When do parents meet: before / after engagement?

posted 2 years ago in Engagement
Post # 2
236 posts
Helper bee

I don’t know if there ‘s a norm but if you’re all local, I would think it would be a lot sooner than wedding or engagement time. I met my in-laws way back when he was just my boyfriend of several months and he wanted me to meet his parents. My parents weren’t alive, so they never met…


Post # 3
9861 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

It’s so bizarre to me that anyone is concerned about thier parents meeting thier SOs parents. Like, sure it’s nice I suppose if there’s an easy opportunity for it. But why would it be necessary? I don’t see a reason to set up a specific occasion for parents to meet.

Post # 4
245 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2019

My parents and the future in laws met literally a week before we got engaged. I had no idea a proposal was coming, and organized a meeting because his mom and step-dad were coming into town, and we had been together for 3 years, it seemed like a good time for them to all meet.

I don’t think there’s a particular timing for when parents are supposed to meet… I don’t really understand why it matters.

Post # 5
658 posts
Busy bee

I think it all depends on how close each of you are to your families. I am very close with mine, and my fiance is relatively close with his. It was very important to me that our families met as soon as we realized we were serious and knew we would like to have a future together. Our moms actually met first on a night out to a concert and dinner with us, about 6 months into us dating, and then my parents invited his to Easter and the dads met then, about 8 months into our relationship.

There is no right or wrong, but with my traditional and family-centered outlook on life, I do think it is important for them to meet before the wedding.

Post # 6
2101 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

meadow16 :  my inlaws met met my parents 2 days before we got married. We’d been together for 6 years by that point. I don’t think the inlaws and parents meeting is any particular sign of anything so I’d just let it be and see what happens now.

Post # 7
501 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

Our parents met after our engagement, but that is simply because they live about an hour apart, and have a difficult time coordinating schedules.  We didn’t make the decision to wait to introduce them, it just happened that way.

Post # 8
6832 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2016

Our parents met before we got engaged. Nothing formal though, just a birthday dinner for me. At that point we had been together for 2 years and while we weren’t engaged, we both KNEW we’d be getting married. However we didn’t end up getting engaged for another 2 years after that. Our parents meeting literally had nothing to do with our engagement/marriage timeline. 

There isn’t any set rules for this sort of thing. When you want your parents to meet, you arrange for them to meet! 

Post # 9
1999 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

In my case, never. They saw my mother a few days before she died is hospice when she was none responsive (they did this for me). They will never meet my father. 

when it feels right? when their is time? If your inlaws don’t like each other will you break up? 

Post # 10
7716 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

As pp said, there are no rules. Generally I wouldnt force this sort of thing unless the relationship was pretty serious, which yours clearly is. Our parents did not meet until the weekend of our wedding, but that’s because they live in different countries and it just wasn’t realistic for them to meet before. Otherwise I’m sure they would have met much sooner.

Post # 12
195 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

Our parents met about 3 months into dating. Me and Fiance (then just a BF) were going on a trip abroad, they all met at a restaurant before we went to the airport. Our siblings met each other long before that as we’re all very close.

Post # 13
2570 posts
Sugar bee

Our parents live on opposite coasts so they won’t meet until the wedding. I think it really depends on the individual family and the culture whether this is an important thing, though. For example I know I’ve seen some South Asian bees on here say that parents meeting had to happen before engagement. For other people they may simply know that it’s important to their parents. I think it’s a more old fashioned, formal way of doing things, that harkens back to the days where parents kind of had to approve of each other and agree that joining families was a good idea, and/or judge the potential spouse by their family. 

PS Is it possible that he wants to get everyone together so that he can propose in front of both of your families? 

Post # 14
7098 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

There’s not specific time. They can meet whenever they all manage to get a chance.

Darling Husband and I have been together since high school, although in seperate towns. Our parents met after we’d been together a couple of years but my parents knew his aunt/uncle who lived in our town (which is how we met).

They geniunely like each other, and we make it a point to get them all together when the ILs come to town but there was no formal “ok it’s time for you all to meet” moment. My brother on the other hand….our parents didn’t meet his ILs until the day of the wedding. They actually came into town early for it, but her parents are such nuts they basically refused to get together. Our parents just said “screw it” and they all met at the wedding.

Post # 15
166 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

We lived together for 11 delightful years before or fathers met each other. Our parents are divorced so they’re individuals rather than pairs. Our moms met in the first few years, his mom met my dad around year 7, and his dad met my mom right after we got engaged at the 10 year mark.

The fathers…well, they’re natural enemies, everything opposite. My dad’s a vegetarian and lover of animals, his dad’s a deer hunter. Democrat, Republican. (Anti-Trump republican at least.)  His dad doesn’t like it when people don’t act “usual,” my dad’s mentally ill. They don’t even agree on how to be recovering alcoholics. (His dad’s really into AA, whereas my dad’s method involves continuing to drink, but less. Upon closer examination of his recent behavior, he might not really be recovering anymore..but I digress.)

Anyway, I introduced them to each other the day before the wedding, at the tail end of our welcome picnic! They did a great job awkwardly shaking hands and telling each other that they approved of the other’s offspring. Lol and they will likely never have to be near each other again 😅

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