Moms and Maids

Boundaries with future MIL

futuremrs20futuremrs20 member
10 Comments First Anniversary 5 Love Its
edited April 2019 in Moms and Maids
Hi everyone. First post on here so am hoping for some honest and kind input. I am having some problems setting boundaries with my future MIL. I know she comes from a good place but is being a little too much for me. To start, we got engaged Thanksgiving and are not getting married until next summer. We have a lot of the big things done: date, venue, band, photographer, wedding parties, etc. She continuously suggests that I make an appointment near their house so we can look at dresses though I tell her that wedding dress shopping is something I'll be doing with my mother (I am the only girl out of three boys...this is also my Mom's moment haha). She called our venue to try to get a step and repeat and ultimately the planner told her that anything at the venue has to be decided on by the couple and my Mom (my Dad passed away two years ago, my Mom is planning and paying for the wedding). There are other small things that she has tried to push and not only am I not having it, but the wedding is pretty far off. Her buying a dress was a huge production even though I told her numerous times it really didn't matter what she wore, which she took as me not being interested. I haven't even found my dress yet since it's pretty far off. All in all, I would love to hear from those of you who might have had to deal with some over the top mother in laws in terms of wedding planning. I want to be considerate but also don't want to get too frustrated with it. My fiancé has been great about politely telling her to let us and my Mom handle what needs to be handled but I am not sure how receptive she has been. Thank you for reading! 

Re: Boundaries with future MIL

  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Hi everyone. First post on here so am hoping for some honest and kind input. I am having some problems setting boundaries with my future MIL. I know she comes from a good place but is being a little too much for me. To start, we got engaged Thanksgiving and are not getting married until next summer. We have a lot of the big things done: date, venue, band, photographer, wedding parties, etc. She continuously suggests that I make an appointment near their house so we can look at dresses though I tell her that wedding dress shopping is something I'll be doing with my mother (I am the only girl out of three boys...this is also my Mom's moment haha). She called our venue to try to get a step and repeat and ultimately the planner told her that anything at the venue has to be decided on by the couple and my Mom (my Dad passed away two years ago, my Mom is planning and paying for the wedding). There are other small things that she has tried to push and not only am I not having it, but the wedding is pretty far off. The "last straw" for me was her making a production out of her dress and ordering it. I haven't even found my dress yet. All in all, I would love to hear from those of you who might have had to deal with some over the top mother in laws in terms of wedding planning. I want to be considerate but also don't want to get too frustrated with it. My fiancé has been great about politely telling her to let us and my Mom handle what needs to be handled but I am not sure how receptive she has been. Thank you for reading! 
    I have an extremely overbearing MIL. I actually did let her come dress shopping with me, because I knew she really wanted to be involved. I'd say you need to consider this. She's going to be your MIL for a long time. Pick your battles. 

    As far as the venue, she's absolutely overstepping and your FI needs to tell her to stop. 

    I'm not sure why you're bothered that she bought her dress. Be thankful that's taken care of. 
    OurWildKingdomaisfora86
  • futuremrs20futuremrs20 member
    10 Comments First Anniversary 5 Love Its
    edited April 2019
    Thanks for your quick response! I am keeping the dress shopping to just my Mom and me as it is a very special thing for the two of us and I don't want too many cooks in the kitchen for something so personal. I don't want to think of things as "battles" because they really aren't, moreso just establishing healthy boundaries. But I appreciate your input about the venue. Regarding the dress, I am glad that it is (hopefully) taken care of but it was quite a huge production between her and my fiancé and me with a lot of calls back and forth, questions about what my Mom was wearing, what the colors of the wedding would be (no clue yet!), etc, all while we were busy at our work places. Again, thanks for the quick response! 
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Thanks for your quick response! I am keeping the dress shopping to just my Mom and me as it is a very special thing for the two of us and I don't want too many cooks in the kitchen for something so personal. I don't want to think of things as "battles" because they really aren't, moreso just establishing healthy boundaries. But I appreciate your input about the venue. Regarding the dress, I am glad that it is (hopefully) taken care of but it was quite a huge production between her and my fiancé and me with a lot of calls back and forth, questions about what my Mom was wearing, what the colors of the wedding would be (no clue yet!), etc, all while we were busy at our work places. Again, thanks for the quick response! 
    You don't need to look at them as battles; it's simply just an expression. You've never heard it before? By all means, tell your MIL that you don't want her to come dress shopping, and that you want it to be just you and your mother. 

    As far as the dress ordering, why did you even engage with her then? All you had to do was tell her any dress/color will be fine, and leave it at that. 
    OurWildKingdom
  • I’ve heard the expression, thanks. The only engaging I did was telling her that I’m sure what she chose would be fine, so attempted to leave it at that but she was very overbearing with questions that I just couldnt answer. Thanks for the input and looking forward to hearing thoughts and suggestions on how other brides have dealt with it.
  • Wow not only are you positive but so helpful. That was truly great advice and thank you for not being critical either. I will definitely put her in charge of something. And your suggestion for a line was so helpful. Thank you again. So nice to see women on here trying to empathize and help ☺️
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I agree with @short+sassy and @MairePoppy. Plan something (doesn’t have to be wedding-related) with your FMIL so you can get some bonding time. It sounds like she’s excited for you, and that’s a beautiful thing.

    My MIL is pretty chill (and also lives out of state), but my mom was a little extra during our wedding planning, so I can relate.
    short+sassy
  • I also like the idea of inviting her along when your dress comes in since you're set on only shopping with your Mom (totally respect - I did one trip with my MIL & SIL where SIL tried to get me to go with her dress)..  

    Yes, let your vendors know you're the only ones who can make changes to the order (by name)..  As for FMIL dress, remind her that you're not even shopping for your dress until it's closer because life happens, size adjustments mean the dress will cost more for alterations (we've had brides who have changed multiple sizes through no fault of their own, their body just changed sizes!), so waiting to shop is the way to go.  Explain to her that your choice in letting her pick out her own dress is so that she also feels like a million bucks when she looks at herself in the mirror on the day of the wedding.  All you ask is that it's not a bridal gown LOL..  

    Something you could give her is if you don't already have a database of the addresses of those who are on the guest list, to ask her to help with putting the names/addresses/contact info together for your FI's side (unless you're blessed with a family that already has a master list of the family)...  That's just a good thing to have in general (we use it for everything from graduations, to remembering anniversaries/birthdays, etc.)...
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    ILoveBeachMusicInLoveInQueens
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I too have been a MOB and a MOG. I agree with PPs. I think your FMIL is just excited about the wedding and you! Has she offered to host a rehearsal dinner? If so, let her have fun planning that. I know that DD's MIL planned a wonderful RD. She did come along to one store for dress shopping but DD wanted to include her since SIL is an only child. Allow her to be involved in something but definitely tell your vendors that only you, FI and your Mom can make decisions/changes. Also be grateful that your MIL is excited about your wedding - mine never even talked to H and I other than to ask length of dress for her. Good luck with the planned
    OurWildKingdomMesmrEweshort+sassycharlotte989875
  • Thank you all for the suggestions. They are really helpful. For the dress aspect I’ll be keeping it to my mom and I. When my FMIL asked for pictures of what I planned to try on she made a face and said she didn’t care for them so I think it’s best to just keep it as a surprise until the day. One of my bridesmaids did that at her wedding because of a similar situation. Thank you guys again. Thankfully my fiancé is super understanding of all of it and knows when to put the foot down. But I’ll definitely think of ways to include her in other planning. 
    MobKazshort+sassy
  • I can see both sides but thus far what I'm seeing is a FMIL who is wanting to be involved.

    My husband only has one brother so MIL never had the 'shop as MOB' experience.

    I also only have one brother who is gay so there was no other bridal dress shopping in my mom's future.   It was important that the experience be intimate between the two of us.   

    BUT, sensing that my eager (and overbearing) MIL was really wanting to be involved, we talked about the other things that she could participate in.    She picked the song to use for the mother/son dance (it was not a surprise - she and DH agreed to it) and with my mom we shopped for the flowers and chose them all together.   While I did the physical dress stuff with my mom, I showed MIL stock photos so she knew what dress I was wearing.   When it came time for the tasting, MIL and FIL came to it with DH, me and my parents.   We thought that even though my parents paid for the reception, having the additional input was important because we wanted to ensure that the food pleased all the guests. 

    I think you should not assign anything to MIL but this sounds like she's excited and wants you to be too.   So while having some boundaries is important, involving her is going to be great and it may help cultivate a great relationship too. 
    OurWildKingdomILoveBeachMusicclimbingsinglecharlotte989875
  • Thank you for the comment and for the name change suggestion :)

    I agree with you that I think she likes things under her control without necessarily putting on that persona, if that makes sense. That's why I am pretty adamant about keeping the dress to myself and my Mom. My bridesmaids are super understanding and actually want to be surprised the day of the wedding. But I definitely agree on those phrases of diverting the conversation. I almost let it slip that our planner is having a vision meeting soon (between my Mom, fiancé, and I) and I don't want her to say anything negative/hurtful about that either.

    As of now, I've agreed to let her take over with some favors she'd like to do and with the rehearsal dinner. Hopefully that'll suffice for the time being. 
    MobKaz
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Thank you for the comment and for the name change suggestion :)

    I agree with you that I think she likes things under her control without necessarily putting on that persona, if that makes sense. That's why I am pretty adamant about keeping the dress to myself and my Mom. My bridesmaids are super understanding and actually want to be surprised the day of the wedding. But I definitely agree on those phrases of diverting the conversation. I almost let it slip that our planner is having a vision meeting soon (between my Mom, fiancé, and I) and I don't want her to say anything negative/hurtful about that either.

    As of now, I've agreed to let her take over with some favors she'd like to do and with the rehearsal dinner. Hopefully that'll suffice for the time being. 
    Learn the art of the nod and smile.  Scream inside your head, but smile and nod on the outside.

    My DD has a MIL that is very passive-aggressive.  She is sunshine and rainbows when outsiders are around, but is quite opinionated and controlling privately.  At the time of the engagement, she came across as well to do and "proper".  She was very much about the "show".  

    Long story short......she offered to host the rehearsal dinner.  DD and her (then) FI said they would love a casual and fun dinner, but stayed out of it because it was the one "show" MIL could control.  Well, that dinner became a mini reception.  It was formal, had centerpieces, favors, and everything MIL thought was missing from the actual reception. She used the color scheme the kids had chosen, but did it "her" way versus their way.  She invited ALL her family and extended family.  DD and FI let it go because in the end, it was still nice she offered to host.  

    I guess what I am saying is give her anything to keep her happy and out of your hair (if that is what you want to do) but then be prepared to apply the technique of the smile and nod.

    The other best technique is to continue to limit details.  If she ever asks, just tell her you want everyone to be surprised!
    short+sassy
  • Whether your mother in law is just excited or actually controlling or something else doesn't matter. What does matter is that your fiance seems to be very good about setting boundaries with her. This is his job and it bodes well for your marriage.
    short+sassyOurWildKingdom
  • Hi all. I am back unfortunately. Thankfully my fiance is still on the same page with setting boundaries but at one point even he had to leave the room because the discussion was driving him nuts.

    My FMIL and FFIL are paying for the rehearsal dinner and now want to host a breakfast the next day. That's fine, and I am appreciative of it. However, the rehearsal dinner is getting out of hand and they basically want to invite all of their friends, our friends from our schools, grad programs, etc so all in all envision the entire wedding minus 15-20 people. I get they are paying but I truly wanted to rehearsal dinner to be not over the top and a little more intimate. We were never invited to our friends rehearsal dinners and we loved it because we got to eat where we wanted with our friends. Now they are saying that anyone invited to the wedding should be invited to the rehearsal dinner and brunch. In addition, they are adamant about the fact that certain traditions we wanted to incorporate into our wedding must be done in a church. Mind you I have two siblings who did different weddings. They incorporated different elements of their faiths into gorgeous and touching ceremonies and I wanted to do the same. 

    My fiance is going a little crazy with them especially when this stuff gets brought up. There are just too many rules we have to follow on their end. I was raised Jewish and Catholic and we are incorporating elements of both while he was raised Greek. Therefore, we thought we would play the Horah at the reception and a Greek song but they insist on many Greek songs. What is frustrating me the most is that this is turning into their wedding and not ours or my Mom's. This wedding is very special for my Mom and I as I am the only girl out of a large family and in talking to her this weekend we felt that a lot of what we want is being taken away. I really welcome any kind and good advice for both my fiance and I. 
  • Well, for starters, if your FI is leaving the room during the discussion then the discussion ceases.   If it's between the two of you then that's not a good sign.

    In all of this I think you may need to pick and choose your battles. 

    Regarding the RD:
    -Is there a budget or vision they have?  Is there a location that they are citing?  Do they understand that a dinner of this size will be expensive?  

    -Can your FI say that you understand the desire to see the relatives who are going to attend the day before.   Instead, what about seeing them for hosted drinks after an early RD?  Would they be open to that?  If not, you may need to either suck this one up OR decline their offer and pay for it yourselves. 

    Regarding the ceremony:
    -You two need to discuss where your religions will be in your lives after your wedding.   Do you both plan to follow his or your faiths?  Are children something you two envision and if so what is the plan regarding raising them with some kind of religion?  Use ALL of that in your answer and from that point, you will need to determine if you're having a religious ceremony or a secular one.
    -Research what you two wanted to incorporate.  If you opt for a secular ceremony are there aspects that are not appropriate in a secular ceremony?  As an example, if you're a baptized Catholic then you'd know something like the Eucharist does not belong in a ceremony not held in a church.  A prayer is different. 
    -Your FI and you will need to be strong on this one while ensuring that nothing you choose is considered offensive or sacrilegious.  But the ceremony is for the two of you and should reflect your faith(s) and not those of your parents.  

    My advice is that you two really sit down and talk and communicate.  Some battles can be worth picking and some can be a loss of what you wanted but may be something to throw at them to make them happy.   But in all of this, your FI needs to present the two of you as a untied front with any decisions made as by BOTH of you. 
    charlotte989875
  • Thanks for the response but I think you might have misunderstood. My fiance was not leaving the discussion between the two of us. His parents were making him incredibly nervous with their demands and questions, between the four of us, therefore, he took a few minutes to get some air. 

    RE: the religious aspect. I think the point is that we want to honor that we were brought up in multi-religious backgrounds and we want to honor what we grew up with. I.e. smashing the class at the end of the ceremony is a Jewish tradition but doesn't need to be done in a synagogue, same with getting married under a chuppah. We are pretty solidified in that case. It's a matter of honoring our upbringings. 

    I understanding choosing battles. I am not a conflict kind of person. Especially with my wedding, I just care that I am surrounded by those we care about and that everyone has a good time. But this back and forth and the constant opinions is just too much and a little bit beyond picking battles. 
  • Thanks for the response but I think you might have misunderstood. My fiance was not leaving the discussion between the two of us. His parents were making him incredibly nervous with their demands and questions, between the four of us, therefore, he took a few minutes to get some air. 

    RE: the religious aspect. I think the point is that we want to honor that we were brought up in multi-religious backgrounds and we want to honor what we grew up with. I.e. smashing the class at the end of the ceremony is a Jewish tradition but doesn't need to be done in a synagogue, same with getting married under a chuppah. We are pretty solidified in that case. It's a matter of honoring our upbringings. 

    I understanding choosing battles. I am not a conflict kind of person. Especially with my wedding, I just care that I am surrounded by those we care about and that everyone has a good time. But this back and forth and the constant opinions is just too much and a little bit beyond picking battles. 
    Thank you for the clarification.   If he's frustrated with his parents and needs to leave I think it is probably best for you to leave with him OR simply remain quiet.   The impression is that you two are making your decisions together.

    As far as the ceremony goes then I think you two can channel this as a clarification then. "Oh thank you for the input.   We will take that under advisement and will be making the choices for our ceremony as the two of us.  Let's talk about whether we should have lamb or rib eye for the rehearsal dinner." 

    Sometimes people get worked up over these things and feel that they have input where they don't.   If you feel that they're attempting to insert their opinions in matters where they aren't welcome (the ceremony) then handle them as declarative statements or even better - simply don't discuss them.   Then you can just tell them the where, when and how if you think that they'll continue to butt in.      

    The point here when I say picking battles is to be clear with the boundaries and allow them input where it can work.   The RD is their domain if they're hosting and paying for it.   If you truly hate what they want to do and want it to change then that's going to mean declining their contribution as well. 

    And then you may need to deflect the conversation to different topics OR your FI is going to need to be firm when he talks.   This may also be new territory for him since a wedding can also be one of those first times that you start to navigate with your parents as a grown up but you're still their child.   DH and I have been married for nearly 12 years and sometimes that can STILL be a challenge.   
    short+sassycharlotte989875
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Your FILs maybe looking at etiquette from years ago as far as inviting so many people to the RD. Traditionally all out of town guests and family were invited to the RD because there weren't that many out of town guests. Now I would venture to say most people come from out of town for a wedding. People don't usually follow that etiquette anymore. However, I do know people (myself included) that want out of town family or all family invited. I have a good friend who is from a large family, as is her husband. When their son got married the RD had about 150 people because in their family it is traditional to invited all family to the RD.  So I would just have your FI tell your FILs that the old etiquette isn't normally followed in this case.
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