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Bridal Club Magazine


Managing Your In-Laws During Wedding Planning

Although planning your wedding is an exciting and exhilarating time, it can also be a point of contention for many couples. There are many stressors involved in wedding planning, from deciding on a budget to agreeing on the details to hiring and managing vendors. Many times, grooms fail to provide sufficient help with planning. And, of course, we've all heard the horror stories about "Bridezillas." Many couples will eat, sleep, and breathe their wedding up until the big day - no wonder they're so stressed out!

In addition to the nuances of the planning process, wedding planning can bring up personal, emotional, and issues with in-laws. Many couples feel immense pressure to make their wedding day perfect. Some people feel they must have the perfect wedding in order to have the perfect marriage.

Thus, it is necessary to discuss what you want for your wedding to avoid conflict, anxiety, and meddling family members. Clarify the type of wedding you both want. Does one of you envision a big wedding with hundreds of guests while the other would prefer a small ceremony with just close friends and family? You will also want to decide on a budget that won't break the bank - no one wants to begin their marriage in debt.

Going over your expectations and hopes for your wedding will keep you on-track, on-budget, and as stress-free as you can be. If you make decisions together, you can even have some fun. Going to food tastings and visiting possible venues can be very exciting, if you are communicating throughout the process.

Above all, remember that the true purpose of the wedding is to celebrate your union with the people you care about the most. Enjoy it, and don't let the fun (and even crazy) moments pass you by.

Many couples find that wedding planning can bring up so many personal and familial issues. For one, family members may have very different ideas about what kind of wedding their son or daughter should have. You may want a small wedding with close friends only, but your family may envision hundreds of guests and every third-cousin you've never met being invited. The guest list may be a point of contention. Your in-laws may have friends they would like to be invited who you barely know.

It is not uncommon for family members to become overbearing during planning. Your in-laws probably have extensive opinions on the style and type of wedding they think you should have. Unsolicited advice may be an innocent attempt to help, but it can also really interfere with and complicate the planning process. The most important thing to remember is that it is your wedding - not your mother's or your sister's or anyone else's. The rule of thumb for any unsolicited advice - be it on child-rearing, housekeeping, or the wedding - make it clear that you appreciate your in-laws' efforts, and you will incorporate his or her ideas where you see fit, but you have your own ideas. Be assertive but gentle, and your in-laws will respect the boundaries you have set. Planning a wedding isn't the time to fall silent, or else you risk ending up with a wedding day you don't recognize!

During the wedding planning and after the wedding, it's important to have each other's backs. Relationships are two people working as teammates toward common goals of happiness and harmony. Don't let anyone come between you, not even family. In-laws are always a touchy subject. You may have chosen your spouse, but the truth is that you cannot, and maybe wouldn't, choose your in-laws. However, nothing ruins a marriage quite like putting your relationship on the back-burned in favor of extended family. Make it known that your spouse comes first. At times you may feel as if you are stuck in the middle of a tug-of-war between your spouse and your parents or in-laws. Both parties may be vying for your attention, affection, or loyalty.  Make it known, gently and respectfully, that your spouse and immediate family are your priority.  You and your spouse need to establish your own family traditions, lifestyle, and values. Your in-laws must respect that.

By giving your marriage priority, you choose your new role - the adult spouse - over your old role - the child.  Make sure your partner comes first, and make sure it is clear through your words and actions


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