Tuesday, March 10, 2009

MOB Issues

I don't know how to handle my mom and our relationship during this engagement/ wedding planning. There, I've said it.

The precursor is she is paying for the whole she-bang, which we are incredibly grateful for, buuuut knowing that...

How do you get what you want while meeting a MOB's expectations knowing it's her money?

I knew, like I know the sky to be blue that my mom has always wanted us to host the wedding in Phoenix. At the very beginning when we got engaged, she said, whatever I want and where ever.

It's been over a month and yes, I still have no venue or date. She is tired of answering the questions coming from family and friends.

Yesterday, me and my fiance went and looked at a place, here in Dallas. It was awesome, I was 80% sold because I think that their catering list will hike up the budget phenomenally. My fiance loved the place. (I will post pictures soon)

I did what I've done after scouting out each venue, called my mom and talked it out with her. Then, I heard it - withholding in the background of our conversation was her non-excitement about Dallas. I don't know what the woman has against the city I live in, seriously. Maybe, it's the same dislike I have for Phoenix?!? I have to beg the woman to come visit and the majority of her visits here were because she was in a layover to someplace else. I digress.

I laid out the pros of having it in Dallas. She put in some cons, "for me to think about".

This morning she calls and just like I knew the sky to be blue, she says this, "I really think your wedding should be in Phoenix"

I knew it!

Her claim is that it seems I need some help or a push in a direction, so there it is. How do you deal with your mother (or financier) when your ideas don't match up?

**About Mexico, my fiance is in the military and they just debriefed their units about the situation down there and has told their personnel not to go on any personal trips to Mexico. And that bummed me out like you wouldn't believe.**


A said...

Oh no! I had a similar problem early on, but the way that I dealt with it was to "submit a budget" and ask for cash for deposits right away. Instead of doing the planning with other people (where you have to listen to their input), I asked for the money instead and did it myself.

Obviously it's a lot harder when it's your mom and she's financing the whole thing (can't just ask for that kind of cash outright, I'm assuming), but what you could do is still give her the budget and give her a short list of places that you like that fit within it. Right?

I mean, ultimately, you will have to either lay down the law (it's your wedding; you get final say), or cave (it's her money, she gets final say). But you might as well establish the dynamic early so that there is no confusion and less stress for you down the line.

Bev said...

That is stressful, to say the least. I'm not even sure how I would handle it. I'm sure I would end up having it my parents way. Either that, or eloping.

Hmmm, maybe that's what you tell your mother: You will elope unless you can plan things your way. Wouldn't she rather you have the wedding you want than to see her only daughter elope?

Maddy said...

Oh, I feel your pain and then some. Because I was grateful that they were footing the bill (or the vast majority of it anyway - I'm paying for a few smaller budget items, like programs, favors, and invitations as my way of contributing), I tried to involve my parents in every decision as much as possible out of respect - often going out of my way and almost over including them... invitations, color scheme (changed it from pink, peach and antique gold to pink, green and antique gold because the parents didn't want to wear pink or peach), you name it. When it came down to the procession - of all stupid things, the one thing I was pretty passionate about - they gave me a huge fight over it - mostly my mom. It got so bad that I had to write a whole long email about all the things I conceded on thus far (and i was a long list!) out of respect for them, but ultimately it was my wedding and I should be able to do the one thing I was really hoping to do (have my dad ONLY escort me down the aisle) when I had already given them so much. Once again I offered them a peace treaty and said the most they were going to get (my mom was insisting she escort me down as well, but I hate the visual look of three coming down the aisle) was that the two of them can walk in front of me, I'd walk down alone, and they could wait for me at the end of the aisle, give me a kiss, and be seated. The war was a lot more complicated than I've described, and a lot more severe, but ultimately that email stopped it (knock on wood). My takeaway was that weddings make idiots out of everyone - including the couple - and sometimes when passions get high people can forget the what battles they HAVE won already, and that it's better to negotiate than confront. I would NOT do what Bev said, it only makes people angrier. I think if you feel really passionate about where you want to have it, tell her that upfront. Listen to what she has to say, and why she'd prefer it in her location, and acknowledge that you've considered her points, but that your heart is ultimately settled on wherever you've decided upon. Make an exaggerated effort to include her on choosing the venue so that way she feels as though - despite not winning the location battle - she did get to voice her opinion on the final venue. Everyone needs to choose their battles, but making a point to include her, even if you don't ultimately follow her advice, will put off the War because she'll at least feel like you're listening.

Let me know if you need any more advice, because believe me - I've got the battle scars!

Ruthless said...

My mom is contributing to the wedding but we tried to make it clear that we would accept money but we didn't expect money, I think that helped keep her expectations at bay. My mom and I also have a weird relationship (aka. passive aggressive) example: I sent her photos of the wedding dress I bought and she told me it was the wrong dress for me and basically I shouldn't wear it. What I think she meant was that her feelings were hurt that I didn't need her with me to find my dress. But her response hurt my feelings and we didn't talk for 3 months during that time (not even email) so maybe I'm not the one to talk to because parent relationships have weirdness and it's fine for someone else to tell you what they do or what is ideal but really you have to figure out what works for you.

It may make sense to talk with your mom and find out what is really important to her to have a say in (aka venue, dress or food) and let her have complete control of that aspect but no say in others. It may be incredibly inconvenient for you to have a wedding in Phoenix and maybe your Mom thinks that if it's in Phoenix she will get more say about the particulars of the wedding. I think it's good to remember that this is your chance to have a wedding, not a chance for your Mom to redo her wedding, or have the wedding she would have wanted, etc etc.

I think you should figure out what is most important to you, is it having a wedding close to where you live, or appeasing your Mom? maybe finding out Why she wants you to get married in phoenix so much?

I always thought that I'd be able to plan a wedding super easy and be really chill about it and it would be no problem... because I thought it was just like a big party, but something happens once the word 'wedding' is out, and suddenly everyone has an opinion. From who gets invited to whether or not you have to have a receiving line, it just turns into a mess.