Post # 1
My son’s wedding is in a few weeks, and there is still so much stress with everything that has gone on. First, out of 330 guests invited, we were only “allowed” a limited number of guests, which is only 60 total people invited from our side. We are paying for all of the liquor, which is a ridiculous amount of liquor, and no one can believe the amount. We had another son married, and their liquor amount was less than half the amount of this one. Same number of guests expected.
I was asked to co-host the shower, since my son was getting the gifts too. The bride chose the venue for the shower, which was an expensive catered affair. I paid for half
and did a lot of the work for it, yet didn’t even see the hall until the day of, although I asked. Of course almost all the guests were theirs, since I only had a few to invite from my wedding list.
We are also having the rehearsal dinner, and were told where to have it, and the food and alcohol to have.
I have been nothing but dictated to all along. It’s hard to even feel like a mother of the groom. Talking about any of it just caused arguments. It’s like talking to a wall.Apparently only the bride and her family matters.
Anyone else run into this?
Post # 3
I am sorry you are going through this. Have you tried talking to your son about your feelings/concerns?
Post # 4
I mean, what’s the relationship like outside of the wedding?
Do you normally have the same taste in food, alcohol, ideas on parties etc!?
I sort of feel like the event and surrounding events should be what they will like. Have you considered having a chat with them?
Post # 5
@macytr: mmm so your 60 include all family members from your side? or not family but are friends/people important to you?
and who makes up the rest of the guest list? sometimes certain “rules” are applied to both families – ie all aunts/uncles and first cousins (plus spouses) so depending on family size this can make a big difference…so its not a numbers tihng per se, its more like a catergory tihng. or are most of the guests friends of bride and groom? this i think would be kind of fair enough, as its their day
it cuold be the brides family think that they are paying for everything else (or bride and groom arent) which works out as more than the liquor amount, so they think they have more say? as in photographer, venue, food, flowers, cake, decor
its tough feeling left out and disappointed. maybe talk to your son in a nonconfrontational way
you should have more say over the rehearsal dinner though
Post # 6
I’m sorry this sounds tough.
As for the guest list I think that a choice that shoiuld be left to the bride and groom.
As for them demanded you host things then planning it and sending you bill. It’s wrong. Try to speak and deal mainly with your son. Tell him you would be happy to plan the rehearsal dinner but there needs to be some compromise, and you have a budget and menu in mind.
I never understand the couples who insist on having events plan for them then refuse to take a step back and stop micromanaging. At the end of the day they can’t force you to pay for an expensive rehearsla dinner if you can’t afford it or simply don’t ant to pay for it. Tell the budget and your ideas, hold firm on the budget and hopefully you guys can meet in the middle for the location and menu. Good luck
Post # 7
It isn’t your wedding. That’s why you aren’t controlling things.
Part of the wedding process is letting go as a parent and respecting your child and his new spouse as a family unit. Here’s your chance!
Post # 8
Hmm, I think that limiting the number of invites is pretty standard if you’re not contributing to the main reception costs. If you would like more guests, you can offer to pay for them, money is usually the #1 reason people are given caps on guest numbers.
However, for the rehearsal dinner if you’re paying then you get a big say in where it is hosted and the number of guests–you can also put a limit by saying how much you can afford. It is polite to let the bride be involved in it but she should not be taking the lead.
Something is weird about them being secretive about the shower. It is possible that perhaps you had some kind of miscommunication at some point? Perhaps the bride felt you criticized her style so she has been keeping details under wraps? Does your son know details of things and why wasn’t he telling you?
As far as the alcohol, well, if you didn’t say what you thought was a reasonable price I’m not sure that the bride’s family can know that you think it’s overpriced–they don’t have the bill from your other child’s wedding. You need to communicate more of your concerns I think. This plus what happened with the rehearsal dinner makes me think you are perhaps apprehensive about saying your feelings and being clear on what you feel is an appropriate amount to spend.
Post # 9
It sounds like the bride has expensive tastes but wants someone else to fund it. You get control over the rehearsal dinner, including where it is held and what is served. I probably would have not contributed to the shower after hearing the costs. Showers are always gifts and you are in no way obligated to co-host it.
I’m not so sure about the guest list. 60 does seem like a really small amount, but I know my ridiculously large family meant that we didn’t split the guest list 50/50 between the bride and groom’s sides. But, given how demanding they’ve been, I can see how you’re put out by this.
At the end of the day, the person who is paying, even if it isn’t the entire cost of the wedding, gets a say in things. But it also seems like the ship has sailed for you in terms of backing out of paying for things. I’d guess that would cause a lot of hurt feelings for a long, long time.
Post # 10
I am jealous. My Future Mother-In-Law has been so hands off that I’m pretty sure I will end up organizing the dress rehearsal at the last minute and her just paying the bill. To me, its her party, I just give her the names and contact info of the people who should be invited – although this too should be discussed ahead of time, in person as there is a lot of differing opinions on who should be invited. The formality and menu, as well as the venue should be all yours as long as it’s not too difficult to get to for the attendees. If your son has bowed out of the process, talking to him about it will likely just cause strain. I would call the bride or bride’s mother up, be direct but friendly and say ‘I have put a deposit down at ___ and will email you the sample menu. Please forward your attendees contact info as soon as you can.’ and see what happens.
Post # 11
The guest list sounds standard to me. If my future Mother-In-Law tried to tell me she didn’t have enough people for the guest list, I would kindly remind her that it’s mine and my Fiance wedding – not hers. If there are people she wants to invite that my Fiance doesn’t want to invite then they don’t get invited. Period. Luckily, my Mother-In-Law has stayed out of the guest list issue because we are having a destination wedding. Not to mention, you aren’t paying for the bulk of the reception or any of the ceremony site.
As for the rehearsal dinner, I’m picking where our rehearsal dinner is. Not sure if that etiquette but again, it’s my wedding. My Fiance had a conversation with his parents about budget for the rehearsal dinner and they gave us a price point. We haven’t picked a place yet, but I’ll make sure the place my Fiance and I pick together (not our parents – just us) is within their budget. Personally, I would NOT be okay with my future Mother-In-Law picking a rehearsal dinner place without consulting me. I am a picky eater so I know what foods I would like to have and what foods not to have. Also, I know what kind of alcohol my Fiance, myself, and all my friends drink. I have completely different taste than my Fiance parents do so while you’re paying for it, it should still be a place they want to be and food/drink they want to have. After all, you are celebrating their wedding.
Did you sit down at any point and give them your budget for your share of the wedding? The reception site? The alcohol? Did you bring up budgeting issues at ANY point during the planning? While the bride & groom should have done this it was also your responsibility to make sure they knew how much you were willing to pay. If you didn’t speak up and tell them your limits, then that is your fault (no offense, just being honest).
Also, you can’t really go by what another siblings wedding costs were. My Fiance sister got married about two weeks ago and our weddings will be apples to oranges. It’s two different couples with two different tastes & wants for their wedding. I know, for a fact, that my wedding will be doubled the cost of my Fiance sisters wedding. They had it in a small town and the wedding was cheap & tacky, in my opinion. Now, does my Fiance family think it was cheap and tacky? No. It was a standard wedding for their location and they think it was fantastic. So, if they saw the costs of my wedding, they’d flip. BUT, I know what their budget is on the items they want to pay for and I will keep their share within that budget.
It sounds like you waited too long to approach the bride and groom on budget. Anything you say now about the costs is going to cause huge issues in the wedding.
Post # 12
@IUrebekah3RT: Agree with all of this.
Post # 13
The biggest red flag I see is that the bride and her family dictated were the rehearsal dinner would take place and what you would serve. As the host of the rehearsal dinner, that is YOUR decision since you are funding it. Of course, it’s important to take into consideration what the bride and groom would like, but ultimately, it is completely dependent on your budget, etc. I find that they dicated all of that completely inappropriate. In regard to the wedding guest list, I think it is unfortunate that they are not allowing you to invite more people considering how large the wedding clearly is, but in the end, you are not hosting the event. It is lovely that you are contributing to the alcohol, but the bride’s parents are hosting the event. I think if there are one or two couples that you were not able to invite that you really would like to invite, then perhaps you could nicely ask the bride if you would be able to add them onto the list, but other than that, I think you are out of luck 🙁
While many brides here say that they should get all the say in their wedding, I disagree when others are financing it for them. When someone else is paying for their day, it is important to also take other things into consideration. I don’t think any parent should take over the day, but I think that showing respect and gratitude for their monetary support by allowing them some say in certain things is very important.
When I was married, my parents paid for the entire wedding. We did not place a restriction on my Mother-In-Law, but when she came back with 200 people, we had her cut it down and then subsequently sent out additional invitations. She understood. They paid for the rehearsal dinner and I told her that I would be happy with her hosting it wherever she felt most comfortable. We had our rehearsal dinner at a Buca di Beppo, which was in stark contrast to my very formal and very expensive wedding. While it wasn’t my ideal location, I respected her budget and was grateful that they were willing to host a rehearsal dinner for us. They picked the menu and the drinks that were served and I graciously thanked them.
I think you sound like a reasonable person. You clearly don’t seem to be trying to take over their wedding plans, but it sounds to be like the bride is not appreciative of your efforts in the slightest. How does your son play into all of this? Does he know about your concerns? Perhaps it would help if you discussed your concerns with the two of them together. A wedding is two families coming together and I think its important to try and start the marriage out on the best possible foot, which means considering the feelings of other family members, whether or not their recommendations, ideas are taken.
Post # 14
I appreciate all of the input and advice:) Thanks!:)
I did try to talk about things previously, but it only ensued in arguments, and no bending at all. My son only sides with the bride although we always had a good relationship previously. Our guests are only close relatives and 2 friends of ours. There have been a few that said they can’t come, and when we asked if one peson can be asked to come to replace the 5 that can’t come, we were told no.
The other family does have unlimited funds, where we do not.
They do know this.
The other family does have neighbors, friends, second cousins, great aunts, co-workers etc. coming and I know we are not being unreasonable.
As for the rehearsal dinner, they want wine only served, instead of offering 2 drinks per person, as not everyone drinks wine. The rehearsal dinner list that they made up had everyone 18 and older invited with a guest but we were not permitted to do that for 2 wedding guests.
I also asked to see the reception hall, and never saw that either. I am just hoping the hurt feelings doesn’t last too, too long after the wedding.
I do appreciate all of the input.
Thanks so much!:)
Post # 15
You sound like a nice person, but not a very assertive one. Unfortunately, it sounds like your son isn’t on your side with anything and has this expecation that whatever his bride wants, she gets. He at least should be made to understand your financial situation without you always having to be the one to give in. You may have been caught off guard with what you were asked to do, but your budget should have been made clear from the beginning. Misunderstandings and lack of communication could have prevented some, if not all, of this.
The Rehearsal Dinner is YOUR baby, so if it were me, I’d do what I wanted in terms of the planning of it. You can take their ideas into consideration, but I’d only go so far with it. You are being gracious in even hosting it for them, as many parents do nothing and don’t even worry about it.
Post # 16
@IUrebekah3RT: I really don’t agree with you. C’est la vie.