Post # 1
Hey Bees, need some help with this. I have a pretty sticky family situation.
My FI’s parents are divorced. His father has recently remarried and his mom is still single. The woman his father married, lets call her D, has never been a “mother figure” to my FI. They got married when my FI was 23 and its not like she had a hand in raising him. My FI’s relationship with his father is strained to begin with, and he hasn’t been all that involved with my FI’s life since the divorce when my FI was 7 (hes now 25).
My parents are paying for the majority of the wedding, but to accomodate everyones guest lists have requested that each of my FI’s parents pay the “per plate” amount for their guests which includes the expenses for catering (including alcohol), venue, and ceremony fees. This comes to about $130 per guest and includes all taxes, fees, tips, etc. My FI’s father is only having about 20 guests which comes to about $2500 total (about 5% of the overall budget.) My family feels this is a good way to control our costs, allow everyone to have as many guests as they want, and also feel like “co hosts” of the party.
Today my FI’s father told me and my FI that he will only contribute this to the wedding if we include D on the invitation as a co-host. This woman has had no impact on my FI’s life and my FI doens’t want to include her on the invitation, mainly because it will hurt his mother who has raised him while his father refused to pay child support. I very much want to just tell him to forget it and that we don’t want his money if its going to come with strings like that. However, my dad has made it very clear that if my FI’s dad doesn’t pay for his guests, they will not be getting invitations or getting phone calls a few weeks out uninviting them.
I really don’t know what the right call is on this one. No matter what we do, someone is going to end up extremely hurt and possibly not want to have a relationship with FI and me. Any thoughts or suggestions would be super helpful. Its just so sad how miserable wedding planning has been for me. SO MUCH FAMILY DRAMA!! Ughhh
Post # 3
Explain to him how unfair it is for him to put you in that situation. Better to talk it out with him – to explain that your wedding is NOT the time to include her or not include her either to stick it to so-and-so or to make her feel warm and fuzzy – than to go about making a choice you are not sure of because you feel pressured. The divorced parents thing will be uncomfortable enough on the day. At least in the lead up to the wedding you can take the opportunity to explain your position and to have calm, reasonable, adult discussions about these issues.
Post # 4
This guy didn’t pay child support, why should he get to dictate the wedding? Tell him you’re not budging, accept the conditions or none of your friends get invites.
Post # 5
* Making a note to come back to this topic *
PS… there is actually a Rule of Etiquette, that may get you thru this jam.
Post # 6
Sometimes it’s better to start a new life with the people that are willing to admit to their own faults… In this case, it’s better to exclude your FI’s dad than hurt his mother, who’s been his strongest support (awesome woman if you ask me). Honestly, I can’t believe his dad is using the opportunity to credit D on his son’s wedding; that’s really f*cked up; he seems like a total douche, and would rather please his new wife than make peace for the sake of his son’s happiness. Talk to your FI when you both feel more relaxed, and discuss all the scenarios keeping in mind that you DON’T need any drama following you into your brand new family.
Post # 7
Well, technically-speaking, an invitation is NOT about giving people credit for being in your life, loving you, or raising you. An invitation IS about giving people credit for paying for the event. That’s what hosting is. In other words, the lists of hosts on the invite is NOT a sentimental thing–it’s information for the guests so they know who to thank for the event (they congratulate you; they’ll thank the hosts).
Under that adage, then you’d have to weigh whether a 5% contribution is enough to be listed as a host. If it is–and it sounds like your parents feel that way because they mentioned the words “co-hosts”–then D needs to be included by virtue of the fact that she’s married to FI’s father and his finances are her finances. If you decide it’s not enough, then neither FI’s father nor D should be included on the invite. And the same rule should apply to FI’s mother as well.
The printed material that IS for giving people credit for being in your life, loving you, raising you, etc. etc. is typically the ceremony program.
Post # 8
@BothCoasts: Sorry I disagree. While you are right in one sense, a wedding invitation also carries the implication that the people have had a part in the bride and groom’s life.
If the father wants to play the “I’m paying” card, then tell him to pay his ex what he owes in child support first. Sorry but I have very little time for guys like that.
p.s. My father did not divorce my mother until my sister was 21, and shared her wedding costs with my mother. But he had more class than to make a fuss of putting his new wife’s name on the invitations.
Post # 9
- Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House
I don’t know if it would be okay with your parents, but you could you skirt the issue entirely by using wording such as “together with their parents, AGTbee and Mr AGTbee request your presence…” etc. that is all inclusive and open to interpretation. Your father can assume your step mother is included in that, and your mother can assume she is not, and is really no different than naming everyone individually.
Post # 10
My parents are divorced and its hard to find wording to please everyone on an invite.
I ended up not evening putting my parents names just did the together wording because it takes up to many lines on the invite. Ive seen invites where they dont even put the guys parents on the invite, could this be an option so neither his mom or dad feel hurt? or just use the together with their parents wording
Post # 12
FI’s parents are divorced as well. Both are remarried and have good relationships with him, but his mom has been putting up a stink with the wedding stuff about how “she’s his mom” and doesn’t want him to treat his stepmom the same, even though she’s been in his life for the past 20 years and was there for him when his mom wasn’t exactly a saint in his younger years.
I put “together with their parents” on our invites. I think my parents felt a little offended at first that no ones names went on there, but I had to let it roll off. It’s an invitation in my eyes, nothing more, and everyone coming knows us well enough to know that we love, respect, and appreciate all of our parents, and we dont need an invitation with their names on it to prove that.
Too much drama.
Post # 14
@Mrs.Beeloney: DH’s mom pulled the same drama and more at our wedding.
My opinion goes a little against the grain. We both have divorced parents and made blanket rules to avoid getting stuck in between the “who had done more throughout our life” trap.
I honestly think if all parents are being asked to contribute then they should all be named on the invitations if you list any names (all or nothing). Even if the step mom isn’t a ‘motherly figure” a portion of her money is going to fund the wedding. If he hasn’t been that involved in DH’s life I am not sure asking him to be involved and contribute money was the best idea.
Post # 15
I would exclude her from the invite and tell FI’s dad that if he isn’t contributing to the wedding then you won’t have the budget to invite his 20 guests.
Post # 16
Its not the step-mom’s fault that she didnt marry the dad until your FI was 23, nor did she fail to pay child support. It kind of seems like she is getting punished for thigns that were not her fault. I understand about the bio mom’s feelings too though. I am divorced and raised my daughter who has a less than involved dad. I do not blame his new wife for his lack of parenting involvement- because she came after the fact.