When the ones you love most in the world don't get along well, you can hope it all works out, or you can do something to help the situation along. Here, real brides share how they handled their parents not liking their fiancés.
"I'm an only child and my parents were very over-protective. No one was going to be good enough for their baby. So when I got engaged, there was no way they were going to approve of Chuck, even though he's a great guy. So I made a point of telling them how wonderful he was, how great he treated me. And, I told him to let them know how his main desire in life was making sure I was treated well and had everything I needed forever and ever. Gradually, it worked, and my parent warmed up!" —Karen
"To be truthful my parents only warmed up to Don after the wedding when they found out I was pregnant. Suddenly it was, "'Son, what can I do to help?'" —Sara
"My first reaction was to get very upset — how dare they not approve of the man I want to share my life with? How dare they not share my joy? But I decided the best way to handle the situation was to treat my parents with respect and ask exactly what they didn't like about Tom. We got engaged very quickly, and it turned out they were uncomfortable because they didn't know his family or friends or much about them. So Tom and I hosted a dinner for our parents and siblings. My parents started warming up once they saw he came from 'good folks.' Then Tom and I invited them to his office so they could see him in action, as well as meet his boss and coworkers. By the time we walked down the aisle — thankfully my parents were on board with everything." —Tami
"I coached James on the way to my parents' hearts. He brought my mother flowers and rugelah — and asked my father to join him at a Mets playoff game! Yes, maybe this was bribery, but it worked." —Debi
"My parents hate seeing me cry, so whenever they started complaining about traits of my boyfriend's they didn't like — silly things like he's a noisy chewer — I turned on the waterworks. They got the point and now we're one big happy family. Or at least if my parents aren't happy, they know better than to say anything." —Gina
"I came out to my parents at age 18. It was tough for them because they'd always dreamed about giving me a big, fancy wedding. Gradually they accepted my sexuality. But when I got engaged to my longtime girlfriend, even though they liked her, it brought up all their old dreams and disappointments. So I sat them down and said, 'Look, this is the reality. And I'm willing to have you give me that fancy party even though I'd be fine without it, but the tradeoff is that you have to accept I'm marrying another bride!' They thought about it and came around — and we had a lovely wedding." —Amy
"My mother disapproved of Ben though she didn't have concrete reasons. I asked her how her parents felt when she told them she was marrying my dad. She turned red and admitted that they didn't think anyone would be good enough for their little girl. I asked what that was like for her and she said, 'Miserable!' From that moment on she unbent and started giving herself a chance to see what I loved about my fiancé." —Gloria
Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.