We all know there are decisions that only the bride can make, when it comes to wedding planning, but when dealing with two families and many opinions, eventually someone else, usually your future in-laws, is going to want a say in the event. Fair enough.
While too many cooks in the kitchen can be a bad thing, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a few areas where you should probably just let your in-laws have their way. Most of the time it can benefit you. (Another shower? Sure!) So save your foot stomping for when your mother-in-law wants to tag along to your bachelorette party. (True story.)
1. If they want to pay: If your in-laws insist on paying for an aspect of your wedding – let them! (It’s an outdated idea that only that bride’s family should pay.) Sure, they’ll have a say in it if they pay, or want to be named on the invite, but trust us, it’s worth it. You may be able to invite more guests, have a better band or a better photographer. Other areas that are great for in-laws to cover if they want to be more involved are transportation for the guests, welcome bags or even groomsmen gifts. Spend the money saved on something else like your dress or a pair of designer shoes.
2. If they want to invite a few extra guests: If she wants her buddies from the Garden Club there, let her have them. The more guests, the merrier! It’s not as if she wants to invite someone who you should never invite to your wedding. You can expect that at least 20% won’t be able to make it, so it doesn’t hurt to invite someone.
3. If they’re devout and want a traditional ceremony: Anything that has to do with cultural traditions such as readings, a Greek Orthodox ceremony, etc. should not spark an argument. Chances are if something is culturally important to your in-laws, it’s important to your fiance as well. You also don’t want to offend anyone by ix-naying the Horah. It’s actually a great way to get everyone dancing.
4. If your M-I-L wants to throw you a shower: You can’t throw your own shower, so it might as well be her. Some people love planning events, and if she falls in that camp, you know it’s going to be a good time. It’s more about her getting attention from her friends and showing off that her son is getting married – but hey, who doesn’t need another Le Crueset pot?!
Let her invite friends who are not invited to the wedding, or if she’s in another town or state, use it as a chance to invite wedding guests who may be geographically closer to her than to you. Above all, enjoy it, add some more items to your registry and grin through any bridal shower games.
5. Anything to do with the rehearsal dinner: This is typically an area that in laws pay for anyway, so let them take care of everything, from the location, to the menu, to the number of guests (as long as it it’s equal on both sides). It’s nice to have an event that you don’t have to give any thought to, so see it as a treat, and an excuse to drink wine.
6. Seating for their side of the family: If they have specific requests, hand over the seating chart and see if they can make the requested changes without screwing up any of your guest seating or your parents’. They’ll know the interpersonal dynamics of their side way better than you will. In the long run, where people sit isn’t that big of a deal, since you want people up and mingling most of the night. They just have to sit for dinner.
7. Paying for your honeymoon: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. A free trip to Hawaii? Yes, please. It’ll be a welcome break since when you get back, there will still be plenty of things for you to take care of.