Photo: New Line/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection
My husband teases my mom because she once referred to my wedding to my husband as "OUR wedding." She was very helpful in the planning, contributed to the tab generously, and did a lot to save my butt after we had to fire the wedding planner and I needed somebody to take care of things on my wedding day while I was getting made up. But despite how we tease her, she never thought my wedding was her wedding.
It's not uncommon for parents who are helping with your wedding to feel like it's their big day too — it is! You're their child and you're getting married and they're excited to celebrate with you. Having a supportive family makes all the difference. Sometimes, it can get a little hinky though if the mother of the bride (MOB) takes too much ownership of her daughter's big day.
Occasionally, we've encountered "Diva MOBs" who really do believe that they are the most important women at the wedding. Over the years, I've had two different mothers cause their daughters to go down the aisle more than an hour late because they weren't ready. And it was not the stylist's fault in either case. No, the wedding could not start without the MOB and she knew it. And every minute she dragged it out, the bride lost time from her reception because the clock doesn't stop just because the wedding party is running behind schedule.
See More: 5 Ways to Avoid Being a Momzilla
I know we've got a Diva MOB en route when the bride tells me about how she has been battling over the guest list because mom put a whole bunch of people she doesn't know on it, and is insisting she get more invites than the fiancé's family. Warring over the flavor of the wedding cake is another red flag — why does the mother of the bride really care? Demanding a say in the choice of wedding gown isn't uncommon, but forcing the bride to select something that she doesn't love is downright selfish.
Most brides with diva moms know it, and have lived with it for years because their moms have always made all their daughter's big moments about themselves. Even when the MOB behaves outrageously, these brides are rarely surprised because that's how her mother acts whenever the party isn't for her. In fact, most of the brides with difficult MOBs just want us to do whatever we need to do to make their moms happy so that mom doesn't make them miserable on their own wedding night.
What can a bride do to make the experience less about her mother so she can focus on the new life she's beginning that day? Ask one of your mom's friends or your aunt to help you by giving your mother 100 percent of her attention on your wedding day. If they really love you and truly know your mom, they'll understand why you need their help. And they'll do their best to play your buffer.
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events, a full-service traditional and destination wedding planning company and Do-It-Yourself wedding planning consulting service for DIY brides and grooms based in the Washington, DC area. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show "Wedding Island," about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques. Sandy's book "How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional," will be released on March 1st, but is available online for pre-orders now where books are sold.