Post # 1
so, my FMIL said she would pay for ‘half the wedding’ and then went away on vacation for 6 weeks. before she left i told her the place i was looking at was $100/person and we were thinking of having 100 people. she said that was ok, then left for the trip. now she’s back, and i presented her with the decision my mom and i made – $115/person tax included (the $100/person place didn’t include tax anyway so it would have been the same as the $115/person inclusive that we secured), and 105 people (although we can cut our list no problem, back to 100). well wouldn’t you know, she’s having stress like crazy over this?? high blood pressure, sleepless nights. not what i would EVER want to cause anyone! so now i want to "eat" the deposit and cancel the whole thing. i had been having restless nights over having a wedding, period, but after much discussion, my mom and i decided to have a wedding and accept whatever help my FMIL could give. upon hours of research we discovered most places were actually more money than what we ended up with, and so we feel like we did well. the place is very nice, offering lots of extras, and once again, cheaper than lots of places we found.
so now we’re telling my FMIL that she will only have to pay for ‘her’ people, to ease her stress. but honestly, this is just the kind of thing that makes me feel so guilty and want to cancel the whole thing. i’m having a ‘moderate’ wedding, not an extravagant one, so why do i feel so guilty? FMIL should never have said she would pay for half…if money was a concern shouldn’t she have told us flat out how much she could offer? the entire time she was away on vacation we weren’t sure if she meant she’d pay half of the ENTIRE wedding, or just the venue (the biggest expense). my FH thought she meant half of the entire thing, but he was wrong. she actually asked ‘what else is there?’ oh boy. 🙂
oh and yes, yes, you don’t have to tell me…i know we should have discussed budget more in depth before booking anything. but it was right around the time she went away that i realized i’d better get a move on things unless i wanted to wait until spring. my parents took responsibility for the possibility that they’d wind up paying more than half. they are cool with it but i have a bad taste in my mouth. FH and i have no money, so we are contributing very little. which is why i am cool with canning the whole thing and having 20 people if it means everyone sleeps at night.
Post # 3
I think you and your fiance just need to go back to her and ask what specific amount she is comfortable contributing. And then just spend it as you wish, on 20 people or 100 people. That way you’ll know what you’re dealing with, and your FMIL won’t be stressed out that "half" is more than she can afford. At least you are still in the beginning stages, and you can scale things back if what she is able to contribute is not what you expected. Good luck!
Post # 4
Your FMIL may have gotten herself in over her head, but I would simply have your FH talk to her about it. If she’s still ok giving what she said she would, I would run with it. You don’t want to make her feel like she’s going back on her word or being cheap. I know my mom would rather swallow it than offer less money. Just mho.
Post # 5
bluewonder, can you and your FI afford to pick up the slack? Rather than asking your FMIL to pay for "her people" what about if you say "Thanks for agreeing to help pay for a portion of our wedding. As you know, its $115 per person, or a little over $12,000. Please decide what amount you are comfortable contributing, and let us know."
That way you’re not cutting the guet list into slivers, which at my wedding would quickly devolve into "well if we had invited all of our family like you did, we would have had more people. blah blah blah." It’s a situation I know I’d rather avoid, and that way you’re giving them a little more space to make the decision on their own.
Post # 6
You know, I think this is pretty common. When parents say ‘I’ll pay for half’, I think they are basing that half on what their wedding cost 20-30 years ago. Don’t be angry at her, our family thought that $50/person was a TON (even as they continued to add guests, but I digress), so maybe your FMIL just didnt scale up for inflation of the general tap dance the wedding industry does on the wallet.
Maybe have FI talk to her and find out how much she is comfortable contributing…BTW, I would have assumed ‘half’ meant more than the reception dinner…all the flowers, rentals, officiant fees, entertainment…have a long heart to heart before cancelling everything or asking your parents to clean out their nest egg.
Hope it work out!
Post # 7
I agree with MightySapphire, that you don’t want to put her into a position where she feels guilty or cheap; so by you saying you will cancel the whole thing would REALLY make her feel guilty and she might think you’re only canceling it because you didn’t get what you wanted (which wouldn’t be the case) and things could get really confusing.
I have had some money issue with my FI’s parents and although my situation is completely different then yours, I do think that the topic of money is best left to be discussed between your FI & his mom, that way she can say what she wants without being embaressed or hurting your feelings (hopefully shes not that kind of FMIL.) But, have your FI ask her specifically how much money she is comfortable with contributing and be thankful for the gift. On the positive side, you mentioned that if she can’t pay excatly half, your parents will make up the difference.
Post # 8
I would definitely have your FH talk to your FMIL to dicuss why she is stressed now, but was ok when you first brought up the amounts. Not much has changed. Explain to her that you feel bad she is feeling stress over the money issues and that the easiest solution would be to cut the guest list. Maybe you could ask her to let you know who you could cut from her side to make the number more feasible.
Also, if you are inviting 105, you can probably anticipate 85-90 guests actually coming, so that might help her to feel less intimidated if you mention that not everyone will RSVP yes.
Make sure everyone is on the same page and understands the consequences before you do something as drastic as cancelling your deposit. Hope it all works out!
Post # 9
It’s a tough situation as she definitly did not know what she was getting into, and like you said, you should have been more clear from the beginning. Also, it’s possible she may not have been serious when she made the comment that she would pay for half.
The only thing you can do now is ask your FI to talk with her and explain that yes it is a lot of money and you do appreciate any contribution she is willing to offer. If they can come to a decision on what she is willing to offer than you need to work with this amount of money and limit your guestlist or other additional expenses as needed.