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Future In-laws Seem Un-interested...

My fiancé and I have been engaged for 3 1/2 years now, and now we are finally able to start planning our wedding. (Lots of factors played into the delay, me returning to school was a big one) And now that it's coming down to the details, my parents have agreed to pay for most, if not all of the wedding expenses that parents of the bride usually do, however, every time I start to bring wedding stuff up around my future mother-in-law, she seems uninterested. And it has been that way from the beginning. I'm not sure how to approach the discussion of the rehearsal dinner (which they should be responsible for, after all, my parents are paying for everything else). I know the future in laws are also responsible for my bouquet and the boutonnieres and a few other things, but I already plan on paying for that out of my own pocket to avoid the discussion. I just absolutely refuse to pay for my own rehearsal dinner or ask my parents to pay for another thing. (They already agreed to pay for liquor at the reception, since my fiancé and I don't drink much and said we didn't really care if it was there, but that if it was, whoever wanted it would have to pay for it)

How can I approach the conversation about the rehearsal dinner without upsetting her or getting completely shut down? And also explain that the rehearsal dinner will be in the town my parents live in which is approximately 1 1/2-2 hours away from the town my fiancé, myself and his parents live in, without her trying to talk us into coming all the way back just for a dinner? (Most of us will either be staying at my parents house the night before the wedding, or getting a hotel in town)


Thanks in advance for any advice!!! 

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Re: Future In-laws Seem Un-interested...

  • You can't approach your in-laws about paying for anything. Those old "rules" about who pays have disappeared.

    If you refuse to pay for the RD yourself, you won't have one. You don't have to have one. Just skip the rehearsal all together. Everyone can figure out how to walk in a straight line, right?

    If you do have a rehearsal, you need to have some sort of dinner. Perhaps beer/soda and pizza at your parents' house? Or an inexpensive restaurant? It doesn't have to be huge. It's a token of appreciation for your WP.
    grumbledoreweddingcactus
  • I agree with the others. They aren't required to pay for anything at this point. The old rules no longer apply.

    Try being thrilled that they aren't helping... sometimes I wish that were the case. It adds more drama.

    With that being said if you end up having to pay for your own rehearsal dinner... try to go with something cheap. No one pays attention to it anyways. Honestly we are just going to have pizza and wings with close family.  

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    novella1186grumbledore
  • Nope nope nope. Those old rules are so outdated and not true. They've gone the way of dowries and arranged marriages. The only people who are responsible for paying for any aspect of a wedding are the two people getting married. Anything anyone chooses to contribute is a wonderful gift, but they are by no means required to do it and you may not ask for that gift.

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    grumbledore[Deleted User]
  • My refusal to pay to my own RD is because I don't think it's fair that my parents have graciously offered to pay for my wedding, and my FIL's have offered nothing. I'm already paying for the things my parents aren't going to pay for, and I would only hope that my FILs would be excited to help make their only son's wedding as memorable as possible, even if it's just chip in for the RD. But I agree, just not asking them at this point will probably be the best/only option.
  • So, if by going the route of not asking them to help out in any way, would it be acceptable for me to still have a RD and my FI and I pay for us, our parents, and the wedding party, but have anyone else who shows up or would like to be there (out of town family) pay for themselves?
  • cammy923 said:
    My refusal to pay to my own RD is because I don't think it's fair that my parents have graciously offered to pay for my wedding, and my FIL's have offered nothing. I'm already paying for the things my parents aren't going to pay for, and I would only hope that my FILs would be excited to help make their only son's wedding as memorable as possible, even if it's just chip in for the RD. But I agree, just not asking them at this point will probably be the best/only option.
    It's not about fairness. There are any number of legitimate reasons why your in-laws may not want to/be able to afford to pay for a RD. And unless you are their financial adviser, you have no idea what those reasons may or may not be.

    If you want both sets of parents to have equal input in the finances of the wedding, they should also have been granted equal input in the engagement/dating process! It's only fair!
    [Deleted User]weddingcactus
  • chasseuse said:
     

    It's not about fairness. There are any number of legitimate reasons why your in-laws may not want to/be able to afford to pay for a RD. And unless you are their financial adviser, you have no idea what those reasons may or may not be.

    If you want both sets of parents to have equal input in the finances of the wedding, they should also have been granted equal input in the engagement/dating process! It's only fair!


    I (believe) I do know what the issue is, and it's not a financial issue, or a matter of liking me before anyone suggests that. lol. They just don't seem to actually believe in the whole "marriage" thing, and can't seem to understand why anyone else does either. But you're right about if I wanted it equal it should have been that way from the beginning. Guess my FI and I just need to come to terms with the fact that although his parents are supportive of us being in a committed, life-long relationship, they just aren't interested in anything wedding related.

  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    How is it fair to expect someone to cough up cash for your day? Anything that anyone offers you is kind and generous. Implying that they are obligated to spend money on your wedding will only create an uncomfortable relationship with your FILs going forward.

    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    mrsbrueske3grumbledoreweddingcactus
  • cammy923 said:
    chasseuse said:
     

    It's not about fairness. There are any number of legitimate reasons why your in-laws may not want to/be able to afford to pay for a RD. And unless you are their financial adviser, you have no idea what those reasons may or may not be.

    If you want both sets of parents to have equal input in the finances of the wedding, they should also have been granted equal input in the engagement/dating process! It's only fair!


    I (believe) I do know what the issue is, and it's not a financial issue, or a matter of liking me before anyone suggests that. lol. They just don't seem to actually believe in the whole "marriage" thing, and can't seem to understand why anyone else does either. But you're right about if I wanted it equal it should have been that way from the beginning. Guess my FI and I just need to come to terms with the fact that although his parents are supportive of us being in a committed, life-long relationship, they just aren't interested in anything wedding related.

    If they don't like weddings and don't believe in them then trying to force them to financially contribute to your wedding is unfair and rude. That's like trying to force a Jew to buy you an xmas present. (I'm Jewish and buy xmas gifts all the time, just as a disclaimer, but you get the idea). 
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    [Deleted User]
  •  
    No, please don't do this. Only invite the people you can afford to cover, the end. You may see it as unfair that your FILs don't want to chip in, but they may see it as unfair that you're expecting money from them. They don't "owe" you anything, and they aren't obligated to hand over any money on your behalf. The RD only needs to be the parents and wedding party anyway. No need to invite all the out of town people. 
    We could easily cover the people you listed, and don't mind doing so, but when I was discussing the issue with my mother she said it was "tradition" to also invite spouses/children of the wedding party, even though they aren't involved in the wedding at all. And as far as the out of towners go, I wouldn't invite them anyway for the fact that they aren't part of the wedding, however I know that some family members who ARE involved and would be attending RD, would probably end up inviting them anyway, and wasn't sure if that happened if we would then be expected to pay for them as well.
  • cammy923 said:
     
    No, please don't do this. Only invite the people you can afford to cover, the end. You may see it as unfair that your FILs don't want to chip in, but they may see it as unfair that you're expecting money from them. They don't "owe" you anything, and they aren't obligated to hand over any money on your behalf. The RD only needs to be the parents and wedding party anyway. No need to invite all the out of town people. 
    We could easily cover the people you listed, and don't mind doing so, but when I was discussing the issue with my mother she said it was "tradition" to also invite spouses/children of the wedding party, even though they aren't involved in the wedding at all. And as far as the out of towners go, I wouldn't invite them anyway for the fact that they aren't part of the wedding, however I know that some family members who ARE involved and would be attending RD, would probably end up inviting them anyway, and wasn't sure if that happened if we would then be expected to pay for them as well.
    Yes, sorry, you're right on that point. The WP AND their SOs should be invited as well. But it's very rude to invite someone and then make them pay for themselves while you're paying for everyone else. If you are hosting it yourself then you control the guest list and who is invited, so do not invite anyone extra that you can't afford to host. 
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    cammy923
  • If they don't like weddings and don't believe in them then trying to force them to financially contribute to your wedding is unfair and rude. That's like trying to force a Jew to buy you an xmas present. (I'm Jewish and buy xmas gifts all the time, just as a disclaimer, but you get the idea). 
    True statement. Here's something else to ponder then.... if my future father-in-law is wanting to perform our ceremony, could we still ask them for at least some help with some financial things? Or would that be pushing it too far again? And, if it's ok to ask them to help in that instance, then if they still refuse, can we tell them that he can't perform the ceremony? (Honestly, I'd rather my Uncle do it, so that my FI's father can actually watch and enjoy the day.)

  • I don't think that you get to decide how your FI's father will best enjoy the day. If he says he'd rather officiate, believe him. I wouldn't hold officiating over anyone's head for a contribution to your wedding, either - that's super tacky. Usually you pay the officiant for their services.

    ETA You can still refuse your FFIL's offer to officiate, as long as the reason is that you'd truly prefer a different officiant, not because you know best how everyone's time and money should be spent

    Actually, I truly would prefer to have my Uncle do it, not because of money or what I think is best for my FFIL, but when I mentioned having my Uncle do it to my FI, he didn't seem to respond well. He didn't flat out say no, he just didn't really say anything at all. I told him to think about it, and that it was another option in case he decided he would rather not have his dad officiate. I'm definitely leaving that decision up to my FI...
  • cammy923 said:
    chasseuse said:
     

    It's not about fairness. There are any number of legitimate reasons why your in-laws may not want to/be able to afford to pay for a RD. And unless you are their financial adviser, you have no idea what those reasons may or may not be.

    If you want both sets of parents to have equal input in the finances of the wedding, they should also have been granted equal input in the engagement/dating process! It's only fair!


    I (believe) I do know what the issue is, and it's not a financial issue, or a matter of liking me before anyone suggests that. lol. They just don't seem to actually believe in the whole "marriage" thing, and can't seem to understand why anyone else does either. But you're right about if I wanted it equal it should have been that way from the beginning. Guess my FI and I just need to come to terms with the fact that although his parents are supportive of us being in a committed, life-long relationship, they just aren't interested in anything wedding related. 

    Unfortunately, some people are like that. I am sorry that they happen to be your in-laws. Enjoy your FI and your marriage and show them (simply through example) how awesome married life can really be!
    cammy923novella1186
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    My parents paid for most of our wedding. My MIL didn't pay a dime. NBD.  My parents were a bit... IDK... miffed that she didn't contribute.  It's tradition for them.  Everyone in their social circle helps, so they think it was odd.  I explained to them that times have changed and no one but DH and I are responsible for paying for this wedding.   That doesn't mean we would not take up and appreciate any offer of help.

    When talking over the wedding with my parents DH and I said we wanted to picked up expenses like the photographer, officiant, flowers and the RD.   We hosted an open house for 100 people for about $1K.   That included open bar and food from a deli.  

     It's was our wedding and we absolutely felt it we should contribute to the event.  I'm a little embarrassed for you to say you refuse to contribute to your own wedding.

    On another note, my MIL came across as uninterested also.  But really, it was more that this was my parents and our event plan since it's our money. We were the hosts (actually my parents were the hosts).  

        Many people do not like to interject opinions on something they are not paying for.  You should feel lucky.  There are many couples who have to deal with opinions from people are not planning or even paying for the event.    They demand things from other who are paying.   






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    MGPblabla89
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited August 2014
    Cammy, you seem reasonable about the officiant! Leaving that officiant question, between having your uncle or groom's dad, up to your FI is a good decision. 

    Just invite your WP and their SO's and the parents to the RD. You can spread by word of mouth that you'll be after partying at a particular bar and the OOTers can meet there. 

    Too bad you can't ask people for money, but you can't.
    cammy923
  •  

     

     It's was our wedding and we absolutely felt it we should contribute to the event.  I'm a little embarrassed for you to say you refuse to contribute to your own wedding.

    I didn't say I wasn't contributing to my own wedding, had you read the comments, you would have noticed that. I'm paying for more than I've stated, but most major  items (like my dress, reception food/cake) are being paid for by my parents. My parents and I are splitting everything else.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    You did mention maybe refusing to pay for the RD, though.
    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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  • AddieCake said:
    You did mention maybe refusing to pay for the RD, though.
    I did, because I felt that was the least my FIL could do for us. But having heard from yall, I think I've come to the decision to not ask for their help, if they offer it, great, if they don't, well that's their choice. But I don't want to hear them complaining that they have to drive 2 hours to the ceremony site and stay for a RD, because in that case I'd just flat out tell them not to come at all if that's how they felt. (FI has stated that himself plenty of times when he and I have discussed it)
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited August 2014
    cammy923 said:
    AddieCake said:
    You did mention maybe refusing to pay for the RD, though.
    I did, because I felt that was the least my FIL could do for us. But having heard from yall, I think I've come to the decision to not ask for their help, if they offer it, great, if they don't, well that's their choice. But I don't want to hear them complaining that they have to drive 2 hours to the ceremony site and stay for a RD, because in that case I'd just flat out tell them not to come at all if that's how they felt. (FI has stated that himself plenty of times when he and I have discussed it)
    I'm glad you changed your mind on the subject. 

     I was embarrassed that you would refuse to pay a certain part of your wedding. I stand-by that comment. It's your wedding and you should not be refusing to pay for something because you feel like others should be picking up the tap. 

    But again, I'm glad you changed your mind on the subject.

     Please feel free to ask us questions. Many of us, including myself have had some fun RD's that didn't break the bank. We are more than willing to help you plan.

     GL






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    cammy923
  • kaos16 said:
    Cammy, how old are you?
    25, 1st marriage. Shouldn't matter though. Not trying to sound childish, just going by what my parents have been telling me about who is responsible for what. Was just trying to get opinions and help.
  • 1) No one is obligated to pay for anything for you. If they do, be grateful for their gifts. If they don't, be grateful for their company. You say they should chip in to make "their only son's wedding a memorable experience". So getting married is only memorable if other people contribute money to buy a bunch of material things and experiences? Priorities...

    2) If your FFIL is officiating, that's saving you a bundle right there. Our officiant was something like $500 or so. Consider that "memorable" and a "gift". 

    3) If you don't have a rehearsal, you don't need to host an RD. You only really need a rehearsal if you have a complicated ceremony. People know how to walk and stand. 
    *********************************************************************************

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    [Deleted User]
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    1) No one is obligated to pay for anything for you. If they do, be grateful for their gifts. If they don't, be grateful for their company. You say they should chip in to make "their only son's wedding a memorable experience". So getting married is only memorable if other people contribute money to buy a bunch of material things and experiences? Priorities...

    2) If your FFIL is officiating, that's saving you a bundle right there. Our officiant was something like $500 or so. Consider that "memorable" and a "gift". 

    3) If you don't have a rehearsal, you don't need to host an RD. You only really need a rehearsal if you have a complicated ceremony. People know how to walk and stand. 
    mine was $620 + 1 hotel night at $250.

    yeah.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • Your parents were (kind of) correct in saying that the parents of the groom pay for the rehearsal dinner because back when they got married, that's how it went. Those traditions are gone, though. You'll learn a ton of stuff like this by reading these boards. I know I have! You could always have your FI ask his parents if they WANT to host the RD (let him deal with his own parents so you don't get into a sticky situation with the FILs) and if they express that they do not care to host anything, then fine. No big deal. I don't think it's wrong to just find out, but it has to be approached in the right way so that they don't feel like you're demanding anything of them.
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    cammy923
  • cammy923 said:
    kaos16 said:
    Cammy, how old are you?
    25, 1st marriage. Shouldn't matter though. Not trying to sound childish, just going by what my parents have been telling me about who is responsible for what. Was just trying to get opinions and help.
    Just wondering because it certainly helps establish context in a situation like this.
    mrsbrueske3
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