Etiquette

Frustrated rant

Hello everyone!

I wanted to get some objective opinions out there because I'm really at a loss. I just got engaged to the love of my life and I'm really excited, but some things are coming up with his family that are really bothering me.

First off I am Christian and my fiancee is Jewish, raised in an orthodox home. His mom has come around and has congratulated us, but his dad has not, and I highly doubt he will be coming to our wedding. I really hope he does but he has stated that he wants nothing to do with our wedding and to not expect him and his wife to help out.

Aside of all this drama, my parents are very happy for us and are contributing a large amount to our reception. They told my fiancee and I that they are more than happy to come help us check out venues if we wanted. Now my fiancee's mother told him a while ago that she would also contribute a little to our wedding, that it may not be much but that she would give something. She said that she did not know about her husband but that she would give what she could. My fiancee and I had never even broached this subject with her and had never planned to but we were pleasantly surprised and appreciative.

Now that we are looking at venues, his mother tells him that she cannot contribute anything to the wedding but that she will give a "nicer" gift, whatever that means. What's irritating me about this situation is two things - one she should have just never said anything about giving something towards the wedding and I would have been fine. Two, I find it a little messed up that her and her husband took out a huge loan to help finance his sister's fancy wedding a few years back, but then will give absolutely nothing to their son. I know that traditionally the groom's family pays for the rehearsal dinner and maybe the honeymoon, and while I never expected that to happen I thought something would have been contributed. To me it's not the money - it's the gesture and the fact that someone says one thing and does another.

Now I'm getting aggravated because my fiancee keeps trying to involve his mother in the wedding planning process and is asking her to let us know what venues she wants to come view with us. He is also asking her to make a guest list of who she wants to invite on top of the people from her side that we already have on our list (we have 210 people in total and it is split pretty evenly between his side and my side). I'm sorry but I really do not think this is appropriate - I want his family to obviously come to the wedding and be a part of our special day, but I do not want them involved in the planning process at this point. Is it wrong of me to feel this way? I don't plan on saying anything to them and I really want things to be as cordial and pleasant as possible, but I also really don't think it's not fair to me or my family to involve people in the planning process when they are contributing nothing. 

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Re: Frustrated rant

  • In Response to Frustrated rant:
    Hello everyone! I wanted to get some objective opinions out there because I'm really at a loss. I just got engaged to the love of my life and I'm really excited, but some things are coming up with his family that are really bothering me. First off I am Christian and my fiancee is Jewish, raised in an orthodox home. His mom has come around and has congratulated us, but his dad has not, and I highly doubt he will be coming to our wedding. I really hope he does but he has stated that he wants nothing to do with our wedding and to not expect him and his wife to help out. Aside of all this drama, my parents are very happy for us and are contributing a large amount to our reception. They told my fiancee and I that they are more than happy to come help us check out venues if we wanted. Now my fiancee's mother told him a while ago that she would also contribute a little to our wedding, that it may not be much but that she would give something. She said that she did not know about her husband but that she would give what she could. My fiancee and I had never even broached this subject with her and had never planned to but we were pleasantly surprised and appreciative. Now that we are looking at venues, his mother tells him that she cannot contribute anything to the wedding but that she will give a "nicer" gift, whatever that means. What's irritating me about this situation is two things - one she should have just never said anything about giving something towards the wedding and I would have been fine. Two, I find it a little messed up that her and her husband took out a huge loan to help finance his sister's fancy wedding a few years back, but then will give absolutely nothing to their son. I know that traditionally the groom's family pays for the rehearsal dinner and maybe the honeymoon, and while I never expected that to happen I thought something would have been contributed. To me it's not the money - it's the gesture and the fact that someone says one thing and does another. Now I'm getting aggravated because my fiancee keeps trying to involve his mother in the wedding planning process and is asking her to let us know what venues she wants to come view with us. He is also asking her to make a guest list of who she wants to invite on top of the people from her side that we already have on our list (we have 210 people in total and it is split pretty evenly between his side and my side). I'm sorry but I really do not think this is appropriate - I want his family to obviously come to the wedding and be a part of our special day, but I do not want them involved in the planning process at this point. Is it wrong of me to feel this way? I don't plan on saying anything to them and I really want things to be as cordial and pleasant as possible, but I also really don't think it's not fair to me or my family to involve people in the planning process when they are contributing nothing. 
    Posted by bern345
    How other people choose to spend their money is exactly none of your business.

    And yes, you're being a snot. It's his mother, for Christ's sake. He wants her involved in his wedding. It's not just your wedding, princess.

  • I think it's ridiculous that you're upset because your fiance wants to include his mother in the wedding planning process.  You just need to take a step back and not concern yourself with whether his parents are helping pay or not.  You don't have to take any and all suggestions that his mother gives, but I think it's nice that he wants to include her.  Sure, it might sting a little that they paid for his sister's wedding and not his, but that's their choice.  It seems like you're more upset about it than your fiance, and that's just silly.  Let him worry about his parents.
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  • In Response to Re: Frustrated rant:
    In Response to Frustrated rant : How other people choose to spend their money is exactly none of your business. And yes, you're being a snot. It's his mother, for Christ's sake. He wants her involved in his wedding. It's not just your wedding, princess.
    Posted by zitiqueen
    While I appreciate an honest response, calling me a "snot" and "princess" is pretty immature, don't you think?
  • Let me make something clear to people - I am not cutting people out of the wedding. He has over 100 people who we are already inviting. The point I'm making is that my family is paying for the reception and that they can only afford so much. I don't think it's fair for them to invite more people on top of that and expect us or my family to finance that when they are contributing nothing.
  • JaxInBlueJaxInBlue
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Name Dropper
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    edited July 2012
    Agree with PPs.  It sounds like your FMIL is doing as much as she can, given how your FFIL feels about the wedding (not saying that he's anywhere near correct to judge your relationship based on your faith, but acknowledging that this opinion could make it harder for your FMIL to participate is, IMO, important).  It would be a low blow to not include her or to not invite your FI's family.

    FWIW, when DH and I married, we split the wedding costs with my mom and stepdad; they not only helped cover costs for my in-laws and their family but mom and stepdad also paid for my dad's family (my mom's ex in-laws).  Not once did either of them say anything about only paying for "their" family.    My dad and ILs contributed in other ways - time and talents, especially.
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  • In Response to Re: Frustrated rant:
    Let me make something clear to people - I am not cutting people out of the wedding. He has over 100 people who we are already inviting. The point I'm making is that my family is paying for the reception and that they can only afford so much. I don't think it's fair for them to invite more people on top of that and expect us or my family to finance that when they are contributing nothing.
    Posted by bern345
    Like LTB said, split the number of people each family gets to invite evenly.  If they want to invite more people than that, they can come up with the money to cover them.  Just be sure they give you the money before invitations go out. 
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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
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    In Response to Re: Frustrated rant:
    Let me make something clear to people - I am not cutting people out of the wedding. He has over 100 people who we are already inviting. The point I'm making is that my family is paying for the reception and that they can only afford so much. I don't think it's fair for them to invite more people on top of that and expect us or my family to finance that when they are contributing nothing.
    Posted by bern345
    The only way that more people will be invited on top of what you have already listed in your guest list is if you and your parents allow it to happen.  Learn how to say no.

    When they say, "Oh we want to also invite so and so, so and so, and so and so."  You politely say that the guest list is maxed out and that you cannot invite anyone else.  If they complain, oh well.

  • pkontkpkontk
    500 Comments
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    Your fiance is into wedding planning enough that he wants to go look at venues with you AND he wants to bring his mom.  That's so great! 

    FWIW, I invited my FMIL to look at venues the moment it came up in conversation with my mother, before I knew what anyone was contributing.  So yeah, you should 'allow' her to come.
  • In Response to Re: Frustrated rant:
    In Response to Re: Frustrated rant : Um, I said wedding PLANNING, not the wedding itself.  I was talking about whining how its not fair for FMIL to get to be in on the planning if she isn't paying.  As far as the guestlist thing, figure out how many people you can afford to invite, give his parents X number of people to invite and be done with it.  If they give you a list that is more than that, say "we can only afford for you to invite X number, so please cut down to that number or we will have to cut it for you."  For the record, that's a pretty common issue, regardless of who is paying.
    Posted by StageManager14
    Once again while I appreciate people's honestly, calling me a brat and whiney is immature. Grow up.
  • You're not being fair to his mom.  Her son is getting married, too, and she wants to be a part of it.  Don't cause unnecessary drama; she's going to be your MIL and in your life a long time.
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  • I'm in a somewhat similar situation & I know it can be frustrating.  First of all, forget about FSIL's wedding.  It's only going to make you bitter.  Definitely do not exclude your FMIL in planning.  Remember, money comes with strings.  You'll  be happy she's not contributing if you don't like any of her ideas.  As for the guest list, divide the total amount of people that can be invited by 3 & let his parents know that's the cut off.  But also be realistic, if his family is larger than yours & you know you'll be under your #, let them have a few more people. 

    Fiance's family is about 5 times the size of mine & my parents are paying for our entire wedding.  When FILs gave us their list, it was way over what we were expecting (turned out to be a miscommunication, they gave us a "wish" list when we were expecting a "must have" list).  Fiance had a talk with them & they cut it down to FILs close friends, aunt/uncles & first cousins (+ dates).  We're at 225 people (capacity at our venue), so the list is pretty much at a one on/one off point.  His parents were disappointed that they couldn't include 2nd cousins, but it was more important to fiance to have his friends there over cousins he'd never met.  I'd let your fiance make the call if they go over the #.
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  • Let me also make another thing clear to people, which is my fault for not having done so before - I was not accepted by his family in the beginning and am still entirely not. They have boycotted events because I was going, they have told me I have ruined their lives, told me that I was a knife in their backs, have given me the cold shoulder, refused to meet my parents, spoken about me in another language right in front of me, and the list really goes on and on. I have NEVER said anything disrespectful to them, even when I felt like blowing my top. I have always been respectful and cordial because I know they are upset about the religious difference. I have always shown my support and helped them when they experienced family tragedies, rough times, etc. I guess what I am trying to say and should have said before is that this goes far deeper than money or contributions. These people simply do not want me to marry their son and at this point after 5 years I dont feel the obligation to include them in my wedding planning.

  • edited July 2012
    Get on the same page with your FI about the guest list.  Figure out how many people you can afford to have, and divid the list between you and FI/your parents/your FILs however you and your FI see fit.  I would allow his parents some flexibility in the guest list, even though they are not contributing. 

    Since your FI's mom came around and is excited for your wedding despite the religion issue, I would really encourage you to be as welcoming as possible to her in the planning process.  I get that it's frustrating that she said she would contribute and now isn't, but if that means driving a wedge between her and your FI's dad, is that really what you'd want, anyway?

    ETA: I just read your latest post, and that explanation is all the more reason to not alienate his mom, now that she finally likes you.  I'm not saying it's right, but intermarriage can be very difficult for some people to handle, and it's great that his mom is willing to be the first to accept you.

  • In Response to Re: Frustrated rant:
    In Response to Re: Frustrated rant : While I appreciate an honest response, calling me a "snot" and "princess" is pretty immature, don't you think?
    Posted by bern345
    I think it's accurate. You expect other people to foot the bill for your pretty princess day, and if they don't, you don't think they should be allowed to play. Somebody is certainly immature in this scenario.

  • I think the tone of the responses is making it difficult for you to hear what they're saying, but I also think because you wrote this post when you're obviously annoyed that it came off a bit snide, more so than you meant it to. 

    While I understand the inclination to feel slighted on behalf of your fiance because his parents are contributing monetarily more to his sister than to him (my fiance's parents sometimes play favorites among his brothers as well), it's really not your place to harbor those resentments. If your fiance feels hurt by this, it's a conversation that he needs to have with his family. 

    It sounds to me like your FMIL doesn't have a lot of free roam. I think she wants to help but her hands are tied. Let her enjoy the planning process of her son's wedding. You don't have to listen to what she says, just let her help a bit. Maybe she can't contribute financially, but she'll help with other aspects. It can be great to have another set of hands when it comes to crunch time. 
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  • In Response to Re: Frustrated rant:
    In Response to Re: Frustrated rant : I think it's accurate. https://ceweb.hunter.cuny.edu/cers/CourseBrowse.aspx, and if they don't, you don't think they should be allowed to play. Somebody is certainly immature in this scenario.
    Posted by zitiqueen
    You are so unbelievably disrespectful. You know nothing about me - my fiancee and I are paying for half of the wedding and my parents the other, so no I am not expecting people to "foot the bill for my pretty princes day." I did not want to accept money from my parents but they wont hear of it. I also orginally wanted a very small, budget wedding and my fiancee insisted upon a bigger wedding and wont hear of anything less. Why don't you find something better to do than trolling boards and misplacing your anger and obvious issues onto people you don't know.
  • In Response to Re: Frustrated rant:
    Let me also make another thing clear to people, which is my fault for not having done so before - I was not accepted by his family in the beginning and am still entirely not. They have boycotted events because I was going, they have told me I have ruined their lives, told me that I was a knife in their backs, have given me the cold shoulder, refused to meet my parents, spoken about me in another language right in front of me, and the list really goes on and on. I have NEVER said anything disrespectful to them, even when I felt like blowing my top. I have always been respectful and cordial because I know they are upset about the religious difference. I have always shown my support and helped them when they experienced family tragedies, rough times, etc. I guess what I am trying to say and should have said before is that this goes far deeper than money or contributions. These people simply do not want me to marry their son and at this point after 5 years I dont feel the obligation to include them in my wedding planning.
    Posted by bern345
    And yet the man you're marrying, their child, still wants them involved after they way they've treated you. Maybe that should be your bigger concern, that he stood there and allowed it to happen.

    And frankly, you don't come off in a good light when you admit you'd think better of them if they threw some money your way. You thought being called a snot and princess was bad? You should hear the word I'm thinking of now.

  • In Response to Re: Frustrated rant:
    I think the tone of the responses is making it difficult for you to hear what they're saying, but I also think because you wrote this post when you're obviously annoyed that it came off a bit snide, more so than you meant it to.  While I understand the inclination to feel slighted on behalf of your fiance because his parents are contributing monetarily more to his sister than to him (my fiance's parents sometimes play favorites among his brothers as well), it's really not your place to harbor those resentments. If your fiance feels hurt by this, it's a conversation that he needs to have with his family.  It sounds to me like your FMIL doesn't have a lot of free roam. I think she wants to help but her hands are tied. Let her enjoy the planning process of her son's wedding. You don't have to listen to what she says, just let her help a bit. Maybe she can't contribute financially, but she'll help with other aspects. It can be great to have another set of hands when it comes to crunch time. 
    Posted by emeejeeayen
    Thank you for being one of the few intelligent and helpful posts here. You are right in that I wrote this when I was annoyed and it definitely sounds snotty, which is not what I had intended. I do hear what people are saying now and I understand why I was being unreasonable with not having his mom being involved at all. It's too bad people can't be mindful of their tones and attitudes when they post on here.
  • ems27ems27
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments
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    Yes, it's frustrating that she thought she could help out and now she can't.  But if she never promised a certain amount and didn't give it to you, I hope that you were planning as if it wasn't going to happen. As far as the loan goes, I would guess that it is something she does not want to enter into without FFIL's backing, and if he is against the wedding and will not contribute, don't be surprised if she can't sacrifice their household funds for your wedding; she does have to respect her own marriage as well.

    I don't think it's at all fair to cut her out of helping with the planning because of how much she can contribute.

    Guest list: Give her your existing list for that side, and tell her the max number she can have on that list.  If there are people she wants that aren't on the list, she can cut some of the existing people off of it. Once you give FMIL and FFIL the chance to tailor the list according to the number that your parents can accomodate, you could follow PP's advice if their list is too large.  They can either trim it themselves or you will, as you cannot accomodate that many due to budget.

    Because of FFIL's disapproval, it is probably even more important to FI that his mother stay involved.  He might feel like he is going to lose his family if FMIL feels cut out, I'm sure she's getting enough of a tough time from FFIL since she is being supportive.  I am very sorry FFIL is against the marriage, and more sorry for the tough spot that it puts your FI and FMIL in.
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  • In Response to Re: Frustrated rant:
    In Response to Re: Frustrated rant : And yet the man you're marrying, their child, still wants them involved after they way they've treated you. Maybe that should be your bigger concern, that he stood there and allowed it to happen. And frankly, you don't come off in a good light when you admit you'd think better of them if they threw some money your way. You thought being called a snot and princess was bad? You should hear the word I'm thinking of now.
    Posted by zitiqueen
    So why don't you tell me the word then Zitiqueen? Because I have a word that comes to mind when someone hides behind a computer screen and spews disrespect at strangers instead of dealing with their mental issues
  • In Response to Re: Frustrated rant:
    In Response to Re: Frustrated rant : So why don't you tell me the word then Zitiqueen? Because I have a word that comes to mind when someone hides behind a computer screen and spews disrespect at strangers instead of dealing with their mental issues
    Posted by bern345

    Whoa.  You need to back off.  
    The Bee Hive Est. June 30, 2007
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  • And calling me a snot and princess and provoking me is not a personal attack?
  • There is a huge difference between telling someone they're being bratty (which you are) and telling someone they've got mental issues. 
  • We budgeted our wedding for 100 people. Combined our list and our families lists together. When Dad and FMIL came to us later and said they wanted to add so and so we politely explained that all of our wedding budget had already been used, but if they wanted to add the extra guests and pay the extra $X per head they could do so. Both happily did so.
     
    Maybe you can do something familiar with your FMIL? I understand it's frustrating, but try to include her where you can. The more she is around and likes you, the more she is going to talk you up to her husband. Make lemonade out of lemons here. She is trying at least.
  • pkontkpkontk
    500 Comments
    member
    Also, if my ILs had taken out a loan to pay for their daughter's wedding, I would be even less inclined to expect/hope for their financial help.  And I'd likely decline it if offered, because I wouldn't want anyone to be in debt because of my wedding.
  • In Response to Re: Frustrated rant:
    And calling me a snot and princess and provoking me is not a personal attack?
    Posted by bern345
    Saying someone provoked you is a really easy way to get out of being called a jerk. You can say they provoked you, and suddenly its their fault? Nope, sorry, life doesn't work that way. No one was poking you with sticks; you could have easily just walked away. And there's a major difference between saying you're being a "snot" (really, that's a pretty light jab, if anything) and calling people out for "mental issues" (insinuating they have mental issues and behavioural problems that perhaps require medical attention). You're the one escalating this, no one is prodding you along. Stop calling out people for being immature and just walk away if you don't like tough love.
  • In Response to Re: Frustrated rant:
    I understand it's frustrating, but try to include her where you can. The more she is around and likes you, the more she is going to talk you up to her husband. Make lemonade out of lemons here. She is trying at least.
    Posted by LizzyRB
    100% agree.  Try to forget the hurtful things they've done in the past & focus on this current effort.
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  • I do agree with the PP - your FMIL is trying. My guess is that FFIL is not making it easy for her.  As others have stated this is not just your wedding but also your FIs.

    I'd advise you to think of your relationship with your FMIL long-term.  While things are not good now that may change significantly in the future if you decide to have children.  Continuing bad feelings could make your relationship with them even worse after the wedding.

    While it may not be the easiest thing you have done having your FMIL participate in a small way with the wedding planning is a very courteous thing to do and may actually help your relationship in the long run.
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  • APDSS22APDSS22 O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A is OK
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    Talk with your FI about the guest list and him offering your FMIL more free rein.  If you don't have the budget, this is something that should be brought up.  If you don't have the money to host more people, he shouldn't be asking her to add more names.  What PP have said is good, divide up the list and give her a solid number that she can invite. 

    Allow her to participate, you want your FMIL on the side of you and your FI in terms of this marriage, it'll make the rest of your lives easier.

    You need to communicate with your FI on this so you both understand what the issues are and you can both decide how to handle them.

  • In Response to Re: Frustrated rant:
    Let me also make another thing clear to people, which is my fault for not having done so before - I was not accepted by his family in the beginning and am still entirely not. They have boycotted events because I was going, they have told me I have ruined their lives, told me that I was a knife in their backs, have given me the cold shoulder, refused to meet my parents, spoken about me in another language right in front of me, and the list really goes on and on. I have NEVER said anything disrespectful to them, even when I felt like blowing my top. I have always been respectful and cordial because I know they are upset about the religious difference. I have always shown my support and helped them when they experienced family tragedies, rough times, etc. I guess what I am trying to say and should have said before is that this goes far deeper than money or contributions. These people simply do not want me to marry their son and at this point after 5 years I dont feel the obligation to include them in my wedding planning.
    Posted by bern345
    Wow. I think you have a real opportunity to turn the other cheek.  These people have behaved horribly toward you (they may see their reasons as justified to them since you are the reason why their son is turning his back on millenia of tradition).  Regardless, this is a real opportunity for you to show some Chirstian charity (love, not like, alms this ins't a referene to $$ or paying for the wedding) toward them and allow them to be involved in the wedding planning despite not contributing monetarily.  You can sow seeds of forgiveness that might yield fruit later on in your lifelong relationship with your In-laws.  Set a good example for your children, be kind now.

    They may not deserve it, but think of the big picture.
     

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