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Wedding planning can be stressful for any bride. Aside from trying to please all your guests and your family you’ll have opinions coming in from your groom’s side too. Your relationship with your future mother-in-law during wedding planning can range from practically strangers, to besties, to enemies (well, hopefully not total enemies).
If you and your future mother-in-law aren’t super close it can be easy to snap into bridezilla mode when she asks you about the wedding. However, if her questions come off as pushy instead of helpful it may be hard to keep your cool. We talked to psychotherapist and author Deanna Brann about the best way to answer your mother-in-law’s questions without starting a family feud.
If she says: “Just let me know if you want me to go dress shopping with you…”
You say: “My bridesmaids and I are going, but I’ll let you know if that changes,” says Brann. If you let her know you already have plans in place she won’t feel like you’ve been stringing her along.
If she says: “You really can’t swing more invites for us?”
You say: “[Her son’s name] and I have thought very carefully about the guest list, and we are comfortable with the head count,” suggests Brann. Ideally include your fiancé in the conversation — or at the very least, drop his name. This one is a little trickier but it’s important to stand your ground. If she still won’t back down it may be time to have your fiancé step in and talk to her separately.
If she says: “Have you considered a church ceremony?”
You say: “[Her son’s name] and I have really thought about where we want to be married, and this is the venue that has the most meaning to us,” says Brann. If your future mother-in-law is still weary of your ceremony location consider showing her some pictures of the space! Talk her through what you plan to do with the space to help ease her concerns.
If she says: “How much money did my friends give you as gifts?”
You say: “Oh, my goodness, we’ve been getting so many gifts that I’m not sure at this point,” says Brann. When in doubt, she says, “Deflect, deflect, deflect!” Seriously, don’t even think about naming a number.