Photography: K & K Photography
When it comes to tough conversations, we must say that during our Wediquette Wednesday feature, many planning brides have express that their toughest task has been working with overbearing parents while planning their dream day.
Parents often have a great deal of excitement in the planning process, from details they would love to see to guests they have on their list to invite. This can be challenging for couples that have ideas for their day that differ from their parents. For example, consider if the parents would like a large black tie wedding held in a banquet hall while the couple would like an intimate, relaxed and informal beach wedding.
Check out our 4 steps to follow to handle overbearing parents:
Have An Honest Conversation:
Attempt to gently explain your vision for the day, delicately expressing that while you appreciate their input, the direction you picture for the day will not seamlessly translate with their vision.
Give Up Decisions:
When an honest conversation doesn’t work, try giving up decisions that you have to make to your parents. Hand over tasks that you are not passionate about, such as selecting table settings or transportation to ensure that your parents are involved, yet on exactly where you prefer.
- Keep them busy:
Selecting specific decisions focuses on a few tasks at a time, opposed to attempting to inject input on every wedding decision. Give up a few tasks for parents to make the final decision on to keep them busy.
- Makes their opinion matter:
Telling your parents “no” over every wedding decision may make them feel that you are not taking their ideas to heart. Allowing them to make the final decision on specific tasks ensures that their opinion is valued and incorporated into the day.
Hold Onto What Matters Most:
If parents are still injecting their opinion in every area of the wedding, even after you attempt to assign specific tasks, express decisions that you would like to reserve the final say on. Express that you have specific decisions that are close to your heart and you can’t imagine having any other way. Ask that they help you select from your top options, or simply leave the decision process to you. Consider selecting 1-3 areas that you would like to remain the deciding factor on and that are most important to you. Consider using your Top 3 Must Haves as 3 decisions you would like to make the yay or nay on. For instance, if your top 3 must haves were the gown, photographer and decor, mention to parents that you would like to infuse your vision into these areas and make the final decision. This allows you to keep control of what matters most while still keeping parents involved.
Pay For The Day:
If the prior 3 steps don’t work, the last option would be to fully remove control by paying for the day. Hosts of the day traditionally are obligated to make decisions. For instance, if parents are contributing, they are obligated to inject their opinion and wants for the day. If the couple fully hosts their day, or funds their wedding expenses, they are then fully responsible for all wedding related decisions. This option fully removes anyone but the couple in making decisions for the day. If fully funding the day is not possible, consider funding specific areas that matter most. For instance, if your Mom expresses she wants to see you in a princess style gown yet you imagine a glamorous mermaid style gown, consider purchasing your gown to ensure that the final decision is yours to make.
Before taking financial contributions from family, spend time discussing expectations in terms of making decisions for the day. Express your vision to determine if they are on board or have a completely opposite vision for the day. If opinions differ, ask if they are open to the couple making the final decision of if they expect to also have a say. Based on your comfort level, work to create an understanding to ensure you are not in the uncomfortable position of incorporating decisions that you are not comfortable with.