Planning wedding and parents are driving me crazy!


hello, all,

my fiance and i are three months away from marriage and planning the wedding has been anything but the smooth, harmonious experience i hoped it would be.

we’re both 23, so we’re young and want to respect our traditional asian families and get their input about things. i also am one who has a hard time standing my ground so i tend to ask other people what i should do in certain situations. i have done that with my parents while planning the wedding — asking them what they would do, what they would recommend, etc. Problem is I have been listening to them and doing all the things I thought they wanted me to do, yet they continue to get mad at me and change what they want.

my fiance and i wanted a small wedding. but then my dad invited half the country. my fiance wanted to wear traditional asian attire to the wedding. but his dad wants him to wear a suit. fiance and i wanted a certain kind of food at the reception at a certain price. parents insist that we should go with another caterer and that our desired food price per person is “too low.” (hello…we’re 23 years old & don’t want to spend too much of the money we have!)

today my mother even chewed me out and said some very hurtful things (“i wish this whole thing were over … i planned MY wedding by myself without any problems … did you know what you were getting into when you decided to get married!!!”)

i don’t know what to do. but i do know that my parents are DRIVING ME CRAZY!!! i would be grateful for any and all advice, insight, wisdom and prayers. thank you!!!


Yeah…stop asking your parents for advice and make your own choices with your fiance…unless they are paying for something that is:) !


The wedding is not nearly as important as the marriage. Remember, it is a time to separate from your parents and join your spouse, as scripture says. Definitely respect your folks, but do not let them run you ragged.

Only the person throwing the party has authority to make decisions about how it is held. Anyone else may have opinions, but the decision is in the hands of the person paying for and hosting the party. Anyone else who complains is out of line. Imagine if the things your parents are doing were done by one of your other guests, at the reception?

Traditionally, the parents of the bride throw a reception FOR the couple. That is not always financially feasible, now that we have all convinced ourselves that we need to spend money and impress the world.

Even though my wife and I stressed out about our wedding, I remember little about the details of my reception or even the service. All those things fade quickly. What is important is being faithful to God and His church, and working for the highest good of one’s spouse. The rest is just the trappings of a very confused world.

I wish you well and will keep your family in my prayers.


I’m so sorry you are going through this. I don’t know your family or anything, but I can tell you what I think from what you wrote. It sounds like both of your parents (his and yours) care a lot about you and want your wedding to be perfect, but they have a different sense of what perfect is :wink: The comments your mother made may have come out in stress and she may not mean all she said. I like what Hawthorne said about focusing on your marriage and not the wedding. Marriage is such a wonderful, exciting life-long commitment!!! Now, I hate to admit this, but I chuckled a little with how you described your parents inviting half the country and all. Are you paying for everything? If so, you might have to remind them lovingly that you do not have the money to pay for expensive meals for half the country. See if you can find out why they want these things. Let them know that you can appropriately celebrate your marriage without spending a bundle (especially if you don’t have a bundle). Let them know you will be perfectly happy with what you are planning (maybe they worry that you won’t be happy with a less lavish party).
All I can say to try to focus on preparing for your marriage rather than the wedding, and try to be prudent with your money, while respectfully and lovingly listening to your parents and their wisdom, but not necessarily doing everything they say for the party if you find it would not be the best choice.


If I had taken the advice everybody gave me concerning my wedding:

  1. I would have ended up walking down the aisle both wearing and not wearing gloves (or perhaps just a glove on one hand to satisfy those who insisted I had to wear gloves and no glove on the other hand to satisfy those who insisted I shouldn’t wear gloves)

  2. My bridesmaids would have all worn different dresses or had to change dresses three times while coming down the aisle

  3. We would have both had and not had rock and roll music at the recepetion and we would have both had and not had big band music too (or maybe we could have played both simultaneously)

If I were you, I’d remind my mother of what she said (“I planned MY wedding by myself without any problems”). Inform her that she’s absolutely right and thank her for the advice. Then go ahead and plan your wedding by yourself. If your Mom balks, tell her you’re just following in her footsteps.

Congratulations on your engagement, and I hope everything works out!


I was born here in the USA, and my parents were born in Puerto Rico: 1941, 1939, and came to New York in their teens she was 15 he 16. They worked hard, stayed out of trouble, and married in New York, civally and IN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH (1959). They did not have things as hard a other immigrants, as per since 1917 the people born in PR have full American Citizenship, are Americans. But, my point is: assimilation is very important to the way things are and done in the USA. I cannot understand why many people from asian ancestry, tend not only to tell their grown children who to date, but then control their lives as well. I see this in friends with ancestry from India, China, Japan, Koreans, Japan (though the latter are more open minded). I also notice that they tend to down upon people here in the USA from other ethnic groups, which is weird, based especially on the fact that asians are considered, “minorities.” I don’t know, maybe some can expalin. Maybe I am to much of a proud American, and totally assimilated?


Just wanted to thank everyone for your prayers and advice. Things are getting a little better with my parents, but I think I’ll just have to forge ahead, make my own decisions and try hard to respect my parents. Thank you for the reminder that it’s the marriage, not the wedding, that is most important.

-Kristie :slight_smile:


Memorize this:

Thank you for your advice; that sounds like a great idea. Getting married is a big deal, and we’re open to input from anyone and everyone. We’ll definitely remember your suggestion!

For after the decision has been finalized:

Gosh, [fiance] and I were so excited about X that we went ahead and signed the contract. I hope it turns out as nicely as your idea would have! I just want everyone to have a great time.


So all of this has been said, but I’m working on my masters degree at stating the obvious. My wife and I were just married this past July. We had similar struggles in that her mothet (who was footing most of the bill, by the way) wanted certain things. Being that she was paying, we gave in a little. Thankfully, my parents kept a little distance and just offered help if needed. However, we had to keep in mind that it’s our wedding to begin our lives together, which in turn will be a Sacrament to the world around us. My wife (then fiance) would cry herself to sleep sometimes because of the stress she was feeling from the pressure. The key was to pray together A LOT. We finally came to the point that in a year, nobody will remember what color the bride’s maid dresses were or how many flowers were in the bouque. But instead, if the wedding was centered on the saving Grace of our Lord, lives could be changed and a year later not only us, but others can say that the wedding impacted us. So we added things like my wife was barefoot with one red rose for her simplicity and we washed each other’s feet as a sign of our visible and invisible service to one another now and in our marriage. People still come up to us and say how much the wedding touched them. So anyway, just to let you know that you’re not alone. My wife and I will pray for you Kristie.
Keep the Lord first.


I hear ya.

I am planning my wedding too, I’m a little more than 6 months away. (see ticker at the bottom of this message.)

I wish I had eloped or had a small Catholic ceremony. This planning crapola is for the birds.

You only have 3 more months. Parents are crazy, but it’s important to remember they’re excited about it too. I have heard that Asian parents are more controlling than others, so that’s a double whammy!

Hang in there, we’ll be praying for you!


Waaaaa Haaaaaaa…The more things change the more they stay the same!!! What can I offer here? Not much that hasn’t already been said, that’s for sure. But maybe knowing this is totally the norm will help. As one poster stated, it is about the marriage not the wedding or the reception!!!

When I got married in 1985, I eloped and regretted every bit of it until he walked out the door and I had an easier time getting an annulment. I got married again in 2005…planned it all myself, with my now husband of course.

My mom wanted alot of things her way too. She wanted a unity candle, which is not a Catholic thing, rather it is grudgingly “tolerated” by parishes. We chose to forgo it because it would call attention to our mothers and my DH’s mother is shy and has a great fear of attention she would get from strangers. She also wanted modern music, reception immediately following, limosines, a man to “give” me away (why, I had been on my own since I was 18), and all the showy stuff that just isn’t me. My mom was also mortified at the choice of reception style and location.

I chose a “jeans” reception at a reindeer ranch because there would be alot of pre-teens and teens at the reception and I wanted them to have a good time since 4 of them we our kids. My mom actually brought a dress (silk and beads and very delicate) to wear to the reception, so we took her there ahead of time and let her see that she would be sitting on horse blankets draped over hay bales in the reception hall…she changed her mind when she couldn’t change ours.

Basically what it came down to was mom wanted the absolute opposite of what we wanted. She wanted a “liberal” or very lax wedding and a grandiose reception, you know the uppity society stuff… We had a very formal wedding, (mass, long gown, tuxes, very traditional music, roses, etc…) and a blast of a party for the reception where the kids ran through a corn maze, played on go carts and the adults were inside chatting or outside touring the ranch. Now that was my idea of a great wedding and reception, but then we paid for it all so what could she say?


I’m going to write this one down on flashcards for my purse…lol. Way to go, vlusvski! :smiley:


Hear, hear! :clapping:

Boy, am I getting the “let’s elope” mentality right about now too…and I have lots longer than you girls!

kevinsgirl :love:


I gave up on the thought, “This is my wedding” about 2 weeks into planning it! My parents paid for most of it, and I come from a big Italian/Slovak family, so weddings are NEVER about the couple. They are about your community. And the more I came to terms with that the more ok I was with it. The ceremony and the marriage are for you, but this whole “wedding” thing, I think is really for your family, if you come from an ethnic family. At least that’s my opinion! And that made things WAY easier. I picked one or two things that I insisted on, like the way my bouquet looked or the flavor of the cake, and just let all the other chips fall into place.

Good luck and congrats!


It’s getting to the point now where I just want to wake up one morning and be married. I want to forgo the rest of the stuff I have to do…get “save the dates”, invitations, decide on centerpieces, flowers, rehearsal dinner, the cake, tell bridesmaids to order their dresses, groomsmen to get their tuxes…ACK! Maybe if I pray really hard tonight we’ll both wake up with rings on our fingers and be on our honeymoon. :smiley: (Not likely.)


Eloping is NOT an option! (Especially since eloping usually means a justice of the peace, and that is not a valid Catholic marriage.) Besides folks, all this frustration is a taste of the rest of your life when you will out of control and dealing with people who are trying to manipulate you. In-law problems don’t end on the wedding day. So get used to it and learn to cope with it! (If you don’t believe me, check out all the threads on the Family Life forum about problems with parents and in-laws, not to mention spouses and kids.)


My wife and I did just that…we prayed really hard AND we trashed the bunches off flowers, centerpieces, and all that nonsense. Our priest said we could just get married at Mass if we wanted. If you have to do all this other stuff, then keep in prayer and the Lord will see you through it. If you are like my wife and I and don’t have to have all the pomp and fluff, trash it. Put in what you want (or don’t put in anything). You are engaging in a Sacrament that will give you great fulfillment in life. What matters is to be true to your commitment to each other and to the Lord together. That’s what will make a marriage and give you the strength to stay together when you and everybody else are questioning why you ever married in the first place.



The priest who conducted the pre-marriage classes in our archdiocese gave some practical advice for planning weddings. The one thing I definitely remember him saying was this: On your wedding day, something is going to go wrong. It could be a small thing, like the bride’s bouquet not being quite right. It could be a bigger thing, like the cake table collapsing when a child bumps into it. It could be a really big thing, like that alcoholic in-law who wasn’t supposed to be there causing a disruption during the ceremony (I’m a wedding photographer and saw this happen once).

The priest continued: once the big day starts, just enjoy yourselves. Don’t worry about whatever is going wrong or whose feelings are hurt, this is YOUR day, and NOTHING is going to spoil it!

A side note: a good wedding coordinator (check with the church or reception facility) can take a lot of stress off the bride, as well as acting as a a go-between for bride, moms, and others. Let the coordinator worry about the details, and have fun!

My wife was so exhausted on the first two days of our honeymoon that all she did was rest on a lounger by the pool and take naps. She deserved it! God bless… - Rob


You are content with the planning etc, but give little information on the SPIRITUAL apect of marriage. How was the CATHOLIC preparation? Did the priest interview you both? Did you take pre-cana courses etc? Etc. A PERSON COULD GET MARRIED IN A HUT, WITH A 60 YEAR OLD DRESS, AND BE MARRIED FOR LIFE. ANOTHER COULD GET A wedding of the century and be divorced in a year (I have a friend like that).


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