5 Awkward Father and Mother-in-Law Moments

Etiquette, Moms

Dealing with your in-laws is tricky territory, and while you of course want everything to be perfect, there are bound to be some less-than-ideal moments. From your mother-in-law showing too much skin to singing Celine Dion at the reception, here's how to handle some uncomfortable in-law situations.

1. She's picked out a dress with some serious cleavage.
Will all eyes be on her at the wedding and not you? Of course not. Still, you'd rather she not make a fool of herself.

What to do: If you're marrying in a house of worship, let her know that her outfit will be too revealing for a place where modest dress is the norm. Even if you're marrying in a nonreligious setting, you can ask her if she has a pretty jacket or shawl she can wear for the ceremony; let her go for the big reveal at the reception, where she'll blend in more with the crowd.

2. She's overly affectionate with you — and you just met!
Her kisses and hugs are more appropriate for longtime friends.

What to do: You can't blame the woman for being excited to finally meet her child's spouse-to-be. But if the slobbering and excessive clinging make you want to run in the other direction, have your fiancé talk to his mom alone. He should describe it as your problem, not hers, saying something like you get uncomfortable when people get too close too fast and you need time to warm up to that kind of affection. Just don't stick out your hand for a business-like shake — you're almost family!

See More: So, You're Not Crazy About Your Mother-in-Law... Here's How to Deal

3. At the reception, she grabs the mic and starts singing "My Heart Will Go On."
And it's not pretty.

What to do: Short of pulling the mic's cord out of the electrical outlet, you can't really do much to stop this spontaneous performance, so be a good sport and clap for her. Just be glad it's only three minutes of your life and make sure you get it on video!

4. She has one too many gin and tonics and starts telling off your father-in-law's new girlfriend.
While you don't like the newbie much either, you want to avoid the nastiness escalating into a brawl.

What to do: It's time to call in the calvary — the groomsmen. Ask two of them to discreetly escort her away from the main party, perhaps to an empty room or even outside, so she can calm down and sober up. Strong coffee, anyone?

5. She starts complaining about everything from the supposedly weak drinks to her reception table location.
Nothing about your wedding seems to make her happy.

What to do: Ask the wedding planner or maître d' to try to appease her. If her gripes aren't legitimate, chalk it up to nerves and emotion on such an historic day in the life of her family. You and the groom should spend a few minutes with her, thanking her for her love and support and making her feel like an important part of your wedding day, which of course she is.

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