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losing my shit

Ohhh my god you guys. I'm going to make this as short & sweet as I possibly can.

My mother, bless her, is going to drive me to drink.

My parents are helping me pay for part of my wedding, so I am obviously taking their opinions to heart because they don't HAVE to give me anything, but they are, and I'm extremely thankful for that. Mom said she will give me the money & I can use it any way that I want, THEN last night happened.

I met with a caterer Wednesday night & got some pricing for about 3 different potential guest list numbers. Food is so fricking expensive, but that's one thing that's really important to me. Our reception will be at 5pm & I do NOT want people leaving early because they're hungry (or just leaving hungry). If there's one thing I've learned from lurking TK, it's that food is an important part of the day and if I want to be a good host, I need to feed my guests properly.

My mother is so anti-etiquette and it might just drive me crazy. She said "If people are still hungry after the reception, they can go to McDonald's or something", I literally cringed. 

I trimmed down the guest list to our families (which are pretty big), our wedding party, and our CLOSEST family friends. I narrowed it down from 200 invitees to about 100, then she went off on some tangent about how she wanted HER high school friends, HER co-workers that I don't know, and some very distant family that I haven't seen or been in contact with in years. I tried to politely & calmly explain to her that we cannot invite everyone that we've ever known and stay within our budget, but she wasn't having it. She thinks it's more rude of me to NOT invite someone, than to invite 200 people & not have enough food to feed them all.  She wants me to invite 200 people & only feed them fruit/cheese/crackers/cake/punch at a 5pm reception, and she will not budge when I tell her that it's RUDE to do that.

I have been penny-pinching in every way possible so that I can have enough food for my guests, but she thinks I should penny-pinch elsewhere.

Needless to say, I'm a little bugged out.

WHAT DO I DO?!?!?!?!
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Re: losing my shit

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    I would just tell her you're either going to A) feed all your guests a meal (since your wedding is at meal time), or 2) you're going to reject her money and host what YOU can afford. If you go with option 2, she literally gets ZERO say in anything, including the guest list. Her choice.

    Also, it sounds to me like you don't have her money in your bank account. NEVER plan on promised money. Brides come here all. the. time. because people who they never thought would bail, bailed once final numbers came out. I wouldn't be surprised if your mom pulls this on you to get you to invite her friends. 

    I would tell her you're going with option 2 until you have her contribution in your bank account. Then you will do what you can with what she gives you. 
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    I'm sorry. Your mom sounds similar to my dad so I get the frustration. Don't engage in arguments with her. Just put your foot down, let that be the final word, and move on. (I know that's easier said than done with stubborn/unreasonable people, though). 

    You need to say very firmly, "This wedding is for FI and me, and this is what we want. If you're going to force decisions on me then I will have to decline your financial contribution and you will not be included in any further wedding planning. This is what it is. End of story." If she tries to keep arguing, leave the room, hang up the phone, do whatever to cut the conversation off. 
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    Personally, when I get invited to a wedding of someone I'm not at all close with, it comes across as a gift grab. But I wouldn't feel slighted by not being invited. Maybe you could share that perspective with your mom?
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    PPs have given good advice. Decline her offer and do what you want or put your foot down.

    I cannot reiterate this enough - do not count on money and spend like you have it until it's in your hands.

    I, sadly, made that mistake and H and I ended up spending 3x our budget because MIL kept promising to pay for certain things. /facepalm
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    I'd decline her money and either cut the guest list to a number that you and your Fi can afford on your own, or extend your engagement until you guys can save up the amount of money to host the same number of people.

    Formerly martha1818

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    PPs have most of this covered. Have you looked at multiple catering options? My mom wasn't as involved, but I gave her multiple options for each thing so she could 1. see what types of options are out there and 2. feel like she chose.

    I will also say that my mom insisted on inviting her cousins that I have only met once. Only one of them came, and it was very awkward for me. I mean my mom was happy, but she had other family and friends to celebrate with that I actually have known my whole life. I wish I would have stood my ground on inviting extended family and parents' friends.

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    Like everyone said, decline her money and have the wedding you can afford.
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    I've told my parents that I am being very strict with who, of their friends, we will be inviting. I'm not going to invite random people that I don't know. Are families are huge (120+ just in our 2 families) and we've already cut our guest list. Just like you, we want to be able to host properly. Food and drink are very important to us.

    I would put your foot down...gently. Explain you aren't having anyone that you and FI aren't close to, especially those you haven't met. And tell her how important it is that the food served be worthy of your wedding. I honestly would be offended if I went to a wedding and there was only grazing foods served.
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    I've been to a wedding where only that kind of food was served (granted, it wasn't mealtime like yours is, so etiquette-wise they're in the clear) - but even with that caveat, leaving a wedding bored and hungry at any time of day is frustrating.

    A hill I'd bean dip on. And later die, if necessary. But mostly I'd just avoid like the plague.
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    Thanks for the advice, guys! :)

    Looks like I'll be having a little sit down with dear old mum when I get home this afternoon.
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    So how did the talk go?
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