Rehearsal Dinner Advice


I am the mother of the groom and typically the groom's parents host the rehearsal dinner which I am looking forward to. However, the mother of the bride is driving me nuts. . she is buying all kinds of stuff. . . decorations, plates, etc. I have a theme in mind and that is a luau (since the theme of the wedding is tropical). I enjoy planning and decorating but she is taking over! I want to start out having a good relationship with the family but I want to discuss this with her. Someone suggested talking to the "bride" and tell her how I feel and let her tell her mother. Or do I talk to the mother myself?

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This could be a delicate situation, depending on the personality of the MOB. First, does she understand that you are the hosts of this event? Maybe that hasn't been made clear to her. If not, then the bride should remind her mother that this is a time for her to relax and enjoy herself without worrying about the details.

If it isn't possible for the bride to talk with the mom, then you may need to let her know that you appreciate her involvement, but you would like to have the opportunity to plan this one piece of the wedding. Depending on her personality, she will either respond favorably or maybe be a bit embarrassed that she was rushing into areas where she didn't need to.

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You know, I understand how you must feel -- I would really want to do it all my own way -- but this may actually be a wonderful opportunity for something much more important.

Maybe she is feeling and acting they way she would with a sister or brother, as if you already are one big family. That's a good thing, in my view.

Possibly she is trying hard to be helpful, especially if you are hosting a lot of her family and friends, or if you are out of town or something.

Entirely taking over is another thing, but I'm not sure that's what you mean. You picked the theme, venue, menu, music, etc., I'm guessing. Can you maybe incorporate the stuff she bought with your own choices? That will make her feel good without interfering all that much with your own tastes.

As I said, I, too, wouldn't like it -- I'd feel like she has her turn at the wedding, this is my turn to be the host. (And that's even assuming I didn't hate what she bought!) But there may be a "greater good" here if you can look at it that way.

If it's going too far, though, talk to her -- DON'T triangulate it through her daughter. Be sure to be very nice and have twice as much gratitude for her helpfulness as request that she back off. Make sure the tone is more "Let us surprise you!" and not at all "Butt out!"

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