Several years ago, my husband and I received the wonderful news that our oldest daughter had become engaged. The only catch was that the wedding would take place in Charleston, South Carolina, a beautiful historic city that’s become a very popular place for weddings. We traveled several times to Charleston and during these visits we got to know our daughter’s future mother-in-law, Kathy, and because she only has one child, I came to realize that this wedding would be a very important day for both of us.

In the meantime, I’d been hearing stories about brides so caught up in “all things wedding,” that they’d forgotten that their future mother-in-law might want to play a part in the important occasion as well.

For example, I heard a story about a mother of the groom who had taken great pains to acquire an English sixpence for the bride to put in her shoe — which was their family tradition. “Something borrowed, something blue and a sixpence in your shoe.” Unfortunately, the bride forgot all about the special English coin, and never even acknowledged the gift.

Another bride and her bridesmaids locked the church bridal room before the wedding and when the groom’s mother showed up to wish the bride well before the ceremony, they wouldn’t let her in! These two examples may seem minor, but brides never know when they might need to ask their mothers-in-law for help and friendship in the future.

My daughter’s mother-in law became a huge help in planning the wedding. In fact, she has amazing handwriting and volunteered to address all of the invitations. Since then, our families have become close and she even came to visit us in Yakima last summer when our shared grandson was baptized.

Now our younger daughter is getting married to a young man who is one of four brothers and it’s equally important that his mom, Debby, feels like she’s included in their big day. She already has plans to hold a bridal shower for our daughter.