The M.O.B. Mentality…
By Adrian Cavlan
Well, you just say the words “Mother Of The Bride” to some wedding pros and they get a little shiver.
Maybe they have dealt with someone in the past who has been difficult or perhaps heard some stories of things that got a little testy, but really, let’s be fair: being the Mother Of The Bride is not always easy! Let’s look at a few reasons why:
• Emotions – A person is about to “marry off” their daughter. Enough said! All of the hopes and dreams that go with that and maybe a little bit of worry too. And it’s not for anyone but Mom to judge whether those emotions are legitimate or not. They are hers and she is having to deal with them.
• Making her daughter happy – Every girl dreams of what her wedding day might be like one day, and in this age of people sharing the most unbelievable pictures and video of the most extravagant weddings all over Pinterest, YouTube and blogs, a bride’s aspirations and expectations for her own wedding have gone up a few notches in this last decade. Mom is definitely feeling the pressure of those expectations and doesn’t want to disappoint.
• Making her new son-in-law’s family happy – For better or worse, impressions are made at weddings, and Mom and Dad really want to make sure people see them as how they want to be perceived. This usually adds a lot of pressure as many decisions may be made with this in mind.
• Paying for the wedding – This is of course the convergence of all of the things we just looked at in #2 & 3 above. High expectations and the desire to portray oneself in the best light usually come with a hefty price tag, which is why most couples/families end up exceeding their initial wedding budget.
• Hosting all the people coming into town for the wedding – This is one of those afterthoughts once the wedding is booked and a surprising amount of conflict can arise around it: who gets to stay at Mom & Dad’s house? Who get’s to stay at Uncle Tim’s? Who then is left to put up at hotels? Are there affordable options in your area that are close to where all the action will be? And how many days will the guests be in town and need to be entertained?
• What she’s going to wear – Whoa this can be a BIG one! It seems simple enough, but it’s not. The taboo of being perceived as “competing” with the bride. The color of the dress, the cut of the dress, the makeup (not too much, but appropriate for the occasion), the hair… In the end, there’s “right” and “not right” and it’s a stresser trying to figure that out!
• Worry about the ceremony and reception – And well, then there’s THAT! So all these emotions, all these finances, every person in the world important to you and your husband, your daughter, her fiance, his family… and it all HAS TO GO RIGHT! It’s a week before the big day and you haven’t been able to get ahold of the florist. Oh my gosh – maybe we should’ve gone with that other one who was an extra $500 but seemed perfect! What if that hired officiant is a no-show? Is there a backup plan? What if the DJ doesn’t pronounce the father of the groom’s name right during introductions? What if no one dances and leaves early???? These are the thoughts that torment the Mother Of The Bride!
So, I think empathy is the prescription here. Try to understand what she may be going through and how she might be dealing with it inside. As joyful a time as it is in her life, there’s no way you could call it an easy time, so give her a little extra love and understanding, and maybe just a little wider berth during the process. That way you can both be a little happier : )