So I'm going to see FI's parents in a few weeks - it will be the first time either of us has seen them since getting engaged. I'm starting to get nervous, so a little background. Sorry if this gets long... I put CNs at the end.
My parents have very graciously offered to pay for the ceremony and reception. FI and I have tentatively set a date for about 18 months from now, but we still have to meet with our priest over Christmas break (we are both in law school) before we can nail down a date for sure. So we have lots of time. My parents are very traditional and feel like the bride's family should pay for the ceremony and reception (if possible) and the groom's family should pay for the rehearsal. My family and his family have not yet gotten together to talk about this grand plan that my parents have. If FI's parents can't or won't pay for the rehearsal, no biggie - FI and I are waiting until I've worked for a year, so we can cover it if necessary.
The reason I'm nervous is that when FI's older brother got married, FI's mom took over. Completely. Nobody in the family seems quite sure how this happened, but they ended up getting married in FBIL's hometown, with the colors, venues, liturgy, music, everything chosen by FMIL. FI and I know that his parents paid for most of it, so we're hoping that's why she took over. But his family is pretty tight-lipped about anything money-related, so we aren't positive...
I guess I'm getting nervous because I'm worried she's going to try to steamroll over my parents and myself, even though they are paying - she just doesn't know it yet. His family absolutely refuses to have financial conversations, so I don't know how to bring it up that my parents are footing the bill if she starts to talk wedding ideas. She has also said (before FI and I were engaged) that we will have to invite all of HER second cousins because they are family - FI's reponse was, "didn't second-cousin-once-removed billy die?" He has no idea who those people are, and my parents will happily provide his side with 100-125 invites, but it probably won't accommodate every second cousin she has.
Please tell me I'm just getting worked up for no reason! Right now my strategy is avoidance, but we can't avoid the issue forever - this is literally the only part of this process that stresses me out right now. My parents are being wonderful, my FI is being wonderful, we have plenty of time, and we will hold our own against FMIL if necessary. We just don't want conflict.
CN: FMIL planned FBIL's wedding with no input from the bride. How do I tell her that my parents are paying (when she gets really uncomfortable with any money talk), and my mother is determined that FI and I will have the wedding we want? I don't want to offend her, but we really want our ideas to remain our own.