Monday, May 19, 2008

Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?

I read an interesting thread on one of my favorite blogs today, Off Beat Bride, about how to keep control of your wedding if the parent’s are paying for it. The topic got me thinking about whose wedding it really is.

I know, I know; it’s yours. You have dreamed of it for years, that magical moment when your own personal Prince Charming meets you at the end of the most important Red-Carpet event of your life. It’s about romance and wonder and committing your life to another. Let me see if I can give you another perspective.

When my sister was in the throws of marrying off her too oldest daughters within months of each other she was a basket case and so were my nieces. She asked me one day how I had managed to pull off not one but two weddings with our mother, a noted diva with more than a few control issues, without fighting once. My answer at the time was simple,”Because I knew whose wedding it was.”

The first wedding was your standard country club affair complete with all of Mother’s friends on the guest list and her checkbook to finance it. I knew the minute she opened her wallet whose wedding it was and I went with that. This wasn’t about me or my groom; it was about my mom’s last send off to a daughter that she had raised. I think that as far as some parent’s view it, it is for them the “Big Reveal” kind of the attitude of “there, I did it and didn’t I do well.” I am not saying I agree with that attitude, I’m just saying what is.

The way I handled it was too let her know what aspects were very important to me and let her have free reign on the rest. Was it the wedding of dreams? Not mine maybe, but without a doubt hers. What was great about it from my point of view was that rather than dealing with every detail; we had a beautiful party thrown in our honor. It made us able to enjoy the sentiment and meaning of the day in a way I never could have if it I had been fretting over every detail. Not everyone’s cup of tea but this time it worked for me.

My second, much lower keyed affair was totally mine; in a park, in a sundress with less than 30 people. It suited us perfectly as a couple. In this instance, Mom knew whose wedding it was. She was the guest and I was the hostess. We did have one tiny spat about my choice of shoes. Many, many years later she picked up the phone to call and tell me that I had made the right choice to wear flats. That is a phone call I will always remember.

My point in all this is to really figure out what this wedding represents to both you and your mom. You may be surprised at how different your points of views are. Knowing the answer to this can tell you what direction to take; and honoring that may save you years of buried resentment.


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