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Has anyone else struggled with a Mumzilla?  Mine has come from nowhere and I feel like I can't breathe.

I love my mum, I really do, and I know she's excited and this is her only daughter's big day but the woman is driving me crazy.

We're getting married in December 2015.  We have our venue, caterers and my dress.  My parents are very kindly paying for 3/4 of our wedding and that includes the caterers, food, dress and accommodation.  We are obviously incredibly grateful for the contribution as we wouldn't be able to afford anything without them.

I have however found that them paying is essentially them paying for an opinion.  First is started with our tasting evening.  My parents thought that one of them should go in place of one of us (as they're payign for the food).  We pushed back and said no that's not going to happen.  At the weekend my Mum (who was a bit tipsy) made a comment to my soon to be MIL that she and my Dad will be picking the menu.  I heard this from the other room and was a bit taken back by it.  Firstly, she hasn't communicated this to me, secondly, what then is the point of us going to a tasting evenign if we can't pick the food and thirdly, why do we not get a say?! 

I haven't mentioned this to her but I am a bit worried about it.  I haven't mentioned this to my fiance either because he will hit the roof if he finds out. 

We're having a live band as well and Mum was going into one about how the band has to cater for everyone and it can't be all 'our generation' music and we need to weigh up the age groups of the people there.  We obviously are well aware of this and are looking at bands to cater for everyone but she is going on and on and on.   She's also banging on about evening guests and how they need to be made to feel welcome and we need to shut out rooms to make sure everyone is in the same place and it is imperative that evening guests aren't seen as second class citizens - again, we know this and will take this into account.

We are also paying for 10 rooms at the venue for guests and we agreed that the rooms will be offered to family and the wedding party.  She's trying to dictate who will be staying in the rooms and saying how our friends (who were married and are now divorced but both are in the wedding party...awkward) won't be getting a room each as that's two rooms wasted blablablabla.

I'm finding the whole thing so exhausting....I laughed 3 or 4 times because she was just ranting on and on and on and she knows she's giong a bit crazy with it and she wants to know the logistics of everyting and how everything is going to tie together...and I can understand that....but I feel like I'm been talked at rather than consulted. 

I have a close relationship with my mum but I'm worried that what should be an enjoyable experience with your mum is going to be turned into a bit of a war especially as it apepars that they feel as they're coughing up for most of the day that they have leverage. 

I hate to sound ungrateful but it's not as if we asked them to help.  We've always said we'll pay for everything but they offered the money and I did say they didn't have to but they insisted.  We'll obviously consult them on our decisions but ultimately all decisions should be ours.

I'm going to the venue on Saturday to keep my mum happy (she said we need to go back really soon to have another look around) and I'm also taking my soon to be MIL.   I don't know how to calm her down or approach the subject that decisions will all be ours.


  • I think you need to invite your mum over one day when your fiancé is out. And maybe with your dad if you think he is also pushing for this.

    Tell her you want to talk about "wedding stuff".

    I think the best way to approach is, is to be cut to the chase, and be utterly frank with her - especially if you have always had a close relationship up until now.

    You can tell her straight up that you are finding her suffocating, and worse than that, that she is trying to turn your wedding into something about her and your father. They have already had their wedding, and now it's time for YOU to have a wedding that YOU want. You can say exactly what you have here regarding the money - you are so grateful that they were generous enough to OFFER to contribute to the wedding, but you had no idea that this money would have so many strings attached, and you're worried that this wedding is going to ruin your relationship with her.

    If absolute push comes to shove, have you already paid for the venue etc? Because if not I would seriously consider telling her that you do not want a wedding that you have had no say in - that someone else has picked the food for. The music for. Made demands about the accomodation for. If push comes to shove, you are prepared to cancel the wedding, return their money, and have your own wedding with your own choices on your own budget. Because although that would be painful, it would be less painful than resenting her for the rest of your life for ruining your wedding by dictating what happens.

    I don't know if that's something that you would be prepared to do though. From my perspective, I would rather delay my wedding than have a wedding that would make me deeply resent a parent for a long time to come.

    This is completely on your parents for attaching so many strings to what is supposed to be a gift.

  • MrsLJC2bMrsLJC2b Posts: 451

    I can relate! I felt the same way at some points when planning my wedding - it led to my mum and I not speaking for 3 weeks but with hindsight I can see both points of view.

    When I first got engaged I bought a wedding magazine and showed my mum who promptly took it out my hands and said "thanks for that, I'll have a read through it later for some ideas!" Makes me laugh now!

    It transpired that we both had very mixed expectations. When my mum got married my granddad planned the whole reception for her, which was apparently the norm. My mum didn't realise things had changed and that now brides plan it themselves, even if they're given money! My mum also felt under pressure to 'host' a great day, as she kept saying that if things didn't go well it would reflect badly on her. We wanted a hog roast but ended up with a sit down meal. My mum was also upset that more of her friends couldn't go to the meal part and was annoyed that so many of our friends were going (she still talks about it now!!!!!) but on reflection I can see that she just wanted to show them what a nice event it was and was also a little put out that my MIL got to invite all a sundry (they have a 'close' family) whereas we didn't have many family to invite. In the end my husband's family took up 3 tables and my complete family just one! 

    I would sit down with your mum and tell her that she needs to trust you to make good decisions and that you are capable of planning a day that works out. Maybe divide up tasks and give her a couple things to be in charge of solely? My mum helped collect vintage teasets and took charge of storing and washing them. She also made pew ends (although I wasn't fussed about having them) and booked a car to take us to the church (I was up for a taxi or bus!) so I guess she enjoyed being involved in that way!

    Maybe also have a special day where you shop for her mother of the bride outfit, indulging her a little bit might take the pressure off!

  • KK12KK12 Posts: 927

    I can also relate and it's also a lot easier when you and fiance are paying for the day yourselves.

    My mum has tried to "help" but i've told her thanks but no thanks - I have to be quite blunt with her and tell her no and that it means no!

    By all means be firm but fair with your mum and try and compromise where you can amd give her bits of responsibility that you don't mind giving up but as for the rest, do remember that it is your day and not hers! x

  • Little JulesLittle Jules Posts: 1,538

    I've had similar conversations with my mum - her parents made her wedding, and actually a lot of her friends have done the same with their children! But I've made clear that although I will talk things through with her, it's still my day. The biggest issue I had actually was her telling all her friends every little detail straight away, and discussing venue options and things. Drove me mad - had to ask her to stop!

  • Lou85Lou85 Posts: 1,915 New bride

    I think that the mummies just get so excited and want to plan such a perfect day that they get carried away! And I can see both sides because as brides we want the perfect day and we aren't always easy to negotiate with when we have an idea in our heads!

    I have truly loved planning my wedding with my Mum and she has been a big help in so many ways, but there were a few areas at the start of planning that caused a few upsets - mostly concerning the guest list and our decision to not invite certain extended family who we never see! I found that the easiest thing was to let her have her say and then address each point in turn explaining why we had decided to not invite that person etc. I also sent a little email to her - I felt it was easier to write it down otherwise I might get emotional and shout! She actually saw my point of view in the end. I just wafted the 'its not a bottomless pit of money' idea in front of her and that brought her round as she was paying. Ha!

    Can you take additional people to your tasting? We paid extra to have my parents there which actually worked really well and was good fun - but we selected the options to try and had final say.

    Give her responsibility for certain things - I got my mum to look into cars and sent her drafts of our table plan so that she could have a veto. She didn't change anything but she liked being asked. I also took her along to meet the photographer and cake tasting image

    The important thing is that your day will be perfect! You are lucky in many ways that she is so interested, there are a lot of brides on here whose mums don't seem to be image xx

  • I can sympathize! I've just finished having a "discussion" with my Mum about how excluded she's feeling - which is ,frankly, absolute bollocks as she's been consulted and kept up to date throughout the planning!

    My H2b and I live 3 hours away from either of our families and I think it's the fact that we're organising a lot of our wedding over the phone or via email that she is struggling with - it's a bit different to when she and my Dad married in 1980! She came with me when I was dress shopping,when I picked bridesmaid's dresses;she saw the invitation samples and was asked her opinion, and she's planning my Hen Do with my bridesmaids. Her "I feel excluded" moan today stemmed from the fact that I didn't go with her to pick up (pick up, not shop for) her MoB outfit as I had arranged to go and see florists whilst visiting this weekend. She knew that was what I was coming up for and never mentioned at any point when I've spoken to her in the past week about going to pick up her outfit (her outfit was bought from a shop that's an hour away, so couldn't really do both).

    Feeling both guilty and pissed off now. Guilty because in the end I reminded her that it was my H2B and I that are paying for the wedding, and that it is OUR wedding. Pissed off because I honestly don't understand how she could feel excluded as she's been, as I said consulted and kept up to date with everything we are doing.

  • SarahL1408SarahL1408 Posts: 154

    I have had a similar situation with my mum.  For me, the main problem was the fact that I did not want to upset mum.  However, once I said no for a few things, I seemed to regain control again.

    She still gets a bit huffy when I overrule her opinion but she is beginning to respect my decisions more.  I think my dad having a quiet word also helped.

    Hope all goes well for you.


  • LeaMarieLeaMarie Posts: 723

    Mine hasn't shown the slightest bit of interest in my wedding, and after reading this, I think I'm glad! image

  • I love the title of this thread! My mum has been a nightmare, made me change the theme three times, booked a wedding band that we have to pay for, but can't afford, told us she did not want to 'host' the wedding on the invites, then after they were all handed out got really offended that her name wasn't on it, hates my wedding dress, hates that the bridesmaids have mismatched dresses, won't refer to it as a wedding, as it's not a formal affair, etc... I told her how upset I was, and that this is the only chance we'll ever get to plan my wedding, and she has lightened up a bit, but sometimes in a very false, 'oh that's lovely' way.

    But she's my mum, I love her, and I'm trying hard to take it with a pinch of salt! She'll love it on the day, and as long as she has a good time, that's what matters!

  • hautocrafthautocraft Posts: 263 New bride

    I'm glad I'm not the only one!  I read your post and some things ran so true to me.

    Can I ask just out of interest (as I have no idea really), how much involvement is your Mum meant to have in your whole wedding planning etc.  Regardless of who's paying for the wedding, surely it's up to you and your fiance to decide on most things?  It's our day after all.

    I have done wedding dress shopping, vial, tiara, shoes and hair trials with her.  Is there anything else I'm "meant" to do?  Consult her on?  Involve her in?

    Would be interested in all your answers/experiences please.

  • herstoryherstory Posts: 1,268

    Things have changed so much in a generation, I am lucky my parents paid for theirs and made their own choices, my F parents in law had theirs planned by the brides parents and had so little say they hated it, the brides parents used it as a event to show off and dictated every detail including the colour of the brides dress!

    We have had contributions of both sets but agreed from the start if either set started trying to give too much input they would get the cash back!

    My parents are a few hours away and I am kinda sad my mum hasn't been able to be more involved. Although my FMIL is annoying me trying to muscle in on doing a reading even though she is a witness and FFIL is doing a reading and now she is coming up with excuses that didn't exist to have her make up done later in the day, which isn't happening I want a lie in and mine doing as late as possible so her choice is early or not at all!

    I think setting expectations from the start is the way to go, if either mum mentioned being excluded they'd get short shrift, or asked if they want to spend the day before doing the table decs!

  • RubyCatRubyCat Posts: 273 New bride

    whoever pays gets the final say. If your Mum is paying she will make the decisions.

    you could always pay yourself and have a smaller wedding

  • Sorry RubyCat but that's bollocks. Parents have the final say in WHETHER they want to give any money and the absolute only say in how much they are prepared to give.

    But no-one can dictate how someone else uses a gift. Gifts aren't given with strings attached. And if this is the case, then it should be made patently clear beforehand.

  • Spam88Spam88 Posts: 1,001

    I agree with redwhitebluelondon.  I think it can make things a bit difficult when people have given money and have an opinion, because the recipients of the money feel like the parents deserve a say having contributed towards the day.  However, to say they get final say is complete and utter rubbish.  When's the last time you gave someone a birthday present and said "Right, well now that I've given you that gift, here;s what you have to do".  My mum and dad very sweetly said they wanted to pay for my dress, but that doesn't mean they got any say in it...

  • KK12KK12 Posts: 927

    I also agree with redwhitebluelondon - I posted last night about my own mum as I've had enough of her behaviour - if your parents or anyone want to GIVE you money for your wedding, it should be given with no strings attached and if there are strings attached then I wouldn't accept it as it can bring you all a lot of trouble and grief!

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