Autumn Lee of Autumn Lee Studios is giving some helpful advice for brides on how to love and care for their mothers and future mother-in-law leading up to the wedding day!
For a decade, as a wedding photographer, I have borne witness to the organized mayhem of weddings. Here is my simple advice for a brides guide to the love and care of your mother during your wedding journey. Sweet human, you are getting married and I need to talk to you about some things!
What you are about to embark upon is big, chaotic, emotionally and financially expensive. Perhaps, with this small bit of perceptive I am about to share, your matrimonial day will sail more smoothly.
Firstly, I send you love and forgiveness for all the ways you may lash out in the crazy planning time. Weddings are so much; SOOOO much muchness. I give you grace and understanding for the breakdown and the passing storms of frustration you are sure to experience on this wedding planning journey.
I urge you to give yourself loving space for this daunting challenge and to give grace to others that are attempting to support you on your wedding day.
With ten years of professional wedding photography I have never seen a bridezilla. I have seen a bride that is emotional, triggered, vulnerable, scared, disappointed, stressed, anxious, and utterly exhausted. But, never a bridezilla. Brides just want the best day possible and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Weddings are beautiful days and sometimes brutal days; weddings are always brutiful! It is all the emotional weather of the day that makes for a peopley-messy-wedding- storm and if there are rough patches in the voyage of the day, it is almost always because of misaligned or miscommunicated expectations.
You are bound to have some choppy waters on your wedding day adventure. You are not a bridezilla, you are just a human who wants the best day possible.
I believe in the good of all people. I believe in the your mother's good intentions and that of your partners mother, though they may be endlessly irritating in the wedding process. Mothers come with a ton of emotional baggage to the wedding adventure. That baggage can look as unique as the mothers themselves.
Sometimes mothers are totally disengaged and that is sad and hurtful on many levels. Some mothers are exhaustingly engaged and their perhaps unwelcome input is a projectile missile launched at you at every turn.
If you have awesome mothers helping you that have found the balance of being kind, generous, helpful and supportive yet non-judging and controlling, then your mothers are in fact alien unicorns and should be dipped in gold and placed on a pedestal at your wedding because that is the rarest of the rare.
What you probably have is a mother who loves you and is mortal, slightly dramatic, maternally impassioned and sometimes exhausting.
Lean in, let’s chat about that! Mothers have a lot of mental emotional stuff going on upstairs around your wedding day, as they should. They too want your day to be awesome and of course, they have opinions about how that should be because they have actually been thinking about this day since you were born. They most often want to help you, but they may actually not know how.
As humans, we can’t help but project our own personal journey on others. Surely, your mom is being triggered by all her own personal wedding stuff as she leans into help you with yours.
Do your very best in this wedding trek to keep perspective on what issues are hers and try not to absorb them emotionally AND listen to her. She may not have loved her wedding dress or her DJ and consequently wants to be very sure you love yours. That’s ok. Honor that.
Hear her and love her from the place she comes from and then do what you need to do, with acknowledgement and compassion. Take some time to sit down and think about specifically how you want your moms to be included in the planning process and the actually wedding day. Put yourself in their shoes with their particular skill set, financial resources, and geographic location. Think to yourself what is actually realistic to expect from her.
Once you craft a brainstorm of ideas, have a direct and loving conversation with your mom and see what she is open to. Include her in things she is good at and give her specific “jobs” that she will like and excel in. A mother's intuition is to come to their child’s rescue when they feel they need saving.
The best thing you can do with your moms is assure them that you are on track for planning and to offer them sold suggestions for ways they can be included and help.
Never force your moms into a project, but do be lovingly clear about your expectations of them so that they can rise to the occasion.
Communication is the key to walking the wedding planning journey with your moms. Your mom may not always know best, but they always have your best interest in mind. It is turbo important to be clear about when you just need to vent and when you need them to rescue you.
Remember, this is a big day for your moms too. They need to be recognized and valued and although they would probably do anything for you, there is not requirement anywhere that says they have to help and support you in this adventure.
Honor them every chance you get! Be grateful for whatever they offer and say thank you every dang change you get.
We're convinced Autumn of Autumn Lee Studios has some of the best advice around! As a professional wedding photographer, she is frequently asked, “Can you tell which couples will last?” Here's her advice. Hint: relationships aren't easy.
Author // Autumn Lee Studios