While you may love/like/dislike/be indifferent to your family and your future-in-laws, you can expect that at some point during your busy wedding planning, you will have to deal with their comments, their suggestions, their opinions, and their ideas. All of which, of course, may be completely opposite to what you want. Our families seem to have this uncanny ability to make suggestions sound just like direct commands, which may make such requests difficult to digest.
Here’s a scenario. You have spent countless hours trying on various gowns and you have finally found one you love. Then you hear, “Honey, you really should go with the other gown.” Now, imagine that this occurs when you choose the reception hall, decide on the guest list and the seating arrangements, and the list goes on. How will you feel?
Will you feel suffocated or frustrated? By now, you’ve been thinking and planning for so long all you want to do is make some final decisions. You may even want to yell, “Why don’t you just all leave me alone? Why can’t I have the wedding that I want? It’s my wedding!”
Now, this doesn’t mean it will happen to you. In fact, you may have a very relaxed family who will reinforce your ideas. Or, you may not. The least you could do is expect that you may have to deal with your family in some way. Heated discussions over wedding issues can happen to even the most loving and caring family. It’s not so much about what words are being said, but their underlying meaning.
Sometimes, family may appear overbearing and demanding for the simple fact that they are also anxious about the wedding. It’s a huge transition for them as well and that’s hard to remember when you’re so boggled down by other details already. For some, they may see it as “gaining a son/daughter” or “losing my little baby”. Maybe, they’ve suddenly realized that you’re all grown up. Maybe, they’re thinking, “Will this marriage change our relationship? Will my son/daughter still love me just as before?”
If we take their potentially confused and anxious emotions into consideration, then maybe their suggestions are really saying, “I love you lots and I only want what’s best for you. I’m incredibly happy for you, but deep down inside I’m worried about how this will affect our relationship.” This is not to vouch for how your family may be feeling since only they themselves will have that answer. Thinking this way however, may give you a different viewpoint.
Take the time to decide with your fiancé, as one united front, on how you two will deal with potential pressures from loving family members. How about taking the time to invite them to a cozy dinner in Little Italy? Really validate them and express how much you love them, appreciate them, and reassure that your relationship with them will always be loving and strong. Instead of “taking away”, convey the message of “adding and accentuating”. You’ve already got so much to do, but taking the care to smooth out potential bumps in the road will make the rest of the planning go by more quickly and peacefully.