Post # 1
We’re getting married later this year and have decided a courthouse wedding is the route we want to take. We want to just have our parents there (no siblings, or extended family) and grab a nice lunch/brunch after the ceremony. Later that day we are having to catch a flight for our honeymoon. My parents are totally on board and love the idea…we’ve been together for so long and neither of us like to be the center of attention. Whenever we think of our day being as simple as we’ve planned it, we feel calm and happy about it as opposed to stressed out.
Everyone is supportive of our plans, except his mother it seems. She hasn’t directly said anything but her actions are saying everything. First, she told us after we got engaged she had saved up $3000 for our wedding. We told her she doesn’t have to pay anything but she insisted it’s ours for whatever we want. She started telling my fiance which of his cousins (which he never even talks to nowadays) should be in the wedding party, where we could have the wedding, and then told me how her side of the family will hate me if they don’t get an invite. It felt like she wanted our day to be her day with her friends, family, etc. all coming. She even started looking at wedding bands for us before we had a chance to.
My fiance sent his mother a text message outlining our plans. He told her that we’re planning to have a small courthouse ceremony with parents only (maybe siblings he mentioned) and then lunch afterward. All she replied was “thanks for letting me know.”. I could tell she was kinda upset by her response…she’s usually very energetic and excitable in her text messages. I didn’t want her to feel like she wasn’t able to enjoy us being engaged still so I invited her out to dinner and a movie so I could tell her about the honeymoon we’ve planned. She didn’t really seem to care too much about that and barely even engaged in the conversation.
My fiance had dinner with her last weekend and she brought up the plans to him. He told her that she’s obviously invited but right now we’re keeping it at parents only. He then asked her if she was still offering the money to us to use and whether or not she’d mind if we used it for our honeymoon, and she was VERY reluctant to say yes. She told him that she guesses we could put it towards our honeymoon if we really want to, and then threw in the fact that she doesn’t actually have the money right now but should by the time of our wedding. A couple days later, his sister texts him and tells him that she and his mom were talking about mine and his wedding plans and how they want to have a big cookout reception at his mom’s house after the ceremony. She offered to help us plan this cookout.
I know that his mother is probably excited. However, it really annoys me that she’s not just listening to what WE want and is instead trying to make plans. She also knows that his sister as well as my siblings are not being invited. Not because we don’t love them, but because we want to keep it very small and low-key. Plus we have to get to the airport later that day. I just couldn’t believe that she was trying to plan a reception for us (even if it is just a cookout) after we said we don’t want a reception. UGH.
Would this bother anyone else? How would you all handle the situation? My idea is to just let it go and keep planning our plans, nicely tell her no and explain we already have everything taken care of when it comes up. Even my parents aren’t involved much and they’re perfectly fine with it.
Post # 2
I think you’re justified in being irritated. This would bug me as well. My suggestion would be to not take her money at all, for whatever purpose. She clearly sees that as a way to force her opinion in. I would simply thank her and the sister for their ideas, but continue planning what it is you’d like to do, and plan to pay for it all, including the honeymoon, yourselves.
Post # 3
Take no money. Be clear that you have a flight at X time.
If she still plans the party that’s her problem, and nothing you can do about it! Maybe wave as you fly over? Haha
Post # 4
I think you’re justified in having the ceremony as you want and just need to hold firm to that.
I don’t think you’re justified to ask to use money that she before confirmed was for the wedding specifically not honeymoon. So, you should just tell her to keep it to not have to have any financial ties (meaning she won’t have any reason for input on your plans) but also because you won’t need it with the low key ceremony you’re planning. Her reluctance should have been a major sign to you that she firstly didn’t expect to contribute unless a bigger ceremony and secondly didn’t expect to contribute to a honeymoon fund. Her contribution of money gives her a say in planning which was clearly her aim…you’re giving her no contribution in your plans therefore you do not need the contribution of the money.
Post # 5
I agree with PP, don’t take the money. Plan what you want and be firm.
Post # 6
Hold firm to your plans. Do not take the money, it sounds like it’s intent was to be used specifically for a large wedding and came with strings (requests to invite certain people).
Post # 7
We don’t need the money, so we probably won’t take it. My fiance mainly brought it up because she told us it is for our day and we could use it ANY way we wanted and for whatever we wanted. She never said we couldn’t use it for a honeymoon or could only use it for a ceremony. I think he mainly brought it back up to kind of call her out on it in a way. The trip is halfway paid off already though, so like I said, we won’t be needing it.
It kind of upsets him especially because I think he sees that she’s being a bit petty with how we’re planning things, rather than supportive. My parents have been the total opposite…offered to pay for our entire trip if we wanted (we won’t let them pay for all of it) and never once pressured us in any way to do things the way they would.
Post # 8
butterfly19882 : The money she offered comes with her wanting to control and plan something you two do not want. You have been clear and have explained what you do and do not want several times. Do not ask about the money from her, do not expect the money from her. By engaging her in wedding talk and talk about the $$$, you are being dragged along in wedding talk and plans YOU DO NOT WANT. It sucks, I know.
Hell, I would even have Fiance say that you no longer expect or feel you can accept the money from her. That may get a bad reaction so maybe there is another way to say it. Or maybe say nothing, never have Fiance bring up the money to her unless she says something again.
I would have Fiance sit down with her (and have this message communicated to family) to say: Mom, we have told you our plans for our wedding. We will have a small court ceremony with just parents, and will have plans to celebrate and have lunch together. This is all we want to do. We are not changing our plans, and do not want to talk about changing our plans. Please respect our wishes.
From now on, speak nothing about your wedding to her. This will only rile her up more.
Post # 9
I would clarify that she intends to have a cookout the same day at the courthouse. Maybe she wants to have a cookout a different day and it was just lost in translation?
Honestly, give her the benefit of the doubt. She has saved and looked forward to a big wedding. It can be tough for parents to let that go. She hasn’t be supportive, but she hasn’t been unsupportive from what I read. She hasn’t tried to talk you out of it or blackmail you with money, it sounds like she’s backed off whenever you’ve told her what you’re planning.
Definitely don’t take her money. It’s clear that she didn’t mean for you to use it on a honeymoon.
Post # 10
Your fiance needs to put his foot down once and for all and make it clear to her that extended family is not invited to the wedding. If she still doesn’t get it, he will have to contact his relatives personallyand make your plans known so they understand they will not be coming. Awkward conversation? Yes. But if you leave it up to her to communicate that, they will show up.
The money offer was probably her way of trying to control the event. Your fiance should kindly but firmly say “We appreciate the offer of money from the bottom of our hearts, but we have this covered. We are both at an age and position where we can pay for our wedding.” You don’t need the money for the honeymoon. Just be adults and pay for the honeymoon yourselves.
Post # 11
Be annoyed, yes, but take her actions with a grain of salt. She was expecting something completely different from what you want.
My Mother-In-Law has told me we’re inviting too many people and we’re spending too much when she doesn’t even know what we’re spending and I’ve chosen to simply ignore her comments. It’s our wedding we’ll do what we like, if she has certain ideas in her head that’s fine but I don’t let it bother me. I got a little annoyed at first but then I figured who cares what she says? we’re not taking her money so she has no say.
Post # 12
But she’s saying to use it for your day. Your wedding day. She probably meant use it however by using it however for catering or photography or decor. She may have had bigger feelings on a larger family gathering, what weddings mean in terms of her extended family, and therefore felt she would have the ability for more being said with her contribution to pay for that. She may have seen the contribution as helping to host the whole family together, you chose otherwise which she accepted, and now you ask to use it for an event that doesn’t include any but you and your partner. She probably thinks the main issue is money and can help facilitate a low key medium with the whole family by arranging a BBQ.
Your parents are clearly not his parents. Is that nice of your parents? Yes. However, many parents pay or fund portions of their children’s weddings and then typically have expecatations for guest list contributions. One of the first things people here try to deduce with family issues around weddings is who the one paying or contributing are…and you’ll hear the term “no pay no say” often. To many weddings are a time to pay homage to the families which adds the extended and it seems like that was her intention monetarily especially with trying to push for the reception. It’s okay you don’t want to do that but not okay to try to “call her out” on money she clearly intended to help suit that purpose not a honeymoon.
In the end, you either accept her money and try to include her or you don’t accept it and do your thing. Sounds like you have it sorted then though since, as you said, you don’t need it.
Post # 13
butterfly19882 : I am 27 years old, and have no children, but I kind of feel bad for his mom here. I fully agree that this is YOUR day and you can do whatever you want, but I cant help but feel sorry for her that she can’t celebrate it too. (Just want to be clear, I am not suggesting you change your plans, I just feel bad for the lady!!) My Future Mother-In-Law and my own mother would be devastated about being left out of my wedding. It is fun for them to help plan and share in the excitement of the big day. It can be very hard for parents to watch their children grow up and no longer need them. To top it off, the same time you crush her dreams about a wedding, you ask her about money?? That wouldnt sit right with me, and I could see why she hesitated. Maybe she thought you were doing this because you couldnt afford a wedding so was offering to host the BBQ reception. I just feel like her motives come from a good place, and you should cut her some slack.
While I DONT think you should change your plans for anyone, you can be sympathetic towards her feelings. Try to include her in dress shopping, etc. when you can. Maybe explain that while you are so thankful for her offereing to help pay for the wedding and celebrate your marriage, you want to have a low key wedding for XYZ reason.
Post # 14
Actions speak louder than words, and while she said you could use the money anyway you like, her actions of inviting people you don’t want there and trying to plan a backyard cookout say that she wants to pay to have a say. Also the fact that she doesn’t actually have the money in hand is worrisome. It would be very bad to take her up on an offer that would put her into debt.
My Mother-In-Law is similar (in her view the entire point of our wedding was to make her look perfect to her extended family) so Darling Husband declined her money saying we could afford it. I highly suggest doing the same and sticking to your original plan.
Post # 15
Thanks for the reply! I totally get what you’re saying. I feel the need to provide a bit of background though which may provide some clarity to the situation. My fiance’s mother and his sister absolutely hated me when he and I started dating. They’d gossip about me and tell him that he should dump me and start seeing an old family friend of theirs instead. I’ve met his extended family once and they didn’t even speak to me unless I tried starting a conversation. Even then, they’d talk for a couple minutes and then just kind of go talk and joke around together leaving me awkwardly out. I guess i just never felt welcomed by them and still don’t to a certain degree knowing all of the nasty things she has said about me behind my back, and the fact that she once tried breaking us up. My fiance stood up for me, but I always feel like his mom is just faking it to keep the peace with him.
That all caused some strain for a while, so it’s caught me off guard that she’s been so excited about our marriage all of the sudden. We only brought up the money because she told us about it first, we weren’t even going to ask her for money to begin with. She made it seem like it was a gift though. I also did invite her out with us on what was supposed to be our date night just to catch up and talk about wedding stuff (and the honeymoon plans) as I mentioned and she really didn’t care much to talk to me about any of it.
We want her to celebrate it with us, but I guess I’ve never been of the mindset that anyone’s wedding should be anything other than their wedding. We’ve told her we’re going out for lunch and drinks after and we’re excited to have her there, but she just keeps trying to push and plan for things to go her way which is getting to be a bit much.