From APW's guest post on Mothers-in-Law on May 26.
"Here’s the thing. We have invested in our identities as good child rearers, and we’re proud of everything we accomplished. Our children represent us in one way or another. And you are about to make a public cultural and aesthetic statement which reflects on us, the families we came from, and the families we created. "
The list that follows is stuff that I eventually figured out on my own, but wish I had known sooner. It is everything you should know when you get engaged. But the most important thing to remember as you plan your wedding, in terms of how to deal with and include your parents, is that your wedding is a reflection of you, but it is also a reflection of them. It is a reflection of how you were raised by them. It is a reflection of your entire family's values. My family values family, food, sharing, good works, and charity. Our wedding reflects these values, from my choice to invite my entire, enormous, occasionally embarrassing family; to our delicious, varied dinner; to our non-profit venue; to the charitable donation we will make to celebrate our wedding. My family doesn't really value good taste or matching plates or decor. And if they do value those things, they also value common courtesy and would never say, "you know, the china you picked didn't match your table runners."
Mark's family has their own values, and we try to respect those as well. But it's hard. It's really really hard.
What have been your familial challenges?