OK, time to crawl on out of my warm, cozy holiday bubble and get back to real life. And with less than four months till the wedding, that includes throwing planning into overdrive (and posts, too).

And I want to start with one very important aspect of the wedding: my mom, E.



My mom and I haven’t always had the easiest relationship. Now, to be clear, this isn’t to say we have a BAD relationship by any stretch, but it’s my understanding that we’ve hit more rocky stretches than the average mother-daughter relationship (many of them stemming from my bipolar disorder—I’ll own it).

But at this point, my mom and I get along pretty well, 90% of the time. I think in our case, distance has actually strengthened the relationship. But there’s one thing…

…when it comes to the wedding, she’s pretty hands off.

My family: Mom, K, Dad, and me. I want to make sure EVERYONE feels involved and no one feels left out.

I know she’s happy for Mr. W and me. I get the feeling she’s trying to let me plan the event I want—which is sweet. That said, there have been times where I wish she were more involved.

I don’t want to overload her or drag her into things she’d hate (like dress shopping), but it’d be nice to have some “bonding moments” over the wedding. After all, I really look up to my parents’ 40+ year marriage, and would love to learn from her. So I’ve been trying to get her more involved.

I get the sense it’s something she wants. She’s very curious about the plans, etc. And her sister keeps encouraging me to give my mom more. But I’m trying to get her involved in a way that doesn’t feel like a drag to her.

Plus, with my dad officiating the wedding AND walking me down the aisle, I think it’s important to go out of my way to make her feel extra included.

I’ll confess—while I knew dress shopping wasn’t her thing, I kinda hoped she’d want to go. Blame Say Yes to the Dress, but it feels like a traditional mother-daughter thing to do, and it initially was hard shopping without her—and harder, still, hearing her indifferent reactions when I sent pictures. 

The two people I most wished I could have with me dress shopping—my mom and sister

So I’ve been looking to my mom’s strengths (and bouncing ideas off Aunt M) to get her more involved. And here’s what we’ve come up with:

  1. Flowers. The day before the wedding, my mom, Aunt M, my sister, and I are going to do the centerpieces ourselves. I know this seems more like a chore than something fun, but my mom LOVES working with flowers, as does Aunt M. I find it calming. So I’m going to bake us some treats and enjoy time spent together.  I know they’ll be more special than any florist’s designs.
  2. A speech. Rather than having my dad give the speech at the reception, we’ve asked my mom to say a few words. She’s great at public speaking, and I know she’ll say just the right thing.
  3. A special walk down the aisle. Since Mr. W’s father is no longer with us, we’re going to have our moms walk down the aisle together. It makes sense—they get along beautifully, and it gives them a chance to be front and center.
  4. “Us” time. My mom likes to get manicures but rarely does it, so I figure I’ll treat her to a mani/pedi once I’m in Chicago—something relaxing for us to do together. I think that and a visit to the Chicago Botanical Gardens will be the perfect mellow day—plus, the gardens are among her favorite places.

Still, sometimes I find myself wondering: should I get her more involved? Back off and let her come to me? Everyone who knows her best encourages me to push her a little, but I don’t want to cross a line and make her feel trapped or bogged down.

Any advice from other brides with less involved moms?

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