(Closed) Wedding planning has ruined my relationship with my mom – I think forever

posted 9 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
159 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

First let me say that I am really sorry that you are having to deal with this now, especially with two weeks until the wedding! Regardless of who is "right" and who is "wrong" with any of these disagreements, it is a bummer how hurt and upset everyone is. 

Not that it makes anything less contentious but do you have any idea why your parents, and mom in particular, are being so opinionated about the wedding? Did they elope and are living through you? Are you an only child or something? Not that there is anything that would make their reactions easy…knowing their motivations might help.

It’s nice that your parents are paying for your wedding but it seems like that arrangement is really costing you a lot. Since they are paying, they really do have a say in how their money is spent. If you had more time, I would suggest you politely decline their contributions and do your own thing…maybe just on a smaller scale. Since that’s not an option, I think you might just have to be the bigger person here and do things how your parents want to do them. Your mom doesn’t seem like she is willing or able to compromise on these things.

I don’t want to sound condesending here…and I recognize this is different for everyone but you probably won’t remember the some of the details of the big day afterwards. I really couldn’t tell you much about a lot of the details I slaved over for my wedding (unless I see pictures) and it wasn’t even a year ago. In the long run, you might not remember if you got the 10 seconds of alone time when you walked down the aisle or not but you will remember the huge argument you had with your mom about it.

I think you can save yourself a lot of pain and arguments by fulfilling your parents’ requests. They are paying for the wedding, and you accepted their money, so IMO, there is not much you can do at this point. My advice would be to sacrifice on some of the details in the interest of salvaging your relationship with your parents in the long run.

Good luck and let us know how it goes! 

Post # 4
754 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

Dang.  I have read a lot of posts about demanding parents, but I have to say that your case is probably one of the worst.  Planning a wedding is so stressful by itself, I can’t imagine how hard it would be to have my parents act like children.  Unfortunately, you are only about a month out, it appears, and can’t just elope or plan a wedding without their financial contributions.  I do think that you are entitiled to this one request but I am not sure that any amount of compromise is going to get your point across, you are just going to have demand it and ignore your mother’s temper tantrums.  By the time the drinks start flowing at the reception and she is getting all the attention she desires, she may start to get over it, but I would expect to hear nasty comments about it for years to come.

Good luck with this, and keep us posted!

Post # 5
222 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I want to start by saying that I am SO sorry your parents are being so unreasonable. You have EVERY right to make your wedding day be what you have been invisioning. It really is unfortunate that events such as weddings can cause so much stress when they are supposed to invoke happiness. I am afraid that I don’t have much advice for you. Only you know your parents and how far you can push your desires on them. I do wish you the best of luck though. If it were me, and I felt that strongly about walking down the aisle, I would continue to urge my parents to let me have this one part. Good luck though. Just remember what your day is all about. You get to marry the man of your dreams. 🙂

Post # 6
7082 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

I too am sorry for you.  I think you have a pretty good sense that your parents are being totally unreasonable… and it’s true.  But you know, this is their stuff and not yours.  I don’t know what to tell you about how to get around their completely overbearing demands.  I think as the "kids" in the situation, most of us cave.

You said that you think the relationship is destroyed no matter what you do.  I hope that’s not the case, but if you do imagine the worst case scenerio, could you live with it better if you piss them off by doing part of it your way or if they piss you off by doing it their way?

Whichever way you can sleep better with at night is the way that you should do it.  No one can answer that question except you… but we’ll be here for support no matter what you decide.

If it makes you feel any better, I’m caving on the walk being flanked by both of my parents, but I’m requesting that they ditch me halfway.  Hopefully they honor that request!

Post # 7
349 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

Oh no!! I’m so sorry that you’re facing this tough situation. Your parents sound kind of over-the-top demanding. Do you have any siblings that can help talk some sense into them?

Post # 8
960 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I’m really sorry to hear this is happening. During weddings emotions run high from even the most calm people. I looked at your profile and it said you’re 32. It would be one thing if you were a delinquent 17 year old, but come on. You’re an adult, your parents need to realize that. I think you’re entitled to at least this ONE thing that you want. It may be your parents’ money and yes, you accepted it, but for them to dictate literally every part of their adult daughter’s wedding is just too much. I would stand your ground on this one because it obviously means a lot to you. Make sure for your "first look" you keep it just the two of you and the photographers. That will be a very special moment and if it’s made clear that it is private, it will hopefully make up for the fact that he will see you before the ceremony. I do hope that you and your parents can find a compromise to this situation. Either way, at the end of it all you’ll be married to a wonderful man. Good luck to you 🙂

Post # 10
796 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

With two weeks until the wedding, this is a really crappy situation to be put in. Do you think it would help with your parents to know exactly what you are thinking – that you feel all these arguments are ruining your relationship permanently? Maybe it won’t, but maybe it will be enough to get them to realize that they are overcome with wedding emotions and need to step back.

Point out that you have not been able to have anything your way, and while in 50 years you will just remember it as a beautiful day where you married your husband, you will also remember how horrible your parents were throughout the whole thing, and the unpleasant things you learned about them.

That may damage the relationship further, but maybe it will help them see clearly.

Post # 11
2205 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I think what’s been said here is all good advice.  I just wanted you to know we’re all here for you.  I’m sure this situation sucks, because your parents aren’t giving you the space you need (when you’ve asked for so little).  I can’t imagine your mom will stay mad at you for your whole wedding day if you decide to do this.  I would tell her you love her and she means a lot to you, but that this is still your wedding, and this is what you’ve decided.

It would be awfully immature of her to mope or throw a tantrum on your wedding day because she doesn’t get her way.

I hope it all works out for you!

Post # 12
1363 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Upsidedownbride, this stinks!  I think your idea of having a first look that is just you and your future husband is a really special moment.  It’s what my Fiance and I will be doing, and I think it’s almost more special than walking down the asile because it’s really just the two of you. 

Maybe your SIL could help appeal to your parents, or at least help her husband see why he needs to help.

And, as a little ray of hope, my sister and my mom did a lot of damage to each other when she got married.  It took a lot of time, but all the wounds healed, and I think we all have some good stories to tell about how unreasonable both of them were being.  (If my mom can forgive my sister for actually saying "Good, I hope your dying father can’t come to my wedding because I want you to pay attention to ME, not him!" then this too shall pass.)

 Good luck! 

Post # 13
271 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

1)Mashed potato bar sounds totally awesome. My Fiance would love love love this- so much that I am not going to mention it because I think he would spend most of his time @ the wedding eating instead of being with me

2) I totally understand where you are coming from. I am an only child and my mother is turning my wedding day into her wedding day. I’m super laid back also and was never the type to dream about her wedding day so I’m okay with my mom planning everything but I made sure from the very beginning that she understood that it is my wedding- we have compromised on some things but the vendors know that even though she is paying I am calling the shots. maybe you should list all the things you have let your parents plan and tell them this is something super important to you. I’m not above threatening my parents with lessened time with future grandchildren (even though I would never really go through it)– maybe you can go that route too.

Post # 14
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

Ugh, what a stressful situation to deal with!  A good friend of mine went through something similar — her mom was trying to recreate her own wedding from 25 years earlier, and overruled almost everything my friend wanted by saying "that’s NOT how it was at MY wedding."  That kind of micromanagement is annoying and stressful and can definitely strain your relationship with your parents.  

Obviously, your family is being completely unreasonable, but in 2 weeks I doubt that your mom is going to have a change of heart, and as much as I hate to tell you to give in when you’ve already given way on everything else, it does sound like that might be your least stressful option.  The good news is that the sight of you coming down the aisle will be incredibly special for your fiance no matter who’s walking next to you!  I think the idea of sneaking in a private "first look" is brilliant — if you’re worried your mom will object, maybe the photographer could suggest this?  (My friend found that she had better luck getting the vendors to suggest things — for example, her mom was insisting on giant cascade bouquets over my friend’s objections until the florist said "hand-tied bouquets are really chic and in right now, here are some gorgeous photos.")  

Also, in a last-ditch effort to save the aisle walk, is there any chance your officiant could help with this?  For example, at the rehearsal, maybe your officiant could suggest that you do things the way you want.  I think officiants are often really good at balancing various family wishes and desires, and having a non-family third party present often helps family members calm down and tame some of their crazier impulses.  Also, it sounds like your dad is being a bit more reasonable.  Could you talk to him one-on-one, explain that you feel as if you’ve given way on almost everything else, and tell him how important it is to have a private moment with your fiance during the ceremony?  Maybe he’ll be more receptive and more able to convince your mom to back off.

Post # 15
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I’m so sorry to hear this…and I can somewhat relate, though my parents haven’t been so bad.  But my parents are also paying for the majority of our wedding, and that is probably making them more demanding than they no doubt would still be otherwise.  And like you, one of the reasons we decided on this is that I think it would crush them not to be able to throw the huge wedding they really want me to have. 

I think my advice is a little different from the above, but it’s totally tempered by my experience with my parents so take it in that light. I would say that if your parents are generally the controlling type, then the drama you might save now by compromising may just arise again later.  I think a wedding is a great time to set the tone of how your parents will interact with you and your partner…and the fact that they have been so unwilling to grant him the two small things that he wants might not be the best precedent.  

I know that it would do severe damage to my relationship (and my FI’s) with my parents if we told them we were paying and they would be sent an invite…though sometimes I still think it would be easier.  But nonetheless right now it’s a wedding, later on it might be raising your kids, at some point your parents need to separate from controlling your life…and getting married is a *major* life event which is why we invest so much in celebrating it.  So I think it’s time not to cave, and I think that the way the ceremony unfolds is an important place.  They are taking the one part of the wedding that really is more about you and your Fiance than anything else, and inserting their desires.  And they are asking you to place their feelings over your FI’s…that’s not cool and not healthy for your marriage.  If your Fiance was making unreasonable demands it would be one thing, but he’s not. I’m not trying to be harsh, but I don’t think just giving in to your parents’ demands all the time is necessarily the "adult" thing to do here, b/c there are several feelings to balace.  You don’t always give kids ice cream for breakfast just b/c they want it.  Even if they scream, you do what’s best for them…and I think letting them know you are an independent adult will be good for both you and them b/c it might facilitate ao more equal relationship.  Your Fiance may be okay with this stuff now, but will he always be?  It sounds like your relationship with your parents is very important to you, even if it hasn’t always been perfect.  And it sounds like this is an ongoing thing…and that this is just the latest manifestation of it.

So my thoughts are don’t cave, b/c it will set up a long standing pattern of them asking you to put their needs before yours and your husband’s.  If you don’t think that your parents are anything like that and this is just some kind of freak occurrence, then I’d agree with doctorgirl and just say do whatever you can better sleep with.

Post # 16
2641 posts
Sugar bee

Wow…just wow!  You have been so laid back on all decisions.  Now with a couple of simple requests…..as you put it, they would never forgive you????  They need a reality check.  Obviously they are control freaks.  And at the least, Mom is losing her grip on what’s important.  Has she always been so controlling in your life?  THis might be an extraordianry attempt in trying to let you know that she is still in control.  Getting married could make a mom like that feel like she can’t stay on top of you as easily, now that you have a partner in crime.

Have you tried talking to them when heads are cool?  Is your dad a litle more reasonable, that he would be easier to talk to?  iF they can’t forgive you, do you think that it would help o expalin you feel very similar if they don’t agree to this one request?  Do you think there is time to visit a therapist?  If you are having a religious ceremony, perhaps visiting with your pastor.

So sorry. Good luck.

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