Mothers and Daughters – 5 tips to smooth the way when planning your wedding together.

In the good old days (whenever that was) mothers planned their daughters’ weddings and had almost complete control over everything. These days, brides and couples often take the lead in creating their own celebrations. But we should not forget that a wedding is a hallmark of enormous change and that is why moms (and dads) often have a lot to say about it. They may also feel like they are losing their son or daughter, and it can be unconsciously upsetting and sad. Marriage will bring out a range of emotions for everyone involved.

Today I specifically address mother-daughter issues. It has been written about countless times, and become a bit of a modern-day cliché, but mothers and daughters do often fight. Especially during the teenage years, which I hope are well behind you; but sometimes wounds linger.

To further complicate the situation, if mom is paying for the wedding, it bestows power on her. But do not fret – there are ways to find common ground.

Brides, you don’t want to turn into bridezilla, and moms. you certainly don’t want to be the mother or mother-in-law from hell. With a little pro-active thoughtfulness, you should be able to not only survive wedding planning but enjoy it together.

Here are some suggestions for mothers and daughters to help smooth the way.

  1. The to-do list.Get to this very early in the process. Discuss which responsibilities will be assigned to whom, and which areas will be collaborative. Remember there should be no hard-and-fast rules. Should a task become overwhelming, don’t hesitate to ask each other for help. Mothers, ask what your daughter might especially needs help with, and daughters ask you mother which details she feels especially drawn to. Even if you know each other well – don’t make assumptions. Asking is a sign of respect and will help ease tensions. Even ask about obvious things. Statements such as ‘would you like me to go with you to look at dresses?’ instead of ‘let’s look at dresses tomorrow,’ will make a difference.
  1. Discuss the budget, and approach it with a sense of values. Try not to lose sight of what really matters.
  1. Have some ‘big picture’discussions about marriage. Daughters – share your hopes for the future with your mother; mothers – share stories of your wedding with your daughter. You are sure to find things to laugh about, cry about, and learn from.
  1. Time to grow up.Mothers, if you don’t already do so, there will never be a better time to begin treating your daughter like an adult. Likewise, daughters, you must now respect your mother as you would a friend. Leave old wounds behind and approach the planning with the respect you would give a friend or co-worker. Sometimes we treat those closest to us with less care than strangers. Don’t let this be the case. Brides, realize this is a big day for everyone, not just you! Mothers, no matter how difficult, be the cheerleader, and lead with grace. You will set the tone for family unity and happiness for years to come.
  1. Let it go. When conflicts arise, ask yourself honestly how important this issue actually is before an argument ensues. The aspects of the wedding that are most important to you are certainly worth ‘fighting for,’ but compromises should be made as well.

Taking the time to think about these and other potential danger zones will help ensure an easier process in one of life’s biggest transitions. Good luck!


thank you Lisa Rhinehart for the always awesome photography

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