Navigating a relationship with your future mother-in-law can be tricky. You want to stay on her good side, but you may still be getting to know each other, which means some of those limits a relationship forms might not exist yet. This can be especially challenging when you’re dealing with the details of your wedding day and your mother-in-law has a lot of opinions—but isn’t ponying up the cash for her ideas. So what’s a bride to do? Our experts have a few tips.
If your future mother-in-law has a lot of opinions and ideas for your wedding, start by putting it all in perspective. Is she trying to help with suggestions or find ways to assist with the whole wedding-planning process? Take this as a good sign! It means she’s excited that you’ll be joining her family and that she’s looking forward to the event as much as you are. And don’t brush off those offers to help out too quickly. Sure, you may want to keep your wedding dress and accessories a surprise, but having an extra hand when it’s time to stuff envelopes or assemble welcome bags can be really useful.
Is she trying to get involved in the details and decisions? If she’s written a check for a portion of the wedding, you’ll have to hear her out. Paying for the bar or some of the catering means she has a right to offer input on the food or alcohol you’re serving, and subsidizing the floral decor means she’s at least allowed to tell you that she hates hydrangeas.
However, if she’s not contributing to the budget in any way, you don’t have to follow her suggestions. Instead, let her down gently by telling her that you really appreciate her input but that you and your fiancé (her son!) would prefer to make the planning choices yourselves. This is especially true if what she’s saying contradicts the event you’re trying to plan, in which case you should remind her that you have something else in mind. Clearly communicating your vision may even give her a few new ideas you’ll actually love!