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FMIL & Guest List

My FMIL is a planner, she is in control of her family - she makes the plans, the schedule, the decisions.  She is not as close to my FI as she is with her two daughters (she goes on trips with her daughters, etc.)....but I think that is just a mother-daughter thing.Anyhow, I have never NOT gotten along with her, but I don't find her to be very pleasant to be around or welcoming.  She is always so "busy".I am having a few issues with her, but one that is really proving as a point of contention is the guest list.  Originally FI and I budgeted for approx. 130-150 guests.  We took this budget to her and she decided to give us about 20 % of it.  A few months ago, we sent her our base guest list, which consisted of about about 145 guests and asked her to take a look at it and she sent back a REVISED list that had over 75 additions.  Some of these additions are her cousins, FFIL's cousins that my FI does not even know (when I asked him who they are, he didn't even recognize their name) 30 of these people are just her college friends...Since then, FI and I have set down and cut down our guest list, b/c it is just too big.  We cut some cousins, some of our friends, etc.  I'd like to cut some of her friends (she almost has more "friends" coming than I have family coming).   FI was scared to initiate the guest list conversation (she is that abrasive, her own son is intimidated!), so it came up a few weeks ago when she came to visit to look at rehearsal dinner locations.When it got brought up, I became the bad guy....and she couldn't believe we had cut down the list.  I tried to tell her that we hadn't budgeted from that many guests, etc.  BUT it isn't just that.I want a intimate wedding with only our closest friends and imidiate family - - I don't want to spend my night meeting people I've never even her FI or his family talk about...that is what a family reunion is for.  We printed off our "cut" guest list and we gave it to her to look over..and we've heard nothing.  we need to start addressing and send STDs, so this can of worms will be opened again soon...and I need advice on how to handle it.Am I being completely ridiculous?TIA!

Re: FMIL & Guest List

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    I dont think you are being rediculous. I made my own mother mad by cuts I made to the list. She told me to invite some people and I did some and not others. when I got some NO's from people, I sent out a few more. DH and I used this way of thinking for invites: have we spoken in the last 6 months? how close are we? could we pick them out of a crowd of people? who do we absolutely want to be there? Since you have heard nothing, I would consider that list "it" unless you get some NO's and you have room to invite more. I wish you the best.
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    I don't think you are being ridiculous at all.  My son and his FI will have a backyard wedding that will handle 80 people.  My family alone would be 46!  Needless to say, there will be a major reduction of invitees. Cousins and none of my friends will be getting an invitation, and they will just have to understand.  The bridal couple has graduate school friends they've been close with for over eight years.  Those friends deserve an invitation for the care and support they've given each other over the years.The bottom line is that the wedding is for you and your FI.  Those people special to you are the ones to be invited.  You have every right to have a personal relationship with the people attending your wedding.  This is not a party for the parents friends.  Would fmil be receptive to creating a tiered list, and if there are spots available, maybe those people could be added.?Best wishes.
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    FI was scared to initiate the guest list conversation (she is that abrasive, her own son is intimidated!), so it came up a few weeks ago when she came to visit to look at rehearsal dinner locations.Red flag. Be prepared for a lifetime of mommy coming in first ahead of you because your FI is too much of a doormat to stand up for himself and his wife. A piece of jewelry doesn't come with a pair of nuts. When it got brought up, I became the bad guy....and she couldn't believe we had cut down the list.Where was your FI in all of this? Cowering in the corner? I want a intimate wedding with only our closest friends and imidiate family - - I don't want to spend my night meeting people I've never even her FI or his family talk about...that is what a family reunion is for. Pay = say. You don't want her friends at your wedding? Be adults and pay for everything yourself. If you accept her money she gets some say in things, like the guest list. Paying for everything yourself is the only way to solve this problem. The only way.
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    ziti's right but unfortunately none of that helps your immediate problem.Fi needs to approach his mother on this, I think you need to put a limit on the number of guests she can invite, something along the line of "Mother, we just can't make the guest list work so we've gone back to square one and we are going to do it like this, we (fi & you) are inviting x guests, and have allocated X for brides family and X for grooms family, we cannot accomodate guests over this limit"If Fi can't communicate and negotiate with his mother then the two of you need to be prepared to pay for it yourself, be prepared though that even if you do this you FMIL is not going to want to relinquish power to you and will more than likely kick up a fuss about all of your decisions until FI rolls over and gives in.ps, he's not part labrador is he? ; )
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    Oh my, sorry I just saw the bit where she's inviting 30 of HER COLLEGE FRIENDS, change tack!Fi needs to remind her this is not her wedding, it is not her chance to do-over her wedding again, it's not about her, it's about you two.Refuse her money now and elope!
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    Thanks Ladies. FI and have discussed telling her that we will go forth with the wedding sans her contribution if it gets to that.  It might be the only way. I love the idea of saying we've been having a hard time making the guest list work for all parties involved and putting a number out there for both sets of family to invite.  We may have to do this this weekend. The college friends thing really gets to me...she claims "she can't invite one set and not the other"....  During that conversation I did actually tell her "This is NOT a ----- family reunion and it is OUR wedding NOT yours."  I couldn't believe those words came out of my mouth!  I think matters are made worse b/c FI is the OLDEST of all kids in his family so this is the first wedding, so she feels the need to invite everyone. And, unfortunately my FI was kind of cowering in the corner during the hard discussions.  I was very upset by his lack of support that evening and we discussed it when they left.  To make it all worse, is the fact that she is just not a very loving, positive person so she has not ever said ONE positive thing about what we've planned so far.  I tried to involve her and sent her a pic of my wedding dress and this was her reply:  "It looks like you."Thanks ladies :)
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    I'm totally quoting you, ziti.
    This is a neglected planning bio.
    This is a belated married bio, with no reviews yet because I'm lazy.

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    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
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    Woo-hoo! I've never been quoted! You know that cowering in the corner = throwing you under the bus, right? Like I said, get ready for a lifetime of being married to a spineless little momma's boy who doesn't have the 'nads to stand up for his wife. And don't even think about complaining about it ever again. You know what you're signing up for. You're in for a real treat if you decide to have kids and MIL has issues with the way you raise them...
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    Ziti-Believe me, I recognized it as an issue right away.  i was VERY unhappy with him and we've had many...."discussions" about his behavior and its implication in our relationship and future.  All I can hope at this point is that he saw the issue, and will handle it appropriately in the future---this weekend might be his test!
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    Amy: I am concerned with what you have related here about this whole incident with the FMIL. You should not be the one that is voicing this. That he bascially did throw you under the bus to be the one that is standing up to the FMIL He should have been the one to be the man and step up to the plate and do what he had to do. He sounds like he have some issues with mom and he needs to really deal with this. That will be his choice to either cut those apron strings or stay attached to them. I see this has a problem has you appear that you don't allow others to run something that belongs to you in some sense. Word of caution I would suggest stepping back and really looking at this from outside the box. If this was happening to a friend or sister what would be your advice? I think that this really is serious and you need to address this with your FI before you go into a marriage together. I am talking about the control that he allows her to have in his life, and not taking the postion of the adult man that he supposed to be. GL seriously. Please do think about this.
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    I am just not speaking off the top of nmy head. I have expereinced this and marrying the man.I was married for 15 years this man would not stand up to his family and they would say things and treat me like I was nobody half the time. (his mother being the exception) She was the greatest MIL I have ever had. I was miserable and stayed for the children. Until it was to much and on top of other things I had to say enough. I hope that things turn around for you and your FI decided to put on the big man pants and fulfill his obligation and committment to you has his wife to be.
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    Who cut the guest list?  Did you do it for her (or your FI) or did you tell her "We need you to cut X number of people?"  The reason I ask is that when we needed to trim out guestlist (my MIL's guestlist) she trimmed from her family and not her friends.  I have friends that I value much more than some of my family (as I never really see these member of my family).  So, maybe you jumped the gun a little cutting her list for her instead of allowing her to make the decisions herself?  Just a thought.  I doubt it but maybe she'd be more willing to cooperate if she got to base how important those on her list are instead of you and FI (who probably don't know them).
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    we've had many...."discussions" about his behavior and its implication in our relationship and future.It sounds like the implication is you're going to go ahead and marry him anyway and pray that he changes after the wedding. Here's a newsflash for you -- if things don't change after one "discussion," they never will. Why should they? He knows you're filled with nothing but empty threats and you're not going anywhere.Anyway, good luck with all that. The [url=http://boards.thenest.com/Boards/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=256]Trouble in Paradise[/url] and [url=http://boards.thenest.com/Boards/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=244]Family Matters[/url] boards over on The Nest are filled with miserable wives who mistakenly thought their husbands would magically sprout a pair after the wedding. You may want to bookmark those links for the future.
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    My FI can be a little iffy when it comes to his family, but he does what he needs to when I need him to stand up or speak up for me. Even if your FI's a momma's boy, you don't love him any less. You're probably not going to leave him because he is a bit of a wuss.But back to your guest list....I think maybe you should let her cut.Maybe say, I'm sorry, I jumped the gun. We can have 150 people at the wedding and I want your to have those you want include. Can you please cut XX out of your guest list to help us?I think just saying, OK, you're people can't come, and we won't take your contribution is pretty rude.So give her options.  I do not think you are being ridiculous, and you are probably being more patient with her than anyone could hope, but it sounds like you just have to smile and play nice in this one.But if you give her options, and let her make the final cuts to trim down to the number you need, maybe she'll work with you.If not, you need to tell FI to buck up and handle. Then your next step is not including her thoughts, ideas, and financial contributions.IF, she does what you ask, maybe tell her to give you a small supplemental list, like an extra two or three guests, and tell her if you get a few people who can't make it, you'll send them an invite.There is NO reason at all she should be inviting 30 colleges friend. No reason. Two at the most would be sane. Does she even still know these people? That is absolutely horrible.When the parents give you lists, it should be family, with a few family friends followed by friends who have known you or your FI. People you two do not know should not really be there, unless you're having a huge 200+ guest wedding. It's just silly.
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