For many brides and grooms, wedding planning is a family affair. The mother of the bride, in particular, often plays a big role leading up to the big day. Of course, the stress of planning a big event can cause emotions to run high and create conflict.
That’s why it’s so important to think ahead before jumping into planning to ensure your mother feels involved – without completely taking over. Here are a few expert tips for avoiding conflict with the mother of the bride (MOB for short), so you can both enjoy the process and celebrate your big day.
- Hire a mediator.
Family relations come with their own history, which can cause communication issues between brides and their mothers. That’s why it can be helpful to have an outsider, like a planner, to serve as a referee.
“So much of our job is to act as a liaison between both mom and daughter,” says Lydia Noble, founder of Noble Events. “I’ll have moms call me and ask ‘Don’t you think we need to do it this way?’ Then, the bride will call me to say the opposite. As the planner, we definitely mediate between the two personalities.”
- Change up your word choice.
If a disagreement does occur, Noble recommends altering your language. She describes how she once had a mother who was completely against her daughter’s idea for a “Game of Thrones” themed wedding.
“The daughter was referring to the red bridesmaid dresses as oxblood red. I was sitting with both of them. I said, ‘Oh, it’s not oxblood, it’s garnet. It’s ruby.’ It was just a matter of changing our language and all of a sudden, there was a communion between mom and bride.”
- Pick your battles.
While some brides and grooms may be tempted to just elope or ignore input from parents, it’s often in the best interest for your relationships to find a middle ground whenever possible.
“[Planning] is all about compromise. This is the best way to start your marriage off. You’ve got to learn that for the rest of your life, you’ve got to compromise,” Noble says.
She recommends couples decide which elements are most important and which you’re willing to let slide for the sake of peace. “Where are your sticking points? Are the sparkly linens the most important thing to you? Because if that’s it, then fight till the death for them,” she says. “But, then maybe you need to let go of the crab cakes. Sit down and try to compromise between both parties.”
- Remember whose day it is.
Ultimately, it’s important for everyone involved in wedding planning to remember that the day is about celebrating the bride and groom. And sometimes, both MOBs and brides need reminding of that.
“There is a pattern where a bride will make a decision based on what her mother wants at that reception or party,” Noble says. “So, my biggest piece of advice is to remember what and who this day is about.”