I was having the same sort of problem with my sister and mom. My sister had a very very lavish wedding, with about double the guest count and budget from what Fiance and are comfortable spending on our shindig.
Luckily, the wedding is on the other side of the continent and they’re not paying for it. If it had been in Toronto both mom and sis would have stuck their fingers in everything.
Nonetheless, behold my Saga of the Engagement Party!
Where the real problems have come in have been what was to be my bridal shower, thrown by my sister, who is also my only bridesmaid. She asked what I wanted.
Which was: I want you to invite the friends who I’m also inviting to the wedding (who are mostly closer friends who would be willing to travel to California for my wedding). I want to have an afternoon of nibbles and cocktails with these friends. I don’t expect presents from them, as most of them are still in university and the one girl who is already married in my group of friends was completely understanding that we were all broke at the time and told us not to worry about presents and to have a good time. I kinda like that attitude.
Anyway, I tell her that, and a few evenings later she calls and starts saying, that her husband… my Brother-In-Law wants to have his family come for my “engagement party”, and since it’s also his house it would be respectful for me to let them come. She the tells me that she wants to invite some of her friends so that she isn’t stuck hanging out with my friends…Okay… and next she tells me that my Mother wants to invite all the families of her friends who can’t go to California for the wedding. I’m standing there going like WTF?! this is not what I asked for at all. She says, “We just thought if we invited more people you’d get more presents.”. That really rubbed me the wrong way.
For about a month, I did my best to convince her that I don’t want to see all these people and that I’m not interested in getting some pile of gifts from people who are mostly strangers to me. It all fell on deaf ears. Eventually, I was sick of fighting her and realized her party was just stressing me out and I asked for two things:
1. If it’s now an engagement party, can you please make sure Fiance (who got a job in California recently and we’ve been LD) comes too
2. Surprise me
The good thing is #1 is well taken care of. #2….we’ll see
During this surprise party planning, which has gone on for about 3 months now, I’ve come across the following events:
- My mom having to tell my sis not to directly ask for gifts on the invite! (I think my knees buckled when I heard that little piece of class)
- My BIL’s grandmother (who is a judgement crotchety old lady, who has been cruel to my sister and dismissive and rude towards me) is apparently invited. Party On!
- Cases of wine and beer piling up in my Mom’s house. CASES?!
- My mother and sister had some sort of huge fight over what desserts to serve and whether to serve coffee or not. This led to them not speaking to each other for about a week.
- My mother telling me to call all my friends and make sure they come, because all the food and drink was expensive and they’ve planned to have a certain number of people… followed by a guilt trip of “Do you know how much money it costs to throw a party for you?” … yes mom, I actually do, I’m planning one in August! >.<
- I’ve learned my sister has basically coerced my mom into paying for the whole production, and basically has been running her around and stressing her out
So the whole engagement party got out of hand quickly. It’s on Sunday and it looks like it’s going to get rained out, which will undoubtely make my sister cry and throw a tantrum. I’m just going to appreciate getting to spend some time with Fiance and deal with the party as it is.
TL;DR: I asked for an afternoon of cocktails with my girls for engagement party, Insted, everyone and their dog is invited in an obvious gift grab orchestrated by my sister…
I still can’t fathom how nobody heard me when I explained what I wanted. NOBODY.