Post # 1
So, I live in Canada, my fiance lives in the US. We want to get married here in Canada. My MIL wants us to have a “party” in the US for the people who won’t be coming up to Canada for the wedding. Although we are in different countries, it’s only a 5 hour drive, so I can’t see the logic in having what will amount to 2 receptions. The truth is, though, i hate parties. One is more than enough. She says she will pay for it, which is lovely, but I don’t want to be involved in planning it. Nor do i wish to attend something that she has planned, as it is guaranteed to be a plastic flowers and macaroni salad style party, if you know what i mean. She is nice and means well, but i don’t want to be introduced to all these people at “my” party and have them think that this was all my (bad) taste. Plus, let me restate this – i hate parties. She is already talking about having her unbearable friend make centerpieces for it. (Seriously, these will be pastel plastic old lady dollar store flower centerpieces…) Here is my question: am i just being a jerk? I have absolutely no problem shutting this second party down – I can be pretty clear when i need to be. (People don’t like it, but they don’t usually try to push me after i have made my point, either.) But should i be trying to be nicer about it? And if people really want to come to our wedding, won’t they drive 5 hours? I would. Help me bees! What should i do?
Post # 2
- Wedding: August 2013 - Wynn Las Vegas
Maybe there can be a compromise where she throws a very casual party for the US people, and doesn’t call it a reception? Congratulations dinner or something? It is nonsensical to have a “2nd reception” with all of the dances, cake, etc. Especially when the distance is not far, so most people will probably travel to the real reception.
Post # 3
It’s just 5 hours and an easy boarder crossing, I really think the people that want to attend will make it. So I don’t see the need for a second party. Also, the way you describe the potential setup just makes me cringe. No, better to go with one fabulous affair!
Post # 4
kismet13: I’d ease up on her. She’s your MIL, why start off married life on the wrong foot with her? If you’re involved in some of the planning you can steer her from the things you really don’t want. How about a low key dinner at restaurant instead of a big bash? Could you work out a compromise? For the sake of a good relationship I would try to come to an agreement on things rather than just shutting it down completely.
We’re having a 2nd reception. We’re getting married here in Canada and we’re having a celebration in Ireland later in the year for those who couldn’t travel. I’m actually hoping my FMIL will handle most of the planning! But, its a lot to ask of her. But my FMIL has excellent taste. She planned a lovely catered party for us the last time we visited, so I am confident in letting her take the reins on the plans.
Post # 5
My MIL wanted to do a second reception for their friends and family who weren’t travelling too (even though my in-laws, DH’s grandparents, and all their siblings were coming over for the wedding anyway). My husband (then FI) had no interest in it, but didn’t want to disappoint his mom. Originally I didn’t say anything against it – until she told me that I should fly out with my dress so I can wear it again for their reception. That’s when I had to say ‘no’ to the whole thing. We were having 1 wedding, and therefore 1 reception. Neither my husband or I had any desire to get dressed up again in our wedding clothes and basically pretend we were just coming from our ceremony again. It just seemed weird and impractical.
My MIL was fine with it in the end. It’s not what she wanted, but she got over it pretty quickly. I think she even realised that asking someone to take extra vacation time to fly across the country with their wedding dress – for no essential reason – wasn’t a particularly reasonable thing to do.
Post # 6
Normally, I would not find five hours in a car a big deal. That said, this is not the case for you. It might only be five hours, but it is five hours across an international border. People will need to have their pasport in order, pay to have it renewed, or go through the hassel of getting one for the first time. And then they have to go through a border crossing. I have driven it once, and was stuck in line for 2 hours waiting. That turns a 5 hour car ride into 7 hours both ways. And you would have to stay over night if you plan on even having a little to drink. While this is not prohibitive by any stretch of the imagination, it won’t be something everyone wants to do for a wedding.
I would have a talk with your FI first. Get on the same page with him. Maybe he really really wants it because he wants his family to get a chance to celebrate his marriage. Don’t roll him over or “shut him down.”
If he doesn’t want it, have him talk to his mother (nicely) and decline it (politely) You can be there too, but 90% of dealing with his family should be done by him, just like 90% of dealing with your family should be done by you.
If he really wants to celbrate, compromise on keeping it low key. You can have it in the back room of a nice resteraunt and keep it to dinner without dancing or tacky center pieces. Have it at brunch or a time of the day where it will be really low key. Don’t do a head table or speeches. You can keep the guest list small so it doesn’t feel like a party, and more like having dinner with his family.
Post # 7
Honestly I’d just let MIL throw the party, smile, and try to enjoy it. If someone compliments the centerpieces or asks about the party design, very graciously say “yes, our dear friend was kind enough to make them for us. My MIL did a great job planning this party, don’t you think?” It’s a nice way to tell people that the party wasn’t planned by you.
Post # 8
She will be your MIL for a long time. I think this is such a little thing to let her have her way. There will always be people who will not come to the wedding for one reason or another. You would be amazed at the number of people who live close to the border and don’t have a passport.
You can comppromise by agreeing to a very casual backyard BBQ- no music, no dancing- not a party- just a simple summer BBQ.
Post # 9
Nope. You don’t want it, you don’t want to go. End of story. (I love macaroni salad, by the way-LOL!)
Post # 10
hmmm sounds like she would have a more causual party than a reception. Meh why not do it, get some points with her, you don’t have to do anything or pay for anything. I’m sure the people she would invite are well aware of how wonderful your taste in parties are and would never for a moment confuse her plastic ware/mac salad party for one of your parties. It’s a couple of hours of your time on a weekend and it gets meeting all these people out of the way at one time.
Post # 11
honestly, I’d let her do it but I’d make sure it was more low-key, and I would call it a congrats party or something rather than a reception… My grandmother was very upset she didn’t get to be there for my reception so when we told her we were considering having a small party in her home state she took it & ran with it. Went crazy, got decorations I would never have choose, etc… And you know what? I couldn’t care less. I love that woman, it made her extremely happy, and I didn’t have to do anything but take time out to be there! Just give her lots of praise during the day of for her obviously wonderful decorating senses and you don’t have to worry about people thinking it’s your bad taste…
I think it’s a minor thing to keep her excited & happy- you would have already had your wedding & reception anyway so just let go, relax, and watch her work! =)
Post # 12
I’d let her throw the party but make sure she keeps it casual. Perhaps suggest a pavillion in a nice park or something similar. She’s going to be your MIL for a long time.
Post # 13
Five hours is probably longer than you think for some guests. We turned down a wedding that is five hours away because we would have to rent a hotel room for two nights if we didn’t want to be driving at unreasonable hours.
What does your FI want? If he wants it I don’t understand why you would say no. Make it clear it’s only happening if she plans it and calls it a celebration (instead of a reception). If you’re really that worried about what people will think of you, than make sure people RSVP to her so that it’s clear she is the host.
Post # 14
It’s not so much what people will think about me, it’s more about me hating, and i mean hating, parties. I find shaking hands and meeting people close to unbearable. I’m about halfway to just eloping so i don’t have to have my own reception. The thought of having to have 2 stresses me right out. My FI is about 50/50 on the party. If i put the brakes on it he will 100% support not having it, so I’m not worried about that. But I also don’t want people who would have ordinarily come to the real wedding to opt out and wait for the tacky party so they don’t have to travel. I’d rather just have 1 party and get it over with. If people don’t come, they don’t come. Right? Or am i utterly selfish?
Post # 15
As someone who used to live about 2 hours from the border, it is actually very common for people to not have their passports regardless of how close it is. So “it’s only 5 hours” doesn’t hold for me. It’s still international travel.
If you don’t want a second party, that’s fine, but I think you need to take into account that your FI has feelings on this too, and it could potentially alienate the “States family.”
ETA: if people are going to go to the wedding, they’re going to go to the wedding, regardless of whether there is this “casual party” or not.