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Celebration of Marriage party

Apologies if this doesn't seem like the best place to post ... I wasn't quite sure where to post as seemed etiquette related, but could have also posted on other boards. Didn't want to XP either.

My FMIL is upset that her friends (at last count 84 including SOs and +1s) aren't invited to the wedding. My FI and I are paying for everything and having a small wedding (under 60 people total) so this is non-negotiable. She brought up that she would like to host a celebration of the marriage party after our wedding so she could include all of her friends. My FI and I were initially ok that she would like to do this, but my FMIL has come up with a couple of requests: wear our wedding clothes, reenact ceremony, hair and makeup done and host at the same restaurant we are hosting our reception at. This is moving into dangerous territory of having a second wedding (which I'm absolutely against for etiquette reasons). I know we could just decline, but I feel that we can come to some sort of middle ground that would make her feel like her friends are included, but isn't a re-creation of everything wedding related.

I feel like a compromise can be made on wearing wedding clothes (I realize still borderline) but I would say no to hair and makeup, reenacting ceremony (big heck no) and celebrating at our restaurant (easy as can only accommodate 60 max).

Does this sound reasonable or should I push back even further on the wearing of the wedding clothes?

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Celebration of Marriage party

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    @MobKaz thanks! No, we would have never invited all these friends as never would have had larger wedding. I agree ... bordering on creepy. We are not cutting cake or dancing at our wedding so I don't think these are wanted, but I would certainly refuse those if they were brought up for discussion. I honestly don't think my FMIL would make the guests think this is the real deal. I think she justs wants these guests to get the experience.

    I'm leaning more towards a no on all items requested so that it is much closer to a 'meet the newlyweds' idea. I don't want to recreate the wedding in any way. I was sort of okay wearing the dress (who wouldn't want to wear their dress again?!) but don't want it to give off the idea that we are getting married again. I have many other suitable dresses that would be fine for a cocktail party or dinner party.

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    SP29SP29 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    I also think this is weird.... I am sure FMIL's friends are not in despair that they were not invited to your wedding.

    I can understand the desire to do a celebration of marriage party if a couple has several guests that they invited to their wedding who were unable to attend. But in this situation, these are not guests you would invite even if you had the money and space.... so why this additional celebration? Why do these guests need the experience? I am sure at some point in their life they have been to some sort of wedding- I am sure they get it.

    Absolutely FMIL can host her own party for her own reason anytime she wants, and if you and your FH would like to attend, she can have a party where she introduces her son and his new wife to her friends. But I would very strongly push back that this is not another wedding reception.

    It's fine if she wants to host it at a restaurant, if that works better for space (I can't imagine 84 people fitting into most people's homes), but I wouldn't do it at the same restaurant. I would suggest this party be much more of a casual affair- there can be a full dinner and people can still come well dressed but I wouldn't wear your wedding attire or include other trappings of a wedding.
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    @SP29 totally agree! I've never been upset not to have been included (usually happy not to spend the time and money on gifts/travel/clothing). My FMIL loves celebrating and throwing parties, so while I'm not enthused about the ideas she has come up with, they don't surprise me. My FI says that we should accept the party but can decline the additions as he thinks saying no the entire thing would really upset her. I will counter with the suggestion of a more casual party instead. She has hosted many cocktail parties at her house (and loves to) so that may be an option as well. Her parties typically have ~100 guests so space is not a problem.

    **I'm very lucky to be joining my FI's family. They are always very generous and thoughtful with wanting to celebrate and support events/milestones. My FMIL can be interesting, but her heart is always in the right place. I realize that not everyone gets in-laws that they are friendly with ... I know to count my blessings.

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    My parents are throwing us a party in my hometown for their friends who weren't invited to our wedding (we're having a relatively small wedding overseas where FH and I live) and for my family who can't make it. We agreed on a cocktail reception to celebrate our recent marriage - but no spotlight dances, no speeches, no wedding clothes (well, FH probably will wear his suit but that's just because it's his only nice outfit!), no cake cutting, no anything-that-makes-it-feel-like-anything-other-than-a-regular-party. 

    I'd feel awkward about re-wearing my wedding dress in large part because it is a more formal dress, and that's just not the type of party we're having at home. If my wedding dress was a bit more casual or was a tea-length dress, I'd consider it. 
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    downtondivadowntondiva member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited March 2016
    I think you (or more to the point, your FI) should tell her no.  You did not get married so she could show you off to her friends. She is asking way too much here. If you don't consider yourself close enough to these people to invite them to the wedding (even if you were having a bigger wedding it sounds like you wouldn't have invited them), then you shouldn't have to participate in this.
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    AddieCake said:
    I would love to ask a lot of the parents' friends (and this is for all parents who have friends they think NEED to be invited, not just OP's) if they really care about this. I mean, seriously, 84 people? You know most of them are not all that sad not to have been invited. I'm betting the same is true for most parents' friends, excluding their absolutely closest friends.  
    I disagree. I love going to the weddings of my friends' kids especially if I have watched them grow up. We didn't invite 84 friends to DD's wedding but we definitely invited a group of our close friends- some who watched her grow up, others that are also friends of hers as an adult. I don't think there is anything wrong with parents having friends at a child's wedding especially if they are paying or helping to pay for it. I don't; however, agree with the OP's MIL. My DD's MIL did a party for people she wanted to show them off to but didn't invite to the wedding (we didn't give them a guest limit).  It wasn't a PPD but it really rubbed against my grain. It was also in the same area where the wedding was held so it wasn't like the people couldn't make it to the wedding if they had been invited.
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    @ILoveBeachMusic As I said, excluding their best of friends. 84 people is not the best of friends. And other brides who have come on here with huge lists from their parents are not lists of "best" of friends, either.
    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 and @ILoveBeachMusic according to my FMIL (as told to FI when she originally voiced this party idea), all her friends are equal to her and she doesn't have best friends. They are all from different circles of activities that she is in. Although I would disagree with her thoughts, it isn't my place to judge her friendships.
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    @AddieCake - I agree. I don't understand how one even has that many friends nor how you cannot have people that you are closer to than others. I'm actually going to assume that none of her friends care one whit about anything to do with our wedding. I do think it is something that her groups of friends just do ... go to weddings of their friend's children (and most of them probably dislike ... but do because it is what they do). I believe we already made giant waves by having a small wedding, but I'm happy with our decision :)
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    mollybarker11mollybarker11 member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited March 2016
    I agree that that's a creepy move on behalf of your FMIL.

    Hosting a celebratory "meet the newlyweds" party is fine, hosting it in the same restaurant you have your reception is eye-roll worthy, dictating your attire / hair / makeup is a hard no, making you reenact your wedding ceremony is a HELL no.

    Good luck with the negotiations!
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    Thanks @CMGragain. It should be interesting, but I'm rooting for my FI to do well! I'd be fine with our opening offer of a gracious no thank you or our acceptance position of a small cocktail party without any wedding related stuff. I think we'll be successful :)
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    My FMIL has similar ideas: she gave us a list of everyone who had been part of FI's childhood - many of which he didn't even remember - to be invited, because even if they're not important to him, he's important to them, because they watched and heard about him growing up. 

    Nope. They are not invited. We are paying for our wedding, and could not possibly accomodate that many people we barely or don't know. Our compromise is a party similar to Knotie#'s. 

    I don't understand this concept either. FI is the most wonderful man in the world (IMHO), but he is not so special that everyone who has ever met him, or who is friends with his parents, will be devastated not to witness his wedding. And yet that's how it was framed when we initially started working on a guest list. 

    This sounds so familiar. FMIL basically did the same thing to us. She's still miffed that she "doesn't have enough seats." Darling FMIL, you get one seat. Just like everyone else. She even tried to make us change our venue to accommodate more people after we'd already put down deposits and made multiple payments that we wouldn't get back (with no offer to contribute at all, mind you).  FI didn't remember who most of these people were, and the ones he did he hadn't spoken to in 10-15 years. 

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    ernursej said:
    Thanks @CMGragain. It should be interesting, but I'm rooting for my FI to do well! I'd be fine with our opening offer of a gracious no thank you or our acceptance position of a small cocktail party without any wedding related stuff. I think we'll be successful :)
    ????  I don't remember posting on this thread.  Am I getting senile?
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
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    CMGragain said:
    ernursej said:
    Thanks @CMGragain. It should be interesting, but I'm rooting for my FI to do well! I'd be fine with our opening offer of a gracious no thank you or our acceptance position of a small cocktail party without any wedding related stuff. I think we'll be successful :)
    ????  I don't remember posting on this thread.  Am I getting senile?
    @mollybarker11 has the same avatar - probably got confused :)
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    CMGragain said:
    ernursej said:
    Thanks @CMGragain. It should be interesting, but I'm rooting for my FI to do well! I'd be fine with our opening offer of a gracious no thank you or our acceptance position of a small cocktail party without any wedding related stuff. I think we'll be successful :)
    ????  I don't remember posting on this thread.  Am I getting senile?
    @mollybarker11 has the same avatar - probably got confused :)


    Ohhh whoops!! My bad. I only looked at the avatar! Nope @CMGragain ... I'm the one with issues.

    @mollybarker11 - sorry for not giving you credit! My bad. I usually hover over before naming someone.

    I promise that I hadn't had any wine before posting ... perhaps that is my problem. No wine!!!

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    OP, just wanted to say stand your ground and good luck with the negotiation. 
    This whole concept really bothers me. A friend of mine wanted (and paid for, and thus got) a small, Southern plantation wedding, with a more casual and vintage chic theme (before the theme went Pinterest-crazy). This was appalling and unacceptable to her in-laws, who are more the traditional, tux-wearing, banquet-hall-reception types. They insisted no one from their side of the family would travel for it and insisted upon throwing a second reception back where most people live. Luckily it wasn't a recreation of a wedding, but the in-laws basically forced this second reception upon them and my friend hated the entire experience.
    So. Stand up for what you and your FI believe in!  
    ________________________________


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    Thanks @thisismynickname. I think we will be successful scaling back on the plans. My FMIL can be reasonable and my FI is a fantastic negotiator. I'm sure we will end up with some sort of cocktail party (that she would have regularly thrown anyway for some other celebration) where we can join in and be introduced as newlyweds ... but without any of the wedding related stuff that she originally wanted. Appreciate your support!
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    @short+sassy, I've learned the art of thoughtful phrasing! These are actually negotiating terms (according to FI). I'm lousy at the actual practice of negotiating. I hate conflict and would rather just give in and hope the other person is happy. FI got me a sweet deal on my new car. He's a keeper!

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    Cute!

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


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