Sensitive ways to deal with mother-of-the-bride and mother-in-law wedding issues

We've answered our real forum bride's most common wedding problems, from pushy mother-in-laws to mother-of-the-brides adding uninvited guests to your list.


My friend is getting married this year and she is having a few issues with her parents. They want the wedding invitations to come from them, and want them to spend more on the big day, yet have offered no financial contribution, what should she do?


Dealing with pushy parents is always a tricky one, but the general rule is, whoever is paying gets the final say. However, we appreciate it’s a blunt way to put things, so we recommend being more subtle when you tell them. Explain that while you’re happy to accommodate some things, it’s your day and your money, so you’d appreciate it if they were a bit more flexible on their demands.

We are getting married this summer and for the past two years I was always set on having one bridesmaid – a good friend of both me and my fiancé. However, I have now been told by my future mother-in-law that the groom’s sister is feeling left out and thinks she should be a bridesmaid. I’m not close to her in the slightest nor is the groom, and she hasn’t shown an interest in the wedding at all. What should I do?

Although it’s quite common to have family as bridesmaids, it’s certainly not an obligation. If she was very keen on the wedding then it might be a different matter, but in this case she doesn’t seem too bothered. Why not ask her to do a reading instead as a compromise? That way she can still be involved without being part of the close wedding party.

My mother has got so excited about my wedding she’s invited some friends without my permission, help!

Although she has done this without your permission, remember she’s done it because she’s so happy and excited, and also, back when she got married, things wouldn’t have cost quite as much so she might not have thought about the cost. Gently tell her that though you’re thrilled she’s excited, you can’t accommodate new guests because of the cost. Or, if you want to compromise, tell her you’ll invite them to the evening do, as you’d like your ceremony to be more personal.

My mum has been very unsupportive and negative with every idea we have had since we got engaged. She is beyond rude and negative. We have tried to tell her how we feel many times & all she does is get upset and then not speak to us for a week. After a week or so she will come back and try to be all friendly with us until the next wedding plan comes up.

It sounds like she might have an issue that goes a bit deeper than this. Perhaps she feels like she’s ‘losing’ her daughter? In any case, sit her down for a chat just the two of you (she might feel like you’re ganging up on her if your fiancé comes) and tell her how you feel and that you’d love nothing more than for her to be more involved. If she doesn’t come round, as hard as it sounds, take a step back and let her come to you – you want to focus on the positive after all.

We’ve decided to get married abroad (a destination wedding has always been our dream), but we are getting very mixed reactions from our families. My parents have said they will support me, but of course wouldn’t mind if it was in the UK… Am I being unreasonable to expect them to be ok with it?

Have you tried telling your parents that this is your dream and you can’t imagine getting married any other way? This might help them to see your side of things. Unfortunately, there may also be another thing at stake here: money. They might just be worried they can’t afford it, so see if there’s anything you can do to help. Alternatively, why not suggest a big party when you get home?

When we first became engaged early 2015, the mother-of-the-groom asked us if there was any specific colour she had to wear. We said colours – no white, Ivory or cream, and she accepted that (or so we thought). Fast forward and she has now bought a dress without consulting us, a cream lace dress with blue detailing at the top. I’m upset she is being difficult and ignoring our request. Am I overreacting?

It’s upsetting she didn’t listen to you, but try and take a moment to calm down before you get into an argument. Do you think she did it on purpose, or was it an honest mistake? We would advise to ask her if she would mind changing, or maybe even treat her to a a new outfit as part of a bonding day out. But at the end of the day, you also need to pick your battles, and ask yourself if it bothers you enough for you to mention it in the first place and potentially cause upset.

I was wondering whether you invited your MIL’s to your dress shopping appointment? We’ve had a few ups and downs but face to face the relationship is ok but not sure how my Mum will feel about it. Should I just stick with my mum and MOH and invite the MIL to perhaps the venue when they have a open day/wedding fayre on to include her ‘slightly’?


Do you think your mother-in-law will be upset she wasn’t included? If so, then tell your mum it would be important to you if they were both there. On the other hand, if your mum is upset, why not avoid further issues by doing the dress shopping with your mum, and then asking your MIL to come when you have it fitted?