After getting engaged, the first thing you will likely do is tell your close friends and family – unless of course, they were present for the proposal. However, even after you tell your parents about your big news, it is important to sit down and have some discussions about the upcoming wedding. Whether or not they knew ahead of time about the proposal, unless you are estranged they should be kept in the loop about the big day. It is a major event for them as well! And don’t think you can get away with one conversation; your future spouse’s parents deserve to be included as well. Whether you want them by your side the whole way or want to take care of everything yourself, discussing the following topics will help make sure everyone is on the same page.
- The budget. This can be a sensitive subject, so you’ll want to approach it the right way. You never want to assume that your parents want to or are able to contribute, but you can gently ask if they intended to offer anything and what that means to them. After all, some parents will insist the money comes with strings attached and suddenly you don’t have say over your flowers.
- Family traditions or heirlooms. Was your mom hoping you’d wear her dress? Is there a cultural tradition from your heritage that your dad wants included? It’s important to know this beforehand so you can figure out how to go about it, or tactfully explain why you’ll be going in a different direction.
- Date options. If there are any major family obligations in the coming year or two, you won’t want your wedding date to overlap. Getting a few suggestions and cross-referencing the availability of your parents can help.
- Guest list must-haves. This is where the money factor can come into play, but even if your parents are not contributing, they likely have thoughts about family and friends who need to be invited. If you’re hoping to have a smaller event, this is your first chance to shut that down before the guest list balloons out of control.
- Their involvement. It could be that you’re hoping for a lot of help and they’d rather have a hands-off approach, or it might be the other way around. Even if you all agree on the level of parental involvement, getting this all out in the open can help prevent any resentment from building.