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Moms and Maids

Future In Laws

I know brides often go through rough patches with their future parents-in-law during wedding planning. I am not intending to complain about mine as I do love them and they've been awesome for the three years we've been engaged. I am hoping people can give me advise on how to fix the uncomfortable situation we've run into while still keeping the wedding itself to something I can bear.

I probably started the wedding planning process out on the wrong foot. I got so excited and knew that I wanted an intimate outdoor (ceremony and reception) wedding, so my fiance and I visited and signed a contract with the location within the first month of our engagement. I am a planner and relish checking things off that list I guess... We did meet with his parents afterwards to tell them all about it. I was very excited to show them the venue, but it was clear from the start that they were discontented because there are size limitations. My fiance and I had also made several other vendor decisions on our own (photographer, DJ). Before we signed contracts with them though, we did ask MIL and SIL for vendor recommendations (and went with SIL's DJ).

I really have tried to keep MIL involved since then because she only has sons and is the sort of girly girl who would love wedding planning. We invited his mom and dad to several caterer tastings, but the times never worked out for them. Last summer I invited them to come to the venue with me so my future MIL could help me figure out decorations but she never responded. She opted out of bridal gown shopping because she thought that should be for my mom, but she and her husband did come to my fitting after the dress came in, which was awesome (he cried).

His parents thought it would be fun it we made our own toasting wine, so they sent us to a store that helps you make it. However, my family (and I) strongly prefer dry reds while his parents only like white. We made a white toasting wine because that's what she wanted. I mentioned at that time that I would just want some dry red at the wedding for myself and my family after the toasts.

They also offered to pay for the alcohol and my bouquet, which was super sweet and appreciated, but in the last two months things seem to be spiraling out of control...

My own mother lives on the other side of the country, so when she is in town we fill the weekend up with wedding planning so she can be involved. This weekend while she's here I decided to invite his family and the wedding party over and throw a wine tasting party, where everyone brings a wine to share. I made the mistake of putting a price range for the wine ($10-20) which appears to have been what sparked the latest fight. I wanted to keep the parents from paying too much and to keep some of the more terrible wines out. And I mentioned, as an afterthought, in the invite that if we like one of them, maybe we can have it at the wedding. They have since stopped talking to me but ranted to my fiance about how they haven't been consulted on anything and are now being told what kind of alcohol they need to provide. That was never my intention. I just wanted to get people together and the "wedding wine" comment was an afterthought. This weekend we are also going to a local bridal show. I invited his mom and dad previoulsy (and they were excited at the time), but they won't respond to my messages so I assume they're not coming.

This fiasco brought out some old anger about the guest limits. Originally I was hoping for perhaps 50 people (small intimate and outside) becuause I hate and uncomfortable with crouds of people I don't know. My fiance would have loved a larger wedding (200+), so we compromised to get 140. My dad was sweet enough to rent us a tent so the reception could be outside as well. The tent area will only fit 140. I worked on my half of the list (70) with my family and my fiance asked his mom for a list of 70 people (all our close friends are on my half of the list). When we got my fiance's half of the list back 2 months ago, there were 70 people on it, but she'd forgotten to include herself and their immediate family (fiance, parents, his brothers and their families) and it didn't include his groomsmen. The true total was 105. My fiance was upset because he didn't even know a lot of the people on that list. After his talking to her got him nowhere, my fiance then worked through the list and limited it to his must invites (their entire family, the close family friends his mother had requested, the groomsmen, and four close people from his work). That left 6 additional spaces, which he gave to her to choose. The response was that this puts her in an awkward position. I'm not sure how that's the case unless she had already been verbally inviting people. We are ok with telling people that we're having a small wedding, and have found that everyone else has been fine with it and just as happy for us.

Yesterday, my fiance got an angry text from his dad telling us he didn't understand what the big deal with increasing the wedding to 200-300 people was, and that they'll pay for it. They're mad we selected a venue like this and keep telling us we should have thought about the guest list before we chose it. The problem is it has nothing to do with the money. We've been saving for this wedding for a while and both our parents are helping where they can. It just seems like his parents put conditions on their assistance, which upsets my fiance.  My fiance has been adament that we must each be equally represented by our guests. He's been standing by me, but I hate to put him in this position because I know that originally he wanted a larger wedding. I don't want his relationhip (or mine) with his family to be compromised. I'm terrified they will decide not to show up (they've done that at other large family gatherings when there's a dispute, it's just never been with me before). That would break my fiance's heart...

In the end I just want to marry my fiance and have everyone enjoy the day, but I hate crouds and would feel really uncomfortable with that many people, especially as I wouldn't know most of them. I can't figure out if I'm being unreasonable or why it should be unreasonable for me to want a more intimate wedding. Is it just a midwest thing for weddings to be large? How many extra guests (beyond those mutual family and friends the fiance knows) do most couples give their parents? My parents haven't asked for any and my mom even laughed at the suggestion of her getting a plus 1. Ideas on how I can fix the situation, and input on whether I should give some ground or hold my ground, are welcome.

Re: Future In Laws

  •                 You and your FI have done nothing wrong here with regardr to the venue/planning Your FI needs to have a sit-down talk with his parents and he needs to tell them that you are in agreement about the number of guests, and they need to stop pushing, that you appreciate everything they're contributing but the venue/guest list is not up for discussion anymore. He should also offer to pay for the alcohol at this point, so that you can accommodate everyone's preferences.
       As far as the alcohol, he who pays gets a say, but I don't see why it's such a big deal to have more than one group's preferences respected.
      I think what's happening is that his mom thought they would be involved much more in basic planning, and would have a larger say.

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    PrettyGirlLost
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers

    zizibet said:
                    You and your FI have done nothing wrong here with regardr to the venue/planning Your FI needs to have a sit-down talk with his parents and he needs to tell them that you are in agreement about the number of guests, and they need to stop pushing, that you appreciate everything they're contributing but the venue/guest list is not up for discussion anymore. He should also offer to pay for the alcohol at this point, so that you can accommodate everyone's preferences.
       As far as the alcohol, he who pays gets a say, but I don't see why it's such a big deal to have more than one group's preferences respected.
      I think what's happening is that his mom thought they would be involved much more in basic planning, and would have a larger say.

    This sounds right to me.

    I agree that your FI needs to sit his parents down and say: "Mom, Dad, we can have X number of guests at the wedding, who have to include family, wedding party members, friends, and SOs of all.  This is a number Iday998 and I came up with together.  As regards the wine, I will pay for it if you don't wish to.  But whatever you decide to do, while Iday998 and I are sorry for any disappointment you may be feeling, we are not willing to discuss these matters any further.  Please consider the subjects closed."
    PrettyGirlLost
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    lday998 said:

    I know brides often go through rough patches with their future parents-in-law during wedding planning. I am not intending to complain about mine as I do love them and they've been awesome for the three years we've been engaged. I am hoping people can give me advise on how to fix the uncomfortable situation we've run into while still keeping the wedding itself to something I can bear.

    I probably started the wedding planning process out on the wrong foot. I got so excited and knew that I wanted an intimate outdoor (ceremony and reception) wedding, so my fiance and I visited and signed a contract with the location within the first month of our engagement. I am a planner and relish checking things off that list I guess... We did meet with his parents afterwards to tell them all about it. I was very excited to show them the venue, but it was clear from the start that they were discontented because there are size limitations. My fiance and I had also made several other vendor decisions on our own (photographer, DJ). Before we signed contracts with them though, we did ask MIL and SIL for vendor recommendations (and went with SIL's DJ).

    I really have tried to keep MIL involved since then because she only has sons and is the sort of girly girl who would love wedding planning. We invited his mom and dad to several caterer tastings, but the times never worked out for them. Last summer I invited them to come to the venue with me so my future MIL could help me figure out decorations but she never responded. She opted out of bridal gown shopping because she thought that should be for my mom, but she and her husband did come to my fitting after the dress came in, which was awesome (he cried).

    His parents thought it would be fun it we made our own toasting wine, so they sent us to a store that helps you make it. However, my family (and I) strongly prefer dry reds while his parents only like white. We made a white toasting wine because that's what she wanted. I mentioned at that time that I would just want some dry red at the wedding for myself and my family after the toasts.

    They also offered to pay for the alcohol and my bouquet, which was super sweet and appreciated, but in the last two months things seem to be spiraling out of control...

    My own mother lives on the other side of the country, so when she is in town we fill the weekend up with wedding planning so she can be involved. This weekend while she's here I decided to invite his family and the wedding party over and throw a wine tasting party, where everyone brings a wine to share. I made the mistake of putting a price range for the wine ($10-20) which appears to have been what sparked the latest fight. I wanted to keep the parents from paying too much and to keep some of the more terrible wines out. And I mentioned, as an afterthought, in the invite that if we like one of them, maybe we can have it at the wedding. They have since stopped talking to me but ranted to my fiance about how they haven't been consulted on anything and are now being told what kind of alcohol they need to provide. That was never my intention. I just wanted to get people together and the "wedding wine" comment was an afterthought. This weekend we are also going to a local bridal show. I invited his mom and dad previoulsy (and they were excited at the time), but they won't respond to my messages so I assume they're not coming.

    This fiasco brought out some old anger about the guest limits. Originally I was hoping for perhaps 50 people (small intimate and outside) becuause I hate and uncomfortable with crouds of people I don't know. My fiance would have loved a larger wedding (200+), so we compromised to get 140. My dad was sweet enough to rent us a tent so the reception could be outside as well. The tent area will only fit 140. I worked on my half of the list (70) with my family and my fiance asked his mom for a list of 70 people (all our close friends are on my half of the list). When we got my fiance's half of the list back 2 months ago, there were 70 people on it, but she'd forgotten to include herself and their immediate family (fiance, parents, his brothers and their families) and it didn't include his groomsmen. The true total was 105. My fiance was upset because he didn't even know a lot of the people on that list. After his talking to her got him nowhere, my fiance then worked through the list and limited it to his must invites (their entire family, the close family friends his mother had requested, the groomsmen, and four close people from his work). That left 6 additional spaces, which he gave to her to choose. The response was that this puts her in an awkward position. I'm not sure how that's the case unless she had already been verbally inviting people. We are ok with telling people that we're having a small wedding, and have found that everyone else has been fine with it and just as happy for us.

    Yesterday, my fiance got an angry text from his dad telling us he didn't understand what the big deal with increasing the wedding to 200-300 people was, and that they'll pay for it. They're mad we selected a venue like this and keep telling us we should have thought about the guest list before we chose it. The problem is it has nothing to do with the money. We've been saving for this wedding for a while and both our parents are helping where they can. It just seems like his parents put conditions on their assistance, which upsets my fiance.  My fiance has been adament that we must each be equally represented by our guests. He's been standing by me, but I hate to put him in this position because I know that originally he wanted a larger wedding. I don't want his relationhip (or mine) with his family to be compromised. I'm terrified they will decide not to show up (they've done that at other large family gatherings when there's a dispute, it's just never been with me before). That would break my fiance's heart...

    In the end I just want to marry my fiance and have everyone enjoy the day, but I hate crouds and would feel really uncomfortable with that many people, especially as I wouldn't know most of them. I can't figure out if I'm being unreasonable or why it should be unreasonable for me to want a more intimate wedding. Is it just a midwest thing for weddings to be large? How many extra guests (beyond those mutual family and friends the fiance knows) do most couples give their parents? My parents haven't asked for any and my mom even laughed at the suggestion of her getting a plus 1. Ideas on how I can fix the situation, and input on whether I should give some ground or hold my ground, are welcome.

    Your FI seems to be handling his family as best as he can, which is good.  He is sticking up for the ideas that you both have agreed to and is not caving to his parents demands.

    As of now, stop talking about the wedding with his parents.  For the most part, let your FI communicate with his parents.  Also, if you start giving into his parents now, where will it stop?  What happens when you have kids, will you let your FILs dictate how you raise them?

    I agree with the other ladies.  Your FI needs to sit down with his parents.  He needs to tell them, the guest list will be closed unless they want to add the last 6 guests they are being alloted.  The 70 people may have been a misunderstanding and they assumed that all immediate family was already counted outside of the 70.  He should also tell them thanks, but no thanks towards their contributions to the wedding.  Pay for everything yourselves.  That way you can leave everyone else out of the planning and do exactly what you and your FI want. 

    And if they will not attend their own sons wedding because of this, they are the ones that will look bad.  Then you would just do your best to support your FI during this time.

    PrettyGirlLost
  • gm5gm5 member
    Fifth Anniversary 25 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper

    I'm twice a MIL (within the last 3 years) and about to take on the title this year for my youngest daughters fiance.  I'm always interested in reading here about "monster-in-law", or similar threads of horrible MIL's :-), because I think I was one during the planning process of my first son's wedding.  I can't tell from your thread if this is the IL's first wedding of a child or not, but I will say this... Something happens to people (people you would consider kind, sane, thoughtful etc...) during wedding planning of a child - I don't care if it's a son or daughter.  You sound like a sweet person that has tried to include the IL's in various things and the snow ball is rolling down the hill and you can't do anything right anymore.  From an IL's perspective (me) - my children's weddings were super important to me - why to such a large extent, I have no idea, as there will be SO many important events in their lives I want to be a part of (grandchildren for one).  There's something about THIS big a party that makes otherwise sweet people go a little nuts and act contrary to normal.  You and your fiance have to take a step back and decide what your absolute have-to-haves are, and be willing to bend on things that aren't worth anybody crying on your wedding day (for anything other than how happy they are).  I'm probably not any help at all because I feel for you and your IL's having been/and still am, in both shoes.  

    pbi9994MairePoppyAprilH81
  • Thanks for the advice everyone. I really appreciate it. If nothing works it's just nice to know I'm not crazy. I'll discuss with the fiance to figure out what we should do and what we can and can't give up. Hopefully it'll blow over soon.

    Also thanks gm5. I obviously have no kids so I don't understand what's driving them, but I do want us to have a good relationship, so trying to understand her perspective is good as well. It's only the rest of our lives after all ;-D

  • I agree with PP's and think you should limit your wedding talk with them.  I completely agree with gm5 that these big parties make people CRAZY.  What I can tell you from my experience is that feelings will get hurt, people will not like some of the choices you make, and you will never please everyone - but they will get over it!  It's you and FI's special day so do what makes you happy and ignore what others think / say.  (I know this is easier said than done)  Good Luck!
  • You haven't done anything wrong, it sounds like you've taken every opportunity to include them and it's been their decision to remove themselves from those opportunities.  Typically people recommend looking at budget and guest-list prior to booking a venue but it sounds like the guest list you want will work with your venue, which is great.

    In all honesty you'll only think about your audience before you start walking down the aisle, after that I doubt you'll notice. I didn't and I hate being the center of attention. That being said you don't want to be worrying about all the people watching you prior to that so absolutely do not give in to your FIL's pressure to have a larger wedding simply so they can invite whoever they want. 

    What you could do regarding the wine situation is tell them that since you and your family mostly drink red wines you would appreciate their help picking out a nice white wine. I know you said that you bottled white toasting wine but I'm not sure if that wine is to be consumed the entire night or just for toasting. If it's the first option then you can ignore this whole paragraph.

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    PrettyGirlLost
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited January 2014
    Wow @gm5 , very honest answer : ) I think you could be very helpful to brides and moms who are looking for perspective. 

    @Iday998 - I agree with the pps that you and fi haven't don't anything wrong. Since you are paying for your wedding, it's your right to decide on the size of the guest list, the venue and anything else that is related to the budget and your personal preferences.

    My daughter was married over a year ago. There was some dispute with the FOG over the guest list. He was peeved, but got over it before the festivities.  I do understand what your FMIL is saying about being in an awkward position. She may have a group of ten friends that all know each other and she's uncomfortable choosing some of them. But that is her problem, she never should have made it yours. It was  foolish of her to put her friends before her own FDIL and son. You were gracious to ask her for a guest list. 

    Since (if?) your FILs are paying for the bar, they are in charge of beverage decisions, but they over reacted to your comment on the wine tasting invitation. I'm sure they must be embarrassed about their response. Give them a cooling off period. 

    The only advice I can offer is that you and your fi must make it clear that you're on the same page. Don't back down. You really can't anyway because you've reached your venue maximum of guests. As far as the bridal show goes, they have the information. If they don't respond, it's their loss. 

    I give your fi credit for standing up to his parents. 
                       
    OliveOilsMomPrettyGirlLost
  • Did I miss who was paying for the wedding? 

    Try to remind people that when they got married it was their chance to have their dream wedding, now it is you and your FI turn.

    IDK, tell them it is like the island game....if they could have just 3 couples on an island, who would it be?!  Give them a bit to think about it, then hopefully they will be able to make a choice.  Good luck!
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I agree with everything that has been said here, although I would suggest you not refer to your wedding as "small" anymore in conversations with people.

    To me a small wedding is 75 people max, and 150 people is an averaged sized wedding.  300 people is huge!

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • Thanks everyone for the help. The wine party went pretty well and they did come later. They did not come to the bridal show but we took photos of ideas we saw and shared them during the party. Both moms love the idea of ring corsages, so that's a winner. I did invite my future mother in law to visit one of the florists with just me to play with flowers, and she accepted, so we'll see if that happens when I follow up next month.

    As far as who's paying: My parents have both helped financially with the venue and my mother bought my dress. My fiance's family is paying for the alcohol and have offered to pay for my flowers. My fiance and I are paying for a large amount as well, roughly as much as my parents. We own our own house, so we did not ask for help, but it was graciously offered.

    His parents are still quite angry about the guest list, but we've made our decision so we'll just need to hold our ground. The perspectives and advise you've all given have been very helpful. It's just a stressful situation neither of us anticipated. The only other issue is that my own mother is starting to get hurt by the situation because we're trying so hard to maintain a relationship with his family. She won't say anything, but I could tell she was hurt when my fiance told her his mom wanted me to wear her pearls at the wedding. She had recently showed me and had been hoping I would wear hers.

    I can see why people elope. Wish I'd thought of that. :)

  • I should have noted that I have not told either that I would wear their jewelry, but even little decisions like this now present a lot of repercussions.
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    lday998 said:
    I should have noted that I have not told either that I would wear their jewelry, but even little decisions like this now present a lot of repercussions.

    Are they both earrings that the moms want you to wear?  Or does someone have earrings and someone have a necklace or bracelet?  Could you wear both then?  If they are both earrings, I would go with your moms.  Tell FMIL thank you for the very generous offer, but I will be wearing my mother's pearl earrings - don't offer a further explanation.  Another option would be to wear your mom's earrings and have your FMIL's be your something old and pin them to your dress, bouquet, etc.
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    lday998 said:

    Thanks everyone for the help. The wine party went pretty well and they did come later. They did not come to the bridal show but we took photos of ideas we saw and shared them during the party. Both moms love the idea of ring corsages, so that's a winner. I did invite my future mother in law to visit one of the florists with just me to play with flowers, and she accepted, so we'll see if that happens when I follow up next month.

    As far as who's paying: My parents have both helped financially with the venue and my mother bought my dress. My fiance's family is paying for the alcohol and have offered to pay for my flowers. My fiance and I are paying for a large amount as well, roughly as much as my parents. We own our own house, so we did not ask for help, but it was graciously offered.

    His parents are still quite angry about the guest list, but we've made our decision so we'll just need to hold our ground. The perspectives and advise you've all given have been very helpful. It's just a stressful situation neither of us anticipated. The only other issue is that my own mother is starting to get hurt by the situation because we're trying so hard to maintain a relationship with his family. She won't say anything, but I could tell she was hurt when my fiance told her his mom wanted me to wear her pearls at the wedding. She had recently showed me and had been hoping I would wear hers.

    I can see why people elope. Wish I'd thought of that. :)

    What is a ring corsage?

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • CLI242009CLI242009 member
    250 Love Its 500 Comments First Answer Name Dropper
    edited January 2014
    lday998 said:

    Thanks everyone for the help. The wine party went pretty well and they did come later. They did not come to the bridal show but we took photos of ideas we saw and shared them during the party. Both moms love the idea of ring corsages, so that's a winner. I did invite my future mother in law to visit one of the florists with just me to play with flowers, and she accepted, so we'll see if that happens when I follow up next month.

    As far as who's paying: My parents have both helped financially with the venue and my mother bought my dress. My fiance's family is paying for the alcohol and have offered to pay for my flowers. My fiance and I are paying for a large amount as well, roughly as much as my parents. We own our own house, so we did not ask for help, but it was graciously offered.

    His parents are still quite angry about the guest list, but we've made our decision so we'll just need to hold our ground. The perspectives and advise you've all given have been very helpful. It's just a stressful situation neither of us anticipated. The only other issue is that my own mother is starting to get hurt by the situation because we're trying so hard to maintain a relationship with his family. She won't say anything, but I could tell she was hurt when my fiance told her his mom wanted me to wear her pearls at the wedding. She had recently showed me and had been hoping I would wear hers.

    I can see why people elope. Wish I'd thought of that. :)

    What is a ring corsage?
    I didn't know what it was either:

    image
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  • I'll have to find out, but I think they both had a necklace for me. I do think my mom has pearl earings so maybe I can wear MIL's necklace and mother's earrings. Good idea! It's crazy to me that so much stress and anger can result from the planning of one day.

    AprilH81
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    CLI242009 said:
    lday998 said:

    Thanks everyone for the help. The wine party went pretty well and they did come later. They did not come to the bridal show but we took photos of ideas we saw and shared them during the party. Both moms love the idea of ring corsages, so that's a winner. I did invite my future mother in law to visit one of the florists with just me to play with flowers, and she accepted, so we'll see if that happens when I follow up next month.

    As far as who's paying: My parents have both helped financially with the venue and my mother bought my dress. My fiance's family is paying for the alcohol and have offered to pay for my flowers. My fiance and I are paying for a large amount as well, roughly as much as my parents. We own our own house, so we did not ask for help, but it was graciously offered.

    His parents are still quite angry about the guest list, but we've made our decision so we'll just need to hold our ground. The perspectives and advise you've all given have been very helpful. It's just a stressful situation neither of us anticipated. The only other issue is that my own mother is starting to get hurt by the situation because we're trying so hard to maintain a relationship with his family. She won't say anything, but I could tell she was hurt when my fiance told her his mom wanted me to wear her pearls at the wedding. She had recently showed me and had been hoping I would wear hers.

    I can see why people elope. Wish I'd thought of that. :)

    What is a ring corsage?
    I didn't know what it was either:

    image
    Interesting!


    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • PrettyGirlLost - I would say that too. Never even knew this existed but it is a very unique way of doing something.
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