Not So Easy Breezy

Whenever people would tell me that they had an extravagant wedding because their parents wanted them to I would scoff. My parents would never try to make me have something I didn’t want! Mumsy has told me horror stories about how her parents forced her into something super traditional and expensive since they were paying for it (probably why my dad chose a powder blue tux for himself and orange for his groomsmen… and I wonder where I get my oppositional streak), so I knew they’d be happy to let us plan whatever we like.

Until the other night, when I called my mom to discuss, for the very first time, anything even remotely wedding-like. These are the actual things she said to me in the 10 minutes I could stand to stay on the phone:

  • You want to have it in Connecticut? Who do you think is going to come to that?
  • You’re thinking July? Why, so we can all sweat to death?
  • Who’s paying for this?
  • Ok, let me look at some of the ideas you posted on Pinterest: the photobooth idea is stupid, absolutely not to those centerpieces, mason jars are redneck, hate that, hate that, hate that, that dress wouldn’t look good on you, no, no, no.

Even though I was just discussing possibilities, things Jay and I have talked about, her rudeness made that hereditary oppositional streak come out in full force. I was very close to ordering everything she hated just to spite her, but managed to hold back. Instead, I said: “Good thing you’re not planning the wedding, then. We’re going to pick what we want, and we like all those ideas, and you’re being rude.” Didn’t faze her at all. She insisted that she absolutely does get to plan part of the wedding, and when I insisted just as hard that she didn’t she plaintively asked, “What do I get to pick, then?” I told her she could pick where she was sitting.

Needless to say, the conversation did not end well. I was mostly bewildered by her attitude, but also overwhelmed with angry and disappointed feelings. I know she’s probably stressed about things like money and time and she’s just not great at expressing her anxieties, but damn, Mumsy. Jay seems to think she’ll come around eventually. That would be really nice, of course, but if she doesn’t, maybe I’ll just have to remind her that her wedding ending with people getting so drunk they stole cars out of the parking lot and crashed them, and ate bowls of hummus using rolled up dollar bills as bread.

**Update: She texted me to say she gave herself an attitude adjustment about the whole thing. Not an apology, but something at least? Unfortunately we talked on the phone after that, which ended with actual tears on her part when I said I was thinking about hiring an ice cream truck. I think she’s going to have a really hard time with this process. Pull it together, Mumsy Lou!

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If you're reading this, you probably already know me. If you don't, I'm so sorry for you.
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15 Responses to Not So Easy Breezy

  1. Becky says:

    I just didn’t tell my parents or my MIL about anything wedding related. I became a master of, “Oh, that’s interesting,” and “Hmmm, we haven’t decided yet.”

    Best of luck to you. I’m sure it will get better!

  2. Marguerite says:

    Delurking to say that this was one of the hardest things to come to terms with at my wedding: that other people besides myself had opinions that needed to be respected and occasionally included. That as much as I just wanted to have a party, other accommodations needed to be made. I still got most of what I wanted, and letting our parents (ok – moms) have control of a few details made the event happier for everyone. Although, ice cream trucks and photo booths are the best, so hold fast!

  3. NGS says:

    Congratulations, again! You’re getting married! Yay! Being married is the absolute awesomest and I’m so excited for you!!

    Now, the wedding planning sucks. There are STILL people (over five years later) bitching about the following things about my wedding: buffet instead of servers, father didn’t walk the bride down the aisle, non-religious ceremony, no kids allowed (seriously, my SIL brings this up EVERY time we see her – “wouldn’t it be nice to have some pictures of E. from when she was little?”), and the location.

    And, honestly, because these things still come up, I wish I had bent more on some of them. So, I totally support any and all decisions you make (I LOVE photobooths!), but my only advice to you is that if someone is going to get grumpy about something and bring it up over and over and over again, really think hard about how much it’s going to impact your life in future and whether or not it’s okay to give a little.

    Some things totally are worth sticking to your guns on, of course.

    But, congratulations! Being married is awesome!! (This was my mantra during wedding planning. And it’s TRUE. Feel free to adopt it.)

  4. Wow, I’m so sorry, what a mess! I don’t think you need a cake, or engraved invitations, or yards and yards of gold ribbon or whatever. I think photo booths and ice cream trucks sound fantastic and matching bridesmaid’s dresses sound like a drag (ditto on bridesmaids). I know that is all easy to say when you aren’t talking to your Mom, or MIL, or anyone else who has strong opinions on these sorts of things. Can you tell her that if she can’t support you and your choices in a ceremony and party to celebrate you and Jay then she will receive an invitation but will not be involved in the planning? Would she pull any promised funding if you said that? Do you need the money to have the kind of party you want?

    (My sweetheart and I actually eloped 3 months before our “ceremony” and celebration…my Mom still has no idea. OopsieAwesome!?)


  5. Photobooths are awesome. I still laugh my ass off when I go back and look at the album of photobooth pictures from our wedding.

    I’m sorry about Mumsy. I don’t know what it is about weddings that brings out the most stubborn, opinionated side about moms. I think my mom was anxious about the fact that I was getting married and therefore no longer symbolically hers (my parents and I have always been a little too tightly knit) and didn’t know how to deal with that emotion. I hope Mumsy softens a bit as you continue to make decisions about everything. If you put together a wedding you and Jay love, then ultimately it will feel most like you, and people should get it.

  6. RA says:

    Ohh, Mumsy. I do think weddings bring out the strangest aspects of people, but most of all, mothers. Stick to your guns, lady!

  7. badger reader says:

    ICE CREAM TRUCK! That sounds awesome. Planning thoroughly sucks and I hope the teary phone calls have now just gotten out of the way. There will always be disagreements and caddy remarks. Wishing you strength and serenity for the ability to plan what you and Jay want. Hugs.

  8. Weddings do tend to bring out very strong, often unexpected feelings. But the bottom line is, it’s your wedding. It’s worth doing things that you dont care one way or another about if it makes the fam happy (like, we hired a pastor-type person to do our wedding because Joel’s family is very religious, even though i couldnt give less of a crap whether god approves my marriage or not, as long as its legally binding in the eyes of uncle sam).

    If mason jars are redneck then I’m off to shoot some squirrels for dinner :) Wish we lived closer and you could borrow my vintage blue Ball mason jars!

  9. Corinne says:

    Ice cream truck + photo booth = WIN. The best part of a girlfriend’s wedding was when one girl went ass over teakettle out of the photo booth. HILARIOUS.

    This is also why I had my wedding on the West Coast. All anyone could do was show up.

  10. courtney says:

    Ice cream trucks rule. This is an indisputable fact.

    MOTHERS, am I right? It really sucks that her rudeness is threatening to ruin your wedding planning fun. I read all the other comments and I’m sure there’s some logic to considering other opinions about your wedding, but … and this is coming from a never-married person, mind you … I say DO WHAT YOU WANT. Everyone else can get the eff over it.

  11. Oh lord. I hated planning our wedding with the power of a thousand suns. It brought out the weirdest parts of everyone. I was shocked. (It also brought out the worst parts of me… like the moment when my dad innocently asked about our “first dance song,” and I had a total meltdown because I did not want all those people staring at me. Wow.) Just hang in there, and remember: this is temporary. Occasionally, I would remind myself that “I will never have this particular fight EVER AGAIN,” and it really helped.

    And being married is the greatest greatest greatest.

  12. Julie says:

    It’s always so surprising to me to receive reactions from people when you think they would have been different. Hopefully everything will work itself out!

    For the record, and ice cream truck is the coolest idea ever. Period.

  13. Marie says:

    Yay family. They’re so much fun.

    My mom was in Lebanon when I planned the whole thing and at first she did push back a little on my ideas, but my dad basically told her to tone it down and I can be very stubborn. In the end she loved all my ideas so much when she saw it all put together.

    I think it might be more that parents see this as a HUGE thing – their little kid getting married. It’s super emotional and they can react in super weird ways.

    We had a photobooth. Worth. Every. Penny. And an ice cream truck?? AWESOME.

  14. erikka says:

    While you may have been blunt, while there may have been tears, now that you’ve said what you needed to say it will get better. Now if and when you need to say it again, it won’t hurt as much AND you can look for … authentic ways in which to involve the people you love.

    As a newly married 30s something myself, I just went through a similar experience. I had to remind myself DAILY – “This is our wedding” or “This is our only wedding.” I listened to my mom, I included her where I could, and in the end, she said she had the best time, though none of it was of her design and many of her dreams for my wedding did not happen.

    That’s the hard part – moms may have their dreams, but in reality they already had their shot at this particular dream. Now, it is your dream.

  15. Lara says:

    Ahhh! Wedding planning!!! i kind of love it. I’m serious when I say if you need anyone to make calls/inquiries/price comparisons, I’m you’re gal. I’m a stay at home mom who spends most M-W-F mornings driving a sleeping baby around because he has fallen asleep on the way to drop his big brother off at school.

    Also, I am way jealous of your potential photobooth. I wanted one at my wedding, but there wasn’t a vendor anywhere near the locale and it would have cost a small fortune.

    You and your mom will get through this, I promise! Weirdly, I didn’t care much about anything other than my dress and the food at my wedding. Oh wait, that’s not so weird after all, ha ha. It wasn’t until I got pregnant with Bear that I became kind of obsessed with wedding shows, which is REALLY STRANGE, but wharves.

    So exciting!! ALso, hi! :)

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