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Building a relationship between two moms who are total strangers begins before you even get married. And while not every family event has to be a love fest, married life is much easier when your mom and your husband's mother get along.
Sometimes, the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom don't hit it off when they're first introduced. If they come from two different worlds — one mom dons a business suit daily while the other is part of a knitting club — you might have to help them find some common ground.
What they absolutely do have in common is a love for their children, and hopefully, their fiancés, too. So your job is to help them build a bridge and set the stage for a friendly family future.
Try these five tips to improve mom-to-mom relations:
1. Choose activities to do together that both mothers like.
Don't plan a spa day if one mother has never had a pedicure and wouldn't be comfortable. Don't plan an alcohol-based event like a wine tasting if one of the moms is a teetotaler.
2. Find some wedding planning tasks that both mothers can help you complete.
Such as stuffing, addressing, and mailing invitations, or creating beautiful place cards.
3. If one mother is a bit intimidated by the other, give her an opportunity to shine.
Whether she's an unbelievable cook or can sew absolutely anything, let her show off her talents in a manner that causes the other mother to gush over her. Everybody loves a compliment and a tasty wedding favor!
4. Give both moms an opportunity to speak and get their opinions across during the wedding planning.
When one mom is an extrovert, and the other is much quieter, you have to make sure to give both moms an opportunity to speak and get their opinions across during the wedding planning. If you have a good relationship with both mothers, you can enlist the help of the more gregarious one to help pry the shy one out of her shell.
5. Any disagreement about the wedding plans should be settled as a fast as possible by you and your fiancé.
Take the pressure off the moms and make it clear that all the decisions being made are those of the wedding couple, and neither mother has more influence on the decision-making process than the other. Be diplomatic about it, but stand firm and own everything.
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events, a full-service traditional and destination wedding planning company and Do-It-Yourself wedding planning consulting service for DIY brides and grooms based in the Washington, DC area. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show "Wedding Island," about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques. Sandy's book "How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional," will be released on March 1st, but is available online for pre-orders now where books are sold.