“Your family might drive you crazy...." -Newlywed Friend
At the time, I didn’t think too much about this, I was distracted with the new shiny ring on my finger. But about 4 months into the planning, I was completely agreeing with her.
Chances are that you’ve probably spent the first months after your wedding stocking up on bridal magazines, religiously watching TLC’s Bride Day, or watching every wedding movie scene. You’ve got a vision, but at least one member of your family will have a completely different idea.
The result? Everyone starts acting crazy. Mom is upset you didn’t like her pick for the dress. Dad is stressed about the upcoming bill. Your brother is trying to convince you that his 5-piece punk-rock band will make the best entertainment for your sixties-style wedding.
Don’t transform Bridezilla; you are not alone in the emotional rollercoaster. In Allison Moir-Smith’s book Emotionally Engaged, the root of the drama is broken down into these main points:
1) Money is either love or power: Yes, money is always an issue. Some parents will offer to pay for the wedding as a gesture of love, encouragement, or congratulations. If your grandma ever slipped you a fiver, it was usually out of love. If you refuse, you are insulting them. However, the flip side of this is when your mom refused to buy you those expensive pink shoes in grade school. You begged, but since you didn’t have the cash, you never owned them. Depending on your family dynamic, the wedding will fall under one of these categories.
Similarly, if you are having a very traditional Hispanic wedding, you may have padrinos (sponsors) who will offer to pay for individual elements of the wedding. This is traditionally an element for mass, like arras (coins).
Have a brief but necessary chat with whoever is writing the checks. Be honest in communicating your preferences. Be respectful, but be aware that you may upset them. In some cases, they may even threaten to pull their contribution. Perhaps you can budget to pay for the must-have elements to avoid an argument.
2) Wedding = Change
Many people view weddings as a window for change. Your parents most likely are realizing that you are now all grown up. Maybe your mom feels that wedding planning is the last real occasion that they will see you as their little girl. Your friends may fear that you will slip away into the “married people” oblivion and never see you in a bar again. It might be a good idea to schedule a girls night in the midst of all the planning. Try to limit the wedding talk, just have a good time with good company.
3) Communicate & Ask Questions: Nine times out of ten, “I’m fine” means “something is upsetting me.” Your family, friends, and society are guilty as well. Ask questions, and speak up. Try your best to communicate clearly, and compromise where you can but remember you won’t please everyone.