Etiquette Questions, Answered: Weddings
How Can I Approach My In-Laws About Their Lack of Help During My Wedding?
Q. I recently got married. My mother and sisters threw my shower and helped with the DIY wedding. My mother- and father-in-law were in charge of the rehearsal dinner, but they did not lend a hand in any other way, including cleaning up after the wedding. My husband and I never even received a gift or a card for our big day. I am very disappointed with them as a result. How can I broach the subject?
Rochester, New York
A. Congratulations, and welcome to married life—complete with a new family that does things a bit differently from what you’re accustomed to. Your own kin sound delightfully helpful and hands-on, while your in-laws appear to be more traditional: They met their formal wedding obligation and pitched in no further.
But remember that the Y in DIY stands for yourself. You can’t expect everyone to take on the work of a homemade wedding, even if you wish they would. You might feel upset about that, and, yes, a present or a card would have been a thoughtful gesture, but remember: Their expectations and behaviors are not the same as your family’s, and it will be easiest for you (and them) if you get used to that idea.
So don’t broach the subject at all. Instead, move forward by focusing on the generosity they have shown and the fact that
they gave you the greatest gift of all: your husband.
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