Weddings stand at the top of the mountain when it comes to silly human traditions we tend to assign great significance. A momentous day dedicated to the sole purpose of people gathering to celebrate the unity of two individuals can sometimes cause the most stressful breakdowns. "Bridezilla" isn't just a term that came out of nowhere. There's a harsh truth hidden in that label, of brides overreacting to the smallest thing which could potentially ruin their meticulously planned day. What happens, though, when that "small thing" ends up being something to truly worry about?
Reddit user, u/Mandy-, had a story to share about a conflict arising in her wedding plans:
I JUST got engaged recently, and my mom is overjoyed. She is already planning, and talking about bridesmaids, etc. My fiance and I would really like a SMALL wedding, destination. She is respectful of those choices, and even encourages what I want, which is why this is so baffling for me.
She sent me pictures of a bunch of dresses she wants to wear to my wedding, and they're all white, ivory, or off-white. (I tried to attach a link previously to show ya'll, but it's against the rules to post links) I don't mean to be a bridezilla or anything, but I would really prefer it if she weren't to wear white.
How do I talk to her about this? She has a tendency to either blow up, or get passive aggressive (example, she was smoking on our deck the other day, and I asked her to put her ashes in a spare planter with dirt in it instead of flicking them all over our deck, and she made snippy remarks for the rest of the visit and left early). I tried saying to her I was thinking blue and silver for our colours and I was hoping our families could coordinate with us, and she said she didn't want to wear blue, and that she likes the dresses she sent me.
I haven't always had the best relationship with my mother, due to both of us having mental health issues that we deal with (anxiety and depression, for both of us, but she has been dealing well without medication for YEARS, meanwhile I just had a breakdown recently about work, which you could probably find in my post history if you want to understand better). But for the last 5 years our relationship has been stellar.
tl;dr: I'm scared to talk to my mom about the white dresses she wants to wear to my wedding, and wondering how I could go about this as tactfully as possible, since she is passive aggressive or blows up.
First Solution? Pass The Chore On To Someone Else.Giphy
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it traditional for nobody except the bride to wear white at a wedding? Does your mom not know this? It seems like a deliberate slap in the face to you. Maybe she doesn't realize that. Someone (not you) should maybe drop a hint to her about that.
Stand Your GroundGiphy
You're going to have to be really firm about this. "Mom, the only person who wears white at a wedding is the bride. Please find another dress." And then if she starts making a fuss, exit the conversation. Don't get drawn in to arguing, don't defend yourself; your position is unassailable. You are absolutely right, and she is absolutely wrong. If she sends you another white dress photo, say "What other colors does it come in?"
Ask Her What Other People Might ThinkGiphy
I'm not sure if this will work if her motives are about hurting you or showing you up, but you might try the whole "people at the wedding will think poorly of her if she goes through with this." Seriously, I worked at a wedding where this happened, and EVERYONE was giving the non-bride white dress wearing lady serious side-eye the entire night. There are a million and one wedding advice websites that explains this faux pas in detail, so you might just forward her a link to one of those.
One other thing to consider, is perhaps because it is going to be a super small destination wedding - maybe she thinks it's going to be more casual? I really have no idea what etiquette on these things are, but when you say small destination wedding I picture just your immediate family on the beach in flip flops. It's still your day and you can veto her dress, but just to give you an idea of where she might be coming from.
Either way, congrats on the engagement.
Frame It As An AnecdoteGiphy
You can frame it as being concerned about what others would say about her.
"I went to a friend's wedding where the mother wore white and all the guests could talk about was how trashy that was. I don't want you to be talked about that way."
It may be a total lie, but the threat to her reputation might just work.
Use The Power Of ComputersGiphy
I saw this posted over in r/weddingplanning for another person with the same problem: let her wear whatever she wants, other guests will see how tacky it is. Then use photoshop to change the dress color for your wedding album.
There's Not Even A Discussion To Be HadGiphy
I never understood why people other than the bride get so set on wearing white too. She's just being an unnecessary drama queen. Tell her it's not an option or something to be further discussed, she ain't wearing white.
Lead Her To Her Own AnswersGiphy
I have a mom who can sometimes fly off the handle at 'disrespectful' tones or words. What I have found useful is to phrase it as a question. "Isn't the bride the only be who is supposed to wear white? Why do you want to wear white at my wedding?"
See if you can get her to realize how ridiculous she's being.
Remember Who's Wedding It IsGiphy
You're going to have to have a backbone with her on this. I don't know that it's very taboo anymore to wear white to someone's wedding (I've seen it a lot recently), but the point is that it's your wedding and you get to set the rules.
Don't email her. Don't text her. I probably wouldn't even recommend calling her. Sit her down and tell her that you do like the dresses she sent you but you want to be the only one in that color on your day. Just stand firm and don't engage any further. Let her know that you would like to go with her to pick out a variety of dresses....make a day of it.
Just be firm and don't feel bad for her reaction. She is the only one in control of that.
Maybe It's All Okay?Giphy
My mom wore white to my wedding. I didn't mind. It was a rather informal ceremony and she wasn't trying to be rude. She just found a white dressy suit that she felt flattering. She asked if I minded and I said no.
Here's what I totally didn't anticipate. It completely ruined most of my wedding pictures. :(
My dress was champagne colored. And because she's my mom, she wanted to be right near me in the group shots.
So for every picture that had more than a few people in it, there's a woman in white standing near the middle and a woman in champagne next to her. It completely looks like she's the bride and I'm the bridesmaid.
Perhaps you should let her know about this issue. I'm not mad at my mom, as neither one of us thought of this, but I hate that I cringe every time I see my wedding pictures.
If she insists and you let her come wearing white, make her stand way off to the side in any of the photos.
When All Else Fails, Set Her Up For FailGiphy
If your mom insists on wearing a white or similarly colored dress to your wedding, I say let her. What will happen is people will think she's a moron and probably think worse of her.
No one will take your day away from you, I promise. :) You'll be beautiful and everyone will be there to see you. Let your mom embarrass herself.