Post # 1
FI and I have talked it over quite a bit and we’ve both agreed to a private civil ceremony and then a big, separate dinner reception to include friends and family. We both prefer the smaller setting of the civil ‘ceremony’ and want to include both of our immediate families on the day of. Also, since I am a non-practicing Catholic and he a Buddhist, we decided to avoid the conflict of a religious ceremony and thought the civil ceremony would be a perfect idea (may not be for many). Both of our parents are okay with the civil ceremony + separate dinner reception.
The only problem is FSIL, who is very upset with the idea of a civil ceremony. She insists on a big ceremony and does not consider the civil ceremony as important. She has even argued for FI to just go through with the Catholic ceremony for the sake of having a formal ceremony even though we have talked it over otherwise. FI already told his sister that this was our wedding day to plan ourselves, especially since we are the ones paying for everything. We were working on a guestlist and FMIL already drafted her list of 120/200 and it is mostly comprised of FMIL’s family and family friends (of whom I do not know, never met before). FI and I felt that the civil ceremony would be more intimate for us (despite being in a not so romantic setting). We are also working on a budget and have decided to splurge on the dinner reception for everyone else and to forego a big, fancy ceremony.
FSIL then later asked her mother, FMIL, to request us to have a formal ceremony and that we include her young sons in it (ages 5 & 3). Not to sound selfish…but heck yeah, I want to be selfish! This is MY wedding! I don’t know what her intentions are for the wedding but we were already planning on incorporating them into an event during the reception. How do I tell her gently again that this wedding is something for FI and I to plan?
Post # 3
Well, it’s a good thing she is only the FSIL-a.k.a. someone who has no say what so ever in the wedding planning.
IGNORE HER and carry on with your planning. My FSIL tried to guilt us into putting her son in the wedding too. I didn’t budge and I don’t regret it.
Post # 4
Aaaah! the kids…she probably romanticized your wedding because she dreamt her kids being in it.
It has nothing to do with you, your FI or the difference between a civil and a catholic wedding. It’s sadly all about what she dreams or wants for her kids all the ooohs and aaaahs…and OMG your children are so cute!
If you do want to make her happy (tho if it was me, I wouldn’t really care)…reinforce in her mind that her kids will play a very special part in the reception…other than that….IGNORE HER but if you do wanna talk to her…DON’T, let your FI do it…she can’t stay mad at him forever…you on the other hand…are a completely different story.
Post # 5
Yeah, absolutely ignore her. Ditto what everyone else said. Stick to your guns – your plans sound wonderful. The style of your ceremony is one thing you should definitely be "selfish" about, as it’s the only thing other people can’t dictate for you.
Post # 6
Since when does a FSIL get to "insist" on wedding plans??? I’d ignore her. I wouldn’t argue with her, but I also wouldn’t feel the need to explain my every decision.
I’d continue to put together your own guest list and simply user hers as a reference. When she asks why all 100/120 are not on the list, your FI should tell her that while it would be lovely to have everyone at the wedding, you simply can not afford it. Talk of money usually does the trick.
I know my FSIL and FMIL were waiting for us to ask my FI’s niece to be the flower girl, but we had already agreed pretty early on that we did not want any children in our wedding and that only his neice and my 2 nephews would be the only children even invited to the wedding. My nephews will be 9 and 11 (so, not really little kids)
Before anyone had a chance to even suggest we have a flower girl, we were talking about the guest list one day when I casually mentioned that it would be adults only and how I didn’t think weddings were for children. Especially evening weddings, where there would be plenty of alcohol involved.
Post # 7
I will join in with everyone else…..consider her an annoying fly buzzing about an otherwise lovely picnic. she has no weight what so ever in this matter. ignore her and do not feel guilty in doing so!
in fact, i would not entertain this conversation with her anymore. No doubt she will continue, but i would not comment or respond. When prompted, I would say that "your brother and I have already decided on our plans".
Post # 8
I agree with everyone else! Be polite but firm if she presses you about it further. From my experience, it seems like since they’ve been through the process already, FSILs like to tell you how to plan your wedding. Isn’t it nice and SO helpful?!
By the way, civil ceremonies can be as meaningful/romantic/important as you like. I’m not sure where you’re located, but justices of the peace usually travel short distances, so you’re not necessarily limited to a courthouse wedding.
Post # 9
Just tell her if she wants her kids to be involved, she and her husband should do a vow renewal and then she can plan her own ceremony
Post # 10
Its you and your fiances wedding. Not hers, not anyone elses. Do what you wish. Maybe to soothe her over maybe the kids can do a little something something at the dinner reception? I don’t know what- but I think she just wants to showcase her kids.
Post # 11
I actually doubt that a Catholic priest would marry you. There have been several other posts about Catholic services for mixed faith couples, and I remember a few couples who were Catholic-Jewish and could not get a Catholic priest to perform the ceremony because the spouse-to-be was not Christian. I would assume that the same thing would apply to your FI as a Buddhist.
At any rate, your FSIL is dead wrong to even suggest that you go through with a religeous service that would not be meaningful to you. (Besides which, as the sister of the groom, it’s none of her business.) You and your FI should just let her know (and FMIL too) that you’ve already made your plans, and it’s not open to discussion.
My FSIL is crazy like this too – she actually called when she got her invitation to b*tch about the wording, and how we hadn’t run it by her. I told her (nicely) that while she’s free to use any wording she likes on the invitation when she gets married, and that we felt in consulting with both sets of parents we had included everyone whose opinion mattered. My FI laughed so hard he had tears running down his cheeks.
Post # 12
I don’t think you need to allow her kids to do anything at the reception. Your wedding is not the time or place to showcase her kids. If she wants to show them off, the best way is for her to do that is to make sure her kids are well behaved at the wedding.
Post # 13
Thank you for your support and reassuring me that it’s okay to not adhere to everyone’s wishes all the time. And for also pointing out that it’s ok to not necessarily include the kids (although I do like the little tykes very much). I feel revived again in wedding planning and am excited about the civil ceremony more so. 🙂
*suzanno* – We actually found a Catholic priest who could marry us in the church despite our differing religious beliefs (but with the requirements of pre-cana and possibly promising to baptize our future children in the church). Although I’m a supporter of the open communication the pre-marital counseling promotes, FI and I both decided not to go through with the Catholic ceremony. Thanks for your humor also.