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July 2012 Weddings

A gift from FI's parents

We were back in Oregon visiting his parents for the holidays.  They handed us a check and said it's to help out with wedding expenses.  We were pretty shocked.  Had no idea this was coming, nor did we give any indication that we needed money (we're doing well).  It basically equates to the price of the  photographer.  We thought about giving it back, but feel they'd be quite offended.

The guest list has been set already and we're at the max, so they cannot add to it.  I showed FMIL photos of my venue to see if she had any brilliant ideas for decorating.  None seemed like anything I envisioned doing.  I was going to do this before they even gave us the check because she's super crafty.  However, we actually won't see them until the wedding, so not like they can give a TON of input.  They really are up for helping with anything if we just ask.  Very sweet of them.

However, I am just leary about our new obligation to them that comes with their donation.  Like if they have ideas or suggestions, I almost feel like I'm obligated to take some of them into consideration or make some of them happen because of their donation.  Am I right on this thought?

Do they get added to the invitation now?  Not even sure how you'd word that for his parents.  I was feeling mighty proud about just having our names on it because we were paying for it all.  I'm trying to not make it obvious to my mom that they donated.

Don't get me wrong - that was extremely nice and generous of them to do that and we thanked them profusely!  I'm just thinking about what has to be done differently now.  The logistics, if you will.  I've only shared my concerns with you people!

Re: A gift from FI's parents

  • Well I'm not exactly sure cuz I'm not the most etiquette up to date person BUT we have a similar situation with my dad. He offered as a gift to help out with some expenses. However, it's not the majority nor half of our budget. To me, that means my father isn't the host and not all the same rules apply. That being said, I do like to tell my dad about details, update him on things we've been doing.. just keeping him involved because I feel like it's a nice thing to do. Plus it's my dad! I enjoy giving him updates and we just kind of play it by ear. If my dad is interested in giving some extra input on something, he will.. otherwise it's not a big deal. It also depends on how his parents are... my dad is suuuper lax about almost everything and isn't any more of a stickler for etiquette than I am. So I guess that influences everything.

    As for not making your mom feel bad, I felt the same way and we decided that instead of putting names on the invite and stating who donated, we went for using the "together with their families" line. I feel it gives a nod to your folks, whether it be for helping out economically or in other ways, without singling people out you know? Also you could always chat with them and ask how they feel about helping make decisions or not. Communication is always the best and easiest way to getting answers! :)
  • My parents contributed to the wedding where FI's parents have not and they won't be...Our names are going on the invitations only. We thought it be best that way....

    Make sure you thank them for the generous gift...If they have suggestions that you may or may not agree with just tell them, 'I haven't thought of that. I will have to look more into it." and drop it.  If she brings it up again, just be like 'Yes, I've thought about it, but I'm not sure yet, where it could tie in yet.' 

    I told my dad that if he wanted any of his extended family at the wedding, then he had to pay for them.  Also, I'm allowing my parents to invite a few of their friends to the wedding.  My grandparents also gave a little bit and I had to invite another great aunt I wasn't planning on inviting...

    So, it depends...just see where it goes. 
  • I would say just see where it goes.  Only my parents are helping out financially but we put all parents' names on the invites since they have helped us with some decisions and given us some input.  They keep seeming like they want to help financially, but I know they can't so they were really happy with seeing their name on the invite.  I generally ask my mom alot of advice with the money she gave us but she isn't overbearing like she was at the beginning.  I would just involve your IL's in gathering input and such so they have some sense of control on their money.

  • ginadogginadog member
    1000 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Thanks ladies!  I've always been a strong advocate of "pay for your own wedding" school of thought, so it's very conflicting for me.  We're at the max venue limit as far as invited so no one else can be invited or it'll be a B list kind of situation, which we all know it bad etiquette.

    Good to know you're putting your names in the invite, littlemoments.   I am not for the "together with your families" line at all.  I do not even talk wedding stuff with my parents at all - they are guests and that's it.  My mom cannot handle the anxiety, and ends up saying rude things and stressing me out in general, so I refrain all wedding talk with her.  My dad is not into weddings.

    We really didn't ask how they expected to be involved, so guess we'll just play it out and see how it goes!
  • edited December 2011

    Here is my take on it.  It was a gift to help with the expenses.  I do not think you owe them anything as far as inviting extra people or any of that.  My FI and I are paying for our wedding.  I believe my parents will pay for 1/2 of it, however they haven't said anything and I am not counting on it.  Our invitations will have both parents' names on it, just my thoughts (I have always liked it that way), even though neither set of parents have helped financially on any of our budget, I include them in my plans.  I take their suggestions, however this is my wedding.  Not to be rude or to come across that way, however I see it this way, both parents have had their weddings....this is my wedding.  I do take suggestions, however if I don't like something I will say it.  It wouldn't matter to me whether my parents were paying for the whole thing.....now if that was the case they would obviously have more say....as in the budget and number of guests ect.  Both sets of parents got to invite friends or family.

  • Rebis58Rebis58 member
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In terms of adding their names to the invitation, I don't think that's necessary. The names on the invitation indicate who is hosting (which I'm sure you know), and by the sounds of it, you and your FI are hosting. By giving you a gift of money, I don't think that necessarily means they have to be considered hosts, I think it just means they wanted to give you a gift. IF your parents names were on the invitation, I might worry that your FI's parents might feel slighted, but since you are planning on having only you and FI on the invitation I doubt it will be a problem.
    In terms of the rest of your question, by your description of your FILs, it doesn't sound like they are the type to have strings attached (although obviously we have only seen a small picture of them so I could be reading that wrong). You could always avoid spending the money until closer to the wedding, that way if they do start to make demands you can always return the money to them and thank them for their generosity, but you and FI want to host the wedding you want, and are prepared to pay for it yourselves.
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  • edited December 2011
    I agree with everyone else. The invite should just be who is hosting the event (aka paying for the majority AND planning the majority). I would just leave as is...but maybe get them a thank-you gift for their contribution ?
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  • What a nice surprise! I am more of the 'plan as if you pay for it yourself' school. You can pay for it yourself, and it was what you were planning to do, but there is no reason to feel awkward about a gift, that comes as a nice extra. You don't need to use it towards extra guests. Either get an upgrade or something extra that you couldn't afford otherwise, or just take some of your own money out of the budget. 

    When you thank them for it, ask them if they gave it with something particular in mind. If not, tell them what you're planning to do with it, like paying for the photographer. If they agree with that and seem happy about it, they don't really get a say about the rest of the wedding, that they're not paying for. Of course it is nice to listen to their opinions since they're his parents, but not more than you'd have done otherwise.

  • lilpandalilpanda member
    edited January 2012
    I am glad I stumbled across this because I am in about the exact same situation and have the same view point on planning to have paid for our own wedding and what not and also that we have no intentions on changing the guest list its set as we want it and we have made that crystal clear as its important to us to have a small wedding with only people who are close to us/involved in our lives (we went through the guest list fight with each parental unit already, so hoping thats done with).

    We got a generous x-mas gift that I was hesitant at taking but it does not seem the intention was the guest list, which is a sigh of relief. I don't think that you should feel obligated to accomidate for more guests if you don't want that and if you are maxed out or budgeted out. If its a gift, then that is what it simply is - a gift and that is how we are going to take it as that is what it was called when given to us and I think you  should do the same and thank them graciously for it (which is what we did). As for adding their names on the invite, it still sounds like you and FI are the hosts and I think its fine to just have your names, you said you are not a fan of the family part so I would just leave it out all together. Then again I can't say I follow 100% etiquette either.
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