Ask the Wedding Maven: My Mom is Crazy and Controlling

by Marta
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Dear Maven,
I'm going nuts, because my mom is trying to take over my entire wedding, She decided she wants assigned seats for her list, none of my friends are going to have assigned seats or the groom’s family, but her guests are going to have assigned seats. I think it’s the dumbest idea ever yet my mom won't back down.

She needs to realize that this is MY wedding not hers, and I’m beyond pissed with her, because no one is even going to take the seating seriously. I know for a fact that people will switch seats and move around because it’s a dumb idea. Next situation, I bought gorgeous shoes that I LOVE, that I paid for myself, and they were $80, which is expensive but I don't think horrible, and they are about 3 inches but not that uncomfortable. My mom wants me to take them back, and get $20 shoes that she likes. The problem is finding shoes has been impossible I couldn't find anything comfortable I liked, and I finally found these that I love, and I’m not taking them back, so my mom is freaking out about that.

Next my mom wants the wedding party to detour back to her house in O’Fallon to freshen up and eat sandwiches and I had to flip out on her just to get that idea out of her head, we don't have time and we don't want to go and waste three hours of our wedding day hanging out at the house, we have a damn party bus for a reason.

Not just that, she has clearly told me it’s "her day", the wedding isn't all about me, and that I’m dramatic and a bridezilla,

My mom is paying for the reception and my dress, that’s IT, oh and she paid for some of the flowers.She thinks that everything should be her way, she even wants to go over the play list to make sure it’s appropriate. Well it’s not her decision. I've just had it with that woman. I really want no help from her anymore. Oh yeah I forgot to add; she is making my veil for $7 because she doesn’t want to spend $50 on the veil I want. She went out and bought my bridesmaids their gifts months ago with out even asking me, and now I "owe" her for them. I'm sick and tired 100% and I’ve just had it. I need advice, because I can't take it anymore. She is stressing me out, and pissing me off, and I can't even be excited about my own wedding … please help!
Signed
Stressed Daughter

Dear Stressed,
You say that your mom needs to realize that this is your wedding, not hers. There’s one, very easy way to do that – pay for the wedding yourself.

Your mom sounds a little kooky and controlling, but you really aren’t helping the situation by acting like a spoiled teenager “flipping out” on her because she invited you and your friends over for sandwiches and complaining about her making you a veil instead of buying you one. If you want the $50 veil, then buy it, and maybe buy your own dress while you’re at it.

It would be nice if your mother offered to pay for things without strings attached, but that isn’t who she is, and my guess is that since she’s your mom, you already know that. Instead, you two are repeating a pattern you’ve probably had for years. She pays for things, and tries to control things. In return, you lash out and act like a brat, further convincing her that you aren’t mature enough to handle things on your own and she needs to be in control. The bottom line is if she’s paying for things, these decisions are in fact hers to make.

Now that you’re getting married, why don’t you try and start a new phase in your relationship with your mother as well. Take a deep breath and make a decision.
Which is more important to you, having things how you want them, or having your mom pay for the wedding.

If you want to have your mom pay for the wedding, that doesn’t mean you have to give up complete control, but you do have to accept that she has strong opinions, and a right to voice them and in some cases, enforce them. Instead of yelling at her about the seating assignments, ask her what her concern is (and by the way, I think everyone should have assigned tables for dinner, it’s much easier and kinder to the guests). Instead of fighting over your shoes, let her know that you appreciate her making your veil. Let her see the playlist, and if she has objections, listen to them, and then decide whether or not to pass them on to the band.

If you want to gain complete control over your wedding, then nicely let your mom know that you appreciate all she’s done for you, but that you realize having her pay for the wedding isn’t really the grown up thing to do. Write her a check for the money she’s already spent. She’s still your mother, so you do need to talk to her and listen to her, but if she isn’t paying for the wedding she’ll have much less ground to stand on when trying to enforce her views.

Remember, your life isn’t a movie, so this wedding is not the end of the story. Your mom is part of your life and changing the way that the two of you interact will have a long lasting impact.

About the Wedding Maven

If you need wedding advice or have a question about wedding traditions, etiquette or relationships write weddingmaven@onewed.com