Moms and Maids

Please help!!! fmil issues

After reading through other posts on here I am hoping for some honest advice on an ongoing issue I have been having with my FMIL about the guest list.  This may get wordy so please bear with me...
My guy and I got engaged in April 2013, and around May I asked for an initial guest list so I could get an idea of the number of people his mom and dad would like to be invited.  I was brushed off and told that I didn't need that information that soon.  I eventually got a list after my soon to be sister-in-law, sent the list from her wedding to the FMIL.
When we got the list, it had almost enough people to fill out what my guy and I had anticipated the guest list being in total, especially considering the maximum capacity at our ceremony location.  At that time, my guy and I asked his parents to cut some people off of their list to try and get the number closer to what we had in mind.  Trying to get her to remove any names was a fight and she would tell us the same names every time, even though she had said initially they could be taken off. Then she did remove some names, only to add more in place of them.
At that point we gave his parents a number of guests, as well as a date we needed the list by, because I needed to purchase the materials for invitations.  She initially would not give us the list and told my guy that they wanted to talk to us when they were in town next.  We ended up getting the list from her by the deadline only because we finally got across to her that the materials needed to be purchased.  However, not even 2 weeks later, as I am in the process of making the invitations and ensuring that the numbers did work for our locations, I got an email from her saying that more people needed to be invited.
She finally called me, and I explained the capacity issue (not for the first time), and we finally reached an agreement to invite some of their friends to just the reception (I had been trying to avoid that scenario by asking them to remove people from their list).  However not even 2 days after that conversation I got an email saying that the agreement we reached wouldn't work.  My fiance talked to his parents about it and they ended up getting all of their friends included at the ceremony at the expense of my guys, and my, friends.
After that situation, my fiance told his mom that she needed to talk to me, and only me, about anything related to the guest list.  She has not done so.  She calls him and asks about getting more people invited, or says that because so-and-so is not going to be coming (we haven't received an rsvp from so-and-so) we should invite another of her friends.  During that time, which was around 2 months, she never once contacted me about any of those issues.
Do any of you have advice on ways to approach this?  I have reached a point where I do not want to talk to her at all since I feel she is not listening to what I have said.  My fiance and I are both extremely upset about this and I would like to salvage the relationship somehow.

Re: Please help!!! fmil issues

  • Elope. 

    Or if that's not your style, more constructive advice:

    Your FI is wrong. He should be the one handling conversations with his family. He is the one who needs to start setting up some boundaries and enforcing them. It's his family.

    Are your FILs contributing anything to the wedding? If not, tell them they have x number of people they can invite. You cannot accommodate more than that. The end.

    FWIW, when we got engaged, we put together a guest list that included both of our families and then just ran it by our parents to see if we missed anyone. And we did circles (all aunts and uncles and first cousins).
    AzAnnieTeddiD34Jen&Mike8


  • Your FI is wrong. He should be the one handling conversations with his family. He is the one who needs to start setting up some boundaries and enforcing them. It's his family.

    Are your FILs contributing anything to the wedding? If not, tell them they have x number of people they can invite. You cannot accommodate more than that. The end.

    FWIW, when we got engaged, we put together a guest list that included both of our families and then just ran it by our parents to see if we missed anyone. And we did circles (all aunts and uncles and first cousins).
    This. If they're paying, then you're stuck. However, if they aren't paying, then they don't get a say.
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Assuming you and your fi are paying for the wedding and reception: You should have told her from the beginning that you need a list of Xnumber of people, by Xdate. By waffling back and forth with her, she thinks it's okay to haggle with you over the guest list. 

    Your fi, not you, should tell his mom that she must cut her list to Xnumber. If she doesn't do it, he will do it for her. He should warn her not to issue any verbal invitations because she will be very embarrassed when her friends aren't invited. Emphasize that only those who RSVP to your printed invitations will be allowed in. 

    Restore your original guest list for your side. If FMIL calls you, tell her the guest list is finalized and no more changes will be made. After that, don't discuss the guest list with her.
                       
  • Thanks for the input!
    Couple extra points, not sure if this will change any opinions or not, but I thought of them as I read your responses:
    1) They are assisting with the reception costs, but I am paying for the ceremony.
    2) My fi was insistent from the beginning that he did not want to deal with the guest list, and has repeatedly told his mom this, thus us telling them they need to contact me.  Also because we do not live together yet, all of the information about who was invited and what rsvp's we have received have come to me so I have all the information.
    3) We are trying to avoid having many of the same issues later in our marriage that his older brother and sister-in-law experienced by not having the sister-in-law assert herself during the wedding planning.
    Again, thanks for the responses, and I hope to hear if these additional points change/reinforce your initial opinion!
  • 1. You have a FI problem as well as a FMIL problem. He needs to back up his statement to her that she needs to deal with you. He does that by saying, when she calls, 'Mom, I told you you had to talk to RenaJoy about this, I can't help you, bye!'

    2. It sounds like you've already caved in and allowed her to invite people, so you can't undo that damage. You can, however, control it going forward by saying, 'FMIL, no. No, we will not B-list (invite other guests after initial guests have declined.) No, we just won't do it. No, no, no.' NO is not a four-letter word.

    3. If they are paying, they do get a say, unfortunately -- especially in the reception, which is typically the pricey part. You need to be prepared for them to potentially pull their funding.

    4. The ship you're hoping for has sailed -- you have already given in to her enough times that she will now expect you to continue doing it. The time to assert yourself was a year ago. You can start doing it now, but it will be an uphill battle, I'm sorry to tell you.
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    kmmssgFran1985 MadHops21
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    They are assisting with costs, but what are they assisting with?  Did they say here is x amount of money for a DJ?  Or did they give you half the costs of the reception?  If they gave you the funds for half the reception, I would say that you may be stuck inviting who they want - as long as their guests take up 50% of the reception.  If they start having more than 50% of the guest list, you need to reel them in.

    Also, it is rude to not invite some people to the ceremony, but have them at the reception.  The only allowance for this is if you are having a truly private ceremony with immediate family only, then a larger reception.

    If his parents have been problematic during wedding planning before.  It is important that you and FI decide on what you are going to do, then present it as a united front to FILs. 

    And if you really want them to back off their guest list issues, then decline the money they have offered and pay for your wedding yourselves, with the guest list you and FI want.

    MairePoppy
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    RenaJoy4 said:
    After reading through other posts on here I am hoping for some honest advice on an ongoing issue I have been having with my FMIL about the guest list.  This may get wordy so please bear with me...
    My guy and I got engaged in April 2013, and around May I asked for an initial guest list so I could get an idea of the number of people his mom and dad would like to be invited.  I was brushed off and told that I didn't need that information that soon.  I eventually got a list after my soon to be sister-in-law, sent the list from her wedding to the FMIL.
    When we got the list, it had almost enough people to fill out what my guy and I had anticipated the guest list being in total, especially considering the maximum capacity at our ceremony location.  At that time, my guy and I asked his parents to cut some people off of their list to try and get the number closer to what we had in mind.  Trying to get her to remove any names was a fight and she would tell us the same names every time, even though she had said initially they could be taken off. Then she did remove some names, only to add more in place of them.
    At that point we gave his parents a number of guests, as well as a date we needed the list by, because I needed to purchase the materials for invitations.  She initially would not give us the list and told my guy that they wanted to talk to us when they were in town next.  We ended up getting the list from her by the deadline only because we finally got across to her that the materials needed to be purchased.  However, not even 2 weeks later, as I am in the process of making the invitations and ensuring that the numbers did work for our locations, I got an email from her saying that more people needed to be invited.
    She finally called me, and I explained the capacity issue (not for the first time), and we finally reached an agreement to invite some of their friends to just the reception (I had been trying to avoid that scenario by asking them to remove people from their list).  However not even 2 days after that conversation I got an email saying that the agreement we reached wouldn't work.  My fiance talked to his parents about it and they ended up getting all of their friends included at the ceremony at the expense of my guys, and my, friends.
    After that situation, my fiance told his mom that she needed to talk to me, and only me, about anything related to the guest list.  She has not done so.  She calls him and asks about getting more people invited, or says that because so-and-so is not going to be coming (we haven't received an rsvp from so-and-so) we should invite another of her friends.  During that time, which was around 2 months, she never once contacted me about any of those issues.
    Do any of you have advice on ways to approach this?  I have reached a point where I do not want to talk to her at all since I feel she is not listening to what I have said.  My fiance and I are both extremely upset about this and I would like to salvage the relationship somehow.

    RenaJoy4 said:
    Thanks for the input!
    Couple extra points, not sure if this will change any opinions or not, but I thought of them as I read your responses:
    1) They are assisting with the reception costs, but I am paying for the ceremony.
    2) My fi was insistent from the beginning that he did not want to deal with the guest list, and has repeatedly told his mom this, thus us telling them they need to contact me.  Also because we do not live together yet, all of the information about who was invited and what rsvp's we have received have come to me so I have all the information.
    3) We are trying to avoid having many of the same issues later in our marriage that his older brother and sister-in-law experienced by not having the sister-in-law assert herself during the wedding planning.
    Again, thanks for the responses, and I hope to hear if these additional points change/reinforce your initial opinion!

    JIC
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    RenaJoy4 said:
    Thanks for the input!
    Couple extra points, not sure if this will change any opinions or not, but I thought of them as I read your responses:
    1) They are assisting with the reception costs, but I am paying for the ceremony.
    2) My fi was insistent from the beginning that he did not want to deal with the guest list, and has repeatedly told his mom this, thus us telling them they need to contact me.  Also because we do not live together yet, all of the information about who was invited and what rsvp's we have received have come to me so I have all the information.
    3) We are trying to avoid having many of the same issues later in our marriage that his older brother and sister-in-law experienced by not having the sister-in-law assert herself during the wedding planning.
    Again, thanks for the responses, and I hope to hear if these additional points change/reinforce your initial opinion!
    1. If they're contributing $$, they have a say in the guest list. The only way to get complete control is to pay for the reception yourself. 

    2. Why does your Fi get to decide he's not going to deal with the guest list, when it seems like the problems are coming from his side of the family? And it's his wedding, too. Tell him to man up and communicate with his mom. 

    3. If you don't want your FMIL undermining you, the TWO of you will have to get on the same page. Sure, you'll have to stick up for yourself, but your Fi/husband should be right there at your side. If BIL, Fi and (perhaps?) FIL are whimpy with your FMIL, there's your warning sign. 
                       
    OliveOilsMomTeddiD34Jen&Mike8
  • It bothers me that your FI will not stand up to your FMIL. Obviously he witnessed the same thing happening with his brother's guest list and decided to just jump ship so that he wouldn't have to deal with it. I hate to break it to you, and you need to break it to FMIL, but invites have already gone out. The guest list is no longer up for discussion.

    Yes, she and FFIL are helping to pay for the reception and that allows them to have a say in your guest list, but I think what you should have done instead of having her hand you a list is to have sat down all together with your FI and FFIL and discuss each person on your guest list and why it is important to invite them. That is how you decide who gets an invite and who does not, and obviously, you cannot go over your venue's capacity. That is your limit, and it seems rather silly for the two of you to eliminate your own friends in order to invite some of the IL's friends, since, you know, it's YOUR wedding and not theirs. Good old logic does tend to work from time to time.
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Don't not invite your friends because FMIL wants more people. That's ridiculous. Now, if they're paying they do get a say in the guest list, but they can't offer money for 100 people and want 150 people on the guest list (just for sake of argument). Or they can't offer to pay for the DJ and flowers but have complete control over the guest list. How are they assisting? 

    Also, you asked her for the guest list almost a year ago, it's not your fault that she didn't give it to you right away. But usually you should find a venue after you have an idea of how many people you want to invite. My opinion is if the bride and groom want 100 people but the parents want 300 people, the bride and groom get the final say. Now who's paying can be tricky, but it's the bride and groom that have to go and talk to every single guest and I find it extremely rude to make them invite people they don't want there especially when it's many more than they wanted in the first place. 

    OP I think once you got the list that worked with your venue, you should have said, no more people that's it. And your FI needs to man up, too bad if he doesn't want to be involved in the guest list, it's his wedding too. But it seems when he got involved, he cut your friends, so your main problem is with your FI, sorry to say it.
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  • Man, it irks me when presumably grown-ass women refer to their FIs as "my guy."
    HisGirlFriday13MadHops21miaawallacearrippa
  • Your FI needs to stand up to his mother. Saying he doesn't want to be involved is a cop out. You have just as much of a FI problem than you do a FMIL problem. Maybe bigger. If he isn't going to stand up to her now, I don't imagine he will later.
    HisGirlFriday13
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited March 2014
    I think you have an FI problem as much, if not more, than an FMIL problem.

    You need to make it clear to your FI that he cannot use you as his "safety net" and throw all these guest list issues, or any other issues in which he doesn't agree with his mother, on your shoulders while declaring that he won't accept any responsibility for getting them resolved.  If you don't, how will the rest of your marriage be after the wedding?  He should not be making you the "bad guy" in this.  That's flat out wrong.

    Then, your FMIL needs to grow up and get over that the guest list is closed and all these extra guests she wants to invite at someone else's expense are not invited.
    themuffinman16
  • pinkshorts27pinkshorts27 Oregon member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    zitiqueen said:
    Man, it irks me when presumably grown-ass women refer to their FIs as "my guy."
    :( I call my FI "my guy" when talking to my friends, but he calls me "my lady" mostly joking. I really don't see anything wrong with that!

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  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina mod
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary

    I agree with PP that you need to deal with your FI first and then have HIM deal with your FMIL. Before FI and I moved in together I told him that I needed to know he could stand up to his mom. He is a people pleaser, especially when it comes to his mom, but I needed him to make it clear that we were adults and she could no longer tell him what to do/treat him the way she was. Luckily, my FI listened to my concerns and stood up to her.

    I knew that if he didn't it would be a constant strain in our relationship as we got older and when we eventually have kids. And I must say, since then (about two and a half years ago) our relationship with her has been a lot better. Once we got engaged she began asking how many people from their side of the family we could host, what I wanted her to wear, what I needed her help with etc. This time will mirror your relationship with her in the future and the tough conversations need to be dealt with by your FI.


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