Post # 1
I don’t really know how to ask this without coming off in the wrong way, but…
My mother and I have an extremely close relationship, and planning my wedding has long been something we’d looked forward to doing together. We are generally having a blast with everything.
My Future Mother-In-Law does not have any daughters and she obviously wants to participate in the wedding planning. When her first son got married, his wife flat out refused to involve her in anything, so I feel sort of bad…
The problem is that I give her things to do– I let her block off hotel rooms for Out of Town guests, I am basically giving her the rehearsal dinner… but it’s NEVER enough. It’s like, once I gave her those things, she had a suggestion about EVERYTHING. When I tell her we’ve already booked an alternative, or that we are looking at doing something different, she lays this passive aggressive guilt trip on us about how our way is "less traditional" or "wouldn’t have been appropriate back in her day".
The latest debacle has been with our ceremony venue… it is her home church, and suddenly all the rules have changed and we’re not allowed to have flowers anywhere and there are all these weird religious ceremonies that are required… I’m not feeling it. When she told us, she added that "we have already decided to have the ceremony there, and we should abide by the rules."
We haven’t paid anything to them, we’ve just loosely booked the date, and the ONLY reason we agreed to have the ceremony there was to appease her and because we were under the assumption that we could dress the sanctuary up with flowers and ribbons and-it being a liberal church- not have an extremely religious ceremony. Now I want to change, but the guilt trips are already being laid out.
Help me, hive. What do I do about this?!?!?!
Post # 3
Wow, sounds exactly like my Mother-In-Law…except when I gave her stuff to do, it never ended up actually getting done!
You can’t change how people are. You could have a chat with her about it, but I recommend just doing what you want to do. Its your wedding, and if you don’t do what you want to do, you may end up regretting it, or worse, resenting your Mother-In-Law over it all.
The ceremony is one of the most important aspects of the day (ie, you ACTUALLY get married there) So if you aren’t comfortable (ie, a whole bunch of religious mumbo-jumbo that you aren’t familiar with) I have a feeling that you would end up not remembering the ceremony as being fantastic and emotional, but rather you may end up angry and confused.
Just remember your wedding day is about you and your husband, not you your husband and MIL!
Post # 4
Talk to you fiance. What does he think? Does he want all these religious traditions? If you’re both not comfortable with it, then I don’t think you should have the ceremony there. But HE needs to tell his mom, not you, that the religious ceremony is not something that you both would feel comfortable participating in.
Also, if your Future Mother-In-Law never gets enough input, then it’s time to stop giving her opportunities to participate. What you’ve given her is enough, and if she wants more, your fiance has to discuss the wedding with her. Your fiance needs to tell her that this is his and your wedding, not hers, and in this day-and-age, traditions have changed.
I think you do need to get your fiance to help you out here!
Post # 5
I agree with Krista that if you’re both uncomfortable with the religious requirements of FMIL’s church, your Fiance should be the one to tell her that he doesn’t want to get married there and that you’ll be going someplace else. Future Mother-In-Law will probably take it better coming from her son. It would be even better if the two of you book an alternate church or ceremony location before telling her about your decision. That way it’s already done and there’s nothing she can do about it but accept it.
Also, please don’t take this the wrong way, but from your post, I’m not sure you’re being as inclusive of Future Mother-In-Law as you think you are. You say "I am basically giving her the rehearsal dinner" but … doesn’t the groom’s family traditionally get to plan the rehearsal dinner anyway? And booking hotel rooms for the Out of Town guests isn’t quite as much fun as picking the caterers or designing the color scheme. If there’s something else you wouldn’t mind handing over to her that has a little bit more to do with the actual wedding day, that could go a long way towards smoothing over hurt feelings over not using her church. If the thought of letting her pick the flowers or the music makes you cringe, though, I’d say stop trying to include her, period — otherwise you’re just sending mixed messages and making her think her opinion is more important than it actually is.
Post # 6
Hmmm… personally, I’d start like you mean to finish. Sit her down and tell her that you value her opinion and that you want her to be part of your day but that you also have a vision of what you want it to be.
Tell her what you want in terms of the wedding itself, be very clear about it (flowers, music, whatever) and explain that while you love the idea of using her church you just don’t think it’s going to work out and does she have any suggestions. She will either change her tune or she’ll not. And actually, I’d probably call the person that handles weddings at the church before you talk to your Future Mother-In-Law. Get the low down on what the rules REALLY are… then you can talk to her from a position of authority on the subject.
Either way you can’t get into the habit of catering to childish, passive aggressive behavior. You’re just setting yourself up for a marriage full of grief. Talk to your Fiance as well, make sure he understands how you feel and how you want to handle it. Deal with her kindly and with respect but as if she were a spoiled child – firmly.
And lastly, relax. You can’t control her behavior or how she chooses to deal with things. Just figure out what it is that is important to you and go from there. Oh, and having lunch and going shopping together (just the two of you) could help too.
I hope this helps!