Ask the Expert: What’s the Best Way to Handle Pushy Parents?

Wedding planner and etiquette know-it-all Mark Kingsdorf reveals the secret

Question: My parents are footing the bill for our wedding, and while I’m happily accepting their checks, I’m kind of dreading all the input they’ll surely want to give on everything from whom we invite and what wine we serve with hors d’oeuvres to what color ribbon is tied around my bouquet. Do I have to do everything they want just because they’re paying?

Answer: “Pick your battles,” says Mark Kingsdorf, owner of Philadelphia’s The Queen of Hearts Wedding Consultants. “Since they’re paying, your parents are going to want input on some things, but probably not on everything. So it’s really important for you and your fiancé to decide ahead of time what is most important to you two — and fight for those. I see brides and their mothers fighting to the death over things like what color ink goes on an invitation. But you and your mom are going to be related for a long time — you probably don’t want to ruin your relationship over the color ink on your invitation. You just need to know ahead of time what is most important to you, and prioritize.”