Our favourite Mother-in-law (I have to say that by law) is back on the podcast in this episode, Rich’s Mom Veronika, joins us to answer some of your wedding planning questions and talk bra sizes, the wives of King Henry the VIII and her new found love of The Bridechilla Community.
This episode was recorded on a train after a day at Hampton Court Palace, a very regal, stately home where King Henry hung out, married and murdered some of his six wives! (learn more about them here)
Listen to episode 279 of Bridechilla
Aleisha, V and Rich outside Hampton Court
Kicking it OG Style at Henry's Table
Getting Into Silly Arguments With Your Partner
Bridechilla Kathleen : I had a good brawl with my fiancé over some of the in law stuff last week; my hyper concern, and his lack of concern. No fists, of course, but it was pretty wretched. There are some complicated family dynamics and communication has been awkward. Of course we will do what we want to do, but I wish we had more input.
I don't think he prompted his mum, but she happened to call and we had a good conversation about some of the heavy family stuff that I think was on both of our minds. So, no questions for V, other than to comment how stressful family can be, even with lovely loved ones, and how a two-sided, honest conversation can go a long way. Love the Aleisha and V team!
Wedding planning can be a complete shitshow when it comes to stress and relationships. We've got so much to achieve, often planning an event when we don't have event planning experience and then adding money into the mix, it's a cocktail for annoying arguments and bickering.
I know Rich and I both became pretty snappy before our wedding, we're generally not arguers, we don't have rows or really fight that much but I do have strong memories of me especially be hypersensitive to things and taking it out on the person closest to me, which inevitably was Rich.
I love Kathleen's approach. We know it's a heightened time. Families are unpredictable- you can't control their behavior and nor should you... arguments happen, we all hopefully move on. Being aware that this can be a stressful time, even when you might not feel stressed is also important because stress sometimes has a funny way of presenting itself!
Bridechilla Laura Patricia: My MIL has two sons but no daughters and has said she's looking forward to doing all the girly things, incl dress shopping. How do I explain to her that I want that to just be me, my mum and my sister, without hurting her feelings?
Also, what "Mother of the Groom" tasks can we give her to compensate? We're trying to involve her as much as we can (as it's her son's wedding as much as mine, if that makes sense) but she lives two hours while my family live 30 minutes up the road. I ask my fiancé to email her links to venues and caterers etc cos I want to keep her in the loop but he forgets - should I just do it myself as future daughter in law or would that bypass some sort of mother-son arrangement?
We think it's great she's keen to take part in some wedding planning activities and also that she is seeing you as her daughter and wants to experience daughter like things. Saying that, you have to be comfortable including her in these moments and if just having your Mom and friends there is important to you then perhaps you could organise another fitting or dress outing and include your future MIL?
Little gestures can make a big impact with new families. You stepping in and emailing some links or phoning her with some updates would probably make her feel involved and welcome. I would even go as far as saying that you could organise for her to come and meet you on a saturday morning for a brunch and a dress shop or take her for a manicure (if she's that kind of lady) and let her feel that my daughter-in law is awesome buzz.
Either way, you are ahead in the awesome stakes!
Bridechilla Jane: My dad most likely won't be joining the ceremony but will join the reception (one or the other) and won't be making speeches due to his anxiety in social environments (and on top of that, he doesn't really like my finances parents either...).
I'm fine with it because I know he wishes us both the best and doesn't want to stress me and my mum out or ruin things with his nervous mood. Is there a way I can explain this to my in-laws/ new family without exposing too much? I don't really think it's my place/ appropriate to share my dad's insecurities.
There's always a balance in what you feel is appropriate to share and what people 'need to know'.
As you said, you understand your Dad's anxiety and it really doesn't have to go further than that. However, I also believe that sometimes we underestimate how much sharing our thoughts, feelings and details of our lives with 'new people' builds trust and understanding.
I'm not suggesting that you have to go in deep with your information about your Dad's condition and the ins and outs of his behavior/anxieties but it is also a nice to be somewhat open with them.
We should be normalizing this conversation. The fact that we go through these situations and that mental health issues, whether it be depression, anxiety or additional factors affects a great deal of our population is something I am hopeful that we can help older generations feel comfortable speaking about.
Whatever you decide to do, I am sure your Dad is grateful for your support and understanding!