You make not love their ideas for the ceremony or reception, but you have to keep in mind that this is their celebration.

By Nancy Mattia
July 17, 2020
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You're the mother of the bride. You've been dreaming of her wedding for years: poignant vows, ballroom reception, and flowing Champagne. Traditional, sure, but magical too! What does your dear daughter want instead? A ceremony in the local park followed by a barbecue-style meal in your backyard. Or maybe you're the mother of the groom, and you've had your mother-son dance song selected since the day he first brought his soon-to-be wife home. There's just one problem: Now he's told you they plan to skip all of the parent dances.

Well, you've got to say something to say about that—wait, actually you don't. Though you've put together a wedding before, it's important to remember that this wedding is not your wedding. You've protected them and guided them for their entire lives, so it may feel weird and out of character for you to sit back and say nothing when you do not agree with their decisions. True as that may be, it's important to remember that the bride and groom are both adults, and while they might not be making the decisions you would, that does not mean they're wrong. Here's how to show your unwavering support even if you're not entirely on board with the big-day plans your daughter or son have laid out.

Trust them.

Maybe the park they've selected for the ceremony is a bargain, and they'd rather save money for a down-payment on a home. And the barbecue menu includes jumbo shrimp, thick steak, and artisan cocktails. The reason they want to skip the parent dances? Perhaps the bride's father passed away, and it would be too painful for her to see you and your son share such a special moment that she won't get to have. Trying to see the good in something and understanding the intention behind the decisions feels better than looking for the bad.

Give your opinion only if you're asked.

It'll take a lot of self-control but only offer your thoughts on a certain things if they ask.

Remember it's not your wedding, it's theirs.

That's why they get to make the decisions. A few decades ago, the mother of the bride made all the decision. She may have consulted with the bride and asked her opinion (emphasis on the word "opinion.") In the end, Mom did whatever she wanted; a big part of this was because she and Dad were paying all the bills, unlike today when the cost of a wedding is often split among the bride and groom and their parents.

Don't use money as leverage.

If you're paying or helping to pay for the wedding, don't assume your financial contribution (given willingly, right?) automatically means you get to have your way. Don't get into a big blowup over salted caramel cake filling versus lemon-raspberry.

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