Q: My son, who is an only child, has plans to wed in June but we, the family, are not involved in the wedding planning. The bride-to-be and her parents have been doing all the planning. They decided on the colours for the wedding, then sent notice to my son as to the colours his side of the family should wear. They had the audacity to even state the type of material. They have decided on her church and priest, although we are of a different denomination. Our pastor will not be one of the officiating pastors. They will be using their photographer and videographer. They have decided on decorations and the florist. They have not asked for any financial contribution toward the reception or florist. We both can afford to fund the wedding but they are doing it all alone. I do not even know who will toast us at the wedding reception.
My son does not see anything unusual about us being sidelined and him being a bystander. He is so in love that he cannot understand what I am saying. However, it is indicative that his wife-to-be will be the boss and that his in-laws will dominate the affairs of his marriage. I am going to the wedding with a heavy heart. My husband and son think I am making a mountain out of a molehill. What do you think?
A: Congratulations that your only son has found love and has plans to wed the love of his life. Traditionally, it is the bride’s family that underwrites the cost of the reception. And it is good that they are able and willing to undertake that responsibility. However, there are other ways you can make a contribution. You can give your son funds towards the honeymoon and also a financial contribution toward a house purchase. You could help with the cost of the wedding ring for the bride or the clothes for the groom’s party.You could also offer to host a dinner for both families to meet, greet and talk. Finally, there will be many other opportunities to help your son and his wife, so do not worry about not being requested to help with the costs associated with the reception, florist, etc.
Additionally, it is usually brides rather than grooms who have interest in wedding planning. Therefore, do not rob your daughter-in-law of this privilege. Perhaps it is because he is your only child why you are anxious to have a lead role in the planning of the wedding. Further-more, the wedding is usually in the bride’s church and her priest would be the main celebrant. However, courtesy would demand that your son’s pastor be a member of the officiating team once the church policy allows that. In addition, you could propose who you want to toast you at the reception.
That your daughter-in-law-to-be is the main planner for the wedding is not indicative that she will be dominant in the marriage. Similarly, it is not indicative that your son will be disinterested in the operations of his family, based on the role he is playing in the planning.
It is obvious you have many ideas concerning wedding planning. Hopefully, someone will consult you sometime in your life. Do not put additional pressure on your son, because a wedding can be stressful. Instead, be very supportive and do not plant negative thoughts in his head. You can help your son in the response that he will give at the reception and encourage him to rehearse in front of you, and ensure he thanks the bride and her family for the excellent planning they have done.
Listen to your husband and go and enjoy the wedding.