A very delicate subject today, but one that frequently rears its ugly head when we meet our lovely couples…the in-laws! Whilst we know there is nothing quite like a wedding to bring out a bit of drama, like it, or lump it, your beau’s family are here to stay so here’s our guide to keeping things cool, calm and collected in the run up to your big day.
1. One mouth, two ears!
Probably a really obvious thing to say – listen! The wedding planning process may well be the first time you have experienced conflict with your in-laws and frankly, that isn’t surprising. Wedding planning throws all of the big topics into the ring – money, religion, family politics and good old fashioned taste are all up for discussion and this may well highlight the differences between your views and those of your family to be. Quite often, simply the act of showing that you are listening to ideas (even if you decide not to take them on board) will be enough to appease those with the loudest voice.
2. Set boundaries
In the same way that you have been dreaming of your big day since you were little, your mother in law is likely to have had some thoughts about how she pictures the perfect celebration for her offspring. In fact, she may well have some very specific ideas in mind – whether it’s the décor, venue or even guest list, there is definitely going to be an opinion or two that needs to be shared with you! The key here is to take a united approach with your other half – ultimately, it’s your day and you are the people in the driving seat. It’s really important to let both sets of parents (or any other strongly willed parties for that matter) know where your boundaries are and what is and isn’t acceptable. If the persistent input doesn’t seem to ease up, don’t be afraid to ask your other half to step in and have a quiet chat if need be.
3. Assign tasks
“Are you crazy? You want me to ask my in-laws to do wedding stuff?!” Afraid so…sometimes overbearing input comes from people when they feel left out of the planning process. By assigning some specific tasks and clearly communicating your expectations to that person, you are making them feel important and signalling that they are a key part of your celebration. You never know, you might actually have fun and find some bonding moments along the way!
4. Deep breaths
Yes, we know how difficult it can be, truly we do. The key is to remember that your day belongs to you and your significant other. Practice smiling and repeating “thanks for your comments, they could be really useful” over and over again. Take a deep breath and remember that negative input usually only comes from those who care enough about you both to give it – even some of the harshest comments can be well intended.
5. Solid as a rock
If all of the above else fails, again, remember this is your day and you do it your way. If you need to simply say no, then do so. Whilst we would always advocate trying to find a compromise, that compromise should never come at the expense of something that really matters to you both. For example, you want small and intimate and your mother in law wants to invite her bingo buddies, her work colleagues and that lovely lady that babysat for your other half when he was 4 (and hasn’t seen since!) you just say no. Be clear, be polite but be firm.
We wish you the best of luck and in the meantime, repeat after me…”thanks for your comments, they could be really useful”….