Friday, 1 March 2013

Mother-In-Law Wedding Drama

I walked into my office and saw my friend sitting at my desk waiting for me, her face screwed over.

"Kemi! this one you came to see me this early morning wetin happen?" I asked dropping my bag on the table.

She sighed heavily then said "Imagine my wedding colours are now carton brown and leaf green".


Kemi and I had gone shopping for asoebi at Balogun market last weekend and she had already made a deposit of N150,000 for a peach and gold damask fabric that was to be her official wedding asoebi. It had taken us hours to finally settle for this fabric. I just couldn't believe my ears.

"But we've already paid a deposit for the peach and gold na" I asked quizzically, obvious shock on my face.

"It's Abdul's mum o! she said she can't wear peach and gold that it is not strong enough and would look dull in the wedding pictures".

By this time I could see tears forming in her eyes. she cut a sorry picture with the back of her hand supporting her chin. Her wedding was in 5 weeks and she had stress creases around her eyes.

"Kemi, calm down. Just tell her that you have deposited for the peach and gold fabric".

"I did, I already told her that but she insisted that her side of the family plus her visitors and friends will be decked in leaf green and carton brown".

It was too much to take in

I thought about the long hours Kemi and I had spent poring through bridal magazines, all the inspiration boards we had created on pinterest. The many visits to different wedding sites. The unending questions on wedding bee discussion boards. The calls I had to make when I saw an idea I thought she would like. I mean, she had already picked out the gold chandeliers that would hang from the ceiling, she had ordered  her peach infused bouquet, drapes and center pieces. She had picked out her golden cutlery, stationery and glassware. I wanted to cry with her.

Kemi had always wanted a peach and gold wedding from the get-go.

As if reading my mind she said "but you know how I've planned a peach and gold wedding for years. I even just paid the lighting guy yesterday".

This brings me to the crux of this post.

About 45% of the brides I've asked admitted that they had to deal with MIL drama when planning for their wedding. The stories range from the MIL who thinks she is the bride thus she wants to get the utmost shine at the wedding to the MIL that wants to make a decision on what dress you will wear, the MIL that makes the wedding all about her- that won't  let you get your first dance with your husband but would rather her son danced with her. I've heard about the MIL that will not allow your side of the family have their own shine at the wedding, that will control the caterers so that your side of the family and your guests will not have food to eat. The ones that will tell the photographers to concentrate on her and her guests. The stories are numerous.

What are the limits which a MIL should get involved in wedding planning? How can you prevent the drama that may occur while planning your wedding without causing any problems? How do you let her know that as much as you really love her and know she is a big part of her son's life, you still are the bride and it is your OWN wedding. What are the duties of a mother-in-law during the wedding planning? how much of a bride's plans is she obligated to share with her mother-in-law. Does the bride always need her approval for every step?

Let's talk. Let's help Kemi. Looking forward to your opinions.

Photo Credit: Real Simple you can click on their link to learn some valuable tips on dealing with in-laws.

FYI- For my non Nigerian readers, asoebi literally means "Family Cloth". It is usually worn by wedding guests to add colour and uniformity at weddings. 

There is a slight inclusion of the Nigerian pidgin in this post.


  1. you brought out some important points in the post. For me a bride should carry everyone along during the wedding planning. Yes it is her wedding because she is the bride but she cannot attempt to go it alone because there are various interests involved. Remember for the mother-in-law, it's her son that is getting married so she is also excited and wants the day to be beautiful. The leaf green and carton brown thing is extreme though but i think most brides need to stop being self centered

    1. Hian! are you funny or what? I'm sure you are a guy still tied to his mum's apron strings. It's clear that it is the bride's day. Let us not get too sentimental about stuff like this. how can the MIL be making decisions and why should it count?

  2. just wanna say... I love your blog. The MIL is actually raz. What is leaf green and carton brown. such an ugly combo lol

  3. Waiting for iphie's comment lol. she always has something to say

  4. TO me all her MIL doing is rubbish why should my MIL choose d color of the MIL wanted to do same thing i had to tell her my husby to caution her cause she was ready to go as far as buying my gown for me though i realise she was trying to help but she need to advice to her is hat she should talk to her husby to be to make her mum realise that the plan can never be change common is he day!!!

  5. This is when the groom comes in. I believe so many issues that brides encounter with MiLs can be avoided if the groom/husband cooperate with his bride/wife and then does his job.

    That been said, we can't always have our way and sometimes it is picking your battle and knowing what is important to you. And that been said :)... Havin an extra tray of jollof rice versus fried rice is not a battle worth picking, but the colors of a wedding are a battle to pick. Pick it tactfully and strategically. Where is the Groom in all of this?

  6. The real "Kemi"

    I'll kill u nkiru. Na my matter u come table like this ehn! Anyway thanks y'all for the comments. Groom as usual thinks its really not his place to meddle into girl stuff cos I planned d whole thing even down to what he will wear. He's just really carefree and doesn't get all the fuss about wedding colors and all that. His take is that everyone can wear wat they want so he is really not being helpful. Now I gotta tread carefully cos its his mum. This is my predicament.

    Meanwhile nkiru u shuda included (Kemi, not real name) to the post *wink

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  8. These MIL issues are very sensitive and one has to thread softly and with wisdom else the issues extend into the marriage. Before the wedding the relationship you have with your mother in law really comes into play. If you have a very good relationship with her, it could really help, as most decisions would be made in unison. But whether we like it or not some mother in laws are just mean and there is nothing you can do about it. Most guys would even wonder what the fuss is all about and even think you are over reacting. If leaf green and carton brown would ensure peace, please by all means wear it lols except a last minute miracle occurs, aint nothing prayers wont accomplish.

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