Wedding Woes

Critical Mother

My mom can be a very critical person.  Sometimes, it can be constructive and useful, but sometimes she goes overboard.  Of course, we also happen to have different tastes when it comes to weddings.  She wants to run it (and no she isn't paying for anything just in case anyone is wondering).  She is my mom and I would like to help her feel loved and involved, but I am just starting to get ideas together and plan, and it's already getting stressful with her.  Any ideas??

Re: Critical Mother

  • danieliza1127danieliza1127 member
    10000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I think you just need to tell her that right now you're just getting ideas and thinking about what you and your FI want, and then you need to stop talking to her about the wedding.  She doesn't have to be involved in every aspect.  Pick a few things YOU want to involve her in and then bring her in on those, otherwise, keep wedding talk to a minimum and don't run every idea past her.
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  • edited December 2011
    What about assigning her a section of the wedding to be solely responsible for?  Her territory, so as to speak.  Like sourcing and helping you pick a cake.  Then leave it at that.  Other details just say, "oh, I've got that handled".
  • edited December 2011
    Sorry, repeated the same thing as pp.  Didn't see that.
  • edited December 2011
    My mom is the same way. I eventually had to sit her down and remind her that while I really want her to be involved, in the end it's my wedding. Things were tense for a few weeks, but she did back off.
  • tommyandytommyandy member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    When you get to dress shopping time, don't take her until you have narrowed it down to 3 or so dresses.  This way she still gets a say & you already will like the one she picks.
  • PDXMarthaPDXMartha member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I'm not in the same boat, but as other PPs mentioned, this could help:
    my mom specifically asked to be a part of 2 things - going dress shopping and the flowers.
    So I made sure to have her around for them.
    Granted, I have her involvement in other aspects. 
    The idea stage, however, may have been similar to you now.  Every idea I had she would respond with "this other idea is more elegant".  However, when it came time for actual decisions, she would tell me how beautiful it is, what great taste I have, how well everything is coordinating, etc.  I have no idea if she's telling 100% the truth, but at least she knows when to back off, smile, and say it'll be beautiful. :)
  • edited December 2011
    I'd say ask her to write down all her ideas in a professional type format and ask her to do a presentation of her ideas. tell her that it is important for you to have her part of the planning and that you want to make sure you have a clear understand of how she sees your wedding. then very kindly tell her that after the presentation you will utimately decided whats in and out. be open tho..my mom is just like this (and ehm..she was right a few times). give it a shot. Even tho she isn't spending anything on ur wedding, she spent her whole life on you, raising you, and your wedding is probably equally if not more important to her than you...she gets to show off her most prized possesion..her daughter!
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  • edited December 2011
    My retort to my mom's critisms is "are you paying for it?" the answer is always no bc the FI and I are paying for it. I hate to be that way, but she wants a big horse and pony show for which she has only offered to pay for a veil that i don't want!
  • edited December 2011
    I understand! I have two older married sisters and their weddings were very disorganized and cheesy because of my mom. With my wedding planning, I am going to give her SPECIFIC tasks to do. And with the dress shopping, AFTER I go and narrow it down to a few dresses. My  mom is pushing for "traditions" like the ceremony music, and its hard to tell her that her "traditions"(a sounds of the seasons version of Edlweis) are not classy enough for my wedding. Make sure she understands YOUR vision, not hers. Unfortunaltley both my sisters regret many things and I am not going to let that happen to me. Of course, being the 3rd daughter, I was the one picking up the peices to my sisters mistakes growing up so I am the intended parent pleaser big time...Again, make sure she realizes her role, give her guided responsibility and dont feel bad if you need to remind her that you are the one paying for all of it in the end, thus you get the final say.
  • cukimerrydollcukimerrydoll member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I'm in a similar position to OP, and an opposite position with PP!

    My mom really wants to be involved - to the point where she wants to control every aspect of the wedding.  I'm the first to get married, both of my siblings and my cousins on both sides.  I think it's mostly excitement that is causing the problems.

    So, we've started sitting down with no pressure, and cutting things out of magazines, looking at stuff online, etc.  While her ideas are very different than mine, I know they work with her side of the family/family friends that are attending the wedding.  She had a fit about the centerpieces at the reception (Really?  We still have 8 months!).  So, I said that the places where the tables will be are all very different, and that we don't have to do the same thing for each area.

    I also found some things in magazines that both of us like.  A few weeks ago, I logged her onto TK under my account, and said that she needs to save things to my notebook - that way, we would have specific examples of what I like.

    She does want to have a big say in the ceremony too - she uses "I've been Catholic longer than you" as a means to take control.  But I'm a wedding singer, so I said that I have performed at more weddings than she has, and I know what we like.  For other ceremony things, I plan to say that I know the demographics of people attending better than she does, since most of FH's family isn't Catholic.  We are having a full mass, and I don't want to allienate anyone too badly.

    We're getting through it, but it's turning into a joke that she's the bridezilla for my wedding!
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for the ideas ladies.  I am thinking of picking out a few specific areas to ask for her involvement and asking only for her help on other things when I am deciding between a couple of options I already know I like.  That way she can be involved, and I don't get so stressed.
  • MattnLeahMattnLeah member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I am in a very similar situation.  If it is at all possible DON'T take her to see your dress. I picked out the one I loved and my mother's response was "well this will be one wedding the bridesmaids far out shine the bride."  The best advice I have is to ignore the hurtful comments this is a day made just for you and your FI. Other than that tell your mother you don't want her to be stressed by all the planning you just want her to come and have a good time.  If not every time you are excited about something there is the chance that she will hurt your feelings. And it isn't worth getting upset about... 
  • texaslolamytexaslolamy member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I know how everyone feels. My mom has just been downright mean to me many times in this planning. For example, the morning we went dress shopping she says to me "you better get your hair back to your natural color by the wedding because you don't want to look back at your pictures and say wow I look terrible." This didn't set a good tone for the day. I have blonde hair (dyed) but naturally I have a very light red hair. All my friends like it, but ever since the proposal, my Mom feels like she has to bring up how much she HATES it every week.

    Then when we were dress shopping, I put on my first dress and came out of the dressing room and nobody except my junior bridesmaid 10 year old sister was there! My sister (MOH) and Mom were off looking at bridesmaid dresses. Then when we were looking through the racks, my Mom kept saying "Rachel (sister) would like this one blah blah blah." Rachel isn't even getting married any time soon! My Mom also got mad because my tastes are different than hers. She likes simple A-line and I like ball-gown with tons of embellishments and pickups. When I said yes to my dress she complained that it wasn't the simpler one. She thought I should have compromised with her on MY WEDDING DRESS. Who would have thought that my 10 year old jr bridesmaid sister would be the only one worth bringing along? She's the only one who constructively criticized without being downright nasty.

    She also makes fun of our registry. She says "you don't even bake/cook, why would you need ____?" Then makes it into some sort of a joke. 

    The thing that is driving me the most nuts is how she is acting towards my Dad. They are divorced, but she is insisting that he not sit in the first pew with her. It's so mean. I don't want to put my Dad not in the front row. Luckily the FILs have offered to have him sit in the first row on their side with them. It's still awkward, I wish they would just get along.

    Sorry for this being so long. I have to get it out somewhere and my friends are probably sick of hearing about wedding stuff by now.
  • cukimerrydollcukimerrydoll member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_wedding-woes_critical-mother?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:47Discussion:679d6f7a-ade5-4b72-997a-b4d53822e61aPost:468bd6ec-dd26-4578-bd57-405b5bb8cae6">Re: Critical Mother</a>:
    [QUOTE]I know how everyone feels. My mom has just been downright mean to me many times in this planning. For example, the morning we went dress shopping she says to me "you better get your hair back to your natural color by the wedding because you don't want to look back at your pictures and say wow I look terrible." This didn't set a good tone for the day. I have blonde hair (dyed) but naturally I have a very light red hair. All my friends like it, but ever since the proposal, my Mom feels like she has to bring up how much she HATES it every week. Then when we were dress shopping, I put on my first dress and came out of the dressing room and nobody except my junior bridesmaid 10 year old sister was there!
    Posted by texaslolamy[/QUOTE]
    Blech... sounds like my mom.  Which is honestly partially why I brought my mom and FMIL to find my dress.  FMIL is a good balance for my mom, and she's encouraging/supportive.

    I'm still getting the "don't dye your hair again until after the wedding" mess from my mom.  I don't think she realizes that I don't want to be grey-haired by the wedding (early grey is a trait from her side of the family anyway).  So I'll keep having the girls do it.  She said she liked it after the last time I did it - similar color with a redder tone, my hair is naturally almost black... so they grey is pretty noticable too.
  • edited December 2011
    Wow, I thought you were describing my mom at first!  She too has been very critical of my choices, yet she has not offered to pay a dime.  I decided I would grant her 3 wishes & that is it... she asked that I not do a destination wedding, so we are staying local (I'm an only child so I knew that was important), she asked that pictures of her be limited (I gave her a list of pix I want her in and she was fine with that), then she wanted the wedding at our family church (it was on my list of places so that was easy)... Now when she makes comments/demands/suggestions, I remind her that I gave her 3 wishes and she has used them all up.  Until she offers to pay for something, I don't feel I owe her any more wishes.

    Good Luck & just remember to have fun with the planning and make this day about you & your fiance... it's your day!
  • edited December 2011
    I'd like to question why your mothers are so critical? Have they always been like this - or just since you've been engaged? Do you think they are jealous?   I'm so sorry that you all have had to deal with this!
    My mother was only like this at the beginning, when it came to picking the place.  She was so concerned about people having to travel far...it lead to a big fight, but in the end we found something perfect.
    Now my future MIL is very critical, sometimes I think she only has negative things to say....but I learned how to deal with her.  I want very casual bridesmaids dresses and love 1 that is on JCrew and she says "I looked at some of their dresses online and they dont look like bridesmaids dresses" and I simply responded with "I know, that's exactly what I want"
    I think it's best to just either ignore, or try to come up with something "smart" to say back....
    as far as the original question - I think you are still in the planning stages, and have SOOOO many ideas floating thru your head, and having your mother's opinion is only making it worse....I think it will get better, once you have a better idea of what you want.  Then you can easily say "Thanks for your ideas mom, but I've decided to go with this...." and you never know, her ideas might actually turn out to be great!  Good luck!
  • haleyb25haleyb25 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Ah! I've been waiting for someone else to say how awful their mother has been! My mom has been saying since day one, that "only stupid people get married". She has shown little to no interest in any helping aspects and keeps telling my dad (they're divorced) that he needs to put more money into the wedding! My FI and I are trying to do it with one third from his parents, my parents and then we'll pay a third but my mom hasn't offered to pay or do anything! I brought her and my sister with me when I went dress shopping and she criticized every single thing about every dress. When I found The Dress, she was like "yeah buy that one. Can we leave now?" It was so disappointing. I was seriously crushed. And I'm also worried that at our wedding she'll get drunk and tell off my MIL, which she did at our engagement party!!! It's horrible! My dad on the othr hand has been so unbelievably supportive of everything. Thanks for letting me vent!
  • texaslolamytexaslolamy member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    ARGGGHHH..

    Here we go again.

    My Mom just asked me to change our rehearsal dinner date because her cousin's kid grad party had been scheduled for that night. The girl with the grad party isn't in the wedding. I replied with "every night is going to have conflicts. We aren't changing it because everyone has already cleared their schedules. You are invited no matter what."

    She called me a "bridezilla" and "snotty." I can't wait to move to Pensacola, FL and be 1000 miles away from this place...
  • beck_foxbeck_fox member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Whew! Thanks, everyone! I think weddings bring up all kinds of emotions, and my mom's no exception! She wants to be more involved, but gets mad that I have something to ask for help on when we talk. I'm trying to ignore her temper tantrums, but it's wearing me out!
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