Laws for the In-Laws

The Wedding Guru Judy Lewis fields this week’s wedding questions. Today: Is there any right way to deal with your in-laws?

Donna asks: “My future mother-in-law wants very much to be a part of planning our wedding. She’s a bright and capable person and caring as well, but she is also prone to taking control. I want my future husband and me to be in the driver’s seat. How do I keep her under control?”

Dear Donna: You have every right as the bridal couple to be in charge and get the final say on planning your wedding. What I suggest is that you assign your future mother-in-law several specific tasks. You can, for example, ask her to get price quotes from a list of vendor’s that you have prescreened. You can ask her to scope out jewelry shops and come back to you with a list of possible gifts for your attendants, along with the prices of the items, or you can ask her to verify the addresses on your guest list. With these very specific assignments, your mom-in-law will feel needed, but she will be given boundaries. That should make for a happy medium. When she’s done with an assignment, make sure you thank her for saving you time and effort and then, give her another task for which she will be “in charge.”    

For information about the parents of the prospective bride and groom, check out the article “Roles and Responsibilities of the Mother and Father of the Bride.”

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