Post # 1
We announced our engagement and no parents offered to chip in, so we knew we were on our own. We pretty much knew the chances of us having to pay for everything would be high so we weren’t too disppointed or surprised. We started to come up with creative ideas to save money. I was really proud of ourselves and the ideas we came up with. I also liked that I had complete control of all decor aspects of my wedding. I was actually going to get some origami bouquets from Etsy (see photos). I REALLY like how they look and how I can perfectly match any colors in any season. BUT his mom disliked them so much, that she suddenly insisted on paying for real flowers from a florist. She said that they weren’t appropriate, we were just sort of surprised and said yes. I’m a bit bummed that our idea was so badly received, now instead of the centerpieces and bridal party ‘flowers’ costing us under $400 (we were going to use real flowers from Costco in the centerpieces with wine bottles for vases), the flowers are going to cost her over $1200. We REALLY REALLY wanted to ask her to pay for something else because the way we had it set up financially, flowers were the smallest concern in our wedding…but I imagine it feels a lot better to pay for flowers than a DJ…but we really could have used that money for a DJ instead if she’s offering. But she’s REALLY nice to have offered anything and we didn’t want to seem ungrateful.
What would you have done? Gone with the flow and said yes, like we did? Just said no to any financial help? Or asked if she could pay for something different?
Also, are these flowers that bad? I thought they were great.
Post # 3
When someone is making you a gift, you kind of have to go with the flow and accept it. You can’t take the gesture of offering to buy your flowers and transfer it to another item; if you’re really attached to the oragami flowers, then decline your FMIL’s offer, but don’t ask her to buy something else in place of the flowers.
FWIW I don’t much care one way or the other for flowers, so I can totally see your side on this one, but I know that flowers are really important to some people. While it’s not exactly right of your FMIL to impose her values on your wedding, if she’s insisting on them being important, at least she’s willing to pay. Some people have very particular ideas on what is traditional and important for a wedding, and it’s kind of useless to try to figure out why; could’ve been a veil, could’ve been a church, everyone has their “thing” and if she’s adamant about real flowers, then either let her buy real flowers or just decline her offer.
Post # 4
I actually really like those flowers! Maybe talk to your FMIL about how much you actually liked them, and ask if you can use that money for the DJ?
Can’t hurt to ask, right?
Post # 5
I love those flowers! I think they are beautiful. Did you explain to her that you would be using real flowers for the centerpieces? In my mind, you’re the bride, you should have the bouquets you want. I didn’t realize you could buy paper flower bouquets on etsy! Darn it! I totally wanted that but failed at making them myself. I think you should get what you want!
Post # 6
I actually think it can hurt to ask, because it implies that the intended gift is not good enough, or that you’re more than willing to accept her money but not willing to accept her input. How much it hurts, or if it hurts at all, really depends on the FMIL, but there definitely is the potential for hurt in asking for an alternate gift.
Post # 7
i love real flowers, but i think those are very pretty too (although personally, less so the newspaper print ones). i don’t think you can ask to redirect her gift, but if you’re indifferent as to flowers anyway (i know you like the origami ones now, but at the end of the day, how much do you really care?), now you have free flowers, and $400 more to allocate to your dj/some other expense. maybe if you tell your mom you’re planning on getting a [insert musician in a genre she hates], she’ll offer o cover the cost of a regular dj 😉
Post # 8
Those origami flowers are gorgeous!
Post # 9
Regardless you are now saving $400 and not having to buy your centre pieces or favours, put what was originally budgeted towards the DJ or whatever else you need more money for.
Post # 10
- Wedding: June 2017 - Vegas Wedings
They’re cute and have a certain charm. I wouldnt want them as my bouquet but thank god we dont all like the same thing. WB would be really boring then. On an etiquette level you have to allow her to pay for the flowers, or pay for nothing. Sorry lady! Its never polite to look a gift horse in the mouth. The absolute most you can do, again from an etiquette point of view, is say that you were doing that type of bouquet to put money towards things that were more important to you… but Im not sure that will do the trick. It seems flowers are important enough for her to open her wallet, just like the DJ is important enough to make you open YOUR wallet :/
ETA: @drummerbride: +1
Post # 11
I really like the flowers (minus the newspaper ones). I would just keep the ones you have and see if she offers to pay for something else later.
Post # 12
@drummerbride: +1 exactly what she said! those flowers are super cute but this is a quick way to save money and make your FMIL happy.
Post # 13
Aww, I relate, but from a different angle. My parents actually did offer to pay for the wedding (whoa! Hooray! super-nice of them) and they agreed with our values that it’s stupid to pay tons of money for a one-day event.
But when it came to the details of which parts were worth paying money for and what was “appropriate” enough for a wedding… hoo boy. We imagined a funky, casual vibe (save money by doing our own flowers, having a friend use an ipod instead of getting a DJ, put some board/party games on people’s tables) but to have really tasty food from a caterer with vegetarian experience (even if it meant hors d’oeuvres and not a full sitdown dinner). My parents imagined all the classic traditional elements, but just at a cheaper venue/caterer combo! And the wedding that my fiance and I had in mind felt too cheap to them and they want to impress their friends. Which is reasonable, since by paying for everything they’re the “hosts” of the party, but it’s a difficult situation to navigate.
In your case, I feel like his parents don’t have that excuse. I think you can be honest – tell them that you guys don’t have a ton of money saved up yet so you’re trying to do the wedding on a budget, and your most important priorities are [X] and [Y] and that’s where you would put more money if you could. But don’t push it too hard… she probably is inviting some friends to the wedding too, and if this is what it takes to make her feel not embarrassed, and she’s willing to put up the additional $$, so be it. It’s probably not worth the drama to push harder than having one initial discussion.
And I’ve realized everyone has a different thing they judge on to determine whether a wedding feels “cheap” or not. My parents think it’s desserts – if a wedding just has cupcakes, or even “just” a wedding cake, they think that looks bad. But they couldn’t care less about drinks… they think it’s fine to not serve alcohol at all, or just wine and beer. But I have plenty of family friends who would judge THAT as too cheap! And sounds like for your fiance’s mom, it’s flowers. So if you don’t care that much, ehh, just let her have her way..
Post # 14
I love the origami flowers and totally want to do some myself. I also get it about people wanting to pay for certain things that FI and I don’t deem important.
My FMIL (who is usually awesome and did pay for my dress) is insisting on having our rehearsal dinner (for 16-20 people) catered. I had already decided to self-cater rehearsal dinner and was planning on doing lasagna, salad, and desert. This amount of lasagna can be made in one afternoon, frozen until that afternoon, and most importantly, can be made for about $50. All-in-all I am planning a $100 rehearsal dinner. FMIL is talking about having the lasagna catered. I would so rather the cost that she would spend on catering be spent elsewhere or not at all. I was quite looking forward to doing this dinner anyway (I have worked for a couple of caterers over the years and enjoy the process). It’s yet to be seen if we can convince her not to do this.
My mother has gotten all in a tizzy about the groom’s cake. FI and I didn’t really plan on a groom’s cake since a.) the wedding cake already serves way more people than are invited, even with the top layer going in the freezer, b.) we are super excited about the cake flavors for the cake we’ve already ordered and don’t want it overshadowed, and c.) we are having a s’mores bar and care way more about that than cake. If mom really wanted to help out then she could help gather then items for the s’mores bar. As it stands now, she’s ordered the groom’s cake. At least she asked me what flavors to get.
Post # 15
For my mom it was the wedding cake. My fiance and I aren’t cake people. We like pie. We are having and autumn themed wedding and thought it would be cool to serve a bunch of seasonal pies in lieu of cake. My mom took issue would this. She said if we didn’t have a cake “people would talk” my parents are contributing $5000 to the wedding. This is a consession I can easily make. It it’s that important to her than “let them eat cake”. Maybe I’ll get some pie for the after party.
Post # 16
I told parents that if they wanted to contribute, it had to have no strings attached.
I feel like it’s unfair of FMIL to do that. Tell you you don’t want her to waste her money- those origami flowers are beautiful!