Wedding Etiquette Forum

Imposing - or don't worry about it?

DF & I have been talking about getting married at a park near where his parents recently moved (it was their vacay home, but now FT since they retired this year).  The area has a lot of significance to us as a couple.  We were discussing it further over dinner last night and a few points were brought up.

ETA CN: Planning a ceremony near FILs.  FILs despise only appropriate building for indoor reception.  Don't want to impose on them if family assume they can stay, eat, and drink at their house for free. (They have a hard time saying no)

Most people from his side of the family make at least one trip down during the summer and stay with FMIL & FFIL at their house.  We're concerned they're all going to *assume* they can stay there and there physically isn't enough room for that many people - especially if they're all needing to get ready for something like a wedding.  They might be able to handle a night with people sleeping on the floor, but it would be a bit ridiculous if anyone decided to stay and make a vacation out of it.  I know some of their guests don't chip in for *anything* when they're there (groceries, liquor, etc.) as they've complained about it to us in the past.  His mom hates telling people no.  I don't want them to feel obligated to put up & feed people just so they can come to our wedding.

His mom has a deep hatred for the owner of the nicest hotel in town, which has the only event center.  Aside from the community center (which is essentially a gymnasium) we can't pinpoint anywhere else to have an indoor reception (in case of rain).  She views it as a big company trying to put their small-town's local mom-and-pop businesses out of business. 

DF then suggested we have the reception at their house (knowing them they'll likely offer as soon as we tell them we were considering having it down there) and have the local BBQ joint cater in food.  I'm guessing the neighborhood would crash the reception, which we wouldn't mind, but of course there's always the issue of having enough food.  Not sure about parking yet, either. I can see the same problem with hosting at their house as with people staying there.  We might bring in a keg, wine, and sigs., but if someone wants something else they know where they keep it and FMIL won't tell them no. 

I'm absolutely in love with the ceremony spot we picked out (DF suggested it) but I don't want to put any undue stress on his parents or strain our relationship as a side effect of our wedding via guests in their home or by giving money to the "evil business owner".  DF is now just saying "Let's forget it" (to the location) but while part of me wants to prevent whatever possible issues may come up, his parents are also both grown adults who can make their own decisions and it seems silly to throw the idea out the window without even talking with them about it because of some issues that may or may not present themselves and boundaries that they may or may not set and enforce.  Ultimately, we don't want negative feelings associated with our wedding, even though any mooching-type behavior from his relatives will be reflective of them and not us. 
Formerly known as flutterbride2b
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