Ideal for managing your parents’ expectations and keeping them happy during the lead up to your wedding.
In recent years, weddings have got seriously expensive. At over £30,000 for the average wedding’s cost, according to a Hitched survey, let’s not mince our words here; you’re going to need your parents’ help. But with that acceptance of generosity also comes the danger of relinquishing some control of your big day, and many married couples-to-be find it tough to keep parents both involved in the planning but also at arm’s length in the decision making.
Indeed, though your parents might mean well in their offers of opinion and help, their good intentions can take the focus off you and your partner, which is counterproductive for all concerned. Whether it’s your own parents or your SO’s, this can lead to a little awkwardness. But it needn’t ruin your big day or cause rifts. Where weddings and parents are concerned, simply follow these 5 tips for involving your folks, IDEAL for managing your parents’ expectations during the lead up to your wedding.
BE OPEN ABOUT MONEY
It’s an unwritten rule that parents’ financial contributions give them some leeway to be involved a little in the wedding planning. After all, it’s a special day for all the family and once they’ve ‘invested’ in the wedding, they’ve earnt some involvement. If they ask for a certain person to be invited, for instance, it’s not as if you can turn them down when they’ve saved up and paid for half of the event.
Still, it’s healthy to clarify what’s expected from all parties during the many months of wedding planning, and to set some ground rules to prevent confusion and hurt. Having that difficult though necessary conversation about their wants and needs will allow you to decide whether to accept the money at all.
But let’s not be too clinical and cynical here. Indeed, some of their offers of help (beyond the financial) will be entirely welcome and a really positive addition to the wedding planning, such as hosting a cocktail party in the days leading up to the event, or even a small event afterwards to celebrate a successful wedding.
If you want to keep your parents busy and focused on the event without them meddling in all the finer details, then carefully choose some task specific roles which they could complete, keeping them busy and occupied in the run up.
Should your father be a skilled baker, for instance, you could ask him to make the cake. If your mum has an eye for aesthetics and an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things floral, then of course she’d be perfect for helping out with the flower arranging. Rather than leaving the planning in the (interfering) hands of the gods, make work for idle ones instead.
INVITE THEM OUT IN THE LEAD UP
Though bridesmaids and groomsmen are the people you naturally turn to for help and support during days out in the lead up to your wedding, your parents and in-laws also deserve a place on those outings. After all, it’s a huge occasion for them, too, and it’s cruel to leave them out of the fun shopping trips and drinking sessions.
With that in mind, don’t forget to make a concerted effort to involve them in the planning outings, particularly when it has a specific focus. For example, you could ask them to go cake teasting or dress shopping with you and your friends, as well as attending any champagne tastings and, of course, the stag and hen parties. Not only will they feel part of the wedding, but you’ll bond more, too. If in doubt, it’s better to put the offer out there and let them say no than not to offer at all.
ATTEND THEIR SHOPPING TRIPS, TOO
On the flip side, you could join your parents and inlaws on their shopping trips in the lead up to the wedding, too. The experts at Ronald Joyce dresses, who are renowned for ensuring that mums feel incredible as they design with mothers in mind, suggest that ‘’the wedding of your son or daughter will be one of the most important and spectacular events of your life…remember that communication with other members of the wedding party will help you most in choosing what to wear’’.
We think that accompanying parents on their outfit shopping trips is a great way to communicate clearly about the co-ordinated look you’re hoping for at the wedding, without your folks going too off-piste in their dress or suit choice.
THANK THEM IN THE SPEECHES
It’s a little touch, yet using your wedding speech to thank your parents for all their help during the wedding preparation is a brilliant way to show how much you care, publicly and emotionally.
Hey, is someone cutting onions nearby?
This is your chance to show your appreciation for all your parents’ and your inlaws’ help, so do endeavour to include them when you’re writing your speech. Check out these Confetti tips on finding the perfect words to express your gratitude during the speeches for inspiration.
And with that, all the stress and slog of the planning stage will be but a distant memory. Your parents and inlaws will be delighted with the big day but most importantly, the happy couple will be just that; happily ever after.