Moms and Maids

FMIL and FSIL difficulties

Hello!

We're getting married the second weekend of September. My mother in law announced yesterday that she will be arriving late afternoon the day before the wedding... which is interesting, because when she asked how she could contribute, we said that rather than contributing financially, we would appreciate help in the days leading up to the wedding. We're DIYing most of it, and we've been really good about getting things done early, but I'll be back in (law) school by then and I anticipate that there will be a rush to finish last-minute things a few days before. 

Anyway, she's arriving just late enough to not help with anything that day... And she's bringing with her our officiant (her brother). It's 2 1/2 hours from the airport to our venue, so this means there won't be a rehearsal the night before. News to me. Last night she emailed me a very fake-sounding email, all cheery, and then giving me their itinerary, like she was looking for my blessing. Huh? What am I even supposed to do about that? Sounds like plane tickets have been purchased, so I'm not sure if saying anything at this point will result in change. I've been calling a few close friends and I think that I will be able to find enough people to help the day before, but I feel like she's planning to float in fewer than 24 hours before the ceremony begins and make a big deal out of her arrival. (It wouldn't be the first.) 

Then, there's this other issue, with FH's sister. We're having a very small wedding-- 70 absolute tops, per venue restrictions (and budget limitations). She wants to invite this guy who she knows who lives several hundred miles away, who she has a crush on and might want to date in the future, but isn't sure it will work out, with whom she's spent very little time, oh, and she thinks this will be a great opportunity to introduce him to the family. What the what? I gave her a very diplomatic answer when she asked (don't know the # of RSVPs yet, if we have room we'll let you know, but he is welcome to brunch the day after), but she's spoken with her mother (above) who spoke with FH, who won't quite admit that his sudden interest in inviting sister's crush is because of his conversation with his mother. (Going behind my back to get others to do her bidding is FMIL's modus operandi, ask me about the time she tried to stop me from going to law school without saying a word to me.) 

ANYWAY! Any advice for either of these situations? I am at a loss for how to respond to FMIL's email. I would also prefer that FSIL not use our wedding to introduce her new potential suitor to the family. I'm trying not to be too controlling about this, but that just seems weird to me. Thoughts? Similar situations and how they worked out? 

Thanks, friends! 

Re: FMIL and FSIL difficulties

  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    Hello!

    We're getting married the second weekend of September. My mother in law announced yesterday that she will be arriving late afternoon the day before the wedding... which is interesting, because when she asked how she could contribute, we said that rather than contributing financially, we would appreciate help in the days leading up to the wedding. We're DIYing most of it, and we've been really good about getting things done early, but I'll be back in (law) school by then and I anticipate that there will be a rush to finish last-minute things a few days before. 

    Anyway, she's arriving just late enough to not help with anything that day... And she's bringing with her our officiant (her brother). It's 2 1/2 hours from the airport to our venue, so this means there won't be a rehearsal the night before. News to me. Last night she emailed me a very fake-sounding email, all cheery, and then giving me their itinerary, like she was looking for my blessing. Huh? What am I even supposed to do about that? Sounds like plane tickets have been purchased, so I'm not sure if saying anything at this point will result in change. I've been calling a few close friends and I think that I will be able to find enough people to help the day before, but I feel like she's planning to float in fewer than 24 hours before the ceremony begins and make a big deal out of her arrival. (It wouldn't be the first.) 

    Then, there's this other issue, with FH's sister. We're having a very small wedding-- 70 absolute tops, per venue restrictions (and budget limitations). She wants to invite this guy who she knows who lives several hundred miles away, who she has a crush on and might want to date in the future, but isn't sure it will work out, with whom she's spent very little time, oh, and she thinks this will be a great opportunity to introduce him to the family. What the what? I gave her a very diplomatic answer when she asked (don't know the # of RSVPs yet, if we have room we'll let you know, but he is welcome to brunch the day after), but she's spoken with her mother (above) who spoke with FH, who won't quite admit that his sudden interest in inviting sister's crush is because of his conversation with his mother. (Going behind my back to get others to do her bidding is FMIL's modus operandi, ask me about the time she tried to stop me from going to law school without saying a word to me.) 

    ANYWAY! Any advice for either of these situations? I am at a loss for how to respond to FMIL's email. I would also prefer that FSIL not use our wedding to introduce her new potential suitor to the family. I'm trying not to be too controlling about this, but that just seems weird to me. Thoughts? Similar situations and how they worked out? 

    Thanks, friends! 
    No one is obligated to help with your DIY projects for your wedding. Not even your FMIL. Not even your own mother. So forget about it. From the sounds of it, you don't like her very much, so you probably should be happy that she won't be in your hair for the week leading up to your wedding.

    If your ceremony isn't complicated, you probably don't need a rehearsal. You and fi could contact your officiant by phone a week before the wedding to go over the details. If you think you need a rehearsal, after that, you can arrange something with your wedding party, minus the officiant. If you have a rehearsal, you should host an RD for those who participated. That;s one more thing to add to your 'to do' list. 

    You're not obligated to invite dates for your guests. But, if your FSIL is traveling to attend your wedding OR if your fi wants to allow her a date, you should defer to him. Why make an issue of one extra person? I know you think you were being diplomatic by hinting that you might B-list FSILs date, but you weren't. You just created confusion. 

    I would suggest you take a look at your list of DIY projects and prioritize them. As you approach the last week of wedding preparations, you'll see that the things at the bottom of your list aren't that important. You can choose to toss the rest of the list  have a margarita and a long bubble bath, instead of doing all those little things that won't matter in the long scheme of things. 


                
    [Deleted User]Grabows14
  • Uhm, wow. Good luck with that.

    1. Fundamentally, you have a FI problem. If your FI won't stand behind you and back the decisions you (and presumably) he have made in re FSIL's crush-date, that's a red flag and a problem.

    2. You don't need to have an RD. You only have an RD if you have a rehearsal. If you think you can manage the ceremony and the day-of events without practising, you should be fine to skip the rehearsal and subsequently RD.

    3. If you think that's not feasible, then you need to tell FMIL, "I'm sorry, but we really need our officiant to come in by X time so as to be able to participate in our rehearsal. We'll of course understand if you can't come in that early." My guess is she'll be unable to skip the chance to be the centre of attention and make a big deal out of her arrival. 

    4. Straight-up tell your FSIL, 'I'm so sorry, but due to budget restrictions and venue space issues, we cannot accommodate any more guests. I'm sure you understand.' Better yet -- have your FI tell her that. Also, know that if she succeeds in getting this guy to come, she's going to look like a sad, pathetic, desperate bride-wannabe who is so hard up for men she's inviting random guys to her brother's wedding so she doesn't look like a crazy cat lady.

    Have your FI deal with his family, but make sure he's on the same page as you. If he's telling Mama one thing and you another, you're in for a world of problems in your marriage.
    Anniversary

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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • Thanks for the constructive and helpful response, HisGirlFriday13! I agree-- and usually he and I are on the same page, which was why this was kind of weird. We were on the same page initially re: the FSIL situation (and generally are, he's called out his mother on some pretty hurtful comments/actions before, so I do think it's primarily the uniqueness of the wedding that caused him to cave to her), but his mother called him and seems to have said something. 

    And good point about the rehearsal-- I guess I haven't been to enough rehearsals to sort out complicated from uncomplicated. I am typically over-prepared for everything (I show up to races over an hour in advance just to make sure I don't miss the start), and this seemed like another time in which it was best to over-prepare. Perhaps I can just make everyone a timeline instead, and that will help. 

    Anyway, thanks for your input and help, HisGirlFriday13! 
  • Hello: I'm a little bit confused. Why do you expect her to help you at all? Its your wedding, and you said you were DIY? So do it and its not really reasonable to expect folks to help you with it. Would it be nice? Absolutely, but its kind of presumptuous to expect it. 

    Also, why can't you have a rehearsal dinner? Throw some baked spaghetti in the oven and veggies, hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill and make an evening the backyard. Voila, rehearsal dinner. Were you expecting your MIL to throw you a formal sit down dinner? I'm really confused by what your expectations are?

    She gave you her schedule as a courtesy. If  you don't have time to pick her up let her know that you are busy and that she will have to arrange to get to your house herself. That is not a rude thing to do. You have a wedding you are planning and its up to her to get to your house. 

    Did you not include a plus one for FH Sister? Why not? I would include plus one's for most guest. If you don't have room you don't have room, but if you knew she was dating someone then this is to be expected really. 

    You will be so busy on your wedding day that it won't matter who is introduced to who. Seriously, focus on what is important and leave the petty drama out of it. You are getting hung up on very small things here. Look at the big picture. 
    ~* Matron of Honor *~

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  • Thanks for the constructive and helpful response, HisGirlFriday13! I agree-- and usually he and I are on the same page, which was why this was kind of weird. We were on the same page initially re: the FSIL situation (and generally are, he's called out his mother on some pretty hurtful comments/actions before, so I do think it's primarily the uniqueness of the wedding that caused him to cave to her), but his mother called him and seems to have said something. 

    And good point about the rehearsal-- I guess I haven't been to enough rehearsals to sort out complicated from uncomplicated. I am typically over-prepared for everything (I show up to races over an hour in advance just to make sure I don't miss the start), and this seemed like another time in which it was best to over-prepare. Perhaps I can just make everyone a timeline instead, and that will help. 

    Anyway, thanks for your input and help, HisGirlFriday13! 
    You're welcome! Weddings do seem to bring out the crazy in people -- and the corresponding spinelessness! 

    Just for point of reference, we are having a full Catholic Mass wedding, and fully half of our wedding party (one GM, one RB, one BM, the FG, both readers, the priest) will not be attending our rehearsal. Other than the priest and the two readers, no one else is Catholic or has ever been to a Catholic wedding. I'm trying not to stress about that, and succeeding for the most part, because I have an awesome DOC who has promised to make things go very smoothly. I figure, everyone can manage to walk down the aisle. Right?

    Good luck!
    Anniversary

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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'

  •  (Going behind my back to get others to do her bidding is FMIL's modus operandi, ask me about the time she tried to stop me from going to law school without saying a word to me.) 
    I admit that I'm curious...

    Officially hitched as of 10/25/13

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  • I just want to ask, OP, did you ever talk to your officiant (the brother) and discuss a rehearsal with him? Or did you just assume he would know when and where he's supposed to be? I'm just wondering if there was a breakdown in communication (or lack of it) regarding this and that's why he's coming in with FMIL last minute. Just a thought.
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  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    I'll bite. How and why did she stop you from going to law school?
                
    [Deleted User]
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