Dealing with Demanding Parents 

Planning a wedding is a joyful but often stressful process, especially when parents want to have a significant say in the details. While their desire to be involved usually comes from a place of love and excitement, it can sometimes feel overwhelming. In this blog we briefly discuss ‘how to deal with demanding parents on your wedding’. Here’s how to navigate these tricky waters, ensure everyone feels included, and maintain control over your big day.

Start with Open Communication

From the outset, have an open and honest conversation with your parents about your vision for the wedding. Listen to their ideas and concerns, and express your own desires clearly. This sets the tone for a collaborative approach rather than a confrontational one.

Set Boundaries Early

Establish clear boundaries about which decisions are yours and which areas they can have input on. For example, you might take charge of the venue, theme, and guest list, while allowing them to suggest ideas for catering or entertainment. Setting these boundaries early helps prevent misunderstandings later on.

Be Diplomatic and Respectful

When discussing your wedding plans, use diplomatic language. Acknowledge their contributions and show appreciation for their support, even if you don’t agree with all their suggestions. Phrases like, “I appreciate your input, but we’ve decided to go in a different direction,” can help maintain harmony.

Involve Them in Meaningful Ways

Find meaningful ways to include your parents in the planning process. Assign them tasks that match their strengths and interests, such as helping with invitations, organising the rehearsal dinner, or coordinating with vendors. This gives them a sense of involvement without overshadowing your decisions.

Address Financial Contributions and Control

Money can be a significant source of tension. If your parents are contributing financially, it’s natural for them to expect some say in the planning. However, it’s essential to set expectations early. Discuss how much they are comfortable contributing and what aspects of the wedding they would like to have a say in. Ensure there’s a balance between their input and your vision.

Manage the Guest List Diplomatically

The guest list can be another contentious area. If your parents want to invite additional guests, have an honest discussion about the limitations of your venue and budget. You might consider compromising by allowing them to invite a certain number of guests, provided it doesn’t exceed your agreed-upon limit.

Offer Alternatives

When you need to turn down a suggestion, offer alternatives that might satisfy both parties. For example, if they insist on inviting distant relatives you barely know, suggest having a separate pre-wedding or post-wedding event where those guests can be included.

Seek Professional Help

Sometimes, hiring a professional wedding planner can help mediate disputes and provide expert advice. A planner can serve as a neutral third party who can diplomatically manage expectations and ensure that everyone’s contributions are acknowledged without compromising your vision. You can source an acrredited award winning wedding planner at Middleton Events.

Stay United as a Couple

It’s crucial for you and your partner to present a united front. Make decisions together and support each other when communicating with your parents. This shows your parents that you are serious about your choices and committed to making decisions as a team.

Express Gratitude

Throughout the process, express gratitude for your parents’ involvement and support. A heartfelt thank you can go a long way in smoothing over disagreements and ensuring they feel valued and appreciated.


Balancing your parents’ desires with your own vision for your wedding day requires clear communication, diplomacy, and a bit of compromise. By setting boundaries, involving them meaningfully, and addressing financial contributions and guest lists diplomatically, you can create a wedding day that reflects your wishes while honouring their support and involvement. Remember, the goal is to celebrate your love and union while making cherished memories with your family.

Happy planning! And if you need further guidance, consider reaching out to Australia’s most awarded MC Celebrant, John Middleton, for expert advice and support in navigating these delicate conversations.