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My Mother-In-Law Is Too Involved!

Dear Olivia,

I’m feeling super frustrated. My future mother-in-law is really controlling! She wants to be involved in the planning process and has an opinion about everything – from the photographer to the color scheme, and now my dress! I told my fiancé how I feel and his response was pretty much, “she’s just so happy for us”. She has a daughter of her own and has already planned her wedding. I appreciate her help and insight, but it’s really starting to get on my nerves. Any words of advice? - Tammie


As if you’re not stressed out enough, with so many decisions to make and people to please. If your future mother-in-law has such strong opinions on your wedding, imagine how she will be when it comes to her grandchildren. Buckle up! 

Jokes aside, her heart is in the right place and your fiancé is right – she's coming from a place of love and excitement. Try to be gracious. Remember, this woman raised the love of your life. Keep your cool and a smile on your face… you can scream into a pillow later. 

But honey? Try not to complain too much to your fiancé – after all, she's the woman who kissed his boo-boos and saved him from the monsters under his bed.

Since your fiancé knows how you’re feeling, you need to work together to manage her expectations. Set boundaries early on. Be direct, polite and present a united front. Let her know that you value and appreciate her opinions but have a very specific vision for your wedding. Maybe you could give her a few things she can be responsible for - say, flowers and the rehearsal dinner.

If your fiancé’s family is helping out financially, it would be wise to hear them out. At the very least, involve them by bringing them to a meeting or two. Whether or not you choose to go their recommended route, at least they will feel they’re being included!

As far as your dress goes, you know what they say about too many chefs… Having too many opinions can really up your anxiety levels! This is a special moment and one you'll want to share with someone close to you. I recommend bringing your mother (this moment will mean so much to her) and your closest bridesmaid or maid of honor. After all, you'll need someone to bustle you up after your ceremony. Maybe send photos to your future mother-in-law so she feels included. 

The bottom line? This woman will be an important part of your life for (hopefully!) many years to come. Pick your battles.

Love, laughter and happiness,


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