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September 21, 2019

Family + Friends

Wedding Planning 101: Handling Parent Drama

Sometimes without even realizing it, parents can bring added stress into the wedding planning process. Whatever the subject – money, the guest list, your design choices – learning how to handle (or better yet – avoid) parent drama is essential to a successful wedding.

*Please note the photos included with this post are just lovely photos we have of parents at our events. They should not be interpreted in any way in conjunction with these tips, and are in fact some of our fave families and parents, including my own.

Communication is key.

Far and away, most of the parental drama we see play out is due to lack of communication. Couples making plans without first having a conversation with both families about all things: expectations, money, photos, etc etc. We highly recommend having separate talks with each family, coming into these talks as a united front. That means you will have already had a talk with your partner about your own expectations and be prepared to act as a team.

You may have to give a little to get a lot.

Decide what is truly important for your wedding day – and what is not. It’s those areas you can give in a little to parent demands, and have some credits to spend on the areas where you don’t want to budge.

It’s also important to be realistic about the expectations or demands of your parents when it comes to your wedding day – especially if they are paying for some (or all) of your event. Only you can decide whether or not you’re willing to trade something important in return for help with your budget, or getting the wedding you dreamed of (mostly).

Be mindful of traditions

Be sure to speak with your parents about any religious, cultural or other traditions they may want included. This doesn’t mean you automatically have to do them just because it’s what they want, but sometimes we’ve seen hurt feelings turn into drama simply because nobody asked.

Who gets to walk you down the aisle?

WHOEVER YOU WANT. The end. This becomes such a thing, especially when divorce is involved. Be clear about what YOU want, because sometimes when it is unspoken or up for grabs it becomes drama you never intended. This goes for not just brides – grooms are often blindsided when moms are hurt because they just expected to walk their son down the aisle, but no one ever talked about it. Please don’t do this to yourself – or your planner, it’s so awkward at the rehearsal.

Say something.

I know it’s hard, but if one of your parents is making wedding planning difficult for whatever reason – you have to say something. It’s not going to go away on its’ own. Try to use ‘I feel’ statements so they know how their actions or behavior is affecting what should be a happy occasion for both you and them.

Remember, at the core of most problems that we see come up with parents during planning is that they just want everything to be perfect for you. They may not even realize what they are doing is causing you to pull your hair out. Weddings have changed so much since all our parents got married, and they are just trying to figure everything out just like you are.

*my parents above.

Photo Credits from top: Sarah Linda Photo, Jana Williams Photography, Amy Van Vlear, SnapMotive, Emma + Josh, Caca Santoro