Momzilla: How to Deal With A Mom Who Thinks She’s The Bride

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 12/12/2013 | 04:00 PM EST

There’s a polite way to put an overbearing mother in her place

A wedding is all about love and harmony, but we all know the stress and anxiety that can come along with planning a nuptial ceremony. Though we’ve often heard of the “bridezilla” - a term popularized by the show that documents bad-tempered diva brides - there’s very little chatter about the phenomenon known as momzilla.

A Momzilla is the overbearing mother of either the groom or bride to be, who seems to have an opinion about any and everything about the wedding, sometimes more than the couple itself. Whether it’s criticizing the bride’s dress or trying to change the wedding’s color scheme or what type of cake to serve, momzillas will usually overstep their boundaries and make the wedding more about them than the actual soon-to-be married couple.

In a nutshell, it’s not a mom’s place to be so hands-on in a wedding (unless she's asked to). Putting her in her place without offending her, however, can prove to be a rather challenging task.

So how exactly do you deal with a mom who think she’s the bride?

There are different strokes for different folks. Some prefer the more aggressive style, while others would rather strike a softer blow. No matter how you choose to deal with it, it’s important that you address it early on, as it can cause a lot of unnecessary stress, and even friction between the groom and bride - particularly in the case that the momzilla is the mother of the groom. Sometimes moms like to step in with advice woman to woman, however, when that woman is not the mother of the bride, it could cause the bride to become resentful. A woman doesn’t need to be highly criticized or bossed around by another woman who isn’t her mother.

Some moms act as if they skipped a class or two on wedding etiquette. Sometimes being overly opinionated can comes across as annoying and makes the mom look as if she’s trying to live out her own dream wedding vicariously through the bride and groom. Unless the bride specifically asks for an opinion, none should be given. A wedding is a once in a lifetime experience and is something that should be a collaborative effort between the husband and wife to be.

It’s the momzilla’s son or daughter’s responsibility to sit his or her mom down and explain that her input isn’t needed unless specifically solicited for. However, this can become problematic if the momzilla is fronting some of the wedding bill, which could give them a sense of entitlement. Regardless, helping pay for a wedding should only be done as a gesture and not as a clutch to run the show. There should be only one diva, and that’s the actual bride.

(Photo: Yellow Dog Productions/Getty Images)

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