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Regardless of where you and your parents may fall on the Bridezilla/Momzilla scale, there will be times when you won't things see eye to eye. We asked wedding planners Amy Katz, founder of Amy Katz Events and Nicolle Sellers, principal planner at Mother of the Bride, to share the most common planning disagreements they encounter and offer their wise advise on how to resolve them.
1. The Guest List
Parents don't want to feel limited in how many people they can invite to the wedding, says Katz. "This becomes an especially sticky subject if they also happen to be footing the bill." The key to navigating the issue is to be respectful of feelings at all times. "Don't yell or fight," warns Katz. "Instead, sit down together and make a joint list of who the most important people are to the families and how realistic it is to accommodate everyone given the venue and budget. Any reasonable parent will understand that they shouldn't invite 10 work clients that have never even met the couple if that means the bride's college roommates would need to be cut."
2. The Invitation Wording
Invitations might look pretty and pristine, but they can be the source of a lot of tension. "Sometimes if the bride's family is paying for the entire wedding, they can get adamant that the groom's parents' names not be anywhere on the invitation," explains Katz. Unfortunately, this may cause the groom to feel slighted and starting off a marriage with a bride vs. groom family feud is never a good idea. "There are ways to list names in order on the invitation that makes it clear who is the host," Katz says. "Your best bet is to have your wedding planner — an expert who has dealt with this before and can bring an impartial view to the situation."
3. The Open Bar
"A lot of disagreements between the couple and their parents come down to the bar," says Sellers. "Whether it's because they want guests to drink responsibly or because it's such a large line item on the budget, many parents want to cap how long the open bar lasts, whereas the couple may want it to go all night." An easy fix? "Split the cost of the bar," suggests Sellers.
4. The More Traditional Aspects of a Wedding
Keep in mind that norms have changed a lot in the past 30 to 50 years, when your parents had their wedding, says Katz. "For example, now couples don't think twice about having a dessert bar or a coffee bar, but when the parents were getting married, the proper thing to do was to have coffee service at the table. Both sides need to compromise a little if they're getting worked up over these types of details."
Another traditional part of the wedding that many parents find important but couples find less so is having a receiving line. "Parents see the receiving line as an opportunity for the couple to thank people who have traveled to see them and brought them a gift," says Sellers. If you have a lot of older relatives who are attending your wedding, Sellers recommends that couples compromise on this to avoid any hurt feelings. "But if a receiving line is not possible because of time or space constraints, then couples should specifically make a point to greet and thank their guests individually."