Reviewed by Louisa Nashir
A Wedding in the Family: Mothers Tell Their Stories of Joy, Conflict and Loss by Annette Byford, a psychologist and psychotherapist, explores the way a wedding can test and potentially ruin a family relationship in this fantastic and factual book which I was unable to put down.
Annette herself was a Mother of the Bride and has used her skills and knowledge of her profession and her personal life as a mother to create this simple brilliant book.
A wedding is a massive occasion for any family and can bring joy, love, laughter but it can also bring an element of resentment and sadness, especially from mothers! What should be the happiest day of your children’s lives can easily become a nightmare if your family aren’t behind you 100% and can turn your bug day into a big mess!
Some mothers feel an immense sense of pride at their children’s wedding, yet others can feel lost, betrayed and battle inner conflicts. The children you raised and who relied on you so heavily are ready to settle down and start their new lives with their future spouses but mothers can suffer from ’empty nest syndrome’ the feeling of one by one your beloved children are growing up and starting families of their own and rely on you less and less. You go from being there every moment for your children, their idols and their most needed family member to suddenly through no fault of your own a ‘second fiddle’.
Some mothers are glad that their children are settling down and beginning new adventures, but others aren’t so happy about their children’s new life.
When I was asked to read and review A Wedding In The Family, I jumped at the chance as I love books like this. Reading real heartfelt statements from mothers and their journeys before and after their children’s nuptials.
The book starts off with an in-depth introduction about the author herself and her experience of her daughter marrying, and it gives the reader a real insight to the author and her life.
The book features many interviews with mothers from various cultures and some are quite frankly sad to read. Mothers battling emotions only a mother could feel yet some unable to reveal their feelings to their children so plaster a fake smile on the surface whilst feeling low and unwanted inside.
The book is split into different parts and chapters. Each chapter features interviews on all aspects of a wedding (The Other Family, Maternal Tiptoeing, The Dress etc.) and each interview then features an in-depth analysis of each interviewee and their stories.
It’s not the easiest of reads if you like a ‘happy ever after’ type book but to me the honesty from the mothers interviewed is refreshing.
I recommend this book to any future mothers of the Bride/Groom, Brides and Grooms out there who may need a little help to deal with mothers and weddings. Sometimes they just need a slight nudge or comfort as they could be battling some inner turmoil about ‘losing’ their children.
A great book and one I am sure will become a big hit!
Give it a go!
RRP: £11.99 (Paperback or Kindle)
Available to buy from Amazon here.