How do I prevent my mother-in-law from planning my entire wedding?

QuestionI adore my future mother-in-law but she is trying to control every aspect of my wedding. How do I prevent her from controlling my entire wedding?

AnswerLet’s face it: weddings are full of joy but also full of stress. Stress can make the most compatible personalities clash like oil and water. Rather than preventing her from ‘meddling’, I’d prefer to think of it as, finding ways to guide her help more productively. Engage your mother-in-law’s help. Give her important tasks to do that are not a priority for you (e.g. arranging the seating on the groom’s side of the family).

It is your wedding and you should have the final say. A clear and level head will allow you to make the best decisions under times of stress. To facilitate the wedding planning process, come up with some positive responses to ‘suggestions’ from your mother-in-law without agreeing to anything. That will give you the space to have the final word on crucial wedding decisions. Have a script ready and use it sincerely.


“Oh Barbara, you are always so thoughtful! How are you able to come up with so many ideas when you are so busy already?” “Oh Barbara, I really have to thank you for all that you’ve done already! By the way, how is your _____ coming along?” “Barbara, you know so much about ____, I’m thinking of ____. Do you think that’s a good idea?” “Barbara, you’ve given me so many ideas to think about. I’m really going to have to sleep on them. After all, the bride needs a good night sleep!”

These scripts may sound incredibly contrived and they will unless you are sincere. Modify them to suit your purpose. The point of a script is to allow you to think clearly so that you can make those big wedding decisions without feeling pressure from external forces. Rather than say “NO” flat out, which tends to put others on the defensive, opt for a big ‘thank you’ without saying ‘yes’.