Wedding Etiquette Forum

FMIL problems

Very quick back story- me and FH have been engaged since 2019 and tried planning wedding since Jan 2020 but covid hit and we put it on the back burner. FMIL is hot and cold, nice one day then shaming me for not going to church with them the next day. She has pushed this wedding since day one of engagement (probably because of her religion) 

Since the day we told my fiancés parents that we were planning our wedding they were supportive and even told us to get back to them as soon as possible on what part they can contribute to. My fiancé mentioned that the grooms parents are supposed to pay for the honeymoon, so we budgeted everything out and made a list for them in case they said yes to contributing the funds for it. All of that initial planning went great, as well as our conversation with them asking for the funds. They even said “oh that’s it?” when we told them the price for our honeymoon. So we were all on the same page, they were paying for the honeymoon and my dad would help pay for the wedding. 

Less than a month later my FMIL calls me saying ‘so the grooms parents are supposed to pay for the rehearsal dinner too, do you know what you’d like to do for that or have you thought about it?’ 
I hadn’t thought about it and I made that clear. I’m planning my entire wedding myself and have received very minimal help from my MoH or bridesmaid (MoH is from a different culture so didn’t realize she maybe should have helped more, no big deal at all though- I love planning) anyway, so I told my FMIL to let me think and get back to her. She gives me all of one day. Calls me with same question next day, I tell her I don’t really need to have some big rehearsal dinner since we are having a small wedding (40 guests) and our wedding party consists of 6 people total. I told her that I’m more concerned with the rehearsal part, and after that we may just grab a quick bite to eat together so I can be ready for the big day. She wasn’t having that though. Even insulted me for needing time to prepare, stating that all of that stress is my own fault for planning it without her help. And she made that clear when her tone changed from nice and helpful to snarky and passive aggressive. 
From that day on my wedding planning went from fun and light hearted to a headache, all because of her. She called everyday for two weeks or more asking us both what we wanted, I even stopped planning the wedding for over a month because I was mentally drained and just shut down. We told her over and over again that if she insisted we would do something small with the parents included and the few out of town guests. That wasn’t the answer she wanted though. Exhausted, we gave up when she said she would look around some more and let us know what she finds. 
She tells us eventually that she wants to have it at this local restaurant we all like. Great, sounds good to me. She asked about the rehearsal part, I told her we would just have it at a park afterwards. She didn’t like that. ‘So you’re going to have to leave early because you have something planned? It’s supposed to be before the dinner!’ I told her I didn’t know that but I’m going to be very busy that day picking up and organizing all of my decorations that are being rented from a company 45 mins from here. She said ‘whatever, do what you want then!’ And hung up on me.
Then things get worse, she tells me she’s made invitations and she’s invited more people and she has changed the time we agreed upon already. Now over half of our wedding is going to this ‘rehearsal’ dinner and she wants to know if she can invite more people! My FH & FFIL don’t get involved when she acts this way (it’s a regular occurrence) But this time I get FH to say something about the time at the very least- so she moves it back an hour to the time I told her will work for my schedule and the guests that have demanding jobs and were already told a time by me. She throws a fit, says ‘fine I guess I’ll scratch it out on my invitation and it will just have to look like that’ and doesn’t talk to me for a couple weeks. Good, this is when I start planning the actual wedding again! 
Last night we went over to the in laws for dinner, but we didn’t know it was only for us to talk about the rehearsal dinner. Wasn’t much of a talk as she informed us she would be picking the entire menu for everyone and if they didn’t like it they could ‘just stay home!’ She didn’t even allow us to have any input.

And to top all of this up and bring it full circle- this honeymoon fund we had spoken of, still has not be given to us even as we are now exactly one week from the wedding. FH has asked about it and been told they would give it to us this week, which is now about over, and we have no hotels or anything booked!! 🫠

Re: FMIL problems

  • Presume you're paying for the honeymoon yourselves and if they reimburse you, great.  Let the RD go and focus on where the six of you are going to do your rehearsal and let her deal with the rest even if it means y'all will be running to McD's after to grab a bite to eat.  As you said, you're a week out from the wedding, at some point it's about just let it go.  You picked the time, you informed the six WP members and Parents, stick to the schedule.  
    charlotte989875
  • Probably exactly what I needed to hear. Otherwise I’m just going to make myself miserable and resentful and that’s not a good look on a bride.
    thanks for the honesty
    MesmrEwe
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Very quick back story- me and FH have been engaged since 2019 and tried planning wedding since Jan 2020 but covid hit and we put it on the back burner. FMIL is hot and cold, nice one day then shaming me for not going to church with them the next day. She has pushed this wedding since day one of engagement (probably because of her religion) 

    Since the day we told my fiancés parents that we were planning our wedding they were supportive and even told us to get back to them as soon as possible on what part they can contribute to. My fiancé mentioned that the grooms parents are supposed to pay for the honeymoon, so we budgeted everything out and made a list for them in case they said yes to contributing the funds for it. All of that initial planning went great, as well as our conversation with them asking for the funds. They even said “oh that’s it?” when we told them the price for our honeymoon. So we were all on the same page, they were paying for the honeymoon and my dad would help pay for the wedding. 

    Less than a month later my FMIL calls me saying ‘so the grooms parents are supposed to pay for the rehearsal dinner too, do you know what you’d like to do for that or have you thought about it?’ 
    I hadn’t thought about it and I made that clear. I’m planning my entire wedding myself and have received very minimal help from my MoH or bridesmaid (MoH is from a different culture so didn’t realize she maybe should have helped more, no big deal at all though- I love planning) anyway, so I told my FMIL to let me think and get back to her. She gives me all of one day. Calls me with same question next day, I tell her I don’t really need to have some big rehearsal dinner since we are having a small wedding (40 guests) and our wedding party consists of 6 people total. I told her that I’m more concerned with the rehearsal part, and after that we may just grab a quick bite to eat together so I can be ready for the big day. She wasn’t having that though. Even insulted me for needing time to prepare, stating that all of that stress is my own fault for planning it without her help. And she made that clear when her tone changed from nice and helpful to snarky and passive aggressive. 
    From that day on my wedding planning went from fun and light hearted to a headache, all because of her. She called everyday for two weeks or more asking us both what we wanted, I even stopped planning the wedding for over a month because I was mentally drained and just shut down. We told her over and over again that if she insisted we would do something small with the parents included and the few out of town guests. That wasn’t the answer she wanted though. Exhausted, we gave up when she said she would look around some more and let us know what she finds. 
    She tells us eventually that she wants to have it at this local restaurant we all like. Great, sounds good to me. She asked about the rehearsal part, I told her we would just have it at a park afterwards. She didn’t like that. ‘So you’re going to have to leave early because you have something planned? It’s supposed to be before the dinner!’ I told her I didn’t know that but I’m going to be very busy that day picking up and organizing all of my decorations that are being rented from a company 45 mins from here. She said ‘whatever, do what you want then!’ And hung up on me.
    Then things get worse, she tells me she’s made invitations and she’s invited more people and she has changed the time we agreed upon already. Now over half of our wedding is going to this ‘rehearsal’ dinner and she wants to know if she can invite more people! My FH & FFIL don’t get involved when she acts this way (it’s a regular occurrence) But this time I get FH to say something about the time at the very least- so she moves it back an hour to the time I told her will work for my schedule and the guests that have demanding jobs and were already told a time by me. She throws a fit, says ‘fine I guess I’ll scratch it out on my invitation and it will just have to look like that’ and doesn’t talk to me for a couple weeks. Good, this is when I start planning the actual wedding again! 
    Last night we went over to the in laws for dinner, but we didn’t know it was only for us to talk about the rehearsal dinner. Wasn’t much of a talk as she informed us she would be picking the entire menu for everyone and if they didn’t like it they could ‘just stay home!’ She didn’t even allow us to have any input.

    And to top all of this up and bring it full circle- this honeymoon fund we had spoken of, still has not be given to us even as we are now exactly one week from the wedding. FH has asked about it and been told they would give it to us this week, which is now about over, and we have no hotels or anything booked!! 🫠
    The bolded is the part you need to solve. You can't change your FMIL or how she acts, but what you can do is change how you respond. Your FI is responsible for getting involved and intercepting before it gets to this point. If he's not willing to do that he's not ready to get married. Knowing she has a tendency to act like this, he should have stepped in back when she first brought up the rehearsal dinner. 

    Not really part of the issue, but you're dead wrong about thinking your MOH was supposed to help you plan. It's your groom that is supposed to be planning with you. 
    Jen4948
  • I think a lot of this with your FMIL sounds like it's a desire to have a plan for their guests.  Consider that the RD if she's hosting is her event.  So if she's pushing you to make plans it's because she's valuing your input and also wants you AND all the guests to be happy. 

    Our RD was booked months in advance.  The only thing that wasn't totally settled until about 3 weeks before were all the guests.  

    In some of these I think you'll need to figure out your plans and if other people aren't helping you that's your FI's job.  It sounds like your wedding is this week so what you need is a timeline.  Even the people who hate plans need a timeline for the wedding.  You have way too much going on to not stick to a schedule. 
    charlotte989875
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited August 14
    Don't expect your MOH to help you out with planning. Regardless of her culture or what you've read elsewhere about a MOH's "role," her responsibilities for your wedding are to show up on time in good spirits, wearing the designated outfit, precede you down the aisle and follow you back up at the end of the ceremony. She has no other "duties" as your MOH.

    Beyond that, I think that you and your FI need to have a discussion between yourselves as to his mother's role in this rehearsal dinner. Maybe you can get her to change the name and purpose of this event so that it is no longer directly wedding-related and then let her do whatever she wants with it, because it sounds like she just wants to throw a party of her own with a guest list of her own choosing and your wedding is simply an excuse in her own mind.

    Whatever you do, I would have your FI set and maintain a firm boundary that her passive-aggressive behavior towards you is unacceptable and must cease and desist starting yesterday. 
  • maine7mobmaine7mob Maine, USA member
    500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments First Answer
    This all sounds like a communication issue. Your MIL is from the generation in which the groom's parents planned and paid for the rehearsal dinner, which usually happened right after the wedding rehearsal. You didn't know that was a thing, so were baffled by this expectation. Your FMIL didn't know you didn't know, so just assumed you'd go along with your plans. This miscommunication is why you're both upset.

    You can go ahead and do what you want, but remember that your MIL will be in your life for a long time, so you need to find a way to express yourself clearly to her.

    And for the record, MOHs do not have wedding planning duties. That is not a requirement at all. And the groom's family is not on the hook for the honeymoon. It's great if they offer (or if anyone offers), but that is normally on the couple to pay for.
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I dunno, there seems to be a lot of “I expected this” from you. The only people required to plan and pay for the wedding, rehearsal and honeymoon are you and your FI. If you didn’t want her to host the RD you could have politely declined. But is this really the hill you want to die on? And why are you eating and then leaving to do the rehearsal? If it’s just at the park do it before the dinner and then meet everyone there afterwards. 


    image
  • LW wrote this when she was one week from the wedding.  It's likely over now.

    I am reading this as a MIL who is DESPERATELY trying to get a plan in place and finally had to sit the bride and groom down to know what she could tell her guests for the RD when the bride and groom didn't have a plan.

    Weddings aren't the things that work on the fly.  You need a game plan and a plan B and C.  And you don't look for honeymoon money when you haven't figured out where you're even rehearsing yet.
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