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4/11/12 9:28 A

Deleted my posts for privacy purposes. Didn't see a way to delete the thread but it's good to have future access to the ideas offered in it. Thanks again.

Edited by: ALLTHNGSTHRUHIM at: 4/16/2012 (11:25)
JRYLES07 SparkPoints: (0)
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4/11/12 8:54 A

Just wanted to chime in.

First off, weddings make people crazy. Repeat this to yourself often. Weddings make people crazy. This goes for you (yes, you will become crazy), your daughter (yes, she will become crazy) and anyone else that gets within a 10 mile radius of the event. The whole emotional aspect of really truly seeing your daughter separate permanently from you, and start a new family is scary, and for your daughter it's an exciting/scary emotionally charged moment as well. In our society, we very much create a link between being married and being an adult. This makes for a rough road to navigate for all parties involved, and more than likely all parties are at least partially at fault. That's ok though, it's normal.

Second off, a wedding is just a party. Repeat this to yourself often. It's just a party. All that matters is that at the end of the day there is a marriage license, your future son-in-law, your daughter, and two witnesses. Is it the end of the world if there are some snafus? Nope, in fact, I've never been to a wedding in which there weren't! No matter how well they were planned.

My husband and I got married 5 years ago, and it's very much a trend for people of our generation to want to do things ourselves. We paid for our wedding ourselves despite both sets of parents being incredibly generous with offering to help, and the main reason we did, was that at the end of the day, we wanted to have the control. My parents wedding, and possibly yours was a lot different. There used to be a lot more tradition involved, but nowadays it's not considered a big deal if the bride and groom skip some or even all of the traditions. There's also a lot less parental involvement overall, for example my mother didn't choose her flowers, her grandmother did, though I believe she helped pick out the colors. It can be frustrating to adapt when you've already done it once, but at this point keeping the peace is probably your best bet.

Just to give you the other side of the coin my mother also suggested a photographer who was a family friend (similar to your dilemma), the problem was that I wanted someone who was more experienced, especially with wedding photography, since the photos were the thing that I cared the most about, they're the only thing that last beyond the party itself. She was worried it would hurt his feelings, to not be asked, and thought it was perfect because he wouldn't charge as much. I was worried that if I didn't like how he was doing things I wouldn't have as much leeway to have him change things up, or have any recourse afterwards, because after all he would be doing us a favor by not charging as much. Needless to say it caused a bit of friction. However in the end, let me assure you it all worked out, he was invited to the wedding as a guest, and was a able to dance the night away, without having to worry about working the whole night. I was able to make this decision because I was the one paying for the photographer, and quite frankly on the day of, I don't think my mother gave the photographer a second thought, she was too busy having a great time.

My only suggestion would be to take a step back for a bit. Don't make any suggestions unless directly asked. Or if you do make a suggestion, mention it once, and move on. I.e., "By the way daughter, I found a website with a bunch of neat cakes on it. Let me know if you want, and I can shoot you a link to it.". That's it. Once. Anything more, and you're daughter will probably start to feel like you're being overbearing. It's not fair, I know, but unfortunately it's life, and as the mom, it gets to be your job to be the bigger person. Fun stuff, right?!

Here are a couple other fair game phrases that you can use without her feeling like you are overstepping:
"How's the wedding planning going?" - this must be followed by listening and not giving advice without being directly solicited however, and it can be a tough one.
"I'd love to see some pictures of the _______ (dresses, flowers, cakes) your considering, could you email them to me?"
"Is there anything you need help with? No, ok, well just let me know!/Yes, great! What do you need?"

It's hard, but it's much better than feeling like you have a strained relationship with your daughter on her wedding day. You want to feel happy and light, not worried about whether she made the right decisions, or if you guys will ever speak again. Look forward to attending the wedding like you would any other party, and you'll do just fine. Just keep repeating to yourself, weddings make people crazy :)

MOOS4000 SparkPoints: (0)
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4/10/12 4:21 P

Sparkway, it sounds like you're trying to be very helpful and involved.

I just got married two years ago (I was 34). My family lives overseas and it would be a majot hassle for them to come. I am also not into big weddings. Long story short: My husband and I got married in the mountains with just the minister and the trees :)

I know some members of his family were disappointed, and I struggled with that a bit. We also don't have professional pictures/videos etc. I still LOVED the day and wouldn't do it any differently.

I understand it must be hard, but I suggest you let your daughter do it her way. If the pictures don't turn out, you don't like the cake...etc.etc. She is an adult and it is her responsibility.

JENMC14 Posts: 2,786
4/10/12 5:07 A

Oh, I want to talk on the subject of photos. We did not want to spend a lot of money. So, my sister has a nice camera and takes decent shots, so I was just going to have her get a couple and call it a day. My husband's sister and SiL have a friend who was starting in the photography business, so they contracted her for our wedding as our gift. She just gave us a disk and an album. I must say, I am so, so happy they did that! I think I might've regretted, in the end, not having any professional(ish) pictures. I don't know how you might tell her that without offending, though. Would she refuse a photographer if you offerred to pay for it as your gift?

Thank you for your post. You sound an awful lot like my mom, and, while I love that woman more than anything, and I respect her and her love for her family, she can come across as quite controlling to some, especially someone a bit, um, more free-spirited, even with the best of intentions. In then end, don't worry about people judging you, I know it's hard. If anyone says anything, just say, "This is X & Y's day, and they planned it to be special, and I know it's exactly what they wanted." Put your services out there, so she knows your available, and then let it go. I know it's hard, I do not look forward to the day when my opinion isn't the end of the conversation with my daughters!

JESSYMICHELLE SparkPoints: (3,290)
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4/10/12 3:00 A

I believe your concerns are justified, but unfortunately, if your daughter is determined to do this her way, then you will probably just have to let this one go.

As far as your concerns with your daughters's "selfish and immature" side, I do believe that time will sort that out. My mom always used to joke that we don't become "a mature human" until we're 25, and I used to be offended by that, but now that I'm well into my 30s, I actually understand what she was getting at.

As far as the wedding itself, I would just do my best to let it go. Honestly, I believe that our society places way too much importance on weddings. It's not the wedding but the actual marriage that we're celebrating and I believe that when it comes down to it, it's about the bride and groom and they should be able to have any kind of wedding they wish. Although, this is coming from someone who threw together a seaside wedding in a month and had 24 people in attendance, but 6 years later, still has no regrets. However, I will also admit that now that I am a mother, I would probably be hurt if I were to someday be excluded from my child's wedding, but I would do my best to focus on what's truly important: My child's happiness and the welcoming of a new family member. =)

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
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4/9/12 7:37 P

I think you're getting your concerns across quite well. :) That's not the problem, I don't think.

I just really do think that this is a case of where you're going to have to take the back seat. It's not that she doesn't respect you, or anything about you (well, it could be, but I don't know her, and have to assume.) It's just that this is her day, and she'll learn by her mistakes, the same way you and I have so far. :)

Given that half of my family are photographers, there's a very good chance that my daughters may ask a relative for photo help... and if she does, and they're awful, again, that's her wedding, not mine. ;) Maybe she doesn't want professional photography, at any price; maybe she's just plenty happy with some casual snapshots.

I'm sure there's a generation gap, but I wouldn't dismiss the opinions of those younger than you. I'm thinking the odds are that this has nothing to do with you at all... and it's really about your daughter just doing what she wants to do, and without the help of those. She may even not want to burden you with the wedding.

Ultimately, you have a few choices here:

1) Butt in where you're not wanted, and make everyone resentful and upset (which you haven't indicated you're interested in doing.)
2) Sit back and let them make their own decisions - and mistakes - and shake your head. If this is the option you take, you can either just smile and help, or you can finger wag and "I told you so." Hopefully, you're mature enough not to take the second option!
3) Gently offer advice where you can, and let it be taken or not, and understand that this isn't about you, nor should it be. Love your daughter, attend the wedding, and celebrate this major family milestone together.

I think the best option is the last one. Offer advice if the opportunity presents itself, but otherwise, let it go. It's not worth worrying about, as this is, in the end, just a one day event that will have zero effect on their marital bliss afterwards. My wedding was pretty low-budget, and the only long-term effect we've had was no pictures to put on the wall.

I think she's showing incredible maturity in wanting to do it all herself, and that's what you should celebrate; not the perceived mistake in not including you as her wedding planner.

You could continue to wonder and fret, or you can simply immerse yourself in the joy that comes with a wedding, since there's nothing you can say or do that will force things to change without hurting someone.

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 4/9/2012 (19:40)
LUANN_IN_PA Posts: 26,689
4/9/12 5:15 P

"As I said in my original post, I'd be quite interested in hearing especially from parents who've walked the same road (their daughter's wedding), and whether you were involved a lot, a little, or none at all with the wedding planning. "

I was very involved, but my daughter had very definite ideas about what she did and did not want.
Even though I disagreed with some things, I backed off. After all, it was HER day, not mine!

4/9/12 4:01 P


Edited by: ALLTHNGSTHRUHIM at: 4/16/2012 (11:14)
4/9/12 3:35 P


Edited by: ALLTHNGSTHRUHIM at: 4/16/2012 (11:14)
DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
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4/9/12 2:53 P

As the mom of two (small) daughters, I think I understand a little why you want to help, but your baby is now an adult... you're not being "excluded", so much as simply not included on the planning.

Perhaps this is her way of proving to you that she can... maybe she knows what she wants, and doesn't need the help!

Either way, this is her day... not yours. She's under no obligation to include you, and I suspect that's one of the reasons she wants to do this herself. I doubt it's to hurt you.

I think it's really important to remember that while weddings are family events, thhis is about the bride and groom... not the mother of the bride's preferences. :) Feel free to slip her brochures of places you like in passing, just with a "got this the other day, check it out if you haven't found a baker yet" or something, but don't push, and don't be hurt if she goes with something else.

The suggestion of a photographer is one I'd reject out of hand, personally; my wedding photographer was chosen on the suggestion of my mother in law, and I ended up with no pictures and crappy proofs as a result. A "deal" isn't always a deal with photographers, and with a once-in-a-lifetime event like a wedding, an amateur isn't your best option. Suggest it if you like, but don't berate her choice if she decides to go with someone who's been in the business longer. Experience matters more than price when it comes to priceless memories.

This isn't a reflection on you... it's a display of their talents.

And, if the end, skip the "I told you so" if stuff does go wrong. Nothing's perfect, as even the most astute planner knows, and the best laid plans can go awry. Help graciously if requested, and don't assume the worst.

I think my wedding would have driven you crazy. We paid for everything ourselves, it was less than $500, and my mom had no part in it. Not that I didn't want her to, but she knew I could handle it better than she could. It was very "chintzy" because we used a lot of second-hand stuff and do-it-yourself flowers. This wedding should reflect their style and preferences, not your idea of "chintzy" or not.

You're already coming from a defensive place, and assuming things are going to go wrong, or that something is wrong that she isn't asking for your help. In short: It's not about you, mom. :) This is about your daughter, and her husband-to-be, and their wedding. If they ask you for help, great, but if they don't... don't make this about you and what you have to offer.

I agree with the other posters who suggest that perhaps you've had issues with criticizing them for this sort of thing in the past, and maybe they just don't want it. You've already been very negative, and you're not even involved... perhaps they sense that, and want to avoid it being about what you think is appropriate or not.

Or maybe (just maybe) it's nothing of the sort, and they just want to make the biggest day of their lives about what they want, not what their parents want or think would be best.

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 4/9/2012 (14:59)
JENMC14 Posts: 2,786
4/9/12 11:39 A

I think it would be fine to say, "Hey, I've heard good things about this bakery" and pass on a link or "X said he'd do your wedding for a discounted price, if you're interested in taking a chance on a beginninger", but I would not give specific ideas on anything,r eally. Not to be harsh, but if you're a planner and she's not, one of the reasons she is so insistent on paying for everything herself is so she doesn't feel obligated to let you help plan it. As someone else asked, have you pushed your plans and ideas on her in the past? It could very well be she just wants it to be her day, her way.

eta: It's statements like this: "Hopefully our family won't be judged (you know how people are) if things end up with a chintzy feel." that make me think you've judged her, or criticized her, for choices she's made that are different from what you would've made in the past, and she wants to keep that out of her wedding. My mom is very much a planner, and I am not. I was glad to have her help with my wedding, because I hate to plan stuff, but I can see if she'd gotten pushy not wanting her to help. She had her moments, but she was helping pay for the wedding. We had a very small, intimate ceremony, no music, sit down dinner after, small cake. I would hate that someone would call that "chintzy". And maybe you wouldn't, but I sort of get the feeling you are unhappy you're not getting to plan a Cinderella wedding. If that's what my mom had insisted on, I would've had to tell her to butt out, maybe your daughter wants to avoid that situation.

Edited by: JENMC14 at: 4/9/2012 (11:45)
THEEASYKILL30 Posts: 560
4/7/12 6:22 P

I got married last year at 31. My husband was 30. We did accept help from both our parents (a very large chunk from mine) as we were not able to afford everything on our own. If our parents hadn't helped us out, we would have had a different style of wedding as we refused to go into debt to pay for our wedding. But we discussed this monetary thing ahead of time. My parents didn't put any stipulations for the wedding as they trusted our opinion. I would share things with them out of respect since they were footing the bill for quite a lot of it but to be honest, they just didn't care.

If your daughter wants to pay for it all by herself, then let her make her own decisions. Let her know that you are there to support her but otherwise, learn to let go and butt out. My best friend got married 5 years before I did and her mother planned everything. She too felt like it was her parents wedding and not hers.

EBONYSOL Posts: 2,384
4/7/12 12:13 P

When I was married in 1986, it wasn't really my wedding; it was my parents' wedding. We wanted a small wedding - justice of the peace, immediate family only, barbecue in the backyard. My parents had a different idea so it became a church wedding with 60 guests and a reception at a nice place. I lived out their dream for me and it made them happy. However, I would have been just as happy with my original plan and seen them spend the money on a trip for themselves.
You cannot change people; your daughter will do what she wants to do. Just tell her that you love her and are there for her if she needs you. She is an adult and it is time to let go. Don't worry about what people might think. What is important is that your daughter enjoys her day and that you are there to see her move on to another stage in her life.

Edited by: EBONYSOL at: 4/7/2012 (12:15)
4/7/12 10:17 A


Edited by: ALLTHNGSTHRUHIM at: 4/16/2012 (11:13)
SUMSUMS SparkPoints: (15,132)
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4/7/12 8:07 A

Could she not be excluding you as much as you think? Maybe she just has her own ideas about what she wants. As a mom, we always want to help, but the things you mentioned dont seem like shes pushing you way to much. Maybe just ask her what you could help with, and let her give you a task

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (199,677)
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4/7/12 6:41 A

I agree with the previous poster.

Could it be that in the past, that you have imposed your choices on your daughter with your desire to plan? The couple's statement of wanting to pay for everything themselves is a very loud and clear message for you to butt out, Mom!

GRAVELRIDGEBOY SparkPoints: (36,875)
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4/6/12 8:35 P

I am of the younger generation but the way I see it is since she is paying for the wedding, let her do it her way. You said yourself that you do not plan the same so maybe she is excluding you from the planning so there is no arguments or harsh feeling while planning the wedding. She is probably overwhelmed with everything and does not want to snap at someone for something little.

If you really feel that you will have to come to the rescue in the end then do your own list of people to use but do not tell her about it unless she asked for help. You said that you know a bunch of people who can help...

4/6/12 1:53 P


Edited by: ALLTHNGSTHRUHIM at: 4/16/2012 (11:12)
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