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10 tips to successful dining with in-laws

By Janet Adetu

Congratulation! You just got married and as a new bride, your pride and joy is to do everything good for the love of your life. Your dream is to settle down, start a family and happily ever after. The challenge you would agree is in this case, staying married and happy.

Remember, just as your own family is welcome in your home, your in laws should be too. When the in laws com visiting that is a crucial time when you can make or break your relationship with them. If you have taken the pleasure of inviting your mother and father-in-law over for dinner, this is the perfect time for you to put on your royal cap and impress them.

3-COURSE MEAL OR BUFFET

For a classy presentation, your meal should start with a light starter, possibly soup or a nice light salad. The main course can be presented on a plate or placed in separate serving dishes for your in-laws to choose what they prefer. Presentation of the food is key so try to add garnishes and serve in special guests. This will create a great impression. End your meal with a light desert of fruit salad, ice-cream or a simple cake.

food

HOME DÉCOR

Your home is where your class, image and style are determined. You can tell the personality of an individual from the décor of their house. Simple and elegant is the way to go, rather than cheap and cheerful. Make your home comfortable, you may start with classic wedding pictures on the wall. Since you are just starting, do not overdo it.

SETTING THE TABLE

If your dining table seats 4 – 8 people, ensure that cutlery, glassware and tableware are all uniform. Of course depending on what you intended to serve for lunch or dinner, set cutlery with knives on the right and forks on the left. Drinking glasses should always be to the right of the table setting. Provide for both water and wine\ juice. Every woman should invest in best china or decorative plates and cutlery.

Note: Be mindful of your parent’s in laws preferences and background. Some might prefer the old-fashioned way of serving dinner as opposed to the English style.

TABLE DÉCOR

Lightening the mood and creating a welcoming ambience beautifies your table. Simply add a nice floral arrangement as a center piece or just place a nice decorative flower. Your table décor is an appetizer to the good food coming.

GOOD MUSIC

To create that welcoming feel, have soft music of choice in the background. This breaks the ice of rigidity and formality. This shows that you have taken the time to care for their comfort.

LIKES AND DISLIKES (PROVIDE VARIETY)

In choosing the menu for the day, try to find out what your in-laws like and dislike. Provide food that is generally people’s favorite. In case fish is not preferred, ensure. Come up with a couple of fancy looking dishes that are unique to you.

 

DRESS TO IMPRESS

Even though you are in your own home, always look very presentable, acceptable and respectful. Choose clothes that fit the occasion and are comfortable. Your clothing should be impressive but not over the top. Engage in a full grooming make over with neat hair, moderate make up with nice classy shoes or slippers. In choosing the menu for the day, try to find out what your in-laws like and dislike, and provide food that is generally people favourite.

CONVERSATION SKILLS

The whole dining experience should be one of fun and excitement. Make sure you enjoy yourself too. Topics of discussion should be well thought out. Current topics in and around the world are good. Fun aspects of your wedding day, best hobbies, favourite things and things you like about your husband. Allow conversations to come from your in-laws too and do not be domineering or too quite either.

RESPECT AND POLITENESS

Remember that even though it is your home, the rule of the day is all about you as a person. Respect and politeness will win you over. Pleasantries, when welcoming them into your new home is essential. Offer them a drink to start off with. Do not be offended if it is only water they request for, it is natural. Have light snacks like crisps, nut or biscuits already set out in the sitting room for nibbles before the food. Remember that not everyone drinks alcohol; juice and non-alcoholic drinks should always ask if they are fine and what you can do for them. They must feel comfortable in your home.

GIFT GIVING

To end your day, it is a great idea to offer a little parting gift to your in-laws, especially mother-in-law. This does not need to be anything expensive. If you have taken the time to discover her likes, you many offer her something like a scarf, or a beautiful fabric or perfume or a bag. It should be something she would be proud to use. Fathers-in-law are less fussy or fancy. Finally have a great time and remember most of what I have mentioned above should also apply when hosting other guests too.

Allow people to feel welcome, loved and cared for when in your home. The experience should be one of socializing, learning new things and enjoying yourself too.

We would love to share your experiences when entertaining your in laws or guests. Send an email to: info@etiquetteconsortium.com. 

 


Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.