Where Should Your Mother-in-Law Get Ready for Your Wedding?

bride getting ready with bridal party

Photo by Jami Laree Jeskey

Getting ready on your wedding day, with your bridesmaids and perhaps your mother by your side, is a special occasion. But where should your future mother-in-law plan to get ready? Based on tradition, the answer may not be so simple. Luckily, we have all the answers you'll need as you plan your getting-ready timeline and logistics.

Read on for tips on how to decide where your mother-in-law should get ready on your wedding day.

Invite Your Mother-in-Law to Join in the Fun

You're probably envisioning some quality girl time as you're getting ready on your wedding day, but you may be surprised to find out that your future mother-in-law will likely get dressed in a room closer to your partner, says Kelly Heyn, owner of SocialLife Wedding and Event Planning. "The industry tends to keep families close together on the wedding day, so the photographers and videographers can capture special family-bonding moments, like when the mother of the groom sees her son all dressed up for the first time," says Heyn.

Meet the Expert

  • Kelly Heyn is an event planner and designer and the owner of SocialLife Wedding and Event Planning in New Jersey.
  • Julie Bunkley is the owner and creative director behind Alabama-based Invision Events, a full-service wedding design and planning firm with a focus on destination weddings.

But should she stick to tradition and industry standards, or should your mother-in-law mix it up with you and your wedding party? It's up to the two of you to decide. If your soon-to-be spouse is male and your future mother-in-law is uncomfortable getting ready with a bunch of guys or you'd really like to include her in your wedding-day prep, you can and should change things up. For starters, "the bride should absolutely invite her future mother-in-law to get her hair and makeup done alongside the bridesmaids and the mother of the bride," Heyn says. That way, your future mother-in-law will still feel invited and included for part of the getting-ready fun, even if she plans to get dressed with the groom.

If you're undecided, check with your photographer or planner on the best way to handle the situation. It may be possible to have your mother-in-law split her time and join in the fun of getting ready with both you and your soon-to-be spouse.

Make Sure Your Mother-in-Law Feels Comfortable

You can also ask your mother-in-law to stick around as you get dressed, but "don't set yourself up for a bad situation," warns Julie Bunkley, owner of Invision Events. "For instance, if you know that your new mother-in-law doesn't drink alcohol but you are looking forward to some mimosas with your bridesmaids, having her there could be awkward. Make sure it makes sense for everyone."

If you do ask your future mother-in-law to join for any portion of the getting-ready process but she politely declines, don't get offended. "Some mothers-in-law feel uncomfortable around that setting, as if they don't belong, while others may just have a favorite hair or makeup artist they would prefer to use," Heyn says.

At the end of the day, it's about communicating your wishes with your mother-in-law and finding out what her wishes are. It's a big day for you, but it's also an incredibly important day for her.

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