Allowing Your Parents To Feel The Love

by | Wedding Planning Wisdom, Wisdom, Wise Words


Ms Chevron

Your parents have raised you – whether it’s been your mother, father, step-parents, foster parents, grandparents or guardians. Either way, you are their little girl or boy getting married. They are proud of you and (most of them!) want to be involved.

If you are the only son/daughter, it will be tough. This is their one and only chance to be involved as mother or father of the groom/bride. If you are the first to be married, it will be tough. This is their first time, and they are novices. If you are the second, third, sixth, or last to wed, it will be tough. They now know how it works, and both suggestions and comparisons will flow thick and fast.

There is only one word to describe how you can handle your parents – gracefully.

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Keep reminding yourself that they are just as excited, may be just as new at this, or at the very least just want to help you out. Generally speaking, they have the best intentions at heart, and don’t want to railroad your wedding (or if they do, then I suggest sitting down and having a deep and meaningful to work out your conflicts and come to some sort of agreement).

Have some grace, rather than a screaming match. Step into their shoes, rather than stating it’s all about you. Take a minute to look at the experience psychologically, how all parties are feeling, and make decisions from there. Weddings are contagious – the excitement and the plans – and your parents are just as likely to be consumed as you are.

The bottom line is they want to be appreciated and know that they still matter to you even though you are starting a life with another.

Let them know you understand this, and want them to be part of this special time too. Find an area of your wedding where you are happy for them to take control and make it their little project to work out. It could be anything from researching car companies, to putting together invites, to arranging your bridal shower. Give them boundaries if necessary and let them know how they can help within your plans.

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If your parents are financially contributing in any way, then there is even more reason to be graceful and grateful. After all, you may not be able to have what you’re planning without their financial assistance. Again, it is a good idea to discuss boundaries in this situation. There needs to be a balance between the two extremes of you simply handing them the invoice or them making all the decisions without your input.

The key is to compromise on the aspects that aren’t as important to you, but stand your ground by explaining why you want a particular aspect of the wedding a certain way. Whilst they are paying and are entitled to have a say or an opinion, it shouldn’t be lorded over you, nor used as a bribe to get their way. Financial contribution should be given as a gift and not used as a measure of control.

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Ultimately, healthy discussion, honesty, expression of gratitude, and gentle boundaries will go along way to making your relationships during this time a positive experience.

Images by Katie Takes a Picture

Want more? Check out these posts from the archives:

  • Allowing Your Parents To Feel The Love | lacing raindrops says:
    May 2, 2013 at 10:42 am

    […] So here is my take on how to do just that via Polka Dot Bride – Allowing Your Parents To Feel The Love […]

  • Carly says:
    May 2, 2013 at 11:23 am

    We are so fortunate to have my parents financing our wedding, with the NZ>AUD currency exchange to deal with as well. So far so good, we’re collaborating well. They shocked me right at the start… they came over to Melbourne not long after we got engaged to celebrate with us. I had my eye on a venue at Sorrento so we planned to head down there on a Saturday. In the car I asked them what they’d been up to the previous day… turns out they’d checked out ELEVEN venues along Port Philip Bay! (I chose to get married in my adopted hometown, but the one sticking point was it had to be by the sea). Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron was their favourite and when Chris and I went to check it out ourselves the following weekend, we also fell in love. But when we found out their minimum spend – regardless of our choice of a Friday night wedding – we all had a bit of a gulp. But after a few days to think about it they chose to go ahead regardless and I still struggle to express to them how grateful I am for such a gorgeous canvas to stage our ceremony and reception. My gratitude has grown even greater over the last week as mum and I settled on, and dad paid the rather substantial deposit on, my dream dress from Mariana Hardwick that will be made to measure. I think it took mum a little while to get over the surprise that I wanted a vintage themed wedding (well, a mix of classic & vintage) – and that I wanted to wear lace! – but she’s been an absolute gem. And I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ve changed a whole lot since I moved to Melbourne four years ago and sometimes it takes them a little while to catch up with that fact. Our wedding day will be all the more special because of the love, support and generosity of our parents, and because we’ll have worked together to pull it off 🙂

  • Melissa- Mine Forever Celebrant Services says:
    May 3, 2013 at 10:23 am

    I will always remember what my dad said to me in the car on my wedding day (almost 18 years ago)…
    “When you have a little girl you are waiting for this day her whole life!”.
    It was then that I knew that it wasn’t just about me. I tell all of my brides that story and I hope it helps to navigate the emotions in the lead up to the big day.

    Wishing everyone a wonderful wedding.

    M x

  • Melanie McNiven says:
    May 5, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Lovely images… interesting topic. Dealing with parents with big pictures is always and will always be a tough one.



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