What to Discuss with Your Future In-Laws Before the Wedding

Soon they will be your family too!

conversations to have with your future in-laws, conversations for your future mother-in-law
Photo by Justin DeMutiis Photography; Planning & Design by Très Chic Southern Weddings & Events

When you marry your spouse, you are marrying into their family as well, just as they are joining yours. Perhaps you and your beloved are from the same small town and everyone is well acquainted with each other. Or maybe you live across the country from your future in-laws and have only interacted a couple of times – if at all. Whether you’re close, practically strangers, or something in between, it’s a good idea to have some conversations with the people who raised the person you’re going to marry. Getting to know them on a personal level will make the rest of your life more comfortable, but there are also specific issues regarding your wedding and impending marriage that you should address. 

While you and your beloved should ultimately have the day that the two of you want, try to find out the expectations of both sets of parents. That way no one will be blindsided if your vision doesn’t match theirs, and you’ll have more time for everyone to come to terms with a compromise, if necessary. 

Particularly if you and your sweetheart come from different cultures, you should find out if there are any traditions that your future in-laws would like included in the wedding. Even if you do share a background, there may be some family-specific customs they would like included. As long as there isn’t anything that makes you uncomfortable, you should embrace these ideas. 

Not only do you need to know what your partner’s parents expect from the big day, but it’s also important to learn how they imagine your lives beyond the wedding. Do they assume you’ll have dinner with them every week, or see them on Thanksgiving every year? It’s better to be straight forward regarding how things may or may not change after the wedding, in order to soften potential resentment down the line. 

Keep in mind that your future in-laws have known your significant other longer than you have. If you ever need advice, they can be a great resource. It will also help send the message that you appreciate the connection between your love and their parents. Just be sure to never complain to a parent about their child!

Find out how to be the best mother of the bride ever and what to do if there's disagreement on ceremony traditions

Authored by: Emily Lasnier