Post # 1
So, my mother is a wonderful, magnetic, adorable lady who can be just a tad bit pushy, and she seems to have made it her mission to inflitrate my husband-to-be’s family.
First, she insisted that she should send a letter to my fiancee’s mother as a matter of etiquette, even though they are going to meet and have lunch in just a couple of weeks. I thought it was unnecessary and a little weird, but fine.
Second, she is insistant that we should invite his parents to our engagement party in our city, even though we know they can’t come. I object to this because it is a large family, and it’s hard to figure out where to cut off the invites exactly. Also it will confuse them and make them feel bad that they can’t come.
When making this argument, I mentioned that they are throwing me a shower there, so I’m having an event there for those folks and an event here for these folks = everybody’s happy.
Now, she is adamant that she wants to go to that shower. I don’t want her there. Not because I don’t love her and appreciate her but because I think it will be weird, they aren’t expecting it, and I want that shower to be about me joining their family. If she is there, it will be about introducing her to a bunch of people I barely know. Also, she would have to travel from very very far away to go, and I think it would make them nervous for her to go to all of that trouble.
For some reason, I think this would make more sense to me if I were younger, but I am 30!
Sorry for the long backstory, but I guess I am just wondering what a normal amount of interaction is? Am I just an ungrateful jerk?
Post # 3
Hi Mrs Boots!
Sounds like your mom is super excited about your wedding! I know you think the letter was a bit much, but I think it was actually very sweet of your mom. I’m sure your Future Mother-In-Law is excited to know her son is marrying into a such a welcoming family.
If you don’t mind me asking, why aren’t your in-laws expecting your mother at the shower? Did they not invite her? Did you tell them she wouldn’t be there? If I was an extended family member or friend (and wasnt aware that your mom not being there was predetermined) I would totally wonder why she wasn’t there.
It would probably go something like this: Do you two not speak? Is she alive? Lord among us, where is this girl’s family?
Also, as a matter of courtesy, I would suggest inviting your future in-laws to your engagement party. Since you know they can’t come, it’s perfectly acceptable to either include a note with the invitation explaining you know they cant make but you wanted them to know how much you will miss them or tell them that in person.
Everyone’s family is different so I hope I’m not projecting my family’s version of etiquette and tradition onto your situation.
Overall, I would suggest taking a step back and enjoying your mom’s excitement. Good luck!
Post # 4
Your mom sounds very traditional and formal. I don’t think it’s half bad. For our wedding, we played it safe and just invited family even when we knew someone couldn’t come. A lot of trouble, but I wanted to avoid hurt feelings. I actually think it’d be fine for your mom to go to the shower. I expected my mom to be at everything she could being the MOB.
We didn’t have an engagement party. Back when we were engaged, my now Mother-In-Law threw together a "dinner" for my then FI when he was going to be in Chicago for work. (I did not accompany him and he did not think anything of it). Guess what, he showed up and it turned into a full fledged engagement party with relatives and family friends from his side (who didn’t end up going to the wedding btw)!! Neither I nor my parents were invited to that! So I vote being formal is best. I wish my Mother-In-Law had been. But just my two cents.
Post # 5
I agree with Habibi. I think it is wonderful that your Mom is making such an effort if only my Mom did the same thing. I think my Mother-In-Law feels bad that Mom does not make an effort to be her friend. But, that is beside the point.
I think you should send an invitation to your Future In-Laws to your engagement party. Like Habibi said put a little note that says "although you won’t be able to come we will be thinking about you" or something like that. To my shower we sent invites all over the country to my aunt’s and my husbands aunts just so they know that we would want them there if we lived closer. I think they appreciate the gesture.
I think I would want my Mom at my other shower as well, especially if she were as excited as your Mom is about the wedding and the new family. But, that is just how I am and what my family is used to as etiquette. It is ultimatly your decision and you may have other reasons for not wanting her there, and that is fine. I would just make it clear to her and to the people throwing the shower why you chose to not have her there.
Embrace your Mom’s excitment and enjoy every minute of it!! Good Luck!
Post # 6
<span style=”font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana”>I swear your mother and mine are the same person except for change magnetic to attention seeking and tad bit pushy to has to have her way all the time; the whole family infiltration – totally the same. My future in-laws are completely the opposite and I knew this going in so I did my best to try to run interference for the most part. This was a bad idea. The night we got engaged my mother insisted on me giving her FMIL’s phone number and when Future Mother-In-Law didn’t say exactly what Mom imagined she would my mom complained about it to me for 2 months. My mom is slightly (and by slightly I mean totally) paranoid that people are doing things behind her back and that she is being marginalized. The rehearsal dinner has been a complete nightmare. FIL’s said to me and Fiancé, we want what you want and sadly my mom didn’t believe me when I told her that repeatedly. It took 3 phone calls and more e-mails from my mom to Future Mother-In-Law (a couple right after she had surgery) for my mom to get it. The only solution I have been able to come up with is work with Mom and Dad to create a google document tracking planning progress so she can see exactly what I am doing and so she can’t continue to accuse me of being the world’s worst person (another story for another day). I agree with Habibi though that your mom is super excited. And honestly if she is anything like my mom, this is not one of the things I would battle her about – you have to pick those very carefully. As you said, she is pretty magnetic so I wouldn’t worry about having to introduce her around at the shower where you live and it is appropriate to invite FIL’s even if they can’t come. If you have a good relationship with them, tell them it’s completely fine if they don’t want to come out to the first shower and that you are so thrilled to be at the one they are throwing. Just make sure your mom doesn’t make comments about it to them (I am not saying yours would, but knowing mine its always a concern).
Post # 7
Well first of all, its nice that your mom is so excited about your wedding!
I’m not really sure what I would do in your situation…my FI’s family and mine have known each other for years so everyone gets invited to everything. Every family/situation is different, so in the end you’re just going to have to do what feels right for you!
I’d say if she wants to send a letter, thats fine…I don’t think it could hurt anything. As for inviting his parents to the party…I think it would be a nice gesture. You could always talk to them yourself and tell them that you totally understand if they can’t make it, but you wanted them to feel welcome. As for the shower, I think you should just let your Mother-In-Law handle that…if she wants to invite your parents fine, and if she doesn’t thats OK too.
Good luck with everything!
Post # 8
Well the good news is that your mom is super excited about your wedding & super excited about joining families with your in-laws.
I definitely don’t think you are being ungrateful or a jerk… but sometimes when things don’t go the way we hope, the best thing to do is to try to see the bright side of everything.
In this case, the bright side is how interested your mom is in everything. I think that everyone’s parents should be invited to all of the major functions- showers, engagement parties, etc- no matter where they live. Of all people, both sets of parents are very important parts of the wedding. If you invite your Future ILs to the engagement party, either call them up or include a note that says exactly what one of the previous posters said– "we know you probably can’t make it, but we want you to know that we’d love you to be there."
As for the shower that your in-laws are throwing you, I completely understand that it might be more difficult for you if your mom is there. BUT she will technically be "hosting" all of these people at your wedding, so it would be nice if she meet everyone ahead of time too. It will allow you to relax much more on your wedding day, because she will mingle with everyone at the shower, and then she’ll be able to "fend for herself" at the wedding! [Now, I think this only applies for your mom or super close family members, like a sister. I don’t think you should invite all of your aunts and cousins to your FI’s mom’s shower… that would be too much!]
My cousin specifically had this situation. She was getting married on the west coast (where her Fiance was from and where they lived) and she aws from the east coast. We (the bridesmaids) threw her a shower on the east coast, and her FI’s mom flew in to attend. That allowed all of us to meet her FI’s mom before the wedding. And then her FI’s mom threw her a shower on the west coast, and her mom flew over to attend. This allowed her mom to meet all of her west coast friends and her FI’s mom’s friends. It was probably a bit of a hassle for the bride at the time, but it was so much easier for her the day of the wedding because everyone already knew each other. No stiff, awkward introductions on the day of the wedding! 🙂
Post # 9
This sounds completely normal to me. DH and I made an effort to get our parents (who live 12 hours away from each other) together as much as possible before the wedding, and we would have tried to get our families together if they weren’t so far apart. Everything your mom is asking is common etiquette. My brother’s in-law did the same types of things, so it’s not just my family. And if you think age matters (which I don’t), I’m 27 and DH is 38.
Post # 10
- Wedding: August 2009 - St. Thomas of Villanova Church & the F.U.E.L. House
Mr. MagPie and I had a party to celebrate 365 days until our wedding. We viewed it as the first pre-wedding mixer — a chance to introduce both families and our groups of friends.
Maybe you could do the same thing, but at six months out? That way, your mom gets to be involved, but it’s on your terms/invite — not hers or the future in-laws’?
Post # 11
Oh, I’m so glad I posted here. I think sometimes I just need a gentle reminder to relax and let things go a little bit. I’m sure there all kinds of baggage-y reasons I don’t want my mother to come to the wedding shower, but none of them are very good or important.
Post # 12
Hi 🙂 I was glad to see someone else (ok, now many others) are having similar problems. In my case, both families want to meet before the wedding but it probably won’t happen due to distance or scheduling issues. I agree with the others — welcome everyone to any event/meetup they can be invited to. You don’t have to pre-screen these things. Good luck!
Post # 13
In some ways I’m actually a little jealous, I wish there was more family to family interaction, but I totally understand how frustrating pushiness is.
I would maybe calmly explain to your mom that you wish she would lay off a little…
Good luck and congrats on the engagement!