Wedding Family Matters: How to Resolve Fight with Mother-in-law?

Q: My daughter has moved to a different city and will be married there. Since her bridesmaids (including her two sisters), matron of honor, and I are all coming in from out of town, a special lunch will be served while we are getting ready for the wedding. We are also having a makeup artist and a hair stylist come in. My daughter's future mother-in-law asked if she and her mother could use the makeup woman as well. My daughter tried diplomatically to tell her it was probably too many people for one woman to make up, and that she would like to spend this time alone with her mom, her sisters, and her best friends before the wedding. Now, her mother-in-law has threatened to cancel the rehearsal dinner. She had a good relationship with her mother-in-law until this happened. Her fiance is standing by her, but it is hard on him. What else can she do?

A: Sounds like not much -- she's apologized a few times, gone back on her own conviction to be with just you, her sisters, and her friends during that part of the day, and apologized again. Her MIL's outburst must be about something other than just the makeup artist -- because she's being far too unreasonable if that was all it was! Perhaps she is having some last-minute I'm-losing-my-son stress, so she's jumping on every little thing your daughter does to make herself feel better about not wanting to "give her son away." Perhaps her son can talk to her one more time about the rehearsal dinner -- it's hard to imagine she'd really cancel it over this, but if she does go that far, you'll want a backup plan (it can be as simple as a nice restaurant meal after the rehearsal). Otherwise, just wait her out. It's not the advice you might want to hear, but it sounds like your daughter has done everything she can. Hopefully, his mom will come around. In the meantime, you and your daughter should concentrate on the upcoming wedding.

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by The Knot