Avoid arguments with parents before marriage vows

Planning a wedding can cause conflict between married couples and their parents.

Some quarrels are minor. Should the table linen be white or ivory?

But disagreements can turn into a rift between families.

The insecurity, says Tamar Blank, a psychologist, is largely to blame. “Parents may feel insecure or vulnerable because they are ‘losing’ their child,” she says. “They might want to feel more appreciation. Or they can have their own insecurities that impact the way they treat their children.

“Likewise,” she adds, “children may feel insecure because their parents may pay for the marriage, while the child longs for more power and control.”

Even the most accommodating bride and groom can find themselves arguing with their parents before the wedding day, regardless of who pays. After all, everyone seems to have an opinion.

How do couples resolve marriage planning conflicts with their parents before someone’s feelings are bruised or relationships damaged?

Here are four key lessons from couples who have dealt with such disagreements.

Popsicles and Pop-Tarts

Joy and Kevin Davis, both 28 and living in Dublin, had planned to serve Popsicles and Pop-Tarts for dessert at their late-morning wedding, which they paid for themselves, last May. in Austin, Texas.

But Joy’s mother really wanted the couple to have a wedding cake.

“A cake was a long way off our priority paying list, but it turned out my mom really cared,” says Joy, a public relations consultant. “In the end, I let my mom take care of the ordering, payment and installation of the cakes, and we had one at our wedding.”

The moral: “Both parties need to communicate what is important to them,” Blank says.

Beer and wine

For Mishal and Aaron Majewski, deciding whether or not to hold a religious wedding ceremony was a controversial debate. Aaron (36), a restaurant manager, was raised as a Christian; Mishal, a 30-year-old listener, was raised Muslim. Her parents wanted the couple to have a traditional Muslim wedding, but the couple preferred a more secular ceremony.

The couple organized two wedding ceremonies. The first was a traditional Muslim ceremony at the couple’s home in November 2017, in front of a small group of family and friends. The couple officially married at a reception the following April. “We had a short and sweet secular ceremony that we were able to personalize as a couple,” said Mishal.

Another issue was the service of alcohol, which is prohibited at traditional Muslim weddings. “My family is very traditional and my mother was worried that her conservative Muslim friends would be offended,” says Mishal. “She was also worried about the appearance of intoxicated shenanigans in wedding photos and what our conservative family would say overseas.”

But half of the couple’s guests were Americans “and were expecting some sort of cocktail,” she said. “To compromise, we ordered custom mugs in our wedding colors so that we could serve beer and wine to our guests without appearing to be serving beer and wine to our guests.”

Blank says couples need to be aware of how they frame their conversation with parents. “When you say the word ‘compromise’ often everyone in the room is turned off,” she says. “So I wouldn’t use that word.”

She recommends that couples say something like, “I respect where you’re from. Let’s find a way to work together so that we can both get what we want and we are both happy.

Freight elevator

When Alanna and Dylan Murray from New York City started planning their wedding, the couple’s vision initially didn’t match what Alanna’s mother had in mind. “My mom wanted a more traditional Long Island wedding in a country club-style venue,” says Alanna, 31, who works in public relations. “We knew that was not what we wanted. We wanted something more urban and unique.

“The tradeoff was that I went to see my mom’s locations and probably visited five locations on Long Island,” she says. “Ultimately she realized that the Long Island country club scene was not representative of our tastes or our aesthetic and just not what we wanted.”

With Alanna’s mother on board, the couple married in September 2014 at Greenpoint Loft, a pre-war Brooklyn warehouse converted into an event space. Alanna had a problem with the venue. “My mom was absolutely horrified when she had to take a freight elevator to the fourth floor,” says Alanna.

“She won’t admit it, but I’m pretty sure she sent a painter into the building the day before the wedding to paint the graffiti in the freight elevator.” The owner of the building asked us if we knew anything about this and we just played the fool.

Invitation list

Many couples, including the Murrays, disagree with their parents on how many guests to invite. Both sets of parents, Alanna says, “wanted to invite tons of extended family members that we had never even met.”

The couple wanted a more intimate wedding.

“My mother-in-law actually had a relative’s name on her version of the guest list who we later found out was deceased,” she says. “That’s how far away she was. “

To solve the problem, Alanna’s husband got help. “He enlisted his sister and father to help him convince his mother that extended family members would not be insulted if they weren’t invited,” she says.

“It also helped break down the cost per person and show how much all the extra people would be. We had a fixed budget and would have had to sacrifice other things, like having a live band, to accommodate more guests.

Ultimately, the couple’s invitation list was reduced to around 130 out of 160, and around 120 guests attended the wedding.

No distant relatives were invited. – The New York Times

James B. Helms