Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ask a Planner... "Mamma Drama"

Dear DreamGroup,

I’m having a really hard time planning my wedding with my mom!  She just doesn’t seem to understand that this is our day and not hers!  I’m so frustrated!! My mom is paying for some of the wedding, but she’s not putting in as much as my fiancé’s parents are and my fiancé and I are putting in some of our own money, but she wants to be involved in every part of the wedding and have a say in every decision!  I can’t believe I’m writing in about this, but I really need some advice on how to deal with this as its getting worse with each passing week. 

Unhappy Daughter

Dear Unhappy,

I’m sorry you are dealing with this situation.  It is most certainly exhausting and stressful.  Take a deep breathe and take some comfort in knowing that you are not alone.  Unfortunately mother-daughter wedding strife is a very common occurrence. Heck, family dynamics is THE #1 STRESSOR during many wedding planning journeys.  It most often stems from a mother’s desire for her daughter’s day to be PERFECT and feeling like her life experiences and passion are the best way to ensure success!  In the process it ends up causing a whole lot of unnecessary stress, arguments, and often tears!  Although there is no guaranteed quick solution to the classic mother-daughter alienations often experienced, there are some steps you can take to minimize the ongoing battles.  

Sit down with your mom and be candid with her about how you are feeling. Use “I feel” statements over “You always” as the latter just adds fuel to an already warmly kindled fire. :O)  Tell her you value her opinion and appreciate her desire to be involved, but that her need to weigh in on every detail and have a say on every decision is taking its toll on you not too mention the fun out of what should be an enjoyable planning experience for everyone involved.  Some other ideas would be to decide on some specific areas that your mom can focus her energy and talents on. i.e. sourcing the perfect linens, collecting all the addresses for the guest list, writing the wording for the invitations, hiring the vintage car, choosing the ceremony music, etc.  If she is delegated specific tasks to take ownership of (ideally ones you don't mind giving up control of) this will allow her to feel heard, involved, and have some bragging rights come the wedding day talking about how she helped make the day PERFECT!  

Although it may not be something you want to hear or think about right now one day I swear you will likely look back and be thankful you had a mom who cared enough to be “annoyingly involved”.  I wish you the best of luck going forward and if all else fails buy our promo t-shirt that says... "You've had your wedding, now let your daughter have hers." lol

Wedding Planner signing off!  Until next week duckies… keep those questions coming in!  Submit your questions by emailing us at


Genève McNally, Principal Planner, DreamGroup Productions

Genève first began her wedding career in 1999 as the Catering Manager for one of Vancouver’s most sought after wedding venues, Brock House Restaurant.  In 2004 Genève and college friend Sarah Shore ambitiously started up what is now one of Vancouver's longest running and most trusted wedding planning companies, DreamGroup Productions Inc.

These days, in addition to working with her clients in a full planning capacity, Genève focuses her attention on the sales and marketing aspects of the company and is most often the friendly voice you will chat with when first inquiring with DreamGroup.  Genève is known to inspire and excite both clients and industry associates alike with her exuberant personality and joie de vivre!  Her ability to be refreshingly candid and her in depth knowledge of the wedding industry have earned her the friendly moniker “Two-Cents McNally”.  Genève also teaches the Wedding Planning classes offered through the dg Academy and is the chief correspondent behind DreamGroup's weekly Blog feature Ask a Planner.

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