We’re all familiar with the term “bridezilla”, but it’s probably not until you actually begin planning that you realise the scariest wedding monster of them all is the Momzilla. Whether Mother of the Bride or Groom, or (eek) both – many of you are going to need some help to deal with an overbearing mother or future MIL. Uh oh…
|ˈmʌðəˈzɪlə| noun informal
Via Urban Dictionary: Like Bridezilla, Momzilla is highly controlling of the wedding – everything must be perfect for her child’s day. The excuse for being controlling and overbearing is usually that Momzilla has paid for a large amount of the wedding. Common conflicts include last-minute changes to wedding plans, guest list/bridal party members who she does not like, and/or being opinionated and controlling about everything in her path.
Why does a Mother become Mom-zilla?
Your mother has been dreaming of this day for even longer than you (especially if you’re the groom!). A child’s wedding is an exciting experience, so it should come as no surprise that your Mum/Momzilla wants this day to be as “perfect” as you do.
How do Deal with Momzilla?
1.Have your own game plan:
Before the dust even settles on the new bling, and while a new couple are spreading the word of their engagement, often the new mother-of-the-bride or groom is already running amok looking for wedding venues, schmoozing caterers and writing her (!) shortlist of guests. By the time the couple announce they want a small and simple wedding, dearest Mother has announced the tentative date to the local parish, pencilled in the vicar, and begun the calligraphy on the invitations.
To deal with a Momzilla who wants to take control, you have to get organised first, and have a game plan that can’t be railroaded. Get your head in the game, play it confident (even if you don’t feel like it) and tell Momzilla what you want.
Then, and only then, can you allow, at your discretion, Mom, or future MIL, to help with your plans. If you’re using a wedding planner book, put your plans and preparations in there, and then confidently show Momzilla your game plan so far.
2. If your Momzilla is contributing to the cost of the wedding… Give her a Project
Where financial contributions are involved, it can get especially messy. While any offer to help to pay for your wedding is generous – and sometimes necessary – it’s crucial to manage reciprocal expectations right from the outset.
If momzilla’s payin’, you need to listen to what she’s sayin’.
When you begin discussing your wedding budget with your parents and future in-laws, discuss not only the amount each party is able to give you, but also what they want in return.
Mum wants to invite everyone from her address book, which is huge, and everyone whose wedding my parents had been to automatically made it on to our guest list
– 9/10 brides.
Instead of allowing Momzilla to have carte-blanche control over your big day in exchange for financial input, consider giving her specific elements to have some control over, the catering, for example. If Momzilla is footing the bill, she probably thinks that guests will see all of your choices as a reflection of her. Talk early about how many guests they want to invite, and any other issues you think might arise.
Things like your wedding venue, dress and guest list are a few of the many areas where Momzillas love to have their say, but it’s up to you whether to do as they say.
It’s your day. You and your fiance’s. Yours. Not theirs. Momzilla may test you and make you feel weak at times – you need to be strong and confidently remind Momzilla that it’s your wedding day. Notorious guilt trips, with lines such as ‘I’ve waited your whole life for this day’ may weaken your resolve – but hold your ground. Make sure you get the point across to her that this is what you want for your day, in a manner that also respects her. Use strong, but polite words:
It means so much to me that you’re so interested and invested in our Big Day. I hope you’ll be able to respect that we are putting a lot of thought into having our wedding reflect us very personally. I hope you can place your trust in our ability to find what we feel works best for us.
Once you establish this she will learn where you stand and which boundaries not to cross.
As Oprah Winfrey once said:
Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.
No matter how stressful it may get planning your wedding with Momzilla, keep the bigger picture in mind. You’re marrying the love of your life, and nothing (and noone) can detract from that. If Mother’s being overbearing, remind yourself that it’s really about getting married, and that may not mean getting exactly what you want all the way through. Breathe, and take a step back. Treat yourself, go out and get your nails done or indulge in a movie with a glass of wine. This will not only help you but it will ensure your relationship with your Momzilla remains civil in the process.
Communication is key in any relationship, especially in the process of planning your wedding. So maintaining a clear line of communication with Momzilla throughout the wedding planning process is crucial. If there’s something you don’t like make sure you get that point across and if there is something you do like, do the same. Communication is key, it will ensure that boundaries are set and that any differences are resolved as soon as they arise. This will avoid any unnecessary dramas and will allow you to focus on the important things.
Make wedding planning fun
If you find that the organising of your wedding with Momzilla on board is becoming more stressful than fun, make a change to steer it back in the right direction. If you’re meeting to talk about your wedding, do it in a relaxing and fun environment to keep you both calm and enjoying the experience.
Stay organised with a wedding planner and diary like the little white book, where you can jot all your ideas and inspiration, and enjoy the process of sharing those with your Mum or MIL. Be excited about your plans, and take pleasure in being able to involve her. If you’re happy and radiant and having fun, chances are your elation will be infectious, and she’ll have fun too.
Have I missed anything? Do you have a Momzilla, and do you have any tips to share?