Part of the fun of getting married (and occasionally, something that people seriously dread) is that you take on a whole new family—your in-laws!

This new family of yours can be an amazing thing, or very much not. Luckily, the outcome is partly up to you!

Getting to know (and love) these family members should happen well before the wedding—that way, you can discover and hopefully iron out any contention prior to the big day. Hopefully, there isn’t too much of that!

Here are some of the things you can do to strengthen the bond with your new family members.

INTERVIEW YOUR FIANCÉ

Chances are, your fiancé will know a lot about their family. (We hope so, anyway!) You may have already asked about their interests and the topics not to mention at family gatherings, but a good way to get a jump on knowing what to talk about is by asking your fiancé! If you’re having a difficult time bonding with them naturally, having the insider knowledge may prove to be helpful.

SPEND TIME WITH THEM

This goes without saying! However, when you spend time with your future in-laws, it’s also important to spend time with them one-on-one. Having your fiancé there will make things easier and potentially less awkward, but knowing how to interact with them on your own will be so important for when you’re married.

OFFER TO HELP OUT

When you spend time at your future in-law’s house, it is easy to feel like you’re in the way. Preparing for a special holiday or party, you’re likely the only one that isn’t aware of the breakdown of responsibilities and workflow. However, a great way to avoid this and get closer to the family is by asking how you can help. Sure, you may end up doing the job that no one else wants to do, but your future in-laws will appreciate your commitment and ultimately you’ll be closer once all is said and done.

LET YOUR FAMILIES MEET

Your two families are going to meet at your wedding, but you may want to arrange for them to meet up prior to the big day. Not only will this make the wedding more comfortable for everyone, but doing so will give you mutual friends.

BE PRESENT

This means to not only be in attendance at family gatherings, but to be involved. Your fiancé may be prone to spend time on their phone during down-time at gatherings, but especially if you haven’t spent much time with these folks, you should make the most of your time together by actively participating in conversations and activities.

Obviously, we know that you’re capable of making friends at this stage of your life. However, we know that in-law relationships can be trying at times, so you might need some tips to make these relationships healthy. You’re going to be just fine!