mother of the bride

“I am very new to the wedding planning business and I have coordinated 5 wedding so far. I have a wedding scheduled in August 7, 2015 and just got a text message from the bride very upset because her mother is telling her is is not coming due to several reasons. A couple of reasons are the sun, she doesn’t have a dress and she wants things done her way and the bride refused some ideas.

The bride is in remission with breast cancer and the groom has bilateral kidney failure. And to have her mother do this to her 3 weeks before the wedding is upsetting.

Anyways as the coordinator how much should I step in? Please give me some advice this is the first time I have had this type of issue.” – Jessica

Answer: “I’m a wedding pro, not a family counselor, Jim.”

Holy smokes!  Family dynamics around weddings can be crazy.  I’ve always said the job description for a wedding professional includes providing psychological counseling services.  🙂

We’ve run into this ourselves with couples (or parents) who wanted to drag us into their drama, or feeling like we wanted to jump in and rescue them.

(Excessive drama is a one reason to fire a client, if you notice it far enough in advance.)

Here are your responsibilities:

Support the bride with excellent communication.  That means listening to her, making sure she knows what’s happening and that you’ve got all the details under control.

Deliver on everything you’ve promised.

Make arrangements to accommodate both her mother’s attendance and her absence, so that you can change direction at a moment’s notice, if necessary.

Don’t Get Sucked Into the Drama

You’ll notice that the responsibilities listed do NOT include passing messages back and forth between the bride and her mother or giving advice about what she should do.

You’re a caring person and I’m sure it’s awful to have clients with physical illnesses subjected to unnecessary suffering caused by a grumpy mom-of the-bride.

But there isn’t anything you can do to control these things.

All you can do is be the ray of light they can depend on to do exactly what you’ve promised.  That will make everything easier for them.

If you start taking on your clients’ wedding drama, you’ll burn yourself out.

It Happened to Me!

By the way, I suggest having a Plan B in case the mother decides to attend the wedding after all because it happened to us personally.

When Jeff told his mother that he was inviting his father (they’d been divorced for over 25 years) to our wedding, his mother swore she wouldn’t go.

Jeff stuck to his guns and invited his father anyway.  It turned out that his father didn’t attend the wedding, and my mother-in-law did.  But we were both in agreement that if she hadn’t attended the responsibility was all on her.

Weddings come with a big dose of DRAMA, especially vampire brides, so this is something you must find a way to deal with.

What do you think she should do?

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Stephanie Padovani

Stephanie is a Hudson Valley wedding insider, blogger, writer, and wedding business coach. Want to book more weddings at higher prices? Quit dealing with price shoppers? Transform your wedding business so that it supports the life you really want? Look her up! They don't call her the Wedding Business Cheerleader for nothing. :)

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2 thoughts on “How Should I Deal With This Mother-of-the-Bride Zilla?”

  1. Marina says:

    She could ask the Bride to hire an image consultant for her mother.

    I’m myself a know what to wear coach. I help brides, their bridesmaids and mother know what to wear.

    Maybe this could help for next time. I’ll be happy to help if any wedding pro, wants to have my contact info to refer their bride to, before the drama starts.

    1. I suspect this particular issue went well beyond not having a dress. However, it’s good to have options. Thanks for sharing!

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