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Getting Along During Wedding Preparations

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  1. For everyone…

    • Try to have face-to-face meetings from the very start to allow both sets of parents to state their piece and make their demands.

    • Nip problems in the bud. Don't let differences become disagreements become cause for nuclear disarmament.

    • Try not to prejudge, even if you get stuck with some prospective in-laws who got into the gene pool while the lifeguard wasn't watching.

    • See your parents-in-law as people, individuals with their own tastes and back stories. Don't just view them as his parents or her folks.

    • Different is not necessarily bad, just different. (Unless it involves hard-boiled eggs, Cool Whip, and a hula hoop. Then it's very bad.) Try to make allowances for differences and to reach compromises.

    • Realize that everyone has an equal stake at making this marriage work. Even if you think that your son-in-law isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. Even if you think your daughter-in-law is so dense that light bends around her. You want the kids to be happy.

    • You can be brutally honest with yourself, but don't be so quick to spread that honesty around. Voice your concerns and then sit back. When in doubt, keep your mouth shut.

    • Be aware that something is going to go wrong. Uncle Fenster will dance with a lampshade on his head (even if he has to bring it with him). Aunt Daisy will get drunk and sing "Moonlight Bay" at the top of her lungs. There's no way around it.

    • Realize that you're tense, frustrated, nerves on edge. You're likely to overreact at least once during the planning or party.

    • Manners were invented to smooth the way over difficult social situations. If at all possible, follow the traditional wedding rules. These strict protocol edicts can help forestall explosions.

    • Keep your sense of humor. If you and your beloved can laugh at some of the absurdity, you'll be able to defuse some of the tension.

    • A little tolerance buys a lot of goodwill.

    • Use common sense.

    • Good luck.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Dealing with In-Laws © 1998 by Laurie E. Rozakis, Ph.D. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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