Your little girl is all grown up — now she's engaged and planning her wedding! As the mother of the bride, you'll wear a number of different hats — confidante, friend, sounding board, voice of reason, and sometimes banker. Although, this is an exciting time it can be overwhelmingly stressful, so the trick is figuring out which hat your daughter wants you to wear at a given time — remembering when she's acting irrational, that your job is to stay collected.
Brides can be sensitive creatures, and comments that might not normally bother her, may light a fuse. You know what triggers your daughter, but it's wrong to push her buttons when she's already feeling emotionally-charged.
It's easy to lose your temper when your adult daughter is being completely unreasonable, but try your best not to use any of the following five phrases:
1. "Don't be such a Bridezilla."
Unless you're on a reality TV show, this is the ultimate insult to a bride. Nobody wants to be thought of as a high-strung, demanding, and selfish bride. Choose your words wisely when confronting your emotional daughter about her behavior.
2. "I don't know why you didn't just elope."
Ouch! Although you may be trying to say that you feel left out of the decision-making process — the bride is hearing you say that you didn't care if you were present to see her exchange vows. This isn't nice to say to someone who has taken the time to involve family, friends and has chosen to include her loved ones on her marriage day.
3. "Fine. Do what you like and pay for it yourself."
If you've offered to pay for something, accept that you're going to have to compromise to make sure your daughter achieves the vision she wants — while you get the quality and price you're comfortable with. Threatening to withhold funds you've already promised will only stress her out and make things more acrimonious between you two.
4. "Your father will never agree to that."
Try not to drag her father into the disagreement unless you absolutely have to. If you do — have him tell your daughter what he thinks — rather than you play messenger. You're her mother and you don't need to hide behind her father to put your foot down. If you're the one who disagrees with her, own it.
5. "The world does not revolve around you because you're getting married."
Theoretically, she knows that already, but depending on how self-involved she is — and how crazy her life has gotten since she got engaged — it may truly feel like she is the center of the universe. When you say this to her, you're telling her that you're not on her team, even though you really are. Try to use supportive phrases even when you're being the voice of reason.
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.