What to do when Parents wont agree to wedding date?


So my fiancé and I have been together for 3 years and engaged for one year. We have spent the last few years discussing our future life together and have focused on how to best have a marriage where God is the center of it. We both believe God is calling us to married. We are so close; we talk about everything and are each other’s best friend. I am 21 and he is 23. I will graduate from my undergraduate degree this May, and he has already graduated and is now perusing his Masters Degree in Architecture. And as soon as I graduate I will start my masters degree in Public health. We are basically financially independent from our parents, I have paid for my entire education by my self, and my fiancé is doing the same. Since we are students when we get married we wont have much money, but we will have the same things to pay if we were together or not (just cheaper rent because we will be living together instead of separate). I really believe we are ready for marriage and we are going through all the necessary preparation and trying to think through every aspect of marriage (even children :smiley: ).

So… the point of my post: My fiancé and I really want to get married this August. And we just started making plans and letting our family know this January. We have already reserved a church and reception place. And we don’t want to spend too much on our wedding, if we only had the Marriage ceremony in the church (with our family there) and nothing else, we would be completely happy. My parents had offered to pay for the wedding, but my mom thinks we must have a reception and nice flowers and expensive photos and so on. And she does not think there is time to make all these preparations. She doesn’t want us to get married in August, just thinking about it makes her cry and cry. She wants us (tells us) to wait another year (at least) so she can have a year to plan the wedding. Also she is very busy with my younger brother so she says she doesn’t want to focus on a wedding now. But I tell her, she doesn’t have to do anything for our wedding, just show up and be happy… but this is not an option for her. She has other reasons for not wanting us to get married including: She is very success driven, and she thinks when I get married I will stop caring about my career and education. And she has always wanted me to be a doctor (even though I have never wanted to) and she thinks if I get married her dream will never come true. Also, my parents have not had the greatest marriage - they don’t communicate well (I can’t remember a time in my life when they got along, they don’t ever touch or kiss or even sleep in the same room) and she sacrificed her career for her children (me and my brother) and I think she likes to re-live her life though me.

So what should I do, get married in August and hope my mom will come… or wait an entire year just to make her happy? :frowning:

Also, does anyone have advise as to something I could tell her that could change her mind, it seems like everything I say has no effect.


I say get married when the time is right for you and your fiance. There’s plenty of time from now until August to plan a wedding.

Your mom may be upset, but I’m sure she’ll come. There’s plenty of time for her to put together some things for your wedding, maybe not what she dreamed of…but it’s not her wedding, is it? :wink:


First, best wishes for your marriage.

Second, the best size for a wedding is the one that makes the bride and groom happy. It’s your wedding, and it should reflect you and your future husband, not your mom. To put it bluntly, she’s already had hers.

Pay for it yourselves. You’re being quite grown up about it by not asking her to do anything for you, if it will only stress her out. Have fun at your marriage prep classes–those are sooooo helpful. I can’t say that enough!

Tell her, “Mom, you raised me well, and that’s the best thing you could have done to help me with my wedding.” It’s time for your fiancee’s future mother-in-law to stop living vicariously through you. Imagine how she will be in your married life if you do not lay the boundaries now. You may not ever change her mind (children seldom change their parents’ mind about anything, even financially independent grown-up adult children) but at least she will know where you, as an adult woman, draw the line.


If you and your fiance are in a position to plan for and pay for a wedding, go ahead and do it. I bet your mom will come.


Thanks for all your responses so far! :slight_smile: I am very happy to get encouragement. I love my mom very much, but as many of you have said… its not her wedding :wink: .


Hi Catherine,

May I offer another way of looking at things?

I suggest you have a long heart to heart with your mom. Share with her some of what you’ve posted above. Let her know you have seen the sacrifices she has made for her family and let her know how much you appreciate all she has done, including instilling into you an appreciation for family. You love her as your family of origin, just as you love your dad (and perhaps even your brother :stuck_out_tongue: ).

But now, you have entered adulthood. With that, it is time for you to begin the cycle of creating your own family. Ask her if she has any specific concerns regarding your fiance’ and, now this is the difficult part, listen to what she has to say. If she has real concerns regarding your choice of a husband, then certainly you would be better off hearing them now before you are married, than you would be to learn of them for yourself after you are already committed to him for life.

If, on the other hand, her concerns are more related to whether or not you should marry before getting your career going, perhaps you can work with her to understand that you’re not certain that a career really trumps a family. Certainly, as much as she may regret the career she left behind, it wouldn’t be an adequate substitute for having raised her two children.

I left a career for my husband, and only yesterday, I had the opportunity to give a talk on Stem Cell Research, a subject related to my education and research I was involved in prior to stepping off the Career Track to raise my daughter. I know that my daugher is far more important than whatever contributions I could have made either to the sciences or in my later ventures in the business world.

As women, we have the unique opportunity to be responsible for raising future citizens. This requires that we take care of their faith and moral formation. We are responsible for ensuring they are educated in a way that allows them to participate in society at their highest potential. We teach them to socialize so that they can interact with others in a productive manner.

These are monumental responsibilities, as we have the opportunity to shape the future of humanity, “one diaper at a time” it has been said.

Chasing a career, following the model of “Sex in the City” will not give you a happiness of any substance. True happiness is having your family around you, at the holidays, at the dinner table, at those captured moments in the blur of a busy day.

Now, honor your mother. If there are real reasons for postponing for a year, be open to considering it. But help her to understand that you have an important job to attend to, and a part of that is the raising of her future grandchildren so they can be part of our future.

Are you prepared to start your family once you are married? If not, perhaps she is right and you should wait.

BTW, did you know that couples who practice Natural Family Planning have a 5% divorce rate, as opposed to Catholics in general who have something like a > 50% divorce rate. Certainly makes it something worth exploring.



Been there-done that. have the wedding in August and your Mom will come. You can count on it


Dear CARose,

Hi! :slight_smile: Thank you for your wonderful post. My mom knows my fiancé very well and I know 100% that she loves him. She thinks he is wonderful for me and tells me that they feel very blessed that we have found each other. So I am confident that that is not the issue. The true issue for my mom is the career aspect. She thinks a good career = happiness. I think if my dad and her could have a more fulfilling marriage between the two of them, maybe she would see things differently. I guess she has regrets, but I really don’t understand why, because she has spent every day making my brother and I wonderful people and I am so grateful for this. I guess my family has had some financial problems (in my mom’s point of view), but we live in a nice house, have food, pets, entertainment, cars to get around… I think my family has done fine. But she thinks if she had worked… things would be better.

Oh and for your suggestion about NFP… ohh yes, we will be using this for sure! We are soo excited about it and excited to begin classes. Now (before the classes begin) we have been looking on line trying to find out more information. My fiancé and I are really looking forward to NFP; we want to always be open to life and to God! Even though we will be using NFP the first two years of marriage (while we are in school) to try and postpone having children, we are also making plans for how we will provide for a child if God decides for us to have a child sooner than we expected. And we will only see it is a wonderful gift from God! :slight_smile:


Go for it!


:thumbsup: Great advice!

I think one of the great tests to see if one is truly ready for marriage is being able to be their own person and make decisions that are right for them, despite the consequences (in your case, an unhappy mom). You sound very mature and responsible and seem to have the right attitude about marriage.

Keep focusing on your marriage instead of just the wedding day and you and your fiance will have such a great start!

**For your mom, if what is important to her is the big “party” ask her if she’d like to host a reception for your one year anniversary. Or, if she’d like even more time to plan, your 5 year anniversary:D **

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!!!



There is no reason why you can’t have nice flowers and a good photographer. It only takes one day to order flowers and I can’t imagine needing longer than five months to find a photographer. I planned my wedding in a few weeks with flowers and a professional photographer (the first time married outside the church later convalidated) because my husband was in the military and we weren’t sure if he would be coming home or sent to desert storm.

This is your wedding and while it’s generous your parents are offering to pay I would not put it off because your mom doesn’t have time to do things you really don’t want anyway. My mom still likes to throw how I didn’t have the big wedding she wanted me to have in my face when she is really mad at me. I have no regrets. If your mom is insisting on things you don’t even desire in the first place then what she wants for your wedding isn’t about giving her daughter her perfect day as much as it is impressing all the guests. I would pass on that.


Keep focusing on your marriage instead of just the wedding day and you and your fiance will have such a great start!

Thank you! and yes, our marriage is our focus, the wedding day is important as it is the start… but the marriage for the rest of our life, how we will live that is what is truly important. I guess my mom is blinded by dreams of a fancy wedding day instead of the joys of a beautiful marriage.


Get married according to your own schedule and with only the type of wedding you want. If you don’t want all these things that your mom is trying to push on you, then put your foot down.

She is still trying to run your life, and sounds like a very manipulative person.

You and your fiance must start now in the way you plan to go on in your marriage. Either you will allow your mother to guilt and manipulate you into doing things you don’t want to do or you won’t.

If she gets in a snit about it, so be it.


Oh, and timeline-wise, I got engaged at Christmas 2004, and got married the first weekend in August 2005. Beginning in January I had plenty of time to plan my large, formal wedding with all the trimmings while holding down a full time job, packing my household and getting ready to put my house on the market and move across the country.

You have plenty of time. All of your mom’s protestations are a smoke screen.


I got engaged at Thanksgiving '02 and married in August '03. It most certainly can be done. Oh, and btw, I also found a new job out of state, moved out of state(twice) & all the while planned our August wedding in my hometown. For under $5k.

If there’s a secret part of you that wouldn’t mind the whole she-bang your mom is talking about, then that’s the hold up. If you play her game, you play by her rules.

Taking the lead like a* real* woman, all the while honoring thy mother with your respect & civility, is a *very *good thing to do. It’ll set the tone for the new chapter in your mother-daughter relationship.


Your story sounds similar to mine! I have been engaged for 2 years now, together for five years. We are both almost graduated and he is going to graduate school. We are both going for med school.

My mom has mentioned many times waiting another year.

Well, it really bothered me even without the drama. I felt very hurt and worried by it.


I overheard her talking on the phone with her sister about our wedding. I heard her telling the reasons she wanted us to wait a year. It didn’t have anything to do with ME per se. She thought we were doing things right. She thought we went well together. She thought we were mature.

No, she just felt that undying drive all mothers feel: to do as much for their babies as possible. She wanted to throw the $50K wedding for us. She wanted all the relatives to fly in, for there to be a big huge cake and a live band and an ice sculpture. She wanted to be a good mom and try as hard as she could. But right now, her hubby is across the country, the kids need attention, the bills have to be paid, etc etc.

Well, anyways, we talked about it together at a later time and came to a compromise. Things seemed to have worked out well on all sides. My dad is out of town on business so much he wouldn’t make it to our planned date. Our reception is so big that we couldn’t find a good venue. And mom wants to throw herself into the wedding planning. So we pushed the wedding out 17 months from now, or another 8 months from our date. (She would have felt included and comforted with less but I wanted a specific date further out).

We all win and she has calmed down. Sure, it’s hard, as any engaged couple will tell you. You’re dying to get married! But, hey, for us it worked. My dad can make it to the wedding. We can have a big summer bash for the reception. And we’ll have already bought the house and be in graduate school instead of just starting. (:wink: Don’t worry, boardies, I’ll live in the house, he’ll stay in his apartment. :smiley: )

Now for the kicker: HIS mom is throwing a hissy fit because she thinks it is wrong to wait so long to get married. She wants us to marry in August 07.

I take it back; there’s no way to win! :eek: :smiley:


Haskilee is right.

Better find out more about why she wants you to wait.

Unless you are positive she will just take the whole thing over and turn it into her wedding she always wanted and not yours so much.


Congrats!!! Look up some of the older posts on the forum. I planned my entire wedding in 6 weeks. We did it very cheaply and it was awesome. Biggest savings were $500 dress for 45.99 and $20 shipping from ebay, and I did all the flowers myself on about $100 budget. Bridesmaid dresses were purchased 1/2 price at Kohl’s for about $35 apiece I think… I know entire wedding cost under $2000!

If you and your fiance feel this is the right time, I say go for it… Mom will show up, even mine did… which was more of a question than you can imagine. My wedding was in August as well…it was perfect for a unique reception at a local tourist attraction… a reindeer ranch! Truly, this is about the marriage, not the wedding… you don’t need a huge wedding or your mom to arrange it all for you. Politely tell your mom you want to be married in August and assure her you will be continuing your education and plan your wedding with her if she wants to help do it in your time frame, otherwise, continue on your own…


Do what is right for you and your fiance. I understand your mother’s concerns, but ultimately it is your wedding. If she doesn’t think that’s enough time to plan, then you can show her how it’s done! :wink: Are you the only girl? That might explain why she has such an image of your wedding day as a big event.

My FH and I have a very long engagement, nearly 2 yrs (been together over 5). I wanted to take our time planning and saving since we are doing it ourselves, and I had to finish school (he is long finished and working). Everyone has different circumstances. I think August is quite doable, esp. since you have the biggies already taken care of. The little things, though many, can be done quickly. I dare say- once the the babies come she won’t care much about what kind of wedding you had :rolleyes:
Good luck! :thumbsup:


I got engaged 6 months before my wedding and was going to school more than 1k away from where I was going to get married and it turned out very pretty if you ask me hehe. It was an evening wedding and we had beautiful flowers and a great dinner and all. I went home for 1 week (spring break) and chose everything I had to be present for that week. I was graduating in May and we were getting married in the summer. I agree with the poster that says that there is no reason why you could not have a nice wedding in that amount of time. You might want to make sure you make arrangements for marriage prep classes etc with the Church soon. Some have a 6 month period that you have to approach them before you can get married (though if you reserved the date then they your 6 mo prolly already started so you should be fine).

I agree with the idea of talking to your mother lovingly and trying to sympathize with her view, but in the end I think like it sounds healthier for you to marry when you are ready, not when everyone else is.

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