Should Your and Your Spouse-to-Be's Parents Meet Before the Wedding?

According to experts, the answer is a resounding yes. Here's how to facilitate an introduction.

amelia justin wedding family portrait
Photo: Elizabeth Austin Photography

Although many couples introduce their respective sets of parents well before they become formally engaged, this official meeting happens on the wedding day more often than you would think. Since this typically leads to some awkwardness on all fronts, expert wedding planners suggest giving your matriarchs and patriarchs a chance to meet before your celebration arrives. To help you facilitate your own parents' introductions, we spoke to two expert planners. Below, learn more about the advantages of socializing your parents beforehand—and when you should actually arrange this meeting between both parties.

Your parents should develop a relationship.

According to Michelle Leo Cousins, the owner and lead designer of Michelle Leo Events, "it is extremely important for parents on both sides to meet one another prior to the wedding." The reason? It's beneficial to begin building relationships long before the celebration, she shares, since there will likely be involvement from both sides when it comes to planning the details.

Facilitating an introduction ahead of the wedding might make the big day less awkward.

"Having these relationships in place also means that the big day will be more comfortable for everyone," Leo Cousins continues. A previous introduction—which might lead to developed relationship—prevents the need for any big-day icebreakers, which is something the couple might feel the need to manage (when they should be focused on enjoying their celebration!). In that vein, a pre-wedding introduction allows both sides to settle in for a day of memory making, sans awkwardness.

Understand that, sometimes, introducing your parents before your celebration isn't possible.

"Depending on the timeline and the destination, it isn't always possible for all the family to meet prior to the wedding weekend," explains event planner Jesse Tombs. If that is the case, he advises hosting an intimate dinner on Thursday or Friday before the rehearsal actually occurs. That way, your parents will have a chance to connect—and have more than one opportunity to spend some quality time together, he adds.

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