Post # 1
I am newly engaged, and my family and my FI’s family have agreed to pay all of the traditional costs for the wedding with the exception of ME paying for my cake and photography. My FMIL is asking all of these questions, and then immediately wants to know the cost of such things. I have just wanted to leave her in the dark because instead of supporting my decisions, she is analyzing all of my purchases. She asked last night about where I was going to get my dress, when I told her, she told me that that place was expensive. When I told her that it actually wasn’t, she said that she read it online. Why is she looking at the costs of wedding dresses to begin with, when it is my family who is buying it?? Then she asked about my cake, and I showed her the most beautiful picture of the one I had in mind, and she told me that I should get a sheet cake to save money. Again, I am not having her buy my cake. These are just two examples, but like I said, I am apprehensive to include her in any planning ideas because I just get questioned, and I feel like she thinks I am spending my money on very frivilous things. What am I supposed to do? I don’t want to create any undue tension. She also wanted to come along when I go to buy a dress, but I did put my foot down and said no. I just want to make everyone happy without going bat Sh*& crazy in the process. Plus, I am tired of hearing her use the word “cheaper”
Post # 3
She may be concerned if your family has or appears to have more money than they do – she may not want ‘her’ contributions to look cheap next to yours and your family’s contributions. Or it might be the other way around, she may be worried that you’re looking for a handout. Either way, there’s a lot of assumptions flying around.
Sit down with your parents, have him sit down with his parents and get a confirmed dollar amount contribution, and what they would like that money to cover. For example, his parents may put $5000 towards the venue, but that may mean they want a certain amount of invitations for their friends. Or she may give $3000 for flowers, but then she gets input on the type/arrangement.
Nothing’s free. If you don’t want her input, then don’t take her money. Now, contributing doesn’t mean she gets to run all over the wedding, but there will be some give and take. You can’t just take the money, shoot down all her ideas and expect a happy relationship after the wedding.
PS…I hate the word ‘cheap’ too.
Post # 4
@MariContrary: Nothing’s free. If you don’t want her input, then don’t take her money. Now, contributing doesn’t mean she gets to run all over the wedding, but there will be some give and take. You can’t just take the money, shoot down all her ideas and expect a happy relationship after the wedding.
What is your ILs going to pay for? Are you going to be happy with what she is going to want to purchase? Sounds like there is some disagreement already on what you want and what she thinks you should have.
Post # 5
+1 to what both PPs said
Also, is it possible that she is confused about what exactly she is paying for? If she is just contributing a certain amount of money to the wedding in general, this might be why she thinks she has a say in how much things cost. As far as she is concerned, she is paying for a portion of that dress.
If this is the case, it might be in everyone’s best interest to actually determine what each family is paying for. For example, your family pays for the dress and venu, his family pays for the food and flowers, or somehting like that. This would be a lot easier for her to actually see where her money is going, as opposed to both families contributing X amount of dollars to the wedding and it’s just going to be used where it needs to be. Does that make any sense?
If this is not the case, then I think she should have at least some say in the things that she is paying for, but there is no reason she should be questioning you about the cost of the dress if she knows for certain she is not paying for it. Although, it might be that she sees it as wasteful. Try to see it from her perspective: If she is paying $3,000 for flowers, and your dress costs $5,000, she might be thinking “well she could have gotten a dress for $2,000 and paid for the flowers with that money.” So from her perspective, even if she is not technically paying for the dress, she feels like she is. I’m not saying she is right or wrong, I’m just trying to explore why she might feel like she needs to have a say in expenses.
Post # 6
She’s probably just trying to be helpful. It is rude to ask people about the cost of things, but my suggestion is learn how to smile and say thank you for your input I appreciate it. You’ll probably be saying it a lot while you’re planning your wedding! The quicker you learn how to do that and not get upset, the less stress and tension there will be!
Post # 7
FMIL is paying for the rehearsal dinner, the alcohol and the honeymoon. Everything else is my family and me. Im really cutting corners where I can, just feels like a lot of mistrust. Right after we got engaged she mentioned that I needed to be careful with my money when she saw my new Coach wallet (which I got at out outlet for 75% off). I am very careful with my money. I would like to bond with her, but she has this money hangup.
Post # 8
@bakerbabe: I wouldn’t take it as mistrust necessarily. Keep in mind that most weddings now are a LOT more expensive than they were 25-30 years ago. I’ve been reminded a few times now that weddings used to be cake & punch in a church hall. She probably has a bit of sticker shock, and is seeing hard earned money being spent left and right. I don’t doubt that you’re spending wisely. When you talk to her about wedding things, discuss the money saving tips, even if you don’t use them. You never know, she might have a few good ideas there. And worst case, you can use my favorite line, ‘That’s a great idea! I’ll have to talk to mom/dad/fiance about it!’.
Also, keep in mind what she sees. She doesn’t know that you got that Coach wallet for 75% off. She sees a young woman who’s spending money on expensive brands, burning through her budget on a big cake and a fancy dress and doesn’t want to hear about budget options. (I know that’s not true, but perception is stronger than reality) She’s probably concerned that as soon as you get your hands on her son’s wallet, you’ll go on a shopping spree. Talk to her about where you’re saving money and how you’re budgeting. Once she realizes that you’re not out to drive her and her baby into the poorhouse, I’m sure it’ll get much better.
Post # 9
Unfortunately, when you accept people’s money you also must accept their input. It sounds like you FMIL is worried about her finances, as well as your wedding which is understandable. She is giving you money that might otherwise be used for her future retirement, investments, to pay off her mortgage or debts, for a vacation for herself, etc. Perhaps she is worried that while she is making sacrifices to pay for things that you are not doing the same. Or maybe she thinks she is looking out for you and helping you by suggesting alternatives. The best thing to do would be to talk to her about it or adjust your expectations. You are not entitled to money for your wedding from anyone. It’s a gift and not a right. Feel blessed and thankful- you are getting married and have a way to pay for everything. If all else fails, you could alwys just pay for everything yourself. If you pay entirely on your own then no one else can give you input.
Post # 10
This is why paying for your own wedding is very freeing – it can be limiting in many cases, but in my opinion it was worth it. My in-laws gave $800 to the wedding despite repeated rejections (depositing it in my fiance’s bank account – mommy dearest is coming off that account very quickly after the wedding…). We lucked out in that they tried to ask some questions, but we were both noncommital. We had to invite some of their friends, though (ugh).
That’s tame. Most of the time, you wind up dealing with crap like what you’re describing, OP. She may well feel concerned that she’s made sacrifices and you’re splurging. Maybe she thinks she’s helping. Whatever the motivation behind her comments, you’re likely going to have to put up with them unless you turn down her offers. In your position, I would refuse her money. Or, at the very least, your fiance needs to be answering his mother’s questions – it presents more of a united front to her and makes it appear as though you have both decided on what’s going to happen.
If she asks something, you could try a noncommital, “I’d like to keep it a surprise – you’re going to love it!” though that could stir up her ire if it’s her money going toward it. Or, you could just be firm if she criticizes it: “Thanks, but we’ve already thought about this and we’re committed.” Say that to every piece of advice she has. Sooner or later, she should get the hint.
Post # 11
@bakerbabe: if that’s what she’s paying for then she only gets input on those items.
Post # 12
- Wedding: May 2013 - Walt Disney World
I think she should only have input/feedback on the stuff she is paying for…maybe she just wants to feel more like she is in the wedding planning process by talking to you about your dress and cake…
Post # 13
I told my FI from the beginning that I would accept money from my parents and his ONLY with absolutely ZERO conditions.
If I buy someone a pot as a gift, do I get to dictate that they only use it on Mondays for beef and Tuesdays for chicken?
Do I get to buy someone a watch as a gift and tell them they can only wear it at work?
Then why does anyone gift us money for our wedding and get to dictate how we use it?
They don’t. If they choose to give is up to them. How much they choose to give is up to them. What it is used for is up to me.