Whether you are super close with your future in-laws or barely acquainted, it’s important that both sides of the family feel involved in the wedding planning. I don’t advise letting your future father-in-law select your entire menu or putting your soon to be sister-in-law in charge of picking out the bridesmaids’ dresses, but there are a wide variety of ways to artfully include everyone!
Ask About Family Traditions
While you’re still in the early stages of planning, talk to your spouse and their family about any wedding traditions they might have. If they’ve passed a cake-cutting knife down through the generations, consider using theirs instead of buying a new one. Maybe their family loves a specific type of cuisine or has a cultural dance that’s important. There’s no rule that says you must follow all family traditions, but one of the easiest ways to gain favor with your future in-laws is to include something that is special to their family in your Big Day.
Find the Fun
If you’re not particularly close with your fiancé’s family, you’ll probably want to stay away from potentially dangerous areas of planning. Think: wedding dress shopping, choosing a venue, and picking a color scheme. Instead, find fun ways to include your new family. Ask them to contribute song choices to the list for the DJ, try wedding cake flavors, or even fold programs together! Make a point to include them in an enjoyable aspect of the planning that is also low-risk for hurtful comments or bruised feelings.
Show Interest in Their Wedding
Instead of focusing on your own wedding planning, ask your future mother-in-law about her own wedding. Look through wedding albums or pull out her old dress! She’ll love reliving the memories and you’ll be able to bond over wedding talk without any pressure.
Take a Venue Tour
After you’ve already locked down your venue, invite your spouse’s family to come take a tour. They’ll appreciate knowing what to expect on the wedding day and love having some “insider” information. You’ll take the pressure off the decision-making process (because you’ve already decided!), and your future family members will be able to better understand your vision and theme for you wedding once they see the venue.
Give Them Free(ish) Reign for the Rehearsal Dinner
If your spouse’s family is footing the bill for the rehearsal dinner, it’s probably best to let them make most of the decisions! You can obviously let them know if there’s anything you’re really not into, so you don’t end up at a BBQ restaurant when you’re a vegetarian, but let them control most of the planning. It’s one less thing you have to worry about, and a good way to show a vote of confidence in your almost-family!