My mom and I were talking about the accommodations for my wedding next summer- I'm getting married Labor Day weekend at a resort near where my mom lives. We're all going to be staying out there for two nights, arriving on Saturday, with the ceremony on Sunday, and checking out Monday after breakfast together. It wasn't until my mom mentioned that she and my notoriously late stepfather would have to make sure to leave early to ensure that they arrived to the ceremony on time that I realized that she had no intention of staying at the hotel the night before. I was stunned, because we've already planned the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner (both to be held on-site) as well as the bonfire after. When I asked about her plans, she told me that they were planning on going home after the rehearsal dinner and arriving back at the venue with the rest of the guests just before the ceremony.
I was absolutely flabbergasted. I explained how important she is to the wedding (she's the freaking Mother of the Bride!!), let alone how important it is to ME that my mom is present while I am getting ready for the biggest day of my life, and she was completely dismissive ("Why would I pay for two nights at a hotel when we live 30 minutes away?"). I tried to explain and said something to the effect of how the wedding isn't just the ceremony and reception (I feel like every element from the rehearsal dinner to putting on the gown contributes to the significance of The Event, you know?), and that it hadn't even occurred to me that I would be getting ready without my mom present. She flipped out, saying it is ridiculous to expect her not to get ready at home and telling me how selfish I am to expect our wedding party to pay for two nights at the hotel for my wedding. She kept focusing on the cost of staying two nights instead of what I was actually asking: that my mom be fully present for the most important day of her eldest child's life.
I've always known that my mom considers traditional weddings extravagant wastes, which is absolutely her right. She's not paying for any of the wedding; I never expected her to. If she doesn't want to stay at the hotel the night before, I will of course respect that. But I'm just stunned that didn't think I'd want her there during the morning of, and even more stunned that even after I flat out told her I wanted her there, she is still so dismissive.
I've always loved wedding and really value the traditions that go along with them, and throughout the planning process, I've had to remind myself that my mom just isn't going to be excited about things like flower arrangements or finding my gown. We have very different values, and I know that. It doesn't necessarily make it sting less when I show her the gown that made me cry and she doesn't react with more than a 'that's nice', but I've always know that and I can deal with it. This revelation, though, TOTALLY threw me. I never expected that she wouldn't be present for all of the wedding-related events, including getting ready that morning, and I can't figure out if I have any right to feel this way.
I think I'm even more hurt that even after I explained why it was important to me that she be there, she was still totally dismissive. Am I in the wrong here? How do I help my mom understand how important she is to my wedding, and how much it will hurt me if she's not there for all of my wedding, including the moment when I put on my gown and become a bride?