The First Thing You Should Do When Your Son Gets Engaged
You might want to shout it from the rooftops, but there's something else you should do first.
It's the phone call you've been waiting to receive for months. Or maybe it's a complete surprise. Through laughter and tears, you hear that your son or daughter is getting married. Joy, relief, wistfulness—any number of swirling emotions in any number of unexpected combinations fill you and your spouse. Your first instinct may be to pop a bottle of Champagne, and rightly so, but there's something else you should remember to do as well.
After you hang up with your son or daughter and their newly betrothed, the first call you make should be to your son or daughter's future in-laws. Thanks to the engagement, the parents—however many of you there are—will all be embarking on a journey together toward the wedding day, and you'll need to support each other along the way. Communication is essential throughout the planning process, and it's good to open those lines as soon as possible. So, as soon as you receive that joyous phone call announcing the engagement, ring up the bride or groom's parents, celebrate together, and start sharing contact info. One key step, though, and this is essential: Check with your child and their fiancé to ensure that they've already called the fiancé's parents. (Accidently surprising the in-laws with the news is not the best way to get this wedding journey started.)
On either side of the aisle, while planning responsibilities may differ, parents' jobs are much the same. Repeat after us: Support is the name of the game. Helping in whatever capacity the happy couple needs—and aiding in minimizing planning stress—should be the ultimate goal. Both sets of parents have the ability to make this process as smooth as possible, and they also have the potential to support each other and become friends en route to the wedding day.
Your across-the-aisle counterparts are, arguably, the only other people who can appreciate the entire experience, the highs and the lows, of making the wedding happen. They share your goal to ensure the wedding is just perfect for the fiancées, and they can be your allies in assisting the couple and making it all happen joyfully, smoothly, and successfully. So give them a ring, and celebrate together—you're embarking on an exciting journey together.
WATCH: The Origins Behind These Wedding Traditions Are Wacky
What are your memories of wedding planning with your kids? Was a call to the in-laws the first thing you did after the announcement? Or was it a glass of bubbly?