.  I also told her that I would come and visit and we could compare notes.  I also recommended that she could use this time to get her thoughts together, cut out photos, look at bridal magazines, etc.  Now, it wasn’t entirely a fib b/c I just made it a point to busy myself with lots of other things at work/home that I had put off and it allowed me time to think and clear my head before the madness began.  It also allowed me to prepare myself to be a little more adamant about what we wanted b/c it is our day.

If those don’t work, then when she brings something up just say something to the effect of "I need to talk to ____ about it because we want to make these decisions together."    

I hope these help!    

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