23 Real Brides Reveal What They Call Their Mother-in-Law

It's not always "mom."
Bride and mother-in-law on wedding day
ivy jacobson the knot wedding planning and bridal fashion expert
Ivy Jacobson
ivy jacobson the knot wedding planning and bridal fashion expert
Ivy Jacobson
Wedding Planning and Bridal Fashion Expert
  • Ivy Jacobson Ford is an Executive Editor for ThePioneerWoman.com.
  • Ivy is an editorial strategist with over 10 years of experience creating lifestyle and commerce content.
  • Ivy worked for The Knot from 2014 to 2019.

When you get married, you may gain a mother-in-law—but do you have to call her mom? Should you? We asked real brides in our community Facebook group, The Wed Thread, what name they call their mother-in-law now or plan to call their future mother-in-law after the wedding, and why. While some call her "mom," others call her by her first name or something else entirely. Some approached the topic with a discussion, some started saying the name naturally and some still aren't comfortable with the idea yet—there are no right or wrong answers. Just know that whatever you call your mother-in-law is your choice—and there are plenty of great options out there.

1. "I call my future mother-in-law by her first name. It was never really a discussion for us, it just happened naturally. It was more of an understanding between my fiancé and I. We both call our parents by their first names." —Nichole

2. "She has insisted that I call her 'mom' since the day my fiancé and I got engaged! It was awkward at first, but it's becoming more natural for me." —Alexandra

3. "My future mother-in-law is Danish, and their word for mother is 'mor,' so that's what I've been calling her for over a year." —Stacey

4. "I will continue to call her by her first name. She's a pleasure to be around, but there's no one else I would call mom other than my own." —Marie

5. "I will call my mother-in-law by her first name. It's not a subject we've talked about, or that I think we will talk about—just sort of understood that my mom is my mom and she will be my mother-in-law!" —Vanessa

6. "Most of the time I don't call her anything. I just say, 'Hey, what's the plan for tonight?' But if we're at home, I'll just call her mom. She loves it and I know she feels awkward being called by her first name. It happened naturally—she's an amazing mother and she really makes me feel like her own daughter." —Stephanie

7. "I've always called her by her first name, and I don't see that changing. Our relationship is more like friends than mother and daughter, so it would feel weird to call her mom." —Jessica

8. "I call my fiancé's mom by her first name and his stepmom either by her first name or 'OM'—other mom—which is how she signs emails and texts. My mom is my best friend and I don't think anyone else should get to take that title from her!" —Colyn

9. "She asked me to call her by her first name the first time we met. It goes against everything my parents taught me, but now that we're engaged, it seems more normal to call her Sarah." —Michelle

10. "I call her mom. She's like a mother to me, since the moment we met we hit it off, and because my fiancé and I are huge family people it was only natural. We talk on a daily basis like my mother and I do and I'm so blessed to have her as my other mom." —Caitlyn

11. "My fiancé was raised by his aunt, so she's his motherly figure. He doesn't call her mom, but acknowledges that that's the role she has in his life and celebrates her on Mother's Day and such. But we both call her Auntie." —Brittani

12. "I call mine Mama Strickland or Mama Sharon. It would be weird to call her 'mom,' but my names for her still sound very endearing." —Abbey

13. "First name—it's just naturally always been what I've called her. I do call his grandma 'grandma,' though!" —Emily

14."She's never told me I can call her by her first name and we aren't close, so I call her Mrs. 'last name.' " —Kaylee

15. "I call my future mother-in-law by her name. Sometimes I'll call her mom, sometimes grandma (that's what she is to our son). It really depends on the situation." —Jayme

16. "I call her Miss Carla because that's what's comfortable for me, but after only six months of dating she said I can call her mom. Then when we got engaged, she brought it up again to call her mom, but it doesn't seem natural to me—so when it does, I will." —Sara

17. "I call my future mother-in-law by her first name. Although I do think of her as another mom in my life because she is so loving and nurturing." —Taylor

18. "It's actually super uncomfortable. I don't call them anything. We started dating in high school and it was Mr. and Mrs. at the time because I was 14, but a decade later, we're getting married and we've never had the conversation. I just avoid it at all costs!" —Marissa

19. "Ma (it's a Chicago thing). I'm from Chicago and he's from Michigan but I'll for sure call her Ma. I call my future stepmother-in-law by her first name." —Jessica

20. "My parents taught me to always address adults as Mr. and Mrs. I thought that would be weird with my boyfriend's parents, so I avoided calling them anything for a long time. After about a year of dating, I started calling them by their first names. That's how I still address them now that we're engaged. I think that might change once we have our own kids. We'll have some form of 'grandma and grandpa' that the kids will call them, so I think that'll make me more comfortable using 'mom and dad.' We'll see!" —Miriam

21. "My future mother-in-law wants me to either call her mom or by her first name. She doesn't like the in-law part. She always introduces me as her future daughter, so I usually say my future mom if I'm talking to other people, but I feel more comfortable calling her by her first name right now." —Charli

22. "I get two future mother-in-laws and I call them both mom. They wanted me to call them that the day I met them." —Emily

23. "I call her by her name, but it seriously took me such a long time to call her anything! Saying her last name felt so formal and her first name felt weird. It really took over a year before I called her anything." —Jessica

What about you? Take our poll below.

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