Post # 1
I don’t know what to do. Yesterday I had an enormous fight with my parents about our wedding that started when I told my mom what the room rate at our venue would be. We are getting married at the W hotel, where the rooms are normally ~$280-$300/nt. They quoted us a rate of $168 for our block. I thought “Awesome, what a great deal!”. My mother FREAKED. OUT. Started screaming at me about how this was way too expensive, how the rate should be better because the event was costing them so much, etc.
I told her 1) we are planning on booking another block of rooms at a cheaper hotel for out of town guests so that they would have a choice. 2) No one is obligated to stay at our venue; 3) $168 is a GREAT rate and that most of our friends who are used to traveling to out of town weddings that are held in metropolitan areas wouldn’t think twice about spending for just the one night 4) We are also going to include information for other hotels in the area for our guests to contact for cheaper rates. These hotels would not necessarily be super close to the venue, but parking for our wedding is either free street parking or $8 for the parking garage next door.
None of this matter. My mother continued to scream at me about how much money they have given us, how we need to cancel the venue (um, they would lose $10,000 if we did that right now), to find a NEW venue, to pick a different date because now all of a sudden our wedding date is a bad time for them (um, we ASKED them if they were ok with it before we picked it, and that was 6 months ago, and this is the first we are hearing about it being a bad date), that we are ungrateful, that our Out of Town guests will have “sticker shock” at the $168 rate and not come, and the last email said that we should just cancel the wedding.
So here’s the deal: my parents told us they would give us X amount of dollars for our wedding. It was a very generous amount, and I don’t think Fiance and I have done anything but say thank you over and over again. We have taken them out to dinner when they have come to stay with us (they live about 2 hours away), we have told them how much we appreciate the support. I think my mom is mad that I have basically done all of the research for my wedding and made all of the plans by myself, and that some of the things that I’ve picked have been not her style (they are my style. My wedding. My style.). But has she offered to help me, or given me any ideas, or given me any opinions? NO. All she has done is told me that she doesn’t like my ideas.
I don’t know what to do. I’ve never cried so much in my life. My wedding is 6 months away, I don’t know what I’m going to do if I have to cancel my wedding, or try to find a new venue. I’ve had fights with my mom in the past (she tends to say a lot of things she doesn’t mean when she’s mad) but my dad was saying the same thing. My dad never gets mad. He never says stuff like this. I think they’re serious and I don’t know what to do, or even what to say to them at this point.
Any advice or help?
Post # 3
It sounds like you both need some time to cool off, and that your mom and dad weren’t exactly thinking rationally–I doubt they are really okay with losing a $10k deposit! Maybe they had a bad day, and hearing about the price of the rooms (while they maybe have been reasonably priced for the hotel/area/whatever) was the thing that drove them over the edge and made them snap.
Maybe give it a few days, and then call her or meet with her again, and say something like, “I know you were pretty upset when you heard the price for the hotel rooms. What do you think a reasonable price to pay would be for our guests? Do you know of any hotels I can contact that would be within that range?” That might also help her feel more involved. And maybe ask her advice/opinions on some other details of the wedding. I know you said you guys have different styles, but if they’re footing the bill, I think it’s fair that they do get some say into what goes into the wedding. I mean, at this point it seems a little late to cancel the wedding…are there any costs that you and your Fiance or his parents would be able to take over for your parents? Sometimes even the offer is enough to make them feel like you’re not taking them for granted (not that you are).
Good luck–wedding planning is stressful for sure, so just remember to breathe and step back from the situation a little bit when you feel like you’re going to fall apart.
Post # 4
I totally understand what you are going through. Ok first off, the room rate. I think the W hotel rate is good considering what it normally is. I also think since you are giving your guests options there isn’t really a problem.
It sounds like your mom is pissed because she isn’t involved and you are right, it’s your style not hers. You would think she’d let you have your day but nope, it’s their money in the end.
It’s a double edged sword and it SUCKS.
I told my mom we were going to let our wedding party sit at tables with their SO’s and just have our sweetheart table, she FLIPPED.
I said we wouldn’t be doing toasts because Future Father-In-Law is Bridesmaid or Best Man and very shy/emotional and my sister is Maid/Matron of Honor and didn’t want to do one either…she flipped again saying “Why are you even having a wedding you need to just cancel it”
I called her out on it saying it’s my wedding and just because I’m not doing everything the “traditional” way doesn’t mean I should have no wedding at all. I also try to give her stuff to do to keep her off my back!
1. Out of Town bags…tell her your wedding colors and let her take it from there. My mom has taste and will make them nice with water, snacks, advil etc and it keeps her occupied
2. We want a candy bar at the wedding, she wants a real favor (um a candy bar is a favor duh!) so I told her whatever, she picked out glass coasters with etched leaves (fall wedding) that are nice, I told her fine she can make all the tags, attach them etc.
Now I’m trying to find more crap for her to do. So just keep her busy, ask her opinion on things that REALLY don’t matter (if you are getting cocktail napkins designed etc) or flowers etc. She probably just really feels left out and on edge.
Post # 5
Well, look at it this way: what CAN you do 6 months out? You can’t replan your whole wedding. Nor do you want to.
If your parnets scream at you on the phone, just say “look, i will talk to you when you calm down” and coerce them into speaking to you like an adult. If they’re going to act irrational, just tell them you gotta go and call them back later and have a CALM discussion. part of the problem is that everybody’s getting SO worked up.
And i think you are being reasonable. Your parents just kinda have to get over it. But there is no need ot insult you in the process. If they don’t like it, they can calmly state the problem.
And if your guests balk too much over stick shock of $160 for a hotel (hello a holiday inn costs that much in seattle), then just tell mom they can get you a cheaper gift. I mean, really! They gotta chill.
Is there anything yo uaren’t super set on having that you can give your mom to do to feel like she’s contributing? I let my mom make the corsages. I told her I didn’t care HOW they were done, just that they were done. They were kinda ugly with these little baby pink roses and stuff. But hey, she was so proud/excited of them, it didn’t matter that *I* didn’t like them, just that she did.
Post # 6
Oh, honey. (((HUGS)) Sounds like your Mom is having a first-class-grade-A-nothing-to-do-with-YOU tantrum.
FWIW, I would be happy to pay $168.00 to stay in a W hotel – especially in Seattle. You were right to think that you got a great deal.
You’ve done everything you can to make your guests comfortable and are absolutely being considerate of those who may choose other accomodations for reasons of preference or price. Other than pay for everyone’s rooms yourself, there’s not much else you can do on that front.
Do agree with PPs that it might be wise to outsource something about which you really don’t care to your mother to give her a feeling of contributing and being involved.
Post # 7
*sigh* I know I should probably be including my mom more, but it’s hard- she lives two hours away. I tried to schedule things when she was here, like a meeting with a potential florist, and we went dress shopping, but that’s about it. The flowers are now more what she wanted, instead of what I wanted, which is fine; they will be beautiful. The venue is at a hotel, which is what she wanted, not what I wanted (I have worked in the hotel industry forever and I was like… ugh, no more ballrooms!). I told her I wanted her to help me find shoes and she gave me a ton of suggestions.
As far as suggesting that we talk when we’re calmer- I tried. My mom was screaming and I just told her I was driving, so I didn’t want to get upset and that I would TALK about the whole thing later with her when we were both calmer. She kept calling me up and leaving me mean voicemails and finally culminated in an email saying that we needed to cancel the wedding. I tried to call my dad because he usually is the voice of reason and he told me the same thing- just cancel the venue unless they were willing to give them a “better rate” (hel-LO- because a 44% discount isn’t enough of a “better rate”? They know what the W usually charges for rooms too). I even asked him what rate he would like to see and he said “Why don’t you just figure that out?”. To which I want to SCREAM, “$168 IS what I think is a fair rate!!!”
Last night after I was able to calm down a little, I wrote out an email stating all the things about giving the guests different options for rooms, and how if they felt they didn’t want to spend any money to attend, well then that was their option but we would do all we could to give them a price range and options and all the information that they would need to make that decision.
FI’s mom and dad are contributing quite a bit to our wedding, they are paying for all of the alcohol, the rabbi, the band- it’s a lot. And Fiance and I haven’t paid for a lot YET but we are picking up the cost of a lot of the little things, like invitations, STD’s, marriage license, kettubah, etc. We haven’t gone over budget for the amount that they said they would give us for the wedding. In fact, we are under budget.
Having her help with the Out of Town bags is a good idea. I don’t think she would want to do the work of putting them together but maybe I could ask her to help me put together a list of things I should include. Although FI’s mom really wants to put those together so I should rack my brain for something else she can do.
Post # 8
Maybe you can try to negotiate with the hotel for your guests, my sister did that and they discounted it even more. My mom was the same way when I told her we were staying at the Marriott but its right down the street from our venue so its convenient, she wants the guests to stay right across the street, which is fine with me but we’re having after hours in our suite and brunch the next day so I would like most of the family to stay where we are staying. People know when they are traveling to a wedding they are going to have to put out some money to stay at a hotel. And the thing for me is that we are paying ourselves, nobody else and mom still has something to say!
Post # 9
I definitely think your parents are over-reacting, but shelling out a lot of money will do that to a person.
The thing with parents is that the wedding is a direct reflection of them. It is a party that they are hosting for you. So guests will judge them based on your decisions. Maybe your friends would be used to $168 per night for a hotel room, but what about their friends and family who are invited to the wedding? Also, its their money, so I do think you need to include them more. They probably feel like you are spending their money without really having to feel the pain of giving away all that money, because it wasn’t yours. Obviously they put themselves in this situation, but they might not have realized how it would feel after giving you all that money.
Were they a part of selecting the W hotel as the venue? maybe they think it is overall too expensive and the room rate is the straw that broke the camel’s back?
Either way, don’t cry about it too much. It is what it is. They set the budget, and you accepted it. So you gotta do what you gotta do and hopefully everyone will think it was worth it in the end.
Post # 10
- Wedding: June 2010 - Tannery Pond at the Darrow School
For the record. that hotel rate is cheaper than the rates at the local Bed and Breakfasts in my little upstate New York town! $168 for the W sounds awesome to me! I’m so sorry your parents are freaking out about all of this, how unfair and unfun for you…I don’t really have much advice but I did want to validate your feelings that this is a great rate!
Post # 11
I’m sorry that you had to hear your own mother tell you to cancel your wedding. You should NOT! That is very unfair. I think you hit it on the head – she is probably upset/jealous that you picked out most of the details. My mom has alluded to the same thing, only in a more passive-aggressive style (which is not fun, either!). But, you are right. When it comes down to it, she offered you guys X amount of dollars with no conditions. If she would have said, you get X amount if you do this, this and this… that would be a different issue (and I might have to advise you to turn down that offer), but I don’t think that is the case. You are right… your style, your wedding. On the actual wedding day, she will get it together and be very happy for you. Happy occasions have a way of working themselves out… you just have to go through some not-so-happy times to get there.
Hang in there!
P.S. As a budget-conscious Chicago-an bee myself, 168 is TOTALLY a good deal for a nice hotel. You are being very gracious to block rooms at another place to give your guests options. If people are that upset, they will put in the effort to find another room. Not your problem. They will pay whatever it takes to see you on your special day!
Post # 12
maybe you and your mum need to do some fun non wedding stuff or wedding stuff but dont stress/talk about the cost because she obviously is a bit fed up with something wedding related and snapped at the wrong moment
personally i think $168 per night for the W is an amazing deal
Post # 13
Would it be possible for your mother and his mother to get together to put some things together. Maybe his mother could be the voice of reason?
Post # 14
I’m so sorry! That really sucks!
Might it help to have your parents talk directly with your contact at the W? (I’d give that person a heads-up that they’re calling, and that they’re angry and threatening to cancel.) In the best case, you might end up with a lower rate and appeased parents who feel more included. And it doesn’t seem like the worst case could be too much worse than what’s happening now! It can sometimes help to have some bad guy besides your wedding-planning child that you can be angry at!
Post # 15
Do your parents know that they will be out 10k for the venue if you cancel now?
Also if your FI’s parents are paying for things and have already put down deposits etc don’t your parents realize they would lose their money as well? I know my mom would be MORTIFIED if she did something like that that effected FI’s parents. Maybe you should bring it up like well it’s too late now, you’ll lose money, FI’s parents will lose money…and how do I explain that to them? It’s so embarassing etc.
They really should understand and chill out.
Post # 16
@worcesterbride: Hahaha… have my mother speak to the W? I can’t let her do that. She doesn’t know the concept of polite negotiation. This is a woman who screams. Yells. Hangs up on people. It would just be too… embarassing.
@soontobeemrsM: That is a VERY good point you make about letting her know how much money FI’s parents would be out as well. So far, they’ve only put a deposit down on the band but they probably lose that if we cancel.
Thank you to everyone for your great advice and your support. I feel a lot better. I STILL haven’t spoken to my parents, which is making me a bit nervous because they NEVER let things go longer than a day… but we’ll see. I’m trying to stay positive.