Post # 1
Now, I do love my mother dearly which is probably why she is driving me so incredibly crazy. She, along with my dad, sister and FI had to do a lot of the initial work last summer since I was over 20 hours away at an internship (I just finished graduate school, yeah!). However her vision of the wedding has always been very different from mine (both style and money-wise) and she is just ruthless about getting what she wants. I have constantly been the one telling her to stop adding things on or that we can’t do something because it’s not in the budget (both parents are helping plus FI and I are also putting our share in).
I am not an unreasonable person, but I am the one getting married and I do want the wedding and reception to be reflective of FI and myself (and not put us in the poor house). She already threatened not to come to the wedding if FI and I went with brown tuxes, so we changed them to black. There have been several other things as well. I think the biggest problem is I am the oldest grandchild on both sides of the family and the first to get married, so whatever I do seems to set a standard for all the other kids so I think she feels like we have to go all out. I don’t understand it because, while we live comfortably, we don’t have a lot of money and it seems to me like she wants to give this front that we do which really bothers me.
I have sat down and expressed my concerns to her about what type of wedding we are hoping to have and what we can afford several times but she just won’t stop! FI and I have begun to talk about just eloping just to put an end to this. I want to have a good relationship with her but at the moment I don’t even know that I want her at the wedding and I feel horrible that I feel that way. Any advice would be MUCH appreciated!
Post # 3
Maybe we have the same mom? 🙂
But seriously, this sounds really hard. My situation is a bit easier b/c I’m the younger sister (and third grandchild) to get married. As a result my sister fought a lot of the battles for us. Normally I’d advocate being calm and up front with your mother, and keeping your FI out of it. But it sounds like you’ve already tried that. I can tell you that what helped my sister was that a final straw was broken, and my BIL got really upset. Finally *he* had to explain to my parents that while they appreciated their financial help with the wedding none of this pomp was necessary. And that the only people required for them to get married were him and my sister. So they might just go ahead and plan their own wedding without their input and money and send them an invitation. It was not anyone’s best moment, but my mom really had started to go so out of her mind with upping the ante on stuff it was also necessary I think. And, it sounds like you guys are already in the same place if you’re seriously talking about eloping. I do think some compromise is necessary if you’re parents are helping, but if it doesn’t feel like your own wedding it’s not worth it anymore….it sounds like you’re ready to have the smaller wedding you two can afford on your own. My parents are pretty demanding, but when they realized he was serious they came around a bit. Everyone’s family is different, but maybe that would help in your case. Another thing is that my sister never really expressed to them how upset she was with them as her wedding approached. But she did tell them that recently w.r.t. something they were being unreasonable on for me. I know when she did that b/c she told me, and I do think my parents’ attitude has changed.
Ultimately, you do love your mother and so this sounds kind of out of the blue. But soemthing bout weddings can make people absolutely nuts…but perhaps a reality check about how much this is destroying your relatinship with her might help things out. I really don’t understand why parents don’t get that threats like, "I won’t attend your wedding if…" are devestating to their kids, but they don’t mean it and they don’t seem to get that.
Good luck with it all…welcome to WeddingBee and keep us posted.
Post # 4
So sorry. Mom is probably experiencing a lot. She is probably getting emotional about you getting married. (Are you happy? Ready? Are you really grown now? Does this mean I’m old? Someone will call me Grandma?) She might be channeling some of that into the wedding.
Really, I think for her to threaten not to come to the wedding if the GM are wearing brown is out of line. I know it’s easy for me to say, but I’d be really tempted to call her bluff. It’s most likely an attempt to try to control you. It always gets tricky when EVERYONE is contributing to the wedding. If you can, sit down and tell your parents, with your own money XYZ is what you and your FI will be having for a wedding. (Try to come up with a plan to pay for what you want all by yourself, in case your mom tries to pull a stunt by withdrawing all of her money.) If they want something beyond that (ice sculputre, extra guests, the nicer venue) that is what their money will go towards. And if they want something that is more than they can contribute, they’ll obviously have to make some choices.
I’m sorry your mom is feeling this pressure to set the standard. maybe you can talk to her, take some time out, and help diffuse the situation. Maybe even tell her that not attending your wedding because of the color of the GM tuxes really hurts. Maybe she’ll think about what she’s been saying to you. Good luck.
Post # 5
Lots of hugs for you PurdueGrace!
I totally understand – my mother is often over-the-top with her views of how my wedding should be. My sister got married 5 years ago and I saw how they had a lot of tension over money and style. To this day, they still don’t have the same relationship as before the wedding. I told myself that it’s not going to be that way for me. My mom is still the same as 5 years ago, but from my end, I am trying to be the sane one.
We had a talk at the start of our wedding planning when I saw problems arising. I told her that I appreciate her thoughts and insight and that I know that she has my best interests at heart. However, I asked her to please think about what she says first and then to filter it, because our arguments really stress me out. Throughout the past year, I have been making an effort to make her feel included in the whole process. In the end, she has been more laid back and less demanding in her opinions.
One option, too, tell her that you have a budget and that if there are things she wants to add to the wedding beyond what you planned, she will need to pay for it. That seems to eliminate a lot of arguments.
Overall, if you started planning a wedding, it’s probably not a good idea to elope as a response to your mom’s nagging. I felt that way, too, many times. In the big picture though you want to have your mom there for all of the other big things in your life in the future.
Good luck! My heart goes out to you…