While wedding planning brings some brides and their mothers closer together, your relationship with your mom can also be a huge source of stress when you’re planning your wedding. Here are four common mother-of-the-bride behaviors you might experience and our advice on how to handle them.

Your mom has very specific ideas about what is “right” when it comes to a wedding, ideas you don’t agree with.

Try to empathize with your mom. Weddings are as much about our families as they are about the couple, and your parents may be worried that your choices might reflect badly on them to their friends or close family members. So just like you may need to remind yourself that people aren’t judging you based on your wedding, you may need to remind your mom of the same thing.

There is a specific and seemingly unimportant detail of your wedding that your mom doesn’t like… And she just won’t let it go.

No matter how many times you tell her that it’s totally cool to have a brunch wedding or to not wear a veil, she keeps insisting that you’ll regret it. Arguments like these often aren’t really about the detail in question; they are about the fact that you’re asserting your independence as an adult in a new, huge, and very public way. Again, try to be patient with your mom if she’s worrying out about the small stuff… And find other ways to gently remind her that you still need her in your life.

She secretly enlists your fiancé or your future in-laws to take her side during wedding disagreements.

Going behind your back to get approval for her ideas isn’t ok. While it’s fine for your fiancé to chat with your mom about wedding stuff, it’s not cool to conspire with your mom against you. Ask your partner to firmly tell your mom, “I see your point but I'll have to it over with [the bride] first and then we’ll let you know what we think” when she tries to start these kinds of conversations. Then make it clear to her (and your future in-laws, if necessary) that you’re not ok with that tactic. This is the kind of behavior that will only cause more stress for you and your partner once you’re married, so it’s better to deal with it directly now.

Your mom won’t stop talking negatively about her body or stressing about what she’s going to wear for your wedding.

Body image issues can affect women of all ages, and being the mother of the bride can bring out certain insecurities about aging, so it’s no surprise that your mom is preoccupied with thoughts of how she’ll look at your wedding. Do your best to reassure her that you think she’s beautiful and help her find something she feels great in to wear on your wedding day. If the negative talk is really getting you down, ask her what would make her feel more confident at your wedding or if there is anything you can do to help. Calling attention to her behavior might help put a stop to it.

If your mom is causing drama during wedding planning, try to think of your mother as another adult and not just your mom. When you know another adult is going through a lot of emotions, you’re probably patient whenever you can be and firm (but polite) when necessary. Try your best to give your mom that much…and don’t forget to send her flowers for mother’s day!

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