- 2 years ago
- Wedding: June 2015
So when FI’s parents got married, they were both in med school and didn’t have the time or energy to plan anything. So, FMIL’s mother (FI’s grandmother) planned everything, with really no input from her daughter.
Fast forward 35 years and FMIL has three sons and no daughters. Her oldest son got married a couple of weeks ago in a teeny, tiny ceremony (like 10 people), so it was by no means the lavish, grand affair FMIL had been envisioning. Which leaves FI and me (her other son is still single). We’re getting married in June, and FMIL has basically decided this is her wedding, not ours. Basically, she sees this as her one chance to have some big fancy shindig that she can brag about to all of her friends, as well as a chance to plan the wedding she never got to plan for herself.
Since getting engaged, FI’s parents and my parents agreed to split the costs 50/50. FI’s parents are pretty wealthy, so they were more than willing to put in some significant money. My parents do well, but are no means wealthy, so their contribution (while the same $$ amount) is a much bigger deal for them. Not that that’s important.
It all started with the guest list. My mom comes from a big family, so aside from family members, my parents kept their side of the guest list to a minimum. They invited their closest friends, but these are people I have known for 15-20+ years and see very regularly. FI’s parents have a smaller family, so it’s fine that they want to invite some friends, however, FMIL is inviting an insane amount of friends – friends that FI either doesn’t know at all or hasn’t seen in 10+ years. Whatever, they’re paying half, I let that go.
Then comes the ceremony. FI is Jewish; I’m Catholic; neither of us are practicing or in any way religious. It was important to FI, though, that we include some Jewish tradition. Fine with me. We decided to do the stepping on the glass thing at the end of the ceremony. We also decided to incorporate a Christian-y reading into the ceremony to make a nod to my heritage as well. For FI and I, this was kind of a contentious conversation that took place over the course of a few months. He wanted more religion-related elements, but I was adamantly opposed. To me, even these two things felt fake, but we discussed it at length, hashed it out and came to something we were both comfortable with.
Well, at FBIL’s wedding a few weeks ago this all came up. They also did the stepping on the glass thing, so somehow it came up that that’s the extent of what we’d be incorporating into our ceremony as far as Jewish traditions go. Then, about FIVE times over the weekend, she proceeded to tell FI that this wasn’t acceptable and that we had to at least have a chuppah. She never said anything to me, but it really upset me that she was trying to insert what she wanted into our ceremony. Again.
And then there’s the music. FI and I chose a band for the reception that we loved, but were still considering several options for music at the ceremony. A few months ago, FMIL and FFIL went to Ireland and went to some concert where they heard this trio (harp, violin and flute, I think?) that they loved. They told us about it and I remarked how nice it sounded. The next thing I know? FMIL has booked a similar trio here in our city for the ceremony music. Without even asking. I listened to the music and I do like it, so I didn’t even say anything, but COME ON. You can’t be booking vendors without even asking for our opinion!
But then she did it again. She booked a shuttle to bring guests from the ceremony to the venue…that’s LESS THAN 2 BLOCKS AWAY. I understand that her father is elderly and probably can’t make the walk, but we could have just hailed a taxi. We didn’t need to rent out a shuttle for a few thousand dollars that literally only one person needs.
Oh, and did I mention that she refuses to tell us how much anything costs? I asked FI to find out how much the ceremony musicians were charging so I could add it to the budget. Ditto with the shuttle. And she just says “Oh, don’t worry, we’re paying for it.” THAT’S NOT THE POINT. I’m trying to keep track of all of our expenses so that I know who is spending what.
Then there are the table linens. This just isn’t something that I care all that much about, and FMIL has been really into since we started planning. So I told her that I’d love her help with that. And she’s going crazy with it. We already got the upgraded linens, but that still isn’t enough. Now she wants silk overlays and all this other stuff (I don’t even know what she’s even talking about half the time). Our venue doesn’t have all the things she wants, so now she’s looking into outside vendors, which only equals more money. But again, she refuses to share how expensive things are looking.
And to top everything off, she refuses to send me the addresses for all of the random people she wants to invite. I have been asking her for weeks to send me her list, and she keeps saying “I’ll get it to you tomorrow” and then never does. FI is literally harassing her for it, and still, nothing. At this point, I am about to tell her that the save the dates are going out, with or without her friends.
SHE’S DRIVING ME CRAZY. And we still have 8 months to go! FI has tried talking to her, telling her to back off, but she just won’t. She won’t listen, she won’t stop taking control of things that she hasn’t been asked to take control of. I’m sure, as the date gets closer, it’ll only get worse.
Sorry for how long this is, but I’m looking for some advice regarding how to talk to her. FI has tried, and he’s been pretty firm, but she isn’t backing off. I really don’t want to get involved, but at this point, I don’t know what else to do.
Anyone else with a crazy over-involved FMIL? Oh, and FWIW, I understand that $$ = some control, and I’m totally OK with that. In reality, FMIL has great taste and I’d love her input on certain things, but there also needs to be a line drawn, especially when it comes to religion and our ceremony.