How to Deal With the Mother of the Groom

Your wedding dress is elegant, the ceremony flowers are brilliant and your groom-to-be is dashingly handsome. There's just one final issue facing you on your wedding day: your mother-in-law. Your relationship with your groom's mother may be strained, or perhaps she enjoys your company and the two of you have a special bond. Remember that regardless of your relationship, weddings are often stressful events and may bring out the worst in people. Be patient with your mother-in-law and help her enjoy your wedding day as much as you will.

Give your groom's mother something to do. Whether it's making sure the flower girl finds her basket, checking on the caterer or even greeting guests, give your mother-in-law a task to keep her busy and help her feel involved. If your mother-in-law becomes bored or feels unneeded, she may begin to try to help you in ways that actually bother you.

Let your mother-in-law participate in the wedding ceremony if she wants to. While it may be easy to focus entirely on your wishes for the wedding, remember to include your mother-in-law as much as possible. Some brides choose to allow their new in-laws the chance to light a unity or family candle during the ceremony, while others offer a special rose to the in-laws. Ask your mother-in-law what she would be comfortable with and do not force her to be a part of the ceremony if she doesn't want to.

Speak up if your mother-in-law behaves in a way that bothers you. Avoid ignoring inappropriate, rude or disrespectful behavior on the basis that things will get better. If your groom's mother talks down to you, insults your family or is mean, ask her kindly and gently to stop. Avoid raising your voice or being harsh to her, but let her know that inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated.

Spend time getting to know your groom's mother. Remember that she was the most important woman in his life for many years and it may be difficult for her to let you in to her son's life. Spend an afternoon going shopping or getting pedicures, visit a petting zoo, go miniature golfing, watch a movie or just look through old photo albums together.