Do you feel like your parents or in-laws are a bit too involved now that you’re planning your wedding? Well, I know for a fact that you’re not alone. That’s why I thought of possible reasons why parents tend to get too excited when it comes to this matter, and I also listed down some suggestions on how you can deal with them. While these might not necessarily apply to everyone, I hope that some of these tips will help you avoid some conflict.
During the time our parents got married, the wedding scene was very different. It was really quite simple. Event stylists didn’t exist and wedding photos were purely done during the reception. Some of the photos were probably of them cutting the cake and going from table to table for guest photos. I can almost imagine how excited they are at how weddings are done today! Weddings now look like it came straight from a fairytale story! Who wouldn’t want to be part of that, right?
What to do: Before getting frustrated, sit them down and ask them about their own wedding. What was it like? What did they wish they had done differently? What do they admire about weddings today? You might even get some ideas on how to incorporate something special for your parents on your big day. For example, your mom dreamt of wearing a beautiful wedding dress but she didn’t get the one she wanted when she got married. You can make her Mother of the Bride/Groom Dress extra special. If they feel you’re intentionally making certain things special for them, then they might not impose on other aspects of the wedding.
No matter what, the day you get married is a proud moment for your parents. It’s proof that they were able to raise you to be the wonderful adult you are today. And since they’ll also most likely have their own set of guests, they’d feel that whatever happens during the wedding is a reflection of them as parents. It might be frustrating when it comes to deciding on who makes the final call, but sometimes the reasoning behind their desire to have a say is that even if they’re not the ones getting married, the focus is also towards the immediate family to a certain degree.
What to do: Again, the key is to communicate. Ask them what they are most particular about and find out why. From my personal experience, both my husband’s parents and mine were very particular about food. They felt that if the food wasn’t at par to their standards, that it would be embarrassing for them. Not that they wanted to be boastful! Their reasoning behind this was that they wanted to honor the guests who made time for us at the wedding with a very good meal. I realized how much it really mattered to them, so we gladly involved them in choosing the menu. What was the result? Our guests loved the food! While it was a bit frustrating at first, the moment I embraced the input from them, the less stressed I became.
It’s normal for parents to feel that since they’ve been around much longer than you, they can make better decisions, and this might include those in your own wedding. I’ve been writing about weddings and wedding planning for the past eight years, and majority of the couples I’ve talked to really did struggle balancing the demands and requests coming from their families. This can cause a lot of tension when the couple is decided on what they want, and the parents feel that, they too, have the better capacity to make the final call.
What to do: To be honest, this mentality might be hard to change entirely. I think that when we too are the parents of kids tying the knot, we might also have the same mindset our parents had. So my only advice is, relax and don’t take it personally. The more you allow the frustration to set in, the harder it will be to plan your wedding. Know what you’re willing to compromise. If they really end up making most of the decisions, I assure you that you will still love the day you marry your partner. A wedding may be an exciting event to plan, but the most important thing about it is really you and your partner making that life changing commitment to each other. That day will be amazing no matter what!
Almost every Filipino couple can tell you how hard it is to throw a wedding with less than 100 guests. (Some will even say it’s impossible!) Well, it’s because we have a very strong sense of loyalty to our family and friends. In my wedding alone, I already reached a hundred guests with just my titos, titas, and first cousins (and only on my mom’s side, FYI)! Now imagine this, your parents have been raising you for years, and are used to having full control on family decisions and throwing family gatherings. And now that you are about to say your ‘I do’s’, most parents feel that your wedding falls under the category of a family affair.
What to do: Be proactive when asking your parents for tips. This works wonders! The moment they feel that they’re included, the less they feel that they should impose. Some parents will feel the need to assert themselves since their kids aren’t keeping them in the loop. Compliment them on suggestions that you’re willing to take on so they also feel involved. If there are things you would rather not do, say it politely and avoid being defensive.
This article won’t solve all your problems overnight, but hopefully it will help you change your mindset. There are things that you can’t control while planning, but don’t let that rob you off the joy that comes with marrying your life partner. If the stress get too unbearable, stop planning and have a “no-wedding-planning” date with your partner so you can de-stress! Remember, the wedding is an event that will last one day, but your marriage is a work in progress that lasts forever.