(Closed) MIL & FIL paying for reception – do they control rest of wedding?

posted 5 years ago in Family
Post # 2
1149 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

if she’s stressing you out then don’t accept her money.  problem solved.  otherwise suck it up.

Post # 3
6414 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
summerbride2016:  While I am not of the school of thought that believes pay = say, I do believe that in this case, you really only have two options: accept her money, and accept that, whilst it should not come with strings attached unfortunately it clearly does, and so allow her a say; or, foot the bill yourselves in which case you can quite easily say ‘we are paying for the wedding, and so we will make the decisions’.

Another option would be for your Fiance to have a chat with her and say that he is a bit surprised at how much involvement she wants, given that when you both accepted the money it was on the understanding that this money was a gift, and that it didn’t come with caveats. But be prepared for her not to take it will and to withdraw her contribution.

ETA: just read that they are paying for food/alcohol only. That does make me think they’re being even more unreasonable, but unfortunately I still think what I said stands. If they think they have a ‘right’ to be involved, that is unlikely to change, so it’s a case of deciding if you’re OK with that, or would rather simply not take the money.

I’d also rephrase what I suggested your Fiance say to them, and say something like ‘we’re happy for you to be involved in the food/alcohol related decisions, as you’re covering the cost, but we will be making all other decisions as we are paying for those things’.

Lastly, when it comes to favours, or other things they want you to include on your dime, I wouldn’t make lots of excuses, I would just say ‘That isn’t in our budget’. If they are so desperate for you to have favours, then they can foot the bill.

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by  barbie86.
Post # 4
1578 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

They are gifting you that money very generously. However, that doesn’t give them the right to dictate how you spend the rest of your money on your wedding. They are paying for food and alcohol, great! It doesn’t sound like they’re paying for the venue, the ceremony, music etc… So! That means that you continue to stand up for yourself and do what you want to do for your wedding.

Now, on the opposite side of that your Future Mother-In-Law could be wanting to make this as special for you as possible because your own mother can’t be there. She may be just wanting to help and bond with you so you have the wedding of a mother’s dreams, the perfect one. So I think that you should accept her offer of coming down, have a quick conversation that you want to do things your way, thank her for her opinion and that you welcome it but you’ll do what you think is best and then go do those wedding things! Help her find a dress, talk about floral arrangements, whatever! Bond with her! Would it be so terrible if you had a good relationship with your FMIL? Just my thought.

Post # 5
9534 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

i think it really depends on the person and you need to set expectations if you accept the money.


my mom paid 100% of my wedding but told me DH and I had full control over decision making.  it was our wedding afterall.  she only wanted a photobooth, everything else was up to us.

when she tried to take over with her ideas, i listened, appreciated the feedback, but did what DH and I wanted.

Post # 6
707 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

View original reply
summerbride2016:  you might just have to put your foot down.This is your one big day and it should be how YOU want it. I have never understood the mentality that because a family member is gifting money for the wedding they get say in it. it would be the same instance if someone gifted you money for a new home, does that mean they get to pick your bedroom color of if you have 1/2 bathrooms? I would put it to them like this they get to help but not dictate your wedding. If they don’t like it either A) you pay for it yourself and a lot of people get cut from the guest list or B) go to a destination wedding you and Fiance only. If they can not accept the fact this is your wedding that you have dreamt about then their money wasn’t a nice gesture it was a way to control their wants. 

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