After you’ve enjoyed a bottle of bubbly and shown off your new engagement ring to all of your friends and family, it’s time to get serious about planning your wedding and making the big key decisions that need to be sorted out early on in the process. But one of the things you’ll want to take the time to do is have a handful of conversations with your parents. Even if the topic of money—or the guest list—make you jitter with nerves when thinking about talking to your parents about them, it should be at the top of your to-do list, so that you can get it out of the way as possible. Wondering what conversations to have with your parents? Here are the six topics to dive into with them right after you get engaged.
What Date Works Best
One of the very first talks to have with your parents should be around your wedding date. After getting engaged and picking out a selection of dates that you want to say “I do” on, chat with your parents to find out if they have any potential conflicts or suggestions of days, or even months, that work best for them too. Picking a date, and getting your parent’s on board with it, is the best way to kick off your wedding planning process.
Who Should Be on the Guest List
Deciding who will make the cut on your final wedding guest list can take some time. That’s why having that conversation with your parents early on can give them an idea of how many they will be able to invite so that you can stick to a realistic headcount. Whether the conversation is around a number of people they can invite or who should be invited, and who should be left off the list (whether it’s because you don’t feel close to that particular member of your family or because they tend to get rowdy at family events), so that you can get your parents thinking about finalizing that list early on.
What Family Traditions Should Be Included
As you start to pick and chose your wedding vendors and make wedding decisions, whether it’s around where to get married or what kind of decorations to have at your reception, ask your parents if there are any long-standing family traditions that should be included in your big day. Perhaps there’s a poem that has been read at members of the family’s weddings over the years or a certain dish that’s been served. Get your parents to fill you in on any and all traditions so that you and your fiancé can decide which ones mean the most to incorporate at your wedding.
How Much Do You Want to Be Involved?
Some parents enjoy being hands-on with their kid’s wedding, helping them make all of the decisions along the way, while some parents don’t mind taking the backseat and only getting involved when needed, or asked. Have a conversation with your parents to see how much they’d like to be involved. Do they want to come to vendor meetings with you and look over contracts before you sign on the dotted line? Do they just want to know where and when to show up on the wedding day, leaving the rest to be a surprise? Knowing where they stand, early on, will let you know how to involve them along the way.
What’s the Budget Going to Be
The topic of money can be awkward, especially if it's with your parents. But knowing how much money you have to spend on your wedding, whether the cash is coming directly from just your pockets or yours and theirs will help you understand your wedding budget before you start spending and hiring vendors. Ask your parents if they can or want to contribute to your wedding planning fund. If you want to ask for a certain amount of money, explain what you’ll use it for, and show them an early draft of a budget so that they can get an understanding of what the money will be used for, before just handing it over for you to spend.
What Advice Do You Have?
Once the tough conversations around money and family matters are out of the way, be sure to ask if they have any wedding planning or marriage advice they want to share. Their wisdom can not only inspire you to plan your wedding stress-free, but also to focus what matters the most now, and after you say "I do" to your partner.