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Times have changed — your moms didn't get to plan their own weddings, their moms made all the big decisions. Nowadays, brides and grooms are picking up the bulk of the tab and they want to make the choices for themselves. Having a wedding in your hometown makes it really hard to fight your mother on venue, flowers, and even hotel selection for your guests. You have to learn to say "no." Be nice about it and find a way to include the mother of the bride or mother of the groom if she really wants to help, but you must stand firm about your choices. Here are the four things most likely things you'll have to say "no" to your parents about:
1. The guest list
You want "x" number of guests total, but your parents have more than "x" on their own lists. Let them know they're not obligated to invite every friend who ever invited them to their child's wedding and give them a set number of invites they're allowed to extend.
2. The ceremony plan
Maybe one of you was raised Jewish or Catholic and your parents are insistent that you have a religious ceremony even though neither of you are religious and don't attend church or a synagogue together. A non-denominational minister is very common and you can insert whatever religious influences you want in your ceremony. This is a decision made by you and your future husband — not your parents.
3. Your wedding dress
It's possible your mother doesn't agree with your choice to go strapless or wear a non-white gown. You have to love your dress. And unless mom and dad are picking up the entire tab for the gown, you can tell them thank you but no thank you.
4. Your reception music
Parents are often concerned there won't be enough music for their "older" friends to enjoy at the reception. You can be nice about it and include some of their musical selections during dinner, but when it comes to first dance and party music, it's your choice.
Owner of Weddings in Vieques, a destination-wedding planning company off the coast of Puerto Rico, Sandy Malone has helped countless couples plan their big day since 2007.