Family Matters

Jul 28 2008

Hey Mitch,

Man do I have a doosie for you. My fiance’ and I are getting married later this year. We’ve been busy with the planning, invitations and everything. So my mother and grandmother have felt the need to ask why they haven’t been involved in the wedding planning and why my mother’s name was left out of the invitation, among some other things.

Anyway we have decided to pay for everything ourselves. Now do you have any ideas on what I can do as far as my family ties are concerned?

Spinning On The Cake


Hey Spinning,

“Family Stuff” sure shows up at just the BEST times, huh?!

AND the first rule is: IT’S YOUR WEDDING!…

The second rule?… Weddings, to varying degrees, ARE “a family thing”!

… Confusing?….

More than any other world culture, US citizens are hell-bent on “Individuality”… on being islands of capability… on disregarding or even discarding our families, our inherited traits… relationships…

While families in the U.S.A. are busy dissipating, forces calling for familial acknowledgment are ingrained in our DNA… Starting with the fact that our families exist to give us primary relationships for learning on our paths. So, there is a reason you inherited your Grandmother and your Mother… Their personalities are elements of your life education!

I understand that you and these two women (your Mother and Grandmother) are not totally in sync with each other – at least around your Wedding. This may be a grand opportunity to nurture and improve that circle. However, taking on too much during Wedding planning can be “too much”!

So, two primary Guideline Thoughts…

° It IS “Your Wedding”. Your Wife will be your foundation partner for your lifetime… The person with whom you establish and maintain life from the big day (Wedding Day) forward. So, all things considered, what will make your Wedding the best for the two of you?

◊ Growing your communication as a couple may have to
include putting up some boundaries against static
or conflicting input from others.

◊ However, excluding others may run contrary to either
short-term and/or long-term happiness. We all need
community – Your marriage needs positive people
who love you…
Your Mother & Grandmother possibly fit this criteria…

° “Wedding”, to some degree means the union of at least two
families. Supporting the Bride & Groom is the primary role of family members and friends. Meanwhile, the Bride and Groom do well to acknowledge loving, supportive families. While we don’t always feel our family support is valuable, there is merit to showing respect for family effort and history.

◊ Any/all action or communication must start with your
Fiance’! Begin and maintain a habit of mutually-
respectful, mutually-supportive communication with
your significant other! Anything you do for others,
including your family, will be far more effective, loving
and powerful if your marriage is strong and loving!

◊ Powerful work with a family therapist (such as the work I do
as an “Inspiration Wedding Officiant”) can help you to
determine what sort of boundaries you and your Fiance’
need to establish to know how, where and when to
respond variously with loved ones.

When the couples I work with explore their history, why they’re “meant to be”, and their unstated commitments, us-and-family dynamics almost always arises.
I help couples to:

˙ Powerfully step out of their stories about “manipulation”,
“bossiness”, “dominance”, “control” and the like… And into realizing
their power as a couple… To take control of their choices.. their
Marriage, their Wedding, and their love for family and friends!

˙ Deeply impact their vows by examining the intentions of their
Wedding and Marriage. This helps get their communication, even
with others, onto stronger footing!

˙ Mentally visualize key family members and friends who you may
wish to honor somehow during the wedding planning and/or Wedding
Day. Then, with boundaries, you and your Fiance’ can decide how and
where to involve people… honoring them while respecting your Day!!

◊ Options might include:

∞ Finding some Wedding elements that you could live with one of
two choices, and letting your Mother make the final choice (like some
of the reception food options)…

∞ Acknowledging that the Bride and her Mother tend to be the Wedding
planners. Maybe your Mother and Grandmother really want to feel
“included” emotionally with your Fiance’! They may not need to make
decisions or “direct”. They might simply feel gratified by hearing some
“what’s going on” details from the Bride-to-be!

NOTE: Your Fiance’ needs to be empowered. Anything that is
communicated or decided must be rooted in communication between
you and your Fiance’… with your needs as a couple primary. While some
traditions have meant the Bride being bossed around by elders – this
is not appropriate to contemporary Weddings. Meanwhile, respect for elders: always en vogue.

∞ Use your resources! A Wedding offers multiple opportunities for
honoring and including family members! Consider…

˙ Asking your Grandmother and/or Mother to take specific
roles around a Wedding Shower, invitations, decorations,
Wedding seating or something….

˙ Having Mothers and/or Grandmothers ceremonially seated
at the start of your Wedding.

˙ Involving a ceremonial recognition of Grandmothers and
Mothers during your Wedding (like the Rose Ceremony)!

˙ Asking Mom or Grandmom to read or sing something during the

“It’s your Wedding” means: “It’s your gift”. The day is to be wonderful for you two without dissing others. Perhaps the day can be better than ever because you and your Bride thought out of the box, and found a way to include others… without damaging your relationship and Marriage!

“The Greatest Gift One Can Receive Is To Have Given To Another”

Namaste ~

~ Namasté ~

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