40-Plus Brides

'Absent' Future In-Laws

My future in-laws are not in a position to financially contribute to our wedding; however, they do not appear interested in any wedding planning my fiancé and my parents and I have done so far.  In fact, they live a distance away and seldom visit family in our area at all.  I feel their attendance at our wedding will be merely as guests due to this situation.  Therefore, I was wondering what must be done for them as far as 'parent of the groom' areas are concerned.  My fiancé and I have already decided to forgo a photographer parent album for them and provide them with an alternative wedding album instead, but I wonder what obligation there is for the actual event .... corsage, gifts, etc.  I find myself having difficulty wanting to provide them with the same gifts and treatment as may parents who are contributing to our wedding in countless ways.  Looking for some advice as far as how much it 'too little' to do in this case .... thank you.
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Re: 'Absent' Future In-Laws

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    I'd give your FILs the same type album as your parents are getting, but beyond that, I'd let your FI decide what treatment his parents should receive if they're not showing interest in the wedding. Just be polite and respectful to them yourself even if they don't reciprocate.
    doclago
  • Thank you for the advice and feedback regarding my situation.  The area where I was interested in receiving advice on obligations as far as gifts and tokens provided during the event are concerned.  I guess my largest issue involves the lack of interest being expressed by these individuals and what exactly is 'required' to be provided to them on the wedding day.  Providing them with an alternative wedding album from our event seemed to be a good alternative to me since I cannot with a good conscience provide them with the same quality professional album when they are treating this event as nothing more than a wedding to attend in the future.  While I am trying to be sensitive to the feelings of those involved, I am also trying be mindful of the sacrifices my parents are making to provide me with the wedding they have dreamed of providing yet having future in-laws who are treating this as just any other wedding is something I am having difficulty.  Also, these future in-laws have yet to visit any of the family, including us, living where we do yet we have visited a few times of the past year and contact between visits is extremely minimal.  While my initial post may have had a spoiled and petty tone to it, as noted with the previous post, there is a lack of involvement - not just with the wedding - with these individuals.  Therefore, I was looking for some kind of guidance as far as what is a reasonable to have to provide them for the wedding day, knowing a future is ahead of us as well.

  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya
    Moderator 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary
    mod

    Thank you for the advice and feedback regarding my situation.  The area where I was interested in receiving advice on obligations as far as gifts and tokens provided during the event are concerned.  I guess my largest issue involves the lack of interest being expressed by these individuals and what exactly is 'required' to be provided to them on the wedding day.  Providing them with an alternative wedding album from our event seemed to be a good alternative to me since I cannot with a good conscience provide them with the same quality professional album when they are treating this event as nothing more than a wedding to attend in the future.  While I am trying to be sensitive to the feelings of those involved, I am also trying be mindful of the sacrifices my parents are making to provide me with the wedding they have dreamed of providing yet having future in-laws who are treating this as just any other wedding is something I am having difficulty.  Also, these future in-laws have yet to visit any of the family, including us, living where we do yet we have visited a few times of the past year and contact between visits is extremely minimal.  While my initial post may have had a spoiled and petty tone to it, as noted with the previous post, there is a lack of involvement - not just with the wedding - with these individuals.  Therefore, I was looking for some kind of guidance as far as what is a reasonable to have to provide them for the wedding day, knowing a future is ahead of us as well.

    How does your FI feel about all this? It does seem super petty of you to not give them gifts because they aren't giving you money or pretending to give a rat's ass about napkin colors. 
    image
    adk19aliwis000TheCheeseWenchOliveOilsMom
  • Wow - some of the most candid opinions I've heard by far.  He's understanding to my perspective and was agreeable to the wedding album situation.  I guess we will follow our conscious as far as the situation is concerned since I'm not finding much guidance to help with this here.

  • I guess them not seeming to give a 'rat's ass' about their son unless he visits them bothers me more than the napkin color is ...... trying to be polite and considerate of their feelings when a lot of times they aren't of their own son and can go months without contacting him at all ...... I'm actually a very generous and caring person, the situation is pretty opposite of what I'm accustomed to by families and parents.
  • Jen4948 - thank you, your perspective was probably the most helpful I've received from these posts.  I appreciate it and thank you again.

  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya
    Moderator 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary
    mod
    I guess them not seeming to give a 'rat's ass' about their son unless he visits them bothers me more than the napkin color is ...... trying to be polite and considerate of their feelings when a lot of times they aren't of their own son and can go months without contacting him at all ...... I'm actually a very generous and caring person, the situation is pretty opposite of what I'm accustomed to by families and parents.
    All of this needs to be up to your fiance. I get it - My MIL and step-FIL are total douchebags and for a while said they weren't even coming to the wedding, let alone reaching out to us about it. But my opinion here doesn't matter. Only my H's does. Right now, he wants to try to repair the relationship. As much as it sucks and I don't like them, I called my MIL this morning because I knew my H wanted me to. 

    My point is, is that if you FI doesn't want to give them gifts or corsages, fine. Don't. But if he does, you need to keep your mouth shut, smile and give them a flipping corsage. I understand that this is more than just corsages, but not every family dynamic is the same. My dad never calls me and asked probably four total questions about our wedding. That doesn't mean he doesn't care or doesn't like us, it's just the relationship we have. I'm not going to punish him because my mom and I had a different relationship. Your FI and his parents might have that type of a relationship. 
    image
  • Thank you for the advice and feedback regarding my situation.  The area where I was interested in receiving advice on obligations as far as gifts and tokens provided during the event are concerned.  I guess my largest issue involves the lack of interest being expressed by these individuals and what exactly is 'required' to be provided to them on the wedding day.  Providing them with an alternative wedding album from our event seemed to be a good alternative to me since I cannot with a good conscience provide them with the same quality professional album when they are treating this event as nothing more than a wedding to attend in the future.  While I am trying to be sensitive to the feelings of those involved, I am also trying be mindful of the sacrifices my parents are making to provide me with the wedding they have dreamed of providing yet having future in-laws who are treating this as just any other wedding is something I am having difficulty.  Also, these future in-laws have yet to visit any of the family, including us, living where we do yet we have visited a few times of the past year and contact between visits is extremely minimal.  While my initial post may have had a spoiled and petty tone to it, as noted with the previous post, there is a lack of involvement - not just with the wedding - with these individuals.  Therefore, I was looking for some kind of guidance as far as what is a reasonable to have to provide them for the wedding day, knowing a future is ahead of us as well.

    They are not obligated to do anything FOR your wedding but show up. 

    If they have a history of being uninvolved with your FI and the rest of their family, they are not magically going to all of sudden be super involved in your wedding. All families are not alike and they may just not be into party planning. They don't have to be. It's yours and your FI's party to plan. That your parents are involved is their choice, again not an obligation. 

    You need to back off your expectations and let your FI handle his family. 
    adk19OliveOilsMom
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    My FIL didn't even attend my wedding. And guess what? We didn't punish him for not being able to attend, which is what you're essentially doing by giving your parents a nice gift and his parents a lesser gift. 

    No one is required to pay for your wedding except for you and your FI. You know who planned my wedding? Me and my husband. Not my parents. Not my in-laws. You're in your 40s and you seriously expect your FI's parents to pay for your wedding? And you're pissy that they're not excited enough? Grow up. Please. 

    You don't have to give anyone corsages or gifts or anything like that. You don't have to do special dances. But you need to let your FI take the lead on handling his parents. This is totally inappropriate what you're doing, and I imagine you're going to come away from this with a very poor relationship with his family. Is that what you want? 

    TheCheeseWenchOliveOilsMom
  • I have to agree with previous posters that it sounds like you're punishing them just because they're not showing as much interest as your parents. I think that's petty and childish. The parent gifts aren't for their contributions to the wedding. They're for raising you. Your in-laws raised your groom and unless they were bad parents (totally independent of the wedding or how much they're visiting), they deserve the exact same treatment your parents get. Anything less will lead to resentment down the line. Rightfully so.
  • So, really what do you think?  I don't think I really can tell by the responses I've gotten - thanks for pointing out flaws and such in me and passing judgement when I had thought the idea of such a forum was to help and not criticize someone.  Without going into all details about an entire 40+ years of life it is difficult to present a true picture of things but, regardless, let's just say all of you are better people than I apparently am ...... thanks for helping me realize what a poor person I am ...... appreciate the feedback.

  • edited August 2015
    I ask a serious question, looking for real advice, and all I get is criticism - being called petty, childish, spoiled, etc.  Yet, to my last intended post here I get a 'rolling the eyes' video as a response ...... seriously, and I'm the childish one!?!?  Sadly, I assumed a group for over 40 brides would have a bit more maturity and class than how I've been treated here and since I'm not even in this age group yet I'm very disappointed .... I avoided keeping these questions as a general post thinking the younger posters to such a forum would provide reactions such as I received here.. deeply disappointed at the responses and personal attacks I have received from this over 40 bride group :-(
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya
    Moderator 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary
    mod
    Lemme ask you a question, OP. And by "a question", I mean several.

    Are you and your FMIL close? Do you call each other just to chat? Did you before you got engaged? Does she get excited about things that are going on in your life (other than the wedding)? Do you get excited about what's going on in her life? Do you talk to her about other things than the wedding? Has your FI noticed any sort of change in her and/or his relationship with her since you guys started planning a wedding?

    I ask because while weddings do bring out the crazy in a lot of people, they're NBD to other people. You can't expect a relationship or person to change just because you're getting married. There are a lot of possibilities as to why she's not more interested and we probably can't pinpoint it for you. It could be anything from she doesn't like you to she's sad that she's "losing" her son to she just doesn't see weddings as that big of a deal to she's embarrassed that she can't help financially. You can't change any of that, but you can change how you let it affect you. I will also say that "me me me mememememe MEEE" is not becoming. 
    image
  • First of all, I agree me, me, me is not becoming and while posting on a forum is impossible without referring to oneself knowing me as a person you would find I seldom think about me, typically do more for others than for myself, and a more giving person than anything ..... one thing my fiance said he first loved about me.  

    Therefore, to assume that I am only considering myself in anything involving this situation is totally inaccurate.  In fact, the entire situation is one which is so foreign to me since my own family and friends of mine and their families do not have relationships like this that I could reach to for advice on the matter.  

    While my fiance loves his parents there has been a strained relationship there for years since he is the oldest and has been on his own since he is 18, knowing he could not really go to his parents for help in anyway.  I guess I am finding myself at a cross road of wanting to do enough for my fiance as far as things are concerned with his parents to prevent any hard feelings carrying over since a wedding is 'just one day and feelings can last a lifetime' (yes, that is something I have been taught from my own parents and have even preached to my fiance when decisions have been made as far as attendant selection and such) yet having a difficult time knowing their lack of interest in our lives.  I feel more of an obligation to do things than an actual 'want' to do things for them and so I was looking for what is really 'required' to be done for them so at least I could get a sense of what I 'needed' to do .....  
  • As far as my relationship with my FMIL, well my first visit with them involved her not saying much to me at all, left me sitting alone in the dark at one point at their place while my fiance was showering for bed and her and her husband went to bed without even saying good night.  The next visit was better but they are not warm and welcoming, yet I've been told by one of my FSIL that their parents 'love' me ...... I can accept not warm and fuzzy but some of what I've experienced by them has been just rude and when I told my fiance about things (which I did immediately so he knew what happened) he wasn't surprised ...... They never visit, call or show any interest in anything happening with us or any other family living near us and only call when they need something.  Perhaps this may help give a framework as far as the 'relationship' involved here and not just with me but with their son and other family ..... 
  • aliwis000aliwis000
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
    member
    edited August 2015
    Be the bigger person. You will never win anyone over by taking the road of "Well you treated me at level 5 out of 10 so I am going to respond at the same level of 'nice'."

    They are still his parents. Give them the same album and certainly provide appropriate flowers for them.

    Accept they will never have a movie level of relationship with you or their son but do not outwardly stoop to their level of rudeness. It just makes you look as bad as them.

    Do you have to just rave about them to others? Do you have to go out of your way to just shower them with smiles and happiness? Nope. But be respectful and when you have to be around them. Remember the only person you can control is yourself and act the way a good adult would even if all you want to do is throw a lamp through a window.
    pinupbride6189
  • As far as my relationship with my FMIL, well my first visit with them involved her not saying much to me at all, left me sitting alone in the dark at one point at their place while my fiance was showering for bed and her and her husband went to bed without even saying good night.  The next visit was better but they are not warm and welcoming, yet I've been told by one of my FSIL that their parents 'love' me ...... I can accept not warm and fuzzy but some of what I've experienced by them has been just rude and when I told my fiance about things (which I did immediately so he knew what happened) he wasn't surprised ...... They never visit, call or show any interest in anything happening with us or any other family living near us and only call when they need something.  Perhaps this may help give a framework as far as the 'relationship' involved here and not just with me but with their son and other family ..... 
    We could have the same future inlaws.  They're boring.  I've never seen any of them show affection for each other except for FH's niece and nephew.  The parents in law mutter about each other under their breaths, FH and his brother belittle each other and their parents when they're all in the same house for a visit.  I try to get FH to stop since I don't like it and this isn't how you should treat others, but they all revert back to childhood/high school when they're "back home" and picking on each other is apparently how they show love.

    We haven't started planning a wedding yet, but I'm 100% certain the only interest the FILs will show in the wedding will be to ask what I expect them to wear.  Lucky for them I don't give a rat's ass what an adult chooses to wear, so I will joyfully answer "wear whatever makes you comfortable to be photographed in."  They might write us a large check as a wedding gift.  But they won't give it to us beforehand because they won't want to be involved in how it is spent.

    Did his parents raise him?  Do you love the person he has become?  Give them a gift to say that even if it's just a nice letter telling them what a great guy they raised.
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    5000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    I ask a serious question, looking for real advice, and all I get is criticism - being called petty, childish, spoiled, etc.  Yet, to my last intended post here I get a 'rolling the eyes' video as a response ...... seriously, and I'm the childish one!?!?  Sadly, I assumed a group for over 40 brides would have a bit more maturity and class than how I've been treated here and since I'm not even in this age group yet I'm very disappointed .... I avoided keeping these questions as a general post thinking the younger posters to such a forum would provide reactions such as I received here.. deeply disappointed at the responses and personal attacks I have received from this over 40 bride group :-(

    You are posting on a 40+ bride board but admit "you are not even in this age group yet".  With this disclosure, why then, would you assume that only woman over the age of 40 would respond to your thread?  There are no secret codes or locks on any of the boards.  As you can see, anyone of ANY age can and will make a comment.

    Your broad stroke assumption that "younger" posters are "classless and immature" is the height of judgmental, and yet you complain about PP's passing judgment.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited August 2015
    Posting here to get an "older" perspective was pointless because this board is pretty dead, and younger posters can post here as well. Also, why would you deliberately seek out an older age bracket than your own peer group?

     It truly disturbs me that we have 2 people on the boards this week with this exact same feeling that parents deserve lesser or no gifts if they are not involved in the wedding. I just can't wrap my brain around that.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    [Deleted User]
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    First of all, I agree me, me, me is not becoming and while posting on a forum is impossible without referring to oneself knowing me as a person you would find I seldom think about me, typically do more for others than for myself, and a more giving person than anything ..... one thing my fiance said he first loved about me.  

    Therefore, to assume that I am only considering myself in anything involving this situation is totally inaccurate.  In fact, the entire situation is one which is so foreign to me since my own family and friends of mine and their families do not have relationships like this that I could reach to for advice on the matter.  

    While my fiance loves his parents there has been a strained relationship there for years since he is the oldest and has been on his own since he is 18, knowing he could not really go to his parents for help in anyway.  I guess I am finding myself at a cross road of wanting to do enough for my fiance as far as things are concerned with his parents to prevent any hard feelings carrying over since a wedding is 'just one day and feelings can last a lifetime' (yes, that is something I have been taught from my own parents and have even preached to my fiance when decisions have been made as far as attendant selection and such) yet having a difficult time knowing their lack of interest in our lives.  I feel more of an obligation to do things than an actual 'want' to do things for them and so I was looking for what is really 'required' to be done for them so at least I could get a sense of what I 'needed' to do .....  
    I haven't even gotten through all of this yet, but I wanted to touch on something. 

    My MIL moved out and left for good when my husband was 18. My FIL was so devastated that he stopped paying every single bill for the house. At 18 years old, my husband was paying a mortgage and utilities and every other bill associated with the house. And for years, he had his father and his younger brother living off of him. He opened up his own business at 21. No one helped him. Not his mom. Not his dad. 

    I had a terrible childhood that I won't go into specifics here. To say that my relationship with my parents was "strained" is an understatement. 

    Guess what my H and I both did? We picked ourselves up by the boot straps and became adults. We don't blame our parents for things that happened 20-30 years ago. We let that shit go.We moved on, and focused on having harmonious relationships with our families. When it came time for our wedding, we honored both sets of parents equally, including my FIL that didn't attend. 

    And on the other hand, my husband does not want to have a relationship with his brother, for various reasons. I never pushed. I let my H take the lead on how he deals with his brother. That's between them. I have never inserted myself in what goes on between the two of them. I follow his lead when it comes to his family. 

    You need to butt out of your FI's relationship with his parents. Let him decide what he wants to do. 

    TrixieJessMGPadk19
  • Thank you for the advice and feedback regarding my situation.  The area where I was interested in receiving advice on obligations as far as gifts and tokens provided during the event are concerned.  I guess my largest issue involves the lack of interest being expressed by these individuals and what exactly is 'required' to be provided to them on the wedding day.  Providing them with an alternative wedding album from our event seemed to be a good alternative to me since I cannot with a good conscience provide them with the same quality professional album when they are treating this event as nothing more than a wedding to attend in the future.  While I am trying to be sensitive to the feelings of those involved, I am also trying be mindful of the sacrifices my parents are making to provide me with the wedding they have dreamed of providing yet having future in-laws who are treating this as just any other wedding is something I am having difficulty.  Also, these future in-laws have yet to visit any of the family, including us, living where we do yet we have visited a few times of the past year and contact between visits is extremely minimal.  While my initial post may have had a spoiled and petty tone to it, as noted with the previous post, there is a lack of involvement - not just with the wedding - with these individuals.  Therefore, I was looking for some kind of guidance as far as what is a reasonable to have to provide them for the wedding day, knowing a future is ahead of us as well.

    Doing a kind and generous (and the right) thing for the people who bore and raised the man you want to marry would TROUBLE YOUR CONSCIENCE? So what if they aren't the warm fuzzy type like your family? They are HIS PARENTS and unless they were abusive assholes, they deserve the EXACT SAME recognition and appreciation that yours receive. The only thing that your parents are entitled to that they are not (due to a financial contribution) is a say in the wedding planning. Perhaps the fact that they cannot afford to contribute is why they are not trying to give input. They may feel that it is not their place since they did not have the means to help pay for it. Either way, giving them a lesser photo album to remember the day that their child got married is a shitty thing to do, and it is begging for problems later.

    To answer the question of what is REQUIRED on the wedding day:
    A chair to sit in
    Food appropriate for the time of day
    Everything available to all other guests
    EVERYTHING must be hosted (no cash bar)
    Respect

    Nothing else is required for them OR your parents. However, should you choose to treat your parents better than your FI's, it's crappy and rude and may be an indicator of why they aren't super excited about you marrying their son.


    adk19spockforprez
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    Let's see.  To date my MIL has NEVER visited us.  Not one time has she stepped foot in my home.    We fly to see her 1-2 times a year.

    She didn't contribute to the wedding. NBD.  As a result of not contributing she didn't think she was in the position to "be involved".    NBD, one or 2 less opinions I had to deal with.

    My parents paid for most of our wedding. We took care of the rest.

    At no time did it occur to me NOT to give her corsage, a seat up front or even her own table to host at the reception.  Regardless if her lack of contribution to the wedding she is still my DH's mother, she will be in my life until one of us dies.    The price of a corsage, seat up front and a table to host is NOT a hill worth dying on.   

    They are your FI's parents.  They will be you until one of you dies.   Treat them with respect. 


    Oh and we still got MIL the same photo album as my parents (well will pictures of her side).   Privately we also gave my parents a little something extra for hosting the wedding for us.  






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    TheCheeseWenchOliveOilsMom
  • Knowing nothing about your family situation and having read the previous replies I think your upset is because we are not providing the response you hoped to hear, that you can treat them as less than. 
    Not knowing them, the family dynamic etc. it is difficult to opine as to why they seem to be less enthusiastic than hoped but a couple of theories/questions: 
    What is the cultural background? Some are not as effusive about American style over the top weddings or the background doesn't call for the groom's family to be involved?
    Maybe they are reluctant to be involved because they can't afford to contribute financially and this does come across as important to you (not saying it is, but that is how your post reads)
    It's their style/personality. Some families are like this.
    Regardless of the answer to these questions, in my opinion I would not treat them any differently than your family. Your guests will take their cues from you. You might think that others won't notice but they will. And his parent most likely will notice and that would be a shame. Unless of course you want to cause a potentially bigger rift? 
    If you want to recognize your parent's support do so separately - no need to shame his parents.


    doclago
  • This is a difficult situation. I' sorry you are faced with this. 

    If your fiance doesn't have a good relationship with his parents why are they coming to your wedding?   Dealing with in-laws is like dealing with step children...the decision isn't yours to make, it's your fiance's.  You can provide your opinion when asked and support when needed but other than that I would keep quiet. 

    If you want to do something to recognize your parents for going out of their way and helping you out, think about doing it privately in the form of a gift, dinner, etc. 
    If you publicly do for one set of parents and not the other YOU are the one who will look bad. 

    My in laws haven't volunteered to help us out at all and my Mom and Dad have been so incredibly/surprisingly giving. My fiance feels AWFUL that his family is not involved(for numerous reasons). It is what it is. I don't care. It's my wedding, not theirs.  I planned for this financially and was prepared to pay for it. 


    TheCheeseWench
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member

    My MIL did not spend a dime on our wedding.  My parents offered to pay for the reception, my dress, the RD, and even paid for a GM to get his tux.  We paid the rest.  We never treated MIL differently when it came time for the gifts or corsages.  Each mother was given a small nosegay bouquet to carry. 

    My parents and MIL (FIL is deceased) were given equal value gifts.  MIL needed a new computer, so she was given a small netbook from a Black Friday deal.  My parents didn't need anything, so we gifted them with the same amount of restaurant gift cards as we paid for MIL's computer.

    Each mom was given the exact same photo album for Mother's Day.  It was of the same quality.

    The gifts to the parents is to thank them for raising you, its not a thank you for throwing me a fancy party.

    OP - If you think posters were pointing out flaws or passing judgment on you, perhaps you should do a little reflection as to why you think that.  Perhaps its because you are attempting to do something that could have long term impacts on your future relationship with FILs.

    Also, OP, use the Quote button, not the Reply button, it does not function like it sounds like it should. 


    lyndausvi
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