Apr 6, 2011

Everyone Else's Involvement

When it comes to wedding planning, it seems like there are so many people that can be involved, from well-meaning friends, to relatives, to parents. Everyone’s experience seems to be different, some have completely overbearing parents, some do it all themselves. In my situation, Mr. B’s parents, and mine as well, have definitely seemed to be staying obviously hands-off,  providing their input only when asked for. But lately I’ve been wondering if I should be including them more.

My concern was compounded when I saw this Dear Abby article:

DEAR ABBY: I'm the mother of four boys in their 20s. None of my sons is married yet, but because they are reaching the age where they might be soon, I have been paying attention to how weddings were planned and carried out by our friends' children - all of whom are married.

What's bothering me is, it seems to be all about the girl. The guys and their parents seem to be left out of almost everything. I assumed that in this day and age, where many wedding expenses are shared by both sets of parents, that the groom and his parents would be more involved.

The purpose of this letter is to remind parents of daughters that this is a big day for the groom and his parents, too. Please be considerate and include them in the planning decisions and pre-wedding activities.

- It's Our Big Day Too!

I know that I am a control freak with high standards who likes things my way. I love to wedding plan, and have truly felt so far that I can do it mostly on my own. I live with my parents, so I share most of my brainstorming with my mom. We sit on the couch, drink wine and go through wedding magazines, gossiping about styles and ideas. I know Mr. B’s mom is left out of the girly bonding element of planning. I don’t feel like I have the kind of relationship with her where I can just call her up to pointlessly talk about the wedding, and so beyond involving his family in the big decisions, like the venue hunt, I’m not sure how to improve the situation. I want to make sure I include them as best I can, but it is a little hard for me to let go of things.

Did anyone else try to include their fiance's family, or did you and your fiance handle the planning on your own?


  1. I asked my FMIL to take care of certain elements. She is going to handle the OOT bags and the bathroom baskets for the reception. I'm also inviting her to go dress shopping with me and my mom. I know that my mom and I have already found my dress, but I'm going to make an apt at another salon and ask her to go. I've asked for her input when I've got an invitation mock up done too. It's the little things.

  2. I think the effort goes a long way, at least it did with my MIL. We have dinner with her often, so I would bring things over to show her and send her emails like "here's our photographer's blog, check it out." I invited her along for dress shopping and tastings. I think she just liked being asked as much as anything else.

  3. It's important to have both sets involved in some way. I actually have the OPPOSITe problem...we live with my fiance's parents and are getting married in their hometown on Long Island..and my parents live in Pennsylvania! Sooo I had to really make sure I was still including my mom in the planning. She took it hard at first..but we worked it out great and everyone feels equally invovled. When is your big day? I'd love to add you to my "blogging brides" page! Email me at info@lauraandchristopher.com

  4. To be honest, I could *not* have planned our wedding without my mother in law. She was a God send! We live in NY but the wedding was in PA where Rob is from. My parents live in Virginia where I grew up. We hosted the wedding and to be honest I did most of the planning on my own but having his mother in town really came in handy. She doesn't have any daughters and it meant the world to her to have such a large role. When it came to feelings, my mom was great. "Wedding buzz" really isn't her thing and planning my sisters wedding almost did her in. But Rob's mom *loved* talking about tiny details, reading my blog, and picking out invitations LOL My mom helped me with a lot of out of town aspects and was my DIY queen. It was the perfect combination.

    Best advice is to delegate tasks to her that you know she'll love and do well with- invite her to things that she can be excited to attend. Programs, favors, tastings, OOT bags, etc. Basically, she wants to have things to talk to her friends about too when they ask "how are your son's wedding plans coming along"

  5. Thanks for all the feedback! It's great to hear everyone's advice & experiences, esp those of you whose MILs were more involved- my friends and I definitely have the opposite experiences. We're going to be checking out some sample centerpieces soon, so I'll definitely take her along for that, and to help me pick from my three dress choices.