If the prospect of meeting your daughter’s future in-laws puts butterflies in your stomach, Mother of the Bride, rest assured you’re not alone. After all, everyone involved wants this new relationship to start on a positive note so a few nerves are to be expected. The key is to diffuse them as much as possible as soon as possible.
Realizing that this particular social anxiety is completely normal is a good first step toward putting yourself, MOB—and others as well—at ease. Just think about it. The other relationships—the bride’s and groom’s, yours and your husband’s relationship with the groom, the groom’s family’s with your daughter—have all had time to grow and develop. But the in-laws’ relationships with one another? In many cases, the parents of the happy couple are meeting for the very first time.
If you fall into the category of in-laws-to-be who have never met before, here’s an idea that works especially well for your initial get-together. Meet for lunch or dinner—along with the bride and groom, of course—at a restaurant of the newly-engaged couple’s choosing and enjoy getting to know one another in a casual, neutral setting.
This works for several reasons:
1. No one has to stress over cooking or trying to guess food preferences.
2. No one has to worry about having a clean house.
3. It takes the pressure off of first impressions concerning where you live or how nice your home is.
4. It will limit you to an hour or two together – the perfect amount of time for a first meeting.
5. The setting itself offers conversation starters such as favorite menu items or favorite restaurants, which in turn can lead to chit chat about where you live or places you’ve visited, etc.
So, MOB, no need to fear—relax and go with the restaurant idea as you kick off your relationship with your daughter’s future in-laws. Have a few questions in mind to keep the conversation going and enjoy getting to know this new arm of your family. Maybe it will be the start of a beautiful friendship!
*You might also like to read Make the Mother of the Groom Part of the Team.
*Since the readership of the Mother of the Bride Blog is ever-changing, I hope this encore post will be helpful to those of you who weren’t MOBs when I originally posted it in July 2013.