Post # 1
Hi Bee’s –
I posted last week that my FI had lost his job 🙁 we were both really sad and wanted to put wedding planning on hold for at least two weeks to see where we at. He has gotten several leads on potential jobs, so keep your fingers crossed for us!
Meanwhile, we started couples counseling about 3 weeks prior due to some other issue’s we were having about “leaving your parents to cleave to your spouse”. I wrote about it here. Bee’s, I cannot recommend couples couseling enough. We really got into wonderful discussions about how we were raised as children, and how that affects who we are today and how we treat one another.
Well here’s how we got to cutting the guest list. She asked us how my FI losing his job would affect things. We explained that I made enough money on my own to take care of all our living expenses, but we wouldn’t be able to save as much as we needed for the wedding without him working. I then told her how this made me sad because we were planning on inviting 150 to the wedding and of that 70 of these people were my FMIL guests (some I’ve never even met).
We talked some more about how this made me feel and I told her, that I would be happy with a small intimate wedding with just close friends and family, say 50 people. She then asked my FI what he wanted, and he said “I just want to be married to Meant2bee” and oh Bee’s, my heart swooned when my Mr. said this. Then she said Meant2bee, if money were no object, how many people would you want at your wedding. Then I realized when we first got engaged, I dreamt of a small wedding, I was amazed at how we had gotten to this large wedding. I then realized that I thought because I was marrying into a larger family that I had to please them by having a large wedding. Now that I know that my FI doesn’t want a large wedding, I am SO happy.
For the first time in months, I am excited again about my wedding. I hadn’t realized that at some point I stopped looking forward to our wedding and started dreading all the money we were spending on people I don’t really care to be there. We agreed to cut the guest list down to 75 together and annouce it to my FIL’s this weekend when we visit.
Although I am very excited about this, my FMIL is going to lose it I’m sure. My parents wanted a small wedding for us too, so i’m sure they are going to be thrilled. Any suggestions on how to let her down easy? I want them to know that we came to this decision together from a loving place.
Thanks for reading!
Post # 3
@Meant2Bee: Your FI should be the one to handle this – not you. He should be matter of fact – we can’t afford, nor do we want a large wedding. We know this is disappointing to you and we’re sorry about that but this is our final decision on the matter. We are giving you X number of invitations to use as you like, but that number is the maximum and not open for further debate. Ask that they respect your decision.
Its possible they will offer to contribute financially. Be prepared to say no if you really want to keep the numbers down. Maybe counter that if they like, they can host a party for the people that can’t be accommodated at your wedding.
One last word of advise – don’t start down this path unless you are both sure this is what you really want – especially your FI – and are willing to deal with and accept the fallout. While your FI may not care about the people his Mom wants to invite being there, he may very well care if she is hurt, disappointed and upset.
Post # 4
I’d just have your FI say, “with being laid off we can’t afford a wedding this large, but thinking about it we really think we’d prefer something smaller anyway.” What are they going to say? You can’t afford it. And if they offer you money then you’ve already stated that you want to go smaller anyway.
I am having a small, intimate wedding (40 guests) and I am so happy that we went this route. I just really only want our closest friends and family there, not people we haven’t seen/spoken to in years or don’t even know.
Post # 5
@Zhabeego: Thanks for the advice. We’ve already started down a path with my FMIL that isn’t healthy, ie why we went to counseling. She’s admitted that she’s really jealous of FI and I’s relationship, so almost anything and everything we do hurts her.
@adoc86: Exactly how I feel!
Post # 6
I personally would try to avoid the “we can’t afford it” talk unless you are certain they will not offer to pay the difference themselves. I would focus on what you WANT, which is the smaller wedding.
Have you sent Save the Dates, gotten addresses for these other people, etc… Just trying to gauge how committed to these guests the parents are going to be. I would definetly consider giving them a certain # of invites. Go with a list of the people you are going to invite and just say “we have kept 5/10/however many spots open for you to invite who you would like” (are some of the 70 FMIL guests family? Will any of them still be invited to this smaller wedding, if so definetly point them out to the FMIL).
Just read your update, unfortunately FMIL is not going to handle it well no matter how you approach it. Just stay strong!!
Post # 7
You have a perfect reason just in the fact that your FI was laid off.
If she can’t be understanding about that, then I think you need a major overhaul of her role in your relationship… just because she’s his mom doesn’t mean she’s a good influence on your marriage.
Not to sound harsh, but you are paying for this wedding… this is as simple (and as complicated) as telling her that together, you’ve decided to change the tone and size of the wedding (for very legitimate and obvious reasons) and that she can no longer invite any of her own personal guests. I wouldn’t even give her any exceptions.
If she begins to throw a fit, you both (but especially FI) need to tell her that kind of behaviour will not be tolerated, and then… don’t tolerate it. Block her on your phones if you have to. If she wants to throw a temper tantrum, ignore her. If she wants to put a guilt trip on you, ignore her. It’s not somethign either of you need right now.
Because hey, who are you marrying – your FI or his mom? It’s not her wedding.
And then don’t send invites to her friends.
If she invited people by word of mouth, that is not your problem, she’ll need to un-invite them herself (like a grown-up).
This will be tough but you can get through it.
I am so glad to hear that you two are in counseling together, that really will help a lot.
Post # 8
@Meant2Bee: I’m so sorry your dealing with g clingy FMIL. Often times when mothers have terrific sons they begean to behave like their sons are their boyfriends and they get mad at the girlfriend/fiance/wife for taking a place that they aren’t allowed to fill. They are lowkey mad they can’t marry the men and I don’t blame them, they are awesome men. I can relate because my FI is indeed the golden child. Moms, sisters, aunts etc. all adore him. Instead of getting upset about how they act I just feel sorry for them. Sorry, you can’t marry your son/brother/nephew.
I would totally leave this speech up to your FI so that you won’t end up looking like the “villain” fiance who’s doing this just to spite your FMIL. I would just keep it short and sweet. “We cannot afford a 150 person guest list, nor did we want a large wedding and we hope that you can support us as it is very difficult for us to have to do this and I hope you can support us.” I would be so humble and sweet as pie.
Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Post # 9
@BrookieCookie9: We ordered Save The Dates but we didn’t send them out yet (Thank God!) My FMIL has invited people via word of mouth, but I don’t feel that it’s my problem. Most of the people on her guest list are people who are either “like family” or distant relatives. My FI and I were talking yesterday and it does appear that she is using our wedding as a way to reconnect with some of her extended family. She’s inviting cousins she grew up with that i’ve never met in 7 and a haf years!
@CakeyP: My FIL’s have offered to help with the expense of the wedding, which makes this decision more dificult. I don’t think they understand how money is being used. I think they think that the money they are giving us is being used to cover there guest, when in reality it’s going towards a slew of things, venue rentals, DJ, Photographer, etc. We’ve tried to explain this to them a million different ways.
@lina010: Looks like we have parrallel lives. My FI is as you put it “the golden child”. I am often seen as the evil women who “stole” his heart, well only by FMIL, everyone else see’s how we adores me. Love your scipture BTW, I needed to hear that.
Post # 10
@Meant2Bee: My FMIL offered to give me money so that she could have all her friends there. We declined – we didn’t want her money if it was only to pay us off so she could have more friends. The money would have come with so many strings that it wasn’t worth it.
I prefer to pay everything ourselves, that way we know we have the money (instead of a promise of money) and it’s much less stress on me.
I think you should consider paying for the wedding without any help from your FIL’s. That way you have more control over your choices and guest list, and it’s much easier to say “no” to them when their money isn’t involved.
Even if that means you need to push the date – getting laid off is an unforseeable circumstance, and it’s a very valid reason to push your date back in order to save money.
Post # 11
I thought being pressured into having kids at my wedding was bad, I have two kids on my side and didn’t care to have them, my FI comes from a large family that and all his cousins have tons of kids, FMIL insisted they be invited…thankfully only 7 are actually coming and the caterer I found has kids meals to cut on costs.
I learned quickly all wedding communication to FMIL needs to go through my FI, he can say no to her I can’t.
As long as you and your fiance provide a united front and when he talks to his mother he doesn’t back down on decisions you made together things should work out, ever since the kid thing that happened right in the beginning of planning FI and I have been able to keep things how we want them.
Post # 12
I agree with PPs, leave this one to your FI.