Or: Tales of mothers and wedding planning
Popular culture would have you believe that the bride's mother will take over the wedding planning and have the "wedding she never had" and all in all be an overbearing bitch. As it turns out, my mother is freakishly normal. Not normal in the sense of "lines up with societal norms" but normal like, for serious, psychologically normal when it comes to wedding planning. She's awesome. She's down for whatever I want and is supportive of basically any idea I throw her way - admittedly sometimes annoying because I'm trying to get an honest opinion and "Whatever you want, Mare, it's your wedding" doesn't really count as an opinion.
Maybe it's the fact that she's been married more than once and has therefore gotten wedding planning out of her system (although I don't think it was ever really her bag) but I have to say I love that woman for making my life easier. I was genuinely worried about calling our parents and saying "Hey, you know those invites? Right, we aren't using [our parents] names on them" because we are paying for the majority of our wedding on our own. My mother, father and stepfather really had no opinion on the matter, and in fact seemed to be of the opinion that "OMG that's too many names and also we aren't paying for it so rock on and do what you want" ... I am a very big fan of that opinion.
In the throes of wedding planning I have come to the realization that popular culture is wrong. It's not the bride's mom - it's the groom's. Fiance's mother is no different. When she saw the suits we had picked out for the groomsmen (and fathers) she told Fiance that she didn't "get" our wedding. Because it seemed so "casual" and "not special" and why weren't we using tuxes etc etc etc ... Here's what I don't "get" - what exactly is there to "get" or understand about a wedding anyway? I think the whole damn point is that we are getting married. You know, that whole legal and religious joining of our lives before our friends and families? I thought that was the point ... not the lack of crappy polyester rented tuxes that cost $200 to use for a couple days.
I've been lead to believe by other brides that groom's mothers often get a case of the crazies during the wedding planning ESPECIALLY when the groom's mother doesn't have a daughter. I think it's that whole "leaving and cleaving" thing. Somewhere in the bible (what, don't expect me to know this shit just because Step-dad is a Priest. I read the bible, I didn't memorize it) it says that in marriage a man should LEAVE his mother and CLEAVE to his wife. I find this to be imperative. In getting married you form a new little family. In the case of complicated family situations (ahem, most family situations) this can be hard. I am all for forming a new family and have thought of myself and Fiance as such since we got engaged. Apparently for some parents it is harder to let go (and let God - or whatever) than it is for others. The fact that I resent these opinions does not mean that I don't appreciate all the financial (and floral) input from the FMIL. But getting help, financial and otherwise, is a slippery slope into having to listen to every single stupid opinion. I said listening to them - not utilizing them. Jeez.
Here's the thing - I am not going to stress myself out to have the wedding that everyone else expects. I want to get married. That's the point. The bonus parts of that are having my friends and family out to our home for a (hopefully) super fun party. It won't be in a hotel ballroom or on an antebellum plantation and there won't be overly priced and poorly fitted tuxes. But there will be so much love (and booze and delicious food) and there will be that whole thing about joining my life to Fiance's forever and ever and eternity and crap like that. But in the end - I will be married and we will be happy and drunk and full and surrounding with friends. Cranky-pants mother-in-laws can keep their opinions to themselves .. or just expect for them to be ignored.