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Etiquette

HELP! Soon-to-be Mother in Law...Controlling

I need to get some reinforcement from my fellow brides...my fiancees mother is so controlling! She wants to have a say in everything, and unlike many mature adults when she doesn't get her way (or her son sets the boundaries, which he does nicely) she POUTS! I spend my days with kindergartners, I DO NOT want to have to use my teacher voice with her too! So, here's the most recent "issue". For our wedding shower my Aunt threw us a beautiful and well organized party. She came, sat, ate, and left. Barely even said HI to myself and NOT at all to my family, or the hostess. However, she left her many gifts (which is how she tries to win over people) including a cake topper. A cake topper people! Not THE cake topper I want, but a tacky and totally son-centered cake topper! She just thought she would try and control that too....I NEVER bad talk her to my fiancee, even going so far as making special opportunities for her and I to bond but they always end with her being passively aggressive and bad talking me to him! So, here I am trying to decide the right thing to do with this topper. He says he likes it, but of course he does because it highlights his favorite SPORT and he commits to a new wedding theme with every change in the wind! My mother says to get a grooms cake and use it there...which will cost us more $. If etiquette calls to be polite and use the ugly thing than I will, but first I want to hear what you all say....xoxoxoxo
BB

Re: HELP! Soon-to-be Mother in Law...Controlling

  • Chelinda said:
    I need to get some reinforcement from my fellow brides...my fiancees mother is so controlling! She wants to have a say in everything, and unlike many mature adults when she doesn't get her way (or her son sets the boundaries, which he does nicely) she POUTS! I spend my days with kindergartners, I DO NOT want to have to use my teacher voice with her too! So, here's the most recent "issue". For our wedding shower my Aunt threw us a beautiful and well organized party. She came, sat, ate, and left. Barely even said HI to myself and NOT at all to my family, or the hostess. However, she left her many gifts (which is how she tries to win over people) including a cake topper. A cake topper people! Not THE cake topper I want, but a tacky and totally son-centered cake topper! She just thought she would try and control that too....I NEVER bad talk her to my fiancee, even going so far as making special opportunities for her and I to bond but they always end with her being passively aggressive and bad talking me to him! So, here I am trying to decide the right thing to do with this topper. He says he likes it, but of course he does because it highlights his favorite SPORT and he commits to a new wedding theme with every change in the wind! My mother says to get a grooms cake and use it there...which will cost us more $. If etiquette calls to be polite and use the ugly thing than I will, but first I want to hear what you all say....xoxoxoxo
    BB
    Feel free to keep venting. Sounds rough. I don't think anything says that just because someone buys you something for a wedding you have to use it. Can you use the cake topper at the rehearsal dinner?

    melbelleup
  • Good idea! Ironically, she is planning and throwing the rehearsal dinner and I am not sure if a cake in included. I wonder how to go about finding that out...
  • APDSS22APDSS22 O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A is OK member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    If you really dislike it, you could always contrive to "lose it". I'd pick out a couple you like and have your fiancé pick one from those. As for the rest...do your best to ignore her, try to not give her wedding details so she can't interfere.

    MairePoppylizybeff
  • Keep venting.  She sounds like a peach.  Love some of the PPs suggestions, but seriously... I wouldn't use it.  If she says something about it, your FI needs to tell her the truth- we appreciate the gift, but we wanted something different for our cake and couldn't afford a groom's cake.

    May 2013 February Siggy: Invitations

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  • Well it's a cryin shame that I wrote out a whole cool response and I just hit back on the browser.

    Anyway, I have major FMIL issues. Here's my advice:

    1) Get on the same page as your fiance. Do it now. It should be priority. He needs to honor the decisions you make together and you over as his future wife. This means that if his mother tries to change his mind on your plans, he needs to stick by them. If she starts bad mouthing you - he needs to stop her. A lot of the time, my fiance says "Ok thank you for the suggestion" and changes the subject.

    2) Don't every communicate negative things to her. Let your fiance do that. On this cake topper, I suggest you plan your theme and your cake, and after it is said and done, he can tell her that the topper didn't fit in with the direction you went in for the cake, but that he likes it and wanted to incorporate it somehow at the RD. Get a cake from the grocery store if you want.

    You don't need to be friends, you just need to be friendly with her. She obviously isn't googly about having a new daughter in law, start to be okay with that and even appreciate it since she seems like a real peach when you have to be with her. I'm a little devastated that my FMIL isn't a second mother for me, but I got over it. I am nice to her. Sometimes I go out of my way to do nice things for her, but I don't try to be her daughter.
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  • I think your totally spot on! I may just have to get him on board also, since he thinks I should "give her more slack, shes used to controlling everything." But I think honesty may be the best policy here!
  • YES! I understand, did I mention he has 2 older sisters? VERY close to their mother.... ANywho GREAT advise ladies Thanks! xoxxo
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Can you use the topper somewhere else in your decor? I've seen cake toppers from parents of the couple used on the guest book table or gift table as display. I'd just put it out somewhere else at the wedding so that it's out there but not necessarily on top of the cake.

    Chelinda
  • FutureMrsN3312FutureMrsN3312 Dirty Jersey member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    Chelinda said:
    I need to get some reinforcement from my fellow brides...my fiancees mother is so controlling! She wants to have a say in everything, and unlike many mature adults when she doesn't get her way (or her son sets the boundaries, which he does nicely) she POUTS! I spend my days with kindergartners, I DO NOT want to have to use my teacher voice with her too! So, here's the most recent "issue". For our wedding shower my Aunt threw us a beautiful and well organized party. She came, sat, ate, and left. Barely even said HI to myself and NOT at all to my family, or the hostess. However, she left her many gifts (which is how she tries to win over people) including a cake topper. A cake topper people! Not THE cake topper I want, but a tacky and totally son-centered cake topper! She just thought she would try and control that too....I NEVER bad talk her to my fiancee, even going so far as making special opportunities for her and I to bond but they always end with her being passively aggressive and bad talking me to him! So, here I am trying to decide the right thing to do with this topper. He says he likes it, but of course he does because it highlights his favorite SPORT and he commits to a new wedding theme with every change in the wind! My mother says to get a grooms cake and use it there...which will cost us more $. If etiquette calls to be polite and use the ugly thing than I will, but first I want to hear what you all say....xoxoxoxo
    BB
    Do we have the same FMIL?!?  This sounds all too familiar.  I've bent over backwards to try and be nice and its gotten me no where.  When we first got engaged she ran out and bought a bunch of stuff.  My garters, ring bearer pillow, unity candle, etc.  I had to politely remind her to slow down.  I have my mom and a slew of Aunts that might want to give these little things as gifts. 

    I've made it a point to keep her out of wedding planning. When she first started giving us unwanted opinions I made it very clear that this is our wedding, she had her turn doing all the planning HER way when it came to her daughter (she paid so she got a say) now its my mom's turn to do these things with me.  (I'm the only girl...I have no sisters)  Plus it's too much negativity. (You spent what on a DJ?? I didn't spend that on FSIL...you're doing low centerpieces WHY?!?)  And I honestly don't want to deal with a pouting adult when this is supposed to be a fun happy time.  So when she mentions wedding stuff I usually say "yea I took care of that" and change the subject.  Point is I feel your pain...

    As far as the cake topper perhaps you can stand it in front of your wedding cake and still use a cake topper that you like?  (In this case in place of the MR & MRS)
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    Chelinda
  • I agree with mom, I think the extra money is worth it to do a small grooms cake which can be decorated in a theme to go with the topper his mom gave you. This way you are honoring it (so she can't say you didn't use it), but just not on the main cake that will be in a lot more pictures then the other one.

    A little trick I learned during the wedding planning process that might be helpful. With a smile respond to any idea or suggestion with 'Thanks for the suggestion/idea, i'll keep that in mind and look into it." Then later on when she asks you did you follow up on it. You can yes, but it won't work out due to expense, color, availability, etc"

     

    Chelinda
  • Options for the cake topper:

    1.  Groom cake as your Mom mentioned - doesn't even have to be an elaborate groom's cake - it could be a sheet cake from your local bakery/grocery store decorated in the color of his favorite team/sport (whatever the theme of the dreaded topper is).  Then include the topper and you are good to go.

    2. Use it on a cake at the rehearsal dinner.

    3.  "Forget it" on the day of the wedding because you had put it somewhere "safe, so it wouldn't get broken" and then were in a hurry to get out of the house.


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    Chelindamelbelleup
  • Chelinda said:
    WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, Syliva Weis??

  • cruffinocruffino member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited August 2013
    I'm going to play devils advocate and say use the stupid topper. In the grand scheme if things, does it really matter? I think a lot of groom's moms feel left out of wedding planning and don't know how to express that they'd like to be included.

    I'm not saying that you should be a doormat and let her control your life. I just think that a cake topper isn't the first step on the slippery slope to her naming your children. Something this unimportant (cake topper) isn't a hill to die on.

    Ps: here's where I admit that I have no intention of using a cake topper unless we receive one as a gift because I have no interest in spending time shopping for such triviality. Send it to me!
  • I think the fact that your FI likes it bc of the sport aspect of it is a great reason why you should use it as the grooms cake topper.
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  • cruffino said:
    I'm going to play devils advocate and say use the stupid topper. In the grand scheme if things, does it really matter? I think a lot of groom's moms feel left out of wedding planning and don't know how to express that they'd like to be included. I'm not saying that you should be a doormat and let her control your life. I just think that a cake topper isn't the first step on the slippery slope to her naming your children. Something this unimportant (cake topper) isn't a hill to die on. Ps: here's where I admit that I have no intention of using a cake topper unless we receive one as a gift because I have no interest in spending time shopping for such triviality. Send it to me!
    I totally disagree with this. It is up to you to choose your cake topper. If you don't like it, don't use it. Frankly, I'm trying to use the one my parents had at their wedding because it's really pretty (and cheaper!) and exactly what I was looking for anyways.
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