Happy Hump day! Today’s Wedding Wednesdays question is about your parents: My parents are very helpful people and are always doing things for others. For my sister’s wedding, they pretty much planned everything, but since my fiancé and I are planning a destination wedding and want to handle everything, they are feeling lost. For one of the first times, they don’t have any responsibilities (which is what we wanted) and they don’t know what their role is. I don’t want them to have to do any work, but I also don’t know what to tell them. Any guidance or suggestions on how to handle this and get them involved, but not working hard, would be appreciated.
So, I totally understand what you are going through. I have clients who deal with this all the time because they’ve hired a wedding planner (me) and their mom or parents are so used to doing everything that they don’t know what to do with themselves. But, I have to say that is a good problem to have. You don’t want to make your family work hard for your wedding and I commend you on doing it yourselves so that they can just show up and have a good time.
What I’d start by doing is sitting your parents down and telling them that their role is just to be your mom and dad and enjoy the day. How often does their kid get married? Tell them that you know that they want to help and you appreciate it, but you want them to enjoy themselves and be in the moment with you. They might object, but tell them that this is what you want and what will make you happy. They should be willing to oblige you.
Now, if that works, but you still find them with idle hands, then here are some suggestions of small responsibilities you can give them:
Wedding day – Someone will need to be in charge of getting you all lunch and making sure you have food, snacks, drinks, etc… on the wedding day and your parents can take on this role. Someone will also need to make sure the personal flowers for the family get passed out. And if you personally need help with anything like steaming your dress, your parents can be in charge of that.
Rehearsal dinner and activities – I’m assuming you are also planning all the other activities and events outside of the wedding. So if you need anything to be passed out or need to gather people or need help with anything, your parents would also be helpful for that.
Family needs – Your parents can also be in charge of the family and organize them. They can make sure they know where they need to be, when to be ready, and when to show up for photos. Also, if they want to organize any events outside of the wedding related stuff for the family, that can fall on their shoulders.
Outside of that, they really should just enjoy themselves and make it a vacation. I’ll bet once they show up, this won’t be a problem. They’ll relax and have a good time.