Post # 1
My FI and I agreed on a small wedding with immediate family and grandparents only. One exception was made for my maid of honor since I’m an only child. This brought the entire guest list to 11 people. Which seemed totally reasonable to me but my FI left many close friends and relatives behind out of state so I suggested we get married in his home state so he can have a chance to catch up/ hang out before we tie the knot. Of course if we are going to do that why not get married on the family farm right? But now I’m a little afraid to ask his mother (the matriarch) if we can get married there… while my FI loves the idea it came with the warning that the small wedding would most likely go out the window as soon as I ask her.
So I guess my question is if I ask to use her land do I forfeit control over the size of the wedding? Our immediate families are small but if you add in extended family the wedding goes from 11 people to well over 50 and that doesn’t include plus one invites for dates or any friends.
The main concern isn’t budget (though I wasn’t opposed to saving money on a small wedding) FI knows all the right people in the area to get almost everything at cost. I’m an introvert (small informal gatherings of 20 people are already outside of my comfort zone) … and the idea of having that many people about to mingle with/ be concerned about is simply exhausting. I want to enjoy my wedding day not just suffer through it.
Post # 3
Though you would be marrying on family property, offer to absorb the above-and-beyond expenses associated with holding a wedding there (electrical, water use, etc.). That way FMIL doesn’t have an implied — however small — financial stake in the wedding.
Post # 4
Ask, and if she tries to push her invite list, don’t take her offer
Post # 5
Insist upfront that there be no strings attached. Then when she tries to add guests, remind her of her promise.
Post # 6
When you are asking the family matriarch to offer the use of the family lands, you are implicitly asking for her social sponsorship, and whether or not you offer to pay for the electricity and sewage you are asking for a favour. So you are not in a position to be insisting on anything. Nor would it be wise: this is the lady who held your fiance’s first affections for the decades before he encountered you, and she will be your children’s grandmother and your key to extended family relations for the decades of your marriage to come. Don’t blunder into that delicate relationship like a bull in a china shop.
Fortunately, this is a job not for you, but for you future intended. He should go to his mother, and tell him how much it would mean to *him* to get married on his ancestral land, but how concerned he is not to overwhelm you since you are such a shy and shrinking violet. He needs to enlist her help in arranging a small discrete ceremony that will not overwhelm you, explaining that of course if she cannot find a way of helping him keep the numbers down to the minimum of eleven, that he will have to give up on his fond plan and marry you somewhere else without her help.
Your part in this strategy, is to relinquish control, and accept that your future mother-on-law may arrange other afternoon teas, cocktail parties, or whatever during the time that you are there; and go along with those plans graciously. At any such party that you are invited to, you should politely help greet the guests and stay for the first few minutes, after which you are entitled to withdraw to your room or your hotel. And your future intended may need to reiterate to your mother that you have that right and that it is for the best for you to deal with your introversion in that way.
Post # 7
@aspasia475: That’s some Jane Austen shit right there. Machinations.
Post # 8
@NoOneYouExpect: I think it’s worth asking. Make it clear you just really want a small, intimate ceremony. Why not have a BBQ or something for friends and family afterward and she can help you plan that?