Updated: Nov 26, 2018
Recently a close friend of mine asked for my advise because she had gotten into an argument with her daughter. Her daughter had recently gotten engaged and they were starting the blissful journey of wedding planning. As their conversation began it was all laughs and giggles and dreams of a fairy-tale-come-true type of a wedding. As my friend described it, "it gave me all sorts of good feelings."
And then things turned. And they turned terribly wrong. As the conversation progressed, they started to agree and disagree on many topics.
Which turned into agreeing to disagree.
Which then became a much more heated debate of disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing! Why? They came to a fork in the road when it came to...
WHO SHOULD GET THEIR WAY WHEN IT COMES TO MAKING WEDDING DECISIONS.
THE PARENTS OR THE BRIDE/GROOM TO BE??
They were disagreeing over everything from where the wedding was going to be held to if they were going to give away favors. They argued over what types of food was going to be served to the color of the wedding cake. (The bride wanted a black cake and mama wasn't about to have that!) It really did get ugly from the sounds of it.
Now if you've ever been in this boat, or have experienced any version of it, then you feel the pain of this mother-daughter argument. If you have no idea what I'm talking about and your wedding planning has gone as smooth as butter, then this post isn't for you. This is for all those brides-to-be and their parents who have gone the rounds and don't quite know how to compromise.
And let me tell you, there's legitimate arguments that can be used to back up both the bride and groom and the parent's sides on this. The parents might be saying, "We are the one's who are paying. It's our money, therefore, we get to decide. Wedding's can be A LOT of mullah! How can it be fair to fork out all that cash and not get a say in what happens? Who, what, where, when?! Nope, not gonna happen! Besides, I gave you life! (that line always got thrown around in my household as a joke. haha!)"
While the bride and groom might be saying something along these lines, "You have already had your chance at a wedding, now you need to let me have my own. My wedding day is a once in a lifetime thing. My one chance to pick out my dream dress. My one chance to pick the venue that fits my personality just right. You've had your chance, this is mine!"
Both sides have a good case, right? Well, after a lot of thought and after hearing several sides of this argument, I've come to a professional opinion and know what my answer is without a doubt....
BOTH GET TO DECIDE
While that might seem like an answer that lives in the gray area, this most definitely is a black and white statement. Weddings are one of the biggest celebrations that life has to offer. And as with all big celebrations, it's a team effort and shouldn't be pulled off single-handedly. With that being said, how do you accomplish this task? Because let's face it, even though I claim that my statement is black and white, there are way too many decisions to be made to be able to achieve both parties getting their way. So I've come up with a few key points that can be of assistance when deciding who gets to have the final say.
#1 Budget/Spending Plan
For whoever is paying for the wedding, whether it be fully or partially, a spending plan needs to be made and well known. If the bride has been dreaming of a wedding on the beaches of Hawaii, but the budget only allows for a backyard ceremony, then that needs to be made known and made sure it's clear. If that's a deal breaker, then sorry my dear beautiful bride, you'll need to post-pone the wedding until you can save up for that dream wedding of yours. Nobody should ever be guilted into getting into financial situations that can become problematic. When a bride or groom's parents offer to pay for any part of the wedding, that should be seen as a gift, not an entitlement.
Both the parents and the bride should make a list of their priorities when it comes to the big day. Is the location #1 on the list? Is the menu the most important? Do you just need somewhere that can accommodate the 500 friends and family that are a must on your guest list? Or do you not care who, what, when, or where, you just care about having the time of your life?! Whatever is your priority, then put it on your list. After that list has been made, align your list with the other's. If you find that one thing is important to you and not as important to your parent's, then there's the magic spot that gives room for compromise and a little give and take can happen.