As a wedding photographer, I have seen my fair share of difficult wedding situations. Trust me, EVERY wedding has drama. But consistently, outsiders ask, “Do you have a lot of bridezillas?” To which I respond along the lines of “I hardly ever get bridezillas, but there are a handful of momzillas.” Over the years I’ve learned some helpful tricks on how to prepare parents for their child’s wedding and how to deal with them if they get out of hand. In this blog post, I’ll explain what a momzilla is, the dangers of having one at your wedding, and how to prevent her from ruining your precious wedding photos.
**none of the moms pictured in this blog were momzillas**
After googling “momzilla,” here are some of the best ways to define it:
I would dare to say that there is a varying degree in how bad a momzilla can be on a wedding day. Don’t get me wrong, I believe it’s extremely important to include your mom (and mother-in-law) in some of the important decisions of wedding planning (especially if they are paying for some or all of it). However, there comes a point when moms can be over-involved and completely unreasonable.
One of the trickiest situations for wedding photographers is when anyone (especially close family) comes up to us and asks us for a specific or unreasonable request on your wedding day. For example, I work extensively with each of my couples before the wedding to plan a timeline and shot list that caters to the couple’s wants and desires. Momzillas will generally want additional (and most of the time, unwanted) photos that will lead to confusion, a delay in your timeline, and unnecessary stress.
In order to avoid this, I tell all of my couples to include their parents (especially their moms) in the timeline and shot list planning. Having your parents review the shot list before the wedding will ensure they are satisfied with the photos that will be captured. Not only will this cut down on unwanted wedding day stress, but it will also keep the timeline on track and allow me to plan adequate time for the desired photo list.
Please note: I’m 100% okay with adding spontaneous, unthought-of photos to the photo list on your wedding day. It’s when that list grows increasingly long and pressured by someone other than the bride or groom that it becomes a problem.
The second scenario that a photographer has to deal with frequently in the case of a momzilla is a mother who wants to capture every moment on her cell phone. While the occasional cell phone photo is 100% acceptable and to be expected, a mom or guest who wants every photo captured on her iPhone makes the wedding photographer feel as if they lack trust in their capabilities.
In order to avoid this situation happening on your wedding day, have a conversation with your family members before the wedding, letting them know that you trust your wedding photographer to capture the important moments and that you’d prefer them to be present on your special day.
A momzilla’s behavior can ultimately place a huge stressor on your wedding day. Not only does it effect you as a couple, but their behavior can also effect your wedding vendors, guests, and party members. That’s why it’s important to communicate your expectations and boundaries with your mom before the wedding day. If needed, consider hiring a wedding planner or have a trusted friend or family member ready to handle any difficult situations that may arise.
A momzilla can be a challenging obstacle on your wedding day, but with the right preparation and communication, you can prevent her from ruining your precious memories. Remember that your wedding day is about you and your partner, and it’s important to surround yourself with supportive and positive people who will help make your day as special as possible.
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