You've undoubtedly heard it said that when you get married, you are not only marrying your husband, but his whole family. Like most brides-to-be, you're probably wondering how you will handle balancing the expectations of your family, your husband-to-be's family, and your own brand-new family as you enter your marriage. Sometimes, weddings themselves are fertile territory for fielding expectations, particularly when it comes to those of your own parents and your soon-to-be in-laws. Here are some tips on incorporating traditions from both sides of the family as you approach your special day.
Involve Both Mothers
If you are lucky enough to have a close relationship with your mom, it's only natural that you would approach her for suggestions on your wedding dress, the flowers, how your hair should be styled, and especially tips on having a happy marriage once the knot is tied. If your fiancé's mom wants to be involved in these decisions, too, try to let her in. Sure, she might have a different style than the one you're accustomed to, but keep in mind that she has influenced your fiancé over the years, and chances are good that you're marrying him because he's a great guy.
If you are inviting your mother to taste cake samples or to watch you try on wedding gowns at a shop like Bridal Elegance, ask your mom-in-law to do so, too. Even if your relationship has been strained in the past, this is a great way to turn over a new leaf when it comes to relating to your future husband's mother.
Eat What They Eat
Food is deeply personal and cultural, and it's a way that many families show their love for one another. Your family has its own comfort food dishes; these are the foods you turn to when you're sick or not feeling quite right. You also have special foods that you've been served at every holiday since you were a toddler. Well, your fiancé has these same categories in his family. It's very possible that the foods themselves are different, but your wedding is the perfect time to start melding these traditions together.
Talk to your future in-laws about the foods that are important to them, and see if you can incorporate some of them into your reception. You don't have to serve a meal centered around either side of the family's preferences, but it's nice to add in one or two special foods so everyone will feel at home.
Get Their Input on the Music
While you and your husband-to-be should choose your own wedding song, consider the suggestions of both sets of parents and siblings when it comes to music for the ceremony and the reception. Can you include your in-laws' wedding song so your mother- and father-in-law can reminisce about their wedding day? Maybe your sister-in-law would like to sing a song, or your dad would like to choose the song for your daddy-daughter dance. Consider songs that were played in your childhood home, and don't forget to ask your fiancé about the types of music that were special in his home, too.
Melding your families together takes a lifetime, but your wedding is the perfect place to plant the seeds of a growing relationship between your family and that of your fiancé. In some cases, this happens along the course of an engagement; if it hasn't in your case, don't be afraid to give the relationships a nudge while planning your wedding. This special day will be the start of what will hopefully be a lifelong marriage and love story, so it's the perfect time to begin incorporating the traditions of both families.