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AIBU to ask for advice to be the perfect MIL at my son's wedding

(133 Posts)
treehugger1 Fri 22-Mar-19 14:41:43

My son has just got engaged to his very lovely girlfriend of three years. They are marrying next May. DH and I lover her to death and get on very well with her and her family. From this forum, I know that MILs can act badly and do the wrong things and be very annoying. I don't want to be that woman. I have already told my DS that it is their day and I don't want to interfere and won't offer unwanted advice unless I am asked. Can any recent brides tell me what I should and shouldn't do to make sure their day goes well?

Catscakeandchocolate Fri 22-Mar-19 14:45:55

My MIL refused to attend our wedding so going would be a start. In an ideal world I would want my MIL to be genuinely excited for us, being supportive, not make it about her, not interfere and take some time and effort to get to know the people in my life who are important to me.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Fri 22-Mar-19 14:47:35

TBH you are over thinking - at best this forum is a collection of anecdotes of 'wronged' DILs and MILs too .

I always advocate the novel approach of actual asking the real live people involved what they'd like, rather than some axe grinding anonymous typists. Just a thought.

MaMaMaMySharona Fri 22-Mar-19 14:50:23

I adore my future MIL and realistically you don't sound like you're going to be anything like some of the women who are complained about on here.

The only thing that has wound me up slightly (from both sides) whilst planning my wedding is unsolicited advice. Between my DM and future MIL, I've been told
- Who should sit at the top table with me
- That I should walk down the aisle before my bridesmaids
- What we should eat
- What my bridesmaids should wear
- What type of ceremony we should have (i.e. I wanted non-religious, my mum wanted religious. We ended up going with religious as there were no registry offices near our venue which could hold all our guests.)

Just let them make their own choices and offer your advice when asked, you should be dandy!

Congratulations to you all on the engagement by the way flowers

BertrandRussell Fri 22-Mar-19 14:50:23

Ask you dil to be what she would like you to wear, do, say, eat drink, contribute. Do that. Under no circumstances talk to your son without filling in the appropriate forms in triplicate and awaiting a permit.

GunpowderGelatine Fri 22-Mar-19 14:51:36

I personally think this is silly and trivial but it matters to a lot of people - let the mother of the bridge choose the colour of her outfit first and don't have the same colour, as per tradition.

Also if you can afford to offer to pay for something, like the cake/cars/flowers. Weddings are expensive and they'll need all the help they can get

GunpowderGelatine Fri 22-Mar-19 14:52:32

Oh and don't insist that great Aunty Betty or Mildred from next door attend. Even if you feel people are being excluded, stay away from the guest list unless asked

Laiste Fri 22-Mar-19 14:55:13

Tell them both you're delighted they're tying the knot and tell them if there's anything they need you to do then just ask. And then leave it and just show happy interest in their plans.

If your relationship is good it'll all just naturally go from there.

My MIL is a lovely woman - we get on great. I know she likes me and i know she's happy i'm a DIL.

The only thing which pee'd me off a bit at wedding time was that she was disappointed that we were having a smallish wedding (and not a massive piss up involving every single person on their side of the family tree) and she struggled to hide it. She asked about 6 or 7 times if we were inviting cousin this or aunt that or uncle something else (3 times removed and lives 400 miles away and who neither of us had met). DH explained it every time - Mum, we want a small wedding, immediate family bla bla bla. She kept on about it till the very last moment though and it was annoying.

Laiste Fri 22-Mar-19 14:56:39

x post GunpowderGelatine grin

thecatsthecats Fri 22-Mar-19 14:57:05

If you give money, give without strings attached.

Ask if there's anything special they'd like you to contribute or take care of for them - they may not be sure about asking.

Nicely make it clear if you have something you'd like in the wedding day - but don't be offended if it's a no (their wedding, their choice - but one of our choices was to do a couple of no fuss things that made people we're close to happy).

I get along great with my MIL. But the most annoying three things she did were:

- invite her friend on my hen do instead of her mum (publically, so I'd have looked like a twat if I refused)
- kept insisting that we MUST have a DJ. She loved our playlist in the end.
- kept insisting that I COULDN'T make my own cake.

Ok, one more! We had a significant crisis just before the wedding - the best man has a serious mental health crisis and had to drop out. DH obviously upset and worried for his friend. During this time MIL repeatedly badgered both of us to send a paper invite to a casual add on for a family friend, who'd been on his parents' invite. Tremendously unhelpful in very difficult circumstances.

So one more piece of advice - you'll get wedding queries from your family. Be on your son's side, not the questioners!

AnnieOH1 Fri 22-Mar-19 14:59:42

However well intentioned you may be don't offer any advice unless it is solicited. My own mil who we are nc with now decided to go buy a blue jumper and tie for my nephew to wear so it would double up for school... We only had a small wedding even our then 2 year old was in a suit. Smh.

I absolutely adored my mil before we had our first child, we got on well (or so I thought) but the reality has proved much different now her son is establishing life without her. I'm only sharing this because my point is it doesn't matter how rosey things are prior to marriage/kids between in laws it can quickly go wrong once the kids are doing their own thing.

Another thing my mil did which I didn't bring up but grates with me to this day, she knew at one point I had mentioned lily of the valley for the button holes but I then changed my mind and went with white feathers against a black calla lily. Anyway, she spent a lot of money on those damn lily of the valleys so I incorporated them into things but it wasn't the "look" I wanted. Double check everything basically before you do something. Don't go booking or buying things without first consulting your son and daughter in law. Yes it's your son's wedding too but let's be honest the bride is the one who is going to be planning everything to the nth degree!

Ihatehashtags Fri 22-Mar-19 15:02:06

You sound like you’ll be an amazing MIL!

From me, who has a not so nice MIL who did the opposite of the below list:

Tell the bride she looks beautiful
If you say it’s their day, they can invite who they like etc, don’t go back on that closer to the wedding
Offer to help set up venue, pick up
Flowers etc.
make an effort to talk to the brides family
Don’t be sour, silent, and judgmental

Think that’s about it!

Disfordarkchocolate Fri 22-Mar-19 15:02:55

It never ceases to surprise me how much say some people expect in their adult children's wedding. Our son's getting married and we're just sending a cheque to pay for whatever they want. I've checked our youngest will be able to eat as he has a food intolerance and that's it. Going to turn up and be proud.

ShesABelter Fri 22-Mar-19 15:04:30

If she is lovely and you get on well, I don't think you need to worry.

Honestly, the people who moan on here already dislike their in laws or are brats themselves.

GreatDuckCookery6211 Fri 22-Mar-19 15:05:56

Put up, shut and wear beige.

GreatDuckCookery6211 Fri 22-Mar-19 15:07:27

Shut up even.

Obviously I’m joking. Just be yourself, offer help and if it’s accepted great if not don’t fret.

Laiste Fri 22-Mar-19 15:08:32

I didn't get on with my first MIL at all. But thinking back she was absolutely no problem when it came to me and XHs actual wedding.

She was a PITA in just about all other respects for the 15 years marriage but for the wedding she was like Disfordarkchocolate and just turned up on time, smiled and nodded and chatted and that was that smile

SandAndSea Fri 22-Mar-19 15:11:40

I think just be nice (I'm sure you will be). Be warm, friendly and welcoming.

Remember that it's not your wedding.

I would let your fdil know how pleased you are and ask her if there's anything you can do to help. You could even mention that you don't want to be one of 'those' mils.

Definitely ask your fdil if she has any colour preferences for your outfit. I believe it's normal to refer to the bride's mum too and to allow her to get her dress first and then fit in with her.

Be aware that just because they've told you something, doesn't mean they're telling everyone and with this in mind, don't post anything on social media that's not your place to post. Eg. Any announcements that the couple might naturally want to post first. (Sorry if that sounds harsh but boundaries change - not all mils realise this.) It's best to ask rather than make any assumptions.

Include your dil if you're taking any photos and when you're putting up a photo of your son's wedding, make sure your dil is also in the photo. (This might sound obvious, but sadly, it isn't always.)

CurbsideProphet Fri 22-Mar-19 15:13:06

My MiL hasn't said congratulations or asked to see my ring. Just be normal and at least pretend to be interested in their plans grin

flowery Fri 22-Mar-19 15:14:03

Don’t unilaterally decide to invite your mates and only let your son know after you’ve done so...

Carblover Fri 22-Mar-19 15:14:36

Hi i am the MIL
my son got married last year to my fabulous DIL
I am very happy and proud to call her that btw
They had been living together anyway( 6yrs in total from start)
They researched,planned and organised the wedding they wanted which is exactly what we as their parents wanted for them....its their day after all
They did include us for advice and shared plans with us but guest list reception food etc was their choice
they costed it all out and did not ask for any contribution (although of course we did which meant lovely honeymoon etc and was appreciated)
It was abroad and it was the best week of my life i was asked to be a witness along with her mum and it was an enormous privilege and we all had a wonderful time with great memories

I always took the view that i was still a very important women in his life but no longer the No1 and i wasmore than happy to be No2 once they became serious

and i would do what ever they needed / required for the with no questioning
I hope you have an equally fabulous time

MumofTinies Fri 22-Mar-19 15:22:14

Haha my Mum in law asked me what my Mum was wearing so she could then plan her outfit. I thought it was an odd question, I just told her to wear what she wants. I get why she asked now grin Why does the bride's mum choose first anyone know? Seems a bit arbitrary.

You sound like you will make a lovely Mum in law OP

SandAndSea Fri 22-Mar-19 15:23:25

Don't assume that your ds passes on your messages/invitations etc.

Don't blame your fdil for things your ds says or does/doesn't do.

I don't know why, but it seems to be very common to blame the woman/newcomer for any difficulties.

Alphabetsoup4 Fri 22-Mar-19 15:27:42

Don’t over suggest stuff pre-wedding.

Really enjoy it, and get to know the other family.

There’s nothing more heart warming for a bride (and son) than seeing your husbands mother look genuinely happy, and making the effort with your own family.


NunoGoncalves Fri 22-Mar-19 15:31:29

Can any recent brides tell me what I should and shouldn't do to make sure their day goes well?

I think the main reason people have poor relationships with their in-laws is

a) they just don't get on (and you've said you love your DiL, so you're off to a good start, assuming she likes you too!)
b) they interfere and try to impose their opinions too much

I have a great relationship with my in-laws and so does my OH with my parents, because both sets are just totally chilled, offer to help whenever needed but never impose themselves or pass judgment or try to tell either of us what to do or how to live our lives or raise our kids or anything like that. Simple really!

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