We are all familiar with the timeless ‘bridezilla’ stereotype, a manic control-freak bride, who goes to any lengths to have their Pinterest-perfect day. But what happens if this demanding perfectionist isn’t the bride… but her mother?
The planning of a wedding can whip the best of us into a frenzy of excitement and dramatics, so what happens when your usually patient and kind-hearted parent is replaced with an argumentative and demanding Momzilla?
While their lengthy lectures and large demands may feel overwhelming, with a little communication and empathy, a momzilla is the perfect person to have in your corner when planning your special day.
The Pursuit of Perfection
Firstly, it’s important to understand the reasons for their behavior, as often their love and support can come across as being controlling and selfish. Mother of the bride is a significant role, and can leave moms feeling solely responsible for the success of the wedding day. So remember she isn’t arguing with the florist, or having extra catering tastings without you because she is trying to undermine you, but often because they want it all to be perfect.
The fix: Sit down as soon as possible and discuss what you want your wedding to look like. Often the Mother’s ‘perfect wedding’ will look totally different to the brides. Be firm and assertive about your non-negotiable elements, and make sure you are on the same page.
Like mother… like mother
It’s useful to keep in mind that when your mother got married, parents usually handled all of the important decisions such as guest lists, colour schemes, location and wedding dress. While times have (thankfully!) changed, and the couples call the shots, your mother may still feel a duty to be the chief organizer, who may not need your approval when making decisions or setting meetings.
The fix: Delegate! Utilize your mother’s investment by giving her a big task (or many smaller ones) that she can manage herself. Whether it’s planning the catering, organising flowers or sending invitations, she will feel responsible for part of the planning and you get to pass something off from your long to do list!
Hostess with the Mostess
As a mother, she is probably no stranger to how to host a gathering, dinner or party. So when her child’s biggest and most important event is in the works, it’s no wonder she has an impulse to take control. While it may manifest as being domineering or micromanaging, your mother may not even realise that she is doing it!
The fix: Communicate! Discuss with her that you feel she is controlling too much of the planning, and ask instead if she could teach you the difference between a kitchen tea and a hens party, or when to send a save the date, instead of doing it herself. This way she can oversee and feel a part of the process, while you are in the drivers’ seat.
Proud as a Peacock
For you and your partner, the wedding day is a public celebration of your commitment to one another. For the parents? It is an opportunity to celebrate just how dang wonderful their child is, and the life that you have had, and will go on to have. Think of it as a day they get to be madly, embarrassingly proud of you in front of all of their friends. These dual perspectives are no bad thing, however, when it’s taken too far a momzilla can turn the wedding day into a ‘keeping up with the jones’ affair, where the key focus is what the guests think of their family. A spiral of stress that can have the calmest of mothers panicking over every detail from their dress to the shape of the cucumber sandwiches.
The Fix: In this instance, the best thing you can do for both you and your mother is to have a heart to heart. Remind her that, as exciting as the celebrations will be, guests will care more about gathering together and witnessing this special moment than any little details.
Mothers can drive us up the wall at the very best of times, add a wedding and its complex politics to the mix, and the emergence of a momzilla is no surprise. But with a little communication and kindness, you’ll be well on your way to a perfect wedding plan with your mom on your side.