Post # 1
Hi Hive! I need help… this post is long but I just can’t seem to let go of something my mother in law did.
When we first got engaged, she went on and on and on about how expensive weddings are, a million ways I could do things cheaper, and it seemed to me that she criticized every decision I made because I was spending too much money (my mother is paying for the wedding). My fiancee eventually had to step in to say something to her, and the criticizing stopped.
Because of the layout of our venue, I wanted to keep the guest list at about 140, assuming that 10% wouldn’t come. Well, the guest list grew to 160. My Future Mother-In-Law invited the most people out of everyone. This was initially fine, as she has the most family out of everyone.
My Maid/Matron of Honor recently asked for a guest list for the bridal shower, and I included all of the women who are invited to the wedding who live locally – which is around 20. I wanted to get my Future Mother-In-Law and my fiance’s step-mother’s approval first. Well, my Future Mother-In-Law said that she doesn’t want any of her friends invited because she doesn’t want them to feel like they have to get 2 gifts and they don’t know her son that well. SO WHY ARE THEY TAKING UP SPACE AT OUR WEDDING? I really want to say something to her but know that’s probably wrong (save the dates went out already anyway, so I can’t not invite them).
Sorry for the rant, I just need advice.
Post # 3
ES123, I think at this point all you can do is grin and bear it, unfortunately. It was silly and selfish of your Future Mother-In-Law to pack the guest list with her friends who don’t even know your fiance, especially since it sounds like she’s not paying for anything. But saying something like that to her isn’t going to take back those STD cards, it’ll just hurt her feelings and cause stress.
I’d say leave her friends off the guest list for the shower, since she apparently doesn’t want them included, and try your best not to say anything about her guest list shenanigans. And hey, since you’ve already sent STD cards, at least that makes it harder for your Future Mother-In-Law to add even more strangers to the guest list!
Post # 4
Sounds like your Future Mother-In-Law really places importance on money and saving it– even wen it comes to other peoples’ money (your mom’s and her friends’). Although I definitely understand your frustration with her, consider that not inviting her friends to the bridal shower might be a good thing– if you’re going to spend time with people who don’t know you or your fiance at your wedding, you might as well spend your shower with people you know.
I wouldn’t advise saying anything to her, but if you would really like to include her friends, you (or your fiance) could point out to her that inviting all female guests is customary, and if her friends want to spend money on two presents, that’s their decision, not hers.
Post # 5
When we started with the guest list, we let our parents know that we were happy to invite friends of theirs that at least one of us actually knew well enough that if we ran into them in Starbucks or something we would stop and chat. This encompasses quite a few of their friends. We adamantly didn’t want friends of theirs that we didn’t even know, and they understood. But, not having established any rules like this up front, I’m not sure what you can do about the guest list now, except maybe to hope that her friends who don’t actually know her son will sort of go "What?" when they get the invitation, and RSVP as "No."
As for her comments about money, I have no idea. Maybe she was really afraid that you were going to ask her to help pay for the wedding and was trying to prevent that. Maybe she’s the kind of person who can’t help giving everyone her opinion, regardless of whether it’s relevant. Maybe she just likes to criticize and disagree (my SIL is totally like that – would totally say the sky is green just to have an opinion that is contrary to mine). Luckily, you don’t have to fight with her about money – and the best course of action for either of the other two options is to just nod and smile and ignore her.
As far as the shower goes, I would go ahead and not invite her friends. I know it’s customary to invite all the female guests, but that does mostly apply in cases where those female guests might have some idea who the heck you are. If these women don’t even know your Fiance, it’s no loss to not have them at your shower. And if they are anything like your Future Mother-In-Law, they probably would be horrified at the idea of buying two presents. There is also no point in getting into an argument with Future Mother-In-Law that is bound to end badly, as she has already expressed her opinion. So have your Maid/Matron of Honor invite your friends, and have a good time. At least you know that you tried to do the right thing.
Post # 6
I might be in the minority here, but personally I think your Future Mother-In-Law is right. I always think of showers as for close friends/family, and her own personal friends that don’t really know the groom that well, and certainly not you, or her own family, might feel out of place. Plus, personally, I DO think it is curteous to consider others as far as gift-giving. But, she may be inviting them because among that circle of friends, they may all go to each other’s children’s weddings.
With my own parents, they each have a group of friends from my mother’s sorority and my father’s fraternity with whom they still keep in very close touch. I, personally, only know one or two of these individuals, and my husband knows none of them. But my parents are very close with all of them, and have been to ALL of the weddings of their children, so of COURSE my parents wanted to invite all of them to my wedding. However, since they aren’t close to ME personally or to my husband, my mother certainly did not feel the need to invite them to my shower. Perhaps it is a similar situation for your FMIL?
If it really upsets you that much, maybe you should ask her about it and find out how many people this relates to, and why. Plus, some of these people may be out of town as well. It is far better to ask about this, or have your fiance bring it up, than to resent her about this for years to come.
Post # 7
I seriously think you should do whatever you want. If you want to invite those ladies you should do it. Its your freaking shower! Gosh your Future Mother-In-Law sounds like mine. That’s why I don’t discuss wedding stuff in front of her. She had an opinion about everything and I have my mom to deal with already. What is up with groom’s mothers? Seriously! Back off!
Post # 8
I agree with julieulie.
inviting someone to a wedding is one thing but inviting someone to a shower is another. both my parents and my in laws invited upwards for 20 couples to my wedding but none to my shower. the shower was more intimate, for relatives and very close friends only. maybe the invite etiquette within her group of friends is wedding reception only.
in terms of the other stuff – i do sympathize! good luck 🙂
Post # 9
Hmmm, that’s a tough one. I was recently invited to a wedding shower for a girl that I didn’t even know. I was friends with the groom-to-be, but didn’t know the bride at all. And we weren’t in the same circle of friends or anything. If I had gone to the shower, I would have only known one person. I certainly felt like she was "fishing" for a gift from me.
I would just think about why you want these women to the shower. Do you want them there to celebrate your engagement and do all of the shower-ly things? Or, honestly, is it because you are paying so much for them to be at your wedding, that you’d also like them to give you a shower gift (and I don’t mean that you have to post that here– I just mean to think about it.)
I personally would rather a smaller shower with those I know and love, instead of strangers there. But there are a few women that I don’t know super well that I am inviting to my shower. Not because I want a gift, but because they are important to my Future Mother-In-Law and I’d like to get to know them better.
But, if you would like to invite them all, perhaps you could tell your Future Mother-In-Law that it is customary to invite all local ladies who will be attending your wedding, and that you wouldn’t want any of these ladies to feel excluded from your shower. You could also tell her that since you don’t know these women very well, yet they’ll be attending your WEDDING, that a shower is the perfect place to meet them- under much calmer circumstances. Tell her that you would like to meet them and chat with them at your shower, so that on your wedding day, you’ll be able to see them at the ceremony, or dance with them at the ceremony, without feeling like strangers are at your wedding.
Post # 10
I’m with the minority. With the economy the way it is, I think you’re unreasonable to be complaining your mother in law doesn’t want people to have to buy you TWO gifts. And you know what? I hate mother in laws and generally would always side with the bride.
Post # 11
Maureen, I don’t think the OP is complaining because she wants more presents. I think she’s upset because her guest list is larger than she wanted it to be, and now she’s discovered that a lot of the people Future Mother-In-Law absolutely *had* to invite (at the expense of the OP’s mother) barely know her fiance. In the current economy, I completely understand why it would be stressful to learn that you’re paying for a bunch of guests who are basically strangers to the bride and groom.
Post # 12
Basically what you’re saying is because the mother in law found it important to invite more guests than anyone else, the guests should be penalized and required to buy two gifts? I think a better solution would be speaking with the mother in law and asking her to chip in for the extra guests. If she refuses, ask her to cut her list down due to cost. It’s inappropiate to expect the guests to make up your mother in law’s slack.
Post # 13
Basically what you’re saying is because the mother in law found it important to invite more guests than anyone else, the guests should be penalized and required to buy two gifts?
No, definitely not. Like I said in my original reply, I think the OP should leave these guests off the shower list if her Future Mother-In-Law doesn’t think it would be appropriate to invite them.
To me, it didn’t sound like the shower was the issue or that the OP was upset because she wasn’t getting two presents from everyone in town. It sounded like the larger-than-planned guest list for the wedding itself was the main source of unhappiness, and I think that’s a vaild concern. Because the STD cards have already gone out, it’s too late to cut them from the wedding guest list, but I sympathize with how the OP feels.
Post # 14
For the Bridal Shower you fmil is right. Only people YOU know should go. His side of the family is invited to the wedding, but only family and friends on his side that you know should be invited to the bridal shower. It is a much more intimate affair than the wedding.
My fmil also invited more people to the wedding because their family is bigger. However, only my fmil, and two sisters-in-law were invited to my shower because I don’t personally know any of the other women on his side.
Post # 15
Hi everyone – I haven’t responded to the posts because I’ve been trying to think about all your responses!
I could care less about the gifts – I was more upset with Future Mother-In-Law comment that they shouldn’t have to bring 2 gifts – as if that were the only reason I was inviting them. I’ve told her I want to keep the wedding guests at a specific number, and she is always going ON AND ON about the expense…so for her to incite that I just want 2 gifts from everyone made me a little angry. She has been very critical of the wedding and how I’m spending money for it, so why would she want guests I consider frivolous? My parents could invite people that don’t know me, too, but they’re not because the list would explode!
But, like many of you said, there is nothing I can do now but vent on Weddingbee. 🙂
Post # 16
ES123 – Venting is good. I think about all the most important issue here is your relationship with your mother in law. What if she hates how you decorate your living room? Or what you name your kids? In the case of the guest list, let it go, but I suggest you think of ways to politely stick up for yourself in the future.
There will be a similiar conflict in the future, and now you know you need to put up boundaries with her.