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How to kindly refuse $$ from future in-laws

It might seem like a silly question however I need some suggestions.

My FI and I are in the process of planning our wedding which is still 14 months out. Shortly after getting engaged, we set a small but reasonable budget that we felt comfortable with. My father is older and therefore doesn't have an expendable income... I have never planned on asking him to help with the wedding. While my father would gladly help, I'd rather he not spend the little money he has. Unexpectedly, my mom passed away 6 months ago. We unexpectedly received a large sum of money and have all intentions of putting it towards our wedding as my mom would have wanted that. Oddly, my mom and I discussed over the past summer how we would ever truly afford a wedding... She insisted that she would "help in any way possible." My mom would be honored to help pay for the wedding I've dreamed of since I was a little girl.

With that being said, we don't want his parents to give us any money to help fund our wedding. When asked how we would pay for it we simply explained that my mom had left behind money that would help fund our special day. Apparently that answer upset his parents and they feel terrible. We had no intentions of upsetting anyone but would rather not accept money at this time as we do not want anyone to extend themselves beyond their means.

Instead, my FI and I discussed that a "Congratulations" gift after the fact would be more useful for us OR that they help with the rehearsal dinner (which I understand is common for most grooms families). 

While we are very appreciative that they want to help, we'd rather an "after the fact" gift... We don't want to be rude and are very grateful. 

So, how do we go about declining their offer? They haven't mentioned it to both of us yet... However, my FI father did mention it to him. 

Sorry for the novel!
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Re: How to kindly refuse $$ from future in-laws

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    If they haven't mentioned it to both of you yet, there isn't anything to say. Don't mention it to them, unless they do so first. And if they do offer, just say "no, thank you". Explain to them that you have already set a budget aside for the wedding, and while you appriciate the offer, you would feel better declining it.

    Sorry if that sounds strange. Its 3am here.
    Good luck!
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    If they haven't mentioned it, then don't bring it up. Your FI could drop hints here and there that you guys are right on target budget-wise and are really happy that you don't need any extra. If they are insistent, offer to let them take care of the RD or even a part of the HM.
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    (Married)meganandshane.weebly.com~
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    Well I can see how your FIL would be upset you would use your mom's money and not their's... It's kind of a slap in the face and even though that is not what you are intending.  It's like why is her parents money better than mine?  You know what I  mean? I know that is not the intention, but parents are weird like that.

    When they ask again I would allow them to pay for certain item(s) say like the RD (which is traditional anyway) or the honeymoon, flowers,  DJ or even say the bar?.  Just someting that makes them feel included but does not give them too much say on the wedding.






    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. 
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    Since they haven't officially offered any money yet, don't say anything at this point.  If they do offer, just politely decline if you feel that strongly about it.  However, if you think that declining will really offend them, you may want to consider accepting some help from them.  Maybe their money (if they offer) could pay for the open bar or something?
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_kindly-refuse-future-laws?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:cf7e93a1-87c5-466f-ad32-3bedd37cb459Post:98bafaaf-3560-49fb-948f-4d184f80c587">How to kindly refuse $$ from future in-laws</a>:
    [QUOTE]I  So, how do we go about declining their offer? <strong>They haven't mentioned it to both of us yet..</strong>. However, <strong>my FI father did mention it to him</strong>.  Sorry for the novel!
    Posted by eav2c[/QUOTE]


    The OP said it was not mentioned to the both of them, but her FFIL  has mentioned it to her FI (which is not really unusual for him to talk to his own son on the issue.).






    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. 
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    I don't understand why you would feel obligated to refuse their gift before the wedding, but could accept it after.  If they are insistent on helping with the wedding and are not demanding that you plan the wedding in a way that doesn't suit you in exchange for the gift, why not graciously accept?  You can then save some of the money from your mother toward a downpayment, etc. 
    DIY & Planning | Married 

    Married: 2010
    Mom to J: 2011
    Mom to H: 2014

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    Dresses may be easier to take in than let out, but guest lists are not. -- kate51485
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    Apparently that answer upset his parents and they feel terrible. We had no intentions of upsetting anyone but would rather not accept money at this time as we do not want anyone to extend themselves beyond their means.

    Instead, my FI and I discussed that a "Congratulations" gift after the fact would be more useful for us OR that they help with the rehearsal dinner (which I understand is common for most grooms families). 

    While we are very appreciative that they want to help, we'd rather an "after the fact" gift... We don't want to be rude and are very grateful. 

    I'm not clear on how contributing to the wedding expense might cause them to extend themselves beyond their means but giving you cash after the wedding would not? Or do I misunderstand?

    Also, as a MOB, I have to ask: do parents really expect to choose or dictate the wedding when they contribute to it? My husband and I told my daughter (privately! She shared the news with her fiance later) how much cash we could contribute and specified that it's "no-strings" money. And we meant it. Her father (he and I are divorced) did the same thing. If her fiance's mother has offered money to them, that's not my business.
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    I would do the same as what squirrly said.  Even if you end up using some of the money passed on to you for a downpayment for a house or something, I'd still let your FIL's help to some degree.  If they are willing, I'd definitely let them.  That's more than a lot of people have!
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    Unless they think they get to plan the wedding if they pay, I don't know why you wouldn't accept.  If you are ok with them giving you a gift with the money later, why not just use some of their money for the wedding and save your inheritance?  I see what you're saying about your mother being able to pay for your day since she can't be there, but surely she'd be just as happy to pay for your honeymoon or downpayment on a house as long as you were able to have the wedding you wanted.
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    lyndausvilyndausvi mod
    First Anniversary First Answer 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited March 2010
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_kindly-refuse-future-laws?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:cf7e93a1-87c5-466f-ad32-3bedd37cb459Post:8e6ea433-9564-43ee-899e-8cc9f568fed8">Re: How to kindly refuse $$ from future in-laws</a>:
    [QUOTE] Also, as a MOB, I have to ask: do parents really expect to choose or dictate the wedding when they contribute to it? My husband and I told my daughter (privately! She shared the news with her fiance later) how much cash we could contribute and specified that it's "no-strings" money. And we meant it. Her father (he and I are divorced) did the same thing. If her fiance's mother has offered money to them, that's not my business.
    Posted by SheilaS[/QUOTE]


    YES.. MY parents do.    Right or wrong (although it was always know to me so it was not a surprise), my parents feel the actual RECEPTION is a gift to us  and they are the hosts not the MONEY used to pay for the reception.  Does that make sense??

       Much like someone throwing a baby shower or a birthday party. The host of the event gets a lot of the say because it's a flection of them as hosts. I have an idea of what they spent, but my parents never gave me a final number because it was not my busy how much they wanted to spend on my gifts....

    That said, my parent took our wants into consideration.  There was not any battles or anything.  It helps we view hosting events the same (must have a sit-down meal, must have a premium open bar, etc.)  WE planned the wedding together.






    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. 
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    Money can be a really touchy subject with parents. My parents don't have a lot of money, and I was really nervous about accepting anything, even though as a college student I could use it. I offered to my mother to have her pay for my dress and nothing else, but she was very insistent (and offended that I didn't want to take money) on giving me the same amount she gave to my siblings. My FI's family has more money but hasn't really offered us cash but randomly is paying for all our linen tablecloths and I am sure will offer to cover other things .  Everyone's situation is unique, but I believe, that parents, no matter what their economic situation want a way to contribute to their children's wedding in a way that makes them feel a part of the occasion. I know, from my mom, it's especially hard when your the groom's parents, your already left out to some extent because the bride's family takes most of the responsibility and is generally more in the loop. So if the money comes without planning strings, I can't see why you couldn't sit down and discuss what they want to cover, and to what extent, if they have expressed a want to contribute.
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    Thanks for the great replies.

    What many of you mentioned is the "no strings attached thing." His parents are being very proactive about the wedding... But almost TOO much. At this point, my FI has stated that he can "only hear about a wedding from one women" being either myself or his mom. I've assured him that once the basics are booked that things will calm down for awhile. But, I suppose his parents are slightly stressing him out over the wedding as what they want is opposite of what WE want.

    See--a main example of this is our reception venue. We looked at many places and came to find out that his mom was going to places without telling us. It really aggravated him. He felt embarrassed when we arrived at a venue and they informed us that his mom had already been there. I've tried to explain to him that his mom just wants to be a part of the bid day and that she should include her more. Since then, we've kept her in the loop of ideas, planning, etc. But, it's become obvious that her direction and our direction are quite different.

    We have a venue picked out that we simply adore. In fact, I think my FI likes it more than me! (I love it too--but he REALLY loves it!). It was the one place that we both feel confident in and comfortable with having our reception. His mom on the otherhand, wants us to do it somewhere else--in fact it seems, anywhere else but where we want to do it. In fact, she told us it was too pricey. It is pricier then some venues, but we have priced it out and by no means is out of our budget. My FI's brother called my FI a couple of days ago to tell him that the venue we picked out is too "pricey." My FI got very angry at this as his mom had to have talked to his brother about it.

    Another issue is that she wants us to get married in the Catholic church. I am personally for the church, but my fiance isn't. I would NEVER make him do it somewhere where he is 100% sure about... So, we've decided to look elsewhere. Breaking this news to his mom will probably upset her. I really don't want to upset her.

    My FI has expressed that he simply would rather wait to accept money from them because he doesn't want to be obligated to others wants and suggestions. Of course I take his moms suggestions with a lot of thought & she has had some great suggestions--but not everything falls into line with OUR desires.

    She has been totally proactive about our wedding... She has probably done more planning then us. For me, I am personally touched and appreciative as I have no other women in my life to help. It takes a great deal of pressure off and makes it a lot less harder when I don't have my mom to call. My FI is probably more stressed about it than I am!

    They wouldn't necessarily be living OUT of there means to help--however, I don't really think they are in the position to extend themselves right now. In a year, or a little after the wedding, I feel that they will be in a better position to help us.

    We have torn between doing what we want and doing what everyone else wants... Obviously, we don't want any strings attached with the gift of money, not in a rude way, but if we want the pricer venue, then thats what we want... Whats the big deal if it's in our budget? Not to mention, it's less than we had anticipated spending.

    He said his parents are planning to sit down and discuss $$ so thats why I want to be prepared beforehand. I don't want to push away his mom but I also want for my FI and I to pick out the venues that we want.
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    With the way you explain it, it sounds like accepting money would make things difficult. I can see where you're coming from about wanting to do things your way and making sure you pay for it so as not to let your FILs take charge.

    If they bring up the issue of $$$, I'd let them pay for (and plan) the RD. If she has a project that she can focus on and design, she might leave you guys alone with the wedding. I was blessed with awsome, very boundary-conscious FILS, but I know that FMIL is having a blasst planning the RD. Since FI and I are completely planning the wedding, I'm more than happy for her to do her own thing. Since it's "her" project, she can do whatever she wants.

    That might help your FMIL feel included and allow your FILS to contriute without the whole "strings attached" thing. I agree that taking their money to use at the wedding might open Pandora's box.

    By the way, your FI really needs to get used to repeating the phrase, "Mom, I appreciate your interest, but eav2c and I have things pretty much set for the wedding. We'll definitely ask you if we need help!"
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    In light of that new information, here's what I would do:

    "FMIL & FFIL, we are very appreciative of your offer of assistance, and your ideas and suggestions.  However, we've got our hearts set on having a wedding that really fits US.  We know that the wedding we're planning isn't what you would want to host, so we simply wouldn't presume to burden you with the cost or planning efforts.  Rest assured it will be a beautiful day, and we hope you will attend and enjoy it with us. 

    Would you care for a cookie?"

    I would 100% avoid all wedding discussion with them after that.  Don't further involve his mother - it just gives her another chance to try to change things.  Every time you invite her to be part of it, she probably sees it as a bigger chance to sieze control. 
    DIY & Planning | Married 

    Married: 2010
    Mom to J: 2011
    Mom to H: 2014

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic



    Dresses may be easier to take in than let out, but guest lists are not. -- kate51485
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