Wedding Woes: Playing to your Families' Strengths
As I’ve explained before, I was drawn to event planning at a young age. I was reading interior decorating and event planning blogs before I got engaged, and I knew that once Rich popped the question, I was going to work hard to create an event that truly expressed our relationship from the ceremony wording to the decorations. I also knew this wedding was going to take a lot of work.
I immediately called my mom when Rich proposed on March 7, 2010. She was incredibly happy for me. After she asked about the proposal details (you can read about them here), I could sense a little hesitation in her voice as she asked “Well what do we do next?”. Her concern didn’t surprise me. My mom has never been type to enjoy party planning, but after I hung up the phone with her, I began to worry that I was completely alone in planning our wedding.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love my mom so incredibly much. She is one of the hardest working women I know, and she has instilled in me a strong sense of self-motivation and dedication that I pride myself on. I could have never taken the leap to start my own business or have the motivation to work long hours without those personality traits. It is also those traits that helped to reassure me I could plan this wedding by myself…
I spent over a year gathering visual inspiration, writing the ceremony, designing and developing our website, and crafting up a storm. My parents were very helpful attending vendor meetings when I asked, but I could still sense that my mom was uncomfortable when I talked about the visual aspects of the wedding. And to be completely honest, that bothered me a little. Aren’t all mothers suppose to be waving their hands back and forth in celebration as they help pick out table linens and color schemes? I’m only getting married once you know!
It wasn’t until my family trip to Two Harbors, MN a couple of weeks ago that my perspective changed. I had begun to dig into the wedding day logistics (read about that here) when my mom started requesting that I set aside time to run through the timeline to tie up the loose ends with her. I could sense her genuine desire to help, and she was a great sounding board. She helped me think of things I hadn’t thought about before. When we got back from vacation, she sent me the following email:
I have to admit, I am now getting more into the planning. I wish I had just a day to spend with you to go over the details and talk them through with you. Actually, anything I can do to ease your mind and allow you to enjoy the day more, I am interested in.
It was then that I realized my mom had wanted to help me all along, but as a women focused on her career rather than home decorating and party planning, she probably felt out of her element when I talked about my plans to decorate the venue. Once I started working on the scheduling and logistics, tasks she does on a daily basis at her job, she was eager to provide her expertise. I wasted a lot of time resenting the fact that my mom isn’t a “traditional” mother enthusiastic about picking out flowers and attire.
It’s important to assess your families’ strengths when planning your wedding. Theses strengths might not meet your initial expectations, but by delegating tasks based on your family members skills, you will help them feel included and increase their desire to help.
Explain your wedding vision to your family, and be upfront with the things you’d like help with. (Be honest! You cannot do everything yourself!) You might find that your family members have hidden talents that can save you time and money.
Once I gave them the chance, both my family and Rich’s family have been incredibly helpful with our wedding. I cannot wait to show you the outcome!