Post # 1
I’m facing a dilemma. My fiance is originally from Kansas (we live in California) and in order to get a chance to celebrate our union with family there that can’t make it out here, we’ve decided to have a cocktail reception in Kansas a month after the wedding here. Now, I have a future-step-MIL that has some outlandish ideas about what we can do for the cocktail reception and she’s driving me a bit mad. Not only does she assume I need to invite her family (that I’ve only seen about 4 times) and her neighbors I don’t know, but I get the feeling she basically wants to create a lavish event; which, is not not what I have in mind; especially since we’re paying for it. Since she’s the only one there that’s really available to help me plan something like this from afar, I have to depend on her for assistance, but talking to her about it is making me want to cancel the whole thing. One other thing…they have a really large and beautiful home that they have offered to us to use for the cocktail reception and therefore I should be taking her input…right??? ugh.
Have any of you planned or are planning something like this? Any suggestions/advice/guidance you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Anyone know of any places in the KCK area that would be affordable and appropriate for this type of event? Visuals would really help me imagine this. Thank you all!
Post # 3
What is your relationship with the FFIL? Can you or your Fiance say something to him that she is going a little overboard and needs to take it down a notch? Probably not, huh? Usually in those cases the husband just keeps his mouth shut.
Luckily for you there is still some control in your hands since you are paying for it. I would approach it the same way you approached your wedding — figure out what your budget is and start there. Tell her "we are only going to be able to spend $XXX on this event. I appreciate all of your ideas, but I think we need to determine what we are actually capable of doing on our budget. If we do some of these ideas you are suggesting it means that we would have to spend less on the food and cocktails which is not an area we want to skimp on."
If she doesn’t get it then you can tell her "thank you so much for all of your ideas but we just can’t afford to put on an affair to the extent that you want to. while we appreciate all of your work and thought into the reception, maybe we should just postpone the event until we are financially in a better position." She’ll either get the hint and scale back, offer to pay for the whole thing herself which means it will be a bigger event than what you want, but all you’ll have to do is show up, smile and make small talk all night while she shows off, or she just won’t get it and you can be glad you live in California and she is half way across the country in Kansas. good luck!!
Post # 4
Yay nickyt! I completely agree. This is actually how we have planned our whole wedding – we figured out what we wanted, and therefore how many people we could afford to have, and that was that. My mom happened to want to invite signficantly more, and so we just told her our budget was maxed out, so no dice. She then offered to pay for the delta.
Even if she lets you use her house, that is in no way an obligation for you to spend a bunch of money that you don’t have in order to entertain her friends. If you can figure out a cost per head for what you had in mind, and simply let her know that her additional 40 guests add up to an additional $XXX that you just don’t have, you have a reasonable starting point for having her either back off or offer up the additional money you need.
If you really just don’t want to include her family and friends, and it’s not just a matter of money, then I think you need to find a venue other than her house. By using her house you are technically setting her up as the hostess, even if she doesn’t fund the event, and so you are correct in that you simply can’t easily prevent her from inviting anybody she likes.