You can still meet her in the middle.

modern wedding marbled table
Credit: Courtesy of Jacqui Cole Photography

Your mom puts tons of stock in old-school wedding etiquette, but you're taking on big-day planning one modern detail at a time. So, what's the problem? Well, it depends on your mom. Some will take a back seat and allow you to go for a totally contemporary look, but others will be focused on encouraging you to plan a traditional celebration. If your mom is stuck in her ways, planners share their favorite ways to give a little and still get the overall look you want on your wedding day.

Highlight an Heirloom

"There's always a way to put a modern spin on an old tradition and using family heirlooms in an unexpected way is one of them," says Jessica Sloane of Jessica Sloane Event Styling + Design. Heirlooms can really shine when they're used as part of tablescapes. Sloane has added special touches like using family china and flatware on tables or styling flowers in copper kitchenware.

Choose Modern Calligraphy

If your mom really wants you to choose calligraphed invitations, meet in the middle with a casual, organic style like loose or freehand writing, says Sloane. If she's really got her heart set on the super traditional, swirling script, blend modern and traditional elements instead. She recommends mixing that clean typeface you love with elegant calligraphy, lending a fresh, relevant look to your invitation suite.

Mix Metals

Metal is metal, right? Not quite. There are so many metals to choose from for vases, chargers, flatware, and even chairs. Sloane recommends using a few different metals throughout your party. Choose something patinaed for an older look paired with a new, sleeker metal like copper, brass, or silver. You'll both be happy with the final look.

Have Fun with Fabrics and Furniture

The beauty of mixing traditional and modern elements for the wedding is that you can do it with just about anything, says Michelle Leo Cousins of Michelle Leo Events. Mix modern square plates with traditional lace-trimmed tablecloths, opt for gold-rimmed dinnerware with modern floral centerpieces, or choose acrylic chairs and pin-tucked fabric touches. The key is contrast.

Have Fun with Food

Your menu is one of the areas where you can really have fun, says Cousins. If you're doing a traditional sit-down dinner, choose a more modern, tasting-style tapas menu. Or throw a traditional garden-style reception with food stations that feature fancy one-bite items. Cousins also recommends that brides have fun with their beverage menu by serving creative his and hers cocktails.

Give Mom Free Rein of Another Event

"Finding a balance between mom and the bride can be a challenge," says Cousins. Instead of compromising on your wedding day, which Cousins said should be all about you and the groom, she suggests letting your mom have control over the bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, cocktail welcome party, or post-wedding brunch. It will give her something to focus on and takes the pressure off you.


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