Some women are bound to care more about adhering to tradition, whatever that may be for their family. It gets even harder when families bring different sets of traditions to the table. If these wishes don't necessarily fit with your modern vision for the day, the best advice is to find a way to honor each family member, without sacrificing your own vision. Find out what your mother cares about and pick something you're comfortable incorporating that will make her happy. It might be a short reading during the ceremony, photos of loved ones on the cake table, or a bouquet toss. Involve them in the parts of planning that will feel familiar - like setting up your registry, or shopping for stationary.
If you are lucky enough to have a mom with a particular area of expertise - you can expect a lot of opinions. This is my mom, who is a professional photographer. While all the extra input might be overwhelming, think of this as an advantage, and accept some extra help. Let your mom take one thing off your plate, but don't forget to voice your opinion. I put my mom in charge of booking a photographer for our big day, but before she got to work, we looked at portfolios together online so she could get a sense of the styles my fiancé and I liked. With her input we found an incredible professional at a fair price that we all loved!
The Cool Companion
Maybe she eloped for her own wedding, generally shies away from voicing her opinion, or for whatever reason doesn't have many strong feelings about weddings. It's great to have a laid-back confidant throughout wedding planning, but don't let her lack of firm opinions prevent you from making memories together. Involve your mom in something activity based, where her company is more important than her input. A menu tasting, china pattern shopping, or site walk-through are all great examples. If you know you'll be faced with some tough decisions across the day, you can also include a friend who is sure to tell it like it is. No matter what you'll be glad you had your mother by your side for a few key events.
The Party Animal
On the other hand, there are certainly those moms who have been waiting for this moment their whole lives and intend to make it the party of the century. This is great if you also want a huge bash, but the party she has in mind may end up larger than you hoped. If you envisioned a smaller, more intimate affair, or disagree on how to spend wedding funds, the best course of action is an honest conversation. If your parents are footing some or all of the wedding bill, you may need to make some compromises, for example, on extending invitations to their friends. If you and your fiancé are covering the cost yourself, you need to stick to what you are comfortable spending. Regardless, the key is to clearly communicate what is important to you, as well as where you are, and are not, willing to compromise. Then,involve your mom in all the celebration decisions that will be right up her alley - favors, or dance playlists, for example.
Style Me Pretty Contributor – Chloe O'Sullivan is a freelance writer and sales director based in Washington DC (soon relocating to Northern New Hampshire). When she isn't writing, she can be found trying new restaurants, planning her next trip, or hiking with her soon to be husband.