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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?

JuniorAsparagus Sun 24-Mar-19 09:38:43

Disfordarkchocolate I certainly didn't dream of my wedding as a child either.
When DS1 got married I asked him if there were any important people from his childhood who he would like to be there and he chose the ones I hoped he would. His choice, everyone happy. His wife was happy too as he had talked about them having a positive influence on him growing up before they decided to get married.

Otterses Sun 24-Mar-19 09:03:52

TALK to the bride rather than ignoring her all day grin you'll be doing a grand job then. Don't steal bottles of wine from the bar, or draw pictures of genitals on the expensive white table linen in sharpie, or wear a hat with feathers woven into it from your recently deceased budgie.

OP - I think you'll be fine. You sound like you have a wonderful relationship with your future in laws.

bibbitybobbityyhat Sun 24-Mar-19 08:52:45

"Clear any outfit with DIL" wtaf? It wouldn't be the mil being the difficult one in this scenario!

Op - I would say stay relatively sober, introduce yourself to guests you've never met and have a quick chat with them, look happy (I am sure you will) and be on hand to help with any practical things if asked.

Enidthecat Sun 24-Mar-19 08:22:33

I don't think you have much to worry about op, you sound like a lovely mil. Mine is also lovely, but can just be a bit tactless sometimes! She's very kind though.

GreatDuckCookery6211 Sun 24-Mar-19 08:22:30

I don’t understand this thing about mistaking a woman wearing white as the bride. Everyone knows who the bride is for a start.

FudgeBrownie2019 Sun 24-Mar-19 08:17:29

Don't wear white. MIL wore a white two piece suit and spent the morning before our wedding giggling and saying "I hope I'm not mistaken for the bride". Then sat po-faced throughout speeches and meals because nobody did mistake her for the bride.

Don't expect much say; let them just do it their way and tell them you loved it when it's over.


You sound lovely, by the way OP.

Enidthecat Sun 24-Mar-19 08:12:04

Don't say that you hope there won't be tall flowers on the tables as you don't like them.
Don't invite all your relatives, who bride and groom don't know, to fill 'your table' at their small expensive wedding unless you offer to contribute to cost in any way and ask first.
Don't tell your relatives personal things about the bride's family that they then bring up on the day and upset her family.

Originofstars Sun 24-Mar-19 08:11:29

My sister deferred to her future daughter in law's mum when it came to choosing colours for wedding outfits. Not that there'd have likely been a clash, the mother wore a pastel two piece and my sister a jade green pencil dress with a peacock feather hat. Whilst my sister wasn't bothered I thought it a bit off that the mother of the bride was escorted up the aisle by a groomsman when everyone was seated, followed by bridesmaids then bride. Then again we're not big on tradition, my sister got married in a black mini dress and a top hat, 25 years ago smile

ILikTheBred Sun 24-Mar-19 08:05:12

@bellabunny If you have a good relationship with your kids and are reasonable I. Your expectations you should be fine.

Seeing this as a chance to reciprocate 50 years of wedding invitations is not on however.

(Speaking from experience here!)

RMogs Sun 24-Mar-19 07:49:36

I love my MIL, really. She drives me crazy at times, but then so does my mum.
It sounds like you have a good relationship, so have a conversation with them together along the lines of: You are happy to help in anyway they need you, however you don't want to step on toes so you will wait to be asked...but please keep you updated with the plans as you are so happy and excited for them both.

My biggest issue was DH getting annoyed that he felt like I was leaving mil out when she wasn't invited to dress fittings etc...mil had no such issue and told him some things were mother/daughter times.

My mum and mil took me out for a days shopping to get their outfits, which was the most stressful part for me as we all hate shopping.

Hope you all have a great time xx

feelingsinister Sun 24-Mar-19 07:45:08

@bellabunny it's for the bride and groom to decide the guest list so if they want them there and they can accommodate them then they'll be invited.

They shouldn't be invited because parents want them there.

bellabunny Sun 24-Mar-19 07:31:22

This thread is stressing me out!
I have a 20 year old son if he ever gets married I would like to think that a few of our close family friends who have been a huge part of his life and who he enjoys spending time with ( holidays, celebrations etc) would be invited?
It appears to be only the bride that has a say in these things...

feelingsinister Sun 24-Mar-19 06:53:02

My MIL was fine before/during my wedding in fact I wouldn't have minded if she'd wanted to be a bit more involved.

My mother otoh was a fucking nightmare. Inviting her friends, full of opinions, acted like it was her day, interfered with the photos, caused an argument. 😄

Justanothernameonthepage Sun 24-Mar-19 06:45:13

Show interest but don't offer opinions. Be there on time (my mil turned up 30 mins late and was very put out that we hadn't waited). Don't insist on any member of the wedding party. Make sure to mingle as much as possible or at least sit looking vaguely happy. Don't get completely wasted. Don't get the bride's name wrong. Don't wear black.
Generally remember it's a celebration and try and find something to praise - even if it's not the type of wedding you'd have chosen.

Birdie6 Sun 24-Mar-19 06:25:27

I've been a MIL and a mother of the bride. Mine went off really well ! The only advice I can give is -
1) Ask the mother of the bride what she is wearing , and get something in a different colour but something that won't clash !
2)Ask the bride if there is anything you can do to help. I got the job of ordering the drinks, since I have some knowledge about it ( and I was paying for them !)
3)Don't ask for your friends / family members to be invited unless they ask you for suggestions. It's their day and nobody elses.

Have a great time !

NaturalBornWoman Sun 24-Mar-19 05:47:01

I went to a wedding where someone accidentally matched the bridesmaids and consequently, felt very uncomfortable

But avoiding that means asking what colour the bridesmaid's dresses are (if you don't already know confused) which isn't the same as asking DIL if she has any colour preferences or what you're allowed to wear, or deferring to her mother.

SandAndSea Sun 24-Mar-19 00:36:00

@tillytrotter1 - I'm not suggesting they need to be colour coordinated. But, it's probably considerate and sensible to liaise with each other, to ensure they're not wearing the same colours, unless they want to. I went to a wedding where someone accidentally matched the bridesmaids and consequently, felt very uncomfortable (though she looked great, she was unhappy). And I think we've all read numerous tales of mils wearing white or matching the bride in some way. The fact is, a bit of thoughtful communication on this issue goes a long way.

tillytrotter1 Sat 23-Mar-19 23:11:55

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.

Why should the bride's mother get first choice if indeed there's to be this stupid colour co-ordinated idea? Neither mother's more important than the other, whatever the perceived MN wisdom might be. That's what leads to many of the problems aired here especially when children come along. Treat both with equal respect. How many women seething at this would allow their husband to treat her mother as a second class parent?

Thurmanmurman Sat 23-Mar-19 09:26:53

Just be yourself, you sound lovely. I hope you have a wonderful day.

FiveLittlePigs Sat 23-Mar-19 09:09:27

Don't steamroll in and swear you can get a cheaper rate for the photos (you can but for far far less of a deal than we had been offered - thIs was a very good friend who was doing very low (actual cost to him only) mates rates and the resulting offence caused to him was immense)

Don't tell the bride ”oh you wouldn't know but weddings take a lot of planning” when the bride has spent hours and hours planning, organising and creating the day that the couple want.

Don't get drunk at the wedding (not reception, she was swigging from a hip flask in church!) and demand your daughter's fiance stands next to you in place of fil in photos.

Don't tell your new dil that ”I can see your dress was homemade” while flicking at a sleeve (the word is handmade btw)

BertrandRussell Sat 23-Mar-19 09:01:30

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

My fingers were itching over this gem- so pleased someone else noticed too.

NaturalBornWoman Sat 23-Mar-19 08:50:03

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

So she wore black & white? Which is fine for a wedding.

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. This

Clear any outfit with future DIL before purchasing it, just in case. definitely not this, since presumably you are an adult and capable of choosing your own clothes

Merryoldgoat Sat 23-Mar-19 08:39:47

My MIL is wonderful (as is FIL).

The key will be to just maintain a good relationship with them and being helpful without being intrusive.

I wouldn’t have expected my MIL to clear her outfit with me, I was happy to hear her opinions, happy to have her help and she came dress shopping with me.

For some this would be too much regardless of how well they get on.

BertrandRussell Sat 23-Mar-19 08:30:07

I just wish people would read this thread imagining what it would fee like to be reading it as a prospective new Mil. I think I’d probably develop diplomatic noro virus and not go. Except that would probably be interpreted as “making it all about me”.......

Laiste Sat 23-Mar-19 08:24:00

I don't think you have to be an 'awful' person to make mistakes. All of us have put our foot in our mouths at least once in our lifetime, and very few people mean to hurt others, but social misunderstandings around weddings don't tend to be forgotten easily.

Those posters who are saying this is a good read and will bear it all in mind for the future are more likely to escape foot in mouth disease than those who believe they've no need to take any of it on board.

I've got 4 DDs. Two of them have long term boyfriends (7 years in one case) and i'm MIL to them. I read all the MIL threads and take note to make sure i'm not stamping on any son in law toes smile

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