Wedding Advice: How to stop your future in-laws from taking over your wedding day

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Question: What do you do if you and your in-laws disagree on wedding planning details?


Unfortunately, I can speak on this due to personal experience. You and your fiancé have a vision of your wedding, but what if someone else in the family does not support that vision? Everyone has a different idea of what a wedding should be like, but it is not always possible to appease everyone. Now hopefully your fiancé’s family (or yours if this situation is reversed) can support the two of you first and foremost, but complications may arise if your fiancé’s family is not willing to compromise.  If it is causing problems, the most important factor here is that you and your fiancé are on the same team. Don’t let this divide you. Communication is key (and this also applies to marriage so this is your time to practice).

Sit down with your fiancé and discuss what is most important to you with regards to your wedding day and what you can compromise on.  You may want to come up with one or two key items that the family can manage i.e. the wedding cake and rehearsal dinner.  This allows them to play an important role in the wedding, satisfying their need to be involved without a complete take over.

Once you’ve come up with a plan, I advise that your fiancé speak with his/her family.  At least let him or her take the lead if you are present.  Thank them for their help and show appreciation, while being honest about the vision the two of you have.  Hopefully they will be thrilled you have asked them to manage a couple key items and will be busy focused on making those elements perfect, letting the other things go.  Sadly, there may be cases where family is not as understanding as we hope. In this case it is very, very important you and your fiancé stand together. This is the beginning of your lives together and as much as the goal is to bring your families together, if someone cannot support you, they may be going through something that is out of your control and need time to process it.  You may have to let it go and move on with your wedding planning without them. Of course, the main hope would be that they come around.


Your wedding is the beginning of your life together and while I don’t believe that a wedding represents your marriage, I do believe that it’s an opportunity for you and your fiance to define your new family and set the tone for how you will interact with your communities going forward. So talk to your fiance and figure out the best way to proceed! This is an opportunity to learn more about your fiance’s relationship with his or her family and to establish what your boundaries are as a couple. The most important thing is to always be on the same team, so you and your fiance should have your conversations (or debates!) behind closed doors before talking to your families about any decisions you’ve made. Don’t undermine each other by changing your mind about decisions when talking to your folks alone or talking trash about your fiance’s needs to your own families. Always present a united front. And pick your battles! My fiance and I each declared a couple non-negotiables early on so that we don’t lose our minds and fight anyone to the death over the details once planning gets stressful.


About our Kaella & Rachel:

Kaella Wilson is the founder of Kaella Lynn Events, a wedding planning and design boutique based in San Francisco. She believes the difference is in the details. Whether you’re planning a grand event or an intimate celebration, Kaella combines artistic design with meticulous planning and management to produce a memorable event that represents your style. Follow her on twitter @Kaellalynn

Rachel Wilkerson is a writer and community manager living in sin in Houston, TX. She also happens to be planning her wedding! You can see more of her writing on her brand-new blog The House Always WinsFollow her on twitter @RachelGettingIt

Need more wedding advice? Read Kaella and Rachel’s previous posts:

[Image Source: Jasmine Star]