Parents of groom feeling very left out!

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
7220 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

@febby224:  I’m sorry this is happening. I wouldn’t tell her she is purposely leaving you out of it. When I have something exciting happen my first thought is to call my mom. However, I try to be very conscious about calling and texting his mom to keep her in the loop. Have you called her and tried to start the conversation? As hard as it may be I (as the bride) would rather be approached than hear about it from your son. Maybe give her a call and see if there is anything she needs help with. 

Post # 5
547 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@febby224:  I want to start out by saying that I am sorry you’re upset. I’m not sure how other brides feel, but I’d imagine she’s not excluding you on purpose.  Could she have made more of an effort to include you? Yes, but it’s difficult enough–at least for me–to remember to include my mother/father in all of the wedding planning without having to also worry about remembering to include my future in laws. Personally, I find it is a lot easier to include someone when they are actively asking questions about things they want to know (i.e. what meal they are serving) rather than expecting sporadic updates.


I agree with @MrsBeck: I’d rather receive a call personally, than find out through my fiance, and that maybe you should call and ask if she needs anything?


ETA: I’ve realized that wedding planning is difficult because there are A LOT of opinions involved. And while you don’t want to be outright dismissive of other people’s input when they’re just trying to help, it is the couple’s wedding in the end – so, in my opinion, it’s their right to decide the things they want for their day. Because people are so quick to offer an opinion and might be let down if it’s not followed, some brides choose to keep things to themselves so that they are not constantly barraged with others input on why they disagree/how they think things should be instead.


Post # 6
1019 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@PrincessBride27:  +1

Was there any friction or anything like that prior to the engagement? I know that I got along fabulously with my inlaws before we got engaged, but within the first few months of our engagement they voiced some things that we “ABSOLUTELY HAD TO HAVE” but they were not willing to help pay for and were pretty overbearing with their expectations.  Is it possible she feels you are maybe pushing too much and she is distancing herself because of that? Maybe it is just a miscommunication or something…
I’m sorry you are upset and I hope something can be worked out.

Post # 7
960 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@febby224:  I’m sorry that she’s made you feel left out.


I agree that when you voiced your opinion she could have included you in the shower planning at least. I think you could have also contacted the Bride’s mother though in order to be included and assist.


Honestly I’d be tempted to not give the $ as you’ve had 0 input. Brides like this really bother me. But then that would be a punishment on your son…


I’ve made an effort to include my Future Mother-In-Law because she’s only had Sons and my Fiance is the only one she would be able to assist at all in planning (eldest is with his life partner but 0 intent to offically marry, and other son got married when she was in another country) I made sure to bring her to the tasting and to involve her in the shower planning with my mother and sister and I always throw ideas/plans to her in email if nothing else.


I think though that you’ll have to in the end just be happy with what you can, but explain to both of them that you feel hurt and slighted. Please try not to cry though as that can make it less productive. Write down the issues and what would help mend the bond, understanding that at this point, you’ll not be able to assist with the wedding at all.

Post # 8
2299 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

i would be verrrry careful going down the ‘i have been told she’s very selfish’ and ‘my son couldn’t even voice his opinion on the cake’ road. that’s a slippery slope. if you brand her ‘selfish’ etc now, it will affect your whole relationship, and you don’t actually know what goes on behind closed doors. 

remember that the wedding is ONE day, and that there will be lots of time for inclusion throughout their marriage. try to be positive and friendly, even if it’s hard and hopefully you’ll have a good relationship going forward.

Post # 9
2604 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@febby224:  I’m not experiencing it but I think its not at all uncommon for Brides to exclude the Groom’s family.  A lot of women, particularly younger women, really don’t want to integrate with their Groom’s immediate family – they want him to become part of hers. 

I will say that it probably wasn’t a good idea to assume you would be planning the shower.  And, to give your FDIL the benefit of the doubt, she probably hasn’t given much thought to how this looks and feels from your point of view. 

My only advise would be to continue to cultivate a close relationship with your son and try not to  hand over ammunition to your DIL to use to claim that you’re intrusive, controlling, overbearing. 

Good luck.   

Post # 10
242 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I’m currently going through this same process with my Future Mother-In-Law. She has called my fiance to tell him that she feels left out. In fact, she has asked me to dinner tonight to try and “make up.”  So, I can give you some prespective from the other side.

I tried to include my Future Mother-In-Law upfront.  She gave me the impression pretty quickly that the decisions I was making were not what she would have done and was not shy to tell me her opinion.  Eventually, it became exhausting becasue she was not the only one who had an opinion.  My fiance and I just started making plans together, based on how we wanted things and stopped asking EVERYONE for opinions.

When his mother would ask how things are going, or when we would have dinner with her, we would fill her in on the progress and I thought that was fine.  She then exploded in tears about how we’ve left her out and its not fair. She really wanted to help plan. and If she is helping pay then she should get to help plan.

I thought this was extremely selfish. it is OUR wedding. And she had offered to help pay before any planning had started.  I didn’t realize her gift to help pay was contingent upon her help planning.  I do very much appreciate her offer to help, and on some occassion have taken her advice. But, we wanted to make sure our wedding turned out the way we wanted it and without being bullied into decisions.


 For example, up front we asked them to help with the guest list.  Now, my Fiance’s parents are divorced. So, his mom, his dad/stepmom, and my parents all offered to give us money.  Up front, my parents and his dad/stepmom wrote a check and handed it over. His mother had said she would do the same. But, didn’t get around to it. When it came time to make the guest list, my Fiance and I sat down and made one and then took it to our parents and asked if there was anyone super important we had forgot. We thought we’d do this courtesy since they did give us money.  The restrictions were immediate family, no kids, and very close friends. We didn’t want a wedding over 100 people.  His mother had then bullied us into extended family AND children and now are at a guest list of 175. We took the guest list to our parents because we felt guilt of – “I offered to give you money and I want my monies worth.”  From that day forward – it was easier to exclude her and just keep her in the loop on a need to know basis.


Now, I’m not saying you have been doing these same things to your FDIL but, she could be getting this kind of behavior from her own parents. or friends. who knows. when it comes to weddings, opinions start running crazy and a bride can become overwhelmed.  It becomes easier to just do things alone and when you find something specific you need help with, you reach out to the closest person.  In my case, I’ve done almost everything exclusively with my Fiance.  I haven’t left everyone else out to make them feel bad. I’ve left them out because its easeir to make decisions without too many people voicing an opinion and confusing you.

Post # 11
838 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2008

Mom… what part does YOUR SON play in this? How involved has he been in the planning of his wedding so that he can call you and say… hey, we’re going to look at reception venues, come along. Hey, we’re going cake tasting, come along. 



I’d like to know who told you she was very selfish. Your son? This isn’t the way you want to start an entire lifetime with the mother of your potential grandchildren. If she’s more comfortable planning the wedding with her mother and her friends, and your son isn’t taking an active role in the planning or if he isn’t willing to speak up to the point where he insists that you are involved in some things…


then your problem isn’t with her. It’s with him.


Edited: But no, I wouldn’t contribute a dime to the wedding you couldn’t even give a suggestion on. Keep your money in your pocket. If she doesn’t feel like she wants to talk to you about anything as begign as a flower girl basket, then she shouldn’t talk to you about money, either. Go buy a pretty dress and smile for the camera instead.


Post # 12
7561 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

I don’t think paying means you get to plan their wedding. It’s a wedding gift, is it not? If you give someone a birthday gift, does that mean you have to help plan their birthday party? 

It sounds like you should take a step back and think about the future with your DIL. You should lower your expectations. You said you repeatedly complained to your son and that you told her she was excluding you on purpose. That sounds totally overbearing and intrusive. I would be careful that you don’t ruin the relationship for the future. A wedding is just one day. She will be your DIL and possibly the mother of your grandchildren for a lifetime. 

Post # 13
41 posts

While I can sympathize with both sides, I have to point out that this is the bride and groom’s wedding.  Regardless of what the groom has said in passing, we don’t actually know what has been going on with the planning from the bride’s perspective.  Personally, I’m involving NO ONE in my wedding planning other than my future husband, not even my own parents.  My groom and I will be planning and hosting this wedding and it will be the way we like it.  We’re also inviting family and friends and not offering up invitations to parents’s friends.  Again, this is our wedding.  Parents and in-laws already had their own.


Again, I don’t know what she’s thinking but the more people are involved, the more difficult planning can be.  Also, if she’s a very private person, the invovlement of other people can be very stressful.  It’s hard enough to pull off a wedding anyway without throwing in the wants and needs of many other people.  This could well just be her way of getting through the stressful process.

Post # 14
3686 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Since brides aren’t supposed to plan their own showers, you should have contacted her mother or the bridesmaids to begin planning something before any of this happened. Once you found out that she was planning something, there’s no reason that you couldn’t have planned another shower for your side of the family. Many brides have two showers. While I definitely don’t agree with her planning her own shower, I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect her to “get her deposit back” because you were upset. Deposits are usually non-refundable — that’s the whole point.

Post # 15
2299 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

@DJones69:  +100

very true. it’s very interesting that ‘i’m not included’ turns into ‘because SHE hasn’t included me’. that’s totally unfair – if you’re going to be mad, be mad at BOTH. it’s out of line to have more expectations of her than your son, he could invite you to things just as easily.

who knows? she might think ‘his mother, his business’ and not interfere with it.

Post # 16
1358 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I’m normally opposed to saying something like, “well, it’s their wedding,” but, well…it’s their wedding.


I feel very fortunate that I have a great relationship with my mother in law and that she was so excited to be included in all of the planning. We had a great time talking about some of the wedding aspects together. However, when I expressed my wishes for how my now-husband and I wanted to celebrate our wedding, she was also very respectful of what we wanted. I told her, for example, that I did not want a shower because my family and friends are so spread out, and I didn’t want to ask them to travel for the wedding, bachelorette, and a shower. Did skipping the shower fit in with her idea of how to celebrate? No, but she respected that I didn’t want a shower and found other ways to contribute.


It sounds like you had a vision for how you would get to celebrate your son’s wedding and that unfortunately doesn’t line up with the vision your son and future daughter-in-law have. As sorry as I am that things aren’t going as you wished, my advice would be to consider that you aren’t being intentionally excluded and that you will have the chance to celebrate with them at the wedding itself no matter what. The shower is also a separate event from the wedding, and it’s the wedding you’re contributing financially to, not the shower. That means you should have a little sway over some of the details of the wedding, like what kind of bar you’re paying for, but not the shower.


It’s so great that you are so excited for them that you want to be more involved in planning, but the best course might be to take a step back and find other ways you can help them celebrate. For example, my mother in law made us an amazing wedding quilt that made me cry when I opened it after she and my mother helped me put on my wedding dress. I know we’ll have that quilt forever and always think of how hard she must have worked to make it for us. She also helped us make programs and gave me a lot of advice when I asked what she thought of certain aspects of the wedding.

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors