5 Wedding Fights You Might Have With Your Parents

It's only natural, and we'll help you work through them.
engaged couple linking arms
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maggie seaver the knot wedding planning expert
Maggie Seaver
maggie seaver the knot wedding planning expert
Maggie Seaver
Wedding Planning Expert
  • Maggie Seaver is an Associate Digital Editor at RealSimple.com.
  • Maggie writes about life, career, health, and more.
  • Maggie was an editor at The Knot from 2015 to 2019.

Weddings are wonderful (and yours is going to be amazing!), but we'd be lying if we told you every step of the way was all rainbows and butterflies. One of the hiccups you might experience on your journey to "I do" is an argument or two with your parents. They're normal and completely understandable—emotions are running high, and there are varying priorities, tastes and budgets in the equation.

If there's any wisdom you should walk away with, it's to be open-minded, empathetic and overly communicative. Here are some common wedding-related arguments you might have with your folks and how to work through them.

1. Budget

Money is never an easy subject, but it's one that'll dictate most of your wedding decisions. Everyone's situation is different, and some are more complicated than others. Maybe your parents are footing the bill and suddenly find you're asking too much of them. Maybe there's some damaged pride due to different financial backgrounds between your parents and your partner's. Or maybe your folks insist on spending money for wedding details they want you to have, but that you couldn't care less about. Have the money talk early to set expectations and uncover any pain points. Then use our helpful budgeting tool to keep your numbers on track and everyone on the same page.

2. Guest List

You might find your budget and your guest list go hand in hand, which can make things even more complicated when parents get involved. Do your parents keep adding random circles of friends and long lost family members to your list without asking? No, it's not cool (they should definitely keep you in the loop)—but, unfortunately, you have less of a case to present if they're chipping in financially.

For a frame of reference, a fair way to divvy up your list is for you and your partner to choose half of the guests, while each set of parents gets to choose a quarter. But if your situation isn't quite so cut-and-dry, work out ways to compromise. For example, if you've reached a stalemate during the guest list cutting process, try saying you'll cut one of your choices for every one of theirs; otherwise, ask if they're will to pay a little more to keep their guest list additions.

3. Planning

Whether you're parents are too involved or not involved enough, you might be struggling to get on the same page during the general wedding planning process. If they're really in your face about frilly invitations, color schemes and seating charts—when all you care about is saying your vows and dancing the night away—don't be afraid to say something about your priorities. While you should always communicate your appreciation for their help, it's your prerogative to ask them to pump the breaks, take a step back and give you some room to breathe. When in doubt, be prescriptive: Give your parents a list of to-dos that both play to their strengths and help you out.

4. Religion and/or Traditions

Deviating from certain wedding-related customs can be a touchy matter of contention between you and your parents, especially if they're on the traditional side. You and your partner might be planning a modern mashup of your respective religions or sticking to a totally secular program. While it is your wedding, consider one question: Would it really be so bad to throw your parents a bone and find some way to infuse certain traditions into your day? So many couples find meaningful ways to incorporate a religious custom here or a cultural element there, whether it's through attire, food, music or language.

5. Style

Your parents might be the preppiest duo in the neighborhood, but that doesn't mean your wedding reception has to be decked out in pink and green paisley—even if they're paying for the décor. Style is one wedding element you're allowed to step up and state your opinion on—if something doesn't feel like "you," explain why and what you're willing to do instead. And hey, if they still need proof you're not interested in pink and green paisley, show them the wedding vision you created through the Style Quiz that clearly says your vibe falls in the rustic, bohemian camp. That should do the trick.

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