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Monday, July 26, 2010

Brides, Grooms and FIL's Paying for Weddings.

Many brides and grooms are paying for some if not all of their wedding expenses.  I like to think that Greatest of Days is unique in that I offer a free consultation to the bride and groom which is pretty standard, but I also offer a free hour of consultation with the parents particularly if they are paying for a wedding.  There are even occasions where I'll step in when a desperate mother says, "Can you talk to my daughter?" and just as often when a bride says, "I wish you could tell my mother that!"

There's a reason for this, and it is all in the effort to have a stress-free wedding day and the many days before that planning for that big day.  Reality is seldom perfect and planning a wedding can be stressful on more individuals than just the bride and the groom.  Stress can rear its ugly head on an emotional level, a financial level, and a level I'll call, "Where in the heck did that come from?"

I'll show this in various extremes.

Scenario #1.  Imagine Princess just became engaged to be married.  She has a sense of entitlement and always has.  She has either gotten almost everything she has ever wanted or feels that her day has finally come where she can at last have everything under the sun.  If parents are on the same wavelength, then that's fine.  Where the problem comes in, is when the parents simply cannot afford their daughter this luxury.

Scenario #2.  Mom and Dad have all the money in the world and quite often along with it brings control  and power.  Mom always wanted her daughter to have the wedding she never had and now she sees it as her turn to get the wedding she wish she had had.  When a bride or groom states a preference for any particular aspect of the wedding, they just might hear, "As long as I'm paying for it, you'll do no such thing!"

Scenario #3.  "I think you shoulds" which can start sounding like nails on a chalkboard.  All things become new again, but people have ideas that really take the cake sometimes.   I remember both my mother and my husband's mother doing this routine when we were choosing the music for our wedding.  The songs meant nothing to us and when there was a song recommended about sunshine when I knew the wedding was in December in a very rainy climate.  If "Look at the sunshine" had been sung, everybody might have walked out to go look for it!  My Mom thought it would be nice to have a song sung that she liked.  Never mind the fact that I had sung it for countless friends' weddings, even with a former boyfriend!  Not happening!  We ended up rearranging a song that we liked by changing a few of the words and the tempo.

This is where I feel I can make a big difference in how things progress up to and at the wedding.  It's all psychology!  I'll talk to a bride and groom and go through with them what all is involved and how the costs can creep up.  Basically, it's bringing them into the reality of the parents who are paying for the wedding.  Secondly, in the case of the Penny Pusher Power Parent, I can speak with them and find out without them knowing, what it is that they are really dealing with.  Quite often its a bad memory or a vision of how they wanted their own wedding to be like that never happened.

Never forget that a parent can be feeling a big dose of separation anxiety, but would never admit to it.  If a parent has entirely wrapped his or her life around raising children, they could very well feel like they are wandering into unknown territory.  What people don't understand, they fear.  What they fear becomes an unrealistic expectation or misinterpretation.

In one sentence.  Everyone wants their feelings and concerns validated.  I have a heart that's big enough to hear both sides and two shoulders to be cried upon.  If it ends up with everyone smiling a genuine smile on the wedding day, I'm happy!  Worth every minute of listening!

Wishing you the greatest of days!

Greatest of Days
Event and Wedding Planning

1 comment:

  1. I was under scenario #2 - up to the point of my wedding registry being a list of things my mom thought I should have. My fiance and I finally thanked my parents, but told them that we would pay for it on our own. And we had the most perfect little wedding! It was exactly what we wanted and I think my mother even had a good time.