(Closed) Dinner at the inlaws… How to avoid the drama? Advice? Help? Anything?

posted 6 years ago in Family
Post # 3
3152 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

@anon656987:  Why does it have to be a dinner? Can they send a list with people prioritized? Or say, we have space for 10 guests, you choose?

This is your wedding and your money, I wouldn’t be bullied here.

Post # 4
1475 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

This is probably not going to be the advice you are looking for because it will probably leave you Future Mother-In-Law upset, but why is this even up for discussion with her? It is you and fiance’s wedding, your money, your decisisons. I can see if you were seeking her opinion because she was paying, but she is not. You don’t need to explain yourself about all the decisions. I would give her x number of spots on the guest list and let her choose who she wants to invite. Other than that, the big decisions (photograher, venue, etc) should be up to you and your fiance!

Post # 5
5956 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

I find that most times, an upset person just wants to feel heard….if you go into this dinner focused on listening to what they have to say, regardless of whether or not you agree with their opinions or intend to change your plans because of them, just LISTEN. 

No interrupting, no cutting off, no getting upset and certainly no stress…whatever concerns they have deserve to be voiced…listen to them, reflect what they say back to them and if you feel inclined, tell them that everything is under control in the budget department, so there’s really no need to discuss that.

She wants a couple of guests there, ask her how many…if you are in fact financing this event yourselves, you and your Fiance are the final word on all spending, and she may be upset, but it’s really a manifestation of a controlling person in a panic…this is not her show, that makes her uncomfortable & nervous.

Finally, know where the line is.  If things get heated, loud, rude or threatening in any way, you and your Fiance can let her know that THIS is not what this meal is about, let’s talk about something else…if she won’t stop… it’s time to leave.

Either way, you are in control of this event, and how you conduct yourself at this dinner, your Future Mother-In-Law is in charge of her own behavior, but you can certainly decide if you’ve had enough of it if she’s behaving badly…also, request that all wedding plans be discussed on the phone or in person from now on, the written work has the ability to take on negative connotation where none was intended.


Post # 6
6015 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

I would go with a finished guest list.  Period this is who WE WANT there and are willing to pay for.  If the two of you are a UNITED FRONT, this should meeting could help with the rest of your lives how to deal with her.  She won’t be able to play one against the other. Go in with a FIRM Plan …write down if you have to.  Talk to each other, roll play the, talk about how to react.  It’s pathetic you have to do this … but if you do this now… make a stand … it will help with forever dealing with them. 

hang in there!! It’s a free meal ๐Ÿ˜€

Post # 7
3039 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@Sea_Ashley: +1

Also, in this case I would probably take a step back and let your Fiance handle most of the conversation. I assume that he’s of the same opinion as you, so he will most likely be able to let her know that this is YOUR decision without making her too upset.

And I feel your pain, it’s never nice when you have to show up for dinner with your parents in law an all you want to do is to run for the woods.

Post # 8
1158 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I agree with SeaAshley…I wouldn’t discuss the wedding with her at all.Tell her how many invites that she can have for her friends and leave it at that.If she asks about the photographer,simply explain that you did not want to pay for the extra room and day he or she requested.Good luck!

Post # 9
307 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Send a nice email before you go, today ideally. Be super nice (but not fake-nice, try and write it with a smile on your face!)

You need to say ‘Oh of course, we’ve been discussing the budget and I think we can cover the costs without you having to dig into your pockets.’ You need to nicely clarify that they won’t need to be paying (and at the dinner get FH to point out that anything they want to contribute is appreciated).

You also need to mention in the email something like ‘Have you talked to *photographer* lately? She mentioned that she would be needing 2 nights accommodation and so the price might be changing. We need to talk to her further but we definately want to keep the price within our budget so will have to see what she says’. That way she will know there are some issues and possibly allow her to help find a solution rather than just bitching!

I’m sad for you about her comment on the guest list, she basically wants everyone that she wants to invite even at the expense of your friends from the sound of it. Hope you can meet in the middle somewhere. I hope your FH can lay it on the line a little bit, maybe by saying she can invite x,y,z but if she wants a,b,c would she be willing to contribute towards the cost of their seat? The ideas of the others of giving her X number of seats is good too.


Good luck, and I definately think doing as much as possible over email will be easier for you. Talking in person with difficult people is always hard for me, I never end up getting my view across properly and buckling!

Post # 12
9139 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@anon656987:  Be firm and expect her to be reasonable since you are planning your wedding using your money.  If she starts acting crazy pants, I would gently remind her that ultimately the bridal couple get final say (make sure your FH will verbally back you up on this point.)  I would tell her straight out that you have decided to book another photographer and that she only get X amount of guest spots for people you and your FH don’t know.  If she starts getting unreasonable, tell her you are sorry she feels that way but don’t give in.  I would tell her that we needed to change the subject if she continued to be unreasonable, bitch, moan, complain, etc…

Post # 13
3039 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013


Whatever happens, you have to make your Fiance to promise to stay with you. I would rather have him scream at his parents (because, quite frankly they seem to think they have a bigger say in this than what they are entitled to) than leave you all alone. Especially as you don’t like conflict – because I can see how that sets the scene for you sitting there agreeing with them, which will them make them even more upset if you don’t follow their advice.


I think you should tell your Fiance that you ONLY go there on the condition that he won’t abandon you. That’s at least my strategy with my Fiance – he cannot leave me when we go to see his mum, as I know she would corner me if she had the opportunity. Sad, but that’s reality.


The topic ‘Dinner at the inlaws… How to avoid the drama? Advice? Help? Anything?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors