I told you a couple weeks ago that I was going to keep it real and share the nitty gritty of planning that no one really likes to talk about. Surprisingly, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies, and I promised to share all the ups and downs with you. I also promised to help you resolve the issue so you can make planning fun again.

I want you to stick with me through today’s post. I’m going to share some real nitty gritty today. You might totally relate or it might freak you out a bit. Both of which are okay. But, stick with me because in the end I keep my second promise and help you resolve it. So, here we go…

Today I want to chat a bit about conflicts in planning, namely conflicts between you and your mom, dad, or future in-laws. As a planner, I struggle to get involved in family issues. I don’t really like to do it (could be my aversion to conflict all together) but sometimes I’m forced to be the mediator. I accept that as part of my job and always do my best to help both parties find a solution they’re happy with. However, the middle part can be real ugly at times. I’m going to share a story with you today that unfortunately, is not a singular occurrence. Similar things have happened to other brides, friends of mine and heck, maybe even you (which is why I’m sharing this).

I’m going to take you back to the first big wedding I ever planned. Mom and Dad were paying for the wedding and Mom was handling the majority of the planning. Bride was totally okay with this because she had a big job that kept her working late nights, weekends, and traveling a ton.

Bride didn’t have many specific requests but there were a few details that were important to her and Groom and wanted to be kept in the loop as to what was going on. Seemed reasonable to me. Well, not to Mom. Truthfully the entire thing was a cluster. There was lots of yelling, spans of not speaking with each other, Mom telling Bride it wasn’t really about her anyways, changing of details behind people’s backs, and a whole lotta other not good stuff. That was my first experience with this kind of drama when it came to wedding planning and I was utterly shocked.

Sadly, I could share more stories from other brides through the years, but I think you get the point. Often times what you and your fiance envision for your day is completely different than what Mom and Dad always imagined you would have. And, when Mom and Dad are paying for the whole thing, it can create even more conflict. While some parents are willing to let it go or form compromises, others aren’t. It can lead to stress, strained relationships, and ultimately compromise what you all want in the first place, for you to have a beautiful day.

So, if you’re going through this right now, how do you deal and move past it? Here are three questions I’ve learned to ask through the years that always seem to help get things back on the right track.

  1. Is what you’re fighting about really that important? | Asking yourself this one question and being utterly honest with yourself can put the fun back in planning a lot quicker. If Mom really wants option A, is option B so important to you that you’d risk straining your relationship?
  2. Are you willing to pay for the whole day yourself? | When there’s money involved, things can seem a lot worse especially if someone is dangling it over your head. When you can’t agree on anything, sit down with your fiance and figure out if you can handle paying for the wedding yourselves. If you can, consider refusing the money from Mom and Dad so you can make decisions on your own.
  3. Have you tried listening to each other’s side of the argument? | This is a big one. Sit down with the other person, keep an open mind (ask them to do the same), and explain why you’re advocating for your pick. Often times once you or they hear the reasoning behind your argument, it’s easier to reach a compromise. Another trick is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and make the argument for their choice. This can provide a different perspective and help in finding a resolution.

Once you’ve answered those three questions and attempted to sit down together to find a solution, you can make the decision that’s best for you. The hard part about this is every situation is different so there’s a clear cut answer on your next step. But once you’ve gotten honest with yourself and tried standing in the other person’s shoes you can figure out a game plan for morning forward or cut ties all together.

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