My fiance and I live on the east coast, but are getting married in the midwest (where both of our families are). My parents are paying for most of the wedding, with a few contributions from my future in-laws. My fiance and I are both students so paying for a wedding ourselves was pretty much out of the question. It is a smallish wedding, nice but nothing over the top. I am super busy and didn't want to make myself crazy with unnecessary details and DIY b.s. Our wedding is less than 30 days away, and my mom has recently gone off the deep end and made it all about her.
My mom and I went together to pick out the venue, did the tasting, picked out flowers, had a trial-run hair appt., bought decorations, etc., TOGETHER. My fiance came along to scout the venue but wasn't able to make a second trip back to the midwest so the rest of the decisions were mostly made by my mom and me. My mom is very controlling and can be very negative. While I am usually very easygoing and pretty much let her call the shots, I was more firm and assertive with the wedding planning. Partly because I do feel like it's one of the few times in my life it is about me, and partly because most of her opinions were based on impressing the guests rather than any of her own preferences.
Fast forward to now, less than a month before the wedding, and she has now called to tell me how angry and hurt she is because she says I excluded her from EVERY decision about the wedding. That is not how I see it. She gave me input on almost every decision, but in some cases I made my own decisions and did not go along with her input. To be clear, the overall wedding is exactly what she wanted (as in the venue, food, ceremony, etc. are all consistent with her "input"). The details that I didn't compromise on are minor, like table runners, number of people in the wedding party being even on both sides (she wanted it to be even, I said my fiance and I were going to ask who is important to us and not worry about numbers), I let the bridesmaids choose their own dresses (she wanted them to match exactly), etc.
There are a few decisions I made on my own without asking for her input (readings for the ceremony, the sash for my dress), frankly because I was pretty tired of her criticism (she spent at least 30 minutes on the phone criticizing my fiance's choice of suit, for one example). For the record, there was not one decision she directly said she wanted to make on her own, just a lot of criticism and indirect comments.
She has now told me that she is irreparably hurt and that "this can never be undone." She has also said that my excluding her has ruined the wedding. To add to that, she said I am selfish, self absorbed, and that she will be bitter forever about how I ruined this for her because I am her only daughter. She said that weddings are supposed to be a "mother-daughter" event (I would disagree and say they are a family celebration, and the focus should be the couple).
I feel terrible that she is saying this to me, but I also feel like I included her in every decision so I feel like her hurt feelings are unwarranted. My guess is she is mad that she didn't get to MAKE every decision. I also think it is new for her that I am being a little more assertive and she's having a hard time accepting it. I don't want to have all of these negative feelings and anxiety about how she's going to behave the day of the wedding. My fiance is great, my friends are all happy and supportive, and my dad doesn't seem to have any hurt feelings (my parents are still married so they talk to each other about this). So if not for this, I would feel great about the wedding coming up.
I'm not sure, should I apologize to her? And if so, for what? Am I being selfish? Right now I feel terribly guilty and am not sure what to do.
Your mom is behaving like a five-year-old because she's sad that you're all growed up. (Irony, much?) She just realized that in 30 days, you realllllllllly won't need her any more.
You DO NOT owe her an apology, but cut her some slack. Just tell her, "I love you, mom. The wedding is going to be beautiful."
Photo by Sofia Sanchez and Mauro Mongiello for Numero via Trendland