Real Talk: Your Mom Is Wrong About Your Wedding

In my work as a wedding planner, I’m typically working with the couple directly. In many cases, their parents may be paying some or all of the wedding costs and often that means that the parents feel that it is their wedding too. Don’t get me wrong, this is an important day for the couple, their friends, and their family. However, the day should be primarily about the two people about to join their lives together. There will be a lot of opinions flying around about what the wedding should be: what it should look like, who should attend, where it should be, and on and on. Ultimately, here are a couple of things I think parents (I’m not really picking on moms) get wrong about their children’s weddings.

The Guest List: The biggest note of contention in wedding planning typically comes down to the number of guests. Your parents may feel that because they are chipping in for costs, they have the right to decide on how many people (and in fact, which people) get to attend. The thing is, since the day should really be about a loving couple, shouldn’t they get to invite the people that matter most to them? Shouldn’t the introverted groom get a say in whether he parties with 50 or 300 people? Shouldn’t the bride who’s lived across the country since college get to invite her local friends to her wedding as opposed to all her mom’s colleagues back home? If you stop and think about it, the answer is undoubtedly yes, and yet, this is an argument I’ve seen play out time and time again. If you’re wondering what you can do about it, I have a few suggestions, but it will ultimately come down to a conversation with your parents and how you communicate with them. Not every situation is identical, and you don’t want to alienate your parents for something that may not mean as much to you. 1) Before you begin wedding planning, let your parents know your wishes regarding the guest count and guest list. Provide them with your rationalization and outline the plan for them. If you have a plan and can clearly articulate your wishes, it will help remove some of the friction. 2) Give your parents a specified guest count that is just for them. For example, if you’re having 150 guests, can you set aside 25 guests for each set of parents? You don’t need to micromanage who they invite (up to the 25), and they feel that they can tru