Help! Future MIL stressing me out about guest list

posted 4 months ago in Family
Post # 16
Member
535 posts
Busy bee

NO is a complete sentance. A sentance that your finance (not you) should be communicating to his mother. Money isn’t the issue, its boundary stomping. Bride and groom make the guest list, end of story. 

Post # 19
Member
4577 posts
Honey bee

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@cmc14:  you have a fiance problem. He needs to get on board with setting boundaries with her now. Otherwise, she is going to ruin more than your wedding planning. Read up on DWIL Nation about what your future could hold.

Post # 21
Member
2648 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

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@cmc14:  You might benefit from reading the book entitled The Nice Girl Syndrome. It’s a great read for life in general, but it definitely applies here. 

I think you need to ask yourself why you are willing to allow your Future Mother-In-Law to cause you such extreme amounts of stress in order to avoid hurting her feelings. Why is her happiness more important that your own? 

To be clear is to be kind, OP. You are not responsible for your FMIL’s feelings; she is responsible for her own feelings.

If you politely inform her that the guest list number is set and that any additions to it will come from your side due to the fact that your fiancé’s side already has a larger number, how is that being unkind? It’s not. It’s stating a fact, kindly, and her reaction to it is entirely her issue. 

You and your future husband are set to form your own nuclear family. It’s commonly referred to as “leaving and cleaving”, and it means that the wants and needs of the two of you as a couple come first. Your husband needs to practice setting boundaries with his mom, because by marrying you, he’s telling you that you come first, as well as any future children, and his mom comes second. 

Post # 23
Member
2307 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

Sounds like all PP have it covered: Have DH deal with her, you and DH set boundaries, now, etc. But I just wanted to pop on and say I feel you. My Mother-In-Law had an absolute fit and did the same thing. Offered to pay for her additional people (which she wouldn’t have because DH ended up paying for the rehersal dinner and everything else she said she’d pay for). But once I explained that it wasn’t just the meal and drinks it was everything and it was the work. That if I could count on her to help with everything I would maybe consider it. That shut her down when she bothered me, but it was DH that had the talk with her and finally squashed it. Well, for the most part. She decided not to invite some family so that way she could invite more friends. As she started to tell people that their kids weren’t invited even though other kids were invited (and got +1’s) people started to complain (no crap, I told her this from the beginning) and she freaked out and called DH in a panic. Who then called me in a panic, who then had to call my mom while she was on the way to the post office and she had to redo invitations. 

All of this is to say, I really wish I wouldn’t have redone any of the invitations, but I really liked the family they were leaving out for friends I had never met. We have since had multiple issues of boundary crossing which eventually resulted in a TO. I wish I would have stuck up for myself and gotten more on the same page with my husband before we got married. As long as your husband is on your side you will be fine. But if you see him backing down or giving in, make sure you two schedule some pre-marital counseling. You need to know how to deal with her in the future. 

Post # 24
Member
5699 posts
Bee Keeper

Don’t let her “pay the difference”. I’ve seen this before.. She’ll promise to, and then renege, you’ll never see the money. You don’t have to get her to understand your reasoning. No matter how hard you try, she won’t get it. And that’s fine! It’s not her damn wedding and she’s not paying! End of story. 

Post # 25
Member
1998 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

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@cmc14:  I think the wedding is hard for him because she’s pulling the “family card.” 

That’s just manipulation.  He shouldn’t fall for it or she’ll use it every chance she gets.  Besides it doesn’t matter that its “faaaamily”.  Your headcount is YOUR headcount and do not take a dime from her because she’ll use it as a bargaining chip.  Offering $$ then threatening to take it away if things don’t go her way.

Don’t fall into that trap.

Post # 26
Member
7222 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

The main thing to be aware of (which is a lesson you can use and apply going forward) is that what you think of as being nice is actually what is giving her the impression that further discussion will change your mind and get her what she wants when it’s actually just a road to misery for both of you. Clarity and boundaries are kind (because it’s you standing up for yourself AND it prevents resentment from building against her over time).

Post # 27
Member
1918 posts
Buzzing bee

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@cmc14:  “I explained to her that our guest count needs to be low because of costs “

As a PP said, ‘no’ is a complete sentence.  Your mistake was to add ‘because’.  ‘Because’ signals to your Mother-In-Law that there is an obstruction in the way of her getting what she wants, so if she removes the obstruction, she can then have what she wants.  She can’t increase the guest list ‘because’ of cost?  She will pay.  Still can’t increase the guest list ‘because’ of venue size?  Change venues or hire another room in the venue.  Don’t want additional guests ‘because’ of only wanting people you are close to?  But these additional guests have known your fiance since he was a baby – they ask about him every time they speak to your MIL!

Your fiance needs to say to his mother, “Mother, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but our guest list is finalised and we can’t invite any more people.”  Any questions, comments, complaints just get presented with the same sentence.  Cut the word ‘because’ out completely!

Post # 28
Member
2877 posts
Sugar bee

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@cmc14:  You need to each make the guest list you want, and you shouldn’t have to cut out way more people than him. If anything, I’d split the list in half, with each of you making your list of 25. Your Fiance can talk with his mother if she wants to add to his half. If she tries to offer to pay, say there is a venue cap for numbers. You can also use Covid. 

Post # 29
Member
2068 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

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@stateofbeeing:  it is absolutely appropriate and correct to understand that marrying someone means they are now your nuclear family and everyone else is now extended family. That’s simply how to clearly state what the priority is. My husbands feelings come before my parents feelings and wants. Becuase I married him and created a family with him. My feelings also come first before what his mother wants or feels about our choices and decisions. 

You assuming that a couple prioritizing their own wants and needs means they have to distance themselves from their parents is silly. That’s not what that means at all. 

But yeah, when extended family acts as if their feelings and wants for your wedding are more important than yours? Yeah they get put on an information diet and boundaries get set. 

And that is to preserve relationships btw. If mil is pushy and OP is having a hard time with it, boundaries exist to keep the two of them on good terms. The alternative is OP just takes a back seat to what Mil wants.. and over time she resents mil more and more to the point she doesn’t want to be around her. How does that serve anyone? It doesn’t. Healthy boundaries are necessary and important. 

Post # 30
Member
2648 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

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@stateofbeeing:  This is not the first time this has come up. Go to the Google search bar and type in “nuclear family definition”. A couple and their and dependent child(ren). Parents and child(ren) living under one roof. When adult children move out and get married, their parents are no longer their nuclear family. They are beginning their own nuclear family.

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