Post # 1
So my FFIL is a very ‘life of the party’ guy and my FMIL is a very ‘I know best’ kind of gal. FH and I have a good idea of what we want our wedding to be like and we’ve started to make serious plans (yay!). Unfortunately, everything we’ve discussed with FH’s parents has resulted in some kind of disagreement. FMIL has been especially snippy and rude about all of our choices so far. To be perfectly honest I haven’t cared up until now. I mean it’s not their wedding and if they want to behave like small children I’ll treat them like small children – by not rewarding their ridiculous behaviour with attention.
That tactic has been working, up until earlier this week when we met them for dinner and we got around to talking about the wedding. I managed to steer the conversation away but FMIL mentioned our possible venue would probably be too small to fit all of our guests and theirs. What guests?! The reception we’re 99% sure we want to go with fits 300 people and they know that! I was so shocked I couldn’t even respond. I really do worry that they will just invite people behind my back if I say no. FFIL’s attitude to our wedding is ‘the more the merrier’ and I doubt he’ll see anything wrong with inviting guests we don’t know about along. My worst nightmare is that FFIL will invite all his friends who will drink all our booze, eat all our food, overcrowd our venue and not even know our names!
Bees, how do I make sure this doesn’t happen? What do I say to them? Is there any way to go behind their back to make sure they don’t invite people? I thought about hiring security but I think that mght be a little excessive.
ETA: We’re inviting about 7 long-time family friends on FH’s side along with his family. We are not letting either of our parents invite people.
Post # 3
@Carlasgettingmarried: Oy vey, that’s a sticky situation. Honestly? I think your FI should be the person that deals with this. Your FILs are not children, and he needs to sit down and have a serious conversation about the wedding and boundaries.
Are your future in laws contributing to the wedding? If so, that may be why they feel entitled to provide their input.
Post # 4
Who is paying for the wedding?
If it is yourself and your FI, your FI needs to speak to his parents and say that things are getting done they way you want.
Post # 5
@Carlasgettingmarried: I had a similar problem when I first started planning. FI and I are paying on our own and narrowed down the guest list to fit our budget. However when peope would ask about the wedding while FMIL was there, she would literally invite them and say oh well I will pay for them (FI knows she will never pay for them). Some of these people we are not close with and do not want at our wedding. FMIL also had a freak out on me because I didn’t include her entire extended family in my bridal party (I do not want 15 bridesmaids!!!) It was so stressful that wedding planning was no longer fun.
Honestly since it was FI’s family I felt it was not my problem to fight them. FI agreed that he would talk to them and set them straight. He told them it is our wedding and we have a very strict budget, if they wanted us to do something or invite someone then they can put money in for it. They have no said a word since.
Post # 6
@TorontoBride2be: FH and I will be paying for the wedding ourselves. His parents have offered to pay for the catering but as you can probably tell the money will come with strings. FH’s parent are pretty insistent that they want to pay for FH’s suit but again, I now my FMIL is probably planning to pick it out and there is no way FH will agree to that.
@letigre: @thefuturemrsD: I agree that since they are FH’s parents he should talk to them and he has. Several times. It’s not that FH won’t firmly tell his parents ‘no’ or confront them about things, they just won’t listen. FH is just as unhappy with this situation as I am and neither of us is really sure what to do.
Post # 8
Bumping again so some etiquette savvy bees can give the OP good advice.
Post # 9
- Wedding: October 2014 - UK
Eek, I wish I had some advice! I can only suggest that you just get your FH maybe to send them an email (so it’s in writing), saying something like “Oh it was great to see you the other day, you mentioned you were worried about the capacity of our venue but we’ve double-checked our final guest list and there’s plenty of space – always good to be on top of it though!”
That way it looks like you’ve taken their comments on board, but you’re also clearly saying “We know who we’re inviting already and that is that”.
Hopefully some more bees will be able to help!
Post # 10
@chronicwhimsy: I think that’s a good idea! If this escalates in the future and they do end up inviting a ton of people on their own (aka without a real invitation), you can have security at the door with a guest list. It would suck for the friends and be highly embarrassing to the in laws, but it’s a way to get your point across and stand up to them.
Post # 11
Honestly, if they keep pushing and pushing on inviting a ton of their friends, I’d consider having a guest list and somewhere to check in. Not on the list? Not invited. Then your FFIL will look like an ass for going behind your backs and inviting his friends on your dime.
Post # 12
I think your FI needs to sit down and talk with them… that is just not a fair situation, for them to be imposing an unknown-number guest list on you.
You shouldn’t be in charge of talking to them about this unless your FI just gives into their demands (which he would need to work on then). If he can’t do it, then you need to step up to the plate unfortunatley.
Post # 13
Are your ffil and fmil in any unique culture? If they Are, most cultures who tend to have huge weddings including uninvited ppl also often have signals of when that cannot happen.
For instance, I’ve been told (& it’s held true so far) that the key w my FFIL and FMIL is to tell them that our wedding will be strictly “invite only” and that anybody who shows up without FI and I inviting them will be turned away at the door, with no place to sit and nothing to eat or drink, so his parents would be extremely embarrassed. This way, they won’t invite extra ppl.
But this might not work if you want their money. For some parents, they won’t give money unless the wedding is “theirs.” My FI’s parents seem like that so far, so we’re going without their money in order to have the wedding we want.
Post # 14
Since his parents won’t listen, stop discussing it with them. If you are paying, book what you want and they can find out the details when they get the invitation.
Post # 15
I read your replies and I see two options. You can either play a game of russian roulette (a) or politely tell them to F-off (b).
A)Tell them that since you are paying out of pocket, you get to make the decision and if they want THAT many of their guests there or to have any voice in matters, they need to help foot the bill. They should get a FEW guests, this is their son and they are proud of him. A few does not mean 50 though.
B) Tell them no. Flat out no. Have your fiance do it as this is his role, to be the one to tell his parents to get over it. You are a year away and hopefully sometime between now and then it’ll sink in that this is you and your fiance’s special event, not theirs. If not though, perhaps be sure to have assigned seating and placecards. If someone isn’t invited, they’ll have no place to sit and you can have the venue know they don’t belong and not to acknowledge them. Again, they ARE entitled to a handful of friends/family you wouldn’t normally invite. But they don’t write the guest list.
Post # 16
The fact that you are wise enough to not accept their financial contribution (with strings) means you are in the drivers seat.
However, its up to your FH to make it clear to his folks the rules. This isn’t a free for all, its yall’s wedding. Not a family reunion.
You both need to communicate the # of guests that they can have. You expect names, and names will given to the venue for check in. And let them throw a fit if they want, don’t give into nonsense.