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Step-in-law drama! (Very long)

I posted this on the CT board, but I'm curious to see a wider range of opinions.. I hope that's acceptable.Alright wise ladies of the The Knot.. please assist me with your opinions and advice.In 2 weeks, my mom is hosting an engagement party for FI and I at her house. About 6 weeks ago, we each gave her short list of our close friends and family members we wanted to invite. I have a small family and only invited the closest of our family members, and the only friends who received invitations are the ones we will ask to be members of our wedding party.I want to re-iterate, SMALL. Mom wanted 30 people, MAX.Enter drama.FI is much closer with his mother's side of the family than his fathers (they are divorced, and his father remarried) so on his list was his mother, 2 aunts, 1 uncle and his grandparents (all on his mom's side). Also on his list was his father and stepmother, and that was it for family members. Well the stepmother called up my mother to RSVP today and left a voicemail mentioning that his father's side of the family hasn't received any invitations to the EP. When my mom called her back, stepmother informed my mother that since one whole side of FI's family got invited (the maternal side), then his father's side (AND her side!) all need to be invited as well. That's 18 extra people.Now my mom certainly didn't exclude anyone purposely, but this is a small gathering for close friends and family members, and the people that stepmother wants invited didn't even send FI a card for his birthday (which was today). These are not "close" family members. I can see her side, in the interest of fairness... but MY mother is hosting the party in HER house and MY mother is footing the bill, so my natural reaction is, "who the hell is this woman to boss around my momma?" EPs aren't necessary, she just wanted to have a little get together to celebrate! I'd also like to point out that this woman has not congratulated me on being engaged to her stepson and has never been overly warm and welcoming to me. My mom feels pushed around, I'm angry, FI is on my side, but no one wants to make waves or start a fight. Maybe it's not worth the fight, but it's still hella rude. What should we do?

Re: Step-in-law drama! (Very long)

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    You are right. EPs aren't necessary, they're just nice. Inviting all of FFIL's family is what the wedding is for. I would tell step-mom that, actually. "We'd love to see them at the wedding, of course, but this is really just a small party." Of course, she can also throw you a party, but she probably doesn't get that/doesn't want to, and you can't clue her into that in a non-tacky way... I don't think. Or tell her, "Maybe there will be showers or other parties they can be invited to." *hint hint*Anyway, yeah, it's totally rude for her to invite 18 extra people to someone else's party.
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    Your FI provided the list.  He needs to deal with his father and stepmother.

    "You can take your etiquette and shove it!" ~misscarolb
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    Maybe your Mom should say: A) thank you for pointing that out to me, I'll look into it - and then continue with the party as planned?B) In the interest of the celebration being an intimate one, the Couple is comfortable with the amount of people we've invited.C) no response at all. Ignore her.
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    If I were your mom, I'd respond with, "We're looking forward to seeing you and your husband at the party.  How lovely that you'll be there."And then say NOTHING on the extra guests to her.  It's not her place to speak up and it's not appropriate for your mother to get involved.FWIW, I don't know how FSMIL got wind of the guest list but I'd keep her out of discussions like that.  IF she brings it up then it's really on your FI's shoulders to say, "This was NOT your call.  If you want to make sure that those people are included then by all means invite them to a party.  However I supplied her mother with a list of the people who were nearest and dearest to me and those people were not on it.  It also wasn't OK for you to start adding onto the guest list."Let your FI handle the step mother and his father.  This is something that he needs to do though - but only if it's brought to his attention.
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    Your FI needs to call Step mom & tell her that his FMIL is hosting & he provided the guest list. That it is very small EP & that he is trying to have a happy relationship with his FMIL so step-mom needs to call & apologize to his FMIL. He needs to fix this not you or your mom. He can explain that his extended family will be getting wedding invites.This last part kind of depends on his relationship w/ step mom: He can hint that when his side hosts pre-wedding events more of his extended family can be invited if they want (hint hint).

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    To add, I think your FI should apologize on behalf of his step-mother to your mother.And if he's not comfortable talking to his step mother, he needs to make it perfectly clear to his father that what step mother did was not appropriate or acceptable at all.
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    I think the way Banana put it was best. It was to the point, but I don't think it'll really rock the boat too much. FI should be the one to let his dad and step mom know about the guests he chose for the party. And they are more than welcome to have a party with however many people they want. It's just rude to tell your mom that these people need to be invited to a party when she was not the person making the guest list.
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    You ladies are great, thank you for your helpful advice. It just stinks regardless because no matter what we do, a woman with the gall to dictate the guest list to someone else's party is a woman who will start WWIII when she is rebuffed, no matter how politely.
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    Here's the other thing:  if FSMIL starts WWIII, it's FI's issue with her and his father.  And he'll have to nip things from the start.As you've said, she's acting without boundaries.  FI needs to create and enforce a boundary of appropriate action with her. 
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