Post # 1
My FI’s step-sister is getting married in August and my Fiance and I are getting married in June. I’ve always been really happy that they’re getting married around the same time that we are, because even though we never talk to them and don’t know them very well (they live across the country) it’s nice having so much wedding talk in the family and knowing that she can relate and stuff.
We’re having two totally different weddings and I’ve never felt any competition between us. We’re having an outdoor morning ceremony and cake and champagne lunch reception with less than 80 guests (lots of DIY). They’re having an afternoon Catholic ceremony with a reception with a DJ and everything at a cultural centre with 200-ish guests. We’re having a wedding cake, they’re doing cupcakes… basically just totally different weddings and I’m super excited that we each get to attend something so different from our own.
The issue is that my FI’s dad and step-mom are CONSTANTLY comparing our weddings. Any decision that we make is considered super unneccessary and ‘too expensive’. We spent ‘too much’ on our photographer and videographer and we should have just done something cheaper like my FI’s step-sister. We spent ‘too much’ on our string trio. They compare our registries, our attire, our rings, etc. We’re spending too much time planning and adding in way too many extras according to my Future Father-In-Law and FI’s step-mom. Keep in mind that my parents and my Fiance and I are paying for the entire wedding, so it’s not really any of their business how we spend our money or plan our wedding. Basically, they just compare every decision to how my FI’s step-sister is doing it cheaper/better.
I had been thinking about writing this thread for a while, but I felt like I could handle the constant comparisons. Last night though, my Future Father-In-Law texted my Fiance saying that his step-sister had just booked the same string trio as us and he thought it was such a good idea. For their wedding it was perfect and a really great use of money… but for some reason they think it’s way too OTT for our wedding. They’re like this with everything 🙁 They’re super excited about everything that my FI’s step-sister does with her wedding, but then they just seem to think that everything we’re doing is too ‘unnecessary’.
I know a ton of people are going to say that we should just stop talking about pricing and stuff with them, but the thing is that we haven’t even told them about prices! They’re generally uninterested in our wedding, but then they ask about the vendor we’re using for X and then look them up and compare their pricing and quality of work to whoever my FI’s step-sister is using! It’s really strange! I always wonder if they do the same thing to her, but I don’t have a relationship with her where I could comfortably talk to her about it.
Sorry for the length, just venting! The string trio text last night really bugged me. They thought it was so dumb this whole time and now she does it and they think it’s amazing 🙁 It was just kind of the last straw and I had to tell someone about it. We try to only see them on holidays even though they live about 5 minutes from us, but sometimes we have to go to their house for something or they text us. They’re very negative and hurtful about Not Wedding Related stuff too so it doesn’t surprise me.. but it still bothers me a little and is getting exhausting. It makes me nervous for comments they might make on our wedding day or after our wedding. I don’t want to hear nitpicky things that we should have done differently – especially after the wedding has already happened.
Post # 3
I shall wish wedgies upon them during important business meetings!
Post # 4
Stop talking to them about your wedding (since they are rain-on-parade-then-swipe-the-parade idea stealers) – Fiance and I found that to be one of the best things we did while planning.
Just start comparing their wedding to a llama!
“Oh, I see that your wedding isn’t as economically friendly as a llama is…”
Even if it’s just something to laugh about, it’s something!
Post # 5
I think the best thing you can do is disengage from them entirely when it comes to the wedding planning. Tell your Fi to have a talk with them about how they have hurt your feelings, and you’d rather continue the planning on your own, without their input. They are his parents, and he needs to be the buffer. Once it’s said, if they continue, then it’s your Fi’s fault for not handling it.
Post # 6
@sugarpea: That’s frustrating. I would be upset and frustrated too. I don’t understand why some parents are like this. Do they not realize how rude it is?
You may need to say something at some point. I would try my hardest to just ignore it though. Talk to your Fiance about it. He may be able to help you feel better. Good luck!
Post # 7
@sugarpea: BIG HUG! I totally get how you feel. It sucks to have people comparing you to someone else. Your wedding is your day and shouldn’t be compared to those around you. YOu FILS also sound like they’re being super annoying.
Post # 8
Ughh how frustrating! I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this garbage. I agree with previous posters and think you should probably just stop telling them about any wedding details for your own sanity. Some people just like poo on other peoples ideas. I don’t get it
Post # 9
That would annoy me too. In your case, I wouldn’t tell them any details. People are going to compare and give you opinions on everything (I am currently dealing with a Mother-In-Law who always compares how she handled her children to how I plan on handling mine when he’s born) so I have chosen to stop giving so much information, even information you think is innocent.
Post # 10
Just stop talking about it to them. If they’re not paying, they don’t need the details. If they ask, just give them a nice, polite and vague answer, and redirect the conversation:
Question – What photographer are you using?
Answer – We’ve seen a few that we like. So how’s that new receptionist working out?
Statement – Those flowers are so expensive, Jane is using Vendor B who is so much better.
Response – I’m sure her flowers will be beautiful! So how is your garden coming along?
Avoid and redirect. That applies to more than just wedding things too. It’s a good tactic for anyone that’s constantly negative.
Post # 11
@JenGirl: Bahaha! Stealing this from you.
@sugarpea: I am so sorry you’re stuck dealing with this. I was on the other side of it recently, in that my parents thought we could do no wrong with our wedding but my brother’s wedding (six years ago!) was all wrong. It made me unhappy to hear that negativity all the time. It doesn’t matter whether you come out favorably or unfavorably in wedding comparisons… it is still uncomfortable to have your choices scrutinized like that. Can’t we just agree that every wedding is a beautiful and unique snowflake, and leave it at that?
I agree with @MariContrary‘s suggestion of giving a vague but polite response and then changing the subject. Something as simple as “Oh, I’ve already spent so much time thinking about the wedding! How is your new project at work going?” If you’ve already established that any wedding details you share can and will be held against you in a future conversation, then just stop sharing details.
Another invaluable phrase, to use when they give you or your Fiance criticism/advice about your choices: “Thanks very much for your suggestion, I’ll take it into consideration.” Say it with lightness and no edge in your voice, and then move on. IMO this is the most graceful way to shut down any sort of criticism or unsolicited advice without creating a bigger argument. Applicable for all situations, not just weddings. (Spoiler alert: they sound like they will be “that” kind of grandparent also, lol.)
Post # 12
I agree that you should stop giving them details if they can’t react politely.
I will say though, I do find it weird as a guest if the hosts can’t afford more food than cake and punch, but can afford a band and other obviously expensive extras. Having non-cake food at a meal time is important for guests, even if its just sandwiches or something inexpensive.
Post # 13
Thank you so much for all of your replies and suggestions! (: I really appreciate it and your support really helped me feel better and gave me some laughs!
@MariContrary: I really like this suggestion. I never want to seem rude by not giving information when they ask so this is a great way to kind of avoid the question and switch topics without them noticing or at least without offending them.
@brlabrat: They definitely will be ‘those’ kind of grandparents aha. They were already like that when we got our puppy!! They’re such negative you-can’t-do-anything-right type of people so we’re going to try to keep our future kids away from them as much as possible, as bad as that sounds aha.
@Polygon: I didn’t go into full detail about our wedding in this post, but we’ll be having a ton of food. It’s not that we couldn’t have a plated dinner, it’s that we didn’t want to. That’s not the kind of wedding we had in mind. We’re doing over ten different kinds of sandwiches, salads, and cheeses. We’re also having a dessert buffet with lots of different French and Dutch pastries (in addition to the wedding cake). We’ll be doing a Bellini/Champagne bar and a lemonade bar (plus other drinks, of course). It’s a full reception, just with lunch instead of supper. A lot of money has been spent on making it seem like it’s not a cheap way to host guests, which is what a lot of people seem to think when they think of backyard wedding. So far we’ve spent $15,000 for 80 people (including wedding party) and could definitely afford more food if needed (:
Post # 14
@sugarpea: That would bug me alot as well! I hate when people compare things which is why barely shared any of my things for the wedding with others. I have a cousin getting married this year and my mom constantly talks about it cause it is a local wedding and mine was a destination wedding (she was kinda upset I didnt have a local wedding) I’m always like stop talking and comparing it cause they are 2 totally different weddings!!!! Ughh so irritating! It’s also funny how the people who have no say in the finances part of it love to put there two sense in
Post # 15
@sweetchiquita12: Exactly! I totally feel your pain! I just don’t get how you can even compare such different weddings. My FI’s step-sister & her Fiance are almost 30 and we’re 23 and our weddings are totally different. I just don’t see how they can compare any of it… but they sure try 😉
Post # 16
@sugarpea: Yeah, we’ve had to totally avoid talking about wedding things with FI’s parents too…it’s so worth it! If they ask something specific, I answer it as vaguely as possible and switch the subject.
“So where did you decide on for your reception?” (they REALLY wanted us to get a traditional ballroom type thing..for our brunch reception)
“We found a really nice restaurant close to the beach house. We’re excited about it.” (short vague answers!)
“Did you talk to FI’s cousin yet about making cupcakes for your wedding? You have to have a cake or cupcakes or SOMETHING!”
“We talked to her!” (we aren’t doing a cake or cupcakes, but we definitely talked to her!)