Mother of the brideMother and father of the bride – in years gone by.

Years ago, the father of the bride ‘gave his daughter away’ and sent her off into the world with her new husband who was going to become the new protector and provider.   The mother of the bride took responsibility for organizing the celebration and gave her daughter an appropriate ‘send off’. The bride’s mother probably imagined the sort of wedding she would arrange for her daughter from the moment her daughter was born. She would find the venue, caterer, printer and all the other necessary professionals to create her dream vision and she would take control of planning the event. The father often came along to sign the checks.

The times – they have a-changed…

Nowadays, with traditions and relationships changing, these old traditions are often discarded.  Brides mostly have their own vision of how they want their weddings to be and they plan it themselves. Grooms also tend to take an active role in organizing the day, and together with the bride he drives around finding suitable venues, tasting various dishes and deciding upon the exact print that will appear on the wedding invitation.

One of the reasons for the change is that people are getting married at a later age than they used to. Society has changed so much over the last fifty years with men and women living together and having children without officially getting married. Often when a couple decide to get married they are already leading independent lives, are financially independent and have been living away from their parents homes for years.

Jewish bride and groom

Jewish bride and groom

Working together to create the perfect – and harmonious – wedding

Nevertheless, parents want to participate in their children’s big day and play a part. But then the great balancing act begins, between different visions, expectations and limitations.  There are no hard and fast rules in most societies about how to balance and contain the different needs; however, some communities follow unspoken norms in order to avoid disagreement.

The best solution is for all involved to sit together before the action begins and put forward their ideas, needs and limitations, and to divide up responsibilities between bride and bride’s parents and groom and grooms parents.  Working it out beforehand and being clear what to expect from each other and more importantly what not to expect will most definitely help avoid any later misunderstandings and sticky situations. If an agreement is worked out from the beginning everyone will know where they stand and then be able to happily, excitedly and lovingly plan for the big day ahead and share in the happiness of the new couple.

Do you have any more ideas to help plan a harmonious wedding involving bride, groom and their parents?  or do you have success – or nightmare- stories to share? Please tell us in the comment box below!