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She was ecstatic the day she found out about your engagement, and ever since then, she's been so eager to help with whatever she can when it comes to the wedding. You sincerely can't wait to bond with your future mother-in-law over save-the-dates and wedding dresses, but unlike with your own mom, you just aren't sure what you can and can't say to her without crossing a boundary. That's where we come in. Here are the five things that should never come out of your mouth in front of your future MIL during the planning stages and why.
1. "It is my wedding!"
Although technically true, you have to be sensitive to the fact that this is a very special day in your mother-in-law's life too, points out Dr. Ruth Nemzoff, author of Don't Roll Your Eyes: Making In-Laws Into Family. "This comment doesn't show you as the generous and inclusive person you want your mother-in-law to think you are." If you must, Nemzoff suggests putting some limits on your future MIL's involvement. "Either assign her specific tasks or elements of the wedding to organize or say, without anger, 'I know this event is really important to you. You have worked long and hard to bring up the man I love, I guarantee you you will be honored as you should be.'"
2. "Thanks, but I don't need any help."
If your mother-in-law genuinely wants to help out with the wedding planning, no matter how you feel about her, don't completely shut her down. "Remember, this is the beginning of a life long relationship, and there's no need to unnecessarily cause flaps," warns Nemzoff. "Give her a small, discreet task that way she can stay involved without you having to worry that she'll totally take over."
3. "I'm not really into that idea."
Your future mother-in-law is bubbling over with excitement, and it's only natural she'll want to share her own wedding ideas. While you don't have to go with them, you can learn to play nice. For example, when your MIL makes a suggestion, you can always say, "Interesting idea, I will think about that," notes Nemzoff. "If you consider her idea and don't like it, that's okay too. We all like to be heard so why not let her be a part of the brainstorming?"
4. "My parents would never go for that."
Whether you're marrying someone from a drastically different background or not, chances are, your families won't agree on every single little wedding detail. That's no excuse to be disrespectful though. "If your mother-in-law makes a suggestion and it's in conflict with something your parents (or you) want, you can always say, 'Great idea, but I'm trying to balance the needs and wants of many people,'" advises Nemzoff. There's no need to be rude.
5. "Well, he may not be perfect, but he's mine!"
Moms are very protective over their babies, as they should be. So while your future MIL may know every flaw your fiancée has (and some you probably haven't discovered yet), she definitely doesn't want you keeping a tally sheet of them or even announcing that he has any, cautions relationship expert and author April Masini. "It's just bad manners."