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Just Engaged and Proposals

Mother of the groom (advice please!)

My fiances mother is an awesome person! I love her to death and I can't wait for her to be a part of my family also.

The issue is that she asked if she could pay for the food at the wedding after my mother had already offered to take on that part.
His mother has a history of not using money wisely at all. Especially since my fiance has bailed her out of financial problems she has and she can't even afford her phone bill. She was diagnosed with diabetes a few years ago and it's heartbreaking because she still continues to smoke and do things that have a bad impact on her health. She doesn't work and her husband runs a small business which means that she would use her husbands money to pay for the food at the wedding.

If she can barely afford her own bills and expenses, how do I explain to her that I don't feel comfortable with her paying for the food?

My fiance thinks we should let his mother pay for it because he thinks it's her way of wanting to be part of the wedding, but I think there's less expensive ways she can be a part of it.

 I even invited her to get pampered with me and to go to a bridal show and she asked my fiance if we could pay for her train ticket to come out here and see us because she doesn't want to drive even though she's only 3 hours away. If she can't afford a train ticket, how can she afford food for a wedding?

I feel like I'm complaining too much but I am really trying to work through this problem somehow.

Please help!

Re: Mother of the groom (advice please!)

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    You don't tell her that you are uncomfortable with her paying for the food.  You thank her for the offer and simply tell her that your mom has already taken care of that cost.  Nothing else needs to be said. 
    CLoGreenEyesSTARMOON44
  • bosanka7 said:
    My fiances mother is an awesome person! I love her to death and I can't wait for her to be a part of my family also.

    The issue is that she asked if she could pay for the food at the wedding after my mother had already offered to take on that part.
    His mother has a history of not using money wisely at all. Especially since my fiance has bailed her out of financial problems she has and she can't even afford her phone bill. She was diagnosed with diabetes a few years ago and it's heartbreaking because she still continues to smoke and do things that have a bad impact on her health. She doesn't work and her husband runs a small business which means that she would use her husbands money to pay for the food at the wedding.

    If she can barely afford her own bills and expenses, how do I explain to her that I don't feel comfortable with her paying for the food?

    My fiance thinks we should let his mother pay for it because he thinks it's her way of wanting to be part of the wedding, but I think there's less expensive ways she can be a part of it.

     I even invited her to get pampered with me and to go to a bridal show and she asked my fiance if we could pay for her train ticket to come out here and see us because she doesn't want to drive even though she's only 3 hours away. If she can't afford a train ticket, how can she afford food for a wedding?

    I feel like I'm complaining too much but I am really trying to work through this problem somehow.

    Please help!

    I don't see why it is any of your business to judge what she does with her money or her husband's money. Technically her husbands money is her money. Is her husband FI's dad or stepdad?

    When is your wedding? Rule of thumb, don't count on anyone's money until you physically have it in hand or they physically paid for something for you (deposits, etc). Its a good thing to remember through the process. Im glad I was smart and listened when some girls told me not to rely on my parents money. My mom lost her job in Jan and it took her 6 months to get a new one. The money she told us she'd give to us to put towards the wedding, she doesn't have now and feels guilty about it. FI's parents told us they were going to give us $XXX. We're 1.5 months and have not seen anything yet. They keep telling us we'll find out the weekend of the wedding. We've been saving everything ourselves and planning to pay for everything ourselves.

     

  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I can understand why you're concerned, but it's really not your business what she does with her money. All the information about her health and her habits are irrelevant in terms of the problem here, which I think can be summed up as:

    "My future mother-in-law has offered to pay for part of our wedding, and we would like to decline her offer without hurting her feelings."

    There's also the secondary problem:

    "What should we do if my future mother-in-law asks for us to pay for her transportation and lodging when she comes to our wedding?"

    For the first problem, start by securing the money from YOUR mother to pay for the food. A promise is good, and depending on your relationship with her, it might be enough. But until that money is in your hands, or until the food is paid for, something might happen. After you've gotten that straightened out, have your fiance tell his mother that you really appreciate the offer, but that you don't need financial assistance. Additionally, try to brainstorm ways of involving her without asking her for money or to travel. Like, "Mom, bosanka and I are trying to figure out what kinds of centerpieces we want. What do you think about these options?"

    Second problem: if she tries to get you to pay for transportation, let her know that because you are paying for the wedding (yes, your mother is helping you, but it sounds like you're paying for the rest), you aren't able to pay for her transportation costs. Offer solutions for her (can her husband drive her to the wedding? I assume he's also going to be invited!).

    If you set things up as, "We have a tight budget because we're paying for the wedding," then if she offers to pay for part of the wedding, your fiance can point out that it will cost a lot more for her to pay for part of the wedding than it will for her to get to the wedding.

    Honestly, I'd just go with the party line of, "Thank you, but we're all set paying for the wedding," come up with some ways to involve her without having her pay for anything (asking for opinions), and have your fiance be in charge of communicating with her about finances or transportation or whatever.
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  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    I'm surprised that your FI is willing to accept his mother's money when he has bailed her out before.  My H often helped MIL out with some bills, even when he was living with me full time.  MIL kept telling us that she wanted to pay for the RD.  We knew she didn't have the money, so we just kept saying no.  H & I paid for the majority of the RD and my parents offered to pay the rest.  Thankfully, she is getting FILs SS money now, so she is much more stable and not in need of assistance.  Even now, we would not have accepted the RD offer from her. 

    My point being, your FI should be telling his mother that her assistance isn't needed.  If he wants, he should tell her to save up the money, so that she will be fully able to attend the wedding.  But you can't really tell her how to spend her money either, so just make it a casual request.  But I would budget into your wedding, the possibility of having to pay for her travel and accomodations to come to your wedding, just in case.  If this is normal behavoir for her, she won't change just because her son is getting married.

  • Phira and Stina51286,

    I am not judging. I clearly stated that my fiance has bailed her out of her financial problems. She IS the one that makes it both mine and my fiances business because she talks to us both about it. We are trying to help her, not cause her more financial stress.
  • bosanka7bosanka7 member
    First Comment
    edited August 2013
    OliveOilsMom,

    Thank you for understanding my point!!!

    We are of course going to cover her travel to our wedding but we just don't want to upset her by saying no to her paying for the food. She is the type of person that closes off from you for a while if you say no to her even if you try to nicely explain to her why you are making the decision to decline the offer.
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    bosanka7 said:
    Phira and Stina51286,

    I am not judging. I clearly stated that my fiance has bailed her out of her financial problems. She IS the one that makes it both mine and my fiances business because she talks to us both about it. We are trying to help her, not cause her more financial stress.
    What I was trying to say was that it's not relevant. You don't get to decide for another person how they spend their money. It's something we see all the time in the wedding party forum: "My bridesmaid is now saying she can't chip in for the bridal shower and the dress we picked is out of her budget, but I know she just bought a new sofa and she gets manicures every week!"

    It's not that you're being rudely judgmental of your future mother-in-law. It's that you can't decide for her how she should spend her money, even if you're RIGHT to be concerned. You can only decide how to deal with your interactions with her, money-wise. So you can decline her financial assistance, knowing that she really can't afford to help you, without telling her that's why you're declining.

    That's what I mean by her financial decisions aren't your business, not that you shouldn't be aware of any aspect of her financial situation. I'm sorry for the misunderstanding.
    Anniversary
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