FMIL IS HAVING A ZILLA EPISODE OVER GUEST LIST..HOW DO WE CONTROL HER?

posted 6 months ago in Guests
Post # 16
Member
5534 posts
Bee Keeper

Given the fact that she is crowing about not having to pay for a wedding, you may be able to shut her up by telling her that she will have to pay for every guest over the set limit. People like your Mother-In-Law have a way of clamming up when told they have to pay to play. Your parents aren’t there to subsidize her bloated guest list.

Post # 17
Member
3769 posts
Honey bee

View original reply
@sunburn:  That’s a dangerous move. Someone like this Mother-In-Law will come up with the money and complain long and loud about it the entire time to anyone within earshot. OP and her fiance are on the same page, and fiance has already shut his mom down. 

OP, one of my favorite responses to people who push and push on things like this is “Asked and answered.” Then immediately changing the subject. “It’s really been a dry winter, don’t you think?” This could be something in your fiance’s arsenal, because I agree with others that he should be the one who continues to handle his mother. He seems to be doing a great job so far!

Post # 18
Member
648 posts
Busy bee

I also applaud your fiancé on his handling of the situation. You got one with solid boundaries & emotional awareness there, Bee, well done.

Post # 19
Member
4726 posts
Honey bee

I recommend instilling a password system with your vendors so she can’t change anything.

Post # 20
Member
8031 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

PPs have it covered. Continue to present a united front and hang up, leave, whatever when she goes off the deep end. If she wants to host a party for all her friends and family let her celebrate her anniversary or something. She is a guest at your wedding. That’s it. 

Post # 21
Member
2803 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

Your fiancé reacted PERFECTLY.  You can’t stop her talking behind your backs, and realistically getting through to her is impossible – she knows what you’re saying, she’s just wilfully choosing to ignore it.  Hold those boundaries, refuse to discuss it and come up with some phrases you and your fiancé can use when she brings it up yet again.  I like:

– “asked and answered”

– “the subject is not up for discussion.”

– “our decision is made and we won’t be changing it”

– “which part of NO are you having trouble understanding?”

Additionally you can also reinforce your boundaries by ending the conversation – if she brings it up, warn her it’s not up for discussion and if she mentions it again you will be leaving/hanging up the phone.  If (when!) she brings it up again, do just that, like your fiancé did.  Next time she doesn’t get a warning – just leave silently or end the call.  Repeat as many times as need be.

And I fourth the suggestion to set passwords with all your vendors.

 

Post # 22
Member
475 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2021 - Boulder, Colorado

If you give an inch, she will take a mile. She doesn’t like being told no so she will always throw a tantrum if she doesn’t get her way. You’ve seen her do this even to your Father-In-Law. If you give her even a little of control over one tiny thing, she will push even harder.

Tell your fiancé to make it clear to his mother/parents that you two have the final say and that you don’t want to hear anything more. Tell her that she can choose to attend or not attend. The rest of the wedding is up to the couple only.

Start setting firm boundaries now or you will regret it later when it continues to escalate. My fiancé and I both have mothers who do this in different ways. If my mother oversteps a boundary, I stop talking and walk away. After a few years, she learned that continuing to push will not work with me and will just drive me away. In contrast, she will have almost full control over both of my siblings’ weddings because they haven’t set the same boundaries.

Post # 23
Member
854 posts
Busy bee

The money/paying for the guests issue is only part of it.  The other part is the type of wedding that someone wants.  Even if your fiance’s mother paid for the additional guests, it would wreck up the smallish wedding you want.  I don’t understand why she doesn’t get that.  It’s not just about a budget, it’s about the type of ambience you want.

I know it would be selfish and, frankly, outright inappropriate to try to change someone else’s event when the person hosting the event is not open to such a change.  Your Future Mother-In-Law is being a mom-zilla, if there is even such a word.  Not only is she not accepting of a perfectly valid reason to not have additional guests, but she whines over it!

This is your wedding, not hers.  She gets to plan the guest list for an event she holds.

Post # 24
Member
1697 posts
Bumble bee

Anyone else silently cheering for the fiance?  After reading so many posts from Bees who have to deal with huge Mother-In-Law grief because their fiances won’t stand up to their mothers, it’s really refreshing to hear about a man who can – sounds like he’s learned well from his father, since Dad is also standing up to the tantrums.

OP, you’ve had some great advice already.  Especially the bit about making sure Mother-In-Law has no way of altering the wedding – do not allow any access to wedding invites (apart from her own, and make sure it’s named/numbered so she can’t alter it) and make sure all your vendors know that only you can make changes.  My mother’s parents literally changed her entire wedding – invited people, changed the photographer (to one who produced blurry shots or ones with people’s heads chopped off), changed the menu…so don’t think it can’t happen!

I agree that your fiance is the one who should primarily be dealing with his mother.  But since she is likely to come after you if she doesn’t get anywhere with him, I’d come up with a phrase that you both use in response to any demands to change.  And just keep repeating that – don’t be drawn into any discussion or explanation.

She is very unlikely to change her overall character.  But if she learns she can’t push you or your fiance around, she will become easier to ‘manage’ over time.

Post # 25
Member
926 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

You plan wedding with fiance, showing guest list to no one. 

You send out invitations as late as you can (within reason).

That’s when people find out they don’t like your plans, but only have a short time to sqwalk about it. You ignore them, don’t engage them, and go ahead.

The wedding is over before you know it, and people move on to other things.

Too late for some of this, of course. Many of us get family far too involved, thus setting the stage for the BS your Future Mother-In-Law is pulling. Now, alll you can do is ingore her and forge ahead.

 

Post # 26
Member
126 posts
Blushing bee

She sounds very intense and unreasonable. Your fiancé has done the right thing, told her this is what it is and walked off, I’m glad he’s got the right attitude in terms of handling his mother rather than letting it be your problem. You don’t choose your family but you can choose how much contact you’ve got with her. I know it’s hard but try not to let her stress you out. I hope you’ll have a lovely wedding.

Post # 27
Member
78 posts
Worker bee

My Mother-In-Law was the exact same way when we were planning our wedding. I could have written this myself! Hugs to you, bee

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