The rules of wedding etiquette are constantly changing, making it difficult for modern brides, grooms and guests to find up-to-date and correct information. That's why we launched #MannersMondays, a weekly series in which we ask our followers on Twitter and Facebook to submit their most burning etiquette-related questions. Then, with the help of our team of etiquette experts, we get you the right answers to your biggest Big Day dilemmas. Check out this week's question below!
"My fiancé and his mother aren't speaking at the moment. I am planning the wedding. Should I reach out to her and send her the wedding guest list so she can make changes to it? She isn't my biggest fan.” - Submitted by a reader via e-mail
Anna Post -- great-great-granddaughter of etiquette guru Emily Post and author of Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette -- is here to help us answer this week's question. Find out what she had to say below:
This is a tricky one. I think your instincts to include her and build bridges, even if she isn’t reciprocating, are good. That said, it’s also important for you and your fiancé to be a united front. The best-case scenario would be for him to support you in reaching out to her while he continues to navigate his path forward with her. Family rifts and initial dislikes can happen for a variety of reasons — some are passing, and some are much more serious. Talk with your fiancé about where you see the potential for her relationships with each of you to go, that should help you to know if involving her in guest list decisions is the right way to extend the olive branch.
Another consideration: Is she paying for the wedding, even in some small part? If so, then it becomes more important for you both to consult with her on the guest list, particularly in regard to her family and friends. This doesn’t mean she has say final across the board, but she does have some say (especially in regard to size, which directly effects cost).
If you do reach out to her, be aware of how you phrase your requests. It’s smart to be specific in what you want. “Feel free to make any changes!” is well meant but may be taken more seriously than intended. “Here’s our initial list—is there anyone we haven’t thought of that you feel we should consider inviting?” is respectful without over-committing to her wishes. She may not be your biggest fan now, but including her in the planning and reaching out to her with respectful messages, if you and you fiancé think this is appropriate, can be a good start toward easing tensions.
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