Moms and Maids

Tell me I'm worrying for no reason...

Hi ladies,

So I'm going to see FI's parents in a few weeks - it will be the first time either of us has seen them since getting engaged.  I'm starting to get nervous, so a little background.  Sorry if this gets long...  I put CNs at the end.

My parents have very graciously offered to pay for the ceremony and reception.  FI and I have tentatively set a date for about 18 months from now, but we still have to meet with our priest over Christmas break (we are both in law school) before we can nail down a date for sure.  So we have lots of time.  My parents are very traditional and feel like the bride's family should pay for the ceremony and reception (if possible) and the groom's family should pay for the rehearsal.  My family and his family have not yet gotten together to talk about this grand plan that my parents have.  If FI's parents can't or won't pay for the rehearsal, no biggie - FI and I are waiting until I've worked for a year, so we can cover it if necessary.

The reason I'm nervous is that when FI's older brother got married, FI's mom took over.  Completely.  Nobody in the family seems quite sure how this happened, but they ended up getting married in FBIL's hometown, with the colors, venues, liturgy, music, everything chosen by FMIL.  FI and I know that his parents paid for most of it, so we're hoping that's why she took over.  But his family is pretty tight-lipped about anything money-related, so we aren't positive...

I guess I'm getting nervous because I'm worried she's going to try to steamroll over my parents and myself, even though they are paying - she just doesn't know it yet.  His family absolutely refuses to have financial conversations, so I don't know how to bring it up that my parents are footing the bill if she starts to talk wedding ideas.  She has also said (before FI and I were engaged) that we will have to invite all of HER second cousins because they are family - FI's reponse was, "didn't second-cousin-once-removed billy die?"  He has no idea who those people are, and my parents will happily provide his side with 100-125 invites, but it probably won't accommodate every second cousin she has.

Please tell me I'm just getting worked up for no reason!  Right now my strategy is avoidance, but we can't avoid the issue forever - this is literally the only part of this process that stresses me out right now.  My parents are being wonderful, my FI is being wonderful, we have plenty of time, and we will hold our own against FMIL if necessary.  We just don't want conflict.

CN: FMIL planned FBIL's wedding with no input from the bride.  How do I tell her that my parents are paying (when she gets really uncomfortable with any money talk), and my mother is determined that FI and I will have the wedding we want?  I don't want to offend her, but we really want our ideas to remain our own.
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Re: Tell me I'm worrying for no reason...

  • edited December 2011
    YOU shouldn't have to tell FMIL anything. It's your FI's mom, and his task to tackle.

    If you are worried about offending her with your decisions or her trying to take over, keep wedding talk to a minimum around her. And if she does suggest/insist on something, simply say something along the lines of "Thank you for the suggestion. We'll definitely look into that!" and then change the subject.
  • jagore08jagore08
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    member
    edited December 2011
    Your FI should handle this.  He knows his mom best and if you feel uncomfortable talking to her about money he should do the talking.

    ETA: It's ok to listen to her opnions but she should know the decision is ultimately yours and your FIs.
    Ignorance is a poor defense. Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • tldhtldh
    2500 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    This isn't your problem.  If she gets out of hand, it's up to your FI to put her in her place.  As long as the two of you are on the same page, you will be fine.
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    AKA GoodLuckBear14
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    edited December 2011
    You have to calm down. Your FMIL can't steamroll you, unless you allow it to happen. You and fi should let her know that your parents have very generously offered to pay for your wedding and reception. Hopefully, she will be delighted to hear this.

    Let her know that she is allowed a guest list of 100 ( the minimum number) and the date that you need that list (perhaps for save the dates, if you are sending them.) Then you must wait while they sort out their guest list. If she turns over a guest list that is far above that number, then fi must take over. He should tell his mom that she needs to trim her list or he will do it for her.  If she turns over a guest list of 116 guests, you might choose to let it go.

    We have had brides post about MOG/MOB making changes with vendors without consulting the bride and groom. You should let any vendors know that you and your parents are paying the bills and are the only ones authorized to order services or make changes.

    IF your ILs offer to host the RD, they should get to plan the type of event, determine the number of guests they want for that party. But you are smart to assume that you and fi will be paying for it.

    All that said, a wedding is a very important event for both families. So even though your parents are paying, it would be nice to include the ILs in some of the decisions that won't impact the budget. Maybe FMIL could choose the music for the M/S dance if there will be one, make the seating plan for her side of the family.

    If FMIL starts to get overbearing you can always use the bean dip technique:
    "FMIL, that is such an intersting idea, have you tried the bean dip."
    "FMIL, we have already decided on XYZ, do you have a good bean dip recipe?"

    Good luck with your meeting.
                
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Tell me I'm worrying for no reason...:
    My family and his family have not yet gotten together to talk about this grand plan that my parents have. 
    Posted by hoffse
    I'm not sure why they would discuss money together because it's not exactly either set of parents business how much the other is contributing. If they both want to, and they arrange it, they can do what they want with their spending decisions, but I wouldn't orchestrate this if I were you. I mean, it's one thing to want to get along with the parents of your future son/daughter-in-law and another to want to discuss money matters with them.
  • kmmssgkmmssg
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    edited December 2011
    Agree with Maire and Retread.  You know, the next time FI is talking to his mom, he COULD mention that your parents have offered to pay for the ceremony and reception....
  • blues28blues28
    Fourth Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    member
    edited December 2011
    Don't worry, nothing's happened yet. Let his parent's know that your parents are planning on paying for the wedding and leave it at that. If his mother does want to take over the wedding planning anyway have your FI talk to her. 
    imageimage
  • vicki0508vicki0508
    1000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    member
    edited December 2011
    Do you know that FMIL steam rolled the bride at the other wedding?  Maybe the bride didn't have a lot of opinions, or really wanted FMIL's  help.

    Either way, you don't have to do what she says.  You aren't taking her money, so you just thank her for her suggestions, and move on.
  • Kate61487Kate61487
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 250 Love Its Name Dropper
    member
    edited December 2011
    yup, PPs have nailed it.  You'll be fine.  She won't be able to steam roll you because she won't be booking or paying any of the vendors, so the decisions you make will be final.  Keep in mind this means you CANNOT use budget as an excuse to veto any of her ideas.  If you give her 100 seats to fill and she wants 125 she might offer to pay for the extra 25 - you'll have to be prepared to say the venue you want can't accomodate that; or simly that you don't want that large of a wedding and be firm about it; etc.

    As for this inital face-to-face: I'm sure the wedding will come up.  I wouldn't mention money unless they do.  Either they'll assume you've got it covered (which is the case) or they'll offer.  If they offer you can thank them for their generosity, but explain that your parents have already offered - but you'd LOVE for them to host/plan the RD (hopefully this will sidetrack them into planning this new event and you're off scott-free!)
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