Q: My FMIL is trying to take over the wedding—she's told me what kinds of flowers to order, which band to hire, etc. How do I tell her to back off without telling her off?

A: When family members offer unsolicited advice, it's often because they're excited about the upcoming nuptials. A polite acknowledgment—"Thanks for the suggestion; I'll consider it"—is usually enough to stem the tide. If your FMIL persists and you feel uncomfortable repeatedly "thanking her," ask your fiancé to talk to her. He could point out that many loved ones are trying to help but that you prefer doing things on your own.

See all questions about family, friends, and guests etiquette

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