(Closed) Future In Law Help!

posted 12 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
97 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

I don’t know, i’m of the school that you should expect to pay for the whole wedding yourself, and if either set of parents kicks in, that’s gravy. 

I definitely wouldn’t be bitter about it, especitally since it sounds like they have been very generous otherwise in contributing to you guys. 

Post # 4
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Well, my Future In-Laws are paying for nothing at all.  A lot of people (the 99.9% who haven’t read all the detailed etiquette) don’t know that it’s traditional for the groom or the groom’s family to cover some selected costs (like the bride’s bouquet).  Your Future In-Laws may also feel like offering to help pay would be some sort of insult to your parents – as if they assume your parents can’t provide an adequate wedding. 

And really, while in a lot of cases both families help to pay for the wedding and reception, it’s also true that a great deal of the time nowadays the bride and groom foot most of the bill, and neither set of parents helps out much.

If you really think you need some extra financial help, I think you (and your FI) need to decided either how much money you would like to ask for, or what specific things you would like to ask your Future In-Laws to cover (e.g., the band, the bar tab, etc).  I don’t think that you can hold it against them that they didn’t offer if you haven’t asked, especially if they have been writing checks for things like your rent and car payments.

On the subject of the Rehearsal Dinner, there is a lot of confusion.  Traditionally, the Rehearsal Dinner is just the members of the wedding, the immediate families, and their significant others.  My Future Mother-In-Law actually offered to pay for our Rehearsal Dinner.  However, we are inviting about three times as many people as she had thought, as we are also inviting Out of Town guests.  Because of that, we are actually paying for the whole Rehearsal Dinner ourselves.  She was just really uncomfortable (to the point of being upset) at the idea of a 40 person Rehearsal Dinner, so it was the easiest thing.  Maybe your Future In-Laws have a preconceived idea of what the Rehearsal Dinner entails as well.  I honestly don’t think we would invite all Out of Town guests to a whole dinner if we were doing a Destination Wedding – you’re basically having a pre-wedding reception then, and I’m not sure that’s necessary.  Maybe if they are willing to contribute a specific amount to the Rehearsal Dinner you could either scale back your guest list to fit into that budget, or invite the remainder of the guests for cocktails and dessert after the Rehearsal Dinner.

And on the idea of a limo, or anything else your Future In-Laws specifically suggest, if you’re not willing to pay for it or to have your parents pay, I would just tell them "That’s a lovely idea, but it’s really not in our budget.  I’m afraid we’ll have to do without, unless you want to cover the cost."  And then let them decide to pay up or do without…  Because really, if their idea is that the groom’s family doesn’t pay, they should also subscribe to the tradition that the groom’s family doesn’t plan.

Post # 5
1423 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

My advice is to not bring this up with your future in-laws.  It’s lovely when parents are so overjoyed the money comes flying out of the pockets.  Unfortunately not all parents express their joy in this manner.  Even more unfortunate is that they are under no obligation to do so.  My fiance and I waited for years to get engaged because we didn’t want people to expect a wedding that we could not afford.  Finally we just went ahead and did it, and hoped that maybe our parents would be more generous than we expected.  Our hopes were indeed disappointed.  As my mother said, now we’re old enough to pay for our own wedding.  Sigh.

Anyway, the only thing you have to gain by bringing this up is appearing ungrateful for what they’ve already given.  And when requests come pouring in for what they want, just politely remind them that you don’t have an unlimited budget.   

Post # 6
378 posts
Helper bee

I agree spot on with Suzanno’s last comment. If they want to suggest things and pay for them great! But if they want to suggest things and then not pony up, you have every right to shoot it down.

FIs mom is only paying for the rehearsal dinner (around $800 for about 30 people – only those in the wedding and spouses) and that is perfectly fine. I agree with livvie too. If you can’t pay for it, don’t budget for it. I know there are a lot of different situations with people, but you need to go into the wedding-planning process knowing what each side is going to give, if anything. My parents are paying for the flowers and the reception, FIs mom has the rehearsal dinner and we have everything else. That’s why our wedding is like it is – we chose things that we knew we could cover or pay for, and are giving direction to my parents on what they are paying for.

I think that his parents giving you money to help cover everyday expenses is very generous and you would look a little rude asking for more, IMO. If you can’t afford it, don’t try to do it. Most of us have limitations and we just try to work around it. Just because they have more money doesn’t mean that they have to give it to you to pay for your wedding. While that would be nice, it doesn’t work that way most of the time.

Post # 8
596 posts
Busy bee

if his parents have given you money for everyday things, isn’t that freeing up some of your own money so that you can put it towards the wedding?  so indirectly, they have contributed to the wedding.  i wouldn’t be so technical about labelling their contributions as "non-wedding" contributions and thereby resenting them for it. 

i don’t think parents have any obligation to pay for their children’s weddings.  even if they are well off, they are entitled to enjoy their own hard-earned money!  if they ask for things to be included in your wedding that are out of your budget, then have Fiance let them know that is the case.  but there is no need to be ungracious and ask for money.

Post # 9
67 posts
Worker bee

Maybe his parents feel that helping you out with day-to-day expenses is more important than with wedding expenses? I don’t mean to be harsh, but if you’re in dire financial straits, maybe planning a wedding that you cannot afford isn’t the best idea.

I see where you’re coming from though– my parents and FI’s parents have vastly different ideas and budgets when it comes to weddings. Some families have the means and the will to be more generous monetarily than others. It’s already caused some strife but there’s nothing you can really do about it other than work with what you have.

Post # 10
438 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2008

they probably assume the bride’s family pays for everything, as per tradition.  however, this is not the way things are anymore.  if they want certain things that aren’t planned on, they should contribute for it.  Destination weddings seem hard – you kind of have to plan things for your guests, like transportation, and they definitely all need to go to the rehearsal dinner.  Which really makes it into 2 separate huge events.  If your FI’s not going to talk to them, you kind of just have to continue with your plans they way you want and do what you can afford. 

Post # 11
2373 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

My in laws are paying for nothing wedding related- yet they paid for their older daughter and sons lavish weddings. 


   If my in-laws were making demands… I’d be livid. But they have been polite thus far.   You need to tell them unless they plan on paying for the limo, there will be no limo you have spent your budget.   

Post # 12
15 posts
  • Wedding: January 2009

I have not had this experience with my future in-laws.  They have been more than generous with their contibution to our wedding–in fact, I know it sounds weird, but at times I felt pressured to spend money and I felt weird spending it because it wasn’t my family’s money.  Not wanting to bring it up directly to my Future Mother-In-Law, I asked my fiance to bring it up.  When he brought it up WHILE I WAS THERE (he obviously missed the point), my Future Mother-In-Law and I ended up talking about it and it ended up being a really good conversation. 

Money can seem like a sticky subject, but if you talk to them about it with honesty and respect (not bitterness), it might go better than you think.  

I would also reiterate that there are certain things that the grooms family (and/or the groom) is expected to pay for tha they may not be aware of.  According to Emily Post, the list is quite extensive, including: bride’s engagement and wedding rings, groom’s gift to his bride, bride’s bouquet, boutonnieres for groom’s attendants, corsages for immediate members of both families, officiant’s fee, marriage license, transportation for groom and best man to ceremony, expenses of honeymoon, ALL COSTS of rehearsal dinner, accomodations for grooms attendants, and transportation and lodging for groom’s family.  


Post # 13
30 posts
  • Wedding: June 2008

I had a similar situation except my Mother-In-Law offered to pay for whatever we needed on the day we told her we were engaged.  Then when it came to actually splitting up expenses, she decided it was all too much of a hassle and she didn’t want any involvement.  Thank goodness we didn’t book anything counting on her to pay.

When it was time to do our guest list, she submitted her 150 person list with no problem.  My darling husband promptly told her to cut it to only close friends and family or cough up some financial help.  She then agreed to pay for the alcohol and Rehearsal Dinner.  I wish we’d said "no" then too.  She did both things as quickly and cheaply as she could, constantly letting us know that it was a big inconvenience for her.  Both were absolute disasters.

I actually really liked Mother-In-Law before the wedding.  I still like her – there are just some hard feelings that will take some time to heal. DH is still pretty upset with her but time will heal that too. 

What worked for us was that he was the only one to discuss wedding things with her.  It kept my relationship with her on better terms for the future.  We also no longer expect anything from her. She’ll do what she wants to do and we can’t control that.  Accepting that has helped DH and I remain much calmer towards her.       

Post # 14
1238 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

Well, I didn’t take the time to read all of the other posts, so I’m sorry if I’m repeating what everyone else is saying.

First, it is "technically" the responsiblity of the bride’s family to pay for the wedding and the responsiblility of the groom’s familyt to pay for the rehearsal dinner.

That said, if they are not giving any money towards the wedding then they also have no say.  If they want limo’s simply say, that is not in my parent’s budget and stick to it unless they offer to pay for it.

There were a few things I was not going to have in my wedding due to the budget, and when my fh’s grandpa found out he gave us $5000 to put towards the wedding.  I never asked for it; it was only offered after I kept saying "sorry, it isn’t in the budget".

Post # 15
508 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

if they aren’t paying, they don’t get to plan.  you can take their wishes into consideration, but unless there is backing, it’s up to you.  if it is absolutely important to them, make it clear it’s not in the budget.  if they offer, great.  if not, no limos.

we’re paying for most things ourselves, but both sets of parents are contributing something.  FI’s parents fell in love with a venue close to their house that we also really liked, but the rental fee was 90% of our reception budget.  we started looking elsewhere and they graciously offered to pay for the rental fee of the initial venue, so we were able to book and everyone is happy. we’re really lucky that the pressure has been off and we’re mostly able to have things just how we want them.

getting back to you, have your Fiance run interference and let them know that limo service isn’t in the budget.  technically, the groom’s family hosts the rehearsal dinner – as hosts, they get to call the shots on the invite list.  it’s the same as wedding planning – those who pay get to have a say.  if you want to have a bigger rehearsal dinner, then it’s up to you and your Fiance or your family to host, though you may also get FI’s parents to chip in what they were expecting to pay.

overall, try not to be bitter and don’t get into it with Future In-Laws, if possible.  let Fiance deal with it – it’s his family! 🙂 

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