My vision + Mom’s money — whose wedding is it anyway?

July 19, 2016

Dear PB Pro,

I know she means well, but my mom keeps injecting her vision into my wedding plans. She’s always pictured a big, traditional, white wedding for me — but that’s just not me. I want something small, intimate, and a little off-beat. The problem is my mom is paying for everything, so I don’t know where to draw the line between her wishes and my own. It’s my day… But it’s her money! What’s a bride to do?

— Mom’s Money

Dear Mom’s Money,

You’re certainly not the first nor will you be the last to have this problem. Moms just want what’s best for their daughters — sometimes that means suggesting or doing what they think is best, period. It’s a tough situation to be in, but a little open and honest communication can go a long way.

Have you tried talking to your mom about how you’re feeling? Are you afraid that if you come clean about your differences Mom will revoke her offer to pay for the wedding? It’s possible, sure, but not likely. You mom loves you and, with some calm conversation, odds are she’ll understand where you’re coming from and help you achieve your own wedding vision.

But just as you expect your mom to listen to you, listen to her. Be open and willing to compromise to create a day that’s enjoyable for all parties. I’m sure Mom has her reasons for wanting to give you a more traditional wedding, and she might make some good points (ex: choosing a more traditional venue with a staff of wedding experts can be much less of a headache than a full-on DIY affair). So listen. She has your best interests at heart.

That said, if you just can’t see eye to eye, then the final decision comes down to you. You can graciously (and I mean honestly graciously — no pouting later!) accept Mom’s money and her more classic vision. Or you can thank her from the bottom of your heart and kindly decline her offer, explaining that you’d prefer to do things your way and leave Mom’s money out of it so as not to cause any tension.

Either way, it all starts with an honest conversation. At the end of the wedding day — whether traditional or off-beat — the only thing that matters is that you’ve married the person you love.

— The PB Pro

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