Post # 1
Hi bees, I just really need to vent right now so I apologize ahead of time if this is long. From some of my previous boards I’ve mentioned how my FI and I live in AZ and our families in CT and that we were torn between where to have our wedding. When it came down to the nitty gritty of it all, we really couldn’t afford the expenses of having the wedding in CT and decided to have it in AZ. So since then, we hired a wedding planner and have devoted a significant amount of time to researching vendors and visiting venues and such.
Well, yesterday my FMIL calls us and says that she had been thinking about it and it will cost her about $10,000 to come out here to our wedding between plane tickets, food and hotel rooms for herself, her husband and FI’s 3 siblings. She thought it was unfair that she would have to go into debt and not us to attend the wedding (I was a little mad at this remark as we just graduated college with significant loan debts and moved across the country for jobs which is not cheap. We’re already in a lot of debt and she’s a financially stable adult!)
Anyway, her idea was to take some of the money she was originally planning on spending to come to AZ and use it to help us pay for the wedding to be in CT. She said she will also talk to the rest of FI’s family and my family to ask everyone to help pitch in (not really sure if I feel comfortable with her asking my family for money yet). In addition she offered to do a lot of the planning herself if we have it there.
Now, don’t get me wrong, my FMIL is a very nice person and very generous. I love her to bits and pieces and I have absolute confidence that she will do a good job planning. But what really irks me about this is she just visited us a couple weeks ago, talked about wedding plans in AZ with us and never mentioned anything! Now we’re out $400 for the wedding planner deposit and all that time we spend looking at vendors in AZ.
FI says we just have to cut our losses and move on and I know he’s right. But now the stress of planning a wedding from out of state is getting to me and I’m afraid she’ll try and dictate how to spend money for the wedding. She’s already tried to convince me we don’t need a videographer and that we can always have a friend take pictures. And she also went on to say how we shouldn’t spend more than like $8,000 on a wedding and should start saving for a house and our future, etc. etc. Absolutely, I agree that we should be conscious about our future and not blow all our money on a wedding but this is our day and I feel like it’s up to us how much we want to spend. We’re only 22 and have plenty of time to save up for a house.
Ugh, I just never imagined planning a wedding would be this difficult. I’m at my wits end! Thanks for listening, bees <3
Post # 3
- Wedding: September 2014 - Turf Valley
I’m sorry for your frustrations. But it’s not really your problem that your FMIL has to put out $10,000 (Come on, really? I believe this to be a gross exageration on her end). This is your wedding, and if that’s where you wanted to have it, you should have. Understand that any money you accept comes with strings, whether expressed, implied, or unstated.
Also understand that everyone has different ideas of what weddings should cost and include. What she sees as a valuable investment in your wedding, you may see as a waste, and vise versa. If you can handle her constant input – go for it. But I absolutely 100% WOULD NOT accept her help with planning ANYTHING. Not unless you want to be a bride at your FMIL’s wedding.
Post # 4
- Wedding: July 2014 - Prague
@LMD: +1!!!!! From what I’ve been reading on this forum, it is more than likely that your FMIL will indeed insert her opinions, etc. into the wedding planning. I would beware.
Post # 5
@LMD: I thought this was an exaggeration too, especially since two of FI’s siblings are about the same age as us and more than capable of contributing to the cost of airfare and hotels.
She can be very opinionated and a little pushy at times so it makes me a bit worried that my vision of the wedding might not be expressed. I’m definitely a bit of a control freak too so letting her plan my wedding makes me very anxious.
I know she’s coming from a good place and really does want to help us and not have us stress about it but, I’m stressing about it! lol
Post # 6
@LovelyLee: whoa tough situation indeed.
Well I almost had this scenario – I am from CA and DH is from London – we couldn’t really decide which place to have it in and were very close to having a destination wedding half way in Cancun, MX to make it fair for EVERYONE to travel, not just one set of our families…
but then when we thought about it, CA is beautiful and planning it closer to the bigger family made more sense – plus that’s where I live and I’m the main planner anyway so it enabled me to be in control.
Now for your situation, I think its really tough to have your important family members ALL fly to where you are when it would probably be more fiscally responsible to be near to frendors and family who would be able to help with the wedding in CT.
The internet is amazing these days and allows brides to plan from afar very easily.
If I were you I would consider having your wedding in CT to be considerate of your family as well as enlist their help – but FIRMLY place your foot down that it is YOUR wedding and you are in charge of planning and decision making, including budget!
I think the possibility of a lot of DIY would be good with all that family around and that would help save money and keep you guys in less debt than if you had it in AZ.
Truth be told, she has no right to tell you where to have your wedding and its possible she over-estimated her own cost but its still a concern you should consider for your guest’s sake – they ARE family after all.
Its easier to fly a bride and groom to their hometowns than lots of family to them… just saying.
Post # 7
There is no way it’s going to cost $10k for them to come stay for a couple of days for your wedding. Is she planning on booking a master suite at the Ritz Carleton?!
If she is THAT worried about spending the money on plane tickets, they can pile into the car and carpool there together. (A little bit of a joke; that would be extreme. But so is spending $10k on a few days in AZ…)
My advice is DO NOT let her plan her wedding. Don’t let her pay for it. Don’t let her ask around for money. She’s already telling you to have your wedding photos, possibly the most important pictures you’ll ever have, done by a friend instead of a photographer.
I’m not saying that having a friend take photos is a terrible thing, but if you actually really want a photographer, the last thing you want to hear is, “well I’m not paying for that.” This is YOUR wedding, not your FMIL’s. Giving her the opportunity to dictate how your day goes could be really damaging to your relationship with her.
Post # 8
@LovelyLee: If you MUST have the wedding in CT, I suggest taking a few days of work and go there yourself to make plans. Make a list of venues to visit, reserach the local DJs, limo companies and everthing.
If this is not a good option, then no you do not need to have the wedding in CT. If giving in to your MIL means she will try to take control, then maybe you and your FI can elope and just have a reception in CT?
Post # 9
@KimmySumShuga: I absolutely agree. In fact, we said from the beginning that if money weren’t an issue we’d have it in CT no problem! However, up until this point no one was offering to help us pay for the wedding and costs are double or triple in CT vs. AZ. So we opted for AZ with just close friends and family as guests. Now that the family is helping we are absolutely going to have it in CT.
@rachelmichelle: Yes, and I absolutely don’t want our relationship to suffer over something that’s supposed to be a joyous time. She won’t be paying for everything, from what FI tells me she’s offerred about $2k towards the wedding so we’ll still be paying for most of it and therefore we have the say in what goes. I just don’t want to argue with her about how we spend our money!
Post # 10
Just because she offered this does not mean you have to accept. if you let her walk all over you now, that sets the precedent for your whole future. She’ll dictate as much in your lives as she wants, when it comes to holidays, grand kids, etc. she has no right to complain about your choice of location, and try to take over your entire wedding. Offering money is nice, but not when it comes with these strings. I advise that you thank her for the offer, and politely decline and plan your own wedding like the independent couple I’m sure you want to be.
Post # 11
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
If you take her $$ for a CT wedding, you also have to take her input/opinions on how the wedding goes down (guest list, food served, vendors hired, etc.). Unfortunately, even if she’s only footing 10% of the bill, it sounds like she is going to expect 50% of the say. Are you prepared to do that and ceed part of the control of your wedding to your MIL? If you are cool with the idea and have no problem letting her run things, be your eyes and ears in Ct, etc., it may not be a bad idea. But if you really want to maintain control of things, a thanks but no thanks response may be in order here.
Post # 12
Just read your update. If costs are double or triple in CT, 2K is not going to make up the difference and you would probably be better off financially having it in AZ.
Post # 13
I agree on the 10,000 being a gross estimation, I’d believe 3,000.
Regardless, if you want to have the wedding in CT, I would go for it. I’m in graduate school planning a wedding out of state where I grew up too, and honestly it isn’t that challenging, and while occasionally I will ask my mom’s help (usually something small like drop off a check), I’m planning 99% of the wedding myself. Most venues, photographers, even florists and such have everything very documented online, and everyone is available by phone and email. We’ve even had some Skype sessions with people for our wedding. I’m not saying that you should go for it. Have the wedding where you want to have the wedding. If you want to have it out of state, it really won’t be that hard. Destination weddings are super popular now and they are all planned from afar. Maybe 20 years ago it would have been challenging, but it is totally doable to plan from afar even with a busy life.
I second that it is easier to have the bride and groom travel than the whole family. It might be special for you to do it where you live, then you should. But if you would rather have more family members able to make it (as I did), it might be better to come to them