- 10 years ago
I am in a tough spot and really need some advice, so I am hoping that you can help! I am sorry this is long, but I think the whole context needs to come out in order for folks to be able to give good advice.
My fiance and I are getting married in 4 weeks in his hometown.
My fiance’s mother has been a challenge through much of the wedding planning process.
Back in July, when we first opted to get married in his hometown, the reason was because she could get us a good deal at a local venue (a country club she and my FFIL belong to) and she promised to offer all sorts of help with the planning process. She even offered to host the rehersal dinner and an after party at their home. We built our budget and made significant plans based on these offers.
During this time, my FMIL said that her family would be contributing $10k to the wedding. This seemed somewhat odd because in the past my FMIL and FFIL have had seriou issues effectively managing their money. However, in recent years they have gotten their lives together, so my fiance felt that we should allow the to contribute at the level that they decided.
In August, after she had agreed to take on several scouting and vendor projects for me, my FMIL said that she had just been too busy to visit any vendors or follow-up on any of the projects I had asked her about. My FMIL is fairly new to the working world, so my fiance did not want to be too hard on her. Because of the new increased work of scoping out venues and making arrangements, at this point I decided to hire a wedding coordinator to pick up on the extra work that my FMIL had dropped on me. My FMIL was very vocal about her disapproval of me hiring a wedding coordinator and created a list of vendors that the wedding coordinate could not contact because it would be inappropriate and make my FMIL look bad. These vendors included our reception venue and the church at which we were supposed to be married.
In November, I went to my fiance’s hometown for some wedding planning work. I invited my FMIL to join me at all of the vendor meetings so that she could feel involved. During this trip, my FMIL told me that she actually had decided she did not want to do either the rehersal dinner or the after party–two cost savings that had also been instrumental in us selecting my fiance’s hometown as our location. I was a bit frustrated on all fronts, but I felt that we obviously needed to do what was best for her. So, we made significant changes to our budget and moved on.
Things really fell apart starting last week, when I went out to do some final wedding planning work. My own mother and my wedding coordinated joined me for two of the days because neither of them had ever seen the venue or church and the two of them would be primarily responsible for the day-of coordination of the event.
During this trip, several things happened:
1) I discovered that my FMIL had planned the rehersal dinner in not only the same venue, but also the exact same room as our reception. Additionally, she had not consulted me about the budgeting and had planned a $75 pp dinner, when we had only budgeted $50 pp.
2) My FMIL refused to have dinner with me and my mother if the wedding coordinator–who driven 6 hours to join me for planning and payed her own way for food and lodging–joined us.
3) Went behind my back and secretly hold the catering manager at our venue that my FFIL would need to be the one to approve all of the cost-saving changes I had made to our menu. I only found out because the catering manager mentioned it to me.
When I returned from my trip on Sunday, I called my FMIL to talk about some of our challenges working together and to check in about budgeting. We had received no check from her and I wanted to get some clarity on exactly how that contribution would work. Rather than calling me back, she emailed me saying that she didn’t think that we should really talk about this because it would cause conflict and that, I quote, "[FFIL] and I will be contributing $6,000, just like we always said. It was my understanding that the reason you and [FI] chose the [venue] was primarily due to budget constraints. The various ancillary costs which were not originally factored into the budget, have added considerably to your plans – so that probably, in retrospect, a wedding in [my mother’s hometown] or [where I live] would have been feasible under your current expenditures."
To me, this implies that I did a poor job of budgeting. However, I was budgeting to the number she had given us.
However, she sent an e-mail to my FI that said, "Darling, I am so sorry. I know that I had told you we would be able to contribute $10,000. However, that was a goal and we will not be able to do that."
Okay, so what is the real story? She is lieing to one of us!
After all of this, I am fed up. I am ready to say that we will not take their $$ at all, which would free us from all of this craziness and, I believe, make a strong statement that you cannot lie to us and expect that to be okay. However, it would be at considerable financial hardship for us. Had my FMIL told us sooner, we would have been able to make some changes, but she told me this only after I pushed hard to get some clarity about what was going on financially AND signed all of the vendor contracts.
My FI told my FMIL that we were considering this and she asked why we were "cutting her out of the wedding" and said that she had saved all year and so looked forward to contributing to the wedding. My FI is now asking why I lack compassion for his family and telling me he is having serious doubts about someone who can be so uncaring for his family.
The additional challenge is that my FMIL announced this week that she had been fired from her job. I realize that this will put her and FFIL in a place of financial hardship and leads to serious emotional strain. I feel even more strongly that we should not accept the funds from her and my FFIL, but they are being insistent and my FI also believes that we should so that they will feel included and not lose face with their friends.
I need some serious advice! Please help!