Post # 1
Hi all! I need a bit of advice.
Quick family backstory: My finance’s parents are still together and are contributing a significant amount of money to our wedding. My parents are divorced. My dad and stepmother will also be contributing a good chunk of money towards the wedding. My biological mother is in a long-term relationship, and she is unable to contribute to the wedding.
My Fiance and I have started looking at venues and we found 2 that we really like and have booked an appointment to visit it in a few weeks. Since my FI’s parents and my dad and step mom are both giving us money, I have invited them along to view the venue with us. I have yet to invite my biological mother. I want to, but I don’t know how she will feel coming with us and talking about the prices of packages and such when she will not be able to help us out. It doesn’t bother me at all, she was a single mother for a very long time and I completely understand that she does not have the money to help out. And I would never ask her. But I don’t want to leave her out by not asking her to come, and I also don’t want her to be upset if she comes and the families start talking about money. She has already broke down once crying because she feels bad because she cannot contribute (no matter how much I try to reassure her that it’s okay, poor mom).
So, should I ask her to come or not? Should I tell her we are going and invite her and let her make the decision as to whether she wants to join in?
Any advice on how to handle this situation?
Post # 3
I see no reason why she can’t go and at least be able to contribute her opinion. For me only the FI’s parents came only because the venue was farther than my mom wanted to travel.
Post # 4
I would invite her to come. Even if she is not contributing with money, by inviting her you are showing that you still value her opinion and want her to be a part of the process.
My fiance and I are paying for everything ourselves but we still invite moms to come look at our final pick of the venue. I wanted them to feel involved even if they are not paying.
Post # 5
- Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House
I would invite her anyway, and leave that decision up to her. It’s an invitation, not a summons. I’d rather she feel included but possibly uncomfortable than excluded and hurt.
Post # 6
I would invite those whose money will pay for the venue, and invite mom along on a separate visit; there will be plenty more visits before the actual day. I think if you go with an entourage of 5 or 6 people plus you and your fiance, it becomes very difficult to get anything accomplished; everyone has an opinion, everyone has 100 questions, and it becomes like herding cats. The only reason I’d even invite the other sets of parents is because they are paying. Keep it small and simple, and invite mom along on some future mission to the venue.
Post # 7
Totally invite her! But chat to her first, and just let her know your concernes, and tell her you in no way want her to feel bad about the money side of it all.
Post # 8
I agree with fishbone, invite the set of parents that are paying. Seven people is a huge group to bring to pick a venue. I find it hard to deal with clients at work when they bring a huge group, because there’s always someone who has to pipe in their two cents that goes against what everyone else agreed on and we just end up wasting time. Even tho she doesn’t have to go, she might feel obligated to go because she was invited, even if she doesn’t want to because it will be awkward for her.
There will be more chances to bring your mom when the venue is actually booked. Maybe bring her to the tasting? Plus, there’s dress shopping and fittings, cake tasting and other things she could do with you.
Post # 9
Okay, first, this is the cutest post; i love how concerned you are about your mother’s feelings and involvement.
With seven people, I think the likelihood of money is more likely to come up (so many opinions to get, it’s easier to do it while you’re all there), but if you trust your husband to opine for the two of you? if you basically know what you want and are willing to compromise on, then you can sort of step off with your mother and discuss decorative options with her.
Otherwise, I would just schedule a visit after it’s been booked to get her take on it, and ask her what her thoughts are in regard to linens, decor, setup, etc. (assuming she’s into that stuff).
Next time she’s upset I would have the conversation that financial is only ONE way to support a wedding/marriage, and that her emotional support is worth more than any money could be, that having her to talk to and lean on is invaluable, that her opinion on your [insert relevant items: cake, dress, decor, etc] during this stressful time is amazing and that you’re just glad she’s been so great to share this time with. Parents like to feel like they’re helping, and making life easier for their kids, so if you can show all the ways she’s making (and can make) a difference in the planning process, hopefully she’ll shift her focus from the one way she’s not.
Post # 10
To add, I honestly think emotional support is more important than financial support (once you get past that point where you’re not stressing about it)
My mother isn’t paying for my dress (or anything – she paid for my education; she’s not helping with my wedding; I consider it a good deal), and while it’d be nice if she decided to cover it, I’d much rather her be there helping me pick out a dress and telling me what looks great and what doesn’t, what’s worth the money and what’s not, what’s “me” and what’s not, etc. and not pay for it, than just cut me a cheque for whatever I wanted and have to go without her.
Post # 11
- Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island
Wow, this sounds exactly like my situation, except my fiance’s parents are only contributing to the rehearsal dinner. It was really only important to me that my fiance come along. In the end, me, my fiance, my mom, and both his parents ended up coming. Although my dad and stepmom are contributing, they couldn’t care less what we spend the money on and told us so. It was a no strings attached gift. They said we could elope and spend the money on something non-wedding related. So, that part wasn’t an issue for us.
My mom really really wanted to be a part of the experience, and I think my fiance’s parents did too, which is why they all came. My dad and stepmom didn’t care about being part of the experience, so they didn’t come. I think you should look at it from a similar viewpoint. Who wants to come to be a part of the experience? If that’s your mom, then invite her.
You shouldn’t really be having a discussion about finances in front of her though. Each venue will give you the prices and packages, but you don’t need to make decisions right then. Just take the information and go to the next place.
Post # 12
I think 6 is already too many people. No need to invite your mom. You can involve her in other aspects of the wedding planning.
And although you haven’t mentioned this aspect: definitely don’t do it if there is any tension between your mom, and your dad and stepmom.
Post # 13
Agreed with PP, 6 is a lot… But the real question is: will she be more hurt by not being invited than by having others’ contribution shoved in her face?
Personally, I would invite her, but do something to show that she is contributing in a different but equally important way BEFORE you go visit. For instance, ask her to help you choose flowers and menu, or prepare something, just anything that will make her feel like she’s also contributing. Make her feel like you especially need HER for certain aspects of the wedding.
Post # 14
Thanks everyone! I’m leaning towards asking her to come, but giving her the option of declining and I will take her to visit the venue we choose another time.
It really can be hard figuring out who should be involved in planning what. My FI’s mother wants to help and since she planned her daughter’s wedding, I have already gone to her a few times because she has already been through this process. I am equally close to both my step mother (who practically raised me) and my biological mother. So I guess I will just have to give each of them a few things to help me with so they do not feel excluded. Ahhh family! 😉