Occasionally, I've been hired by brides who clearly told me from Day One that their mother was planning the entire wedding. Those brides gave their mothers carte blanche to plan the wedding of their dreams — beyond the guest list and the wedding dress, these brides stayed out of the little details.
This has worked very well for my clients who wanted to get married, but literally didn't have time to deal with the planning because they were in medical school, or traveling overseas for work, or in one case, serving overseas in the military. And I can't argue the wisdom in making that decision from the get-go.
In order for this to work though, the couple has to agree that they trust the mother of the bride completely to make choices on their behalf (and to suck it up and keep smiling when something they would never have chosen appears at their wedding reception). Because, point blank, brides can't change their minds halfway through, even if they think they made the wrong decision giving up control — zillions of changes and flip flops are a total torture to vendors.
So before you decide to hand over the wedding planning to your mom altogether, consider these pros and cons:
1. Giving mom total control takes the pressure off of the bride. You won't have to meet with a caterer or florist, create place cards, or make time to go taste cake. All you have to do is choose a gown, and show up.
2. Budget disputes are virtually eliminated if your mom is planning, and paying for, the wedding.
3. There's nothing for you and your fiancé to argue about if your mother is planning the wedding, since you're not intimately involved. You'll sit down together with her before she gets started, and let her know if there's anything you feel strongly about (chocolate cake, premium bar, hydrangea centerpieces, for example), but after that, you and your fiancé have agreed to let the chips fall where they may.
1. Planning the wedding together can be fun for an engaged couple. Unless you keep some responsibilities to plan yourselves, you'll miss out on fun things like the cake tasting There's a lot of fun memories buried in there.
2. Your mother may not take your suggestions as literally as you might like.
3. You have to live with the decisions and choices mom makes. Even if the wedding video isn't done in a style that you would have ever wanted, and you think your wedding bouquet would look better on your grandmother's dining room table, you can't criticize. You have to remember that the wedding, and its planning, was a gift of love to you.
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.