Moms and Maids

Those Who Pay...Are Holding The $$ Hostage

When we got engaged my FMIL offered us a generous contribution to the wedding. FI is her last (of 4) children to get married and she gave each of them the same amount. 

So, since FI and I have some savings, but didn't really want to spend it on the wedding, we made our budget based on the amount offered by FMIL. We asked for her list of guests, and agreed to invite them all, no problem. 

Now the trouble is, all of FI's family lives across the country from us. We looked at having a wedding there, but logistically and financially, it was too difficult. I mean wedding planning is hard enough, never mind trying to do it without meeting a single vendor in person. 

So we started planning it for here. We have a tremendous amount of help here (happily offered, not requested) which is making it worlds easier for us. My FI is kind of a "bridezilla" and has more or less dictated many of our decisions regarding venue, theme, etc. I mean his parents are paying, so, I let a lot of that slide (there are lots of complicated issues at hand).

However, so far, we've been paying all the deposits ourselves and draining our savings because no money has been sent. FMIL told me 2 weeks ago they were going to send 1/3 of the funds. Like, why 1/3?  The wedding is in 4 months. Things need to be paid weeks ago. 

Apparently FMIL's nose is out of joint that we are having the wedding here and not there. Even though she agreed to pay for things after we clearly outlined our plans and booked the venue with her blessing. She did not bring any concerns up at the time it was appropriate and now I feel like she's holding the $$ hostage. 

I would literally rather cancel the whole thing, save our $$, and elope. Rather than deplete our entire savings just for one day. FI has tried to speak to her but their relationship is tumultuous and they fight about unrelated things. It's ridiculous.  I feel helpless because it's not my mom but I am doing 100% of dealing with vendors and writing cheques since FI works away from home all the time. 

It's just very frustrating and I am not sure what to do. Advice?  Commiserations?  

Re: Those Who Pay...Are Holding The $$ Hostage

  • Thank you for the replies ladies!  I spoke to FI yesterday and just told him straight up "We can't afford to pay for the wedding ourselves on the budget we set, so we have to either cut the budget down and spend all of our savings to pull it off, cancel the whole thing and elope, or you need to speak to your mother in a kind and gentle way and ask if she's in or out on the financial end"

    I went over with him again what needed to be paid for like ASAP (we already paid the venue in full, but the deposit on the tent rental is still needed, I paid a deposit on a dress, but the next payment will be due in a few weeks, etc, etc) so that he really understood the urgency of making a decision.  We could get back the venue fee in full, but probably not the dress deposit, and I definitely didn't want to put the deposit on the tents until I knew for sure we were doing this, because those deposits are typically non-refundable.

    So he spoke to his mother and then shortly after I got an e-mail about a money transfer.  They sent the 1/3 as originally promised (I still don't really get the portioning it out like that, but I am so not looking a gift horse in the mouth).  I immediately accepted, contacted her to express my gratitude, and sent a large payment to my credit card company, LOL (trying to use my one card for everything because we collect a lot of rewards points on it).

    Thanks for the input.  I hope this is the last awkward moment regarding the financial end of it all, it's way too stressful.

    Also, I just wanted to add that FI is quite involved in the details, it's just he works M-F and he absolutely can't use his phone at work.  He usually leaves it in his room because he routinely gets drenched in liquids and doesn't want it ruined.  That makes it difficult for him to really do many of the vendor related things because it's a lot of speaking to people during business hours.  I am not working right now (laid off) so it's a bit easier for me to handle that stuff.  It's not ideal of course, but he's also a procrastinator, and the wedding is in 4 months, which to him seems like "forever" and I am like "OMG NO" so I feel safer doing a lot of the actual work myself LOL. 
  • Good for you! Just try to keep your FI on the same page and create the sense of urgency with him when necessary. He will relay that urgency to his mom as he has already proven. My FMIL still acts like the wedding is soo far away (it's in 60 days) and she kind of laughs about how much I am doing in advance. Everyone has their different perceptions! Especially when they're not very involved in the planning process. 
    short+sassykwiksilvercowgirl8238
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    The 1/3 makes some sense to me - not everyone always has a lump sum lying around. We had a budget which was based on saving $X per month for a number of months leading up to the wedding. But how close did you say it was to the wedding? Either the 1/3 is arbitrary, as you seem to think, or you might need to be more concerned about their ability to come through with the other 2/3 by the time of the wedding.
  • The 1/3 makes some sense to me - not everyone always has a lump sum lying around. We had a budget which was based on saving $X per month for a number of months leading up to the wedding. But how close did you say it was to the wedding? Either the 1/3 is arbitrary, as you seem to think, or you might need to be more concerned about their ability to come through with the other 2/3 by the time of the wedding.
    The wedding is June 23rd.  I'm really not concerned with their ability to come through, they are quite well off and very financially savvy.  They saved the same amount for each of their children's weddings, and had no problem paying it any of the other times.  I am certain they have their own reasons for only doling out so much at a time, but I know for certain that the money already exists in an account, they aren't saving it as they go, that's not their style at all.
    flantastic
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