Post # 1
I have always got along fine with FI family, never super-comfortable, like he is with mine, but well enough. They always make me feel welcome even if we do stick to just polite small talk. My FI goes to football and out with my Dad and Brother regulsraly without me, so he’s well established in that sense!
My issue is, I’m not sure how much I should involve her in the wedding planning? She has 3 daughters, all of whom are married, and my other half is her only son. To add to the situation, she has also been demonstrating signs of possible dementia over the last year or so. Nothing too severe, but the most simple of every day tasks now cause her an awful lot of worry and anxiety. So, given that we’re not particularly close, do you think I should look to involve her in the planning, particularly as this will add to her ‘things to think about’?
I don’t want to put any more pressure on her, but at the same time, I don’t want her to feel excluded. I know if i asked her, she’d help with stuff, but I’m not sure if she actually wants to, or whether she’d be doing it to be polite? She doesn’t mention the wedding, and his father jokes whenever we bring it up ‘ a lot can happen in 18 months, don’t worry about that yet’, so it kinda feels like they’re both not really interested, which is fine, (hurtful but fine) as we are paying for everything ourselves, but I wanted to try and start off with a good relationship with my inlaws, and leaving her out totally seems mean. Even though she’s shown no interest in being involved and we have her health problmes to consider.
Any suggestions as to how I can do the right thing here! leave her out and i could be seen as rude, inlcude her, even a little, in things she could do without, and i’m maybe expecting too much given her health.
Post # 3
Perhaps when you’ve narrowed down choices on vendors (photographers, caterers, etc) you could ask her opinion. I found that my FMIL was helpful with the menu when I showed her the two options I had designed, rather than letting her having free reign from the start. Let her do as much or as little as you’re comfortable with. Even just asking if she’d like to be involved would be a good starting point! Good luck!
Post # 4
Thank you. We did initailly ask FMIL if she’d like to be involved as FI comes from a large family and we needed to get some idea of an invite list from his side, but since then, there has been no mention of anything, if the wedding ever comes up in conversation, FFIL pulls fun at how early we’re talking about it, and FMIL stresses herself out. Example, Her home insurance was due for renewal before Christmas and she called us over and over again to ask us how she renewed it. These are things that she has been doing for 40 years and they seem to be causing her great difficulty now.
I want to support her as much as I can, and I also would like her to feel like she was involved in her only son’s big day, but is it really fair to put someone under that kind of pressure whne they are already living on their nerves?
Post # 5
@sazzle: I went through the same thing — I had a 17 month engagement, and I got a lot of eyerolls for doing advanced planning. All I can say is, it gets better. Really. As it gets closer, people get more and more excited. My FMIL kept complaining about how long the engagement was in the beginning, and now I’m about 50 days away, and it seems like there isn’t enough time to get everythign done. What does your FI think about this?
Post # 6
50 days! Wow, i bet it feels like you’ve been planning forever! We got engaged with 22 months to go so i’ve already sourced a few of the important bits. I’m sure it’ll fly by come this time next year.
FI is one to ‘keep out of it!’ He suggested talking to his sisters and seeing what they thought! LOL. He ackowledges that his Mum is a little shaky compared to how she was a year or so ago, but i don’t think he really understands how disasterous it could be if i get this wrong. I’m already very conscious of doing the ‘right’ thing, and i really would like to involve her, i just don’t see how I can. The poor love gets panciky about going to the shop for milk, so asking her to come look at dresses and flowers etc with me may be more of a chore for her than a pleasure. I just want it as easy on everyone as possible. I don’t necessarily need her help, i just feel it would be polite to ask and may help cement our relationship a bit more (or completely trash it if i ask her to help and it unsettles her even more!)
Post # 7
@sazzle: Take her dress shopping with you when you do go.
Bring her to the tasting if you can.
Ask for guestlist.
Let her know things that are bought/done (eg, when guest favors come in, show them to her!)
If she has a different culture than you maybe you can ask what traditions she has that she might want included?
I think those things would help her feel involved without giving her too much to do or think about. I run things by my parents and my FI before I do them, but then when its decided (or almost 100% so) I throw it out ot my inlaws and they’re happy about it. They also like that when they come to visit our house, I show them what’s arrived in the mail. 🙂 His mother can’t even get her son’s names right — she will always go “Marc, Woody, Richi” no matter who she talks to, since she can’t remember which one they are.