Post # 1
I am at my wit’s end. My FI and I got engaged in November and are getting married in Jan 2014. My mother is contributing a substantial amount, but thinks this gives her the right to have everything passed by her (and I mean everything!), and that she can invite everyone she wants. Last night, she told me that because she doesn’t know some of my friends on the guest list, I may not invite them. She then wanted to go through my list and tell her how I know each person, how long I’ve known them for and how often I see them so she can decide whether they’re good enough friends to come to the wedding! With all her friends, the guest list has gone to over 100, when we wanted max 80. She said that if I want to cut it down, I must invite fewer of my own friends as hers HAVE to be invited.
How do I deal with this? It’s been suggested I take out a loan so she can’t be involved. Any other suggestions?
Post # 3
Don’t let her pay for anything and return any money she’s already given. You’ll have to scale back your wedding vision, buy when you’re paying, you don’t have to listen to anyone else’s input.
Post # 4
It’s lovely when parents pay, and defer to the couple, but that’s generally not how it works.
I was in a similar position in my early 20’s–the out-laws were paying, and the wedding was limited to 65 people, including wedding party. It left 11 spots for us to invite our friends and my family. Like you, I wasn’t happy with being married in front of a bunch of our parent’s (well, his parent’s) friends and not ours, so I called it off altogether (and eventually ended the relationship).
It sucks, but that’s the way it is.
Post # 5
Op it is either you and your FI pay or you let your mother have her way since she is paying.
Post # 6
I am in a similar situation. My parents are paying for the whole wedding and we had a tough time with the guest list. We had to sit down and have a talk. My mom explained that when she got married, her mother planned EVERYTHING, made the guest list, etc. Same type of planning for all her friends weddings and that is all she has ever known. She just assumed as mother of the bride, it was her place to decide and plan everything. I told her that I would rather pay for everything myself than have her pay and plan everything. She didn’t want that – she wants to pay for the wedding but we just had to discuss what her role would be in planning the wedding. I have put her in charge of flowers and invitations. Maybe your mom is the same? Have you sat down and talked to her about everything? Tell her you are very grateful for the money she is giving you, but you can’t accept it if it comes with strings attached.
Post # 7
A lot of times the generational gap is bigger then we realize. It may be that she is trying to be helpful and doesn’t realize it comes off as controlling. I know a lot of my girlfriends went through this same thing and many just let their mother take over. If you arent ready for that then go ahead and have that talk.
Post # 8
@Spike31: Have a nice chat with your mother and explain to her this is YOUR AND YOUR FI’s wedding and your friends trump hers. This is not her party, but your’s.
If you can get a loan, do it.
My FI and I took a year to plan our wedding so we could do monthly payments towards everything. That way no one could tell us what to do.
Even if she gives the money, she has no right to take over. Money is a gift, not a negotiating tool.
Post # 9
That is something else! She doesn’t want YOUR friends at YOUR wedding because she doesn’t know them? I think she views it as HER party.
Honestly, if she’s contributing a substantial amount, it will be hard to reel her in. I’ve always thought whowever is paying gets the most say. So either return her money, try to have a “come to Jesus” moment with her, or let it continue as is.
Post # 10
@LuvMySailor: “Even if she gives the money, she has no right to take over. Money is a gift, not a negotiating tool.” Exactly!
I’ve been going through something similar with my mom. After several talks and lots of tears I THINK she understands that my parents’ money is a gift – one that we would gladly give back if there were strings attached.
If your mom is at all reasonable, try to sit down and have a calm rational talk with her. You may even want to write everything down so you don’t get flustered during the converstaion. She may not even realize how controlling she is being and ultimately how much she is ruining this experience for you and your fiance.
My fiance and I were prepared to scale our vision back dramatically and pay for everything ourselves if needed. I hope that it doesn’t come to that for you!
Good luck 🙂
Post # 10
My mother has been the same. I’ve been told ‘you’re not fu**ken having that’, told I don’t know how to plan a wedding, laughed at, told to shut up and told she knows best (I was a wedding planner for a year and a half). The best bit is, she didn’t involve her mother in ANYTHING when planning either of her weddings. She didn’t even take my Gran wedding dress shopping, have her parents at the top table, or invite my Gran for a glass of fizz with us before the ceremony for her 2nd wedding. She told me at the weekend (4 weeks before the wedding) it is not YOUR wedding, it’s MY wedding. I’m paying.. MINE, not YOURs. Which now makes sense that she wanted us to book a venue which only held 50 people, whilst she had 16 friends on the list – meaning my fiance and I could only have friends OR family. If I had know that she was giving us the money out fo control rather than being a loving, nuturing mother I would have refused the financial help. Funnily enough, I’m sure she told me when we got engaged that it was my step-father that was paying for it and yet I was told not to ask him if he wanted to invite anyone. It’s 4 weeks until our wedding and both my fiance and I wish we had eloped and I think we’re both looking forward to the day being over. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive her for this behavior 🙁
Post # 11
Oh bee. My family is being a nightmare as well, so I can definitely commiserate with you. This should be about US, right? It’s OUR wedding? Apparently, that’s not what our mothers think. My mom isn’t contributing a single penny to my wedding day and she has still given me hell over it and has also emotionally manipulated me into inviting more of her friends and distant family members I’ve never even heard of… I gave in, to a certain extent, at the beginning. But I realized when she started to try and manipulate what I put on my registry, that she is just a control freak and wanted to have her way and make it all about her. When I didn’t listen to her, she started calling me names, telling me I’m narcissistic and saying that I don’t care about anyone else besides myself, blah blah blah. All because I wanted to determine the details of MY wedding that my fiance and I are paying for entirely on our own. My mom hasn’t spoken to me for a while. She’s throwing a tantrum and refusing to even buy the MOB dress (it’s now a month away from my wedding and the MOG keeps asking about it and I have to sadly say that my mom hasn’t gotten her dress yet). I’m realizing that maybe this is how she’s always been. Recently she’s been really mean to me and saying nasty things to put me down because she’s realizing that she no longer has control over me. After realizing that insults wouldn’t work, she’s been shunning me and threatening to not be involved with anything. This is far more common than you might think. Mothers become nightmares during wedding planning, especially ones who were already control freaks to begin with.
Anyway, my advice to you would be to not give in. If you give in now, she’ll demand more. She’ll demand to be involved in every single detail, etc. At this point, if you and your FI can pay for the wedding yourselves, I’d advise that you do that. If you can’t, I would still recommend that you try and put your foot down and say that while you appreciate her contributing financially, you still want this day to be about you and to have the people you care about most there.