Meeting the Future In-Laws
In the classic movie “Father of the Bride” with Spencer Tracy, when it came time to meet the parents of their future son-in-law, the logistics were simple… just drive across town. It’s not always that easy. Today’s society is much more mobile. People are moving for jobs, education, and many other reasons, so it’s not surprising that they often find the love of their life far from where they grew up, maybe even in another country.
Many times in such situations the two families don’t have an opportunity to meet until the wedding rehearsal, which can be a little uncomfortable for both families.
Bridging the Distance
There are ways to make that first meeting a pleasant experience for everyone. Here are a few suggestions. Check with the couple to make sure they think contact with the soon-to-be in-laws is appropriate.
When the couple announces their engagement, send a card to the daughter or son’s future in-laws, expressing joy and offering congratulations. Christmas is another natural opportunity to make contact, unless they don’t celebrate the holiday.
As wedding plans solidify, send pictures and material samples to help them feel like part of the planning process and to aid in the selection of their own attire for the wedding.
If both sets of parents are comfortable with social media, this can be a great tool to get to know each other.
Ask the distant family for pictures of their son or daughter at different ages to create a video for the bride and groom. Or ask for pictures of grandparents, aunts and uncles or other family members to create a family tree to present to the couple at the rehearsal dinner. A scrap book filled with pictures of the bride and groom with various family members, including written memories from each family member could be a nice gift, as well.
If travel schedules make it difficult to get together before the wedding, it might be a good idea to plan a breakfast or brunch for the day after the wedding, so that the two families can get to know each other in a relaxed environment without the stress of the upcoming wedding. The couple may have already left for their honeymoon. That’s even better, because it allows time to concentrate on getting to know the other family. The time spent with the new son or daughter-in-law’s family will benefit everyone, especially the bride and groom, who will know that their parents support them and want to help make the transition to married life a little easier.
Photo Credit: Image One Christopher Todd Photography
Photo Credit: Image Two Robert Evans Photography