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Carolyn Hax: Mom wants to come dress shopping but thinks weddings are a waste – The Washington Post

Carolyn Hax: Mom wants to come dress shopping but thinks weddings are a waste – The Washington Post

Adapted from an online discussion.


Dear Carolyn: I’m engaged and planning our wedding, but my mom is very down on big weddings. She thinks they’re a waste of time and especially money. My fiance and I are paying for just about everything, but each set of parents has given us about $2,000. We’ve expressed enormous gratitude for that, and it wasn’t something we asked for.

In spite of giving us the money, my mom is constantly telling me we should just elope now and get started on our family right away. She hates weddings but is very interested in grandchildren.

I’ve talked to her about how important a nice wedding is to us and how much I would appreciate her support. She always promises to do better and to at least be polite about it, and then the next day, she’s back on the anti-wedding train.

Because of this, I wasn’t going to have her come when I try on dresses next month, since all she has to say about them is what a waste of money they are and how ridiculous I am for getting one. My future mother-in-law is thrilled for us and is very excited about my gown, so I was going to invite her and my sister to come with me.

My sister is telling me this is an important moment for a mother and daughter, and our mom feels left out and is upset that my future mother-in-law is coming with me instead of her.

I’m sure she feels left out, but I know she’s not interested in seeing me try on wedding gowns. My sister says if I don’t have our mom there, I’ll regret it forever. My fiance says I should just ask her since she’ll probably say no, but I think it’s more likely that she’ll show up and try to talk me out of a big white dress or be critical the whole day. What would you do if you were me?

— Engaged

Engaged: When this pandemic is behind us, I think we should all have enormous weddings, even if we aren’t getting married.

As for your mom, I’m thinking utter bluntness: “Mom, I’d love to have you come dress shopping. But if you breathe one word of wasted money or eloping, so help me, I will send you home. If you need time to think, then take it and let me know.”

Plus, it’ll probably be the closest any of us gets to one of those great movie scenes where the underdog finds her snarl.

If your mother agrees to your terms for being there and then acts up anyway, calmly stop trying things on until she either apologizes or leaves.


Re: Weddings: Listen, I love weddings and traditions as much as the next gal, but if your mom doesn’t come dress shopping, you’ll “regret it forever”? Methinks you and your sis may be putting a little too much importance on really, really mundane activities, just because they’re tangentially related to your wedding.

— Anonymous

Anonymous: Right, yes, I missed that. Thank you.

And now that I’m here: “very interested in grandchildren”? How utterly not her business. Best to get those boundaries up before raising the tent.

Write to Carolyn Hax at tellme@washpost.com. Get her column delivered to your inbox each morning at wapo.st/haxpost.

Published at Thu, 28 Jan 2021 04:59:00 +0000

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