Dear Preston: My Mother and Fiancee Are In a Huge Fight Over Design
March 19, 2013
I will be having a wedding with 300 guests in September of this year. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of tension between my mother and my fiancee as of late. My fiancee is an artist, like yourself, and I love him dearly. I admire his wonderful eye and think he has impeccable taste, albeit somewhat simple. My mother has insisted that we have a lavish wedding (as soon as she said this I called your office only to find you were booked that day) and it has caused a bit of an upset. I love both my mother and my fiancee, but their very different tastes caused them to have a huge blow out during which my mother reminded my fiancee that she was the one paying for the wedding and therefore has the ultimate say in the design. Prior to this disagreement, they liked one another very much and I am afraid that my wedding is going to tear them apart forever. Have you ever experienced had a similar situation? What should I do?
Caught In The Middle
Dear Caught In The Middle:
First, I am so sorry you are going through this while planning your very special day. To answer your question, yes, I have been in many situations where there is a disagreement between the mother of the bride and the bride herself, the bride and her future mother-in-law and the groom and mother of the bride. In fact, I even had a lovely mother confess to me that it was her daughters wedding, but “my party”. I feel deeply for you that you have been placed in a situation where you feel that you must choose between two people who mean so much to you. What really concerns me is what I am not hearing. What do you, as the bride, want for your wedding?
You sound like a wonderful young lady, and a respectful one at that. I would like to gently encourage you to speak up and tell them both what you want. After all, this is also your wedding, love. As a designer, I play many roles. Sometimes therapist, other times mediator, and always a support to the bride. Luckily, most weddings have several areas to design. There is the ceremony, the cocktail area, the reception area, and sometimes even an area for an after-party. You might want to suggest that you will design the ceremony exactly how you want it and your fiancee can design the cocktail area as he sees fit. Your mother can help design the reception area. If you are in the hands of a good designer, he or she should be able to work this out. In closing, I know you obviously you love them both. In cases like this, there is no right or wrong, just hurt feelings.
Do you feel that mother has the the right to design the event as she sees fit since she is paying for it? What is your advice for Caught In the Middle?