7 Etiquette Tips for Dealing with Your In-Laws During Wedding Planning

A bride and groom sitting at a table during the reception with their parents.

Wedding planning can be a stressful time, especially once an abundance of people want to insert their opinion into the mix. This can be especially true for your future in-laws. While you may find some of their planning ideas to be overbearing, you have to treat the situation with sensitivity due to the close relationship. Here are some ways to gracefully plan with them seamlessly throughout the entire process.

1. Talk About Their Expectations

One way to work well with your in-laws throughout the entire wedding planning process is to sit down and talk about everyone’s expectations as you begin planning. Discuss how much they’d like to be included, what they envision their roles to be in the planning process and the wedding itself, and what is important to them. This is also a good time for you and your fiancé to talk about your own hopes, wishes, and expectations surrounding planning and the event itself.

2. Discuss Traditions

A young bride and groom at their wedding ceremony in front of a priest.

Everyone has different ideas of what wedding traditions are important and which should be followed at these monumental events. This is another thing to discuss with your in-laws. Ask them what wedding traditions they consider to be important and which they wish to see carried out at your wedding. From there, you can lay the groundwork on communicating which traditions you plan on using at your wedding. It’s important that your in-laws feel heard and that they at least feel as though you’re considering their opinions and desires, even if you don’t ultimately end up doing everything they want on the big day.

3. Over-Communicate

While your in-laws may have a different vision than you do for your wedding, you don’t want to ambush them on the day of when things are totally different than they expect. For that reason, it’s so important to over-communicate on what the wedding day will look like. Keep them in the loop on what traditions you’ll be following, the schedule of the day, and any other important information that you’d want to know walking into it. Let them know that you respect their opinion and want them to feel included and heard throughout the process and why you made the decisions you did surrounding wedding plans.

4. Be Inclusive

A mom looking at her daughter in a wedding dress at the bridal shop.

Everyone likes to feel included, especially when it’s for such a special event. For that reason, do your best to be inclusive where you can with your in-laws. For instance, invite your mother-in-law dress shopping and leave it up to her if she wants to come. At least then you’ll know that you extended the invitation and made the effort to be inclusive. Also, talk to your in-laws about what they want to help with and give them jobs surrounding those items if they want to be involved in that way.

5. Get the Parents Together

Since your parents will likely be involved in wedding planning as well, it could be a nice gesture to get everyone together so that all are on the same page as far as planning goes. This is also a great way to get everyone comfortable with one another before the big event!

6. Focus on the Big Picture

A bride and groom leaving their ceremony with confetti around them.

When you’re planning a wedding, it can be really hard not to get caught up in the little details. If you’re finding that there are disagreements or tension on wedding planning details between you and your future in-laws, bring things back to the whole reason you’re there: your future marriage. Focusing on the overarching picture can ground everyone in reality and help put things in perspective as you plan.

7. Know that it’s a Special Occasion for Them, Too!

As you plan and deal with your in-laws, it’s normal for there to be frustration, arguments, and disagreements. But through it all, remember that they’re soon to be your family, and your wedding is an exciting event for them, too. While you and your future spouse are the stars of the show and your opinions reign supreme, let them know that their happiness is important to you and that you’re willing to work together to help make everyone happy.

Planning a wedding with the help of your in-laws doesn’t have to be stressful if you follow these etiquette tips and tricks!

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