Post # 1
Tomorrow night we’re having dinner with my FMIL. The first time we’ll see her since all the drama started.
A recap… She got upset with us because our venue changed (something we couldn’t control. We were having it at my work for super cheap but they wanted to increase the costs because two other groups wanted the space and were willing to pay more) and she got like really upset with us. Apparently talking to the family about how she was upset and we are spending too much money. Sent me an email saying “No one can afford the wedding you are talking about. Mine and your FFILs wallets aren’t that big, you can’t afford it if you’re going to do it the right way. Your guest list is too big. But I need invites for a couple of my friends and need to make sure you haven’t forgotten any of our family” (I’m paraphrasing of course)
We never asked or intended to ask for money. We are paying for this ourselves with the help of my mom and still have left over money.Our budget is around $5000 and our actual costs are only at $4,500 and that’s with $1000 backup money. Apparently they are now upset we are spending that much money even though it’s our earned money.
Not only this but our photographer who is friends with my FMIL is trying to have us pay way more than the agreed ammount. Saying she needs two nights in a hotel for two rooms instead of one room for one night. My FMIL set us up with this photographer. We’re trying to find a different photographer for the wedding because of this.
Now we are meeting at my FMILs for dinner to discuss the guest list which means that we will be discussing budget and all the things she’s upset about and will end up discussing the photographer change I’m sure she’s not going to be happy about.
I am nervous and not wanting to go to dinner. I don’t feel like I need to have this discussion since we are 25 and 26 years old, it’s our money and our wedding. I don’t want to blow them off either since before this wedding drama started they have been great. Really. Very nice, understanding and helped us when we really needed it a few years ago
So I don’t know what to do or how to nicely discuss this without getting upset. I don’t handle confrontations well and 9 times out of 10 end up crying. I don’t know what to do or what to say. Any advice on how to handle this situation? Preferrably without upsetting anyone?
Post # 3
@anon656987: Why does it have to be a dinner? Can they send a list with people prioritized? Or say, we have space for 10 guests, you choose?
This is your wedding and your money, I wouldn’t be bullied here.
Post # 4
This is probably not going to be the advice you are looking for because it will probably leave you FMIL upset, but why is this even up for discussion with her? It is you and fiance’s wedding, your money, your decisisons. I can see if you were seeking her opinion because she was paying, but she is not. You don’t need to explain yourself about all the decisions. I would give her x number of spots on the guest list and let her choose who she wants to invite. Other than that, the big decisions (photograher, venue, etc) should be up to you and your fiance!
Post # 5
I find that most times, an upset person just wants to feel heard….if you go into this dinner focused on listening to what they have to say, regardless of whether or not you agree with their opinions or intend to change your plans because of them, just LISTEN.
No interrupting, no cutting off, no getting upset and certainly no stress…whatever concerns they have deserve to be voiced…listen to them, reflect what they say back to them and if you feel inclined, tell them that everything is under control in the budget department, so there’s really no need to discuss that.
She wants a couple of guests there, ask her how many…if you are in fact financing this event yourselves, you and your FI are the final word on all spending, and she may be upset, but it’s really a manifestation of a controlling person in a panic…this is not her show, that makes her uncomfortable & nervous.
Finally, know where the line is. If things get heated, loud, rude or threatening in any way, you and your FI can let her know that THIS is not what this meal is about, let’s talk about something else…if she won’t stop… it’s time to leave.
Either way, you are in control of this event, and how you conduct yourself at this dinner, your FMIL is in charge of her own behavior, but you can certainly decide if you’ve had enough of it if she’s behaving badly…also, request that all wedding plans be discussed on the phone or in person from now on, the written work has the ability to take on negative connotation where none was intended.
Post # 6
I would go with a finished guest list. Period this is who WE WANT there and are willing to pay for. If the two of you are a UNITED FRONT, this should meeting could help with the rest of your lives how to deal with her. She won’t be able to play one against the other. Go in with a FIRM Plan …write down if you have to. Talk to each other, roll play the, talk about how to react. It’s pathetic you have to do this … but if you do this now… make a stand … it will help with forever dealing with them.
hang in there!! It’s a free meal 😀
Post # 7
Also, in this case I would probably take a step back and let your FI handle most of the conversation. I assume that he’s of the same opinion as you, so he will most likely be able to let her know that this is YOUR decision without making her too upset.
And I feel your pain, it’s never nice when you have to show up for dinner with your parents in law an all you want to do is to run for the woods.
Post # 8
I agree with SeaAshley…I wouldn’t discuss the wedding with her at all.Tell her how many invites that she can have for her friends and leave it at that.If she asks about the photographer,simply explain that you did not want to pay for the extra room and day he or she requested.Good luck!
Post # 9
Send a nice email before you go, today ideally. Be super nice (but not fake-nice, try and write it with a smile on your face!)
You need to say ‘Oh of course, we’ve been discussing the budget and I think we can cover the costs without you having to dig into your pockets.’ You need to nicely clarify that they won’t need to be paying (and at the dinner get FH to point out that anything they want to contribute is appreciated).
You also need to mention in the email something like ‘Have you talked to *photographer* lately? She mentioned that she would be needing 2 nights accommodation and so the price might be changing. We need to talk to her further but we definately want to keep the price within our budget so will have to see what she says’. That way she will know there are some issues and possibly allow her to help find a solution rather than just bitching!
I’m sad for you about her comment on the guest list, she basically wants everyone that she wants to invite even at the expense of your friends from the sound of it. Hope you can meet in the middle somewhere. I hope your FH can lay it on the line a little bit, maybe by saying she can invite x,y,z but if she wants a,b,c would she be willing to contribute towards the cost of their seat? The ideas of the others of giving her X number of seats is good too.
Good luck, and I definately think doing as much as possible over email will be easier for you. Talking in person with difficult people is always hard for me, I never end up getting my view across properly and buckling!
Post # 10
@mamadingdong: Well she’s been asking for weeks for the guest list so she can go over it. I knew it would cause this discussion so I emailed it to her when she asked. I typed out the whole guest list on his side and sent it to her. She even replied saying “Wow looks like you have everyone covered” But now she’s again saying she wants to go over the guest list which means… She wants to discuss other issues as well I’m sure. I don’t think she’s forgotten the list I sent her, she doesn’t forget things like that.
As far as her invites go, besides family, back in the beginning of wedding planning she asked for an extra invite because she was invited to her friends kids wedding. No harm here so I agreed and we gave her an extra save the date. Then in the same email about our guest list being so big she’s asking about adding another friend we don’t know and adding more family we didn’t add. Our guest list is at 115 already when our max was supposed to be 100. We’ve cut all we could to make room for the close people. I’ll likely give her a 3 person minimum on top of the couple we already gave her the STD for.
@Nona99: You’re right and I will just sit and listen but I’ve had these talks with them before about other things. The issue here unfortunately is my fiance. He and I are on the same page but when he feels like either one of us are being targeted and being made to feel bad for something he will get upset. He will start to argue (not yell or anything) and when he feels like he’s going to yell he gets up and walks away and stays outside to calm down, leaving me to sit through the rest of the lecture on my own. I appreciate him standing up for me but I don’t want things to get blown up. The last time I sat there nodding my head and saying “I understand” “I get it” and all, I don’t like confrontation and am a bit of a pushover so I let people chew me out even without saying anything in return. I doubt I’ll be chewed out but I can sense a hard lecture brewing. I’ll discuss what you said with my fiance though, if he can keep calm himself perhaps we can get through it together.
@HisIrishPrincess: We are on the same page with this but like I said above ^ my fiance doesn’t like when he feels like either one of us are being targeted. I’ll discuss it with him when he gets home and do some role play. He likes to mimic (in a loving joking way of course) his parents so we might even have fun and lighten the mood a bit doing so 🙂
@eocenia: Thank you 🙂 If I can convince my fiance to keep a cool head that might just work. I asked if we could make the dinner the night I was working so he could go alone but they want me to be there too… :/
@kellmerr: Thank you 🙂 I would rather not discuss the wedding at all, and how sad is that?
Thank you all for your replies, it really helps:)
Post # 11
@clairebear000: That’s my issue too! Your email sounds like a great idea, I will try to send one.
Only a couple issues there. Her original email about the budget was last Friday. I’ve been avoiding her since and didn’t write anything back because honestly I was upset myself at the assumptions and way I was being spoken to. So I haven’t said anything to her since the email trying myself to cool down and relax from it. I wasn’t angry but offended and stunned. It came out of no where.
Another issue is that in that email she asked to not be included in the wedding planning saying “I need to step away from the wedding planning, the budget is getting too big and it’s getting too confusing with the changes” again the changes weren’t something we could control. So discussing the photographer she set us up with I don’t know if it falls in line with the wedding planning she’s saying she doesn’t want to be included in.
She’s a great person and I hate that this is causing an issue. It’s putting unneeded stress on everyone.
Post # 12
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@anon656987: Be firm and expect her to be reasonable since you are planning your wedding using your money. If she starts acting crazy pants, I would gently remind her that ultimately the bridal couple get final say (make sure your FH will verbally back you up on this point.) I would tell her straight out that you have decided to book another photographer and that she only get X amount of guest spots for people you and your FH don’t know. If she starts getting unreasonable, tell her you are sorry she feels that way but don’t give in. I would tell her that we needed to change the subject if she continued to be unreasonable, bitch, moan, complain, etc…
Post # 13
Whatever happens, you have to make your FI to promise to stay with you. I would rather have him scream at his parents (because, quite frankly they seem to think they have a bigger say in this than what they are entitled to) than leave you all alone. Especially as you don’t like conflict – because I can see how that sets the scene for you sitting there agreeing with them, which will them make them even more upset if you don’t follow their advice.
I think you should tell your FI that you ONLY go there on the condition that he won’t abandon you. That’s at least my strategy with my FI – he cannot leave me when we go to see his mum, as I know she would corner me if she had the opportunity. Sad, but that’s reality.