Post # 1
We’ve decided to pay for the wedding ourselves so we can have our wedding the way we want it.
But now one of my FI’s extended family members wants to contribute a considerable amount towards our wedding. She mentioned this to him over the phone about a week ago. We will be seeing her soon and she will be bringing this up with both of us there to discuss it – she said she wants to go over what things we need for the wedding.
The problem with this family member is that she is VERY manipulative. A VERY controlling person. And I’m 100% certain if she gives us money she will try to control what we do for our wedding. And she will lay down a guilt trip if we decide to do anything she doesn’t want us to do. Actually I’m quite sure that she is offering money just so she can have some say in our wedding. That’s just who she is.
How do we politely refuse her offer when she presents it to us? She is the type of person who doesn’t like taking no for an answer. She will persist and persist and bug people until she gets her way. She has done this to me in the past. She won’t let things go, guilt trips you, and will take it to the point where it gets awkward to keep saying no and you have to say yes to her to shut her up. She pesters you and won’t leave you alone till you give in.
I wish my Fiance just told her no right then and there on the phone instead of letting her have the impression that this could happen. Especially since my Fiance and I have already had the discussion that we won’t be accepting monetary help for the wedding from anyone so we can have the wedding WE want. But not wanting to get into a huge discussion on the phone with her said we’d talk to her when we see her.
So how do we politely say no and make it absolutely clear we don’t want her help without any continued discussion about it?
Post # 3
@maganda: “thank you so much for your generous offer but we’re fine doing this on our own”
then change the subject
repeat as necessary
Post # 4
“We really appreciate your generosity and interest in our wedding, however we must respectfully decline as we really want to do this on our own”
Post # 5
Say you would be happy to accept it towards your honeymoon, but you’ve covered the wedding already.
Post # 7
My suggestion would be to meet with this person and to say “we really appreciate that you want to help us out financially. however, this is OUR wedding and we’ve planned to pay for it all ourselves so that we may have our wedding the way we want it. The only way we feel good about accepting your contribution, is if it comes as a gift with no strings and no expectations of control over how we choose to spend it. If that’s not in line with your wishes, then we would rather you keep your money as it’s not worth the hurt feelings that will ensue.”
She may back out right then & there. But if she agrees to your terms and gifts it to you freely, then I would accept it graciously and deposit it in a separate bank account. Then, continue on with your wedding planning (not using the money yet) and wait a few months to see if she starts with the guilt tripping & trying to control things . If she does, then write her a cheque back for the amount of her gift and call her out on it “We don’t accept gifts with strings, so here’s your money back”. On the slim chance that she does relinquish control of the cash freely, then save it as a last-minute contingency plan (or for your honeymoon) and send a lovely thank you note.
Post # 8
If she truly wants to help in some way, perhaps she can contribute toward a specific wedding item – something that you don’t feel strongly about. If there is anything that you would be comfortable relinquishing control on maybe just tell her “we have most of the wedding taken care of, but if you would like to contribute toward the [photobooth/videographer/open bar/out-of-town bags/lighting/etc] we would be so grateful”… That way she can contribute to your wedding and have her say in that one particular aspect, without asserting control over the entire wedding.
I host a lot of parties and I find that when well-meaning friends & family really want to help, the best thing to do is assign them something that I don’t believe they can screw-up 🙂
Post # 9
I wonder if there is a way to get her to contribute this $$ AFTER the wedding asin a wedding gift!
You could say, “Oh thank you, but we have everyting book/paid/etc already for the wedding ourselves, but that would be a generous wedding gift!”
Post # 11
@reebee: I think this is a great idea. Either say no and stick to your guns until she accepts it, or go this route. Find something that you don’t care much about, or that you’ve already decided on and say you can pay for that. For instance, I’ve already decided that THIS is the dress I want, if you would like to buy it then I would really appreciate it. That way she’s just paying for the decision you’ve already made.
Post # 13
Thanks for all the helpful replies 🙂 I think we’ll say no and if she keeps insisting, as I’m sure she will, I’ll follow the advice of @HazelNut82 and tell her we have everything covered (we are still saving, but she doesn’t need to know that) and suggest letting her help with the honeymoon.
Allowing her to pay for anything in the wedding will only make her feel entitled to a voiced opinion and she’ll judge what we chose and complain about it or try and convince us to do something she’d rather have. I’m sure of it. Fiance is sure of it. Avoiding that at all cost! 😛