A new ring, a new title, and a brand-new family. While some extended families blend seamlessly together post-engagement, others find the planning process to be an adjustment period. So, what's the best way to start things off on the right foot with your future mother-in-law without upsetting your own mom? We asked this very question to Nora Sheils, founder and event planner at Bridal Bliss, and got some top-notch coping mechanisms to put into play.
There's plenty to do during wedding planning. With a little forethought, you can safely carve out space for quality time with mom and bonding time with your future mother-in-law—potentially even at the same event. "Moms love to be a part of choosing the wedding dress," says Sheils. "It's fun to initially shop with a group, and possibly include both moms. However, make your own mother feel special by taking her back after you've narrowed down your favorites to make the final decision."
Play to Their Strengths
Sheils says another way to divvy up the attention is to give moms projects they are passionate about. If your mom doesn't know the difference between carnation and a calla lily, perhaps helping with the floral arrangements could be your mother-in-law's territory. If your mom is really particular about invitation wording, bring her to the mock up and let her proofread the final piece.
Pick Your Battles
We get that not every situation is filled with two well-meaning moms. Meddling mothers-in-law are very real, but there are solutions to help you manage one. "Give her a project that you aren't overly particular about like the welcome bags for out-of-town guests or favors and let her run with it," says Sheils. Bonus points for pretending it's the most important detail you couldn't possibly have done without her.
Talk It Out
Sometimes just keeping everyone in the loop is inclusion enough. Next time you're over for dinner, show your mother-in-law the bridesmaids' dresses you're thinking about. When you chat with mom on the phone, fill her in on the photographer you just met. Sharing the play by play of your process makes everyone feel involved, even if you know who's really in charge.