How to Love Your Mom & Mother-in-law While Wedding Planning
Every mom wants to feel needed. Sometimes during wedding planning, we get carried away and don’t take time to consider the people we love most. Have you ever heard of the 5 love languages? They’re the different ways that people perceive love. Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Quality Time. This means that while some people feel most loved whenever you say, ‘I love you’, others feel it when you do one of their chores for them. Below are some ideas on how you can love your mom or mother-in-law during your wedding planning. I’ve included ideas for all types of love languages. Some moms will love having attention put on them, while others just want you to set aside some time to spend with them. Making them feel special is really about setting them apart from everyone else, and knowing how your mom or MIL feels the most loved will help you decide on the best way to include her.
Make a special appointment just to shop for her dress. Taking the time and dedicating a day to finding your mom/MIL’s dress is sure to make her feel special.
Let her plan the rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal dinner isn’t a huge facet of your actual wedding day, but it’s something nearly every couple does and a great way to make your mom feel like she’s had special input in your planning process. Plus, it’s one less thing you have to deal with while your mind is busy thinking about flowers and cake.
Invite her to join your Pinterest board. If you mom/MIL is tech savvy, you could ask her to join your board. This will not only help her feel included in your planning but will help her to see your vision. Which may be just the ticket to helping with any planning conflicts. Plus, her opinions on things may be more helpful when she’s seen what you have in mind for the big day.
Go to wedding expos together. Going to wedding expos can be a fun way to find ideas and vendors for your big day. Bring your mom/MIL along to bond, find some vendors, and sample alllll the cake flavors!
Ask her what she’d like to help with the most. Take into consideration what she likes to do and how she can help. She might not appreciate assigning her to helping with cake tasting if she has a gluten allergy, or to helping pick out flowers if she has zero interest in floral arrangements.
Ask her to accompany you to appointments. Most mothers get excited about their children’s weddings. They want to help. They want to know every detail as soon as you decide on one. Bringing her to appointments with you can help her feel involved and in the know about what’s happening during this exciting time.
Ask her about what made her day special/favorite thing about her wedding. Ask your mom/MIL what made her day so special to her and what her favorite things were about her wedding. Then see if there’s a way you could incorporate them into your wedding day. Not only will it make her feel valued and loved but it’ll help add to your day as well. Pro Tip: You could also ask her about things she didn’t like and what you should avoid.
Have RSVPs be sent back to her to be tracked. This option tells everyone who looks at your invitations that your mother/MIL is someone who’s near and dear to you and is helping with the wedding. Not to mention, one less thing for you to have to deal with.
Ask for Emotional Support. Many mothers dread the day they won’t be needed anymore. What they don't always see is that if you have a close relationship with your mom, you never stop needing your mom. Going to your mom when you’re feeling like you really need some emotional support will reassure her that she will always be needed.
Spend the day together. A few days before the wedding, set aside a day for just you and your mom. Get your nails done, get massages, drink champagne, go to lunch, make an entire girls' pampering day out of it. It’s a great time to relax, not think/talk about the wedding and spend some time with your mom before the big day arrives and you start your new life.
Trust her opinion (within reason). Besides the fact that your mom has been through this before, she’s also the most likely to be very honest you. While others may spare your feelings by telling you every dress you try on is magical, your mom knows you best and isn’t likely to let you get something that doesn’t work for you. Of course, if you’re absolutely in love with an aspect of your wedding and your mom doesn’t agree, that doesn’t mean you have to abandon what you want.
Include her in small decisions. If your close, get along well, and really trust her judgement, you can have her help with bigger things like venue, cake and DJ. But most couples want to make these decisions on their own. Having your mom/MIL help with smaller decisions like invitation wording and color, or what you should use for guest favors will help her feel included without putting your whole wedding in her hands. Pro Tip: Narrow down your decisions to your top two or three and have her choose from those. This ensures you're getting something you love, while still sharing important, meaningful responsibilities with her.
Let her get ready with you. Letting your mom/MIL get ready with you is sure to make her feel included since you’re are physically including her on your big day! Being a part of this special time with you and your girls won’t take anything from you and really makes her feel special.
Now, I know that not everyone has a great relationship with their mom or MIL. In some cases, wedding planning can bring out some sides of these ladies you may not have seen before. A lot of this can come down to them wanting to feel included and loved. I have some ideas for loving a mom/MIL who may be elevating things to a Kardashian drama level when you just wanna be bride-chilla, not bride-zilla.
Be understanding. Some mothers/MIL just can’t cope with (or haven’t realized) the fact that their child is now an adult who can make their own decisions. Some never had a real wedding of their own. Some get so carried away in the excitement, that they can’t help injecting all their thoughts into your day. Some have envisioned what their child’s wedding would be like since they were little and lose sight of the fact that this is your day and it may not be what they thought it would be. Some are so excited with the new trends that they want so badly to be a part of them. Weddings today are not what they used to be. Sometimes they're bigger and more creative and some moms/MILs just can’t help but get swept up in the things that they didn’t get to do as part of their own wedding. Whatever the reason for the overbearing mom/MIL, try to be understanding of how they’re feeling right now and why they may be feeling this way.
Assert yourself as an adult. It comes as no surprise that your mom will always think of you as her little girl. So, when it comes to your wedding, she may have a hard time grasping that you can do this, that she's raised you to be able to handle all of these decisions and responsibilities and this next stage of your life. Nicely and calmly letting her know what you, as an adult, can handle this and while you appreciate her input and opinion, you’d really like to do this as a couple. Reassure her that you will still need her throughout the process, but she needs to wait for you to invite her help.
Be firm in your vision (but leave room for their ideas). Your mom has probably envisioned your wedding day at some point or another and if your ideas don’t match what she always thought they’d be, she may try to persuade you. As they say, pick your battles. Stay firm on things that are a must for you and your fiancé but try to find small ways you could include her ideas. As long as they fit with your overall vision and don’t compromise your happiness.
Give them a project/ask her to help with things that don’t require opinions. Assigning your struggling loved one to a project that doesn’t require an opinion, like stuffing envelopes or assembling favors, is a great way to make them feel like they’re involved in your planning without letting them completely take over. See above for more ideas :)
Invite her to join your Pinterest Board. Yes, this one has already been listed. But I feel it also has a place here. If you ask her to join your Pinterest board she’ll be able to see your vision for your wedding right off the bat. Understanding what you want from your big day may help her keep her thoughts to a minimum or redirect them to be helpful. Of course, this could backfire if she decides to load your board up with all her own ideas. Pro Tip: If you’re worried she’ll just fill the board with all her own ideas, create two wedding boards. One that’s just for you and one that you invite her to. This way she can fill the one up with her ideas and you’ll still be able to see all your own pins without searching.
It can be hard to remember to love our fiancé, parents, wedding party, and everyone in between while we're wedding planning because we can get so caught up in all of the decisions and choices. Know that these people closest to you love you more than anything, and they want to be loved in return. We may not always know right away why our moms start behaving differently during the wedding planning process, but if you try a few of the ideas listed above, I think you'll very quickly notice a big difference and love them even more.
Sending you all the love and positive thoughts,