You probably rolled your eyes when you heard this before, but here it is again: a marriage is between two families. With that in mind, you shouldn’t get angry or offended when a family member (especially your in-laws) come up with suggestions about your big day. It’s only fair that you entertain all suggestions because apart from it being a rite of passage, it’ll also set the tone for your future relationship with them. The sooner you get comfortable with the idea of your family and in-laws having a say about your wedding, the quicker you can get to actually planning your wedding.
Here are a few things you need to do to make the process smoother:
Mom, meet my other mom
You should introduce members of your family to your spouse’s family long before the wedding. This way, everyone knows each other. After making introductions, encourage rapport. One easy way to make this process quick is to hold the first meeting on neutral grounds and in an informal setting that encourages everyone to mingle.
After this first outing, you can check with your own side of the family to see if they have had further communication with your partner’s family. Things may be awkward at first and a few toes may be stepped on, but that’s all part of getting to know new people.
Whether they ask or not, your parents and siblings most likely want to be involved in the planning process. Don’t be surprised to learn that they have dreamt about your wedding almost as much as you have. Involving them in the process will make them feel good, and as a bonus, it will help you to keep tabs on exactly what it is they do.
Because a lot of people are going to be involved in the planning process, try to outline clearly the roles to be played by vendors, and those to be played by people from both sides of the family (both sides because you don’t want any to feel left out). You have to outline the roles clearly so that one side doesn’t feel as though the other side is intruding, and so that efforts are not duplicated.
For example, make it clear who is in charge of what. From paying for the ceremonies to hosting the ceremonies and picking aso-ebi or souvenirs. Where possible, assign a task to a team made up of people from both sides of the family as this may help them to bond.
Grin and stand firm
Prepare yourself for the fact that some family members may try to take over. When this happens, do not get flustered. Remind yourself that while the wedding is a one-day (max 3-day) event, your relationship with them is forever.
Once that firmly planted in your consciousness, grin but put your foot down politely. Do not get confrontational. In fact, if the issue is with someone from your partner’s side of the family, talk to your partner first. Both of you should agree on the best way to handle it. And who is in the best position to do so.
It is still your wedding, so you have the final say; family members are just to help with minor decisions and logistics.
Look at the bright side. You have people who love you and want to make your wedding a success! What can be horribly wrong with that? 😊