Post # 1
Hello fellow bees!
I feel the need to vent (and thank you for allowing me to do so!) Our wedding is in a few short months, and although I am SO excited, I’m starting to get stressed. The wedding is very informal, and most people are grateful for that. However, my FMIL seems to want to make our informal wedding a very formal one, and I feel like she is trying to take control of things. My fiance’s sis had a very formal wedding, which is great for her (it was beautiful!!) but it’s just not our style. For example…we (myself, FI and FMIL) all went to a rental place to check out table linens, silverware, plates etc. She insisted on renting silver, which screams formality in my book. Our caterer pulled me to the side and informed me that he could rent the silverware from the restaurant for half the price. SOLD! I am all about saving some money, and think that silver is completely unnecessary. We happened to eat at the restaurant afterwards, and checked out their silverware. My FI and I were completely fine with renting theirs, but FMIL said "it’s not formal enough." This is just one example of how things have occurred, and it makes me feel like she doesn’t think I have good taste or something. She is constantly comparing our wedding to sis-in-law’s wedding ("Oh, (insert sis-in-law’s name) had coral roses (after I’ve had my heart set on blue hydrangeas for months)…Oh, do you think your veil will match your dress? Let’s ask (sis)" as if my opinion doesn’t matter! I have eyes too!!! My future sis has been incredibly helpful throughout the process, and is excited about our laid back day. She also realizes that FMIL can be overbearing, as does FI. I just feel myself getting angry every time stuff like this comes up, but I can’t bring myself to say anything in fear that it will come out mean!
Am I overreacting???? (Sorry about the novel length post)
Post # 3
- Wedding: August 2009 - St. Thomas of Villanova Church & the F.U.E.L. House
I’m having the reverse situation — a more formal wedding FMIL wants to make more informal. (For example, we selected a small Italian restaurant in Philadelphia for our RD, and she complained and proposed having it at a bar near our church instead.) Try not to take anything personally, and remember to pause and breathe before you react!
Post # 4
Nope. Sounds like your FMIL is a PIA! Just smile and nod at her, then do what you want.
Post # 5
I’m sorry you have to deal with this! I have a FMIL who is so excited and loves doing things but can be overbearing. My FSIL often acts as a buffer, and it sounds like yours is doing that some too. Maybe you can ask her to gently tell her mother that this is your wedding, and we don’t need a repeat! Better if it comes from her daughter than you, probably. GL!
Post # 6
Is there any way that you could sit down with the FMIL and go thru the elements of the wedding with the emphasis on the informal-ness of it and just really gently explain how having some parts that are formal and some parts that are informal would really clash. If you have an inspiration board or any pictures that would be helpful too. Mine thought I had lost my mind on some aspects because she could not envision what I was trying to describe until I showed her pictures then she finally started getting the idea. I know that it is hard for many MIL that have helped plan their other children’s wedding to relax and go with new ideas of the new bride. And unless she is paying for things like rentals etc then surely you can go to vendor appointments on your own. My standard answer when people who will try to start conflict (aka my married sister who thinks all weddings should be done like hers.) ask questions like have you gotten the XYZ done I just say that yes it is taken care of and I am so in love with my choice. And leave it at that.
Post # 7
No you are not overreacting. Its your wedding and you have your own taste. Why would anyone want another recreation of someone else’s wedding.
Do what YOU want!
Post # 8
I’ve been planning my wedding for all of 10 days and I have already started to learn first hand what you’re going though. I want my wedding to be informal too, not just no silver, but backyard-BBQ-napkin-tucked-down-the-front-of-my-dress-to-keep-sauce-off informal. My grandmom wants 100+ people and I want 60, My mom wants flowers…fancy ones…lots of them and I want to plant some wild flowers this summer and cut them for the wedding. There’s going to be more, I’m sure of it, I’ve got another grandmother and a stepmom on top of that and it’s only been 10 days
Now I know it’s hard and you’re already in deep, but she means well, she’s thinking of how lovely that’s other wedding was and she wants yours to be what she considers just as nice. Now this is going to sound like a harsh way of looking at it but it’s how I’ve been rationalizing things… Who’s paying for the wedding? Is it you or your parents? Then that’s who gets a say.
Times are tough and if you know what you want and what you can afford then you have to put your foot down, but in the most diplomatic way possible. You could say something like “I do love the Silver but we feel the money we save by not getting it will be better spent towards starting our new life together!” See you have taste and you’re planning ahead! I hope you see what I’m getting at here
OTOH my rule has been if my family wants something in my wedding that I didn’t want/or budget for then they have to pay for it. If she offers to pay for the silver wear, or some other thing to make you wedding more “Formal” think before you turn her down. Life is about compromise. And if it won’t take away from your fun informal wedding to have a few things she wants for the sake of a good relationship with her down the line ask yourself is that worth it?
She just wants her Son and her future Daughter to have what she thinks is the perfect wedding, and yeah she may be tactless about it, but its still meant with love. And even if she doesn’t get her silver and her roses, when you’re wedding comes hopefully she’ll see how much fun you and your guests had and how happy you were and change her mind about informal weddings
Post # 9
It sounds like FI and your future sis understand that you’re frustrated. Maybe sit down with them and ask how you should handle your FMIL because it’s stressing you out. (I would be put out too if someone was trying to plan my wedding for me without taking my wishes into consideration.)
I agree with rosychicklet and bruschetta — just take a deep breath or two, smile and try not to let her get to you too much. Good luck!
Post # 10
I agree with what Laural said. If there is something you know she will be trying to "push her agenda" upon, talk to your fiance and come up with your plan before you even talk to her about it. If she complains, you both can say soemthing like "Yeah, that invitation is very beautiful. But we have actually already discussed invitations and have chosen this stlye and we really love it." If she pushes, just say that you have already made up your mind.
Is she paying for a lot of the wedding? If she isn’t, she really has no formal ground to stand on with these demands. She is your FMIL and, I know you know this, but you will have to deal with her for the rest of your life, so even if she isn’t paying, at least take some of her ideas and really think about if you can include them. Even one or two will show her you were taking them seriously. BUT this is your day and make sure it is what you want!
Post # 11
This is such great advice!! I really appreciate everyone’s input. Rosychicklet–your post made me laugh…out loud!
bruschetta—I’m so sorry you’re having the same problem (in reverse)! Maybe you could offer to have an afterparty of sorts at the bar?
kara–I agree, I think I will ask sis to be my buffer. Actually, FI has offered to talk with sis about it…he is really good about jumping in. And since FMIL listens to *everything* sis says, this may be the ticket! Thanks so much!
laural–Brilliant idea! I feel like I have pretty much gone over most of the details of the wedding with her, but maybe doing it again could help. Just to give you an idea of our informality, we are having a local restaurant cater in breakfast for dinner. For lack of a better term, it is kind of a "hippie" place, but the food is amazing and everyone who has eaten there practically hugged me for hiring them. So, silver would totally clash with well, everything! Oh, and I totally agree about not having her come to vendor appointments. Lesson learned! She lives out of town, and we made our appointments for a weekend when she was here. (I think some of the appointments had already been made before she booked her ticket to come though) I think it just really boils down to the fact that she is a very formal person and we are just not. I guess I will just have to find a way to either deal with it, or let it roll off my back (going back to Rosy’s advice, ha!)
Post # 12
You ladies rock!
Just to answer the question, she has thrown in money for the wedding. However, it’s not any more than my parents or his Dad (they are divorced, so he chipped in separately) and no one else is making demands. The money was just thrown in the pot too, so no one really pays for "specific things." I totally understand about that playing a part in whether or not she has a say in what we get. I think maybe if it were more tactful I would be more apt to agree, you know? I have already (and gladly!) accepted some of her ideas…hopefully I didn’t sound like a bridezilla earlier!
Post # 13
- Wedding: September 2009 - City Hall
Haha, my mom is being kind of similar. Not to your degree, but I just think it’s cute and don’t let it bother me. She first says she doesn’t want to be pushy or too involved, but then makes a bunch of suggestions about how i should make this more fancy or that less fancy. it’s pretty funny but I could see how it would get annoying if I let it get to me too much. That said, I do consider each thing that she says. I know my mother has excellent taste, so to completely block out her suggestions without at least considering them would be silly of me. Doesn’t mean I have to compromise on anything or everything, but I at least think about them. It sounds like you’ve done this too with your fmil.
I have to agree with many others on this thread – form an alliance with future sis and your fiance, and help your fmil see where you guys are coming from and what you’re aiming for.
Post # 14
I agree with some others – listen to what she has to say, consider her ideas, and go with what you want to do. It sounds like you have some good allies in your sister and fiancee, so listen to her, acknowledge that you heard her, then roll your eyes at them behind her back.
I would insert one disclaimer, just in case you’re not already (although by the sounds of things you are listening to her): make sure she feels involved in some parts of the wedding. Give into some of her smaller ideas-disguised-as-demands, or just keep her very up to date. That will just help keep everybody happy, I think.
Post # 15
your situation is the pits!! but i am sure you will get through it…i don’t know what it is about weddings, but i think it makes people crazy!! i would agree with some and listen to the advice/picking and simply tell her that it’s your day and you will have the style you want!! she is more then welcomed to give you her 2 cents…but you don’t have to take it…vent as much as you can!!! good luck!!!
Post # 16
Wow. Seems she feels "proud" somehow that she might have been part of the planning process of that other wedding huh?
I agree. Nod, and then do as you and your FI wish to do. It is your wedding! Would she like to have some responsibility? She sounds like somebody who might want to go with a "theme" (boho chic maybe?) and give her an inspiration board and maybe have her do one aspect? She may just want to receive again the accolades of her "planning abilities" from friends and family and just needs some firmer direction. Maybe tell her that she has amazing style, but would like to see how she could run with helping with (insert her task here)x, and make this a very unique yet chic wedding that will have everybody talking?
Sometimes I’ve found letting others have the FEEL of a bit of control and complimenting them makes for very happy relatives. We had this issue 10 years ago with my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary btw..my demanding uncle became a big time helper and it worked like a charm.