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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!

NunoGoncalves Fri 22-Mar-19 15:32:26

Re: wedding in particular, I would just tell them "I'd be happy to help in any way if you need it" and then sit back and don't get involved. It's their day, let them do whatever they want, knowing that you're there if they need you.

Pootles34 Fri 22-Mar-19 15:35:11

Yes exactly what Nuno has said - they might want your involvement, they may not, so just be really happy for them and take your cue from them.

thecatsthecats Fri 22-Mar-19 15:37:42

I would disagree with some posters here re: asking the DIL about things, not the son.

I think it's setting the poor DIL for a lifetime of wifework to assume that only her say so counts for the wedding.

I got all sorts of queries directed at me from distant relatives of DH. I passed them on to him and got him to reply every single time. I had my own side to sort out.

Chocolateisfab Fri 22-Mar-19 15:38:24

Don't ring the hire shop and try to change the pattern of tartan your ds has chosen for his kilt and you won't be uninvited...

Istandinpause Fri 22-Mar-19 15:40:30

On the day, make a point at some time of giving her a hug and telling her how happy you are to welcome her into your family. None of my husband's family said a word to me on our wedding day and it was a bit upsetting.

AgentCooper Fri 22-Mar-19 15:41:59

Bless you, the fact that you’re even asking suggests you are a nice MIL and it’ll be grand. Basically, I’d just leave them to it, make sure they know you’re here to help if needed but it’s their day.

And on the day enjoy yourself! Have fun and be friendly to your DIL’s family and friends. My FIL pretty much didn’t speak to anyone outside his immediate family on our wedding day, sat and looked bored and had to order off the kids’ menu (in advance, fortunately) as he didn’t like the sound of the main options. This was all completely expected but it still rankled a bit when my MIL and all my family made an effort to introduce themselves and not complain about everything.

anniehm Fri 22-Mar-19 15:42:02

Be excited but not obsessive, ask what you can do to help but don't push it, you could offer to help pay for a certain thing(s) or a set amount but don't attach strings. Most of all offer your congratulations!

GreatDuckCookery6211 Fri 22-Mar-19 15:43:04

I don’t think there’s any point asking other brides what you should and shouldn’t do as every woman is different. Some will be ok having their MIL involved in the wedding planning and others will not. Just be guided by your DILs personality and go from there.
Don’t forget it’s your sons wedding too.

anniehm Fri 22-Mar-19 15:44:20

Oh and (I'm sure this isn't the case) don't moan about paying for a cheap hotel room when her parents have paid for everything else! Yes mine complained about spend £40 on a travellodge despite her drinking in excess of that as it was a free bar!

Bubblysqueak Fri 22-Mar-19 15:44:29

Don't wear white or black (my mil turned up wearing both).

CrabbitCrone Fri 22-Mar-19 15:45:05

Don't make comments about the bride's breasts, and preferably don't grope them either. Don't ask to see her in her underwear. Don't make crass comments about sex. Don't ridicule the bride's family loudly and within earshot. Try not to treat the wedding as an Old Firm game, and avoid giving the impression you would like to start a sectarian riot. HTH

DontCallMeCharlotte Fri 22-Mar-19 15:45:17

- That I should walk down the aisle before my bridesmaids

And they would be right?

Caticorn Fri 22-Mar-19 15:48:11

Remember they are both adults! Sounds obvious, I know, but my MIL caused us some problems because she treated us like we were 16 and playing at weddings! I think the problem was that although we are the same age, we were at different life stages. I had lived independently for 5 years, while DH was still sharing a room with his younger brother. His youngest brothers were still children, so MIL could not get her head round the fact that we were adults, despite us being early 20s.
She's a lovely woman, and I wouldn't actually say she was overly controlling... just too 'motherly'!

GreatDuckCookery6211 Fri 22-Mar-19 15:49:32

Don't make comments about the bride's breasts, and preferably don't grope them either. Don't ask to see her in her underwear. Don't make crass comments about sex. Don't ridicule the bride's family loudly and within earshot. Try not to treat the wedding as an Old Firm game, and avoid giving the impression you would like to start a sectarian riot. HTH

Seems a bit extreme. Oh is this what happened to you. Hardly helpful to the nervous MIL confused

Verynice Fri 22-Mar-19 15:49:34

@CrabbitCrone Please elaborate on the sectarian riot? grin

CuriousaboutSamphire Fri 22-Mar-19 15:49:40

Mine was not a very good mother but in the run up to our wedding she managed to be perfect: she asked if there was anything she could do; took "no thanks, we're fine" as an asnwer. Later she offered to keep my wedding dress for me, have the last fitting at hers, so no one would see the dress. She found a great hineymoon for us, and, just as we were about to hire a car to drive round France in, added her son/stbDH to her insurance and lent us hers!

She also had a very quiet word when BIL got married, apologising as she was in a better financial positon and able to give him cash towards his Sandal Honeymoon Resort honeymoon, which she hadn't done for us. She also took a hug and "No problem!" as the end of that matter.

She had her moments smile

Caticorn Fri 22-Mar-19 15:51:26

Dontcallmecharlotte....why are they right? It's up to the bride and groom what they do.

MeredithGrey1 Fri 22-Mar-19 15:51:38

Hands off the guest list. I'm getting married in two weeks, and we're having such a small wedding (registry office, just our parents and a few close friends, lunch at a high street restaurant afterwards) and my mother is throwing a tantrum about the people we're not inviting. Never mind the fact that its not what we want, if we invited siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins like she wants, my side of the family alone would be 50+ people, turning into a totally different wedding (and much more expensive).

thecatsthecats Fri 22-Mar-19 15:54:44

Don't do what Charlotte (ignoring the DontCallMeNow grin) did.

Traditions are meaningless unless you want them to be, and there's no right or wrong.

RavenLG Fri 22-Mar-19 15:56:42

- That I should walk down the aisle before my bridesmaids
And they would be right?

No they wouldn't. Not their wedding, not their right / wrong. Tradition may say a certain order is correct, but it's not wrong to deviate.

You've had a lot of good advice OP. I adore my future MIL and so far she has been great. Asks questions but doesn't give snarky opinions, only offers genuine advice (she's a worrier). I think generally asking not telling is most appreciated.

MorrisZapp Fri 22-Mar-19 15:57:01

Wear a top hat. Start drinking early. Text your friends during the ceremony. Learn a new dance, and showcase it. Complain loudly about vegans. Smoke in the doorway.

That's what I plan to do if my eight year old ever marries in the future.

treehugger1 Fri 22-Mar-19 15:57:47

Thank you everyone. I don't think it sounds too difficult. I'll offer to help in any way they want me to, and then keep my beak out. Very useful to know that I should let the MoB choose her outfit and then co-ordinate with that. I wouldn't have thought of that. I can't wait actually - I know it will be a fabulous day and party, and I can just turn up and enjoy myself with no stress and worry!

PS we are offering to pay for 1/3 of it.

multiplemum3 Fri 22-Mar-19 16:04:12

I've never heard of the mums wearing matching/similar outfits in my life?

OutInTheCountry Fri 22-Mar-19 16:05:23

How lovely that you're thinking about it now.

The main advice I think would be not to hire a surprise chimney sweep to dance around them - there was a post on here once about it, the bride was really upset, I hope she can see the funny side of it now, it still makes me chuckle.

OutInTheCountry Fri 22-Mar-19 16:07:38

Chimney sweep thread.......

Taffeta Fri 22-Mar-19 16:11:22

I hear all the "stay out of it" comments and agree that an opinionated overbearing MIL would be hideous.

Offering an alternative POV, my MIL is the opposite. Never calls, never puts pressure on us to do anything, comes round when we invite her. But I feel like she doesn't really care because of this, so do be aware of going too far the other way.

I like MIL but nothing beyond that.

nokidshere Fri 22-Mar-19 16:13:18

MN brides, dm's and mil's are batshit. They are not the norm. If you have a good relationship already then just be yourself. There's no need to turn into a monster and absolutely no reason why you would.

It's not just her wedding, it's his too, the dm and the mil are equally important and, from what I can see from posts on mn, the dil frequently forgets that.

If you have a good relationship already your fdil obviously already likes you, so just be yourself.

katmarie Fri 22-Mar-19 16:20:47

My MIL (and FIL) passed away a couple of years before we got married, so my husband's aunt sort of stood in for MIL on our wedding day, as his closest relative from his parent's family. She was wonderful, she showed up on the day, looked lovely and happy, joined in, chatted to everyone, and was friendly and kind and warm, she also made a point of telling me how thrilled she was thay my husband had found someone, and that she'd never seen him so happy. She made us both cry, and truly made me feel very loved and welcomed into the family. If you can go for something like that your son and DIL will be more than happy I'm sure.

CallMeRachel Fri 22-Mar-19 16:22:57

I have a horribly rude and controlling mil who I am now NC with because of her behaviour.

Years of it before we snapped. Looking back 16 years though one of the horrible things she felt entitled to say about part of our wedding arrangements(I had dreamed of having a horse drawn carriage since I was a little girl) and that was what we agreed to have, her "Is that no tacky???!!!!!" angry
Don't say that. Don't even think about spoiling any of their ideas.

If you have a good relationship with her just speak to her and ask what she'd like you to do?

5foot5 Fri 22-Mar-19 16:26:26

@GreatDuckCookery Put up, shut and wear beige.

Ha ha you must have read this too Keep Your Mouth Shut And Wear Beige

If not I can recommend it.

FrozenMargarita17 Fri 22-Mar-19 16:30:49

The fact you're worried about it and posting means you'll be fine smile) it's the ones who do whatever they want and think nothing they're doing is wrong that aren't so great!

You sound like you'll be a lovely MIL

LuvSmallDogs Fri 22-Mar-19 16:31:17

Show up in nice non-plain white/ivory outfit, be friendly to everyone and don’t get embarrassingly drunk.

elfycat Fri 22-Mar-19 16:33:18

I have troublesome PIL (NC now)

My advice would be to treat your adult son, and his adult wife like adults at all time. You may have a difference of opinion to them at times but they are allowed to have their opinion too. They are allowed to do things in a different way to you and you should respect that and celebrate that you raised a son to this independent point.

If you do that you should be fine. grin

Do not welcome her to the family by handing over the 'wimmin work' at the wedding reception, making your DIL responsible for all family birthday and Xmas cards and gifts which I never took onboard.

Do not insist on anything at the wedding. Not guests, not flowers, not anything.

Do not 'have words' with the bride at the reception (this was FIL, but MIL backed him) about how she'd better start behaving properly now, or she'll not be welcome in your family. It might limp on a bit, but eventually she might take you at your word...

But you sound great, and a bit like my Mum, who welcomes and accepts everyone. She worries about overstepping too but really doesn't. Just be happy for them, that's all they really need/want.

OutInTheCountry Fri 22-Mar-19 16:43:26

I've never heard of the mums wearing matching/similar outfits in my life?

It's more to make sure they don't - I hadn't really heard of it before I got married but my MIL asked if my mum could let her know when she'd picked her outfit so she didn't pick anything too similar. My mum went pinkish and MIL went blue.

ChampionThreadKiller Fri 22-Mar-19 16:48:59

Don’t send the bride photoshopped photos of her after the wedding where you’ve enhanced her make-up (made her look like she has big spider legs for eyelashes). To be fair this was my step-mother and not my MIL but still!

You sound fab BTW. Congratulations to all concerned and have fun!

AnnaMagnani Fri 22-Mar-19 16:53:02

Top tips:

Don't go out with your new DIL's mother the following day in the interests of getting to know one another and ask her if she thinks the marriage will last. My DM has never forgiven my MIL for this and probably never will.

Also don't make a surprise announcement of 'a very generous donation' to the wedding costs at the wedding, which when opened is actually less than the bride's mother has paid, who everyone knows is completely brassic, when you are completely loaded. It wasn't expected, or asked for, and neither was my DM's but saying it was 'very generous' when it honestly wasn't kind of spoilt it.

Finally don't sit moaning that 2 atheists aren't having a church wedding when you don't go to church either. Be proud that they aren't hypocrites.

PurpleCrazyHorse Fri 22-Mar-19 16:54:44

I would be yourself, it sounds like you're already pretty sensitive. I would also talk directly to your DIL about things too, anticipating that she's likely to be taking the lead in organising.

And yes to a photo including your DIL up in your house (not you and your son only!)

Connieston Fri 22-Mar-19 16:59:03

My ex mother in law was and is always lovely, they may get a bad rap on here, but don't worry too much, just be yourself.

The people who spoil weddings are those who create a drama that means the day becomes about them and everyone ends up worrying what they will or won't like.

So I'd be enthusiastic, offer to help or pay for this or that, say how lovely all their wedding choices are, even if they're not to your taste, keep your lip buttoned if they go for the bejewelled owls delivering the rings and fifteen bridesmaids, even if they plan for a flashmob family dance or ask everyone to turn up in football mascot outfits or even worse, Elizabethan hose and doublet... smile and enjoy the day.

DorisDances Fri 22-Mar-19 17:02:01

I am a newbie MIL! The best advice is definitely to triple check with dil what is wanted. Don't use your initiative. Any money offered shouldn't have strings. Be graceful and welcoming to her family. You sound thoughtful which is half the battle. Weddings are so different nowadays so try and keep an open mind about options. Keep smiling!

BertrandRussell Fri 22-Mar-19 17:07:35

“The best advice is definitely to triple check with dil what is wanted“

Really? Wow. Proof positive that dils are the gatekeepers.

harrietpn Fri 22-Mar-19 17:19:17

My MIL asked this of me and my mum and then went on to do the opposite of everything! Wore bright red, arrived 3 hours early and complained about it, complained her ex-husband wasn't on the top table and my sister was, complained she didn't like the food, was rude to my younger siblings, was very purposefully not looking at us for the whole day.

harrietpn Fri 22-Mar-19 17:23:08

Sorry, the point of that is that if you have good intentions you'll be fine. Id ask what to wear (so your not matching the bridesmaids, and keeping in a similar colour palette) and then try and enjoy the day and make sure other guests are too. Make an effort with the other side, any small bumps can be forgiven. What would have been helpful to me on the day was someone to look after the gifts and keep the guest book circulating.

missyB1 Fri 22-Mar-19 17:24:36

I kept out of ds wedding plans apart from contributing half the cost of the reception. I let dil and her mum arrange it all. I didn’t ask what to wear (I have no idea why people do that!) and I didn’t interfere in the guest list - or anything else. I turned up on the day and enjoyed myself.

Fuzzyheadache Fri 22-Mar-19 17:28:48

My MIL to be invited her friends and extended family. Please don’t do this.
I asked how many people had she invited, then told her she would have to pay for these additional guests. She said she couldn’t afford it, I said neither could we and suggested she uninvite them, not me, her. Don’t get me wrong, we get on very well and she is lovely but sometimes . .

Mumofaprinny Fri 22-Mar-19 17:56:47

Only one tip from the treads I’ve seen here. If you are gifting them a present or money, it should really be handed over on the day or the latest, a week later?! Not left for months.😉

Disfordarkchocolate Fri 22-Mar-19 18:01:23

I've checked if they want me to avoid any colours so I don't end up accidentally matching the bridesmaids.

BertrandRussell Fri 22-Mar-19 18:05:02

As an aside- i’ve never been married. Is it usual for the groom’s side not to have any say in the guest list?

FullOfJellyBeans Fri 22-Mar-19 18:16:38

I think just listening is great. Ask about the wedding and be pleased with all you hear. Offer help but don't insist on what it will be or be offended if the offer isn't acceptable. Don't volunteer opinions that aren't asked for.

Honestly though I'm sure those mil behaving badly wouldn't dream of writing your op because they'd be much more concerned about the wedding being what they wanted to worry about how fil might feel.

Anyone considerate enough to ask how not to be a mil from hell would never have been one in the first place.

FullOfJellyBeans Fri 22-Mar-19 18:18:25

Bertrand the groom would of course get to invite guests from his side of the family but it isn't normal for the family of the bride or groom to choose the guest list (Eg inviting their own friends).

BigFatGiant Fri 22-Mar-19 18:24:44

A financial contribution is always welcome so long as no strings are attached.

If you say anything make sure it is positive.

Wear an outfit that is appropriate (don’t turn up in white prvreally underdressed for example).

Don’t demand certain guests are invited likewise don’t demand some aren’t.

Otherwise just try to remember that it isn’t about you and there is little you can do to make sure it goes well unless you are given a job.

BertrandRussell Fri 22-Mar-19 18:25:52

“but it isn't normal for the family of the bride or groom to choose the guest list (Eg inviting their own friends).”

Yes of course- but somebody earlier in the thread advised the MIL-to-be “hands off the guest list”

ahtellthee Fri 22-Mar-19 18:28:12

My PIL did absolutely nothing. Never asked how plans were, never offered to help, just turned up on the day. They offered us a pair of champagne flutes from Argos as a present.

Compared to my parents where my dad took DH to organisé suits (PIL refused to wear one), DM made my dress, DS and DN bridesmaid dress and our wedding cake, DB did my hair and neighbour drove us. And my parents offered to pay for the flowers.
MIl turned up wearing white.

Myimaginarycathasfleas Fri 22-Mar-19 18:29:15

To whomever asked about why the groom's DM needs to consult with the bride's DM on her outfit, it's because in the wedding hierarchy, the bride's mother trumps the groom's. Don't shoot the messenger, I didn't make the rules.

There's another one about hats - it's bad form for anyone to take off their hat before the mother of the bride. So don't do that either. grin

JuniorAsparagus Fri 22-Mar-19 18:38:01

My DS ' mother in law wore an outfit that had the same colour as the bridesmaids in it. I assumed she had prior knowledge of the colour and that DDiL was happy with it.confused
I know someone whose mother and mother in law had chosen the same outfit. Luckily they found out before the wedding and the groom's mother took hers back and exchanged it.

Disfordarkchocolate Fri 22-Mar-19 18:45:56

@JuniorAsparagus I am going to be the brides MIL I think I need to avoid matching the bridesmaid. Very excited, he's picked a great woman from a lovely family.

JuniorAsparagus Fri 22-Mar-19 18:50:29

Looking at the photos of DS' wedding I do stand out like a sore thumb though!

AnnaMagnani Fri 22-Mar-19 18:50:58

In terms of guest list - my MIL knew we were having a v small wedding at a v small venue. She also knew I had a v small family, much smaller than DH's as I am an only child, and v sadly my DDad died between our engagement and wedding. DH was inviting all his siblings, their spouses and children. I had, er, my mum.

So it was v much on the cards that I was always going to have different rules for family guests to DH - he was not going to have aunts, uncles, cousins etc.

We had also not asked for any financial contributions from either sets of parents - and did not know she was planning to make her 'very generous contribution'.

So it went down like a lead balloon when she kicked up a fuss about why couldn't she invite Aunty Mary who DH hadn't seen for 15 years, seeing as I was having x, y and z relatives.

Banhaha Fri 22-Mar-19 19:34:47

I second the comments about checking which colours to avoid in your outfit. And if you are planning on making a financial contribution to the wedding tell them as soon as you are able as it will help them with budgeting.

PencereTencere Fri 22-Mar-19 19:48:39

Please don't ask your son on the morning of his wedding if he's absolutely sure he wants to get married. Speaking from experience, it really sours things when it's discovered shortly after the wedding that the groom's mother has had a very serious discussion along these lines.

missymayhemsmum Fri 22-Mar-19 20:05:46

Think through well in advance whether there are any issues on your side of the family, exes not speaking, ancient feuds, outspoken grandparents, alcoholic uncles, and have your son and dil's in managing these situations before they arise. Appoint minders if required.

Birdshitbridgegotme Fri 22-Mar-19 20:14:34

I think you sound lovely. Maybe give your dil a recruiter and say how happy you are they are getting married and if there is anything you can do to let you know. And that you would like to help if she wants you too but you will also keep quite unless asked as you dont want do tread on anyone's feet. That way she knows if you aren't going on about it all the time you are interested. As although I wouldn't want my mil trying to take over I would like it that she was interested and I could ask her opinion on things as well as my own mum.

SandAndSea Fri 22-Mar-19 20:16:03

OP, just to explain further what I meant, in case of any confusion... I'm not suggesting that you and the MOTB should match your outfits. It's more that you don't want to clash with each other. There may also (horrors!) be a theme which you need to consider.

Motherofcreek Fri 22-Mar-19 20:19:50

Christ on a bike I’m glad I’ve got all girls!

Longdistance Fri 22-Mar-19 20:22:44

Not all MIL are awful.

I love mine. She’s genuinely lovely and supportive. When it was our wedding day she conversed with my dm to make sure they weren’t wearing the same colour.

SarahAndQuack Fri 22-Mar-19 20:25:39

OP, you sound lovely. I'm sure it will be fine!

FWIW, my ex-MIL did several of the things people say are 'wrong'. She didn't talk to me about colour schemes, and she didn't try to fall in with my plans for the schedule of speeches or dances. She turned up in a long, cream-coloured dress, which was very similar to mine.

However, she also gave a speech about welcoming me as a daughter, and the day before the wedding, when my own mum had a huge tantrum about something trivial, she gave me a huge hug. She and I don't speak the same language, and I had never met her before. I was married to her son for six years (separated for two), and one of the things I truly miss from that time is her, because she was just so lovely.

I know MN can make you think MILs and DILs are always enemies, but it isn't true. You want to make this a special day for your DIL and she will pick up on that, because the intention is there and it is sincere. Don't worry!

missyB1 Fri 22-Mar-19 20:26:03

Honestly I’m glad I didn’t read this thread before ds got married! As for my outfit I paid for it so I was choosing it! I wouldn’t have dreamt of telling the bride or anyone else what to wear so I didn’t feel the need to ask permission to choose my own frock! Oh and didn’t bother with a hat at all. Luckily we are a down to earth family and ds and dil know I love and support them and that’s all that matters.

BertrandRussell Fri 22-Mar-19 20:26:37

“Not all MIL are awful”

Well I do hope not. Bearing in mind that most women over 60 are.....!

SarahAndQuack Fri 22-Mar-19 20:27:46

Really, bertrand?

Not that it's the point of the thread, but I am surprised by that.

BertrandRussell Fri 22-Mar-19 20:30:22

Well’ it was a guess. But most people are in relationships by the time they are 25/30 and most women have children by the time they 25/30 so logically, most women will be MILs by the time they are 50/60. Or am I missing something?

Verynice Fri 22-Mar-19 20:38:48

I'd keep my nose out until I was asked really. Your ds is marrying the woman he loves. She is now the most important person in his life. Make sure you know your place.

Livvylovesgin Fri 22-Mar-19 20:39:01

I sent my step DIL to be a surprise cheque in the post, towards her wedding dress. I have DS's and know I won't ever be buying a wedding dress.

The cheque was sent with no strings, I didn't go to buy the dress, I didn't see it beforehand ( SDIL asked if I wanted to, but I wanted to wait until she walked down the aisle).

It would have been nice to have had a photo of just me and her or at least a photo with my DP and the happy couple. It didn't happen, but I didn't ever say anything.

TheShuttle Fri 22-Mar-19 20:44:45

OP, I really appreciated my mother-in-law-to-be telling me how happy she was that her son had found me and pleased to have such a good daughter-in-law.. She and father-in-law are not demonstrative types and it was a clearly genuine and frank declaration.

I've forgotten a few daft things she's said over the years but I will never forget that conversation!

ladymariner Fri 22-Mar-19 20:57:50

Today 20:38Verynice

I'd keep my nose out until I was asked really. Your ds is marrying the woman he loves. She is now the most important person in his life. Make sure you know your place.

Well, aren't you just a little bundle of joy....I pity the poor sod who has you as a dil! 'Know your place'...really???

SarahAndQuack Fri 22-Mar-19 21:06:22

bertrand - I don't know either. I believe (not sure) that something like 15 per cent of women never have children, and the average age for having a first child was mid-20s for current 60-year-olds, so it seems likely to me rather fewer than a majority of women of that age are MILs? I could very well be wrong, though. I was just interested.

DontCallMeCharlotte Fri 22-Mar-19 21:12:11

Well I appear to have missed the mark. Sorry about that.

I've never been to a British wedding (and I've been to dozens) where the bridesmaids didn't follow the bride apart from one with very small flower girls who went on ahead.

Of course I realise that whilst it may be tradition it isn't the law and I would never presume to actually advise anyone on wedding etiquette anyway.

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