Law & Order
When to let your mother-in-law win
With Mother's Day this Sunday, we've decided to devote the week to all things mom-related. First up: the mother-in-law. The dynamic between a bride to-be and her future mother-in-law can be an interesting one, to say the least. With lingering insecurities on both parts, vying for the groom's attention, and the added stress of planning a wedding, even the slightest tension can mount to blowout fights. On the other side, however, you can gain a second mother, mentor and friend–not to mention a new level of closeness with your husband to-be. Speaking from experience, I simply can't imagine my ex-boyfriend's mother not being a huge part part of my planning process when the day comes. But for those who haven't had the chance to forge that closeness pre-proposal, or for those dealing with a slightly overbearing MIL, read on. And a few basic pointers first: No matter the issue, try to keep in mind that, chances are, she means well. Take a deep breath and focus on the big picture. Do your best to avoid complaining to your fiancé–after all, it's his own mother. The last thing you want is to make him feel as though he needs to choose between the two of you. Pick your battles, and when you need to vent, call your MOH, open a bottle of wine and gossip away for the night. Sure your MIL won't get her way in every wedding detail–but don't forget, neither will you. Here are a few times you should simply smile and nod–the MIL wins.
1. Appointment Attendee
So your MIL wants to come with you to meet the florist, peruse paper shops and try on wedding gowns? Let her. If she's not footing the bill, you need not let her have the absolute final say for these items. Often the simple act of sitting beside you on these appointments is enough for her. If she's being bossy with the vendors, simply tell her you appreciate her input but you're just not ready to make a choice.
2. Check, Please
Tradition states that the groom's parents pay for the rehearsal dinner. Sure you may have had a special restaurant or theme of decor in mind, but use it for a shower instead. Think of it this way: with a million little details on your plate already, be happy to pass off this one. A free meal for friends and family with zero planning required on your end? This is a no-brainer. Say thank you and breathe a sigh of relief.
3. Going To The Chapel
If you are set on barefoot beachside nuptials but your MIL is a devout Catholic, I'm sorry to say you'll need to plan for a church "I do." Marriage is a religious act, and if religion is sacred to the groom's parents, it's essential to respect that. This issue is not worth the rift it would cause to argue otherwise.
4. Cordially Invited
If your MIL wants to invite a few extras to the wedding, let her. Keep in mind, invitations don't equate to attendance. For the few additional guests she wants to extend invitations to, chances are, you'll have more than that many "no" RSVPs. Likewise, if she wishes not to invite, for instance, her ex-husband's girlfriend, don't argue.
5. Money Matters
At the end of the day, if your MIL is footing the bill for a particular item or a large portion of the wedding, it's quite difficult to find a leg to stand on for negotiation. Money means deciding power. You can still work together to compromise but her name on the bill means her opinion matters big time.