Post # 1
My fiance and I are long distance (New York and Boston) and got engaged on June 1st. His parents live about 6 hours away from New York, but will be helping his sister move in a week, so I suggested we all get together in the city for dinner. At first his parents didn’t think they would have time, but I asked his sister to encourage them to stay a bit longer to make time. My fiance and I were talking about making sure they met, and it came up that he didn’t even realize that he should be there! He thought it was totally fine for our parents to meet without us. He called his parents today to see if they were going to be able to meet my parents, and when they found out he was planning on driving down to be there for the Thursday dinner but we were driving back to Boston on Saturday, they told him that was crazy and unnecessary.
I strongly feel that we should be there to fascilitate the meeting, bring the families together, and to smooth over any awkward moments. My fiance thinks that they’re adults who will be fine meeting on their own, and he doesn’t want to drive the 3 1/3 hours each way when I have to come to Boston on Saturday to look at venues anyway. If he were staying in NYC for the weekend, he would be fine with it. He’s a grad student, so taking time away from the lab is also a factor.
For those of you who have experience with introducing the parents- what do you think? Is it important for the couple to be there or am I worrying too much?
Post # 3
Our parents met randomly when neither of us were home. His parents had come to drop our SUV off after being undercoated, and my parents live beside us, so they saw them and came right out to talk to them. They had a great first meeting on their own, haha.
I’m terrified to do a dinner with both sets of parents thinking that will be awkward since I missed the first time they met.
Post # 4
- Wedding: February 2013 - Mansion House at the MD Zoo
My ex’s parents met my parents when we were not around. My ex was away at school out of state. My parents live about an hour away, I lived 15 minutes from ex’s parents. I had what turned out to be appendicitis and stayed at their house one night because I was sick. In the middle of the night the pain got really bad and his mom called out of work and took me to the ER. She stayed with me, and once we found out I was definitely having surgery I told my parents to leave work early and head up. Between commuting time home and my mom having to wait for relief at work (she’s a nurse so can’t just run out) I was already in surgery by the time they got there. They met my ex’s mom in the OR waiting room, then stayed in their house that night and met his dad. It worked out fine…. minus the whole emergency surgery thing for me anyway. 🙂 I’m still super close with ex’s parents (I’ve taken to referring to them as my ‘pretend parents’ because it’s easier than explaining how we know each other) and for a while my husband actually knew them better than he knows my real parents.That said, I think you guys should be there. At least to do the, ‘oh hey, dad, did you know Future Father-In-Law is also really into fishing?’ or whatever. Our parents met at a party at our house, which was good becuase there were other friends of ours there that they could also talk to so not so forced if they don’t have much in common.
Post # 5
I think it’s important for the couple to be there. Why not?
Post # 6
I would NEVER want to be there when my mother met my BFs sweet and wonderful parents. She would absolutely humiliate me. I don’t see a reason for you to be there if it doesnt work: they’re all adults and I’m sure it’s not their first time meeting new people 🙂
Post # 7
My and FI’s parents met alone. I was nervous about it, but it probably worked out better than if I had been there stressing. FI’s parents were on a road trip and just happened to be going to the city my parents live in. We’d been together for 6 years at this pont. it was time 🙂
Post # 8
I think it would be super weird to not be there….maybe because my parents are off the chain…and my bf’s parents, while I don’t know them well (they live in Dallas and Houston, while we’re in DC) seem to be too from the stories lol My parents are in Philly and both of our dads are remarried and our moms are single, my parents get along relatively well but his don’t so we’ll probably have to do two separate meet ups. It’s just going to take so much coordination between the distance and relationships etc I wouldn’t ask them to do it themselves…awkward.
Post # 9
Etiquette Snob here… lol
Strictly from an Etiquette point of view, the two of you (or minimum 1 of you) should be there “to make the Introductions” and also play Host, steer the Meeting, keep the conversation flowing etc.
Mr & Mrs Smith… Joan & Burt, I’d like you to meet MY Parents Mary & Bill Gold
(the one of you doing the Introducing would mention your own Parent’s last)
It is the right thing to do… otherwise these are 2 people from other walks of life that don’t know each other… awkward first minutes
(and if those don’t go well… neither will the rest of it… or for that matter forever. First Impressions are very very important. And will set the tone forever in this situation where YOU ALL are about to become family. Honestly this is TOO IMPORTANT to miss, and let fate invervene).
Hope this helps,
Post # 10
@This Time Round I’m also an etiquette snob (along with my mom), and my parents already had to be the ones to reach out to his parents in the first place when etiquitte dictates his should be the ones to call. In my opinion, etiquette exists so that everyone knows what is expected, how they should act, and therefore it actually makes people MORE comfortable because there’s a set of rules for everyone to go by. The FI’s family don’t adhere to those things at all, and are honestly very ungracious people (for reasons that I won’t get into here).
His mother doesn’t like me at all (she has many made-up/ridiculous reasons, but the actual reason is that she is one of those moms who will never think anyone is good enough for her baby boy and I am now the horrible woman stealing him away from her), so I’m sort of worried that she will look for reasons to hate my mother, who can be a little sensitive. Part of the reason I wanted us to be there is to make sure to smooth over any obnoxious things his mom might say. FI’s dad and sister (along with his extended family) all really like me, so it really is his mom’s emotional issues that I’m worried about.
I talked to my parents and, while my mom would really like us to be there, she’s assured me that I shouldn’t worry because they’re all adults and can figure out how to make conversation and get along. I think she was just being nice because she could tell how stressed I was.
Post # 11
@TGold: I think it truly depends on the parents and their personalities. In my case our families are soooo different I would never have my family and his dad’s family be alone in a room together.