Post # 1
Not to sound cheesy, but my mom is one of my best friends. We talk on the phone pretty much every single day, often multiple times a day. I’ve been with Fiance for years and his presence in my life has never changed my relationship with my mom. But in the past month since we’ve been engaged, my mom has been distant and is resisting getting involved with the wedding planning. The wedding is being held where my parents live (my parents are paying and wished for it to be there–fine with me, I grew up there), which is 3-4 hours away from where Fiance and I live. The assumption was that my mom would do a lot of the planning, since she is local and I am not. My mom’s best friend planned her daughter’s entire wedding two years ago, and is way more excited for my wedding than my mom is. The friend started dress shopping for herself two weeks after our engagement! But she asked my mom to come along with her and look for MOB dresses, and my mom said she wasn’t interested.
Fiance and I went to visit my parents this weekend and look at our top venue contenders and book one of them, and up until 5 minutes before we set out my mom was still saying that she wasn’t going to come with us (she did eventually agree to come). Only 1 of the 5 venues we saw was suggested by my mom and beforehand she said it was the only one she was excited for. We loved that one (as well as two others) but are leaning toward my mom’s choice as I thought it would help get her excited about the wedding. Then today she makes my dad call me to say that the venue we are leaning towards (the one she picked out and told me to make an appointment with) is the most expensive and we should reconsider. Also, after a month of saying that they didn’t have a budget in mind and as long as we made cost-conscious decisions for each vendor it will be fine, my parents came out with a strict budget this morning–a budget that will be 75% gone if we go with my mom’s choice of venue with their in-house catering (not an option to use outside caterers there).
We have dates on hold until Wednesday at our top 3 choices and I’m so conflicted about what to do. With my mom’s top choice we will be spending 3/4 of the budget just on venue and catering, but I think it will make my mom happy. Plus, that venue comes with an actual wedding planner (not just a coordinator), so I would have some help with vendors since I fear that my mom won’t be much help in planning. My first choice venue only saves a little bit of money, so it almost seems like it’s not worth it (excpet for the fact that I love it and it’s basically just what I was envisioning for our wedding). Our third choice is the least expensive but will require the most effort/planning.
Sorry this is so long, I guess my real question is did any of you find that wedding planning is/was driving a wedge between you and your mom, and was there anything you were able to do to convince her to get more involved? Usually my mom is very involved in my life so I just don’t know what to do about the distance that seems to be growing between us these days.
Post # 3
@pb and j:
I’m not sure what to say-but as a mom, I think that maybe your mom (mom & dad?) are shell-shocked by the price of weddings??? And with this economy maybe they feel uncomfortable/embarrassed regarding the amount of money it will cost – but still want to pay for it??? I kind of felt that way-but I was determined to make my daughter’s wedding what she wanted with a small budget. Are your parents concerned about appearances? Does your mom usually like to help with or plan social events? Do you think she might feel pressured with helping or feeling overwhelmed by it all, and doesn’t want say anything about it. Maybe you could call her and ask her what she thought of each of the venues-and just listen first, then think about what (why) she said it, and then follow up with your ideas on a seperate phone call?
I don’t think that “Momzillas” are trying to be unsupportive. I think moms especially want to (usually) make your day the best they can, but I think it is hard due to the economy-maybe they’ve lost a lot of retirement funds? or they are worried about loosing income-possible job loss? Plus they may not have realized just how expensive weddings are. And maybe they are not really sure what it is that you really want – or if they can/can’t afford it. Maybe they are afraid that they can’t give you what they think you want/ or they just can’t Period. Try to understand where they are coming from, think about their pride of wanting to give you an awesome day – know that they want your day to look good, for you, for Fiance and family members and try to be flexible (where $ is concerned to suit both of your needs. 🙂
Post # 4
It was stressful at first when we were designing the overall feel of the wedding (choosing a venue, etc.) but once all that was hammered out, it was smooth sailing with my Mom. In fact, it drove us closer together b/c she pretty much planned the whole thing and just checked in with me to make sure I was OK with decisions. And when I had my dress debacle, she took the train up to NYC all by herself with a broken arm during a torrential storm to give the dress shop hell for me, that was awesome.
Post # 5
@[email protected]: Thanks for your “mom” perspective, I appreciate it. As for money, it’s more of a “don’t want to spend it” than a “don’t have it to spend” situation. :’m 100% sure of this. My parents were definitely floored when they found out what weddings cost these days. But the thing is, they actually want a nicer wedding than I do. I said let’s just have a dj, they said you have to have a band. They said T should get married in DC (they live in maryland), I convinced them to move it to Baltimore where prices were 20-30% lower.
When I got my mom to sit down with me this weekend and look at some bridal magazines, we liked all the same things and it seemed like we were having a good time. But when it comes time to pulling the trigger and actually making decisions and putting deposits down, she retreats.
It’s funny because she always says that her mother planned her entire wedding and all she did was show up for it, and I kept joking to Fiance that she was going to completely take over our wedding and we wouldn’t have a say in anything. Now I would kill for her to want to take over our wedding!
Post # 6
@moderndaisy: i’m hoping dress shopping will be a bonding experience for us and will help smooth things over. i’m thinking about starting the dress search soon (even though we’re a year out) just so we can have something fun to focus on together!
Post # 7
My mother is one of my best friends, too. I had the opposite problem with my interactions with her during wedding planning – we had a small rift grow between us because she wasn’t able to get as involved as she wanted to with the planning. I didn’t know, at first, that that was what was wrong, though. See, for my whole life, my mom has been the person most excited for me whenever anything good happened to me. I look forward to surprising her with good news, because I know she’s going to (literally) scream with excitement, cry, hug, and just generally make me feel like the most special person in the world. Well, at many points during the planning, I’d call or email with some detail that I hoped she’d be excited about, but instead she’d be kind of unenthused or even critical. This hurt and pissed me off for a while, until we had a talk about it and I discovered that it had been so emotionally painful for her to be 3,000 miles away from me during all this planning and decision-making that it was really unpleasant for her to hear about details from me. That’s why I was getting the semi-negative responses.
Once we hashed all that out, we were able to connect much more positively with each other. I tried to make her feel as included as possible, but also tread lightly around topics that might make her feel left out (like, I didn’t go into detail about my first dress fitting since I knew she’d be hurt that she couldn’t attend.) After that, things were much better.
I recommend having a talk with your mom, maybe something is bothering her that you wouldn’t suspect.
Post # 8
We loved that one (as well as two others) but are leaning toward my mom’s choice as I thought it would help get her excited about the wedding.
It concerns me that you are picking that particular venue just because you think it will help excite your mom. I know you want to make your mother happy, and it sounds like you are looking for your mothers approval to some level, but I think that you as an adult need to decide what makes YOU the most happy not what is going to make your mother happy.
What if choosing that venue doesn’t excite her and you are then out 75% of your budget? What if it excites her but only that portion of the planning and the rest of it she is sullen? Could she possibly be showing less than stellar amounts of interest because she knows you will no longer be needing her and she isn’t ready for that? Maybe she is just taking her own time to adjust to her daughter being a full blown adult woman.
I think you need to make this decision based on what you and your Fiance like, how much of your budget your willing to let go of, and think about how far you can stretch that other 25% if you do decide to go with that venue. Also, I think you need to talk to your mother. Tell her that you feel like she is not as excited about your wedding as you anticipated and inquire as to why she may be acting like this.
I’m sorry she’s being this way and I hope she gets on board soon! I know how tough it is to not exactly be on the same page as your mother.
Post # 9
I cried the first 2 months of my engagement because of fighting with my mom. My parents wished that we would do it where I am from for many reasons including the fact that it would be less expensive and it would be less pressure for them being that where I live weddings tend to be a bit of a show. However, we chose to do it where we live because we are 4 hours away from my home town and my parents will be leaving after the new year to go south for the winter and they wont be there to do the planning. I wrote her a letter trying to figure out what her issue was, I couldnt take the fighting and crying anymore. It made matters worse until we sat down and hashed it all out and really came to an agreement of what would make us both happy. You need to do what you want to do. I say talk to her, shes your best friend… you can talk to her ask her what she wants, why shes so distant, that it hurts you that she feels this way… lay it all out work it out and move on itll make both of your lives easier and youll be able to enjoy the rest of your planning.. good luck let me know how it turns out… but youre not alone!
Post # 10
Glad to hear that I am not alone! Although I’m closer to 30 than 20 and have lived in New York for 10 years now, I do get that my parents are probably stuggling a little with letting go of their “little girl.” I’m their only daughter and youngest child, so I’m sure it’s hard. They even went and adopted a rescue dog the week after I got engaged.
@MsBrooklynA: As I was writing that I thought to myself, “what a silly reason to choose a venue.”
Post # 11
As long as you can see that that shouldn’t be the sole reason to pick your venue your on the right track!
Post # 12
Hey – I’m sorry you’re going through this! I think a lot of mum’s are scared of losing their daughters to marriage – my mum always says that marriage is the last step to becoming a woman. Maybe your mum’s scared that you being married is going to change your relationship? I would take her out to lunch and tell her how you feel, if you guys usually have a really close relationship then it sounds like a good heart to heart is in order.
As for the venue – this is a massive choice, and will influence many aspects of your day. I would go with the one that feels right for you and your Fiance and not the one you think will please your mum.
Talk to her, sometimes mum’s need a cuddle and some attention too – she probably can’t believe you’re getting married when she can remember you as a baby.
Good luck x