When it comes to wedding planning, we know that choosing your macarons and wedding cake is just a tiny part of the whole process. After all, isn't the aim of this big party to celebrate your love and create a new family unit?
It's also about bringing two families together and hoping for the best! Weddings can be tricky situations as well as wonderful occasions to celebrate with your entire family.
Over the past few years we have heard some interesting tales regarding family diplomacy when wedding planning so we've come up with five top tips when dealing with the piece de resistance of the family: the Mother in Law.
1. Stand your ground if you hear, "That's not very traditional."
If I had a pound for every time a couple told me that their mother/parents didn't think macarons were a good idea for their wedding because they should have a 'proper' cake, then I'd be buying several rounds of swanky cocktails for the team.
We started to offer cake and macaron towers in Edinburgh because of this very reason as it offered the best of both worlds and delivered peace to all concerned.
You can sprinkle little bits of tradition throughout your wedding day, explain that not everything has to be by the book. Explain to your MIL that some things need to be different and unique just like her son. Or words to that effect... Flattery gets you everywhere!
2. Manage their expectations if they offer to pay right away
Another issue we have seen is when relatives offer to pay for a wedding macaron tower or the favours and they see it as their right to dictate what flavours and colours should be chosen.
If someone is lovely enough to make that offer, obviously say thank you and ask them if they would want to be involved or if they are giving their present voluntarily and without expectation. Just explain you are overwhelmed by the kindness but want to make sure you're not going to hurt them unintentionally in the long run if you go for something that they didn't have in mind.
3. Involve them in the little things
Ordering macarons and having them delivered to you for tasting is an exciting part of the wedding planning. It's lovely when couples invite the in-laws and family over for a cuppa on an afternoon and you can all get involved. It's the little things that count! A cup of tea and a macaron never hurt anyone (apart from anyone with a nut allergy).
4. Put yourself in their position / Think outside of yourself
An ex boyfriend I was supposed to marry had a horrific mother who I could not get along with apart from on a very surface level. It felt like I was at war with her constantly.
What helped then (apart from dumping him, of course), and what's helped with pretty much every other difficult conversation I've prepared for, is asking myself why they are behaving in such a way. If you are really coming up against a lot of resistance from your in laws, work out what's the root cause of it. Are they scared that once their child gets married, they will never see him/her again?
Are they an excellent baker and they are hurt that they aren't being asked to make the cake? People's responses say more about them than they do about you. So take a moment to reflect before reacting.
5. Get the Groom to stand up for you both
Ok, for some people this may be a lot to ask for but if you're the one taking the lead on the wedding cake and favours, if not everything else, then it might be time to call in for back up when it gets to the stage of dealing with MIL issues.
If you can't explain that you want things a certain way because it's special to you guys, then maybe her son can get her to listen. Maybe.
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