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. But here at HuffPost Weddings, we're all about making your life easier. That's why we've 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. You can send yours via Facebook or tweet it to us @HuffPostWedding with the hashtag #MannersMondays. Check out this week's question below!
— Margie Thomas-Boyd (@indyjoneswbewbs) August 6, 2013
This is a tough one! Disinviting anyone is inherently an impolite thing to do, so the question is, in and of itself, an impossibility. That said, PEOPLE aren't always tactful or kind and sometimes even parents can create situations that make it unbearable to have them involved in your wedding. So rather than tactful, let's just say that there are "better" ways to do this than others.
Before I share my "best practices" for disinviting your future MIL, please know that issuing a "dis-invitation" is tantamount to saying that you don't want a relationship with this woman at this point or anytime in the near future. This is a highly dramatic move that will create highly dramatic and long-reaching consequences. Should your spouse and his mother reconcile, you will always be part of the plot that excluded her from your wedding. I just want to put that out there.
That said, not all mothers deserve to be part of milestones for their children, and it's possible that your future spouse has decided that she falls in this category. I am not privy to the details. First, you shouldn't be involved with relaying this message. If you have both arrived at the conclusion that your MIL shouldn't be there, your future spouse should relay that message to his/her own mother. Next, I strongly feel that rather than saying, "You are no longer welcome at our wedding," he should position it as a "We've discussed it and we think it would be best that you not attend BECAUSE of __________________." There isn't a standard form note to send or email you can write. This kind of thing requires a conversation. It also keeps the dialogue open to that person coming around. For instance, let's say your mother wasn't accepting of your spouse, but was coming anyway, and being difficult about it. Then you'd say, "We think it's best that you not attend the wedding because you are consistently rude to my future spouse and we want to be surrounded by love that day." Put the ball in her court as to how she wants to respond to that. Most likely, though, you have to be prepared for the fact that she will fly into a tailspin and call every one of her relatives to say, "Will you believe what my ungrateful child said to me?!"…or at least that's what would most likely happen in my family.
You can also entertain simply not acknowledging her in any "role of honor" at the wedding, which is a more passive, less dramatic route than the disinvitation. She can be a guest just like everyone else and not be included in processions, dances and family photos. Some might find that more passive aggressive than peace-seeking, but only your husband knows his mama's specific brand of crazy…which I assume must be at play here for this to be an issue in the first place.
Below, Peggy Post -- great-granddaughter-in-law of Emily Post -- and other wedding-etiquette gurus share 10 guidelines that couples and their guests don't necessarily have to follow anymore.