(Closed) How to adjust to FI's culture during wedding planning (bit of a rant…)

posted 7 years ago in Family
Post # 3
7579 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

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MissPoutine:  You and your Fiance need to just be honest and  upfront with his mother, and both be on the same page. Just go to her and say “We are taking your suggestions into consideration, but xyz is out of our budget and so we will be going with our inital plan.” If she starts to pull the “my guests will give you money” you just tell her “While that would be very generous of them, we do not feel comfortable planning with the assumption that they will gift us money, nor can we afford to do so.”

I get not wanting to hurt her feelings, but honesty (in a nice way) and nipping it early is the best way to approach wedding stuff. Honestly, if she continues after all that I would just be VERY blunt and tell her that if it’s that important to her she is more than welcome to pay for it but that you will not.

Post # 4
3067 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

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MissPoutine:  I would put your foot down. Im sorry but It doesnt really matter what she wants. She had her wedding. 

if you start the whole ‘ if you want a cake you can pay for it’ or ‘ if you want to invite your boss’s third cousin’ you can pay for it ordeal, that can get really messy and who knows if they will even actually pay as much as they say. Do you want to pay for these extras? No? Then don’t accept any offers and don’t have them

If they are not paying- they can express all the opinions they want, but end of the day the decision is yours. I would get your Fiance on the same page.

IDK my inlaws and parents stayed so out of the wedding planning process that the fact some are so involved is crazy to me. But then again I have no problem nodding and smiling then doing what I want anyway 🙂


  • This reply was modified 6 years, 9 months ago by Boxerlover24.
Post # 5
1245 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Maybe you can say something along the lines of, “That sounds like a wonderful idea and we would love to incorporate it, but as of right now, XXX will push us above our budget.”

And for the gift response, I would say something like, “I don’t want to assume the guests will provide us with a cash gift. For budgeting purposes, we will assume that there will be no cash gifts. Fiance and I don’t want to be caught in a situation where the wedding will cost us more than what we can afford.”

I understand you want to pick your battles, but being in debt as a newlywed will be very stressful. 

Post # 6
9538 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I would stnad your ground, but I would not mention any contribution. Honestly, with the cake, I probably would have just said that I already had signed a contract with a baker.

I agree with having your fiance talk to her about if there are any specific cultural things she would like to include. And I would make  real effort to include those. But, beyond that, I would plan the wedding that you and your fiance want and can afford. 

Personally, I like the placate and distract method, which goes something like this 

Future Mother-In-Law: You simply must have chiavari chairs!<br />

You: Thanks for the advice, we’ll have to see. Did you see the last episode of MasterChef?…

Post # 7
2386 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I would stop telling her anything about the plans.

Post # 8
47421 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Starfish011 said it best.

Post # 9
1798 posts
Buzzing bee

Sometimes I understand cultural differences, but it sounds like your Future Mother-In-Law is just using that as an excuse to get what she wants. I would tell her next time that you will take what she wants into consideration, but ultimately go with what you have to to keep it under budget. Honestly, I wouldn’t want to accept any money from her towards the wedding because it sounds like she would just use that as a way to get her way in everything. I would hate for you to have to pay for twenty extra guests you don’t know just because she put $500 toward a cake or something. 

Post # 10
3211 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I’m going to guess that you’re Canadian… So buying a cake from X specific expensive bakery really isn’t a culture thing for your DH. Nice try, MIL! Who on earth would be upset with cupcakes instead of cake? It IS cake, just a proportioned serving thereof.  I know some cultures save the top layer for the first anniversary (for the husband and wife) but that is entirely on you two, so if you don’t want that you don’t need it.


As for the other extra things, like the plus one for the teenaged girl, I would say something like “if she has dated the same boy from now until the wedding invitations go out, we can invite that boy.” Or, if you prefer, “we want to make sure that we know everyone at the wedding, and neither of us has had a chance to get to know X boyfriend.” 

The third thing is, you Fiance needs to sit down with his parents and set down some firm boundaries. Things like they get consideration for X invites for their family and friends, that you aren’t planning on expanding your budget for their wants, and that the two of you are together on this.



Post # 11
1576 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I think it’s important that Fi talk to his family. You don’t want to seem like this crazy controlling person. In Future Mother-In-Law knows her son is on your side and not her, that helps big time.

Also – wanting a traditional cake instead of cupcakes is not a cultural thing. She just wants the wedding to be as she pictures it in her head. She needs to cope with the fact that this is not her wedding. This is so much of a worse issue if the she has no daughters or if this is the last child to get married. How will she ever plan the wedding of her dreams? lol. She has to learn to let it go. The sooner the better.

Post # 13
2942 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

You need to put the kabosh on your Fiance agreeing with his mom to keep her happy. Discuss with him all issues in private before talking to his mom, and if he changes his tune to keep her happy, call him on it in private afterwards.

Post # 14
268 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2025

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MissPoutine:  I understand completely where you’re coming from, and I think it would be best if you voiced your concerns to your Fiance and let him handle things with his mother. Why? His mother won’t take it lightly if YOU end up fighting with her. If it’s her ONLY son? She’ll put up with it, but if it’s between you and her, your relationship with the in laws will never be the same, and you Fiance will always be stuck in the middle.

My mother and FI’s father are literally the same. They’ve been throwing all this tradition stuff at us, and we agreed that we were going to do this:

1. Take what they want to do into consideration and consult with each other first.

2. If we are able to incorporate it, great! If not, we would each handle our own parents to avoid getting into fights with future in laws.

We’ve fought about:

-The venue/catering (They want 10 course Chinese banquet, we’re having short ribs and mashed potatoes)

-Cake (They want traditional X tiered cake, we’re baking margarita cupcakes)

-Dress (My mom says I look like a mummy – I didn’t think so, but I found another dress I liked anyway)

-Guestlist (In my culture, the bride’s parents gets to negotiate how many guests they can invite since the groom’s parents pay for the banquet. We’re doing neither. We’re paying for our own wedding, and we gave them a set number of guests they can invite. This prevented my mom from inviting some distant 2nd cousins of mine that I didn’t even know existed until we fought that day.)

And the list goes on. But it works out better for everyone if you each deal with your own parents. Somehow keeps the peace after all the arguing. I would also talk to your Fiance about doing things just to keep his mother happy – while I think it’s awesome that he loves and cares about his mother’s wants/needs, he needs to understand that when you two are married, you should be the closest family to him (hence, the “starting your own family” thing – you can’t be a momma’s boy and have your own family too ;P ). 

Good luck! These things are never easy 😉

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