You are in the midst of planning your upcoming wedding, and things are going relatively well except… your future mother-in-law is driving you crazy. She is tossing all kinds of obstacles in your way, turning simple decisions into monumental ones. How does a bride-to-be deal with this?
It is an issue of setting boundaries, early on, which is easier said than done. You can be respectful and even receptive to your future mother-in-law, but that doesn’t give her carte blanche to run the show, unless you want her to.
- Talk to your future husband. Be kind. Don’t go into the conversation with daggers in your eyes, hell bent for leather, because she is his mother. You have got to remember that. However, you and he are now a couple and are in this together. Do not put your intended in a hopeless circumstance where he has to choose between you and your mother. You may come out on the losing end, although not likely. Tell him you recognize and appreciate his love for his mother, but she is making it extremely difficult for you to proceed with the wedding plans. Perhaps he can work his magic on his mother, and life will be a little easier in the future.
- Listen to what your mother-in-law says but no, you do not have to capitulate to all her suggestions or maybe they’re even demands. If you want lilac bridesmaids’ gowns, and she is intent on teal, tell her thank you for the input but you’re sticking with lilac because it’s your absolute favorite color. Remember to smile (even when you would prefer growling.)
- Don’t be too quick to toss the baby out with the bath water. Your mother-in-law may actually impart some valuable information. She is or has been married, which means she has been a bride herself at one time. She may know ‘stuff’ that you don’t know. Of course, if her ‘delivery’ is off-putting, and you feel as though you are being strong-armed into submission, you are not going to listen to her regardless of how experienced and knowledgeable she may be. It is human nature to become stubborn and resistant when someone is getting way too far into another person’s space and trying to tell them how to lead their lives or plan their wedding.
- Be clever and figure out a way to appease your mother-in-law. If she is dead set on orange being in the wedding, somehow incorporate this color in an unobtrusive way. How about including orange flowers in her corsage?
- This woman is going to be a part of your life for here on out so don’t burn your bridges even before the wedding takes place. It may be that once the wedding hoopla is over and done with, you, and she can settle down and forge and nice relationship.
The Mothers of the Bridal Couple
Another problem can surface when the mothers of the bride and group clash personality wise. World War III can break out. Ideally, everyone involved gets along harmoniously but, all too frequently, this is not the case.
Hopefully, the mothers can get together early in the planning stage and forge a relationship. They can talk about the wedding and reception details and discuss their outfits and who is wearing what color or what length dress.
If there are subsequent issues (“I am not wearing a short dress to my son’s wedding!”) these need to be ironed out. The bride should be the one who makes the final decision – “We’re all wearing long dresses”—but sometimes even that dictate doesn’t pan out.
If it doesn’t, don’t take to your bed. It’s a short, knee-exposing dress, not the end of the world, and if that’s what the bride’s mother was deadest on wearing, so be it.
Jenny Houston is a professional blogger that writes for AllureBridals.com, a leading designer of wedding dresses and bridesmaid gowns.