Whose Wedding is it Anyway?
Balancing Your Parents’ Wishes with Your Own
One of the most difficult things in planning a wedding is balancing your own vision with tradition, and this is especially true with parents involved. Weddings are about the couple, but they’re not only about the couple. It’s a chance for friends and family to come together and celebrate love, and parents tend to make a lot of sacrifices to make that happen. Sometimes families have very specific traditions in their weddings, such as certain songs or readings, customary dress, and other formalities. But what happens when your vision for your wedding doesn’t quite line up with your parents’ wishes?
Navigating respecting the traditions and wishes of your family with the wants of your own is always difficult, and weddings can just heighten these emotions. But, at the end of the day, it’s still your wedding, and you deserve to have the day that you and your partner want. If these two things happen to be at odds, you do have the right to thank them for their input without doing what they want. But the best thing you can do is compromise!
A good way to balance your wishes with those of your parents is to take what they want and put your own personal spin on it. This way, you can respect the traditions and hopes of your family without sacrificing authenticity. Clear communication is always the key, and like we briefly touched on in our earlier article on summer weddings, being compromising and accommodating is essential to creating a happy environment at your wedding. So, if you’re worried about your parents’ demands or expectations, here are some examples of how other couples have dealt with this issue:
CULTURE can be one of the biggest points of contention when it comes to parents. You want to respect the culture of your partner, but you also want to make sure you showcase your own. The answer to relieving the pressure of this issue is that a ‘traditional’ wedding doesn’t mean you have to go all-in on one tradition. If you’re planning a multicultural wedding, you can have different parts of the program reflect each of your cultures. Not only does this honor your families, but it also creates a really unique celebration that both your and your partner’s family can take pride in. If parts of these traditions are in a language your guests likely won’t speak, you can always provide them with translations or explanations, so that they can understand and feel involved as well!
RELIGION is a big factor of weddings, and is one of the most common things that comes in between families. If you and your partner, or your respective families share different religious views, chances are someone has some traditional specifics they believe need to be involved in the wedding. One common way to handle this is to change the venue, while keeping part of the program. If your family expects you to have a wedding in a cathedral or get married by a priest, but you or your partner don’t share their views, you can always incorporate certain religious traditions into a wedding not held at a church. You can also find neutral ground by finding someone that is meaningful to both of you to officiate the wedding—just make sure you check the laws of the city you’re planning to get married in.
TRADITIONS can be another sore spot for some families. While the entire idea of a wedding ceremony is deeply traditional, these classic ways of doing things are not a requirement! A lot of people find the traditional wording of the ceremony patriarchal, or just a little bit uncomfortable. But a lot of parents expect these rituals, so it can be difficult to bridge the generational or ideological gap. If you can, consider rephrasing the traditional wording so that your parents still feel that their views are being respected, but you can take pride and feel comfortable in your wedding. There are always compromises to be found!
Hopefully these examples have inspired you with some creative ways to balance respecting tradition and achieving your own vision for your Chicago wedding. Keep communicating, keep trying to find a way to compromise, but always remember that it’s your wedding, and you have every right to respectfully say “We love you, we value your opinion, and we’ll take it into consideration.”
So, whose wedding is it anyway? It’s yours!