Offbeat Advice #3

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Offbeat Advice #3 from arielmeadow on Vimeo.

I would like to add to my advice in the video: if you work it right, having a mother-in-law who's an event planner could be a really awesome thing! I'd also like to open it up to my beloved offbeat brides and ask all you: how would you make the most of having a MIL who's a wedding planner, but who has some traditional ideas for your wedding?

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Comments on Offbeat Advice #3

  1. If she was a very strong willed person and wanted everything traditional, I would, without a doubt, gracefully decline her help, or maybe just ask for her help in one area, such as dealing with the caterer. I definitely wouldn’t accept her money though. I have a hard enough time accepting money for anything as it is, but from someone that wants to control something as important as my wedding…no way. Or again, I would just ask her to specifically pay for the caterer (where she could control it all she wanted) or some other part of the wedding that isn’t as crucial.
    Fortunately my MIL isn’t contributing anything. She’s very traditional and religious (we are neither)and uses guilt trips to get her way.

  2. Good advice there Ariel. I totally think the video’s work for the longer replies! Keep em coming!

    Also, ‘bitches’ is fine with me!

  3. We wanted to avoid the whole “we gave you money, so we decide how the wedding is going to go” scenario. We did this by not letting anyone know we were engaged for a couple of months! We booked and paid the deposit for the venue (and at the time of day we wanted: morning), I bought my dress (tea length), and then we told everyone that we were engaged. I think it prevented a lot of headaches. Our parents are helping out financially, but they are working within our plan.

    This is working well for us so far. We’ve made some accommodations for the interests of our parents, but the basic details of the wedding are our own. Yes, this means I paid for my dress myself but it was worth it!! My advice is: if you feel strongly about certain details, go ahead, book it or purchase it, and pay for it yourself (if you can) before asking the advice of family.

  4. My future MIL has three daughters that she has helped plan wedding for, so I lucked out in that she’s pretty much over it, and looking forward to letting someone else do the foot work this time.

    With that said I can see some advantages… and some loopholes. She probably has some kicking connections to vendors in the area, and may have an inside track on getting better deals/quality.

    One way you could approach her on the planning stuff would be to show appreciation for her and her efforts, and then start making sublet suggestions. Hate the pink roses? “Those are really nice, but what do you think of these rose colored peonies?” Not digging the menu? “Wow that all looks great, but I think Husband-to-be might really enjoy [these substitutions].”

    Unfortunately you are in a position of having to negotiate instead of make your own decisions, but if you get involved in a positive way, you’ll probably be able to make a lot more changes than if you are adversarial.

    Additionally, there are things that you can have control over that fall outside the wedding planning umbrella. You and your honey can meet with your officiant ahead of time to plan the ceremony (she may choose him, but you can chose how he performs the ceremony). You can write your own vows, and you can pick where you go for your hair and makeup ;).

    Remember that you are going to be dealing with her in the future, so it’s probably going to be best to be diplomatic at this point. I wish you all the best!

  5. I wouldn’t want to encourage you to be totally phoney but I think acting excited about things she would like (that you are ok with) would work out well. Also, anything you could go either way with — ask for her input. Tell her you think she might have some really great ideas regarding _________. It’s that whole honey vs vinegar thing — make her feel like she’s in charge and you should be able to keep things in your control. xo
    PS: Ariel, “bitches” are fine, I will also accept “minions” or “my peeps”

  6. For sure don’t be phony! Just look for opportunities where you can work with her as opposed to just turning the whole thing over :).

  7. If my MIL was a wedding planner I would let her take care of every single detail…as long as I had no strong feelings about it. Table arrangements at the reception? Go for it! A custom-made guest book? Whatever, thanks Mom!

    I it’s silly not to use any available resources and though I’m all for it being MY wedding, yelling “mine, mine, mine” isn’t a great way to start a good relationship with a new family member.

  8. I understand what you’re going through, and I think the above advice is great, as well as Ariel’s.

    I’m newly-engaged, and my very conservative mother is giving us most of the money for the wedding. I lucked out in that we reached a great compromise: we can use what we need to have the small, intimate, slightly crunchy wedding that we want, and my mom can invite her huge extended family to a party at my hometown after the wedding. We’ll keep our wedding budget small, do what we wanted, and she’ll be happy to have the huge blow-out with all of the people that we don’t really know.

    I think your situation could work in reverse. Perhaps you and your fiance could save some of the money you’re not spending on the wedding to throw your own little kick-ass party/reception, do it your way, after the wedding is over? Or channel all of that saved money and planning energy into coming up with a perfect honeymoon that is completely and utterly “you guys.” It might help you relax to know that you’ve got an arena where it will be 100% what you want/need as a couple, and let her deal with the stress of the wedding planning.

    Good luck!

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