Discussing wedding plans with FILs

posted 3 years ago in Family
Post # 3
499 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

Are they paying for the wedding? if so, you should value their opinion to an extent.  If no, do whatever you want. =)

Post # 4
511 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@beeconomist:  IMHO, you won’t regret doing whatever course of action makes you the least stressed and most positive about your wedding day.  My MIL and I had very different “visions” for the wedding, too (she’s very ‘crafty’ and I’m just not), and while I did my best to be diplomatic, about three months out she got really huffy and just stopped bringing it up, which was both a relief (no more nit-picking!) and a little sad because, like you, I wanted people to be happy/excited with me.  I think it’s easy to forget that, really, the wedding is just a party – and people certainly have different hosting styles!  The relationship you forge should be one of mutual respect, not stress over whose taste reigns supreme.  *Unless* your future in-laws are paying for some/all of the wedding, at the end of the day you can just smile and say, “FI and I have decided to do X, but thanks for your suggestions!”  I think Offbeat Bride has a really good post on this, too, but I can’t find it at the moment.

Post # 5
1002 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

@beeconomist Ahh the In-Laws, I have had a lot of tension with mine to regarding wedding planning so I feel you girl!  I agree with having to be tougher about her comments, I too need to be less sensitive when it comes to planning the wedding.  But, it’s hard not to be attached to something that is your big day.  Like you said, be proud of your wedding, I bet everything you are planning will be fabulous and you FMIL just has different taste, luckily it’s not her wedding!

Post # 7
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

You’re a better person than I!

My FIL tried to pick our baker (we got one with our reception location… Not sure what he was doing) and a florist (pretty insulting, since he KNEW I was doing the flowers and that I have training arranging flowers).

And that did NOT set a good groundwork for a good post-wedding relationship!

So I’m glad you’re handing it better than I did!

Post # 8
2798 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

To be honest, my FIL’s are pretty hands off.   We are getting married in my home town to save money, and while they know EVERYTHING about where we live (this is what happens when you marry into the local newspaper family) they know very little about my home town. 

If I where you, I would come to your FILs with only option A or B.  That way, your FMIL can’t go over to option C that you don’t like.  When she does, go “Oh, thanks for that, but we have already talked down to these two options, but what do you think about B?  I like it but I think this in A is cheeper.”  You are still keeping her in the loop, but you are limiting her scope.  With free range, she is bound to take it back to where she is comfortable. 

Post # 9
7654 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

@beeconomist:  I honestly didn’t mind sharing my wedding plans with my MIL because she wasn’t paying for it, and she was genuinely happy and excited, BUT I refuse to share details regarding my pregnancy/birthing choices to her. You learn what you should and shouldn’t say pretty fast when you screw up one time. Somtimes it isn’t a matter of you being too sensitive, but rather the other person being too bold. If you can’t match the boldness or if it is too sensitive of a topic, it’s better to just shut down completely. I have no regrets about keeping certain plans and choices secrets from my in laws at this point.

Post # 10
1734 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998

I was lucky in that my in-laws were fairly hands off, and when they heard something they obviously disliked, they had the good sense to mostly shut their mouths. My father-in-law apparently didn’t like our wedding venue, as he told us several times, “Now you can keep looking around if you want…you don’t have to pick a venue so early…” lololol. But, that was all he said, so it worked out great.

But I also took the stance of not including them too much. I let my MIL pick the song for her dance with my husband, and that was it. I asked my SIL to sign our marriage license. Like you, I wasn’t big into the whole wedding scene – SIL was and MIL felt a little guilty,  I think, because there was less to help out with in terms of our wedding than her daughter’s.

But I absolutely DON’T regret keeping some of our wedding stuff a secret. They didn’t ask too much, and when they did, I was usually vague: “Everything’s going great, you’ll love it. We’re done with the planning. So, how’s (blank)?”

You’re right in that this is a time to set good relations – because whether you like it or not, some people hold onto wedding grudges for years and years.

But this is also the time to establish boundaries. I didn’t tell my in-laws much about the wedding because I didn’t care about their opinions. I also knew there was a chance they could try to talk me out of it or complain about it. While that’s all well and good, I had made up my mind and didn’t care to awkwardly entertain their opinions. This was our time to work together as a marrying couple and show ourselves, as well as our families, that we could work together without interference.

It’s the same with pregnancy: until I know my kid’s gender, I’m not sharing any names. I may even be one of the annoying ones who waits until delivery. I’m not telling them that we’re actively trying to conceive and so on. Why? None of their business and their thoughts on it are irrelevant (in this regard, it’s true of my family as well).

You can have good relations with your in-laws…without having to bite your tongue the whole time because they can’t keep their mouths shut.

In your shoes, if they asked me again, I really would just say, “It’s a surprise, but you’re going to love it!” rather than setting yourself up for your mother-in-law’s critic-orgy.

Post # 11
227 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

@beeconomist:  My future in laws are helping us with the wedding and they are also crazy excited so they want to be involved. They are also quite a bit older than my parents and their views are different.

Your description sounds just like me, I tense up every time we have to discuss wedding stuff as I don’t want to deal with the disapprovals or nit picking of our ideas. 

FI has let me know that we do not need to change what we are doing to suit them but out of respect he feels we should let them voice their opinion. It’s just hard as I want this to be fun for all of us and I don’t have a Mom or sister that I can plan with on my side. 

I love my future in laws but man it can get on my nerves! 

Most recent – they were nit picky on the invite they thought that “Reception to Follow” was too vague and wanted “Dinner and Cocktails to follow”. I didn’t like the change and it left it as it was.

They just received their invite and I get an email that said “Very nice invite but what happened to Dinner and Cocktails to follow?”


Post # 13
2657 posts
Sugar bee

@beeconomist:  Good for you!  I reached a similar conclusion with both my family and my FIL’s.  Your wedding choices should be yours and your FI’s to make together.  It’s awesome when family and friends want to contribute because they want to see you have an awesome wedding too, but ultimately this is your vision.  Usually I don’t discuss big wedding items with my family until I have already decided.  Neither of our parents even knew what type of photographer we wanted until we signed the contract (FI and I are paying for everything).  They can still suggest what shots they would like to see and whatnot, but they’re not derailing my FI and I’s overall vision.  I’m pretty happy with the balance we’ve found because everyone is still involved in some way.

Post # 14
236 posts
Helper bee

I agree with many of the earlier posts. Initially I was all over telling my MIL and her sister all the dirty details….until they started getting very vocal about their opinions and desires.  We have a few less traditional aspects to our wedding and it was ruffling some feathers and everyone felt they were able to openly discuss (guess what -it wasn’t a question on our end!). So we just locked down the information about what we were doing.  I picked a few things that I knew my FI’s family would really appreciate being involved in (invited his mom to some tastings, involved her in flower girl dress shopping) so she wouldn’t feel shut out, but kept her far away from other stuff.  If she pushed me on issues of planning I would say that we hadn’t discussed it yet or our day-of planner was dealing with it, but I would suggest it 😉 

I found giving her a few key jobs distracted her from all the other nitty gritty without making her aware that we were not including her in other decisions.  Same with the estranged father, asking him to make a custom wooden gift card boss has completely made him feel included and important, but doesn’t require him being involved in all the other stuff.

So far we’re coming down to the wire and it’s worked.  Plus now a bunch of the details are being presented as a done deal, not open for debate. 

Hope that helps! 

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