Wedding Family Matters: What to Call In-Laws?
Q: My fiance's family is very close-knit, and even though all the children are now adults, they still call their parents by their childhood pet names (Pop-pop and Mumsy!). I've always kind of avoided calling them anything, but now that we're getting married I know this is my last chance for it to be better late than never. How should I handle it?
A: Decide what you feel most comfortable with first. You obviously aren't wild about calling them by their affectionate nicknames, but do you want to call them Mom and Dad? While some people like the idea of embracing their second families in this way, for others it feels downright traitorous. If you'd rather call them by their first names, that can work too -- the main thing is to decide what you'd prefer in advance so that you will be comfortable with the outcome. Next comes the hard part. Yep, you are going to need to simply come right out and ask them. Though it will take some serious guts, it will clear the air immediately and you won't be left wondering. The next time you are alone with them, simply say something like, "Now that Blank and I are getting married, I wanted to know if it'd be okay if I called you X and Y." Chances are they've noticed your reticence, and they should hopefully appreciate your diplomacy.