- 3 years ago
I’m really at my wit’s end here and could use a little input. My parents are reasonable and kind people, I love them so much, my fiance loves them, and they have done EVERYTHING possible to make my life easier and to give me as much of a head start as possible. Which is why this guest list drama with them has been even harder and so, so unexpected.
After FI and I got engaged, my parents sat us down and offered to contibute a substantial sum of money to pay for our wedding. They insisted that there were “no strings attached.” With their contribution we have been able to plan a beautiful, traditional wedding. Keeping things modest, we have been able to get through our wedding without taking on any debt or wiping out our savings. Which is great and I am eternally grateful for and appreciative of their help.
The drama started when we went over the guest list. We chose a venue with a limited capacity, which my parents were well aware of. Then we sat down to discuss the guest list, and my parents starting adding people I didn’t know were going to be invited. I was absolutely okay with most of the friends and family they wanted to invite, with a few exceptions… distant relatives and friends of my mom and dad’s who I’ve never even met. I resisted a bit because the more people we invite that we DON’T know, means people we DO know who can’t be invited. My parents immediately made me feel guilty and unappreciative when I suggested a few of their proposed guests be cut…. they said they had a “right” and told me that this wedding isn’t just just for us but also for our families.
Except it’s NOT about our families. It’s about MY family, ONLY. I had to FIGHT for guest spots to make sure my FI had enough room to invite who he wanted to invite. My parents have seemed resentful over how many people FI is inviting (it’s 1/3 of the total guest list). We originally decided no kids at all, so my FI let his family know that we weren’t inviting children. Then my mom invited a bunch of kids on our side of the family, and didn’t tell me until after the fact. When I mentioned that then we should probably invite the invitation to the kids on FI’s side, she said that it’s “too much” and went into a diatribe about how FI’s family isn’t contributing and basically that it’s just too bad for them. I tried to remind her that I don’t want to enter into my fiance’s family on a bad footing (how would it look to tell his family “no kids across the board” and then have them show up and there are only kids on my side invited?”). She feels that because the kids on our side are coming in from out of town (one of whom I’ve never met), they should be the exception.
I know my mom is resentful that my FI’s family is not contributing at all. Which we knew going in, so I don’t know why this is an issue now. My fiance would be CRUSHED to know that this was going on within my family. He has a strained relationship with his parents and feels that my family has taken him in. I hate that this is happening, I hate that anytime I even so much as state that there are some people invited who I’ve never met or haven’t seen in 20+ years (while close relatives of FI’s aren’t invited), I get a guilt trip. They look at me and talk to me like I’m completely unappreciative of the financial help they’re giving me. Which hurts because that’s so far from the truth.
I don’t know how to handle this. I can’t say anything because they’re paying, but I hate that they’re acting this way. I’ve never seen this side of them before and I don’t know how to deal with it. I’m sure the guest list thing will work out — I’ll pay for the kids on FI’s side, no big deal. But this is beginning to change the way I see my parents, and unfortunately I think they now see me as unappreciative and selfish.