Moms and Maids

I Think I Was Wrong (FMIL Stuff)

My FMIL is paying for the catering at our wedding. When we first came to this agreement, we let her know that based on costs, we were going to get a venue that could fit about 150 people and invite about 120 people so the cost of catering, seating, linens, etc. wasn't too high. That meant that FI and I would have about 80 guests and FMIL would have 40. She agreed. We booked the venue and the catering.

Now she finally sat down and did a preliminary list and is swearing she can't get it below 60-70 people, and that is excluding peoples' children. I got pretty upset about this because we went out of our way for a kid-friendly venue. I said that she has to invite children, she can't just invite the children she likes and leave the rest of our guests stuck getting babysitters, only to show up and see that some kids could come.

Now I'm reflecting on this, as FMIL has apparently been pretty upset. She thinks she should be able to invite as many people as she wants because she's paying for catering. We've said she can invite up to 140 people as we don't want the venue too crowded, but she needs to invite children. She doesn't  think that she does. I took kind of a harsh stand about this because I was distressed that she had previously agreed to a certain number of invites, but now she 'couldn't' make that work.

But she is paying for catering. And there have been other things she's already had to give up. Apparently she wanted to stand up beside her son with her husband during the ceremony. Not only did I not want parents up there, my father and grandmother are both pretty ill and likely couldn't manage to stand the whole time so it would just look weird. She bowed out of that rather gracefully as I understand it.

I'm starting to feel like I was unfair in my harsh stance on inviting children. When I see her this weekend I'm going to tell her that, and say that we'll only be inviting children of family. In addition, we'll allow her to invite 60-70 guests to put us at 150ppl. If 100% show it'll be a bit cramped, but that's the venue maximum. Do you think this will help? I feel now that I'm in the wrong and I want to make it right.

Thanks Knotties.

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Re: I Think I Was Wrong (FMIL Stuff)

  • schellzinatorschellzinator member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited October 2014
    I agree with you - I think you are being unfair on your harsh stance on inviting children. I understand you went out of your way for a kid-friendly venue, but that isn't a reason to upset your FMIL. My opinion - unless these children are VIP - I think it is perfectly acceptable not to invite them. Your FMIL is being generous paying for the catering - I think its great that you are bumping up the number of guests for her up a bit.  Good luck!
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  • Ah, I know. I feel so guilty. :(

    I sent her an email this morning, I couldn't stand to wait until this weekend to speak with her. I guess this is my first bridezilla moment.

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  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its

    You're correct. Since the catering is a huge share of your reception costs, FMIL has a big say in the guest list. I give you credit for coming up with a reasonable solution to the guest list problem. She should be very happy about that! If you were my FDIL, I'd give you a big hug.

                       
  • I second what @MairePoppy says - I think you are handling this VERY well! Good luck and happy continued planning!
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  • Meh I just got an email back from her and I don't think she's pleased with me at all. We're going to cut our list to make sure hers works but I guess she's still unhappy with me for reacting so strong about the kids issue.

    Meh. Really hate wedding planning and I'm still a year out.

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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    MegEn1 said:
    Meh I just got an email back from her and I don't think she's pleased with me at all. We're going to cut our list to make sure hers works but I guess she's still unhappy with me for reacting so strong about the kids issue.

    Meh. Really hate wedding planning and I'm still a year out.
    She will get over it. You apologized and reworked things to include her list. There is nothing more you can do. If she still wants to be unpleased then that is on her.

  • And if you're still a year out, the guest list can be reworked.  Maybe she will come to her senses and decrease her part of the list.  Maybe she'll have a falling out with an entire branch of the family.  Don't send out STDates to anybody not on YOUR list in case this happens.  A STDate equals an invite, but you can send an invite to someone to whom you haven't sent a STDate.
    MairePoppy
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    That wasn't very gracious of her. But you have done the right thing so don't let her sulking bother you.
                       
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Is your FMIL Jewish? My MIL wanted to stand up with us at the ceremony and we shot that down. My parents are not Jewish and wouldn't have been comfortable with that.  And though we had some Jewish traditions, we had a secular ceremony. And FI and I didn't want our parents up there, they are not the ones getting married. 

    Your FMIL is paying for a big part of the wedding, she should get a say in the guest list.  If she doesn't want to invite children on her side, that is her decision. Just because you invited children, doesn't mean all children need to be invited.

    This is also why you should get a preliminary guest list before getting a venue. I also think the bride and groom should have a say in the number of people total will be in their wedding. However, your FMIL agreed to the original plan and she booked the venue. She is now being unreasonable by changing her mind.
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  • 150 is the maximum at the venue? make sure that 150 means 150 guests, not 150 people including vendors and people who work at the venue.
  • So does this cut your family down? because you split the original 150 in half and if that is all the venue can hold then you have to stick with it.. it is unfair of her to expect to be able to invite all she wants simply because she is paying for the food, there are other concerns that are to consider for the guest list.. like how many the venue even holds.. how we handled this is I had his mother and my mother make a list and then made sure we could widdle it down to the 150 we wanted.. she isn't paying to have a larger venue to hold the extra people she wants?

     

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  • @huskypuppy14 yes FI and his family are Jewish. We're having a Jewish ceremony since we're planning on raising our children Jewish, though I won't be converting. It'll just be FI's responsibility to watch the kids when I go to church on Sunday morning. :) FMIL said that parents standing up with the kids is a Jewish tradition, but even most Jews I've spoken to about it (the family is Reform) say that's not a common thing.

    As for a guest list, it's been like pulling teeth from her. She said she had the names and that was all she'd need, so we went ahead. Now she's lamenting that we picked a venue with such a 'small' maximum. The whole thing has been rather rolling - at first FMIL was putting in a fixed amount, then it was a fixed amount + paying for any of their own guests. Finally they just said 'bah, we'll pay for the catering' but by then we'd already booked the venue. We haven't asked her for anything, she keeps offering up.

    @ryanandjoe4 I have a very small family, my family + my friends is equal to the mutual friends' list between FI and I. FI has said once we get his mother's list he'll likely cut it down a little as there will likely be people there he just doesn't want there - he doesn't like some of his mom's friends. Worst comes to worst, I'll cut a few relatives and friends.

    I guess what was kind of getting to me was that FMIL has been saying "I'm spending all this money, why can't I invite all my friends?" (Answer: Fire Code.) She also seems to think we're bluffing when FI and I say we're actually sinking more money into this wedding than she is. Like, she's seen the budget but then she'll forget and she imagines since she's covering the catering and buying me my dress and paying for the brunch, there's almost nothing left at all to pay for and what is left is small stuff. In actuality, FI and I are making a point to make sure that we pay for more than half of the wedding between us - it's a point of pride. So when she was doing all this and then decided to cut children I just lost my temper a little about it. Not at her, no screaming or anything like that, but I was more firm than I needed to be. I'm sorry for that, so I hope I've done what I could to make it right. At this point we've signed a contract for the catering so we'll do what we have to in order to make FMIL happy with the guest list.

    We know the reception is for other people. The ceremony and the honeymoon are for us. :)

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  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    MegEn1 said:
    @huskypuppy14 yes FI and his family are Jewish. We're having a Jewish ceremony since we're planning on raising our children Jewish, though I won't be converting. It'll just be FI's responsibility to watch the kids when I go to church on Sunday morning. :) FMIL said that parents standing up with the kids is a Jewish tradition, but even most Jews I've spoken to about it (the family is Reform) say that's not a common thing.

    As for a guest list, it's been like pulling teeth from her. She said she had the names and that was all she'd need, so we went ahead. Now she's lamenting that we picked a venue with such a 'small' maximum. The whole thing has been rather rolling - at first FMIL was putting in a fixed amount, then it was a fixed amount + paying for any of their own guests. Finally they just said 'bah, we'll pay for the catering' but by then we'd already booked the venue. We haven't asked her for anything, she keeps offering up.

    @ryanandjoe4 I have a very small family, my family + my friends is equal to the mutual friends' list between FI and I. FI has said once we get his mother's list he'll likely cut it down a little as there will likely be people there he just doesn't want there - he doesn't like some of his mom's friends. Worst comes to worst, I'll cut a few relatives and friends.

    I guess what was kind of getting to me was that FMIL has been saying "I'm spending all this money, why can't I invite all my friends?" (Answer: Fire Code.) She also seems to think we're bluffing when FI and I say we're actually sinking more money into this wedding than she is. Like, she's seen the budget but then she'll forget and she imagines since she's covering the catering and buying me my dress and paying for the brunch, there's almost nothing left at all to pay for and what is left is small stuff. In actuality, FI and I are making a point to make sure that we pay for more than half of the wedding between us - it's a point of pride. So when she was doing all this and then decided to cut children I just lost my temper a little about it. Not at her, no screaming or anything like that, but I was more firm than I needed to be. I'm sorry for that, so I hope I've done what I could to make it right. At this point we've signed a contract for the catering so we'll do what we have to in order to make FMIL happy with the guest list.

    We know the reception is for other people. The ceremony and the honeymoon are for us. :)
    Do you have the money from your FMIL? Because I wouldn't give in to any of her demands unless you have the money in hand. There have been many instances of people saying they'll pay and never following through. 

    She seems to keep changing her mind on things, which makes me worried she'll change her mind on paying.


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  • MegEn1MegEn1 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited October 2014

    MegEn1 said:
    @huskypuppy14 yes FI and his family are Jewish. We're having a Jewish ceremony since we're planning on raising our children Jewish, though I won't be converting. It'll just be FI's responsibility to watch the kids when I go to church on Sunday morning. :) FMIL said that parents standing up with the kids is a Jewish tradition, but even most Jews I've spoken to about it (the family is Reform) say that's not a common thing.

    As for a guest list, it's been like pulling teeth from her. She said she had the names and that was all she'd need, so we went ahead. Now she's lamenting that we picked a venue with such a 'small' maximum. The whole thing has been rather rolling - at first FMIL was putting in a fixed amount, then it was a fixed amount + paying for any of their own guests. Finally they just said 'bah, we'll pay for the catering' but by then we'd already booked the venue. We haven't asked her for anything, she keeps offering up.

    @ryanandjoe4 I have a very small family, my family + my friends is equal to the mutual friends' list between FI and I. FI has said once we get his mother's list he'll likely cut it down a little as there will likely be people there he just doesn't want there - he doesn't like some of his mom's friends. Worst comes to worst, I'll cut a few relatives and friends.

    I guess what was kind of getting to me was that FMIL has been saying "I'm spending all this money, why can't I invite all my friends?" (Answer: Fire Code.) She also seems to think we're bluffing when FI and I say we're actually sinking more money into this wedding than she is. Like, she's seen the budget but then she'll forget and she imagines since she's covering the catering and buying me my dress and paying for the brunch, there's almost nothing left at all to pay for and what is left is small stuff. In actuality, FI and I are making a point to make sure that we pay for more than half of the wedding between us - it's a point of pride. So when she was doing all this and then decided to cut children I just lost my temper a little about it. Not at her, no screaming or anything like that, but I was more firm than I needed to be. I'm sorry for that, so I hope I've done what I could to make it right. At this point we've signed a contract for the catering so we'll do what we have to in order to make FMIL happy with the guest list.

    We know the reception is for other people. The ceremony and the honeymoon are for us. :)
    Do you have the money from your FMIL? Because I wouldn't give in to any of her demands unless you have the money in hand. There have been many instances of people saying they'll pay and never following through. 

    She seems to keep changing her mind on things, which makes me worried she'll change her mind on paying.


    We only have what we have had to pay so far. So the first catering bill came due and she gave us the money. She's already told us that she's got the rest set aside. Neither FI or I are worried that she'd come through with the money - she may be scatterbrained but she's not vindictive. She knows what a lurch she'd be leaving us in, and she'd never do that to us. That's one of the difficulties I'm having - she's not a bad person, at all. She's a wonderful person, absolutely fabulous. I just don't think it occurs to her that there's a venue limit, or that FI and I are paying more than she is into this. She's just scatterbrained, and for me that makes it harder because I feel argumentative or confrontational when I try to point these things out. Which is why I usually let FI do it.

    Edited For: TMI

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