Pre-wedding Parties

Engagement Party Disaster

So, my FML wants to throw us an engagement party a year after we got engaged. It's going to be ~25% his family and ~75% her friends, who even my FI doesn't know. My immediate family will only be invited if I insist, and I don't think they'll be able to take the vacation and fly out there anyway - so almost completely people I don't know, which is going to do wonders for my social anxiety on top of everything else. Most of the guests are not on the wedding invite list, and cannot be as long as FI & I are the only ones paying for the actual wedding. (We don't have any space in our budget for more than family ATM.)

She's also told us that we'll get gifts and cash there, and we can use it toward the wedding later, so maybe we can invite those people after all. She's even told us to make sure to register before then so people know what to get us.

I know. So many rude things going on here, and I'm completely overwhelmed by it....Every time I push back against this, she comes up with a new way to try to placate me instead of cancelling - she's very stubborn, and at this point I feel like the party will probably happen whether or not we're there. 

Should I just roll my eyes and go along with it? These are her friends, across the country from me, who I will never meet again, after all. She should be the one embarrassed about all of this. Or should I put up a bigger fight against it?

Re: Engagement Party Disaster

  • mrscomposermrscomposer Mani-snow-ba
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    member

    Wowzers.  That's a whole lot of ugh.

    Is this a situation where you two will already be in town, or is she expecting you to make a special trip for it? 

    Regardless, I'd get your FI (since it's your FMIL) to say 'look Mom, we're not comfortable with this engagement party idea, these people will not be invited to the wedding, we will not be attending'.  And then just lather/rinse/repeat.

    **The OMH formerly known as jsangel1018**
    [Deleted User]MyNameIsNot
  • NowIAmSypNowIAmSyp East Hanover, NJ
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
    member
    Oh, wow.  There is so much No in your post... poor thing.  Honestly- are you going to be out there already?  If not, I would NOT travel in for this.  

    And agreed- your FI needs to step up now and shut this down.  "Mom, thank you so much for thinking of us, but we do not want this engagement party, and we are not at all comfortable with you inviting people who we will not be inviting to the actual wedding.  Thanks again, but we will not be there, so please cancel the party."

    Good luck!
    [Deleted User]
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    So, my FML wants to throw us an engagement party a year after we got engaged. It's going to be ~25% his family and ~75% her friends, who even my FI doesn't know. My immediate family will only be invited if I insist, and I don't think they'll be able to take the vacation and fly out there anyway - so almost completely people I don't know, which is going to do wonders for my social anxiety on top of everything else. Most of the guests are not on the wedding invite list, and cannot be as long as FI & I are the only ones paying for the actual wedding. (We don't have any space in our budget for more than family ATM.)

    She's also told us that we'll get gifts and cash there, and we can use it toward the wedding later, so maybe we can invite those people after all. She's even told us to make sure to register before then so people know what to get us.

    I know. So many rude things going on here, and I'm completely overwhelmed by it....Every time I push back against this, she comes up with a new way to try to placate me instead of cancelling - she's very stubborn, and at this point I feel like the party will probably happen whether or not we're there. 

    Should I just roll my eyes and go along with it? These are her friends, across the country from me, who I will never meet again, after all. She should be the one embarrassed about all of this. Or should I put up a bigger fight against it?
    This party is something that should not be discussed and revisited.  The response is simple.  "We will absolutely not have anyone at a pre-wedding event that is not on the wedding guest list.  These people will never be on the wedding guest list.  Pre-wedding events are not fundraisers.  Our answer is final and it will not be discussed again."

    There should be no new way to placate you if you end the discussion. 

    Do you currently live across the country from your FIL's?  If that is the case, then the situation ends simply by you not arranging to travel for the party.  FMIL can waste all the time and money she wants; the loss will be hers and only hers.  She cannot force you and FI to travel to her.

    This should not be a fight.  You decline and end it there.  If you DO give in to her demands, then YOU and only you have set the tone and stage for many future fights as your FMIL will no doubt continue to meddle, make demands, and cross boundaries.  Stop the madness now.
  • So, you do what she wants now.  And when you're having kids she insists on her and her 3 best girlfriends being in the delivery room with you.  And when you have your second kid she insists on moving into the guest room to help you raise your children.  And when your oldest goes off to college maybe grandma can buy Junior a house to live in with all his buddies.  But you've been placated all this time, so it's all good.  Sounds like you can't go wrong.
    MGP
  • Thank you for the advice! We're supposed to be flying out there at the same time as the proposed party anyway, but I think I'll try to reschedule our other plans. 

    I'll also try to get on my FI to step up and stand up to his mother. He's not comfortable with the party either, so hopefully he'll take charge. 

    In any case, I'll hopefully arrange to not be out there anyway, and she can have a lovely party for her & her friends without the façade of it being about us (which is how I'm feeling right now).
    MyNameIsNot
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    Decline decline decline. My MIL was so set on throwing me a shower. I did not want one. I had to tell her 10 times to please not plan one for me. But I was direct, and she finally got the point. 

    JediElizabeth
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    NO! You shouldn't go along with it. Your fi should tell his mom no and you should stick with it. Tell her you won't be there. period.

    Engagement parties aren't fundraisers. Guests will not show up at your engagement party with envelopes full of money to cover your wedding costs. Once you invite FMILs friends to an engagement party, you have to follow through by inviting them to the wedding. 
                
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    Hell no! Your fiancé needs to tell her all the reasons this party is inappropriate and that you two will NOT be attending.
    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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