Dealing with a momzilla

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amazinggrace223 Posts : 10 Registered: 11/14/08
Dealing with a momzilla
Posted: Nov 14, 2008 9:53 AM

Sorry in advance if this is long!

I'm planning a wedding for early next October, and I'm having a really hard time dealing with my mom. I'm an only child, so I guess it's no surprise that she's so invested in my wedding, but the stress she's putting on me is almost more than I can take!

First, let me just say that my parents are planning on paying for the wedding, and I am very grateful for that. Yes, I realize that they get a say since they are paying. It would be a LOT easier for us to refuse their money and to do what we want to do, but trust me - if we refused it, they would be even MORE upset. I think they've been saving up for this since I was born.

The main issue is where to get married. My fiance and I want to get married in the city we live in now, which is an hour away from my hometown. My mom threw a fit as soon as we told her this and said that it's "tradition" to get married in the hometown of the bride. However, we aren't really traditional people, and we wanted to make things as easy as possible on ourselves and our guests (our city is a good in-between point for our families, because my FI is not from the same town that I am). Plus, my hometown is small, and decent wedding venues are few and far between. And the decent ones that do exist? Everyone in town has been to multiple weddings at those places. We kind of wanted to do something a little unique and different. 

But, we wanted to compromise, so we appeased her and found a couple of places in my hometown that were "okay" that we would be willing to have our wedding at. Both of the places that we found are outdoor areas and would require a little more work to decorate, which is not what she had in mind, so she's throwing another fit. I've come to realize that there's only one place in town that she wants us to have our wedding at, and neither my FI or I were crazy about it.

She'll send me e-mails almost daily rationalizing why the place she picked is better than the places I picked, and she gets really snappy when I don't agree. She also frequents a few wedding websites and CONSTANTLY sends me pictures and reminders and even GUILT trips about why I need to start buying stuff NOW NOW NOW because if I wait even another week all of the decorations are going to be gone or marked up. She'll ask me what I want, as far as centerpieces, decor, etc., and when I tell her, she'll disagree. She'll go out and get stuff and make a centerpiece that SHE likes, and e-mail it to me while I'm at work. When I tell her that it's not really what I had in mind, she snaps again. 

I can tell that she already has her vision of my wedding in her head, and anytime I disagree with her vision, she gets upset about it. I have enough stress at work - the LAST thing I need is dealing with a pushy mom. The worst thing is, I'm a total people-pleaser, so I let myself get pushed around, and I'm afraid that I'm going to end up with a wedding that I don't even like. Any advice on how to deal? 


NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: Dealing with a momzilla
Posted: Nov 14, 2008 10:03 AM Go to message in response to: amazinggrace223

I hate to say this, since I know what it's like to deal with pushy Moms  (my MIL was a nightmare) but the only way you can have it how YOU want it is to pay for it yourselves.

I know you said your parents would be hurt, but maybe you can work something out.  Maybe offer to pay for the reception site YOU both want and then they can pay for everything else?  I think a compromise like that is the only solution here.....


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Dealing with a momzilla
Posted: Nov 14, 2008 10:28 AM Go to message in response to: amazinggrace223

Dear AG,

You say your parents would be hurt if you opted to pay for your wedding yourself, and left Mom out of the planning?

How about the hurt and irritation you feel with the way your mom is treating you?

My suggestion to you is this. Sit down with your FH and see what kind of money you have in hand and can save between now and W-Day. Now that you have a total, make a budget for the kind of wedding you would like, at the location you prefer and for the number of guests you would like to invite.

Go as far in your planning as possible, without making actual committments.

Now, go to Mom and lay it out on the table. You have X budget of your own and you are prepared to cut her out entirely of the planning. She will be, of course, invited as an honored guest, but all decisions, as well as all payments, will be made by you.

She'll freak out of course. Let her.

Then, wait a few days and see if she makes any kind of counteroffer. The fact that you have (1) money in hand and (2) solid, realistic plans should sober her up.

I think you are making too much of the fact you are an only child. Theoretically, that should not enter into the equation. You need to live your own life as you see fit, regardless of the number of siblings you have or don't have.


MrsMcCain Posts : 580 Registered: 10/24/07
Re: Dealing with a momzilla
Posted: Nov 14, 2008 10:50 AM Go to message in response to: amazinggrace223

I think that you just need to have a heart to heart with her. It seems that you are not a very confrontational person, but if you don't say something to her she will keep acting the way that she is. There are nice ways to do this. Simply invite her over, or go to dinner and tell her how you feel. Tell her that you feel overwhelmed and that the things you show her are what you really want and that you really want to get married in the city that you live in now. It seems like she is disregarding your feelings because she doesn't realize how important this is for you. She is your mom, she loves you, and eventually she will realize that she wants you to be happy on your wedding day. Just make sure you keep her in the planning process somehow. Good luck.


HillyBride92008 Posts : 207 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Dealing with a momzilla
Posted: Nov 14, 2008 10:58 AM Go to message in response to: amazinggrace223

As I am an only child as well, and had encounter a few moments like this, so I completely understand.

My mom and I would get in a tiff to which she would say "But I'm the MOTHER of the BRIDE!!!!!!!!!

to which I would then turn and say "Yeah, but IIII'MMMM the BRIDE, this is MY wedding not yours" and then wait to see her reaction. For the most part, she just let me do things my way, as she doesn't like to plan parties and stuff, so it was easy. There really was only one time we had that argument, and we both stormed off. Now my Nana (moms mom) was a different story. We had battles over guests, decor, etc. You name it, we fought about it. She even told me "fine, I see you like your dad's side better than your mom's"...she knows thats not true, she was just trying to guilt trip me.

A bit catty on my part with my mom...yeah, but I'm a firm believer in standing up for what you believe in. I WILL NOT let someone else decorate my wedding, even if they're paying for it. Why bother even having the wedding if its going to be something you hate.

Now, that being said, I would do what AOTB suggested, but you need to make it PERFECTLY clear that if she doesn't compromise or "decides" to do things her way, even if you HATE it, then you will give back the money and pay for the whole thing yourself. Bring FH with you, he has your back on this, I know that my DH came in handy with my mom and nana b/c as an outsider, he could speak his mind and they wouldn't get upset with him like they will with me!

Do NOT back down, if you HATE something, say to your mom, "ah, I really do not like that at all, that has NO place in my wedding, sorry" and leave it at that.

I know I must sound bratty and harsh, but momzilla's (or nana-zillas) are my BIGGEST pet peeve...causing a bride undue stress, not needed. I get that they have their "dreams for their little girls perfect wedding" but hello....what about the brides dreams? Anyway, good luck!!!

Edit: I also understand and respect the concept of how it works when other people are paying for your wedding, however, taking over and basically doing it their way regardless of the brides feelings bothers me greatly! I spent over half of my life (and I'm 24) having my mom and nana buy my clothes, pick them out without asking my opinion and yell at me if I changed what they picked out. I also was not allowed to wear jewelery except studs in my ears until 14 and the first time I got a hair cut that I wanted (shoulder length) was when I went away to college. I get that when your little, but over the age of 8, kids should have some say in what they wear (IMO). Not distastefully short or skimpy, but let them pick from their own closets for heaven's sake!! But thats a whole other rant!

~ Formerly CCFPrincessBride~

Hillary & Sean~ September 20, 2008 Laughing



Message was edited by: HillyBride92008


seitzysbride Posts : 39 Registered: 10/14/08
Re: Dealing with a momzilla
Posted: Nov 14, 2008 11:23 AM Go to message in response to: MrsMcCain

I totally agree with MrsMccain. 

The only thing that I would add is that it might help to use the sandwich technique.   Compliment- Criticism- Compliment.  That always helps me when dealing with sensitive subjects with people you dont want to hurt.

Tell her that you appreciate everything that she is doing to help you.  Tell her the ideas that she has that you do like.  Then tell her what you have problems with and what you dont like.  Then finish up by telling her again how much you appreciate her help and that you are looking forward to planning the wedding of your dreams and that you couldnt do it without her help. (Even if that isnt totally true, it will make your mom feel good and maybe get her on your side a little bit)


Heidibride30 Posts : 1,201 Registered: 4/16/08
Re: Dealing with a momzilla
Posted: Nov 14, 2008 11:25 AM Go to message in response to: amazinggrace223

Oh, honey I can so sympathize.  At first, my mom was an absolute pill.  We had a knock down drag out fight while on the way home from a Bridal Show.  What it boiled down to was that she was feeling left out and was afraid that I was going to plan the wedding without her input.  Once she was able to see that I did want her input on a lot of things, she calmed down. 

Is there something that you can let her have complete control over?  Something that isn't too important to you?  If you can let her have total say over something, maybe she'll ease up on the other stuff. 


Nalamienea Posts : 2,924 Registered: 6/13/08
Re: Dealing with a momzilla
Posted: Nov 14, 2008 11:35 AM Go to message in response to: Heidibride30

Oh man, this is not good.  I don't have the exact link to the thread now, but not too long ago there was another bride who wrote about how she gave in to her mom on LOTS Of things (namely, the guest list, but also on decoration I think) and how she absolutely hates herself now because of it.  I think she was the first to get married and her mom was involved in everything and she was "made" to have this huge formal affair. Then her brother got married a few months later and her mom didn't pressure her brother so he "got" to have a backyard, small guest list, informal wedding, which is what she wanted from the beginning. She was talking about how she resents her mom now, can't look at her wedding photos, was insanely jealous of her brother that he GOT to have the wedding he wanted! 

Please Please Please. Don't let this happen to you.  




CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: Dealing with a momzilla
Posted: Nov 14, 2008 12:08 PM Go to message in response to: amazinggrace223

Hi AmazingGrace

Your mom is coming from this tradition:  HER mom's mom planned HER mom's wedding.  So HER mom planned HER wedding, and got the wedding she wanted when she got married.  Your mom figures now it is HER turn to plan the wedding of HER dreams.

But this is a different century.  We are not afraid to pay for our weddings any more.  Sure, some brides' parents pay now, and it is still common...but it is not unheard of for brides to pay their own FIRST weddings any more.

When I planned my first -- my parents paid.   And they had a lot of say -- and a lot of what I wanted, I edited myself on --because I knew my parents a) could not afford it and I was budget conscious (even though they never told me a budget.... I think they would have if I had gone hog wild, but as I was being reasonable and picking low rather than high whenever possible, they didn't)  or b) I knew it was something my parents would oppose, so I didn't even ask about it.  http://My parents are pretty conservative.   I didn't feel like they should have to pay for something they didn't support.   But I wanted a sit down reception with a dance.    I knew that was not within their price range.   It wasn't.  I did the traditional Southern Baptist wedding -- ceremony, then finger food reception with cake cutting, bouquet toss, and garter toss (basically an hour, hour and a half tops).   That's what their budget  would allow.   And I know THEY wanted to give me the sit down dinner with dance.  (That was my mom's family tradition.)   They let me pick the city--my mom's hometown (14 hours from where I live AND where they live)...because I had a very good reason for that choice, and when I explained why I wanted it, everyone (from XH and his family to my own) was very supportive [basically, my grandfather, who I was very close to, had Alzheimers.  I knew he would not be able to come....but he stayed in my Grandmother's house until the day he died.  She could get away for three hours....but not three days.  The rest of us COULD travel.  It might be inconvenient....but we COULD do it if we chose.  She could not.).   My mom picked all my vendors -- because they were the ones her family has used for everything since she was a little girl, and they had a relationship with them.  Not because she was being bull-headed, but because she knew them a whole lot more than I did.

That being said -- I did plan the wedding my mom approved of.   And it was beautiful.   But it was not what I'd have done if I had had the decision power.  Mom didn't go Momzilla on me.

THIS time, she is.  Because THIS time, she's not a part of the decisions, and it's driving her nutty.  And we've got issues with FMIL too.  Everytime she talks to me, she's insistant that we start looking NOW for the Catholic priest who is going to wed us.  Never mind that I am not Catholic and that FH has not stepped foot into a Catholic for probably 10 to 15 years.   He is EXTREMELY anti-Catholic (esp for a Catholic).   And we're going to Turkey with FMIL.  I have told FH that he HAS to handle this BEFORE Thanksgiving.   We already have our Officiant.  (I figure Religious stuff should be handled by the party whose parents are being a pain.  When mine are being Religiously annoying, that's MY problem and my responsibility.  When his are, it's his responsibility.  And his IS being very.  We will have a Priest do a READING IF we can get him to come to our wedding venue <a Unitarian Church> for a REASONABLE cost.  I'm not paying him more than $50 when I don't really want him ANYWAY!   But we are not having a Catholic Mass, I am NOT getting an Annulment from my first marriage--when I don't even know where the X is, nor do I care, and I am not going through Catholic Marriage counseling from a Priest who has no concept of what it is except for from books, and I can read just as well as he can <no offense to Catholics, but that's my feeling on the subject.  If you're going through it, great....but it's just not my cup of tea>, and I'm NOT converting to a faith my FH doesn't even share just to placate my FMIL...even if I do want her to like me.  I want her to like ME as who I am.  Period.)  But if she corners me at Turkey, which she will if he does not talk to her (and maybe even if he does), then she's going to get a healthy dose of "our Officiant is my Unitarian Minister, whom we have BOTH selected" from me.

But AOTB is right.  Plan what you can afford, sit down with mom and tell her that you have decided that you would rather pay for the wedding that YOU want than have her pay for a wedding that is decidedly NOT what you want.  If she wants to GIVE you a wedding, then she needs to take YOUR feelings into consideration.  You're willing to COMPROMISE but you will not give in on everything to her wishes.'s time for YOU to go BRIDEZILLA on MOMZILLA.  

And when she breaks out the tears and says you're hurting her feelings because you won't let her pay for your wedding, be ready to tell her this:   "Well, Mom, you've been hurting MY feelings by refusing to allow me any say on my own wedding.  And I've decided that MY feelings are just as important as yours.  If you're willing to compromise with me, fine.  But this is not YOUR's MINE AND FH'S.    You had yours already.  This one is MINE."   It's going to shock her, because you're a people pleaser and you don't like confrontation.  Practice on FH if you need.  Tell him, he needs to be a total brat and come up with everything your mom will say--because he's helping you prepare for this confrontation.

There are many brides who gave in to their mom's wishes....and completely regret it.   Don't be that bride.  You have plenty of time to do this -- but only if you do it NOW.

(Otherwise, you're going to wind up with a wedding dress you hate, and a cake flavor that you don't want.  And the food will be boring.  The DJ will play nothing but waltzes.  She'll decide your color scheme, and it will not be what you want.  You'll have a guest list of people that you don't want to talk to and you won't be able to invite people you want.)

You have to bite the bullet, grab the bull by its horns, and venture to territory you're uncomfortable with.  It won't be fun, and it won't be pretty--but the choice is do it.... or have the wedding you hate (and deal daily with a wedding you hate for the next 11 months)


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SteffMay2009 Posts : 383 Registered: 10/22/08
Re: Dealing with a momzilla
Posted: Nov 14, 2008 12:41 PM Go to message in response to: CatStandish

Can you pay for some things on your own and let her pay for some things? If you let her pay for the venue (usually a large expense) maybe you could pay for the flowers and decorations and make it look the way you want. I think as long as she feels involved she'll calm down. 


ginmal Posts : 396 Registered: 1/11/08
Re: Dealing with a momzilla
Posted: Nov 14, 2008 1:10 PM Go to message in response to: amazinggrace223

You can not tell someone else how to spend their money. PERIOD. Either have the weddin gof your mothers dreams on HER dime, or have the weddin gof YOUR dreams on yours.

That is all you can do in this situation.

Bless your own day, leave mine alone!Innocent



HappyGirl13 Posts : 1,298 Registered: 4/21/08
Re: Dealing with a momzilla
Posted: Nov 14, 2008 1:23 PM Go to message in response to: Nalamienea

Ha! Nala, that was me you mention. OP, if you want to search the term Green-Eyed Monster, my long-ass post should come up if you want to read more about the story Nalamienea referred to.

Do not give in on stuff that will make you sorry later. Go with your vision.


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Dealing with a momzilla
Posted: Nov 14, 2008 3:59 PM Go to message in response to: ginmal

Dear Gin,

"You can not tell someone else how to spend their money. PERIOD. Either have the weddin gof your mothers dreams on HER dime, or have the weddin gof YOUR dreams on yours."

I agree one hundred percent.


amazinggrace223 Posts : 10 Registered: 11/14/08
Re: Dealing with a momzilla
Posted: Nov 14, 2008 4:11 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Thanks for the responses, guys. I'm going to sit down and talk with her. I probably won't be very aggressive, but I'm going to see if we can compromise: she can do whatever she wants for centerpieces, lights, whatever, as long as we can have it in the venue of our choice. We've been going around and around about this for over 4 months and I am just sick of stressing out about it. 

But hey, on the plus side, I just found out that I'm up for a promotion, so we can probably afford something great if we pay for it ourselves! If it comes to that, hopefully they can get over it in 10 months, although if I know my mom at all, I'll still be getting guilt trips about it looong after the day is over. 




allbusiness Posts : 106 Registered: 7/17/07
Re: Dealing with a momzilla
Posted: Nov 14, 2008 4:58 PM Go to message in response to: amazinggrace223

she seems irrational, so throw it back at her.  tell her that if she doesn't back off, you'll give her back the money and run off and get married.  you never know, it might convince her to back off a little. 

the way i see it, you have two choices:  take the money and deal with psycho mom, or pay for it yourselves and deal with dramatic, bitter mom.  hopefully you can have a positive talk with her and that should ease the drama a little. 

good luck.


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