March 2015 Weddings

I'm avoiding my FMIL

I want a wedding of about 150 guests, but my FMIL doesn't think that's enough. I told my FI that each of our mothers could invite 60 guests, which is tight considering we both come from large families. Between 60 for FMIL, 60 for my mother, that leaves 30 for us to invite our friends. And I feel this is fair. My FI and I also came to the realization that we'll need to bump up our official number with our venue to 175 to make room for our bridal party and vendors. I, of course, opened my big mouth with a division of guests that was different from the 60/60/30 to say if we had 175 GUESTS (not total number of people) as 75/75/25. So my FI tells FMIL that she can invite 75 people. A few days later, she calls me saying she's got 83 people she's got on her list. I died a little. I talked to my mom about it and it just made her so mad because she feels like "Well, how will we fit any of our family if she's going overboard?" This played on me for a while. And I'm just feeling so disrespected. I've been waiting for 3+ weeks for this list from her.

My FILs came with us the day FI and I put the deposit on the venue, and my FMIL kept trying to bully me into changing my date. FI and I both decided on March 15, 2015 which is a Sunday for several reasons: since we're English education majors, I'm going to have a subtle book theme (Shakespeare quotes on our favor, guest book, and gift tables along with on our programs, a birch tree wedding cake as a nod to Robert Frost's "Birches"); March 15 is like $4,000 cheaper than March 14 at our venue; and we both have an appreciation for Shakespeare and thought the Ides of March would be the perfect date for anniversary celebrations (trip to England to see a play in the Globe, anyone?). We explained this to her at the venue in front of the people there. And she kept it up: "Oh, it's so inconvenient for FSIL and blahblahblah." I'm like "Yeah, it isn't the most convenient date for us either." But, it was the date we wanted. We've even got it starting at 5 so that we'll be wrapped up by 8:30 instead of 7 and 10:30 because of the day of the week. This instance wouldn't have irked me so badly if she wouldn't have kept it up for an hour after we left the venue. 

Before any of this happened, FMIL told FI that if there were any problems between me and her, that he should be the go between. Which I understand to an extent, but at the same time it feels really childish. I feel like its my wedding but because they're helping my parents pay for it, they think they automatically get to do whatever they want. I've kind of just thrown up my hands for now because FI hasn't shown much interest in helping me so I don't know what to do.

I know this is a lot of complaining, but please, no rude comments. I'm not being rude to my FILs, I just needed a rant somewhere my FILs (facebook) FI or my FSIL (tumblr) would see it. I'm being respectful and grateful to both my FILs and my own parents for all of their help with our wedding, and not being ungrateful at all. I'm just frustrated because my FI doesn't care to hear how I feel about this (and then wonders why I have crazy-person crying spells). Thanks March 2015 Brides! 
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Re: I'm avoiding my FMIL

  • Oh my! Sorry you're dealing with that!
  • dolewhipperdolewhipper [wh]orlando member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    edited April 2014
    gograce said:
    I want a wedding of about 150 guests, but my FMIL doesn't think that's enough. I told my FI that each of our mothers could invite 60 guests, which is tight considering we both come from large families. Between 60 for FMIL, 60 for my mother, that leaves 30 for us to invite our friends. And I feel this is fair. My FI and I also came to the realization that we'll need to bump up our official number with our venue to 175 to make room for our bridal party and vendors. I, of course, opened my big mouth with a division of guests that was different from the 60/60/30 to say if we had 175 GUESTS (not total number of people) as 75/75/25. So my FI tells FMIL that she can invite 75 people. A few days later, she calls me saying she's got 83 people she's got on her list. I died a little. I talked to my mom about it and it just made her so mad because she feels like "Well, how will we fit any of our family if she's going overboard?" This played on me for a while. And I'm just feeling so disrespected. I've been waiting for 3+ weeks for this list from her.

    My FILs came with us the day FI and I put the deposit on the venue, and my FMIL kept trying to bully me into changing my date. FI and I both decided on March 15, 2015 which is a Sunday for several reasons: since we're English education majors, I'm going to have a subtle book theme (Shakespeare quotes on our favor, guest book, and gift tables along with on our programs, a birch tree wedding cake as a nod to Robert Frost's "Birches"); March 15 is like $4,000 cheaper than March 14 at our venue; and we both have an appreciation for Shakespeare and thought the Ides of March would be the perfect date for anniversary celebrations (trip to England to see a play in the Globe, anyone?). We explained this to her at the venue in front of the people there. And she kept it up: "Oh, it's so inconvenient for FSIL and blahblahblah." I'm like "Yeah, it isn't the most convenient date for us either." But, it was the date we wanted. We've even got it starting at 5 so that we'll be wrapped up by 8:30 instead of 7 and 10:30 because of the day of the week. This instance wouldn't have irked me so badly if she wouldn't have kept it up for an hour after we left the venue. 

    Before any of this happened, FMIL told FI that if there were any problems between me and her, that he should be the go between. Which I understand to an extent, but at the same time it feels really childish. I feel like its my wedding but because they're helping my parents pay for it, they think they automatically get to do whatever they want. I've kind of just thrown up my hands for now because FI hasn't shown much interest in helping me so I don't know what to do.

    I know this is a lot of complaining, but please, no rude comments. I'm not being rude to my FILs, I just needed a rant somewhere my FILs (facebook) FI or my FSIL (tumblr) would see it. I'm being respectful and grateful to both my FILs and my own parents for all of their help with our wedding, and not being ungrateful at all. I'm just frustrated because my FI doesn't care to hear how I feel about this (and then wonders why I have crazy-person crying spells). Thanks March 2015 Brides! 
    Ok, so I need clarification:

    Is FMIL helping financially?
    Did you ask any of your VIPs about the date before putting the deposit down?
    Why so specific about how many people each side gets to invite? And why couldn't your Fi give you a list of the family he wanted to invite instead of getting it from her? Perhaps she's inviting in circles (all first cousins, all aunts, ect). I have a much larger family than Fi and it's obvious that I will have more on my side than his. My Fi gave me a list of family he wanted to invite, then he sent it to her to make sure he wasn't missing anyone. She came back with 20 more people who then he spoke to her about. Where is your Fi? He should be the one speaking to her about it, not necessarily you.
    You can't avoid your fmil. So long as she's a part of your Fi life, she's apart of your life. Better to hash this out now before it's a long year (and life) ahead of you.

    Edited because words are hard.


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  • Ah we went through a similar guest list battle. 

    1. Who is paying?

    2. Who on the list is important to FI? Like PP said, this should be HIS list, not hers. He needs to draft a list with people HE wants there, run it by FMIL and see if there's anyone she "would like" to include... and see if they can be added. Unless FMIL is coughing up the bill for the entire wedding, she can't create your guest list for you. My FIs list was way too long (over 150) so we did a "must invite", "would like to invite", and "obligated to invite" series of elimination. It helped whittle down to a number we were both comfortable with. This may help you.

    3. Sides don't have to be even. We have a guest list of 172 right now and probably 100 of them are from FIs family. My family is super small. That doesn't mean his side should be equal to mine, even if my dad is the one paying for the wedding. I included everyone important to me on our list, he did the same with his side. They came out un-even, but we both have everyone WE want on the lists.

    4. Where does FI stand on this? If FMIL wants him to play middle man, fine, but he has to have some opinion about this. I understand not wanting to ruffle any FIL feathers but like PP also said, this should be dealt with now not later. If FMIL has nothing to do with the wedding (financially or otherwise) besides creating this guest list, if I were you I would kindly put her in her place before more issues arise.

    5. Take a deep breath!! :)
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  • tcnoble said:
    Ah we went through a similar guest list battle. 

    1. Who is paying?

    2. Who on the list is important to FI? Like PP said, this should be HIS list, not hers. He needs to draft a list with people HE wants there, run it by FMIL and see if there's anyone she "would like" to include... and see if they can be added. Unless FMIL is coughing up the bill for the entire wedding, she can't create your guest list for you. My FIs list was way too long (over 150) so we did a "must invite", "would like to invite", and "obligated to invite" series of elimination. It helped whittle down to a number we were both comfortable with. This may help you.

    3. Sides don't have to be even. We have a guest list of 172 right now and probably 100 of them are from FIs family. My family is super small. That doesn't mean his side should be equal to mine, even if my dad is the one paying for the wedding. I included everyone important to me on our list, he did the same with his side. They came out un-even, but we both have everyone WE want on the lists.

    4. Where does FI stand on this? If FMIL wants him to play middle man, fine, but he has to have some opinion about this. I understand not wanting to ruffle any FIL feathers but like PP also said, this should be dealt with now not later. If FMIL has nothing to do with the wedding (financially or otherwise) besides creating this guest list, if I were you I would kindly put her in her place before more issues arise.

    5. Take a deep breath!! :)
    As of right now, our parents are splitting the bill for the venue (food, decorations, ceremony, etc. all included). She's yet to get me any kind of list. I'm still waiting on it. Since FI and I both have big families, I mentioned to him that I felt it would be fair if we split family/family friend invites down the middle so we each have the same number of family members/parents' friends and take a small number of invites for our mutual friends. What really gets under my skin about it is that she wants to give all of his unmarried/unengaged/unattached cousins a plus one, or at least that's what she said several weeks ago. I know we'll end up doing a "must invite/would like to invite" thing and it'll be really hard. 
    I know I need to let it go, but I'm just feeling so burned up over FMIL wanting to invite her whole little tennis club. Like, I'm not inviting most of my aunts and uncles and not even a third of my cousins (because, you know, some friends come to mean much more than some family), but you want to invite your entire family and their kids and plus ones and your husband's clients and coworkers and your tennis club?? 
    FI just seems to not really care either way. When I talk about it, he's just like "Yeah, okay." I told him I felt disrespected and he didn't say anything. I asked him if he thought I was in the wrong for feeling that way and he said no and that he understood. But I don't think he really does. We're both still students (graduating in December) and insists that over the summer, he'll be much more proactive about everything and by August, everything will be lined up. 

    My FFIL is a lawyer and so my FMIL thinks that because they make good money "Oh, well, if we end up inviting 250 people instead, that's okay because we can cover the rest." But, to me, yes the money's important, but it's also important to me to know most of the people there. If they aren't my side, it is going to be important to me that I'll see this person at Easter and Christmas and Thanksgiving and on family vacations for the rest of my life. Not someone I'll see this one time.

    If the FILs weren't contributing anything and my mom and stepdad were covering it 100%, I'd have no problem saying "Look, FMIL, I know this is important to you and that you don't want to offend anyone, but we've got to put a limit somewhere and my parents and I have decided that 150 is that limit and I need you to respect that." 
    She's not some MIL from hell by any means. I just spent Easter with her whole family over the weekend and it was great. Saw her today when I went to pick up my much younger FSIL for a sleepover and we chatted for a while. She's welcoming and very much a mom. I'm just still trying to get a grasp on how to handle my new family, I guess. They're so much more "party manners" than my family is.  

    Thanks for the help, guys. I know it'll get easier. I'm hoping that once I get my hands on her preliminary list, that FI and I will be able to sit down and make a final list.
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  • Your situation sounds EXACTLY like mine! It wasn't a money issue to have a guest list over 200 - I didn't WANT 200 people at our wedding. I didn't want to spend the evening going around meeting people I didn't know and would likely never see again. 

    My FMIL rides horses and in the last couple of months became close with a group of women that she rides with - she wanted them on the list and I just said sorry we are trying to keep our guest list as small as possible and there just isn't room after we included all our VIPs and "must invite" guests. So I totally see where you are coming from there. Yes, we could afford her extra 10-20 guests, but I simply don't want that many people there. I could invite everyone I partied with in high school and college because they would be a hell of a time, but that's not what I want our wedding to be about.

    With the plus one issue though, technically anyone who is in a relationship receives a plus one for that other person. Doesn't matter if they have been together a week, a month, ten years, etc. or are married, engaged, newly together... they consider themselves in a relationship, so they must be invited as a social unit. Only truly single people can be denied a plus one.

    Even though your FILs are contributing I still think you could say something like you mentioned above. "I know our wedding is going to be so exciting and we wish we could include every single person we know, but FI and I have talked and we want to keep our guest list at 150 people maximum, so for now this is our guest list and we can't make any additions."
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  • dolewhipperdolewhipper [wh]orlando member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    tcnoble said:
    Your situation sounds EXACTLY like mine! It wasn't a money issue to have a guest list over 200 - I didn't WANT 200 people at our wedding. I didn't want to spend the evening going around meeting people I didn't know and would likely never see again. 

    My FMIL rides horses and in the last couple of months became close with a group of women that she rides with - she wanted them on the list and I just said sorry we are trying to keep our guest list as small as possible and there just isn't room after we included all our VIPs and "must invite" guests. So I totally see where you are coming from there. Yes, we could afford her extra 10-20 guests, but I simply don't want that many people there. I could invite everyone I partied with in high school and college because they would be a hell of a time, but that's not what I want our wedding to be about.

    With the plus one issue though, technically anyone who is in a relationship receives a plus one for that other person. Doesn't matter if they have been together a week, a month, ten years, etc. or are married, engaged, newly together... they consider themselves in a relationship, so they must be invited as a social unit. Only truly single people can be denied a plus one.

    Even though your FILs are contributing I still think you could say something like you mentioned above. "I know our wedding is going to be so exciting and we wish we could include every single person we know, but FI and I have talked and we want to keep our guest list at 150 people maximum, so for now this is our guest list and we can't make any additions."
    THIS. Make sure you have done the same for you side while you're at it, since I'm assuming you didn't. Also, just because someone may be single now, you should automatically +1 to them in the event they get in a relationship the time invites are set to go out.

    Also, I have no idea how anyone could make a guest list precisely down the middle for family, especially when inviting in circles. If you don't want children in your wedding, you need to let them know now. If you FI isn't ready to help you until the summer, maybe you should just wait until that comes. 

    Lastly, if you don't want her guest list, then you shouldn't take money from her. Easy way of dealing with the situation


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    tcnoble
  • My suggestion, make a tier of people. This is what my FI and did to keep ours around 150. We can go up to 200 but we kept it lower just incase there needs to be more added down the road. We both have big families, (he has 6 brothers and sisters) and our wedding party is big. We created a list and put letters by them. The A's were the most important, (immediate family and friends), B's (co-workers and close friends) C's, (occasional friends and distant family). Example:

    A:Mom & Dad

    B: Boss +1

    C: Third cousin +1

    If we needed to remove anyone it started from the C list and so on. It may seem petty or heartless but at the end of the day you know "who absolutley has to be there" and "it would be nice if they were there" people. Good luck! Hopes this helps :)

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