Bridey, if you have difficult parents (and that's being nice), raise your hand. If you are looking for some refuge during your wedding planning, raise your hand. Right?!! The first step is admitting it! Because bridey, it's nothing to be ashamed of; you're not alone, trust me. Pretty much every single bride I have worked with has had some shit with her parents, and even those of you with lovely relationships deal with issues from time to time that can make your blood boil. That said, I hope that you are at the age where you've learned how to manage said issues and the litany of bullshit which can wreak havoc on your wedding plans.
After one of my more recent conversations with a truly cray cray mother of the bride (MOB), who during the course of one conversation managed to completely undo all of progress I had made with the bride, it occurred to me that I feel like I need to share a bit of advice about how to control your parents while planning your wedding.
1. Manage your expectations and set boundaries, and early. Your parents (although usually it's your mom, sorry, but true) are not going to change. So, once you get engaged, agree to be a united front so that your are not putting your vendors in a position of refereeing during (or after) your appointment. Not only is it super uncomfortable for us, but it's awkward and confusing. We walk away wondering whose wishes we are suppposed to grant. Yikes!
2. Give your parents a really important job (outside of paying the bill). Let them choose the music for the parent dances. Or, ask them to welcome your guests. Basically, something that will make them feel involved with the planning and touched at the same time.
3. Invite them to the tasting. But, establish (or remind them of) the boundaries prior to the appointment. Bridey, you don't have to let them choose the entire menu. For example, let's say you are offering your guests a beef and fish entree, but you only really care about the flavor and presentation of meat. Then let them select the fish. Anything you can do to make them feel involved will go a long way even if all we're talking about is some salmon!
4. Speak your mind, but watch your tone. I always say that those of us in the industry will give you anything we possibly can if you're nice to us and treat us with respect. Now, where do you think I learned that? From my mother, of course! Bridey, it's imperative to be nice to your parents as you busily plan your wedding even if you would rather shoot yourself in the foot! You catch more bees with honey, so even it's painful, there will be times you have to bite your lip for the sake of your sanity.
5. Honesty is the best policy. Bridey, if something your mom (or parents) did is bothering you, speak up. Privately. Not in front of your vendors, not in front of your MOH and not in front of anybody for that matter. But, get it off of your chest. Because if you don't, you may find yourself in the middle of a fucking meltdown over something really stupid down the road.
Most importantly? Be honest, be nice, and be respectful. Got it?
Image via Cake Diva Seasonal Cakes