Parents’ Favourite Line

Copyright © 2012 Karen Rhodes

Parents Favourite Line – “You can have whatever you want for your wedding…..but”

There is always a but! You can have exactly what you want as long as they agree with it, is what they mean. They are paying so as long as it’s in line with what they want it’s absolutely fine. Parents would disagree strongly with this statement but sat at a wedding meeting I know for a fact its 99.9% accurate. If you don’t believe me, test the theory, suggest something a bit off the wall and different and listen to the response. It will almost certainly be something along the lines of “that’s a really nice idea but don’t you think…….” would be better?

The parents that say you can have exactly what you want and actually mean it are few and far between. The hope is that they’ve brought you up and will therefore you will want what they want. In reality that doesn’t work. Remember saying “you can have what you want” isn’t the same as saying “you can both have what you both want” that’s definitely not what they mean. Another person has joined the equation and has his own thoughts and ideas. Your future husband has been brought up completely differently and his hopes and dreams won’t necessarily co-incide with your parents.

Which way do you go, whose side do you take, do you have to take sides? How bloody complicated does it have to be. In all honesty you’ll probably know exactly what your parents want for you. Do you stand side by side with your future husband knowing full well that his ideas will be a complete antithesis to what your parents want or do you do what most people do and try and manipulate both sides so you can come up with acceptable common ground?

It’s not just the wedding it can be views on life, on where you are going to live, on how you bring your kids up or even if you are going to have kids. The wedding is usually the first step of in the process of working together to find your own way which may or may not be different from the way your parents think.

The differences in families can be profound and it can be quite unsettling in the run up to the wedding. It can take the mildest form i.e. you are thinking of having a traditional 3 course meal and he fancies an informal BBQ in the garden. Hopefully with something like that it’s fairly simple to compromise, or maybe not. Maybe his parents have always dreamed of having the reception at the local golf club and yours think a marquee in the garden is the way to go. The differences each couple face even down to what drinks should be served may and do cause arguments. You want cocktails in the garden, he wants vintage champagne. He knows his mates would love a beer at the reception and you know your mum would have a tantrum at the thought of someone actually walking around with a pint in their hand at her daughters wedding. Some would rather savour one class of classic champagne, others would prefer 4 glasses of cava!

Canapés or no canapés, morning suit or tuxedo, rented or bought the list goes on. Band or disco, early wedding or late, church or civil ceremony, his religion or yours, a weeks walking in Scotland or 3 weeks on the beach in Barbados. Evening guests or not, vintage wines versus cheap and cheerful. I do versus I don’t.

What will they think, what will you care?

Don’t think it won’t happen because it will. It starts off with the biggies and quickly progresses to the little things. Before you know it you are arguing between mange tout and sugar snap peas.

Thank god for the smoking ban. The biggest argument ever was whether or not to have smoking at the wedding. The situation was always a thousand times worse if one of the parents smoked. The common line of ” I’m paying all this money for my daughters wedding and if I want to smoke I damn well will” was heard throughout the country and if the bride or groom smoked the problem was compounded tenfold. Thank the lord that isn’t an issue anymore because I don’t think it was ever resolved successfully. For anyone that doesn’t know you can’t smoke inside an enclosed building or marquee at a wedding however much money you have. If you are employing people they are perfectly at will to walk out and you won’t get a penny back. The wealthy often think they have the divine right to smoke whenever they want because they are paying, WRONG.

Before you know it the whole wedding becomes a nightmare and you can often wonder what on earth you are doing. What’s the answer? Is there one?

You need to take a step back and ask someone that’s impartial and then listen to what they say regardless whether they agree with you or not. You can always find someone that will agree with you and take your side, that’s not what you want or need. Usually someone you are paying will give it to you straight. There is nearly always an answer, sometimes it’s just a little bit harder to find. You’ve got to get back to the reason you are getting married and what really matters and use that as a starting point. Everything else isn’t important as long as you are a team. If you can’t agree on the wedding chances are you won’t agree in life and you may as well cut your losses now.

Karen Rhodes is a Wedding & Event Planner and Wedding Caterer who has been in the wedding industry for twenty years and knows all the problems a modern bride faces. For our free guide on Planning The Perfect Wedding go to and fill your name and email address in our sign up box.

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