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My mother's taking over! (rant)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I just had to send her an email putting her in her place. As I'm sure some of you have picked up from other threads, I'm getting married. Well I told my parent's that I didn't want a bridal party and they convinced me that I HAD to ask my sister to be my MOH anyway or she'd be very offended, etc. Well...I gave in to that. I am now having to think of ways to still honor her as a MOH at the wedding, but I don't want her walking in front of me, standing next to me, etc. I told my mom that I didn't want a father daughter dance, first dance...well she's trying to tell me I have to do all the traditional stuff or I shouldn't be having a wedding. In the email I told her "No cake, no garter toss [no garter for that matter], no official dances...". I don't know how to make her understand that we want to celebrate with family and friends, but we're not into all the outdated nonsense of a "normal" wedding.

I just want to note that I have been to many beautiful weddings where all of these things were done, and I do enjoy tradition, it's just not "us".
post #2 of 14
The bottom line is it is YOUR wedding. That may be hard for her to understand, and sometimes compromises are needed. Having a MOH was a big compromise for you, so try to make her understand that. Of course, the main job of the MOH is to be the bride's witness so you needed a witness anyway. You could compromise on the cake. Don't think of it as a "wedding" cake, it's desert but stand firm on no traditional dances. And a lot of people are doing away with the garter toss and bouquet toss anyway. One thing I've heard of that is different is to have a flower toss for all the women, married or not, and who ever catches it gets a gift basket of bath or beauty supplies or something similar. I've also heard of teddy bear toss for the kids instead.

I'm just throwing some suggestions out there as a way to keep it from being too traditional but may have some fun things that might appease your mom and make for a more pleasant planning period.

Good luck!
post #3 of 14
It is indeed your wedding, and you're under no obligation to follow any traditions you don't care for.


If she's like most mothers, your mom has been dreaming of your wedding ever since the day you were born. It's your wedding -- but it's her fantasy, y'know? And for what it's worth, one of my greatest regrets about my own wedding (second only to my choice of groom) is that I did not involve my mother more. I didn't understand how much it meant to her, and I essentially handled the whole thing on my own... which made her feel excluded and hurt.

So my suggestion is that you compromise to the very greatest extent you can be comfortable with... because what's ultimately most important is not the event itself, but the loved ones who are part of it.

All good wishes for your wedding!
post #4 of 14
I don't know what you have planned for your wedding since you don't seem to be doing it in a traditional sense.

But since you don't seem to want a bunch of fancy stuff and traditions, why not just have a church ceremony, followed by a 2 hour come and go tea at your house. That way there is no hall, no big sit down dinner, no expectations of dances etc.
post #5 of 14
Aww you take all the fun out of things But it IS YOUR wedding. I would outline exactly how you would like it to run. I don't see why you don't want your sister to do the traditional walking in front for MOH, but that's your decision.

I would compromise a little. That way everyone would be happy. If you don't want all the other stuff after the wedding (the reception things) then compromise on the MOH with your sister walking down first.
post #6 of 14
I wanted some traditions but was also very untraditional--it drove many family members crazy! I didn't walk on a runner, didn't do a unity candle, didnt wear a garter or throw one, didnt' throw the bouquet, didn't walk down the aisle to the wedding march or leave to the traditional song. I walked down the aisle to Billy Joel's "She's Got a way" and I'll remember that always--a church friend sang it, it was awesome!

One thing I had to remind myself time and time again was--it's MY wedding!

post #7 of 14
Ok, maybe I'm odd, but here's the way I see it.

The WEDDING is all about you and your groom. It's your ceremony. However, I believe the reception is really all about your guests. It's a way to celebrate with them, so you're really the hostess of the grand party. There are a lot of social standards that take place in a reception.

For example, I really really didn't want an open bar...I actually thought about having the wedding early enough in the day to have a brunch, and make it weird to drink that early. But my dad insisted on the full she-bang. He wanted the guests to come and wanted to serve them alcohol. Did it ruin my day to change that? Nope. I still got married and had the ceremony of my dreams.

And after all that being said, take a deep breath, think of all the wonderful memories between you and your mother, and enjoy them. It'll help you keep your sanity in all the planning.
post #8 of 14
If you go over to the forums at indiebride.com there is a lot of advice how to deal with that kind of thing. Also a lot of good ideas what to do in stead of all the traditional stuff.
post #9 of 14
I think a lot of people (guests included!) are beginning to see how ridiculous and unnecessary big receptions are. A lot of people are just doing cake and punch after the ceremony. Or just hors doeurves and cocktails. Put some nice music on an iPod for ambience, but skip the dancing.

At my best friend's wedding, they didn't do the garter or bouquet toss; instead, they had a small version of the bride's bouquet made, which they simply gave to the couple at the wedding who'd been married the longest, the groom's grandparents. And instead of that annoying thing where the couple has to kiss when people clink their glasses, at their wedding, the entire table would have to stand up and sing a love song (at least a few bars) for the couple to kiss- much more fun. Ugh, I'm going to a wedding on Saturday and I hope they do this too. That glass clinking gets annoying!!

I don't know what kind of ceremony you're having, but could your sister read something? If you're not doing something religious, it could be a love poem (Shakespearean sonnet, passages from The Prophet are common choices, maybe the lyrics to a song?) Or maybe your sister could make a toast at the beginning of the reception?

I don't like the idea of being "given away" or even being presented, so what we're going to do is have a Y-shaped aisle. Both of my parents will walk me up one arm of the aisle, both of his parents will walk him up the other arm at the same time and we'll all meet in the middle and he and I will walk together up to the front. It just makes more sense- we've already been living together for 3 years, so I feel like this will symbolize the final role our parents will have (not literally, of course, I know!) and we're walking into the next phase together, equally.
post #10 of 14
I may have a different slant on this but you met and fell in love with your fiance, you have both decided that you are compatible in your ways and that you want to reflect that by uniting in marriage. Now, this is about you and your husband to be, a marriage that is about you two. Just as your families have accepted your choice to marry, so should they accept how you go about your wedding day. This is a celebration of you two getting married, your family should be happy whatever you decide. Don't be forced into things that you are not comfortable with as this is your day and it would be very sad for you to look back at the photos and wish you had done it your way. Your mum should be thinking about you and what you want and helping to make that possible. Alos, guilt is a great tool for families to 'lay on' like this. Don't feel guilty, be happy with your decisions that you want and I hope you have the best day of your life
post #11 of 14
My MIL wanted us to do all those things at our wedding too. We had a very simple, small wedding at a park. It was limited to 25 people including the officiant and the photographer. Our reception was on the property where our house is going to be built - we had a bonfire there. But for awhile my MIL was saying we had to have a bridal party/groomsmen, showers, the dollar dance, we had to have songs, we had to do this, that, and the other thing. Why? Neither of us wanted it!! And that is all I said to her, too. We did end up having a "couples shower" at the bowling alley where we are on a league, which was fine. I had a "witness" (my cousin), and so did Rob (his brother). His brother handed us the rings.

It is YOUR wedding, and you should do it the way you and your future hubby want it! Your mom should understand that, even if it takes some time.
post #12 of 14
Do what you want. I told my parents a long time ago I am eloping and having a dinner party afterwards where I can party, get loaded, and dance all night and not be stressed about the big day. I’ve never really been a big “wedding†girl. All I really want is for my family and few close friends to be with me on my day.

However… if your mom is paying for it then she probably should have some say. Being Jewish, I am not sure if its still the same now a days, the brides parents normally pay for the wedding. If my mom wanted a bigger party, with my parents paying, I would be obligated to sit down and negotiate what should be done and compromise with her.

If she’s not paying then sit her down, look her in the eye and tell her totally serious and unemotional exactly what you want. Stress that it’s your day and its really important you do this your own way.

Good luck!
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of your input!

Who's paying is quite the mish-mash between us, all four of my parents, and possibly my grandmother and *maybe* some from his parents. We're not totally rigid on everything about the ceremony and reception either.

My brother is officiating the ceremony, which is what we wanted. My mom and dad are okay with that, but my biological dad and his family are finding it difficult to accept. (My brother is of no relation to my bio-dad.)

I wanted no wedding party, but as I already said, I gave in on that.

We wanted less than 50 people, but our guest list is up over 100 now.

We want the ceremony and reception outdoors (it will be August) but my bio-dad is insisting upon a hall.

I don't want a cake, I'd rather have a different desert or variety of deserts. I don't even like cake. But my mother insists there be a wedding cake.

FDH did not want alcohol at all. I wanted a very limited bar, i.e. beer from the local brewery, wine from the local winery and one or two select cocktails. Dad wants a full bar available (and he doesn't even drink).

I mean, I guess you can see the trend. The only thing nobody has challenged me on is the flowers I want.... Well, other than a certain one being too much money so I need to limit it's use, but that's understandable at least! I just feel like this is turning into their wedding and not ours. FDH and I would just have a super small, casual-elegant outdoor ceremony and short-ish reception, then get changed and go have a bonfire!

I can only imagine what will happen when I tell them we just want a really short 5-10 minute ceremony and that neither of my dads will be walking me down the aisle. [That's another situation. Dad has already been told this and he understands. If I had to choose I'd pick him over my bio-dad as he's who I consider my father, but bio-dad would be crushed and I'm not going to do that to him. Still need to find a way to tell bio-dad.]

Oh, and since we want a super short ceremony, that was where we were going to use the BM and MOH. I was going to have my brother call them forward and do the signing of the marriage certificate as a part of the ceremony.

Anyway, thanks again!! Sorry if I've been rambling.
post #14 of 14
I know it's your day, and in a perfect world you should be able to have it the way you want it.

However, the reality of it is that, like Carol said, it's a pretty big day for your fiance, your parents and his parents, too. And, really, to be fair, if they're contributing financially they do reasonably have a right to contribute their opinions. But just because they have their opinions doesn't mean you have to give in to all of them.

Their intentions are probably good. They love you and are happy for you and want to contribute to your day. Many times in situations like this it's more important to people that they be heard than to necessarily have their way. If you really spend the time to listen to people with an open mind and make sure they feel heard, they'll accept it if your decision is different than what they want.

My advice is to really listen to what these people who love you so much have to say. Focus on how fortunate you are to have so many people who love you so enthusiastically that they want to be a part of this. Take their suggestions where you want to, compromise where you can, but keep true to yourself and what's important to you. If you've really listened and are tactful about explaining it, your family will understand when you tell them that their idea isn't what you want.

Speaking of that, it helps to have an idea of what's really important to you and your fiance. What are the absolute musts for the evening? What do you really, really not want? What's not that big a deal? If you're both clear on what's really important it will help guide both of you in dealing with everybody's conflicting advice.

That said, it'll probably still get crazy from time to time. We're always here to vent to.
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