Post # 1
Hi I’m recently engaged and a NewBee!
I haven’t even been engaged for long (it will be 2 weeks on Monday) and there are already areas of friction concerning my wedding.
When I told my father that I was engaged he was delighted and said that he would pay for it all, I’ve told him that it wouldn’t be necessary to pay for all of it but I would appreciate some help. I didn’t think it would be fair to him because I’m currently living in a different country to my parents and family and the wedding and reception would be held here and the majority of the guests would be from my boyfriend’s side. I don’t think it’s fair that my dad would be footing the bill for people that are to him (and me) mostly strangers.
Anyway, when we told the family of my Fiance they were happy. We then discussed our intial thoughts and when I told them about our plans to marry in either March or April they told us that it was too cold and that they wouldn’t be able to show off their dresses and that June or July would be better. Future Mother-In-Law and Future Sister-In-Law then proceed to tell me WHERE I should hold my reception and laugh off or shoot down my own ideas about a reception. The next day his mother then proceeds to hand me a list of 200 names to invite to the wedding, TWO HUNDRED!! I’ve only got 20 people from my side that live locally or near, and then 10 members of family that can travel here (from another country) for the wedding. I went through his mother’s guest list with my Fiance and he knows personally maybe 50.
I asked him to ask her to cut down the list OR help out financially.
The response?! “Oh we have to invite these people and her dad is paying anyway – I don’t understand her problem!”
I’m beyond pissed off about this reaction – apart from making demands they haven’t even offered to help out financially. It’s not a problem of money, his family is quite well off…heck the whole lot of them were discussing getting veneers done before the wedding so that they look good in their photos…they doesn’t come cheap. They also helped out financially with his sister’s wedding. And she didn’t come up with this crazy list either for my Fiance sister’s wedding. The 200 people are mostly people from her little village and 3rd cousins.
I’m feeling really frustrated and my Fiance just tells me that he is going to talk to Future Mother-In-Law.
This is supposed to be the happiest time of my life right?!
Post # 3
@Ms_Midori: Tell her she has a set amount of people FI can invite. Lets say 50 and tell them to provide you a list of those names. If she insists on inviting more just tell her your dad will only pay for 75 guests total! If she invites more she will have to pull out her checkbook and pay per person.
Post # 4
Wow that is so rude!!! I would be the same way as you I would not feel comfortable asking my dad to pay for a bunch of strangers!! Ugh RUDE!!!!
Post # 5
When my mom wasn’t contributing to my wedding, she started talking about who I had to invite. I gave her my guest list and told her she could cover any other guests that she wanted added to the list, and any upgrades on venue if her guestlist put us over firecode.
You have 30 people on your side? Have your Fiance tell her that she can have 30 on her side (or 50 if you’re generous) and that if the other 170 (150?) guests are that important to her, then surely she won’t mind paying for them.
CONGRATULATIONS by the way. I’m not trying to burst your bubble, but expect this to be the first of many battles. You love your Fiance. You want to marry him. You will have a wonderful wedding, and you will get through this together. As long as you two are on the same page, you can overcome anything that is thrown at you.
Post # 6
I would just have your Fiance deal with his family from now on. This is your wedding and you have to do it the way you want it. You don’t need every friend and third cousin at your wedding. My Dad is paying for our wedding and he told me, give me a number of how many friends I can invite and that will be it. He also added that my FI’s family should be allowed the same #. I’m sorry your planning is already off to a rocky start. I hope it all works out. Stay strong and tel your Fiance to set his family straight!
Post # 7
@Soladylike: I’m not really a confrontational person and I don’t want to cause a mark on my “big day” – so I’m kind of relying on my Fiance to do the talking. However the last time he attempted to tell her to do what you just suggested she told him – she HAD TO invite these people and didn’t see the problem cause my dad will pay. I am kind of tempted to up location and have the wedding in the UK (where I’m from). But I don’t want to ruin things for my Fiance and cause more tension. Arggggh!
I’m glad someone agrees with me! I was thinking maybe I’m being an over-sensitive bridezilla…but maybe it’s too soon for that
Post # 8
@HappierKate: Thank you so much. I did have unrealistic expectations about wedding planning. I definitely didn’t think I’d have problems with Future Mother-In-Law cause we got/get on so well.
@NYCcaliBRIDE: Thanks so much. I love my Fiance but I know that he won’t get too far with his mother. We’re really similar – we’re both softly spoken and confrontation makes us uncomfortable. His mother is the polar opposite.
Post # 9
Hmmm. I’d like to tell you it gets better but it doesn’t. I didn’t get a guest list from his Mom I literally had to stalk his family via Facebook and his aunt did everything. I would def. have him talk to her. It’s hard trying to battle someone else’s mother. Try not to let it get to you it gets easier.
Post # 10
You definitely don’t have to let your dad pay for 200 guests from his side. It can cause so much drama down the line if one parent is paying an uneven amount.
Your instincts are right to let Fiance do the talking to her, but he needs to understand that it’s not fair for your dad to pay for so many people. If your dad is contributing but not paying for all of it, who is paying for the rest? I’m assuming you and FI; is your Fiance comfortable paying for that many people? If not, he needs to explain that this wedding will not be a 230 guest wedding and will instead be a 75 guest wedding and 30 of those guests are already spoken for, so can she please come up with 55 guests?
There is a really hard lesson that people with overbearing parents need to learn (overbearing doesn’t mean awful, they can be wonderful! But still overbearing). When you start a family with a woman or man, you need to defend your intended wife/husband to your family and fight for them. Their interests need to be protected. Obviously there are limits to this (“Your mother is going into a nursing home the moment we’re married!” is one that comes to mind), but it’s a hard lesson to learn and I think your Fiance needs to learn it. You’re not confrontational, but if the tables were turned and your dad was making unreasonable demands, wouldn’t you stick up to your dad about your FI’s interests?
If it comes down to it, you may need to gently have this conversation with Future Mother-In-Law. If she insists, you can get increasingly not gentle…if you are about to send invites out and she’s still being stubborn, you can tell her that in 24 hours you are picking 55 people at random from her guestlist unless she picks the 55 people who are the most important to her. You can be flexible on the 55 number, but it’s too rude of her to expect your dad to pay for 200 of her nearest and dearest.
She doesn’t have to contribute any money at all, but if she’s not contributing, she has no say in who is invited. You can explain to her that since your dad and other family members need to spend the money to travel to another country, the budget can’t fit that many people. If she would prefer you get married in the UK, perhaps you can open negotiations on a bigger guestlist. She won’t want that and will probably back off.
Post # 11
@HappierKate: My Fiance really has a baptism of fire ahead of him. He’s never had a disagreement or really stood up to his mother and we’ve never had problems with her – even when “her favourite child” (she tells people this all the time) moved out of his family home to live with me (at the age of 27!!!!).
Maybe because he is her “favourite child” she wants all these people to attend the wedding but like you said and like I think…if she wants that she needs to pay for them.
I’m not putting too much pressure on Fiance cause I know he’s in a horrible position, but I’m internalising a lot of stress over this (I’m begging for an ulcer). I think if nothing comes of his talks with her, I will sit down with him and her and explain how I’m feeling.
I’m kind of hoping it’s just a post-engagement phase she is going through.
Post # 12
@Ms_Midori: Don’t stress too much, you should be enjoying this time, and he is the one who needs to deal with this. It’s great that he is willing to discuss it with her and isn’t putting you in the middle, so don’t put yourself there anyways! He just needs to straight out tell her that the two of you don’t want people at the wedding that neither of you are close to, and that he refuses to ask his Future Father-In-Law to pay for that many guests. She may be shocked at first that he is actually putting his foot down and telling her no, but he just needs to make it clear that this is what he wants, and she’ll come around. I think you confronting her or him putting any of the blame on you would be the worst thing, he is her son and will be forgiven much more easily, so he needs to handle this.
Post # 13
I hope so too, sometimes FMILs calm down. Perhaps in the meantime you can get her involved in other things and anytime the guestlist is brought up just say, “We’re working with my father to come up with a number that works for everyone, but nothing’s decided yet.”
Like, you can get really excited about the dress she’ll wear, or ask for her input on elements of the wedding that you don’t really care about. It’s really considerate of you to not put your Fiance in a bad position and I commend you for it!
Perhaps you can compromise on the month and make it May? That’s right between April-March and June-July. If you find something you can all agree on, just obsess on that with Future Mother-In-Law. The nicer you are to her, the better she’ll be about the guestlist, especially if you drop hints along the way about how you’re working so hard to save up for this wedding.
Post # 14
Wowwwww… tell her the number of people you can afford with your budget, and if she doesn’t cut down the list for you you can just cut it down yourself. She won’t like that.
My Mother-In-Law refused to pay one dollar for our wedding, in fact she flipped out when we mentioned the wedding and said “don’t think I’m paying for anything!!” (DH is an only child) so we were like ooookayyyyy. She had her list of people to invite and refused to give us any addresses. For 5 months we asked for addresses, she gave us 4, one was our next door neighbor and the other three didn’t have house numbers on them, just street names. Darling Husband told her if she didn’t give us addresses then people wouldn’t be getting invitations. Once we finally sent them out she started calling people to ask if they got invites, they would say no and then she started calling us daily to tell us about all these people who are mad and not coming to the wedding because they didn’t get invitations and she wanted us to send them out right away. NOPE. She had her shot. I didn’t want to make any drama with my Mother-In-Law either but I had to stick to my guns. Stand up for yourselves. Believe me it’ll be much more stressful to plan a wedding you hate and can’t afford than it will be to watch your Mother-In-Law pout. I’d like to tell you they get better as the planning goes on, but sometimes they don’t… but after the wedding they’re usually fine haha. Good luck
Post # 15
First things first: Congratulations!!
Now, on to your situation…I think a serious conversation with your Fiance is in order. Figure out where the two of you stand on this and have him advocate for you. When the issue of your dad paying, I like the idea PP suggested by saying that the budget has been set to accomodate xxx number of guests and that xx of those has already been set. That leaves her with xx amount that she may include unless she wishes to pay for the additional costs of her guests.
Post # 16
OK, I thought I’d give an update on this!
My Fiance talked to his mother and while they were in the middle of heated discussion on this matter, his dark horse of a father finally spoke up and talked some sense into her.
Basically my Future Father-In-Law told my Future Mother-In-Law that it’s NOT her wedding and that she’s making everyone uncomfortable. I think the fact that her (slightly hen-pecked) husband gave her a talking to has opened her eyes…she even asked to meet me to go shopping and …. APOLOGISE .
I’m totally shocked and really happy that it was all solved before it became one of those issues that pocks a relationship forever!
And thank you everyone here for their support during my little panic attack!!