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Respectfully Yours: Brides rule

Dear Jacquelyn,

I am getting married in two months and my future mother-in-law is not happy with our decision to not have “first-look photos” taken prior to the wedding service. She is interfering by forcing her own opinions on us and suggesting that our way is inconvenient for guests. In the wedding planning discussions between my future husband and myself, we both really want for the first time he sees me to be when I walk down the aisle. She doesn’t like the idea of the wedding party arriving an hour later than guests to the cocktail hour. How do I deal with a future mother-in-law who’s voicing a strong opposing opinion without ruining our relationship?

Dear Reader,

When it comes to wedding planning, it’s natural for mothers on both sides to want to be involved. Problems arise when one wants to be way more involved than you’re comfortable with.

First of all, discuss this issue with your future husband. You both need to be on the same page.

Then, together you can sit down and kindly inform your future mother-in-law that your plan to not do a first-look photo is a mutual decision.

Share with her the reasons why. Let her know that you want to share this sweet magical moment with guests, wedding party and family.

The new tradition of doing first-look photos isn’t for everyone. If you don’t do a first-look, chances are you’ll be taking most of your photos after the ceremony.

Your future mother-in-law is correct, however, about the wedding party’s arrival time. While your guests are enjoying cocktail hour, you’ll be posing for photos. On the plus side, you’ll actually be married for these portraits, which means you’ll both be wearing your rings.

It’s highly likely that your future mother-in-law does not mean to be dishing out unsolicited advice. Giving advice could be her way to feel needed and included.

Avoid screaming and yelling matches, and try a more honest and open approach instead. Keep the lines of communication open.

You can do this in a polite way that doesn’t damage your relationship. It’s possible to be polite while still doing things differently, and at the same time appreciate her advice. One way to push past this glitch is to include your future mother-in-law in other wedding planning tasks to show you really value her opinion.

Opinions are always nice but, when it comes to weddings, final decisions are ultimately the bride’s choice.

Respectfully Yours,


Have a question? Email: jacquelyn@ptd.net. Jacquelyn Youst is owner of the Pennsylvania Academy of Protocol. She is on the board of the National Civility Foundation.

All Rights Reserved &Copy; 2019 Jacquelyn Youst