Post # 1
I’ll just try to explain a few things here…It’s a little long but hopefully you can bear with me.
FSIL had a wedding about 2 years ago. FMIL did not approve of the groom, and she and her daughter fought a lot about the wedding, and FMIL clearly did not enjoy a lot of the wedding planning process. FSIL made it a point to try to leave her mom out a lot too, since they weren’t getting along. The bride’s family paid, and they had a decent wedding, although it’s not really the type of wedding I’m going for.
Fast forward to now, and FH and I are planning our wedding. FMIL is very excited this time, since she approves of our relationship. She has talked about wanting to plan things together and go dress shopping. She is looking forward to actually being involved and excited about this wedding. The problem is, both she and FFIL have done the whole “I thought the bride’s family pays for the wedding” thing, and have basically made it very clear they are not going to give us any money. I’ve know this for a while, and I’m ok with it (they just paid for a wedding a few years ago, I get that. I think they should contribute a little to their SON’S wedding too but I digress…). I have saved up my own money knowing we’d have to foot the bill ourselves. My dad is disabled and can’t work and my mom is a teacher and doesn’t make that much money. So I’ve saved almost 15k on my own, and my FH will probably contribute a few thousand as well.
So anyway, here is my real problem- FMIL has made it very apparent she thinks weddings can be very wasteful in terms of money. She has made comments like “You can get a perfectly nice dress for 200-300 dollars at David’s Bridal. You’re only going to wear the dress for part of ONE DAY so why spend tons of money?” Or she will say how FSIL had a heavy appetizers reception, instead of a full meal, and said how no one complained so why shell out all that money?? I am spending my own money here, and my dress budget is $1000, and I WANT to have a nice, sit down meal. But she wants to be involved in the whole process…tastings, dress shopping etc. In a way, I really don’t want to involve her if this is going to be her attitude and she is going to balk at the money we’re spending, but then I feel bad because she very much wants to help plan and be involved.
What do I do? What would you bees do?
Post # 3
I suggest clear communication. I would say” I really want to include you in the wedding planning and have you with me for things like dress shopping and tastings. We have set our budget and are comfortable with it. It takes away my joy when you comment on the cost of everything. I’m asking you not to do that. We, as a couple, will ensure that we stick to our budget. I would like to be able to include you in these events, so please, no more comments about the cost.”
Post # 4
Honestly I had to exclude my FMIL from a lot of that stuff for that reason. My parents are paying for everything reception related and I am paying for dress, cake, etc. FMIL always complains that we are spending too much money and will make comments to FI about me being “Spoiled” if she finds out that something cost a lot. I finally just had to have her stop attending a lot of the planning events, etc.
I hope it works out better with your FMIL, but mine just cannot keep her mouth shut about cost.
Post # 5
I would invite her to SOME of the things. Like maybe the first time you go dress shopping(when you don’t expect to buy anything) or the final fitting. haha
Invite her to things where the decisions are already made and you are just finalizing the details. To tour the venue to figure out table spacing, etc. That way she feels involved but her opinion will really do nothing since contracts are already signed.
In the process of planning I have a little catchphrase that my FI has finally figured out means I don’t like that idea. They tell me their idea and I say “That is a great idea. Let’s put it on the shelf to discuss later.” Of course the discussion later never happens but at least they got to air their opinion and I got to veto it. Or use the vision one where I say “I really like that idea, but it is not really part of the vision that I am trying to pull off, but I wish that it did because its a great idea!” Good ol’ compliment sandwich. Good luck!
Post # 7
@baletrina: are you from the South;) My granny had some doozers– “well isnt that lovely but not quite what I have in mind” -was my favorite
Post # 8
Thanks for your suggestions.
That is a good idea to maybe take her during the first dress shopping trip when I’m just looking, and not buying yet, although I’m pretty sure I’ll have to tell the sales people my price range.
I’m not very confrontational, but maybe this is a good time to try to be…I definitely want to include her and not ruin another wedding planning experience for her (she really is a sweet lady) but I just don’t want to be made to feel guilty for having the kind of wedding I want to have, especially since I’m the one paying for it!
Post # 9
regarding budget- since you are not going to pull out the black amex card the first time- tell the shop- ” no more than x” and then dont worry about it. They will push the range- cuz they seem to do that- but then its on them- and not you- in your fmil eyes
Post # 10
@prettiestpink: Great suggestions thus far! I do have to admit, I have to bite my tongue with the “cost” aspect in my FDIL & son’s planning. The difference is we are helping them out a little bit.
So – I completely agree and do understand where your FMIL is coming from. I 100% completely get/understand AND AGREE with you that it IS your money, you saved it, the wedding is what you want to spend YOUR money on. I don’t ask for my kids permission on what I spend money I earned on… LOL!
May I suggest, you look at it from her point of view? I’m not saying agree with her, but perhaps in some way “acknowledge” what she is feeling? We MIL’s and FIL’s (and MOB/FOB’s) have lived a few years longer – we know, I mean KNOW how unexpected things happen. Younger generations say “Oh, I know”; or “Oh, we’ll be fine”; or “Oh, my job is secure” – unfortunately, that is not always true.
Another suggestion – put her in charge of something that is on your “Least Important” list. Something that “eh, doesn’t really matter” if she wants to be frugal over. BUT, make sure she runs the “final product” by you first – in other words, if you thought silk, but she picks burlap type of deal. Tell her “this is my budget for this, but I thought you would like to be in charge of it since you get such good deals, here are the colors, materials, go for it, I can’t wait to see what you come up with, but make sure you bring a sample to me first!” This way you also won’t get stuck with some cheap stuff that totally turn you off.
Good luck, it sounds like she is just trying to save you money – and sometimes, we do that. Heck, my parents are in their 70’s, I’m 50 – mom and dad STILL do that to me (and so does my MIL.. LOL)
Post # 11
She is probably just trying to save you some money, but I can see how her approach would annoy you. If you want to inlcude her without including her, just give her some tasks that are maybe not as important as picking out the major things such as food, photographer, dress, etc. I would listen to her “suggestions” and say “Thank you, FI and I will take that into consideration.” and then just go about your plans the way YOU want. You don’t have to fill her in on all of the details either. If she keeps asking just tell her “It’s been taken care of” and if she asks about what things are costing, just tell her that “everything is within budget.” I like julies1949 response, it’s firm, polite and gets the message across. Your FIL’s are NOT paying so what business is it of theirs what your wedding is costing.
Post # 12
Don’t worry about it at all, just laugh it off and tell her that you have expensive taste and that you can afford it.
My mom always gasp when I pay the dinner bill and I’d tell her, yeah, guess how much I paid for my friend’s birthday. Don’t worry, mom. I can cover it. Besides, take her to a bridal shop and David Bridal and she’ll definitely be able to see the difference in quality.
I wanted to spend $200-$300 on a dress too… until I found out that those dresses paled in comparison to the $880 one I eventually got. Take her shopping. Have her feel the fabric. Once she sees the better gown, she’ll understand.
Celebrate your life and every joyous occasion with what you can reasonably afford. 😀 Save and spend as necessary and within reason. It is a balance. No point stockpiling money that you won’t use in a lifetime but don’t overspend so you have nothing saved for your future and emergencies. I wouldn’t kill all my savings though, if 15k is all you have.
Anyways, it is all very exciting so take a breath and have fun planning ^__^;;; I’m trying to take that advice as much as I can, despite more workload, vendor drama and etc.
Post # 13
I agree with Baletrina, include her in the non- decision making appointments. She may not even realize what she is doing. If you can, arrange ahead of time that vendors do not discuss money with her. I’m sure they have seen this before…if she does make a comment about cost, just politely remind her that you are paying for it. And you don’t talk about how much things cost.
Post # 14
Thanks for all the helpful responses. I know money is going to come up at times, and I’m just going to have to be polite about it. I think part of me feels bad too because when her daughter got married a few years ago, they had a smaller budget that FI and I have, so I almost in a way feel like I’m offending her. Like she went dress shopping with FSIL and they did buy a 300$ David’s Bridal dress. It still looked nice, and FSIL is gorgeous so she still was a beautiful bride, and I certainly have nothing against DB dresses, but I’m not opposed to taking a step up in quality/cost to find what I’m looking for. And although I know an appetizers only/cash bar etc is perfectly acceptable, it’s just not what I’m going for. Again, I just feel like if I make these more expensive choices in front of her, it’s almost like me saying “I don’t think your daughter’s wedding was nice, and mine is going to be better and I’m so glad I have more money to blow”. I’m probably just being over sensitive, but all this is just bothering me…