Photo: New Line Cinema/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection
Whether you're struck with a case of wedding anxiety, trying to deal with certain expectations from your own friends, or just feel like you know what's best, it can be easy to stray from the role of being the supportive mother-of-the-bride (or groom) and veer into the dreaded Momzilla territory.
"Momzillas are definitely a thing," says Sarah Pease, founder and Creative Director of Brilliant Event Planning. "For whatever reason, they feel like they have to take over the wedding. Unfortunately, this makes the whole event less enjoyable for everyone, including themselves."
Below, Pease outlines five simple rules that'll ensure you come out of the wedding calm, collected, and known as the "cool mom."
1. Be up-front about any strings that are attached to financial gifts.
If you're contributing to the wedding financially, then it's not wrong to think that you have a voice in some of the decisions. But avoid being a disagreeable Momzilla later on, and have very clear conversations with the couple at the beginning about what strings, if any, are attached to the gift. "Make sure you pick your battles and don't insist you have your way with everything," advises Pease. "Consider what your top priorities are — for example, having a wedding cake or having a live band instead of a DJ — and voice your opinions early so the bride and groom can plan with your suggestions in mind."
2. Don't drag your heels when it comes to making vendor choices.
A big part of wedding planning is making decisions — and it's a fantastic thing if the bride and groom are decisive in what they want, whether it's centerpiece colors or venue choices. "As a parent, don't drag your heels and be unable to pull the trigger if you're involved in any of this decision making," says Pease. "Not only can it delay the process and potentially cause the bride and groom to miss out on very in-demand vendors, but it can also cause the couple to second guess themselves, which creates a lot of additional stress."
3. Don't take things personally.
The wedding planning process, etiquette, and options have changed since when you might have planned your wedding, explains Pease. "Don't take things personally if the couple has something different in mind than what you do. Nine times out of 10, decisions the couple make have to do with their own taste, not to hurt the parents."
4. Have realistic expectations.
It's easy to become disappointed and let your inner Momzilla slip if you don't have realistic expectations of the planning process. "With so many guests, emotions, and different moving parts, there's bound to be some conflict. Be realistic about this less pleasant part of wedding planning and help to find solutions instead of adding to the stress by being upset about people being upset."
5. Don't micromanage.
Help your daughter pick vendors you trust, and trust them to do a good job, says Pease. Don't micromanage them during the planning process, which could strain the relationship, and on the day of the wedding, definitely don't harp on every little detail. "But most importantly, if you do notice that something needs to be changed or fixed, tell the planner, not the couple," Pease advises. "The bride and groom are on cloud nine — the last thing they need is for Mom to throw a fit over a detail they didn't even notice."