Getting married isn’t just about creating a new little family of your own: Your families will be joining together to create a big one! The first step is to introduce the in-laws. We asked our experts to give us the basics (when, where, and how) of introducing your families. Keep these tips in mind as your wedding approaches!
If you haven’t had a chance to introduce your families to one another before your wedding day, try to bring them together as soon as possible. Of course, this is much easier if you’re from similar areas, while it can be a lot harder if your parents live in different parts of the country. If the next time you’ll all be together will be in the days leading up to your wedding, be proactive and arrange a time early on for everyone to meet. This will give your parents and siblings a chance to get to know one another, and will also mean they’ve met before other relatives get into town—making introductions much easier!
When you’re deciding where and how to introduce everyone, begin with something fairly low-key, like lunch at your favorite local restaurant. Pick a spot that’s a crowd-pleaser, has space for a larger group, and isn’t too loud so your dad can hear your brother-in-law’s latest joke. An easy lunch takes the pressure off of everyone: It’s more affordable so no one feels awkward about picking up the check, and it can be much more relaxed than dinner at a restaurant with an RSVP list and a dress code.
Of course, you could also pick a fun activity that everyone will enjoy, whether it’s an afternoon watching the local baseball team play or a little friendly competition at the bowling alley. Something fun for all ages will allow you to include parents and siblings with ease, and an activity is a great way to fill any potentially awkward silences and give everyone something in common to talk about.
Just remember, friendships can’t be forced! Set yourselves up for success, but acknowledge that it can take some time for people to really hit it off. As long as they’ll be happy to dance together at your wedding reception, you’re off to a good start!