Sometimes I think I may regret my career as a relationship expert, particularly as the author of my latest book, It’s Either Her or Me. I counsel mothers of brides and the brides themselves to include the mother of the groom in the wedding planning.
I’ve been to too many weddings and bridal showers as the guest of the groom’s family to ignore the potential for a lot of hurt feelings. Even seemingly minor exclusions can create bad thoughts that tend to sit there, simmering indefinitely like a pot with an endless supply of water.
But I also understand why mothers of brides might feel possessive, not wanting to share their daughter with another woman. I also have a daughter. When she gets married aren’t I going to want to spend time alone with her, helping her select the prettiest gown, the most flattering hair style, and the most breathtaking flowers?
I’ve been with her through every important event in her life; leaving her off at her first day of kindergarten, moving her in and out of dorm rooms and apartments, consoling her when she didn’t make a team, rejoicing with her when she got her first real job. No one shared those ups and downs with me so why do I have to share the happy moments ahead?
Relax. That’s rhetorical. Cause I do.
Including the groom’s mom in as much as she would like to be included matters because this is no longer about just me and my daughter. Marriage is the first life event for our daughters that takes them out of the restricted environment of family. It’s meant to be shared with another family. And it’s the first of many future life events (think grandchildren) that are.
I hope that one day when I become the mother of the bride that I will practice what I write. I know it will take effort and compromise and a thick skin. But I also believe it will be the right thing to do.
As you know, I also have a son.