Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Monster-In-Laws

Planning a wedding and finding the right vendors are difficult enough; imagine over-controlling in-laws who are out for blood! You're already struggling to reach a plateau of understanding with your partner over the nuptial details, you don't need to battle it out with an over-zealous mother-in-law. This is your wedding. However, you can't disregard the fact that your partner's parents are also going to be yours for the rest of your life. You don't have the luxury to pick and choose; which inevitably means that being considerate to their needs and opinions is imperative for any future peace you hope to acquire. If you ignore them and reject their help (even if it is obnoxiously demanding), you will reap the consequences for years after your wedding day.

Learning how to accept their help without giving them the reigns to run the show, is crucial for putting together a successful event.

Having a prosperous wedding does not equal a visually stunning affair. Making everyone content, not just you and your partner, is what makes a wedding good or bad. If you choose to go through with something that upsets your family without presenting the issue with them beforehand, you're asking for drama. The religious aspects of the wedding are vitally significant; if you choose to go against your parent's beliefs, you need to sit down with them and discuss your reasons for doing so. Nobody is expecting you to be obedient, but they do want you to be respectful. You can't expect to make everyone happy in every situation, and the best way to anticipate these qualms is through courteous confrontation.

The most problematic situation is one where parent's contribute money to the wedding and then expect to have complete access to every decision; from flowers to reception site to the bridal attire. A donation to the matrimonies shouldn't necessitate ownership over this event in any way – it's your wedding and you need to make them aware of this. Letting them make some suggestions for color arrangements or bands you should use is acceptable, and even if you don't like their ideas you need to still “welcome” and include them in the plans. This doesn't always mean that you need to use their propositions, but be polite. The minute the mother-in-law pulls out a clipboard and starts saying things like, “this is how we should do this,” that's the moment to replace civility with firm resoluteness. But as a daughter or son-in-law, this isn't your place. You don't want to get into a fist-fight with your partner's parents months before the big day.

It is now your partner's responsibility to sit his/her parents down and let them know that although their help is greatly appreciated, it's not their wedding. Acknowledge the fact that they want to participate in the plans; this shows that they care and that they're excited. However, you need to make them understand that it's hard enough to compromise between two people, let alone four or six. Offer to give them a small portion of the wedding that they can coordinate on their own. This will make them feel part of the nuptials and keep them out of the way of the more important things.

Mother-in-laws tend to be the hardest obstacle that couples have to face. It is even more problematic if the mother of the groom doesn't have a daughter – she can tend to stifle the bride and try to stand in where the bride's mother should. It's common for the groom's mother to even become jealous and obstinate towards the relationship between mother and daughter. You need to try to include the groom's mother in certain parts of the wedding plans wherever possible, but it's not your place to deal with an in-law who's out of control. The mother of the bride has natural rights to the wedding and this should be regarded. The sooner the groom's mother realizes this, the smoother procession of the wedding plans.

Dealing with partner's parents isn't always an enjoyable experience, but it's necessary. After the wedding his/her family will be yours, and vice versa. Every other holiday you'll be celebrating at their house and when you have a baby, they'll be there in excitement and love. Remember that when you plan the ceremony. They've been waiting for this day just as long as you have. Give them some attention and respect and start the wedding planning! .

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