Alma Gill

By Alma Gill
NNPA Columnist

Mama taking over the Wedding

Hey, Alma –

My friend is getting married, I’m in the wedding and I couldn’t be happier for her. She’s not a “big wedding” type of person, so her mom is taking the reins to plan a giant ceremony. She went shopping for wedding dresses with her mom, and they picked out a Cinderella-style ball gown – so not her style.

As bridesmaids we went shopping together and found the perfect dress for her – it’s simple and understated, and she wants to wear flowers in her hair. But this dress doesn’t really go with the formal-style wedding her mother has planned. How does she tell her mom she found a “better” dress? I think she looks beautiful regardless, and I want her to feel happy and comfortable on her wedding day, but I also know that picking this other dress will cause so much drama with her mom (and my friend is already trying to avoid as much wedding drama as possible!).

Help, Alma! How do I be a good bridesmaid in this situation?

Hey Bridesmaid, my advice: stay out of it. This is not your red wagon to pull. Even if your friend is not a “wedding type” person, it’s still her wedding. She needs to clarify a few things. Now’s the time she needs to let her mama know, she’s no longer wearing her training bra. She has to be truthful with herself and have an honest conversation with her mother. Oh wait, here’s something you can do. After their discussion, make sure you greet her with a box of tissue or a glass of red wine, depending on her mother’s reaction.

Candidly speaking, she should never have allowed her mother to purchase a wedding dress she didn’t like nor wanted to wear. What was that about? There’s something a little bit deeper here that we’re not privy to. But anywho, after the discussion with her mom, she needs to immediately gather her troops. Your friend can call a meeting and tell every one of her wedding day wishes. Yep, she’s gotta be bold, stand tall in her wedding pumps or bare feet and lead her wedding party to what will be one of the most important days of her life. If she’s ready to get married, she’s ready to have hard, honest adult conversations that clearly express her wedding day desires.

Honestly though, I’m happy to hear that she’s not a Bridezilla, neither was my niece Leah. She was what you’d also call a low-key bride as well. My dear sister Kim passed away when she was a teenager, so when Leah allowed me to step into the MOB role, you better bet I wore that crown and girl I wore it well, LOL. Ain’t nobody got more mouth than me, I’m just sayin, LOL.

Leah let me have my MOB fun until we came to a point in the planning process that was make or break important to her. During our meetings, when I bulldozed, she sternly guided me back to my lane. Not in a mean way, not loud, not argumentative, just firm and sweet. A firm and sweet that required respect and reminded me she was a grown woman.

Don’t get me wrong, when we mothers are on a roll, it stings like a honeybee when we are challenged by our adult children. But, don’t you fret sweetie pie, her mama can handle it and will secretly applaud it. She’ll recognize, this is where her baby girl’s childhood ends and her adulthood begins.

Bottom line, all her mother really wants, is to see the joy on her daughters face that day. Everything else is just icing on the wedding cake!


Alma Gill’s newsroom experience spans more than 25 years, including various roles at USA Today, Newsday and the Washington Post. Email questions to: Follow her on Facebook at “Ask Alma” and Twitter @almaaskalma.


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