(Closed) Suggestions for a FMIL—what NOT to do/say

posted 7 years ago in Family
Post # 3
Member
4755 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

any thing that starts with “you should…” (unless the advice has been solicited).

Post # 4
Member
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I totally agree with the “you should..” comment. Also, I recommend actually doing what she asks you to do, and in a timely manner. My Future Mother-In-Law acts so excited to be a part of the planning, but has yet to come through with anything…and my wedding is in 13 days.

Post # 5
Member
1212 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Try not to let surprise show if they are not doing something that you view as traditional. For example, my parents had a really hard time getting the fact that we will have cupcakes instead of a wedding cake and that nobody (that I know of) these days puts wedding cake under their pillow to dream of a future husband. 

Post # 6
Member
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Offer to help on specific projects. Like the invitiations from start to finish? Or like aisle decor of X, Y and Z. It’s much easier to accept help from people when they specify what they want to do. Just saying ‘ I want to Help!’ still leaves some brides overwhelmed. If the Bride doesn’t know what she wants help with yet, volunteer idea of things that you wouldn’t mind doing. Like if she doesn’t have a clue about centerpieces or table decor yet… say you would be handy enough to make table numbers, candy favors, and table runners.

Also with money.. be specific if you are helping.  Like you will donate X amount of dollars to the wedding. Or you will host the rehearsal dinner for X amount of people at about $Y price.

Offer to gather the addresses and phone numbers of your side of the family! The bride will need help with that.

How about hosting a girls day for the two of you and maybe some of the women on your side of the family to welcome her? Like a brunch, tea, or a spa date?

 

 

What NOT to do? Don’t wear white. 🙂

Post # 7
Member
1474 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011 - Bent Creek Winery (Livermore, California); Reception: Family Residence (San Ramon, California)

I totally agree with the “you should” comments. Those never go anywhere good.

I think the best approach is to make yourself available to help your son and FDIL, but don’t force your help or opinions on them. If they know you’re willing to help, they will come to you when they’re ready and need you. 

And one of the biggest things you can do is be excited for them. A lot of the time, brides (and grooms) already know what they want and don’t really need others’ opinions. When we share our ideas and plans, it feels great when people are genuinely excited. There’s nothing worse than hearing, “Well, I wouldn’t do it that way” or “I don’t think anyone will care about that” in response to something we’re planning for one of the most important days of our life. If I share with you, even if you don’t personally like my idea, find something you do like and be excited with me.

Oh, and on one final note, never start a sentence with, “Well, I don’t want to be one of those mother-in-laws, but…” It’s kind of like saying, “I don’t mean to offend anyone, but…” That phrase is usually followed up by something offensive. In the same way, by claiming to not be “one of those” Mother-In-Law, you’re probably being one of them. 

The best thing you can do is be excited and happy and available to help without being overly involved or pushy. 

Oh, and congrats! 🙂

Post # 8
Member
1474 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011 - Bent Creek Winery (Livermore, California); Reception: Family Residence (San Ramon, California)

@ssparban: Totally agree. If you’re going to help financially, tell them the specific amount you’re going to give and then give it to them asap. It really sucks to have to chase down parents/ILs to get money that was promised, and a lot of brides and grooms are anxious about spending the money if they don’t physically have it yet. 

Post # 9
Member
553 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

SO Sweet that you are asking! I completely agree with the be specific comment – about what you want to help with and what you want togive as far as money for rehearsal dinner or the wedding.

 

Have a shopping day for your dress (if you feel comfortable) to have her help pick it out plus it was fun bonding time for me and my Mother-In-Law. OR if that isn’t possible/too stressful, send pictures of dresses you like or jewelry you like to ask for opinions. I liked being involved even though I told her to pick whatever she liked.

 

Have fun and show your enthusiasm! It was so touching that my Mother-In-Law was so excited for us!

Post # 10
Member
123 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

If she is really excited about something, try to mirror her excitement. I had tried on a wedding dress I absolutely loved and showed her a picture of me in it. She told me it made me look “hippy”. I was crushed, and of course didn’t but that dress. It still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it. When I finally got up the nerve to show her the dress I picked out she said, “Oh”. That’s it, just Oh. I am really sensitive about my weight and her responses have been pretty devastating.

Support her decisions and tell her she looks wonderful, and she will love you for it!

Post # 11
Member
1626 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

The fact that you care enough to ask suggests you’ll be a good Future Mother-In-Law anyway!!! 

I think the previous suggestions have been dead on–mirror her excitement and don’t use the “should” word.  Also, if you have a suggestion for her (like, “wouldn’t it be a cool idea to try ____” or “If you want, I can make the _____”) make it clear that you won’t get your feelings hurt if she has something else in mind–I kept saying yes to some things I’d have preferred to do differently because I felt so bad about possibly making Future Mother-In-Law feel bad! Turns out most of it was stuff she didn’t actually care about (or at least would have been fine if I’d said I wasn’t into it), and would have been happy to do differently.

Post # 12
Member
851 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I love my Mother-In-Law2B very much, we get along fantasticly. She wants me to invite half the world to our wedding, and I have trouble saying no because I love her and want her to be happy and I know its her only sons wedding as much as it is my wedding. So I am having a bunch of extra people at my wedding that I dont even know! And then she wants a canapes hour too. She keeps on saying she will spring some money but never a definate amount and never *when* (I worry it will be after the wedding honestly) so I am like “how can I budget for these extras?! but we will do it for his mum”

So I dont know where I am going with this except, maybe think about budgetary requirements, and an extra $1000 here and there quickly adds up!

Good on you for wanting to be a lovely MIL!

Post # 13
Member
1199 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I think it is a good idea to check with your FDIL and/or MOB to see how many guests are being budgeted for.  If you aren’t paying then I think it would be nice to see how many guests you can invite instead of assuming (like my Future Mother-In-Law did) that you can invite whoever.

And I agree with all the PPs as well.

Good luck!

Post # 14
Member
1212 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@Stammie16:

I find it strange to allow parents to invite any guests at all. I just don’t see why they would want to invite people that don’t know the couple. 

So to the OP I might just add that you shouldn’t assume you are allowed to invite any guests at all. 

Post # 15
Member
5295 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 1993

The fact that you are asking is a good start 🙂

Don’t make it clear subtle or obviously that you think something they are doing is too expensive/non-traditional/not what you would do

Don’t offer advice unless asked

Don’t voice your ‘concerns’ to other family members and expect it not to make its way to the couple.

Do ask if there is anything they would like help with

Don’t be offended if they say there is not

Do realize this is a day they are both looking forward to and want you to be a part of

Do realize that it is JUST a day and the actions you take now will affect this relationship for the rest of all of your lives

Post # 16
Member
851 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@Lemma: My Future Mother-In-Law has lots of old lifetime friends and they do know my Fiance just not me. His parents have been living in Hanoi for a couple of years and so I have only just recently started meeting their close friends.

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