Thursday, May 20, 2010

The In Laws

EEEEEK! Its the dreaded in laws!!! Run for you wedding lives!!!!!!!!

haha, jk! All dramatics aside, my in laws really aren't that bad and no, that is not my mother in law (but I still love the picture!). We have some troubles, but I feel like that is normal. Its another set of parents, so of course they are going to be trouble and cause wedding hassles. Its in their job description!

I get along with my in laws pretty well. We do have lots of differing opinions and should generally avoid serious discussions (aka politics, religion, what to eat for dinner...) unless we want them to turn into arguments, but for the most part it is a very amicable relationship. No BFFs or anything, but friendly.

Enter engagement and wedding planning. Suddenly there is a new and different and scary aspect of our relationship that I don't know how to react to. As I said before, most discussions turn heated with the in laws, so I was terrified of all the scary territory I was going to have to cross with them. For example: there was religion. We are not having a religious ceremony and this caused the in laws to be upset. We had talked about religion before but never in the context of ME personally and US as a couple or about OUR wedding. And I really didn't know how to deal with it.

Then there has been money. The guest list. Opinions on what we 'should' do or what is appropriate for a wedding. We haven't even gotten to the last name situation yet or details of our non religious ceremony or what-have you. All these important, big, defining topics. Being that my relationship with them has never been very personal, I was not sure how to suddenly deal with all these intensely personal issues with them.

And I think I kinda botched it. I was scared to approach these topics because I didn't want our wedding planning to involve yelling or hurt feelings. Which means I've been avoiding his parents. (A totally healthy way to deal with your problems, right? No, its not??? Whatever! I'm not listening to you anymore!) And I feel horrible about it!

From a really logistical standpoint, it has been easier to keep the wedding planning with a few key people. Aka Me, Mister, my Mama and my aunt, Franck. Four people provide enough opinions to get tangled together, so the less the better. But also, when you put money into a wedding (my parents are paying half) you get to have more say. There just can't be that many opinionated voices or bride go crazy.

So I didn't know how to navigate their involvement and left them out more than I perhaps should have. I would like them to be involved but I also want to avoid problems the best I can and do what I can now to avoid hurt feelings.

How do I involve the in laws without making them full wedding planning partners? Luckily, the major planning parts of our wedding are taken care of (venue, caterer) and now we are just left with lots of smaller sized projects to put together. Maybe I can ask for their input and help on one of these? That will include them without inviting a torrent of advice and opinions where I am not looking for advice or opinions.

Whats your in law situation? How are they involved with your wedding?

Note: While I haven't shared this blog with many of my 'real world' people, I'm still iffy on discussing people issues here. But I feel like I should be honest - and I won't post anything here unless I feel okay about the person its about finding it. Aka no bitchfests or gossip craziness. Which isn't me anyway, but we all have our moments!


  1. I'm in the same boat! I've heard the suggestion of sitting down with them and having a direct conversation about how they might like to be involved, but I'm afraid of unleashing the torrent of unwanted advice that I have no intention of taking anyway, so I don't want to just be pretending to hear their opinions anyway.

  2. You're not alone!! A lot of us are dealing with the same thing. I'm having a difficult time including ANYONE without making them full wedding planners, because I've discovered everyone's a planner in their own right (sike)!

    I think you should stick with certain topics or aspects of the wedding when you talk to them. I have a stepmom and I've dedicated the cake and all of our paper goods as "our" project and the part that's totally hers (and ours of course).

    So try picking a few things you know won't cause a conflict and ask them to take part there.

    Hope that helps!

    PS - that picture is pretty hilarious!

  3. i had that epiphany mid-way through planning. i was like, "oh, crap! josh's family!"

    so i gave his mom a quick call and apologized for not including her more sooner. and then i asked if there was anything she had a preference about or had an idea for.



  4. I couldn't agree more with your statement "A bride can't have too many opinionated people around.."

    I suppose I never bought into the myth that all in-laws are Gremlins. It seems like you aren't either, so good call. I suppose I just set out hoping his parents liked me, and it turned out they were fabulous. We disagree on a few life-points, but for the most part, I've always been very open-minded and they are too.

    Just a suggestion: You may want to give her a project that just you and her could do together? Put some time into getting to know her? She obviously had a lot to do with the love of your life becoming who he is, so I'm sure she's gotta be pretty special.

    You sound very level headed and open-minded about the whole thing. No worries! Communication will be your greatest ally, keep your head up!

  5. Thanks for the helpful comments, all! I'm going to wade very carefully into these waters so I don't drop off a ledge. But I want to make it work and yes, communications is KEY!