Post # 1
So, My FH and I just got engaged (less than 2 weeks). My parents live in Toronto (Dad travels frequently to Asia), and his parents are in Colorado. My FH is in Chicago. I am in Dallas. (The long distance is recent, I only moved about 2 months ago – less than ideal situation and I hate it almost to a point of depression, but more on that on another post…)
I’m wondering, how do I go about suggesting that the parents meet some time before the wedding? I think meeting for the first time at the wedding is a bit funny? Is it? Is that the norm? I believe they will all be up to meeting before the wedding without a doubt, but then who travels? All four keep themselves VERY busy…and it’d take a lot to get their schedule coordinated. Have them meet in a neutral ground, like Chicago? Dallas?
What did you do?
Post # 3
Our parents didn’t meet until a couple of weeks after our engagement. His parents are retired and travel between cities and my parents work all of the time. We eventually set a weekend off and my parents hosted a wonderful dinner for the entire family to meet. It was great! We also considered doing it at my FI house to have a more neutral ground…but we became so busy so quickly we took my parents up on the offer. Maybe you can talk to them and see what they would feel comfortable with?
Post # 4
Our parents had never met until our engagement….3.5 years down the road. they live 5 hours apart, so it never made sense. My FI and I hosted an engagement/welcome home part at our place (lol, i know. basically he came home from iraq, we got engaged, and invited a ton of friends over that he hadn’t seen in 8 months and i invited all my friends so i would leave the boys alone) and then we invited his family and i invited my parents, who were in town for my graduation. We threw them all together over burgers, beer, sangria, dessert, and coleslaw., It was much less awkward having THAT many people there including all my FI’s friends and everyone was chatting. It made for a happy atmosphere. Parents gave us toasts and congrats, and all is well. My parents, my Fi and I, and my FI’s mom had breakfast at IHOP the next morning, too. We thought it’d be weird that if they met for the first time at the wedding, too, which is liekly how it woulda turned out!
They know they own’t see each other 24/7 so they’ll be sure to have their best faces on and their manners keyed up.
Post # 5
Our parents are finally going to meet NEXT WEEK! My fiance and I are in LA (his parents live here too), and my parents are in northern CA. I’m a bit anxious, a bit excited, a bit nervous. I think the toughest part will be the fact that my parents speak English with heavy Chinese accents. My parents are making the trip down to LA, so we’ll be taking them out for lunch and/or dinner. I’ll be there to act as "translator", so I hope everything goes smoothly! I don’t forsee any major drama, as both sets of parents are pretty easy-going. It will be really be nice to have both sides of the family together at last. 🙂
Post # 6
Our parents didn’t meet until 3 months before the wedding — well, my parents met his mom (dad was out of the country). Luckily the common ground was where we live, as his mom is on the east coast and my parents are in the south. So they met us and saw our home in Ohio.
Personally, I would have been fine with them meeting at the wedding. In my case, I’d deliberately planned a small, weekend-long wedding, where I’d rented out a bed and breakfast with the intention of it being all family and very small. However, his mom said she didn’t want to meet my parents for the first time at the wedding.
So. Do what works. If one set of parents wants to extend an invitation, that would be the way to go, but if not, you can arrange something yourself. Take a look at airfare costs and decide that way, if costs are important.
Good luck – and hope the distance is eliminated soon for you!
Post # 7
Our parents met 8 months after we started dating. We (ummm HE…) was already taking about our future at that point. But is just happened that he had bought his house, his parents had just gotten home that day from a cruise & his sister was up visiting from NY.
He suggested we go to dinner with his parents & sister, and then said Hey let’s invite your mum & dad too. So that was how they met, it was very low-key, and a very un-stressful first meeting. Then his mom invited my parents to Thanksgiving that year.
Now they’re all pretty close, and send one another Christmas cards and whatnot.
I say do the low-key thing, I would have them meet where you live, that way it’s not at "your" or "his" parents place for the first time….more neutral ground.
Post # 8
Not sure if I’m the best person to ask, but I’ll throw in my 2 cents. Our parents met oh…2 weeks after we became "official." I guess I should ammend that to say that they’ve met my mom. My parents aren’t married and my dad does not/has never played a big role in my life. Anyway, we were both still living with our parents at the time and I wanted him to spend the weekend with me at my house. Well, my mom wanted to meet his parents first so they came over after a concert they all went to. There is only an hour distance though, so it’s not a big deal for one set to go visit the other.
My advice would be to pick a neutral venue. Not either parent’s house. Even though my FI’s parents came to my mom’s house, I wish we had done it differently. Personally I think the wedding is the worst time for parents to meet for the first time. I think you should do it as soon as possible. Unless there are financial restraints, here is my idea: pick a weekend when your FI is coming to visit you in Dallas. I’m sure your parents would love to see you and suggest that your FI’s parents come down to visit too. Hope all goes smoothly, I’m sure it will 🙂
Post # 9
our parents will meet 3 days before the wedding!
we’re long distance and his family is flying here, so we’re doing a dinner get-together before the wedding. i think they should be okay 😛
Post # 10
Our parents met last christmas, which was a little over a year into us dateing and we weren’t engaged yet. My FI doesn’t have a large family and instead of running to both places on Christmas, we decided to ask my parents if it would be okay to invite his parents as well. They said yes. Needless to say, his dad is a little bit older, so he got along better with my grandpa. 🙂
I don’t think there is anything wrong with them meeting right around the wedding, especially if they can’t help it because of schedule conflicts!
Post # 11
Thank you, ladies, for all the feedback! I forgot to mention…or, perhaps I left it out on purpose trying to ingore the difficulty it comes with it – there is a HUGE language barrier. My mom will be OK, but my Dad has a minimal, very minimal English competence. Both pairs of our parents are amazing – friendly, outgoing, funny, wise, you name it. Except, they won’t be able to communicate well! I think this is by far my biggest worry thinking about getting them together…The reasonable me realizes that everything will be fine; it may be a bit awkward and I’ll have to really do a good job at translating, but I think they will be fine…but the worry wort side of me is losing sleep over organizing this…argh~
Post # 12
Have them meet at a nice restaurant. They will be eating most of the time (or sipping wine when they get uncomfortable) and you and your FI can facilitate a lot of discussion. Just wing it. It will be a ltitle awkward, but it will be no matter what. I Think everyone’s "my parents met his parents" stories remember a ltitle bit of "oh hi, nice to meet you……" with some silences in there.