Thursday, April 30, 2009

Your shrink is right: it is your mother's fault

I have come to a conclusion about weddings and the difficulties that brides usually run into in planning them.

Like most psychiatrists generally diagnose: it is all the Mother's fault.

I had an email conversation with a fellow blogger about the number of people that her mother was strongly suggesting she invite to her wedding. In the end, she (the bride) decided that it was simply not a battle worth fighting, and gave in to her mother's request. She had similar issues over showers, as well.

And this is very much a recurring theme...talk to any girl who was recently or soon will be married, and she will tell you that she did things that she didn't want to because her mother "made her". Mothers of the Groom are no picnic, either...but that is not the point of this post (and mine is a total dream helper:-)).

Now, think about the girls you know who had super low-stress wedding processes...and I can almost guarantee that their mothers were pretty uninvolved in the process. Or, in the case of several of my favorite girls (and me) they didn't have a Mother. My intention is obviously not to gloat about the virtues of losing your parents...but I am becoming convinced that the Mother of the Bride is a very common source for a large part of the stress of planning a wedding.

Example: it is very commonly suggested that "You have to invite entire groups of people. You can't invite just some of your cousins...you have to invite all of them or none of them." This is, in my most humble opinion, absolutely inane. Seriously...how dumb is that? Someone is entitled to be invited to your wedding because you happen to really like someone else who is related to you in the same way? And yes, I completely understand the rationale behind it and the social custom...but when a lot of weddings can cost a couple hundred bucks a person, it is an awful lot to foist on someone in the name of social graces [caveat: if the mother of the bride is paying the bill...well, then this is all moot, she can do whatever she wants:-P]

I had a friend who invited five people that she had never met before because she wanted to invite several or her second cousins that she knew quite well, and was told that she had to observe this rule. Well I have a new rule: if I don't know you, I am not inviting you. I don't want to meet anyone at my wedding for the first time (unless, of course, they are the guest of someone I did invite...in which case, I still didn't invite them: someone else did:-P).

But who enforces these kinds of rules? Usually, I am guessing that it is the Bride's mother. Somehow, there is a feeling that someone might be offended if someone else is invited in favor of them. Call me callous, but "someone" can blow it out of his or her ass...that is a pretty selfish thing to get offended over. I don't have a lot of use for people who can't understand that space and cost concerns, as well as personal preference, might mean that I can't invite them to my wedding even though I may want to.

Anyway, I am off track from my basic point: the stress in planning a wedding is largely a function of the involvement of the Bride's Mother.

Discuss.

12 comments:

Becky said...

I am very fortunate that my parents paid for my wedding entirely, but I still had plenty of moments of tension with my mother. One day, we were at lunch during the planning and I reminded my mom that this was my wedding. She looked at me across the table, took my hand, and said “It’s my wedding too honey”.

dawn said...

I agree with EVERYTHING you said!

I got lucky. Well, my mother died when I was four years old, so "lucky" may not be the right word here. But I got lucky in that my mother-in-law planned and organized my entire wedding. Totally stress-free for me.

Years before I got married -- many years before -- my father had told me about all these business acquaintances of his that would be invited to my wedding. I asked if I knew them. He said I did not. I said, "Why would they be invited then?" to which he replied, "Because." So I guess he intended it to be a business meeting too!??!?!

Anyway, we ended up having a small wedding where my in-laws live (Florida) so it wasn't feasible for my father to invite all these people and make them travel. But, really, it could have happened! Nutty-kookoo.

A said...

Right on, girlie girl. When my cousin Liz got married, my aunt could NOT STOP with the guest list. As a result, she paid insane amounts of money for 500 people to be at the very luxurious wedding.

And, three years later, they are divorced.

Katie said...

I'm going to completely disagree with you on this post. My mom was very involved in my wedding planning, but instead of making it a stressful time for me she took the ENTIRE burden off me. She let me make all the major decisions, but she did all of the legwork.

I may be the exception to the rule though.

Amy said...

Amen Sister! I knew I wasn't the only one out there!!! :) I did fail to mention that my parents are paying for almost the entire wedding (my mom is paying for the most) so when you have that kind of help it is hard to put your foot down. While my fiance and I love that our parents are helping, we do feel like they've got us and it's hard to voice our opinions.

HappyascanB said...

Completely agree. For the most part, my husband and I paid for our wedding. My mom was very low key and let me do my thing. We have an excellent relationship, so I didn't expect any drama. Didn't have any, either. But I have totally seen the MOB (and MOG) completely wreak havoc on a wedding! It definitely happens!!!

mamalouise said...

I always tell brides that if your parents are paying they are going to lose COMPLETE sight of the fact that this is about YOU and YOUR FIANCE and instead only worry about the party they are throwing. If the parents are paying, it will probably be the biggest shin dig they have ever throwin in their lives so they feel like they can invite whomever and have a say in whatever. Its one of the main reasons I am so glad to not be on the "boob" anymore! My dad paid for our wedding, parents divorced, my mom could have cared less...and MIL was VERY opinoinated...so I think it totally depends on the situation but I bet you are right that MOST of the time it is the mother of the bride! I definetely met people for the first time at our wedding but my hubby is from a big family that LOVES to go to weddings within family. And to that I say...maybe no one should bitch about this guest list factoid. Shouldn't we all be flattered that people WOULD be offended to not be included? And that people who haven't met us want to be there to celebrate in our nuptials?

SoMi's Nilsa said...

AMEN! I had a very low-stress wedding because my parents were saints. And also because Sweets' parents were saints. And also because Sweets and I put our feet down a few times, denying requests our parents made that we thought were inappropriate. And finally, whenever my parents wanted to invite people I've never met, I told them they could invite whomever they wanted so long as they were paying for it. Otherwise, a big fat NO to the people I don't know. =)

Lori S-C said...

You are absolutely right. Mostly my parents wedding. You don't need thos relatives you don't know to be there. If I were to do it again, I'd do immediate family or elope.

Ys said...

My intention is obviously not to gloat about the virtues of losing your parents... That made me laugh out loud! Hehehe...

Anyway, your point... I'm not sure I can add anything. I've seen my aunt go mad over my cousin's wedding... but then she also forced my cousin into marrying her first husband. Needless to say they were soon divorced. I'm lucky: my mother is in no way interested in taking over my wedding. She's just not girlie-girl enough ;)

Jenica said...

"if I don't know you, I am not inviting you."

This was our rule too. (Thankfully, my mom was easy going enough to not have a heart attack over it.) It worked well, and we were able to focus on the people who are important to us.

Aaron said...

I'm certain Sarah didn't have this problem... her dad, however...