Don't Let Mom Drive You Crazy

3. Take Mom to lunch and find out what she imagines your wedding to be. Find areas where you're already in agreement and negotiate differences. Decide what's most important for you to handle personally, and delegate the rest to Mom or other relatives.

4. Use "we" statements whenever possible. This diffuses the "you" against "her". Ask, "Can we consider this instead?" or say, "I'm confident we can work this out." These are buffer statements to break the argument and bring you back to cooperation.

5. Set a timeline and calendar for important decisions. It's essential that time-sensitive decisions are organized well in advance so that you don't feel rushed and stressed out.

6. Ask mom to set a budget (if she's paying for the wedding), so you know ahead of time what your family is willing to pay for certain items. If you want to upgrade something, offer to pay the difference.

7. Establish a communication system with Mom that allows you to stay sane and minimize interruptions. Fax or email important details and keep them in a series of colored folders for easy access. Save discussions/decisions for meetings or phone calls you've already planned.

8. Ask girlfriends and work colleagues for wedding time-savers and for tips on dealing with moms and in-laws. There's a wealth of personal experience out there if you'll just ask. For example, check out the tips on The Wedding Women message board.

9. Enlist the support of your husband-to-be for handling communication and challenges with his own mother. Weddings are fraught with enough mama drama without getting caught in the crossfire between his mother and yours.

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