Pre Wedding Journals | Dealing with difficult In-Laws

Captured by Johanna Macdonald Photography

Captured by Johanna Macdonald Photography

Hey Bride Babe,

I hear you’re having in-law wows in the lead up to your wedding. If it makes you feel better, you’re not alone! I have good news for you. With my helping hand, you can navigate your way through this rocky path and come out the other side a new woman!

When couples come to me and start to vent about their in-law and parent problems I really do my best to see things from both sides of the equation.

The single most common issue I’m privy to, and probably most easy to tackle is when the old’s start wanting to invite people you don’t even know to your wedding. While it can be very difficult to come to a conclusion on this one, I think firstly you need to keep in mind how much your in laws or parents are contributing to the wedding day. If it’s a significant amount, there may be an expectation on their side as to who and how many they can invite.

As for the who and how many, you need to suck it up and have an open yet honest conversation about these things. Communication is literally everything. 

I’m personally a firm believer in these two things: That you should not be meeting anyone you don’t know on your wedding day,


That the people involved in your wedding should have regular contact with you and your partner.

If these things don’t bother you that’s totally ok too! Just have the conversation up front and well before the invites start to be handed around. It’s important to remember also that your choice of venue may determine exactly how many people you can invite, so again, talk, and determine who gets handed those special invites together.

The other scenarios I tend to come across is when parents or in-laws just get too pushy. Some will organize completely unwarranted things to do with your wedding and without discussing with you. Some may have a sense of style that doesn’t align with yours and direct unnecessary comments your way. The woes could take any form, but it’s important to talk. Open, honest conversations don’t have to be hurtful - but do think of the outcomes that could be achieved following the talk. 

Keep in mind that these people do love you and in 99% of cases there is no malicious nature involved. Sometimes, they just simply don’t know where to draw the line and often that line hasn’t actually been drawn or discussed. 

As an outcome for in-laws that come across as controlling, pushy, or even the total polar opposite where they’re so uninvolved you’re tearing your hair out, give the olds jobs related to the wedding, the lead up to or the after function. You can still be very specific as to your wants and needs, but if they have certain roles to play that you have dictated everyone will stay happy. Maybe you need quotes from a certain vendor, or a reading chosen for the ceremony. Maybe you want them to organize people to bake sweets for a dessert station, organize the food for the after function, buy your drinks. I could literally be anything, just find something you are comfortable handing off. 

Failing that, if it’s really turning into a disaster and discussions are going nowhere, just send them on a wild goose chase of an investigation to find something that doesn’t exist. Sometimes it’s just got to be done.

I really hope that this helps you navigate what can be turbulent territory. Just remember to breathe and communicate and I truly believe you’ll be set for smooth sailing.

Until next,

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Lucy MagillComment