Post # 1
My fiance and I were originally planning on a small and intimate wedding with about 30 guests. FMIL insisted, however, that all their relatives (80 people in total) have to be invited, and so we changed our plans for the sake of peace. To us, the marriage is more important than the wedding, so we were willing to yield to my FMIL and all her crazy requests.
Now that everyone is invited, they are saying that they look forward to the wedding but don’t inted to bring gifts because they believe that "family shouldn’t have to give gifts to family." Fine. We are not having this wedding to raise funds.
Having said that, however, WHY should we pay for open bar? We are already paying for our guests to have a lavish five course meal, why should we pay for their alcohol too? Sorry if I sound rude, I’m just perturbed by my future in-laws.
Post # 3
Truthfully, I would be a little irritated too. It sounds like you are going all out to make this a nice event for everyone, even when you weren’t planning to, and now they are being rude about even coming. Maybe it’s a normal thing in their family? It they do this at the wedding of every family member, then I would just try to forget about it and let it go. However, if they are only acting like this to you guys, then I think you have the right to be upset. Not that you can really do anything without making it a bigger problem. Like you said the marriage is more important. Hang in there!
Post # 4
Are your inlaws helping to pay for the wedding? Maybe you and your FI can ask them to pay the bar tab since they want to invite extra people.
Post # 5
My mom came across something somewhere saying that traditional the groom’s family paid for all alcohol. Would they consider picking up the bar tab out of tradition?
Post # 6
Is it possible "family shouldn’t have to give gifts to family" means that they prefer to give cash rather than physical gifts? Or, is it pretty clear that they don’t intend to give anything, not even a card?
Just plan your wedding the way you want and don’t feel pressured to make the wedding more fancy or to spend more than your budget. No matter what, you shouldn’t count on wedding gifts– they are optional after all and some people are paying a lot of money for gas/airfare/hotel/new clothes just to attend. It is a bit rude to show up completely empty-handed, but gifts are optional.
Post # 7
And they announced it?? Man, I’m sorry. Do you really need an open bar if you’re providing wine during dinner? How about wine and a champagne toast and leave it at that?
Post # 8
Is it something they believe for other family members too? Or is it something they are just holding true to you two? (As in the "family" excuse was a lie?) If it’s some cultural/family/regional thing, I think you should let it go.
At some point you need to keep things from going from bad to worse. What if you don’t have an open bar, and the guests on your side, who brought gifts are a bit miffed?
I do think it’s a a bum deal that you caved on the 80 extra people, but they seem to be set on not bringing gifts.??? That would tick me off. Again, if it’s true they don’t give gifts to family, I’d let it go. But if they are looking for a free meal and don’t truly support your marriage , I would switch back to your 30 guest wedding idea…
Post # 9
The family is saying that to you? That they will not bring gifts? I mean, I don’t expect anyone to feel obligated to bring something, and that’s not what a wedding’s for, but how rude!
I think it would get nasty if people, especially family, were saying that to me.
Post # 10
Wow, FMIL sounds pretty over-bearing. Who exactly is saying they won’t give gifts? The FMIL or other family members? And how does your FI feel about all this? One thing I’m wondering if there is some weird family dynamic that you don’t know about. For instance, my Mom’s family (siblings) are kind of selfish and demanding of her. They basically always criticize her, and us (me and my siblings), for being a lot nicer and more attentive to my Dad’s family. Now the reality is that our relationship (even my Moms’) with my Dad’s family is much more reciprocal, but it’s still hard for my Mom to hear that. So I think a lot of times she jumps through weird hoops to cater to her family and they are still kind of jerky to her and us. So my point is that unless this is characteristic of your FMIL, maybe there’s more going on here. Perhaps your FI could chat with her nicely (not "we’re unhappy", just ask what’s going on). If weird family dynamics are the case, then it might be helpful to know about anyway.
It just seems that this is unusual and unless your FI knows why (like he knows that’s how his family does htings), it would be worth understanding.
Post # 11
MsHymanRoth – thanks! I was about to get nasty when they said that to us, emphasizing that "You guys have everything you need, so we’re not giving anything."
But I just smiled and kept quiet. Some people in this world have no class.
Post # 12
Um, even if you guys have everything you *need* they could have found sentimental gifts to give you. But to tell you this to your face? It’s the T word indeed.
I was always under the impression that not having an open bar was, forgive me, also the T word. Even though I have plenty of friends who cannot afford to have one and are doing a cash bar. But i think having an open/cash bar depends on SO much. That being said, I have no problem buying my guests alcohol, knowing that they are reciprocating with gifts. I just thought it was expected to bring gifts to a wedding! I would feel so weird showing up to one and not bringing one, but that’s just me! I’d be inclined to make people buy their own drinks, also, if literlaly no one was bringing a gift. I’d be just like you, "why buy them all this food and stuff if they don’t have the obvoius common eetiquette to bring a gift?". It’s just etiquette for weddings. My Fi insisted a few years ago we don’t need to bring a gift to a buddy’s of his wedding. I still cannot believe we didn’t cut the couple a hceck right then and there. I brought it up and my FI was all upset that I was being snooty. Hellooooo.
Did your in-laws share this opinion with all the family? As in, "oh don’t buy them anything, they have their stuff alreadY" in which case, how presumptuous of them! Seriously, no class! But what can you do? You can’t just ask them for a gift. Are they giving you a rehearsal dinner, though?
Post # 13
don’t let you FMIL run you over, girl! It starts off with little stuff, then escalates! next thing you know she’s telling you how to dress your baby
Post # 14
Hmph!!! I would be SO irritated. I caved and invited all these extra people and (not to sound greedy) but they arent even bringing gifts? Seriously, unless you are in the wedding party, you should have to bring a gift!!
That being said, why do you have to serve alcohol? You could have a dry wedding. Or what if you only had bar service the first hour. Or, what if you only had a campagne toast. Or, what about soft open bar (just beer and wine). Ive been to dry weddings (no alcohol, only a champagne toast) and cash bar weddings. The dry weddings were a little stuffy/boring (for me, no offense to anyone doing a dry wedding) and the cash bar pissed everyone off. I remember even the bridal party complaining and going to the restaurant within the hotel IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RECEPTION (yikes) and the last cash bar wedding I attended.
Is there some less costly, happy medium? Dont break the bank, especially when many of the guests are being so snarky…
Post # 15
- Wedding: September 2009 - City Hall
You know, this is such a hard situation. Because the PROPER thing to say is "a wedding is not about gifts". Or "your presence is the greatest gift to us, anything extra is just so generous."
But seriously. When the mister and I were considering a larger wedding, one of the comforts we allowed ourselves regarding the cost of the whole thing was that we’d surely get a lot of gifts too, and that would help to offset how much we’d be spending. If one of our families hit us with the "yeah we all decided not to give you anything" line… I’d be super pissed, but I’d feel like I couldn’t do anything about it.
HOWEVER, it sounds like a situation where you CAN possibly do something about it because it was your FMIL who insisted on all of these extra (and non-gift-giving) people. I think that you DO have a leg to stand on, if you and your FI (she is HIS Mother after all) sit down with her and voice your concerns. It may sound a little selfish, but it’s very valid, in my opinion.
Post # 16
i am seething just reading about your ILs’ behavior.
i agree with everyone else; it’s true that the wedding isn’t about gifts. we had people give a whole range of gifts, from $20 to $500, and we were equally touched by all who came to celebrate with us. that being said, WE were the ones who wanted to invite them to the wedding; we weren’t forced or coerced into inviting them by either side of the family.
However, if you wanted to keep things intimate and only invited these extra people to please your FMIL, it’s absurd that she would permit them to be so rude to you. It’s not necessarily rude to not bring gifts, but it is MOST CERTAINLY the height of rudeness to give the flimsy excuse that they did as the explanation. When you give a gift, it’s not about the money/cost, it’s about the generosity of thought. It seems that you’re OK with them not wanting to spend any money on you, but it’s the fact that they don’t even want to spend time or effort to make a token gesture that is most irritating.
I have to ask, who is paying for the wedding? the ugly truth is, if your FMIL isn’t contributing to the wedding, and is putting you out cost-wise in order to get what she wants, the you have a right to put your foot down one way or another concerning her guests. However, be careful not to do so at the expense of the guests YOU GUYS invited. If i were in your situation, i would just not invite the extras. Give her a number (limit), tell her to give you a list based on that number of guests, and if she gives you more than that, then let her know YOU will be making the cuts to the list as you wish if she doesn’t pare it down herself.
You handled the situation in a very classy way.