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Future in law problems...ABOUT TO CALL THE WEDDING OFF AND ELOPE!

Okay, so this may be a little long but I need help. My FH and I have been engaged since Oct. of 08. Our wedding will be on May 1st of this year.

My parents are very old school and wanted to pay for the wedding(we thank them every day for it and are the most greatful people in the world). We are chipping in about 25% of the wedding, but they are paying for most. That being said, I am having a bit of a problem with my FMIL and her husband(not my FH's father).

Both of our families are pretty large and it comes to about 130 people. We have a max of about 150 and can NOT go over that. As we were going over the guest list last night, I asked FH who some people were. He responded with "I have no idea..." Turns out, FMIL and her husband decided to add great aunts/uncles and 3rd & 4th cousins to the list without even asking us. So now we're up to about 160 people and have a total of 4 of *OUR* friends invited.

#1. It doesn't just stop there... My FH wants his mother and father introduced together at the reception because, well, their his parents. FMIL threw a fit because thats not her husband.

#2. We also wanted a very small receiving line(my parents, his parents, and us) and that's it. We do not have the church for a very long time, so we need to have that as small as possible. FMIL threw a fit because her husband is not being included with any of it.

#3. We put together a "rough" seating chart, and showed it to both of our families.  FMIL screamed at me for not putting her twin sister at the parents table with them,  and told me that she will NOT be sitting there without her sister and doesn't care if we don't like it.

BUT, when you're not helping plan(which they always say they're too busy) and/or not helping pay, do they REALLY have any say? HELP PLEASE!

Re: Future in law problems...ABOUT TO CALL THE WEDDING OFF AND ELOPE!

  • Whether they are paying or not, they are FI's parents so they do deserve some respect and consideration.
    1- Add FSFIL to the receiving line. It won't make it that much longer. To not include him is a very public slight to your FMIL. Just because she is not paying doesn't mean her feelings don't count.

    2- The reception is for your guests, and your FMIL is your guest. Taking your guests feelings into account is part of being a good host.

    3- I would think that most people at the reception KNOW that his parents aren't together. How about introducing them as "Mr. X, FOG, Mrs. Y, MOG. YOur FI needs to deal with the fact that his parents are no longer a social unit and are not comfortable being introduced as such.

    For the guest list your FI needs to talk to your FMIL and they need to get the guest list down together. DOn't insert yourself in that situation. And don't throw the fact that she is not paying in her face, as that will make her like you even less.
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  • DH and I both have divorced and remarried parents. It never once occured to us to make his mom and dad get announced together while his step-mom was left out. It also never once occured to me to make announce my bio-parents together and exclude the step-parents, as my bio-parents have been divorced for over 20 years.

    The guest list is one thing, but when it comes to her being able to walk in, dance sit, do whatever with her current husband, that should be a no-brainer. The day is supposed to be about being happily married, why the hell would it be appropriate to split up a married couple and make a divorced couple be nice to each other?

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  • In Response to Future in law problems...ABOUT TO CALL THE WEDDING OFF AND ELOPE!:
    Okay, so this may be a little long but I need help. My FH and I have been engaged since Oct. of 08. Our wedding will be on May 1st of this year. My parents are very old school and wanted to pay for the wedding(we thank them every day for it and are the most greatful people in the world). We are chipping in about 25% of the wedding, but they are paying for most. That being said, I am having a bit of a problem with my FMIL and her husband(not my FH's father). Both of our families are pretty large and it comes to about 130 people. We have a max of about 150 and can NOT go over that. As we were going over the guest list last night, I asked FH who some people were. He responded with "I have no idea..." Turns out, FMIL and her husband decided to add great aunts/uncles and 3rd & 4th cousins to the list without even asking us. So now we're up to about 160 people and have a total of 4 of *OUR* friends invited. #1. It doesn't just stop there... My FH wants his mother and father introduced together at the reception because, well, their his parents. FMIL threw a fit because thats not her husband. #2. We also wanted a very small receiving line(my parents, his parents, and us) and that's it. We do not have the church for a very long time, so we need to have that as small as possible. FMIL threw a fit because her husband is not being included with any of it. #3. We put together a "rough" seating chart, and showed it to both of our families.  FMIL screamed at me for not putting her twin sister at the parents table with them,  and told me that she will NOT be sitting there without her sister and doesn't care if we don't like it. BUT, when you're not helping plan(which they always say they're too busy) and/or not helping pay, do they REALLY have any say? HELP PLEASE!
    Posted by tdegray912
    JIC

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  • You've gotten great advice here.  You're not going to like this, but you're being petty.

      Really, what difference will it make if your FMIL's husband is in the receiving line?  Don't tell me it will make it longer, because it won't.  People will shake his hand and say congratulations.  How long does that take?

    It would have only been gracious to ask your FMIL who SHE wants seated at her table.  Why in the world do you care who sits at her table?   FWIW:  Both my son and DD at their weddings asked for our input on our table.  This is one to completely let go.  It doesn't affect you at all.  At.  All. 

    On this one, I'd think an apology is in order:  "FMIL, we should have asked you for your suggestions on seating the guests from your side of the family.  We're sorry and hope you can help us now."

    I'd do the intros as follows:  Parents of the bride, George and Esmerelda Gray.  Parents of the groom,  Doris and Ed Green and  Fred and Ginger Purple.  They'll still be introduced as his parents, without disrespecting their signicant others.

    The only place where you have a valid concern is in the invitations.  BUT....you might have to take some ownership of this flap as well.  Did you tell them from the get go how many people they could invite?  "FMIL, we have a budget and space for 150.  That means you and FI's dad get to invite 50 people between you.  My family will invite 50 people, and FI and I will invite 50 people." 

    If you didn't do that, how were they to know how many they could invite?  If you did give parameters from the start, then she's just being difficult, and your FI needs to have a "come to Jesus meeting" with her to cut the list.

    Sorry, but most of these issues are just manufactured silliness because you don't care for her.  But she's going to be your MIL and your childrens' grandmother.  Is this really how you want to start off together?



    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • I'm not trying to throw it in her face... I have never once brought up anything to her about paying. I just don't think it's reasonable to invite people to our wedding that we don't know and have never met when we can't even invite our closest friends...

    Also, we are not asking his mother and father to dance together. They *are* still nice to eachother and can be civil for the 45 seconds it takes for them to get introduced. The step-father has been nothing but mean and degrading to us since we have announced our engagement. He wants nothing to so with the wedding and planning of it(we think its because he had a very small wedding). My FH has asked nothing of the wedding and the one thing he really wants is his parents introduced as *HIS PARENTS*. Not his mom and step father and then his father.
    Just wanted to give you guys a little info on those subjects.

    I really appreciate the help!
  • WHOA TRIX... An appology? For giving her the honor of sitting at the parents table which seats 8 people that there's 8 people at? No appology neccessary...

    I do totally care for her, and since her son and I started dating 5 years ago, we have always been close. They knew from the get-go that we could only invite 150 people and knew that it was immediate family only. They saw the guest list, saw how many people were on it, and added anyways. I'm not looking for criticism OR judgement... I am looking for help.

    I would greatly appreciate it if the people replying to this post would give help and not be mean... That's not what I am on here for...
  • I agree. After your explanations, I really see the only true issue to be the guest list. If youa re sending out the invitations, then you have ultimate control of whose address you write on an envelope. YOur FI needs to let her know who is not going to make the final list because of space issues.

    We aren't being mean, we are being honest. We gave you great advice on how to deal with things. If your FI can't deal with having his parents introduceds as who they are, then perhaps he needs some counseling to deal with their divorce and the reality that they are no longer as social unit. They can still be introduced as his parents, just in separate sentences. Its really not that big of a deal.

    And perhaps you should have taken your FMIL's feelings into account when doing the seating arrangement. There is no rule that they have to sit at the same table with your parents. Your parents could sit at a table with your grandparents, siblings, etc, and your FILs can sit at a table with people they know and love. Why would you want to make your guest feel uncomfortable in order to comply with a made up rule?
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  • (1) please don't introduce divorced parents in the same breath - even if you use their different last names.  its socially awkward, even if they're nice to each other, they are divorced.  yes, they are still your FH's bio-parents, but they're no longer a single family unit.  if you don't want to announce FH's step-father, then annouce his mother "Groom's mother, Mrs. X" and let her walk in.  then pause and announce "Groom's father, Mr. Y" and let him walk in.  personally, i think you should let FMIL walk in with her husband and announce it as "The groom's mother, Mrs. X - escorted by Mr. X" and then pause and annouce the groom's father.  please don't announce them together or make them walk in together.  if FH wants them together, he simply needs to come to grips with the fact that kids from a divorce don't get a 100% "normal/traditional" wedding.  i'm a product of divorce - so i have some insight into this.

    (2)  add your step father to the recieving line.  its a courtesy to FH's mother (who you say you really like) - it really has nothing to do with the step father.  And, this will save you a lot of headache in the future.  remember, you're going to be apart of this new family for the rest of your life. 

    (3)  can you re-work the tables?  from what i can tell from your post, there are 5 parents (your parents, FH's mom and step dad, and FH's dad).  who is filling the 3 other seats?  can they be moved?

    as a whole - i don't think your FMIL is requesting too much.  maybe its the way she's doing it that is bothering you -but the requests themselves aren't that crazy.  i agree with what trix said.  if you were going to have 150 guests, you probably should have put a cap on guest lists earlier.  instead, the parents seem to have interpreted that as they each get 75 and you and your FH aren't having any of your own guests.  there probably isn't much that can be done about that mistake now, and you have to deal with it. 

    if you're stillin a position where you can cut from the guest list, and you're 10 over your max, tell your FH to talk to his mother.  explain that your max is 150 and you're at 160.  ask if there is anyone she could cut (don't say "you need to cut 10 people." - just see if there is anyone she could let go of).  maybe your family could cut one or two couples as well?
  • In Response to Re: Future in law problems...ABOUT TO CALL THE WEDDING OFF AND ELOPE!:
    WHOA TRIX... An appology? For giving her the honor of sitting at the parents table which seats 8 people that there's 8 people at? No appology neccessary... I do totally care for her, and since her son and I started dating 5 years ago, we have always been close. They knew from the get-go that we could only invite 150 people and knew that it was immediate family only. They saw the guest list, saw how many people were on it, and added anyways. I'm not looking for criticism OR judgement... I am looking for help. I would greatly appreciate it if the people replying to this post would give help and not be mean... That's not what I am on here for...
    Posted by tdegray912
    To start at the end of this post:  you put the question out on a public board, and you live with the answers.  You don't get to tell people how to respond.  And frankly, we are EXACTLY who you should be listening to.

    We are impartial observers who don't have a vested interest in carefully phrased answers so as not to hurt your feelings.  We'll tell you what your friends and family are probably thinking but won't say out loud.

    And yes, you are wrong about the table.  You are thinking of seating ALL parents at one table?  Wrong.  wrong.  wrong.  wrong.  wrong.

    As MOG and MOB, I wanted to celebrate my children's weddings with MY family and friends. 

    I don't particularly care for my DD's MIL.  I'll be cordial to her, but we'll never be more than that.  I can tell you that it would have negatively impacted my enjoyment of the wedding to have had  to spend the reception with SIL's parents instead of my own family.

    You seat all other guests with people you think they'd like to spend the 4-5 hours with, yet you can't do that for your parents?  Please re-think having a "parents" table. 

    And if you're having a parents' table, does that also mean that she has to spend the reception sitting with her ex-husband.  Whoa.  Really inconsiderate.

    Let each set of parents host their own table.  Everyone will be happier.  So yes, go back and tell her that you've revisited the idea of a parents' table, and ask who would she like seated at her table.  Do the same thing for your parents, and for your FFIL.

    You really need to let go of your anger here.  You're making things much bigger than they need to be or should be.


    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • And just because FSFIL doesnt want to be involved with planning, that doesn't give you permission to disrespect him. A slight to him and his postion as FMIL's husband is disrespectful of their marriage. It is very disrespectful to FMIL to act like her husband doesn't count. They are a social unit whether you or your FI likes it or not.

    FWIW, I don't like my step-father. We have issues. But he is my mother's husband, so out of respect for my mother, he is included as a parent. I don't get to choose her mate any more than she gets to choose mine. Its all about respect and consideration.
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  • Look, I know there's all this stuff about the wedding being the joining of two families, but it's nonsense.  Yes, the products of two families are starting a new family, but that's it.  All three of my siblings are married.  Want to know how much interaction I have with their inlaws?

    Older sis: Her husband's parents are nice, his mom is friends with me on Facebook, but she never posts.  I've met them a couple of times at family functions, and I hung out with them for part of the day at Disneyland when they all came out to visit.  She's incidentally been married longest.

    Younger sis: Her MIL is a nightmare.  No one can stand her, including her kids.  I met her the weekend of the wedding, but I don't think I actually spoke to her.  Don't remember anything about BIL's dad.

    Brother:  I don't know the first thing about his wife's family. 

    See where I'm going with this?  Your family, including your parents, need have no interaction with his family, including his parents.  They'll all be in the same room, but they'll be hanging out with their own groups.  Don't force ANYONE at your wedding to mingle, including family.  Everyone will be more comfortable sticking to their own groups.

    Frankly, it sounds like you're making this more difficult than it needs to be.  If you'd cut your FMIL a teeny bit of slack, I think you'd find most of these problems would go away.
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  • duckie1905duckie1905
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 5 Love Its
    member
    edited January 2010
    In Response to Re: Future in law problems...ABOUT TO CALL THE WEDDING OFF AND ELOPE!:
    My FH has asked nothing of the wedding and the one thing he really wants is his parents introduced as *HIS PARENTS*. Not his mom and step father and then his father. Posted by tdegray912
    This is what bugs me the most.  It does not matter in the slightest that he wants his mother and his father introduced like this.  The REALITY of the fact is that his parents are divorced and his mother has remarried.  She has the right to be introduced with her husband if she wants, and that is sort of it.  If the stepfather doesn't want to be invovled, then introduce her separately and have another male relative escort her in.

    In this case, it doesn't matter what your FI wants and you both are painting yourselves as brats if you continue to insist it be done this way.
  • Like PPs said, the largest issue here is the guest list.  If she's gone over budget, your FI needs to say, "Mom, unfortunately you can only invite X amount of people.  Please let us know who can be removed or we'll need to use our best judgement."

    However PPs are also right about the issues that YOU are creating.

    1) The parents can be introduced at the reception along with their own partners.  If FMIL is remarried then she can be escorted by her husband.  To not do so would be rather rude to her.

    2) Just include the SFIL in the rec.  line.

    3) Instead of a 'parents table' why not have the parents seated at their own tables that they host?
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
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    In Response to Re: Future in law problems...ABOUT TO CALL THE WEDDING OFF AND ELOPE!:
    I'm having my bio-parents and fi's bioparents introduced together at our reception b/c neither one of us has that great of a relationship with our stepparents and the day is about us. The significant others of the parents will walk behind them.
    Posted by abj2010
    Just because it is your day does not mean you should stamp your feet and act like a giant 3 year old if people don't want to be introduced that way.  A wedding is one day.  Your behavior will haunt you for the rest of your life.  If the parents don't care, go for it.  But if they are uncomfortable with it, you shouldn't insist. 
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    #1. I would introduce them as  Mrs Jane Doe escorted by Mr John Doe and the introduce the FOG.   I personally would fell awkward being introduced as a couple with an ex. 

    #2. Either add the FSFIL or get rid of all the parents.  One more person is not going to make a difference

    #3. I've never seen a parents table.   I gave each set of parents their own table to host.   I really do not get why all the parents must sit together.  If they want to great.  But I know in my family parents love to host their own table with their family and/or friends that have to sit with people they barely know.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • I did ask if it was ok if they were introduced with their ex before I decided and my fmil was fine with it b/c i told her she didn't have to hold his hand or walk arm in arm with him. But my fmil is better than i  could have asked for.

  • You guys definitely need to chop the guest list and explain to FIs parents (and yours if they are invited WAYYYY extended family) that they have to make some cuts so you can both invite some people important to YOU to your wedding. And if necessary, apologize for not addressing this earlier by giving them a guideline on how many people they could invite.

    Also, you really need to talk to FI about his desire to have his parents introduced together when they are no longer married and his mom is remarried on top of it. It's rude and uncomfortable for everyone invloved.

    Crosswalk
  • Thank you everyone for the great advice! I really appreciate all of it...

    I would also like to appologize to everyone for being rude in my PP's. I'm very stressed and I did not mean to come off that way. On top of the problems I was already having, we just found out that our church might be closing due to financial problems.

    Once again, I'm very sorry for being rude and I really appreciate all of the help. Thanks again!
  • Sorry to hear all of that, and good for you for taking the advice in the spirit in which it was meant.  Good luck with your planning.
  • This subject hasn't come up for either of my kid's weddings but I hope they don't want to include the parents in the introductions. Just the wedding party would make me very happy. I want to go in and talk to people and visit, then sit down and watch the festivities, hear the toasts - I just do not want to be in the spotlight at all. It's not that I'm a shrinking violet, I've done a lot of things, run events/banquets/balls etc for groups I'm in and maybe that's why so it's not like I'm too shy to be in the spotlight.

    The only thing I really want, and it's for both weddings, I want my son to escort me in to the church at the proper time. For the reception I just want to move around and welcome people and soak up the moment.  I just want to absorb it all.

    And as far as my son escorting me in, I'm going to ask my DD and my FDIL if that's ok and if they tell me they have other ideas then I'm going to shut my mouth and go with the flow.  Will I be disappointed, yes. Will it be the end of the world? No, both days are going to be wonderful.


  • My mother would NOT be happy if I said she had to even speak to my father, let alone walk in with him. You should treat her and her husband as a social unit.
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