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Ask The Celebration Advisor:

Maybe you can help me with this awkward situation. I am a stepmother to a great daughter who I helped raise since she was 3. She is getting married in
June and her dad and I are paying for most of the expenses(wedding dress, cake, reception, except for
a few decorations the bride has bought). We have hired a DJ for the bride and grooms to choose, photographer, and wedding invitations and rental hall for the reception. She keeps coming up with things that need to be paid for.  Of course with all the planning my husband and I are excited about helping decorate
the reception venue. My daughter told me 3 weeks ago that her mom wants to do all the decorating.  Do you think it is unreasonable that me and her dad be there
to help not do everything but to get the food table together?  I know this day is very important to her mother but we are starting to feel used. What do you think we should do? I want everything to run smoothly and friendly.


Celebration Advisor Reply:

First of all, congratulations on your special occasion. Almost every wedding has an awkward situation arise during the planning process, most of which have a solution. In a perfect world, parents and extended family would sit down, discuss responsibilities and stick to those plans. However, many times the wedding planning process ebbs and flows as new ideas and people enter into the mix, bringing with them unique benefits and occasional problems.

You are on the right track with your desire for the wedding to go smoothly. Too often people focus on themselves, rather than the bride and groom, and relationships become disjointed and dysfunctional. I am sure your generosity has not gone unnoticed, although I understand your desire for input on things that matter most to you.

Given that you and your stepdaughter appear to have a close relationship, I would sit down and calmly and diplomatically discuss your desires and any concerns you may have. Keep in mind that it is her special day, and you may have to adopt a no-strings-attached view of financing the event. However, I trust your relationship is strong enough to endure a sensible discussion to reach a compromise. In fact, it appears you have already have an offer ready by requesting only to decorate the wedding reception tables.

Just remember that your stepdaughter is most likely trying to please all parties and finding it difficult to find a balance between making you and her mom happy. Approaching her in a sincere, calm fashion will let her know your wishes. In fact, she may be happy to oblige.

This Celebration Advisor response is sponsored by St. Augustine, FL, wedding planners.