Monday, February 02, 2009

Etiquette Q&A

Ok, here's a question sent in from a reader. I promise to try to answer everyone else's questions and have them up for you by tomorrow!

"...His parents have generously offered to pay for our wedding (though we were originally planning to pay ourselves). My parents are not contributing at all... I wanted to honor his parents for throwing the wedding, but I know that my parents would be deeply hurt and embarrassed to not be included in the host line. No matter what I do with the wording, I end up kind of snubbing someone."

First of all, welcome to the "parents vs. in-law vs. newly couple" issue. This is exactly why I tell all my customers to preview the invitation with both parents. It's amazing the range of emotions one piece of paper can bring out!

Here's my advice. You need to have a heart-to-heart with your in-laws first since they're paying. Find out how they feel about being the host- maybe they wouldn't mind it if your parents were included on the second host line (so switching the order in option two) or they might feel comfortable with an option three version which says "....together with their families." But remember that they're doing a lot of work for you and they may want to be the "officially recognized" hosts. Their feelings would be valid, but don't forget that even if they are paying for your wedding they still need to respect your decisions on how you handle your wedding planning, including the wording. But most importantly, talk with both sides and no surprises!

In the end, if you find a solution that isn't "etiquette perfect" but satisfies both parents and yourself then go with it! If you decide to go a direction that you feel right about but you know it might cause tension, remember that it may be uncomfortable but the "parents vs. in-law vs. new couple" is an issue that will resurface again and again during your marriage. If you handle this first go with grace, love, and good communication then you'll have set the stage for a beautifully functioning marriage.


zoliepup said...

Thanks for the advice. We'll let you know what we decide!

deva said...

I made the terrible mistake of adding my in-laws onto our wedding invitation. I did not have a good relationship with them, and I thought this would be a good way to become closer to them. They did not pay at all for the wedding. What I did instead, was hurt my parents feelings who paid for our wedding. I should have thought of another way to appease my in-laws.