Brides Up North

Pushy Parents? How To Handle Them.

October 26th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Well, she’s a brave one is our Rachel!  Today, our resident guest blogger and editor of Mosaic Brides takes a look at the age old (literally) issue of pushy parents during the wedding planning process – and offers her tips for dealing with the problem.

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Mum: I would just like to make it clear that I did not write this feature.

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*Hides*

 

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Rachel says: When announcing your engagement family and friends instantly want to know what you have planned for the big day and how they can help.  While suggestions are great there can be a fine line between helpful and pushy. It’s always a nice idea to take other peoples’ opinions into account but you couldn’t possibly please everybody.

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Today most couples ditch truly traditional weddings in favour of personalised ceremonies that are a reflection of the bride and groom as individuals and as a couple.  Parents and grandparents in particular can find this idea a little hard to comprehend, coming from generations when most weddings were done a set way and their elders called the shots.  For this reason it’s not uncommon from a bride or groom’s relatives to become somewhat overbearing during the planning process, especially if they are contributing to the wedding fund.

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At such an emotionally charged time it’s important to handle this situation with care – you don’t want to add to the stress of planning a wedding with a family feud.  Pick your battles wisely and prepare to compromise. What you want as a couple is important but your parents have waited a long time for this day too and without their financial support there might not be a wedding at all.

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Here are some suggestions on where to make allowances for peoples’ opinions without having your wedding hijacked…

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Decide what you want

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Sit down as a couple and decide what are the most important aspects of the wedding that you won’t budge on – the venue, the style of the wedding, size of the guest list, the entertainment…

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This way you can explain to your friends and family what you have planned. Seeing how much thought you have put into it should reflect how much it means to the two of you and they should want to help you reach those goals rather than overriding or interrupting your plans.

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Consider where input would be helpful

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Look at areas where you would appreciate help, or perhaps where you are stuck for ideas and would like people to make suggestions. This might be asking your parents about food choices and transport, quizzing your grandparents on their favourite hymns and readings or asking your siblings for music suggestions.

Giving people a ‘job’ or asking their opinion will show that you trust their judgement, value their thoughts and most importantly want them to be involved.

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Dealing with MOB and MIL

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The mother of the bride and the mother- in-law: perhaps the two most likely people to become pushy during the planning process.  There could be different reasons for their need to get over involved.

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Mothers of the bride are naturally over the moon their little girl is getting married but the excitement can easily spill over into trying to take control. Don’t forget they have looked after you your whole life and have helped you plan things every step of the way. Of course it’s important to share those special moments with your mum and respect her suggestions, but she too should respect your wishes.

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For a mother of the groom it can sometimes be a little resentment or upset that they are no longer the first women in their son’s life which causes them to try to take the reins.

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In the above situations try to remain calm and take time to listen to their suggestions. Sometimes being heard is enough. If they persist you may have to sit them down and remind them whose wedding it is while explaining how you would like to include them in your plans to show them you care.  Giving them tasks such as making the cake or helping to research venues will make them feel involved, as will taking them along to dress fittings, hair trials and florist appointments.

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A harmonious journey

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In short, look at where compromises can be made and take suggestions into account but don’t lose sight of your vision for the day or feel railroaded into changing your plans to suit others – you could regret it later down the line.

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A big part of a wedding is about bringing people together so enjoy getting loved ones involved but be careful not to go overboard, causing yourself added stress. Remember – too many cooks!

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Have you had issues with pushy parents during wedding planning?  Leave a comment and let us know how you dealt with the situation?

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  – Images © 2012 www.clevelandwomen.com

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about the author

Julia Braime
Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…

learn more about Julia Braime