How to Love your Parents while Planning a Wedding
“Let this time be characterized by a deepening of relationships, rather than a focus on self.” - Christ-Centered Wedding
One of the most difficult relationships to navigate while planning your wedding is often with parents. Your mom might have been planning this day in her head far longer than you have. She’s got opinions and if she’s helping to pay for it, she’s definitely got strong opinions.
So how do you love your mom—or parents or in-laws—while planning your wedding without losing your mind? Or having her opinion steamroll yours? Or avoiding a conflict that would result in neither of you speaking again? Here are a few practical tips to help you out.
As soon as you’re able to, schedule a time to meet with your parents or in-laws or both at the same time. Set out an agenda (budget, guest list, venue preferences, etc.) before so everyone knows what you’ll be discussing. Before the meeting, make sure you spend some time praying and preparing for potential responses or conflict. During the meeting, ask for their opinions. Your mom may want to make sure certain people are invited or the ceremony hosted at a specific venue. Don’t make any promises at the meeting, but communicate to her that you’ve heard her and will discuss it together with your fiancee. The overall point of this meeting is to ensure everyone is on the same page and that all opinions are heard. Schedule a follow up meeting if you need to.
Follow their wishes as much as possible.
This may not be as easy as it sounds. If you have clashing desires, you may have to choose between the two. But, as much as you can, especially if your parents are paying for the wedding, follow their wishes. Marriage is about healthy compromise, about laying down your desires for the good of another, so getting started now will only help down the road.
Loop them in.
Text your mom when you’ve found the perfect floral centerpieces or seek out your future mother-in-law’s opinion about your veil. These small touch points can go a long way in them feeling like they are a part of the process, too.
Write a thank you note and give them a gift on your wedding day.
It’s easy to get sucked into your own world on your big day. I know I did. I remember getting cranky because people weren’t where I wanted them to be. Looking back, I wish I had extended more grace, remembering people’s sacrifices for me. One of the best ways to do that is to spend some time celebrating and thanking your people on your wedding day. Write your mom and future mother-in-law a note and gift them something sweet to remind them how much they mean to you.
Visit them shortly after your wedding day.
Now that you’re a Mrs and life is settling down again, your parents may become nervous that you’ll be pushing them out of your life. Although your relationship with them has shifted and your priority is now your husband, you can still work to create strong ties. I became more intentional with my parents after my wedding day by calling more frequently and traveling down when I could. I wanted them to know they were still valuable to me.