If I were to cite the most common problem couples experience when planning a wedding, it probably navigates through the opinions of others. And at the top of this List are parents. We get a lot of questions about it in the Podcast! Naturally, you have a legitimate interest in making your day run smoothly, but should your parents talk to your wedding?? And if so, how much? Now, in a word-maybe. It all depends on your relationship, how much you trust your opinions, if and how you contribute to your day and what kind of wedding you plan.
Unfortunately, weddings are considered by some people as a kind of showmatter, showing how successful they have been, how well they have done, or how great they look – so it is understandable that parents want to show their children in the best light. While their intentions are in the right place, parent interference can lead to frustrations, and sometimes all-out confrontations, in all areas.
Before that happens, we resolve the most common collision points between parents and their offspring, and discuss ways to manage expectations and involve their parents in their day without making big compromises.
Oh and be sure to listen to our Podcast episode: parents and marriages, how to deal with it
1. Money Talks
We have a lot of tips and advice on how to manage wedding Budgets, but when it comes to this, the most important thing for now is to note that if you give up some of the finances of your marriage to your parents, it is inevitable (and right) to give up some of the control.
- If your parents spent on their wedding dinner, you can’t ask them to take a few friends with you to share it
- How many a say your parents in your marriage have often correlated with how much you contribute
- While you might be really grateful for your offer, if you think your parents will probably take over, or you know you won’t agree with your opinions, think carefully before accepting your money to cover your big day
2. Set expectations
This came in our post on what not to do if you are newly engaged, but to avoid problems with your parents, it is important to set expectations as soon as possible.
- If you know that you will not have a church wedding, no extended family will invite, or do things a little non-traditional, let your parents know as soon as possible
- Catch them off guard, or promised them one thing and deliver another can be unfair on them, and it can also set them up for disputes
3. Be understanding
Marrying outside with a humanist celebrant, followed by a barn reception with Food Truck Catering, may not seem very radical to you or your friends. But for your parents, your ideas could be completely new, so allow them to catch up. Don’t worry if you have a lot of questions about your decisions. They’re probably not trying to criticize, they’re just trying to get a picture of the day right in their head.
4. Bring them (but not in large ticket items)
It is not only inclusive, but also very useful to involve your parents in marriage – this is also especially important for in-laws. It helps to create excitement for the big day and allows everyone to feel a part of it.
- Whether it’s sewing buns and making cakes, or sourcing suppliers and shopping, more hands on deck are always appreciated
- A word of warning, however, avoid passing on responsibility for important things to your parents – this is especially relevant for couples who live abroad and can rely on their parents for help in planning
- When it comes to location, photography, menu and music, instead delegate to like-minded siblings or friends, unless you really trust your parents ‘ tastes. Your father’s opinion of the perfect venue or perfect wedding group could be very different from yours!
5. A Knowledge Base
Their first dance is Iron Maiden, their wedding cake is made of rice Krispies (a current trend FYI!), and they rather give up flowers for a lot of foliage.
- If there are certain details about your day that you are looking forward to, but you think your parents will not be, do not tell them
- While this probably doesn’t slip for key elements such as ceremony or restoration, try to keep minor personal touches that may be questionable to yourself until the very day they actually go unnoticed
- The same goes for how much you spend on certain aspects of your wedding – no one needs to know how much your dress/hair/photographer/cake costs!
6. Take Pity Advice
You might think your parents don’t know anything about a modern wedding (your mom isn’t even on Pinterest!). But remember that you’ve probably been there yourself and have attended dozens of weddings over the years to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t.
While you may not realize that chair covers are so inexpensive and chicken scrolls just don’t work as an appetizer for your 12 vegan guests, you may know a thing or two about proper tailoring, conversation duration, and the flavor of the wedding cake. You may not want to give them a decisive voice, but you should definitely be open-minded for their advice.
7. What Do The Neighbors Say?
There are certain things in weddings where parents are really hooked, it is often if they have a religious ceremony, follow certain traditions, what they wear or what they serve for dinner. Often their concern comes from Stress over what others think (which, incidentally, is often the same reason for stressed couples with wedding planning!).
It is good to settle it early and let your parents know that you are not too excited about what others think you will not please everyone, so you just want to give a good day to as many as possible.
Once your parents know that Your uncle Paddy’s Lamb aversion, your Cousin Jenny’s thoughts about tea length wedding dresses, and the local Busybody problem that you’re getting married the next day are not at the top of your priority list, they could also hit them by themselves.
8. The Riddle of the Guest list
Agree, so this is the area that causes the most friction between parents and children who are planning weddings-who to invite. It’s a good idea to create your own guest list with your other half before talking to your parents, just to see where you are, and then take them to your parents.
- Remember, it’s not about getting your sign, it’s about being respectful and counseling with you
- If you want to make additions, but you are really limited in number or are trying to create an intimate atmosphere, it is better to explain to them why you do not want anyone that you or your other half do not know very well
- When it comes to questions about the invitation of extended family members, or response invitations to weddings their parents were, that’s when they need to be a little firmer
- Tell your parents that you are limited by your Budget or location,or that you prefer to give fewer people a good day than more people a good one. Hope you understand, and if you’re really stuck, the afters is always a convenient compromise for extra customers!
- After all, what should you do if there is someone on your guest list that your parents do not want to add? It is one of those dilemmas that can only be dealt with on a matter-by-matter basis, but in general it is about weighing whether it is more important for you to have this guest or reassuring your parents for the day and making that call.
9. A Word to Eat
Food is another point of contention with parents, especially when they serve something “there”.
It can be difficult to talk to some parents, but often the proof is literally in the Pudding. Bring your parents to your tasting if you can and let them see that while it’s not quite their favorite beef or salmon dish, their menu options for pork and swordfish are still popular with their guests.
10. If you action, action well
Every couple deserves to have a good time in planning their wedding and have a great day that really reflects their style, but that doesn’t mean they can be careless with other people’s feelings.
- If disputes occur during planning, try to breathe deeply and treat them as calmly and kindly as possible. Choose your actions, don’t try to take things personally (as hard as it may be!), and even if you do not have to defend yourself, it can be helpful to start points (and pictures!) ready to illustrate why you have made certain decisions
- If there are traditions that you know are really important to your parents, try to meet them in the middle where you can
- Of course, there may be locking points (as I said, ceremonial styles, wedding traditions and guest list are up there!), but as long as you have the conviction and the reasons for your decisions, you should be able to make your day your way without too many conflicts!
One last thing to keep in mind is that almost everyone I know who has had a marriage says they’ve hit one or two friction points along the way with their parents. But after the day was and went, I promise that your parents will be so chuffed with how it went, and realize that one of your “unique choices” were actually well thought out, well executed, and a complete success with all your guests!