7 Foolproof Ways to Get Both of Your Moms Involved With Wedding Planning
Wedding planning isn't just a big deal for you (the bride or groom)—it's also a major moment for all parents involved. Your moms, especially, will probably want to pitch in here and there.
Sound scary? Don't worry—there's a way to actually make it fun for you, your partner and even the most overbearing "mom-zillas" who want to have a say at every turn. (Hint: You'll all need to learn how to compromise a bit.) Here's how to get your moms involved—peacefully—below.
1. Have the money talk (if applicable).
In the initial excitement of getting engaged, you and your partner will probably be thinking the sky's the limit. We're not saying your moms will need to put a damper on the enthusiasm, but you do all need to get on the same page. Have a sit-down with your partner and both of your moms (simultaneously or separately, with or without other family members) to talk about wedding finances. If you're lucky, one or both will want to pitch in, but be clear about how much you think your wedding budget will be. (Remember, they're M-O-Ms, not A-T-Ms.)
2. Let them get excited about the possibilities.
Your mom will probably have tons of wedding ideas, from that great wedding florist her friend's daughter used to the cake she saw a picture of in a magazine the other week, and that's totally great. That said, it's okay to let both of your moms know you plan to take the reins when it comes to planning the wedding. See what their expectations are by letting them know that if you need help with anything, you'd love their ideas. And if there's something they'd specifically like to contribute an idea to, ask them to speak up when the time comes.
3. Go shopping with them for their outfits.
Whether you're a bride or a groom, there are some easy rules of thumb for your moms to use when they shop for their dresses, pantsuits or whatever attire they want to wear. First, have them follow the formality and style of the wedding—if it's going to be a casual beach affair, tell them to nix those black velvet gowns they've been wanting to wear. Both the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom should get in touch with each other, and you. Help them by taking them shopping and keeping them in the loop about your wedding attire, the wedding colors and so on. And while they don't need to match each other (or the bridesmaids), it's usually a good idea for both moms to have somewhat similar styles. Just tell them to skip the white (or any shade that's even close).
4. Allow them to get in on the guest list.
Talk to them about their expectations for the guest list. Whether you're envisioning a mega-reception filled with hundreds of friends and relatives or an intimate outdoor affair with just a few of your nearest and dearest, it's important to find out what your moms (and dads) would like to contribute to the guest list. Have them draw up their own guest lists and put stars next to the guests they feel absolutely must be invited (and don't forget to factor in any plus-ones).
5. Pick your priorities.
There probably are some things your moms will desperately want to see be part of the wedding (whether it's including your maternal grandmother's favorite flower in the bridal bouquet or getting your Aunt Gertrude a good seat for the reception). Of course, it's your wedding, not theirs, but let your moms choose a few things (say, three) that they really, really want to be part of the wedding. Focusing on just a couple of items on the wedding agenda (the ones that really matter to them) will allow everyone to productively pick their battles wisely—including you—rather than having to fight things out.
6. Ask them for backup.
Sometimes, wedding guests can be a bit demanding—wanting extensive face time with you, asking the caterers for a different dish or letting their "talented" youngster play a piano solo at the ceremony. Politely ask your moms if they'd mind being your first line of defense, or if that fails, being your backup. Odds are, they'll know how to deal with unruly guests tactfully by saying something like, "I'm sure Jane and Joe would love to be able to seat all of your children and their dates at the reception, but they're working with a limited budget and need to keep the wedding small. I know your being there really matters to them though, which is why they included you even though they weren't able to invite your whole family." A statement like this accomplishes three things: It makes the guest feel better, it lets you off the hook without coming off badly and at the same time, it doesn't give in to guests' pushy pleas.
7. Let them keep you grounded.
Of course, sometimes, it's not just the guests—you (the bride or groom) can, unsurprisingly, get out of line with your requests too. If you realize you're turning into a bride- or groom-zilla, ask your mom for honest feedback. While an important role for her is being a shoulder to cry on, if you're making everyone else miserable, a little tough love might be in order. If you come to the realization you've been going ballistic over every last detail, have your mom remind you the wedding is just one day. Your love and marriage are the important things, not whether the florist is going to substitute spray roses for ranunculus.