Parenting Life For Couples

What Do You Call the Parents of A Married Couple? – Unveiling the Appropriate Terms

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When two people come together in matrimony, it’s not just the union of two hearts but also the merging of two families. Along with this beautiful journey of love, a question often arises: “What do you call the parents of a married couple?” The answer to this seemingly simple question can vary based on cultural traditions and personal preferences. In this post, we’ll explore the different terms used to address the parents of a married couple and delve into the fascinating world of family dynamics.

What Do You Call the Parents of A Married Couple?

What Do You Call the Parents of A Married Couple?

Addressing the parents of a married couple can be a delicate matter, as it involves showing respect and acknowledging their role in the new family equation. Generally, there isn’t a universally accepted term, but rather a range of options that reflect cultural norms and individual choices.

The Parents of the Bride

1. Mother-in-Law: The term “mother-in-law” is commonly used to refer to the mother of the bride in many cultures. It signifies the new familial relationship between the groom’s and bride’s families.

2. Father-in-Law: Similarly, the bride’s father is often called the “father-in-law.” This term reflects the recognition of his role in the newly married couple’s lives.

3. Second Mother/Father: Some families adopt more affectionate terms like “second mother” or “second father” to emphasize the close bond formed between the bride’s parents and the groom.

The Parents of the Groom

1. Mother-in-Law: Just as with the bride’s parents, the groom’s mother is often addressed as the “mother-in-law.” This acknowledges her place in the extended family.

2. Father-in-Law: Similarly, the groom’s father is called the “father-in-law.” This title emphasizes his significance in the couple’s lives.

3. Second Mother/Father: The groom’s parents may also choose to be addressed as the “second mother” or “second father,” showcasing their important role in the marriage.

Cultural Variations

Different cultures have distinct terms for addressing the parents of a married couple:

  • In Chinese culture, the groom’s parents are sometimes referred to as “Lao jia ren” and “Zhang fu,” meaning “elder family” and “husband’s parents” respectively.
  • In Indian culture, the groom’s parents are often addressed as “Sasur” for the father-in-law and “Saas” for the mother-in-law.
  • In Japanese culture, the term “Gyokunyo” is used for the bride’s mother-in-law, while “Gyokufu” is used for the groom’s mother-in-law.

Modern Approaches

What Do You Call the Parents of A Married Couple? Modern Approaches

With evolving societal norms, some couples opt for simplicity and unity. They might choose to address their in-laws using a single term, such as “mom” and “dad,” irrespective of their biological connection. This approach emphasizes the amalgamation of families. In a more informal context, couples may address their in-laws by their first names. This reflects a sense of familiarity and acceptance, blurring the lines between the traditional formalities.

Special Cases

Second Marriages

In cases of second marriages, individuals might already have established relationships with the parents of their previous spouse. The challenge lies in defining the terms reflecting history and new beginnings.

Same-Sex Marriages

Same-sex marriages add complexity to the nomenclature. Couples may choose to personalize titles based on gender or familial roles, embracing their unique family structure.


Q: What are the parents of the bride and groom called?

A: Parents of the bride are commonly called “mother-in-law” and “father-in-law,” while parents of the groom are also referred to as “mother-in-law” and “father-in-law.”

Q: What should I call my wife’s parents?

A: You can call your wife’s parents “mother-in-law” for her mother and “father-in-law” for her father.

Q: What is the mother of the groom called?

A: The groom’s mother is commonly called the “mother-in-law.”

Q: Do you call mother-in-law Mom?

A: Some people do refer to their mother-in-law as “Mom,” but consider her preferences and your relationship dynamics before using such an intimate term.

Q: Can I use the first name of the parents of the married couple?

A: While it’s important to maintain a respectful tone, using the parents’ first names might come across as too informal in some cultures. It’s advisable to stick to the appropriate titles.

Q: What if the parents prefer to be called by their first names?

A: Communication is key. If the parents prefer to be addressed by their first names, honouring their wishes is respectful.

Q: Are there any modern alternatives to traditional titles?

A: Absolutely. Some families opt for more modern and inclusive terms, such as “bonus mom” or “bonus dad,” emphasizing the idea of gaining extra family members through marriage.

Q: What if the couple comes from different cultural backgrounds?

A: In intercultural marriages, a blend of both traditions can be used, or the couple can choose the titles that resonate most with them.

Q: Can I ask the couple directly how they would like to be addressed?

A: Absolutely. Open communication is the best approach. Respectfully ask the couple how they would prefer you to address their parents.


In the tapestry of marriage, the roles of parents from both sides are woven intricately. The terms used to address them hold profound meaning, reflecting the bonds of love and respect. Whether you choose traditional titles, modern alternatives, or a fusion of both, the essence remains the same: honouring the parents’ roles in this beautiful journey. As cultures blend and evolve, the beauty of these diverse terms shines through, reminding us of the richness of human connection.

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