Wedding planning is a huge deal for brides and grooms – it’s also a big moment for their parents. Here’s our guide to some of the biggest issues and responsibilities that parents will face during your wedding planning process – from calming disgruntled relatives to shelling out some of the big bucks!
1 Dollars and sense
Parents’ involvement in your wedding is sometimes determined by how much money they are contributing to it. If they’re paying for all of it, then parents’ involvement will be greater than if they’re only making a small contribution.
In the early excited stages of wedding planning, newly engaged couples will want the very best that money can buy for their wedding. This is an excellent time for parents to be clear about their financial limits and how much they’re willing to contribute to the wedding budget. Remember, they’re you’re parents, not a bank.
2 Meet and greet
Once your engagement has been announced it’s a great idea for mums and dads to meet up, (if they haven’t already). As a newly engaged couple you will likely initiate this, but it’s not unusual for parents to arrange this themselves.
There will no doubt be some initial discussions at this meeting about who will be paying for what, so parents should be prepared to start negotiations.
The parents of the groom should ask how many people they will be able to invite from the groom’s family and friends, and then draw up a guest list indicating those that should ideally be invited to the whole event, and those that might just be invited to an evening reception.
Dinner at a restaurant is a good option for this meeting – that way, no one couple has to play host and everyone can relax and get to know one another.
3 Happy helpers
It’s a good idea for parents of the happy couple to suss out what the bride’s and groom’s expectations are by letting them know that if they need help with anything, they’ll be there for them. If there’s something the parents would specifically like to contribute an idea to, they should speak up when the time comes. However, parents should also be aware of whose wedding it is. Let’s just say there is such a thing as ‘pushy parents.’
4 Look smart!
Whether you’re the parents of the bride or groom, there are some easy rules to use when choosing what you’ll wear to the wedding. First, follow the formality and style of the wedding. If it’s going to be a casual beach affair, you can safely leave the long velvet evening gown in the wardrobe.
Second, if you’re not sure, ask! Both the parents-of-the-bride and the paents-of-the-groom should get in touch with the bride. The bride should keep parents in the loop about her own gown, the wedding colours, and so on. The only major thing to avoid? Parents (or anyone else for that matter) shouldn’t wear white. That hue is reserved strictly for brides on their wedding day.
5 Rituals expert
Parents (and often mums) are great go-to people for wedding traditions, religious expertise, or the source of the ‘Something Borrowed’ or ‘Something Blue’ you’ll wear for good luck.
6 Parental back up
Sometimes wedding guests can be demanding – from relatives wanting extra seating at the reception, extended face-time with the newlyweds, or getting their children involved in the ceremony. This is where parents can cover your back. When dealing with disgruntled guests a tactful parent can usually find solutions to a host of tricky situations.
7 Party time
Traditionally the bride’s family will host an engagement party and potentially also a bridal shower. However, if the groom’s parents live a long distance away, it may be easier for the parents of the groom to arrange a separate engagement party, rather than ask everyone to make a long journey. The groom’s parents should ideally discuss this with the bride’s family first, so as not to cause any offence.