Congratulations on your engagement! You can now finally start planning your ultimate image of Asian wedding perfection. But if your mother in law has told you what Asian Bridal wear she wants you to wear, your mum has started picking out venues, your dad is moaning about the bill and it seems everything you seem to choose no one pays attention to. You suddenly question, “When did my family get so involved in planning my wedding?” |
Meddlesome relatives can be the bane of an Asian bride-to-be and can unfortunately lead to some of the biggest fall outs within families. The emotional rollercoaster usually takes its toll and brides-to-be give into emotional blackmail from family members whilst forfeiting their dream wedding.
Some of the issues can stem from Mum who wants it to be the wedding she never had, or maybe your sister or best friend wishes it were her own wedding, and sometimes even your groom-to-be, who is afraid to stand up to his or your family. Other problems can stem from particularly traditional families that don’t like the idea of opting for a non-religious wedding or planning an alternative kind of affair.
This can be a very sensitive and stressful issue for many brides-to-be, so Your Dream Shaadi have spoken to some of you brides out there who need help in dealing with interfering relatives. We’ve also got the help and expertise of some of the top UK’s wedding planners who have a wealth of experience dealing with pushy parents, including advice from Anita Patel, director of the award winning wedding planner service Tania – Tapel, Sarah Balfour, director of Orchid Events and some real problems that real brides are facing with their families.
Real problems, Real solutions
Our brides to be have come to us revealing their wedding planning dilemmas created by interfering family members. With help from our expert wedding planners we’ll show them and you what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation!
Problem: Our first bride Ranjit, who is getting married in 16 months, states that she and her mother are not seeing eye to eye on the ceremony.
‘I told my mum a few days ago that I wanted a smaller ceremony at my wedding and that we are thinking of holding a small reception do, with a big party at the weekend. She had a big rant about how the ceremony is the most important part and should be a big event. How can I tell her that a small intimate ceremony with close family and friends will mean more to me than inviting lots of people I hardly know?’
Solution: Sometimes it can be that your parents and in-laws only want the best for you as a couple. It is a huge occasion for them too; they feel like they are losing their daughter/son. But their version of the best may differ from your version.
Anita from Tania-Tapel Wedding planners suggests, “Have a family meeting bringing both your fiancé’s and your own family together from the outset, so as to minimise disruption and upset at a later stage. Listen to everyone's point of view and then conclude what you are or not prepared to incorporate whilst also discussing the reasons why.”
You should always consider what your parents are asking you to change or include. Is it something small or something that isn’t terribly important to you or your fiancé? By sacrificing less important elements of your wedding can make all the difference to how smoothly your wedding planning runs.
Problem: Particularly when it comes to mothers and sisters, they sometimes they try and re-live their wedding fantasy through you. They can forcefully push their opinion on to you if your choice doesn’t suit them. Or second brides Lailah, has 13 months to her wedding and has locked horns with her sister.
‘My sister got married two years ago, and from the start she was a complete bridezilla. She was so indecisive, but always shot us down in flames if we tried to give her suggestions. Now that I’m getting married, I know she’ll be the same, and I’m really put off involving her. She’s also pregnant and I know that will dictate my choice of bridesmaid dress amongst other features I have planned for my wedding. She’s had her turn and now it’s mine, how do I tell her this without hurting her feelings?’
Solution: When it comes to insistent mother and sisters who want to change important elements of your wedding, be calm, diplomatic and let them have their say. Calmly explain the reasons for your choice. It also helps if you and your fiancé is with you too. If you are both united in your choices and support each other, it helps to eliminate your plans being changed by others. If things start to get heated and take time off to cool down. Spend some time with your fiancé, go for a walk or treat yourself.
Sarah from Orchid Events says, “Remain calm and diplomatic at all times. It’s understandable that the stress and tension of the wedding planning can all pile up and that some family members can be quite dramatic. Keeping a cool and clear head will get you a long way.” After a few days they may have had some time to think. Approach the situation again with the aim of meeting somewhere in the middle, so that you and your family will be happy with the decision.
Problem: Parents also feel entitled to making decisions for you if they are the ones paying for it. Whilst it can get difficult to have your say, this still shouldn’t rule out any of your choices. Our third bride who will be getting married in 13 months time, Harinder is having trouble to get her say in.
‘We are having some financial help from my parents for our wedding as we won’t be able to afford much of it ourselves. This has given my mum an excuse to start organising things without my consent and deciding on pretty much everything without asking me. I try and put my foot down but it always ends up in fights, and myself feeling guilty. What should I do?’
Solution: You have to remind whoever is paying that you are extremely grateful for their contribution, but at the end of the day you are the one that is getting married. It’s important to note how much people are willing to contribute before you can start your plans.
Sarah from Orchid events states, ‘It’s a difficult situation to be in, but the key is to compromise. Start taking on more responsibilities yourself. Stand up for yourself without getting angry. If you parents start to play the finance card, again approach the offended party after you’ve left them to cool for a few days to see if you can meet somewhere in the middle. If your family makes you feel guilty, remind them that you will only be having this day once, so would appreciate it if some of the choices were suited to you as well.”
Stick up for yourself!
When going about these solutions, the most important thing is for you to be kind but firm and being able to stick up for yourself, without being a total bridezilla. Here are some handy strategies and tips to stand your own ground.
• DO: Have a united front – It’s extremely important that you and your fiancé support each other in your decisions. Your solidarity will go a long way and help eliminate big family arguments. If you both show that you’re happy with the decisions you have made then people are more likely to be happy.
• DO NOT: Lash out – This is probably one of the worst things that you could do, even though at times it can be tempting. Sarah from Orchid Events says, “If you find things are getting a bit too heated, walk away and let both parties calm down. Bring up the topic of debate at a later date so that you and your family have had some time to think and will hopefully come to an agreement without having unnecessary fights.”
• DO NOT: Be a people pleaser - I’m going to tell you now that you can’t and won’t be able to please everyone. Someone will want something different than to what you want. “Getting far down the line with your plans and then a spanner in the works can lead to a lot of unnecessary stress!’ says Anita, ‘Try and reduce stress, by understanding that this is a marriage of two families and everyone will have an opinion. You do not need to do everything everyone says, as you’ll eventually start to crumble and give into other peoples demands all the time. However, listening to their views at the onset of wedding planning will let you plan accordingly what is really important to everyone whilst being able to incorporate your own wedding ideas.”
• DO: Communicate and Compromise - Communication is the key to good relationships and compromising is your best bet when both parties are being stubborn. Talking with your parents will be able to give you a clear idea of their wants and desires whist also giving them a clear idea of yours. If you can find a way to meet somewhere in the middle, it should keep everybody happy.
By no means are we suggesting that this is an easy task, but hopefully this article will give you the right strategy to deal with interfering family members. You may have to sacrifice some small elements of your wedding, but don’t dwell on that. The reality is that weddings tend to be for other people, but marriage is for you two. Focus on what your marriage will mean to you and your fiancé and enjoy your day.
If you’re looking for UK’s finest Asian Bridal Wear designers for your Asian Wedding, then look no further. Your Dream Shaadi is UK’s Premier Online Asian Wedding Directory offering inspiration and advice for your big day.
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