(Closed) I desperately need some support here Bees (FMIL rant ahead)

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
7549 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I hate people who “keep score”.

Post # 3
7381 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

I also hate people that keep score, but I also hate that there is no really tactful way for Steve to learn some manners without someone seeming like a gift-grabber.  It really is bad manners to show up for any invited event empty handed; if someone invites you over to watch the big game on their fancy tv, you bring some beer and chips, and if someone invites you over for a nice dinner, you bring flowers. That’s just what nice people do, and Steve is not being nice people. Perhaps between now and your wedding, if you find yourself invited to an event where Steve is also there, you can make a little show of your hostess gift– not in a show-offy Look What I Did kind of way, but more subtle, calling his attention to the fact that it’s polite to bring a little something for the hosts whenever you go somewhere.

Post # 4
152 posts
Blushing bee

Firstly, its none of her business about who gave what at your FSIL’s wedding.  Sure, you’re Future Sister-In-Law probably told her but still, she shouldn’t be going around tell you who you can and cannot invite.  I’d tell her the next time that she brings it up that its your wedding and you can invite whomever you want to!  Some people just don’t give money and while its annoying, you’re right about the inviting people who are important to you, not who will give you guys money at your wedding. 

UGH, also a pet peeve of mine when people are talking about how much money they made at their wedding… I wasn’t aware that weddings were supposed to be a cash grab but unfortunately for a lot of people they are.  My SO’s family is apart of this lovely new tradition of making people give money.  I’m dreading after our opening of the cards, how angry my SO will be at some people in his family for not giving us money.  I’ll have to have a speech prepared haha

Post # 5
2501 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

We had a few guests who didn’t give us anything. Did we care? No. Are we still talking to them? Of course!

Maybe Steve doesn’t know the rule about giving presents at such events. You would think it’s common sense but not always. If you’re worried that the same thing will happen at your wedding (not for the gift but so your FMILA doesn’t think worse of him) os there a mutual friend of yours who could maybe put a friendly, non-confrontational word in his ear? Something along the lines of, “Im going to buy a present for Justbrynne and Fiance this weekend, I never know what to get. What are you thinking of, Steve?”


As for your Future Mother-In-Law, tell her to get stuffed! If you only had friends on a “keep score” basis then you would have very few friends indeed. You invite who you want there, not who can cover their plate.

Post # 6
136 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I’m confused as to why she’s telling you guys what you’re allowed to do, as if you were children.  It is rude to show up with no gift, but I would never approach a guest and tell them that. A couple chooses to have a wedding and definitely shouldn’t expect guests to pay for it.

I would nicely tell her that at your events, you and your husband will invite whoever you choose. Gifts are not a mandatory thing.

Post # 7
2847 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

First, does Steve have financial issues that make giving a gift a hardship?  He did present a card, it sounds like. 

I hate the cover your plate mentality.  I don’t consider going to a wedding getting a freebe.  I mean, you are giving up the better part of a day to attend someone else’s event.  Often you have to travel to get there.  It is the bride and groom’s obligation to host guests because they want others to share in their day.  I believe it is polite and appropriate to bring a gift, but I think cover your plate is just tacky…..It’s a hotly debated topic on the Bee though! 

Post # 8
342 posts
Helper bee

I will out myself and say I’ve been that person.  I honestly didn’t know better, I was young (maybe Steve is too?) and it was the first wedding I’d been to.

I always try to hope that a person isn’t going out of their way to be rude.  Accidents happen.  Maybe you can explain that to her.

Post # 9
2837 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

eeniebeans:  I do too…..but once ina blue moon I find it “acceptable”– like that one person who has done nothing but take, take, take and be selfish?  This sounds like OP’s “Steve”- I’m just currently dealing with someone like this.  So I don’t really look at like I’m “keeping score”- as there is no score to be kept.  She’s just a selfish person, and because of that, I’m declining a shower invite.

Post # 10
3239 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

Horseradish:  he didn’t come empty handed. He came with a card. 

Seriously, gifts shouldn’t matter.

MrsEME:  we don’t know he is always a “taker”. We just know he showed up to one event, once, with a card rather than a present. Who knows? Maybe he asked the couple what he should get and they said that they would be happy with just a card. Maybe he is going through financial difficulties right now. Maybe he is a douche at heart, but we have no evidence for any of that. Right now I think Future Mother-In-Law is being a bigger tool over it.

Post # 11
2837 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

babeba:  At first, I thought you misread my post– I went back and reread what I wrote.  I meant to say This DOESN’T sound like OP’s Steve– I just forgot a word when I typed, and I can’t go back and edit the post now.

Post # 12
46808 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

 First, SIL should not have told her Mom about the empty envelope. Future Mother-In-Law should not have shared with you.

The only way to handle people who share inappropriately is to cut them off. “Mom,I feel very uncomfortable, when you share information that should be confidential. Whether Steve gave a gift or not, is none of my business. Please don’t do the same when we get married.”

Post # 13
52 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2015 - Riviera Maya, Mexico

Wow! I think you are in the right to be upset! First of all, it’s non of her business. And I agree with you on that gifts shouldn’t matter and you invite people to your wedding because they are important to you. NOT because you’re looking for a gift. It’s very sad that so many people, your Future Mother-In-Law included, lose sight of what the real reason for the occassion is: You’re committing the rest of your life to the person you love! At the end of the day, that’s all should matter. Not what or how much money someone brought as a gift. Maybe you could politely remind her of that and say “as long as I end up married to your son, ‘Steve’ could bring a bag of rocks for a gift for all I care :)” Good Luck!

Post # 14
209 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

Just before a friend’s wedding I met up with her for coffee and explained I was in financial dire straits and probably couldn’t afford a present and I was wondering if it is was okay to still come along. She got so angry with me, She said she wants me not my gift and to be honest she was a bit offended that I thought she would care. 

Anyway, lunch came and it was back to normal for us, still friends now. Even though she once gave me a box of nothing for my birthday. It was one of my favourite gifts!

Post # 15
82 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Justbrynne:  Yikes — not easy. My humble advice would be this: Does Steve have some particular talent that would be useful in the wedding, or would he be someone who could lend a hand in setting/cleaning up the space? If you want to invite him while not drawing the wrath of Future Mother-In-Law, maybe you could say something like “OK Future Mother-In-Law, we’re inviting him but have asked him to do X major task as his gift, and it’s going to be an extreme help to us”.


I’m super non-confrontational, which is where my advice is coming from. But you can also just tell her to stuff it, and would be completely justified in doing so 🙂

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