Photo: Moshe Zusman
A lot of couples plan their weddings without any input from their families now that the brides and grooms are paying for most everything themselves. True, you have to let your parents have more say if they're paying the tab. But the fact that they're not writing the checks doesn't mean that your mom doesn't have some really good advice.
Traditionally, mothers helped their daughters with all of the wedding plans. Most of our moms didn't even get to plan their own weddings. Although times have changed, that doesn't mean you should shut your mother out of your wedding planning just because you can. Mom has a lot of good advice to offer, and there's no rule you have to take any suggestion that you don't like.
Here are three examples of things you should ask your mom:
1. Who MUST Be Invited to the Wedding
Your mother knows who you have to invite, and who you can get away with skipping, when making your guest list. Remember, she's been around longer than you and she remembers that two of your aunts didn't speak for years after one didn't let the other bring her children to a wedding. There are some people who were special in your life when you are younger that you might not think to invite, but who your mother would never fail to remember when she thinks of you growing up. Talk with your mom about your guest list, and make sure you don't skip anybody who should receive an invitation to the biggest day of your life so far.
2. What China, Silver, or Crystal She Thinks You Should Register For
Your mom has two sets of important information to give you on this. First, she knows what things she already has that she intends to give you when you start your own household. In my case, I didn't need to register for silver because my mother had another set of family sterling she wanted to give me. Secondly, your mom knows what sorts of things you really don't need or shouldn't put on your registry. Ask her what she never used, wishes she hadn't gotten, has wasted space storing, etc. Learn from her own mistakes. If she has something you really want that she doesn't appreciate, she might just give it to you right then and there.
3. Who Should Toast at the Wedding Reception
If your parents are divorced, you should give the opportunity to both parents separately to offer a toast to shower their blessings on your marriage. With that said, some parents don't like public speaking, and would prefer not to stand up and make remarks. And not all divorced parents are unable to play well together. I've seen many divorced parents of the bride or groom stand together while one of them made the toast. Let mom decide how she wants to handle it. Traditionally, only dad toasted. But now mom can claim her own spotlight if she chooses.
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events and author of How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show Wedding Island, about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques.