Have a potentially overbearing mother-of-the-bride and/or mother-of-the-groom on your hands? Give her something to do with all her nervous and excited energy by doling out specific jobs she can call her own, advises Nora Sheils, owner of Bridal Bliss & A List Events in Lake Oswego, Oregon.
Just remember: Only assign activities you aren’t super picky about, because although it is OK to give out general direction, you must relinquish control.
Here are five suggestions to help you keep the peace.
Plan a Smaller Party
Let your mother-in-law take the reins on the rehearsal dinner, as the groom’s family often pays for this event, Sheils says. Or ask your mom to organize a spa day, bridal luncheon or a brunch the day after the big event.
Have Her Research Vendors
Give moms a list of vendors you’re considering and then have them help you look into pricing information, availability and questions you’d like answered, suggests Jessica Pennington, owner of Stella Event Design in St. Joseph, Mich. “You still have the final choice, but you’ll save tons of time on leg work while also keeping mothers in the loop on some of the important details!”
If a mom is especially crafty, ask her to sew table runners, pocket squares for the groomsmen or special bags for the bridesmaid gifts, Pennington says.
Let Her Be the Welcome Bag Committee
Chances are some of the gift bags for out-of-towners will be going to a few of her own loved ones, so she’ll likely be excited about it and it will feel very important, Sheils says. Provide her with some ideas and any specific wedding themes, designs or fonts, and then let her run with it.
Direct the Favor Assembly Line
Favors frequently require assembly, such as putting chocolates into boxes, trinkets into organza bags or tying on ribbons, Pennington says. She’ll love that the last thing guests will see is thanks to her handiwork.