Post # 1
I recenting sent out an email to my mom, my sister, my FSIL, and some close friends letting them know the times for my dress appointments and asking them to let me know if they could come to them. I did not invite my FMIL due to her being a huge jerk to me the entire time FI and I were dating, and then making it very clear that she was not happy about the engagement. She basically said that she views this as losing her son. At first, we tried to include FI’s parents in some of our wedding plans (sending pics of possible venues, sending my pinterest boards of ideas, etc) and it was always a negative experience. So, when deciding who to invite dress shopping, I did not invite her.
Now both my mom and my sister are telling me that I should be nice and extend the invitation, especially because she lives 5-6 hours away and won’t come. To me, that’s so fake. I feel that inviting her sends the signal that how she treats me is fine and that I’m a total pushover. If she comes to me and asks about it, I have no problem saying, “In the past when FI and I brought up wedding plans you always had a negative reaction, and I didn’t want any negativity on what should be a happy day. If you want to support me and have a positive role in wedding planning, then I’d be happy for you to come.” My mom and sister say that not inviting her is giving her more things to complain about.
Since the blowup where FMIL made it clear she thinks I’m a terrible person for her son to marry, my strategy has been to avoid her as much as possible, be nice and polite when I have to see her, and let FI deal with her otherwise. We also came up with some standard things to say when she says something that crosses the line. It’s like, if she doesn’t have anything nice to say why give her the opportunity to say anything?
Post # 2
My FMIL and in laws are wonderful and we love them to death, but they haven’t been involved in any of the planning, we just haven’t needed them to be. I only invited my mom and MOH dress shopping. I think when you get too many people there it’s just not fun and becomes stressful so I’d say the less the better. I wouldn’t extend an invite to her, especially being far away, even if you were on great terms so especially not on bad terms.
Post # 3
You said you invited his sister? How do you get along with her? Chances are your FMIL will then find out about it and that’ll only cause MORE of an issue. I agree with your family, you’ll at least cover YOUR ass by sending her that email as well. Hell, I tried to schedule my appointments when I KNEW my FMIL was busy!!!
At this point until the wedding is over, it’s best you kill her with kindness. Is it fake? Maybe. But anything that you need to do to keep the peace for now is best. Sucks, right???
Post # 4
I didn’t invite FMIL or FSIL to dress shopping, just my mom and BMs…just easier that way. I’d say if you invited the sister, you should invite the mom too. In the end, though, you want the day to be fun, so act accordingly. Maybe sister can tell the mom to behave?
Post # 5
You don’t have to invite her, but remember that as long as she is in FI’s life, she’ll be in yours. It may be in your best interest to try and keep the peace. in as many ways possible. If you think inviting her would help, then invite her.
If she feels like she’s losing her some (which in a way she is) you need to do everything possible to she her that her son will be taken care of. But also, it’s a way of life so she needs to get over it. My mother in law isn’t mean to me or doesn’t like me, but she does sometimes still try to take care of my DH as if he still lived with her. It’s frustrating sometimes, but that’s just her personality. And I also have to remember that he lived with his parents up until we were married, so it was kind of like quitting at parenting cold turkey…
Post # 6
I wouldn’t invite her.
I only went dress shopping with my mom. I have no idea why this is an ‘experience’ everyone needs to be a part of.. especially someone who is so rude to you.
Post # 7
TGold: When it comes to wedding decisions, I do not think anything you and your FI want is ‘wrong’, but sometimes being courteous will just keep the peace, even if it is against everything your heart and soul wants. I think this is one of those instances.
Let her be the ‘bad guy’, if she chooses. Invite her, and assume she will say no or make a snide remark. Or, invite her, have her there, and let her be a brat. Either/or you look like a bigger person, because you asked her to be there for this special occassion!!!
Post # 8
There is no rule that says a bride MUST invite her FMIL dress shopping. If your FMIL has been that horrid towards you throughout your relationship with your SO, I would advise that you limit your contact with her and have some strong boundaries around what is acceptable/unacceptable behavior.
Unfortunately, with all of the mass consumer marketing and reality shows like “Say Yes to the Dress” it has created a huge misconception that when it comes to your wedding, EVERYBODY whose close to you must be involved and part of the planning process. The reality is, nobody will be as excited and into your wedding as you and it is unfair to expect people around you to be on board every step of the way. I get why your family said to include your FMIL (to keep the peace) but you are the bride, this is YOUR FMIL, and your wedding — therefore you need to think very clearly and decide what would be the best for you and your relationship, instead of being swayed by other people’s opinions. Which by the way, will come in abundance since family tends to be very opinionated about how your wedding should be.
The BEST advice for any bride planning her wedding is to keep your wedding plans to yourself. Only share the details with the pertinent/relevant people involved and even then, it should be on a “need to know” basis. The more you put your ideas out there and ask people what they think, it will drive you absolutely insane with the million and one ideas that people will pressure you to do.
And as a side note, if your FMIL has made it so clear that she does not like you and does not approve of your engagement to her son, then WHY are you sending your pinterest ideas and wedding plans to this woman?? I understand that you would like to have a good relationship with her. But if she does not accept your olive branch and does nothing to repair your relationship, then I would just let her be and would really encourage you to stop sending her stuff about the wedding — other than the basics like time, date, location, etc.
Post # 9
The best option would have been to not invite either the FSIL or FMIL, and then you could have said it was family only. At this point though, you can’t invite one without appearing rude to the other. Invite them both. Being a jerk back to her isn’t going to help your situation, now or in the future. Just be prepared for things to go badly if she does show up. Worst case, just make another appointment and only go with your mom and close friends.
Post # 10
Thanks to everyone for the advice! I’m still kind of torn, but you all have given me a lot to think about.
Has anyone invited an FMIL they don’t get along with? Did it ruin the experience or did she appreciate being included?
Post # 11
If I invited my FSIL I’d feel obligated to invite FMIL, BUT, since she’s explicitly told you she’s not for this wedding or you as a person for her son, then I’d just let it be.
Post # 12
Shina: I sent her this stuff before the biggest blowup. Before that, she pretty much ignored that I existed and had told my FI her worries about the engagement. I asked FSIL for advice, and she suggested to try my best to make FMIL feel included and let her get to know me so she was more comfortable with all of it. THe first time FI and I saw his parents after getting engaged was about a month later. So, we were just telling them general ideas of what we were thinking. Then that weekend the poop hit the fan and it was obvious that nothing would stop her from viewing me as a terrible person who was going to take away her son and ruin his life. Since then, I haven’t told her anything about the wedding. FI told them when we set a date, and that’s been the only wedding talk with them for the past 6 months or so. Thank you for your advice! It’s kind of what I wanted to hear…
Post # 13
5-6 hours away…no need to invite even if you were friendly with her.
Post # 14
I didn’t invite my FMIL or FSIL dress shopping; just went with my mom, sister and cousin. I think inviting your FSIL makes things a little complicated, but really doesn’t mean you NEED to invite FMIL.
Post # 15
My late MIL paid for my wedding dress…and she wasn’t invited to the initial shopping or any of the alteration appointments! And she didn’t expect to be, mostly because they were during the day (I wasn’t working at the time) – but she was, and I never expected her to give up a days pay for an something that usually took about 30 minutes. She happily gave the payment details over the phone, was happy to see a picture of the dress…of course, I was lucky that she fully supported myself and ex H getting married, which she showed by paying for the reception as well! No way on earth would I invite someone who has behaved as badly as your FMIL along. I agree with your assessment, that by extending an invite you would be sending her the message that her treatment of you is acceptable.
p.s. This was my second marriage…I had my mother along the first time I went dress shopping, and she was a total PITA who blackmailed me into purchasing a dress I really couldn’t afford on credit by saying she would ‘help’ with the payments…she never did, and I was still paying the bloody card off years after I’d divorced the husband!