Now that you’ve said yes to Mister or Miss Soulmate, it’s time for your families to mix and blend: Yes, for better or worse, it’s time to introduce the parents to each other. Now, conventionally, the groom’s parents call the bride’s parents first to introduce themselves and to make plans to meet. (It’s also completely acceptable, and advised for you two, to make the first move with the opposite parents.)
Make a mental note to acknowledge the fact that you can’t control what happens post the introductions. Instead, use back-up plans and precautionary conversations now to brief the primary players, make a good impression, and defuse any landmines that may lie ahead.
Precaution is always better than what follows after: All of us have issues or experiences that you know to steer clear of. From small provocations (for example; one parent hates cigarette smoke) to major matters, now is the time to share do-not-go-there subjects with your parents.
Sharpen those etiquette that you have been bought up with; the time is now. Bring in the courtesy mandates, especially now, when you’re invited you over for a meal, loosen your wallet strings and bring a gift or contribute to the menu. When parents are meeting parents, drizzle on the graciousness. Bring a gift, wine bottle, or a special sweet treat. Offer your help to finish off those last-minute preps and to help to clear the dishes. Tip: Eat light so you can go for second helpings and compliment or ask for the recipe of something they served (even if you never plan on making it).
It could get awkward – be prepared! Unless you have parents that are massive socializers, there could be some awkward silences up your sleeves; prepare a list of commonly grounded conversation starters for emergency saves.
Know where they come from: If your partner is someone from another culture, religion, or race, ask them if there are any beliefs or protocol you should know about and/or heed before this pivotal first meeting of the minds.
…And now, our lovely readers, you’re ready to go in and merge the two families together.
With our warmest,