Post # 1
My fiance and I wanted our wedding to be somewhat intimate and with close friends and friends of the family. My fiance’s sister was recently married and had about 150 people at the wedding, probably half of which were the parents friends. For example, the parents invited not only their friends, but their friends high-school aged children, including the high school kids’ boyfriends/girlfriends; and others like their housekeeper and the housekeeper’s ENTIRE family (4 kids) and tons of other randoms (that were special to the parents). I don’t think these invitees had close relationships with the bride and groom. It was really out of hand. But, my FI’s parents paid for practically the ENTIRE wedding (about $30K).
Fast forward 1 year to our wedding. They’re giving us $6,000 and basically my Future Mother-In-Law is inviting people left and right. People my fiance and I could care less about. Estranged cousins he hasn’t seen in YEARS (and that he dislikes immensely), their EXCHANGE STUDENTS, etc. Today, my Future Mother-In-Law tells me… “I know you’ll be upset about this but I have to tell you. We invited X to the wedding and she’s coming. It’s not an option”. Now X is a former exchange student from about 12 years ago that she is really close to. I get it. BUT WTF ABOUT INVITING ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND THEIR KIDS AND THEIR SIGNIFICANT OTHERS. She invites people my fiance and I have not seen in years and care nothing about … IN OUR PRESENCE! I am so over it. I am so over the way this is being handled. I understand they have a lot of friends and they were invited to all their friends’ kids’ weddings but we have our own friends we are not even inviting! I am so frustrated. I don’t really need advice, because I am going to cave. At first I told her “well she’s not invited” in a jokey way and then it was really clear I was going to lose the battle and then I caved.
I talked to my fiance and he agrees that she is not handling it properly but he says they gave us $6,000 and that’s a lot of money so they should have a say. Fine. But just don’t be rude about it. My parents are giving us more and would never dream of dictating who is coming, they “gently suggested”. I’m so irritated. And to add fuel to the fire, we have a crapload of other people assuming they are invited to our wedding… “Oh, we can’t WAIT for your wedding” or “Here’s our address…what’s your wedding date again?” and finally, one friend telling another friend (in our presence) “You totally have to make it to their wedding! It can be your vacation and it will be so fun”! I’m like a deer in headlights. This is not the wedding I envisioned.
Anyone else have similar stories? I am just so, so, so frustrated. I wanted the wedding to be intimate and special. This is making me so sad. I give up, I don’t have the willpower to say no anymore. Somehow I feel like I’m not the only bride this is happening to. Am I wrong? Am I not being understanding 🙁
Post # 3
I am facing this exact dilemma at the moment! Our April wedding is an intimate event of 80 guests & invitations have already been sent out… now my future mother and father in law have demanded that we invite my fiance’s aunt & uncle that he hasn’t seen in 10 years (I didn’t even know that these family members existed until now)!
They have offered to pay extra for the guests that they want to be there… but I just feel a bit funny about it! My plan was for our reception to be a time where we are surrounded by our closest friends and family (there are MANY family members and friends that we have not been able to invite due to venue and budget)… not to be meeting people there for the first time!
Maybe I’m just being a brat, I’m not sure…
Wish I could offer some advice, but I’m in the same boat! Curious to see what advice other bees can offer 🙂
Post # 4
Not much advice, but I feel your pain! I am at a constant battle with what seems like EVERYONE around me on this issue! 1. I asked my Future Mother-In-Law months ago to start getting a list together…and kept asking, and kept asking, and kept asking! 2. FINALLY I’m like whoo hoo, I have to order invites, I need a head count on your guest list! at least just a total of people…I AM TOLD 80. 80! Okay, thats all fine and dandy, perfect little number…I get an email with the guest list later on(not even finalized) 150 people on it! EXCUSE ME? WTH! inviting random people they havent talked to in 10 years!? I am sorry, I just dont think that is right..I want people at my wedding that my fiance and I care about, and that care about us! Not someone that changed my diaper once when I was born! and there is twice as many on their guest list as mine, why, because I was given a number of 80 and tried to keep it the same on both sides! My advice, no I wouldn’t cut family, unless they are in some kind of drama..or very distantly releated, but you and your fiance have the final decision. My fiance is with me 100 percent, he agrees that its useless & wasteful to invite just to invite & this is not THEIR wedding, its yours…why would you want someone coming to your wedding or even being invited that did not know you? AND there is no resason for an X to be invited, unless it was his X from the 3rd grade & they were best friends the rest of their lives? I just see that ending in regrets & bad vibes & you not being happy! I know its hard to say, but I have had to just put my foot down & say no, no, no…I am sorry but no…ha at least his family OFFERED to cover some of the wedding! My guest list originally started out larger, but everytime I glanced at it, I thought…see I just don’t NEED them there, I am not going to look back and think, I WISH THEY were there to share that moment with me…that sounds hateful but it sheds a light on things when you think of it like that. I use to want a huge wedding, but for me it has turned into something much more intament. AND don’t be afraid to say something to your Future Mother-In-Law, I would tell her that I think it is inappropriate for some of those people to be invited & that you really wished she would ask YALLS -yours and your fiance’s(not just yours so it doesn’t seem like you are being bossy) opinion before sending an invitation to the whole city!
Post # 5
@aprilsixteenth: You are not a brat! I completely agree, I don’t want to be greeting people at my wedding and have to be INTRODUCED!
Post # 6
Sigh, yeah, this was me as well. Future Mother-In-Law (who is not paying for any part of the actual wedding; FI’s parents contributed money towards our honeymoon as their wedding gift to us) basically wanted to invite a bunch of distant relatives who her closer family had a falling out with years back, and she sees our wedding as a great opportunity to mend fences.
We told her no, that we just wanted close family and friends (~50 person wedding including the wedding party), she said okay.
A month later, after we’ve ordered the invitations, she brings it up again. We say we already talked about that and the answer is no, and besides, we don’t have enough invitations to add them to the list and the cost to order half a dozen would be ridiculous because of minimum quantities etc. anyway. She cries, and when that doesn’t work, says, “It’s your wedding, do what you want.” Hangs up. Calls back five minutes later to apologize because she’s the “don’t go to bed angry” type.
Christmas Eve. She brings it up AGAIN. Says that she can take her copy of the invitation and have it replicated somewhere so she can invite the extra people she wants. We can’t make a big fuss because it’s a big family dinner, not to mention Christmas, so we let it go for a week, at which point Fiance calls her up and explains that we’re both very upset by her not listening to us, and reiterates the small intimate wedding plan. She relented…and let’s hope it stays that way this time.
Post # 7
Your man needs to deal with this it’s his mother. Put your foot down and make him deal with it.
Work out your budget of your wedding including the guests you WANT. Take the 6000 and other money and put it against that. Do you have enough left over for her guests? If not then get a cost per head for her guests and charge her extra for the ones not covered in your base budget.
He really needs to deal with this, not you. It starts with a wedding love, but leads on to other things… 😉
Post # 9
I have the same problem with my mother. Except we are paying for the bulk of the wedding. My FI’s dad has given us a good chunk of money and he tell us that we can invite who we want it’s our wedding. My mother hasn’t really contributed much and wants this cousin or that cousin. It’s frustrating because my mom is the last one of 9 kids. A lot of my cousins are older than her. Most of my second cousins have children. You go down that road and the list gets exponentially bigger. No way!! We can’t afford it and don’t want to deal with it. We haven’t seen a lot of my extended family in years. She got annoyed because I finally yelled at her and told her to shut it and stop the promo, we’ll invite who we invite. I haven’t sent out the invitations yet and I already feel crappy. Plus she’s annoyed because I want to invite my close friends and not all the cousins and second cousins she wants to invite and I haven’t seen in years.
Post # 10
I know you said you didn’t want advice but… I read your post and noticed how you admitted you simply caved – you knew it and she knew it (how she told you “It’s not an option”), and you just went along with everything even if you were dead set against it.
Is this really the kind of relationship you want to have with your FMIL? Think about it, because you may end up resenting her and hating her and not being able to do anything about it.
I have had these discussions many times with both set of patents, but I always made it clear that the wedding was ours, not theirs, and that we had the final say on the guest list. And if this really became a problem, I would ask them to back off, as for me it’s more important to have the wedding I want than a bigger budget. Is it an option for you to give that $6000 back and plan a less expensive wedding?
Post # 11
Thanks everyone for their stories and great advice! I am the one feeling like “a brat” now!!! 🙂
I spoke to the fiance about it and told him his mom was out of line, rude and disrepectful. He was irritated with her also for continuing to invite people we both don’t care about and TOTALLY agreed with me but he said we need to understand where they are coming from since they are paying for some of the wedding. We actually got into it, a bit.
I’m inviting a lot more people than he is – my family is bigger AND more of my family is coming (basically all, even if they have to travel, vs. about half of his). I also have more close friends than I keep in touch with than he does. So is it a matter of “being close” to someone or is it sheer number (half for bride, half for groom)? I don’t know the answer to it.
@cvbee: and @tobin: He was actually the one who told me that he wanted to talk to her. He said, if she irritates you again, just go along with it and I will talk to her later and I will put my foot down. You guys have a great relationship and i would hate for it to get tarnished just because of this. Let ME deal with her. So he was great but he did want to make sure that I understood that unfortunately, weddings sometimes ARE about the parents getting to invite their friends. Sure, I get it, but my parents have made NO demands or have been pushy in any way, shape or form.
In my MIL’s defense, she e-mailed me hours after we spoke (very late at night for her) and told me that she wanted me to know that she didn’t invite the girl exchange student (I’ve been referring to her as “X”, she is not my fiance’s ex-girlfriend) she only told her we were getting married and X said ‘I’M COMING!” And my Future Mother-In-Law could not say “no” because they consider her a member of the family. I responded by saying “no big deal at all” because I just don’t want to deal with it anymore. I have a feeling that our relaionship could do downhill because of this wedding and I really don’t want it to.
I HAD NO IDEA A WEDDING WOULD BE THIS STRESSFUL…AND THE REAL PLANNING HAS ONLY BEGUN! I’m so glad I have you Bees.
Post # 12
Can you divide the $6,000 by the cost for each guest an allow her to invite that many people? For example if your cost is $100/person then she would be allowed to invited a maximum of 60 people.
This way, she is being recognized for her contribution but the contribution is not being weighted more heavily than it should be. For instance, if your cost is $100/person and she invites 60 guests and then wants to have a say on your flowers, photographer, or whatever, she’s already technically exceeded her financial contribution. I feel like this is sort of a good way to measure how much “say” she should have.
It’s kind of annoying because then her contribution is really only going towards paying for her guest list instead of taking some of your other financial burdens away (flowers, photos, transportation, etc.) but at least it’s a way to measure when she’s exceeded her contribution.
I’m in a very similar situation. My FI’s parents are giving us a chunk of money but they want to invite the world. I feel like it’s fair to limit their guest list to the number of people their money will cover.
Good luck, this is tricky!
Post # 13
I’m glad your Fiance has taken the reins on this one. It’s much easier to preserve your relationship with the Future In-Laws if Fiance is dealing with them. I’ve had to pass over some ‘battles’ to Fiance as well since his family is contributing to the wedding…being told that I’ll ‘have some input’ on the meal selection’ was not going to fly with me and Fiance addressed that with them. Since then it’s been much smoother sailing.
I think these things can just all line up at once and Future In-Laws get stressed and worked up about which causes you to get stressed as well since you’re trying to deal with it but maintain relationships. Kudos to you and your Fiance for working out a way to address this when it comes up. And if it continues, I think penguini had a good point of giving her a set # and putting your foot down.
Post # 14
Ugh…that’s just an ugly mess.
Your Fiance has gotta be with you with you talk to Future Mother-In-Law or talk to her himself. Just because they are giving some $$ does not mean they can run wild with the invite list.
So what if they invted all the randoms to FSIL’s wedding. They are now the parents of the groom and need to learn that they can’t have an “open” invite.
I would start setting up the boundaries asap otherwise this will spin out of control.
Sadly, I think Fiance and I will be in the same position as you in a few months…and the FIL’s aren’t contributing anything!
Post # 15
I am so happy that I am not the only one with this situation. My Future Mother-In-Law is wonderful but she is actually assuming the role of MOB. My mother is out of state and we are doing everything in my Future Mother-In-Law city and state. Everyone at the wedding is going to be from their side and there will not be anyone from my side. I can’t invite anyone from my extended family because there will be alcohol and they will be offended by it. My Future Mother-In-Law also wanted to have pork chops at the rehearsal dinner but my family does not eat pork and she knows that. She was actually upset when my Fiance said that she should not serve that because my family does not eat it. If my family were doing this in their city then they would do everything possible to accomodate them. My parents have never met his parents.
FutureMrsKelsey, I think your Future Mother-In-Law is completely out of line but I would think of the long term relationship as well. If she wants to invite more people then they should contribute more money. Also, do you both really need the $6000 from her? The reason that I am asking is because if neither of you take accept the money from them then you are in full control. Your Fiance should speak to his mom though.
Post # 16
I understand completely what you’re going through. She sounds like my Future Mother-In-Law except my Future Mother-In-Law offered to throw us the reception (which means paying for the majority of the costs at least). She told me she plans to invite friends that neither of us has met before to the reception and we still have no idea how many she is talking about, but it better not be a lot cuz since she didn’t give us an idea we already ordered 60 invitations so that’s our limit no matter what (unless she wants to pay for more).