(Closed) Family Set to Ruin my Wedding/Engagement. Completely lost.

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
65 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

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LiAllen:  Two celebrations. Have your own intimate reception how you want it. She can pay for another with the extended family, etc if she really wants it. 

Post # 3
1095 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2015

It is definitely very hard when families take over.

Sit her down, and tell her she really needs to stop- you guys want to get marrid the way you want to. She has to respect that.

Post # 4
107 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I might be the and guy here, but… it’s your mom! She wants to feel helpful and contribute! Please honor that, for her sake of not yours and your FI’s. If you don’t like how she’s trying to do that (which is the best way she knows how, probably), then give her some guidelines. Like help her pick which Mexican food she’d like, or have two types.of food if your budget allows that. And maybe say “hey, I’m allergic to hops as you know but we’d love you to help with the champagne toast” and of course offer some non alcoholic options for you and the guests who dont drink. Trust me, they won’t be offended if a couple people toast. I think the best option is to let her help while staying consistent with your idea. If you push her away shell feel bad and I think you’ll regret it in the long run. And we all have family we’d rather not invite. Just let her know there’s a “capacity issue” and maybe invite the people you know she’d really appreciate being there. Like great-aunt-margaret or uncle Bob. No old neighbors. Your sister sounds like she knows you well enough (and in bet she knows your mom well enough too) that some of the things your mom says to her should be passed through you. This is a celebration not a “my way or the high way” affair. Don’t alienate your mom because she wants to feel useful at your party. 

Post # 5
216 posts
Helper bee

It depends, if it is because you are set on a small wedding because that’s what you’ve always envisaged, then yes, you need to sit her down, set her straight, possibly have a fight about it… but then you have a long time to let her cool off before the wedding. 

If you actually don’t mind but more don’t want the people there because of the budget, rather than people you dislike (rule out the hated neighbours) but are looking at your budget for your trip (sounds amazing, fantastic idea!), then perhaps she can pay for the WHOLE wedding, make it exactly as SHE wants it, and you can put all your funds towards a super duper trip.

In the meantime, when you have random people call you about your wedding, just tell them that actually everything is up in the air right now and you are leaning towards having a small wedding with a handful of people, to manage their expectations.

Post # 6
141 posts
Blushing bee

I second Zelda1’s opinion. Get her attention and make it clear you’re planning the wedding with your partner – no one else. The decisions will be yours and Allen’s. You don’t need or want her help or money. You would be overjoyed for her to come and celebrate as an honored guest and enjoy herself but that’s it.

If she refuses to listen and carries on inviting people and contacting businesses, the responsibility for turning people away and explaining, possibly reimbursing them for their trouble, breaking contracts, etc., will fall on her shoulders. No one without an invitation sent by you or a contract signed by you will be admitted. Write this all down, you and Allen sign it and have it witnessed/notarized so it’ll be admissable in court if need be so she knows you’re serious.

What she does with that info is her decision. 

This may sound extreme  – and in your case I hope unnecessary – but unfortunately I have experience. I have a cousin with a mother so invasive she was forced to get a restraining order against her (my maternal aunt). My own mother also has a very strong personality. In the past the only way to get along with her was to let her have her way. It was so miserable it got to the point I couldn’t be around her at all.

I decided to do my best to relieve myself of that misery. Based on her past behavior I decided she’s given me two choices: either I let her walk all over me and endure it or figuratively shake her shoulders, get her attention and tell her how things must be.

To date her responses have been to cry, talk badly about me in public to people who don’t know me and thus are influenced by her opinion that I’m a bad person, get mad and shout at me directly, shun me for long periods of time, change gears and ignore the situation as if it didn’t exist, or combinations of those five. I don’t like any of them but I can tell you this for 100% certain, all of them are better than being walked on and having someone else’s way forced on me while I endure in miserable silence.

I hope you find your strength in whatever way you choose to deal.

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by  geishagirl.
Post # 7
584 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

“I don’t like any of them but I can tell you this for 100% certain, all of them are better than being walked on and having someone else’s way forced on me while I endure in miserable silence”

THIS, x1000000. 

Other bees will tell you that you need to compromise with your mom. However, I am of the mind that this day is for you and your partner. You want your mom there to celebrate, but how that celebration looks is completely up to the two of you. Good luck! Your trip sounds fantastic!


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Post # 8
1833 posts
Buzzing bee

When you do start signing with vendors and a wedding planner you need to make it CRYSTAL CLEAR to them that they are not to take any changes in plans from ANYONE but you or your Fiance and they are to verify that it really is you on the phone or the email.

Your mother has told  you she “will” make changes to suit her tastes.   You need to head her off at the pass.  You need to sit her down and tell her that you and Fiance will be making all the plans and if she can’t respect them she can expect to have no involvement whatsoever other than attending.  Now that I think about that, you are far better off not telling her what your plans are until they are set in stone.

She also needs to know there will be no seats or meals for people she decides to invite on her own and that security will be there to escort people who were not properly invited.

Just so you know, I’m a 4 time MOB and this is just a sad sad situation.  Nip it in the bud right now.

Post # 9
222 posts
Helper bee

Family dynamics make it very difficult.  Can you tell her your financial situation?  Suggest that she host her “own” party and let you have your party?  Then, you can invite your friends and let her invite hers.  Maybe that is the best of both worlds….

Post # 10
893 posts
Busy bee

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LiAllen:  Omg. I lost my temper a little just reading this. I’d be going insane! Not to mention, you still have a long time to plan, especially since the reception you want is not going to be extravagant and time consuming.

Here are some ideas I had reading this and other comments:

Two receptions – your mom’s, paid by your mom only so she gets free range of everything, and yours, paid by you and you invite only the people you want there. A friend of mine got married some time ago and she had a lunch reception with family and bridal party only, and then the extended family members went home and the rest of the evening was an appetizer heavy cocktail and party with friends. It was great and might work for you.

Tell your mom this is NOT a family reunion and she has no right to make it out to be one. If she wants to throw a reunion party, she is free to do so at any time other than your wedding day. hermom’s post is pretty much the best advice though.

Post # 11
1228 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

So you’re getting legally married in Japan…but you are having a local reception in your home town? Or you’re getting married locally and just honeymooning in Japan?

If it’s just a reception, I’d let your mother plan it if she’s willing to pay 100% for it (and not just part of it- you don’t want her signing contracts and expecting you to foot the bill).  If this is your actual wedding, then I’d absolutely refuse to expand the guest list (and the budget) to 140 people.  You should absolutely spend that money on shopping, and not on neighbours you hate!   

Post # 12
88 posts
Worker bee

I agree with everyone saying two parties… Have your wedding how you want, with who you want and suggest your mom throw a family reunion or engagement party (before the wedding) or let her do an additional “reception” the following evening with the money she would’ve contributed to a wedding… it sounds to me like your mom wants the big fancy wedding but if she doesn’t have a lot of extra money I wonder how much would end up being your bill… Better to just explain you have your vision and tell her if she wants to get her family out for some celebration it would be great if she planned that for another day. (also, maybe try to find a venue with a small capacity that you love, book it, or tell her you’re 100% set on it, so there just isn’t room for anyone else!)

Post # 13
2633 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

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LiAllen:  I can’t tell you what you can do…becuase based on personality type and relationship with your mom you may not feel comfortable with my advice.

What I will tell you is what I would do. If it were me in this situation I would do several things

1) straight forward, tell my mom that any of these ideas are not heppening and that she’s stressing me out and she CANNOt do anything for the wedding unless I ASK her first…to lessen the blow I would get her involved in some things….jsut to keep her busy and quiet, as long as she promises to keep her nose out of other decision…maybe I would relinquish the idea od not having a cake and let her pick the cake, choose the flavours and decor ….or you can let your mom decorate the restaurant…or you can let her pay for flowers and pick them (they’re just flowers anyways…they die..it’s a smal thing in the grand scheme of things)…or you could humour her and let her pay for all the dirnks of the people that do drink…but I wOULD MAKE SURE she knows that she only has say in the project you give her…

2) To prevent uninvited guest from comming  to my wedding, I told the venue coordinator for my wedding that under no circumstance would a extra seat or meal be provided to anyone, even if a parent or bridal party asked one to be brought, the order had to come through me ONLY! 

Also to prevent uninvited guests taking the seats of invited guests when the reception was open, i had place cards at each seat, and instead of having a seating chart in front of the reception I had my teenaged cousins act as a host/hostess with a list of all the guest, so guest would only know what table to sit at when their name was crossed off the list…

3) this is a big one….IN THE CASE a uninvited guest comes….are you a strong personality enough to tell them that there is no room and sorry that they were misinformed, but you didn’t send a invite? This is what I would do but others would thinnk I’m rude….but TBH I think this is why I don’t get walked over and other people do…..it’s up to you on how to treat this situation. 

So I would just go forth and plan as you do….tell your mom to back offf..give her one or two projects to pay for and plan…and make sure you fool proof your wedding for uninvited guests. 



  • This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by  KingsDaughter.
Post # 14
2257 posts
Buzzing bee
  1. You said yourself you want to get married IN Japan. I don’t think Mexican food and cupcakes at your reception exactly scream Japan. I doubt there are many caterers who will do Mexican food in Japan. Maybe I’m missing something, but it sounded like you were talking about a destination wedding, not a domestic reception.
  2. “We don’t have kids, we don’t live in an expensive area, and we are aggressive savers. We also have college loans to pay off and we hope to in the next two years as well. We also are saving for a downpayment on a house we like.

    All of this means we don’t have extra cash to throw around.” — Like on a $30,000 wedding/honeymoon two-fer? 

  3. Is it Japan that you’re inviting a few people to, or an at-home reception? You’re not being very clear.

  4. If you yourself are paying for your Destination Wedding and Honeymoon, AND you had planned on paying for your domestic reception, then you need to tell your mom to butt out. IF you had not planned on a domestic reception, then maybe you ought to let your mom plan it for you and pay for it. But again, I’m having a hard time understanding.
Post # 15
252 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I’m confused as well. Why is your mom contacting local vendors if you’re getting married in Japan? Have you not told her?

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