When you get married, you don't just gain a spouse -- you gain a family as well. It's important for the parents of the bride and groom to meet well before the wedding, as both families need to be on the same page when it comes to wedding plans. Getting to know each other before the wedding is also a good way to show your love and support for the betrothed couple.

Reaching Out

Traditionally, the groom's parents were the ones who contacted the bride's parents. Because the bride was the one who had to leave her home, the groom's parents would reach out to assure the bride's parents that she would be cared for properly. Today, it's acceptable for either family to contact the other.

Meet and Greet

A phone call or note is sufficient to initiate the meeting, and the meeting can take place over cocktails, a private dinner or even during the engagement party, although this is the less desirable option as the parents will not likely have much time to visit with each other. If distance is a factor, one set of parents might consider taking a weekend trip. If this is not possible, the parents should stay in contact through phone calls and emails until the wedding, according to Emily Post.