Post # 1
So, my parents are nice people. They have supported me in everything I do and I’m the only daughter and they want to give me the best wedding possible, and they are paying for it to make that happen.
Here’s the thing, my FI and I really want to keep our wedding small and intimate: family and close friends only (aiming for 75 people or less). My mom recently revealed to me that she wanted to invite some of her friends. It ruffled my feathers a little, but, she’s chipping in to pay, so that’s fine, she can invite some friends.
I asked her if it was at all possible if she could keep it to like her top 5 friends and their plus one, because family alone will constitute about 40-ish people and FI and I will have to also be selective about who we invite also.
And what did she say? She said no, because she has been to so many weddings of her friends and their children and bought them gifts that this was ‘payback time’. Um, what? My wedding is going to be used to twist the arms of your friends to buy me a gift or come to the reception? That’s absurd.
On a normal basis, my mom and I tend to butt heads, and I feel like with my parents paying that this is going to turn into World War III. (My dad not included, because he just wants me to be happy.)
Advice? How do I express my gratitude but still stay firm in that this is my wedding?
Post # 3
@misskittenn: If there are strings attached to their financial support, decline their contribution and pay for the wedding yourselves.
Post # 4
The number one tip I’ve gotten from my married friends is to stay firm on your guest list. There are so many other things in the wedding that they’re going to give their opinions on, but you need to stay firm on this one. “I understand that Mom, but this is my wedding and FI and I want to keep it at x number of people.”
Post # 5
My parents are paying for the majority of the wedding. As a result, my mother and I have argued and fought nonstop since I began wedding planning. I 100% regret accepting any payment from her. If I could go back, I would have rejected her offer and had my FI and I plan an intimate dinner with our loved ones on our own dime.
My mother has insisted on inviting all sorts of family members whom I won’t even recognize if they come to the wedding. She has criticized me for having chocolate tiers in our cake, she has criticized me and questioned my choice of officiant… She has flat out told me the wedding is for the parents – not the bride and groom. Clearly we have different ideas.
Bail now. Have the wedding you want on your own dime and avoid being held captive by family members who don’t share your same vision.
That said – parent contribution can be wonderful. My FI’s parents have paid for things here and there, and they have been so kind. They designate what they money is to be towards – bridesmaids dresses, invitations, etc. – but they don’t get nitpicky in the slightest. They want us to make the choices and be happy. So it can be positive, but if you feel it won’t be, don’t get locked in.
ETA: My mother was fine in the beginning, so I thought it was going to be smooth sailing. Only as we got further into planning did she become some critical monster. By that point the deposits were down and it was too late to really back out – although my FI and I have considered paying her back and taking over if we can in order to get her off our backs.
Post # 6
That’s exactly why we chose to pay for our own wedding…everyone wants to have a say when their money is involved…and it’s our wedding and we don’t want them to have a say!
Post # 7
SO and I had a logistics conversation last week and I told him I had just opened a savings account for our wedding. He informed me that 1) He wanted to pay as well and 2) Shouldn’t my parents be helping?
I am their only daughter and this day is important to them….and honestly, it’s important to me too! I’ve been waiting for this for a while, and when it happens finally, I really want it done my way without any arguement or complaints. Only way I see this happening is to start saving now lol…and pay for it myself. I’m hoping for a 2015 wedding as well…you could save for a solid year, then pay for things as you go. If you are having a smaller wedding, you should be able to pay for the wedding you want.
Post # 8
@misskittenn: I think the only way to have complete control in this situation is to pay for it yourself. How frustrating tht your mom can’t see how her behavior is coming off. Better to take care of things yourself than spend the next year or so fighting.
Post # 9
@veryberry13: Yep, our engagement is turning out to be over two years so we can save for the wedding WE want.
Post # 10
If your mom really just wants to invite all those extra people so she can make her money back, then maybe it would help if you broke down how much you are spending per head (food, extra chairs, tables, decorations, favors etc.) and she can decide if she will really break even? I don’t know what your budget looks like, or how much money your mom is hoping to get back, but unless your guests are really, really generous, I imagine your wedding isn’t the most appropriate fundraising event.
PS – I don’t agree with it but I understand the “making your money back” sentiment. When my parents got married, my paternal grandmother pocketed all the gift money my parents received. Since she paid for the wedding, she saw that money as her reimbursement. My mom’s parents were upset because some people gave quite a bit of cash – it was meant to be payback for all weddings they had attended over the years.
Post # 11
I feel like I hear this a lot. What is with mothers and their need to dictate how your wedding goes? I’ll never get it. She had her chance during her own wedding, now it’s your turn to do it how you want it. I, too, have been butting heads with my mother about inviting a truckload of people, my dress, etc. At the end of the day you need to remember it’s your day. You will want it to be a reflection of you, not your mother and her desires. Either stand your ground and talk with her about how you have a specific vision for your day, or decline her financial contribution and do everything the way you want it.
After reading some other horror stories, I know it might be best to leave my mother in the dark for the majority of my planning. I already know she was pissed about the dress I chose. Well, big whoop to her, she’s not wearing it, I am.
Post # 12
I would discuss with your mom that very few people cover the cost of their coming (not that I am saying they should!) and that as a family you will come out ahead not inviting them. If she/you meant that because she was invited to their events, they have to be invited, not true.
Post # 13
I agree with you ladies that it would be easier just to pay for it myself; it would be hard though, considering I don’t make much as it is and FI will be quitting his job soon to go back to school–making me the breadwinner. But, we’ve got two years to save, and if I plan ahead in advance and make smart purchases, it’s doable if we keep a strict guest list.
@bapbap: I really don’t get it either! She was really excited when we got engaged, and she loves my FI, but it’s like this switch has just turned on to where she just wants to control the whole thing.
I really do want my mom to be involved, but not if she’s going to be rude and condescending the whole time.