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Fiance's Parents think Wedding is a Waste of Money. Feeling really bad...help!

My finance's family has been very vocal about the fact that they think weddings are a big waste of money.  His parent's are well off (probably because they don't every spend money...).   My fiance's sister got married at her house when she was 5 mos. pregnant, which is very nice, but it was just too informal for me.  Having trays of food from Costco is not what I want to do.  I understand that is perfectly fine for some people.  I only want around 75 guests--nothing over the top.  Anytime I bring it up they are negative and make me feel awful.  I feel like they won't even help pay for the rehearsal dinner.  My parents are helping with 75% of the wedding expenses, and I am paying the rest.  I have money saved up from working very hard, and I feel like what is the point of working so hard if I can't spend money on the things that are important to me.  There negativity is really getting me down.  I was almost in tears and dinner at their house.  If they aren't paying why are they so opinionated?  I don't know how to deal with this...I mean I want them to have a good time and be supportive but their attitudes make me not even want to do anything.  I can't even concentrate on my work or sleep because of this.  I want them to be happy for us.  I could really use some advice.  Thanks :)

Re: Fiance's Parents think Wedding is a Waste of Money. Feeling really bad...help!

  • Thanks for your advice!  I can totally relate--  They believe everything they buy should be some sort of great deal, on clearance, or free cycle.  While that is fine in some instances, I mean I love a good deal but I know that a wedding is probably not the place to do that for me.  My future father in law straight up asked me at the dinner table tonight how much a venue I checked out today was charging.  I was caught completely off guard, and rounded down by about $40/pp.  He gave me a look like that was even ridiculous.  However, it is a TON cheaper then other venues I have considered.    How do I respond that it is none of your business without being rude?  Unfortunately they live 3 miles from me, so it is hard to keep the details too close.  They aren't paying and neither is their son so why do they care!?
    MairePoppy
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I'd tell them, "We would prefer not to discuss the subject of the wedding finances with those who are not paying.  Please consider the subject closed."
    cupcake985[Deleted User]Car2992
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    My finance's family has been very vocal about the fact that they think weddings are a big waste of money.  His parent's are well off (probably because they don't every spend money...).   My fiance's sister got married at her house when she was 5 mos. pregnant, which is very nice, but it was just too informal for me.  Having trays of food from Costco is not what I want to do.  I understand that is perfectly fine for some people.  I only want around 75 guests--nothing over the top.  Anytime I bring it up they are negative and make me feel awful.  I feel like they won't even help pay for the rehearsal dinner.  My parents are helping with 75% of the wedding expenses, and I am paying the rest.  I have money saved up from working very hard, and I feel like what is the point of working so hard if I can't spend money on the things that are important to me.  There negativity is really getting me down.  I was almost in tears and dinner at their house.  If they aren't paying why are they so opinionated?  I don't know how to deal with this...I mean I want them to have a good time and be supportive but their attitudes make me not even want to do anything.  I can't even concentrate on my work or sleep because of this.  I want them to be happy for us.  I could really use some advice.  Thanks :)
    They don't need to; it's nobody's job to pay for that but you and your FI unless someone offers.  You're right that it sounds likely that they won't offer, and as PPs have pointed out you probably wouldn't want to deal with the strings attached anyway.  I strongly suggest you stop bringing up the wedding to them.  They're not wedding people, and that's okay, they're allowed not to be. 



    cupcake985
  •  From Jen4948 -I'd tell them, "We would prefer not to discuss the subject of the wedding finances with those who are not paying.  Please consider the subject closed.
    No need to be so RUDE!!!
    Follow the advice from MariePoppy, keep your head up and show your class.  My only addition is to not let anybody let you get to the point of crying.  This is your time in the spotlight and it should be happy.
    cupcake985
  • My finance's family has been very vocal about the fact that they think weddings are a big waste of money.  His parent's are well off (probably because they don't every spend money...).   My fiance's sister got married at her house when she was 5 mos. pregnant, which is very nice, but it was just too informal for me.  Having trays of food from Costco is not what I want to do.  I understand that is perfectly fine for some people.  I only want around 75 guests--nothing over the top.  Anytime I bring it up they are negative and make me feel awful.  I feel like they won't even help pay for the rehearsal dinner. It's not their job to pay for it, so the fact that they don't want to doesn't surprise me. My parents are helping with 75% of the wedding expenses, and I am paying the rest. That's VERY generous of your parents. Is your fiance helping at all, or is this just your money? I have money saved up from working very hard, and I feel like what is the point of working so hard if I can't spend money on the things that are important to me. If the wedding is important to you (I assume it is) you ARE spending your money on things that are important to you.  There negativity is really getting me down.  I was almost in tears and dinner at their house.  If they aren't paying why are they so opinionated? You said yourself that you are the one who brings it up. Stop bringing it up. If they bring it up, change the subject. Simple.  I don't know how to deal with this...I mean I want them to have a good time and be supportive but their attitudes make me not even want to do anything.  I can't even concentrate on my work or sleep because of this.  I want them to be happy for us.  I could really use some advice.  Thanks :)
    Just because they aren't throwing wads of cash at you or praising your every wedding-related decision doesn't mean they don't support your relationship. This is nothing AT ALL to be losing sleep over or letting affect your job. Just plan the wedding without them and don't talk to them about it.

    Sometimes it's the other way around - B&G want to elope and parents are appalled by the lack of a big to-do. It's simply a non-issue and I wouldn't spend any more time worrying about it.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    cupcake985
  • This is my rule for all my friends who have this problem, and there are quite a few so know that your're not alone!
    "If they don't pay, they don't get a say"
    Just say that as your mantra and their opinions won't matter as much.
    cupcake985
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
     From Jen4948 -I'd tell them, "We would prefer not to discuss the subject of the wedding finances with those who are not paying.  Please consider the subject closed.
    No need to be so RUDE!!!


    Actually, the FOG is the one being rude to inquire into the costs of something he is not paying for just so he can put it down.

    The OP and her FI do not have to answer his questions, but they are entitled to make it clear that there are to be no more such questions.

    And before you go accusing others of being rude, you might keep in mind that accusing others of rudeness is in and of itself a violation of etiquette.
    OliveOilsMom[Deleted User]Car2992
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Thanks for your advice!  I can totally relate--  They believe everything they buy should be some sort of great deal, on clearance, or free cycle.  While that is fine in some instances, I mean I love a good deal but I know that a wedding is probably not the place to do that for me.  My future father in law straight up asked me at the dinner table tonight how much a venue I checked out today was charging.  I was caught completely off guard, and rounded down by about $40/pp.  He gave me a look like that was even ridiculous.  However, it is a TON cheaper then other venues I have considered.    How do I respond that it is none of your business without being rude?  Unfortunately they live 3 miles from me, so it is hard to keep the details too close.  They aren't paying and neither is their son so why do they care!?
    If FILs bring up the wedding just say, "Thank you for asking about how the wedding plans are going. Everything is coming together well. I know that we have differing opinions on the type of wedding that is being planned. So I am respectfully declining to speak any further about the wedding." Then change the subject. If they keep it up, then start saying "I've made my feelings known about the topic of the wedding and as stated previously, I will not be speaking about it with you any further." The part that is concerning me is that their son is not assisting in the wedding either. Is he sticking up for you at all with his parents? If the answer is no, that is a red flag. Your FI should be sticking up for you, you are his family and his future. He should be standing by your side. Also, your original post was filled with "I" and "me", does your FI have any say in the wedding? Have you considered the type of wedding that your FI wants?
  • It is extremely rude for your FIL to ask how much anything for the wedding costs. That is between your and your parents since you are footing the bill. I agree with many of the previous posts - if they bring it up, you can just say "I'm so happy you're interested in the wedding planning, but my parents and I would prefer to keep the cost specifics between us." Regarding the rehearsal dinner, you could talk to your fiancé about it and see what he thinks, since traditionally the groom’s parents pay for that part. He should have a pretty good idea of whether or not they would be open to it. He should also be stepping in to defend you! Perhaps he could explain to his parents that even though they don’t agree with the type of wedding you’ve chosen, they need to respect that it’s a decision made between the two of you.

  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Yep. Just don't talk wedding with them.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    My future father in law straight up asked me at the dinner table tonight how much a venue I checked out today was charging.  
    The only answer to that question is "Why do you ask?" 
    A pleasant tone of voice, accompanied by a frozen smile should get the point across.
                       
    OliveOilsMomcupcake985ohannabelle
  • Thanks everyone for the advice,  My FI is not into wedding planning and wants me to do "whatever makes me happy."  This is his second marriage, and my first, therefore I am really excited about it.  He is being a typical guy.  He has been going to venue tours with me and such, but doesn't have too much of an opinion.  Yes, I completely agree that my FI should have intervened while I was getting ganged up on by his family during Sunday dinner.  I don't think he realized how much it bothered me until after the fact.  He is of course, used to the way his parent's are, while I am not.  He is going to talk to them and tell them to lay off.  They are not paying neither is their son, so why should they care about the financial aspect.  Their negativity is really just putting me down.  Again, they live right up the street from us and I see them way more than my family who is actually excited for the wedding.   I will try and use all your good advice for appropriate "NO WEDDING TALK!" responses.
  • Does it bother you that you are contributing while your FI is not? You've said twice now "their son isn't contributing" which makes me think that maybe you are? I hope that's not the case though, because resenting him over finances is an awful way to spend your engagement!

    I am of the "your money will eventually be my money and vice versa" philosophy, so it wouldn't really mean much to me if one person was technically the one contributing but not the other, but maybe his parents also have that mentality so they DO see it as their son's money? Though, that is still none of their concern. 


    I totally realize that your finances are none of my business. Thoughts just popped into my head and had to get posted... 
  • I don't think saying what Jen4948 is rude either. Frankly, if you think this sort of behavior won't continue with any number of subjects in the future (house-car-whatever) then you would probably be mistaken. Best to send them a clear message about how you feel regarding speaking about money in general with them. If they don't pay, they don't get a say and since they were so rude to begin with I don't think you are out of line to be firm with them so for the rest of your marriage they know where you stand on the matter.

    Ideally-your fiancee would be the one to say this to them since its HIS rude parents. I don't care if it's his 10th marriage.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Jen4948 said:
    I'd tell them, "We would prefer not to discuss the subject of the wedding finances with those who are not paying.  Please consider the subject closed."
    Agreed with previous posters. This sounds very snotty, and especially the "those who are not paying" bit sounds like an implied criticism, and like a childish dig. 
    These frugal folk are going to be your family. No need to be snippy. Smile pleasantly, and as Marie Poppy said, "Why do you ask?" is adequate. If they persist, say, "It's exactly as much as I'm comfortable with, thank you." And then bean dip. 
    If anyone is gauche enough to persist (and sometimes people do, particularly when they think of you as family) you're well within your rights to pleasantly say, "I'm really not comfortable discussing money, but the bean dip is wonderful tonight. Tell me about your recipe."
    Bean dip, bean dip, bean dip. 
    They'll quit asking. 

    From the OP: Anytime I bring it up they are negative and make me feel awful. 

    It sounds like these people were the ones being "snotty" in the first place.  If that's the case, they deserve to be told to stop in exactly the terms suggested in my post.
    [Deleted User]
  • Yes, they were out of line. One could even say "snotty."

    There's a wise old saying that two wrongs don't make a right. 
    They call it a wise old saying because A: it's old, and B: It's wise.

    Being snotty in return accomplishes absolutely nothing except lowering yourself to the level of bad behavior. The results may be gratifying short term, but do nothing for long term relationships.

    When a family is going to be part of your future, why not choose the most correct and diplomatic route? 

    Also, it's very gratifying to be right, and know that you've done the most graceful and correct thing, when other people are behaving like asshats. And I love being right. 
    NdelibleNYCMercedessouthernbelle0915KeptInStitches
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited August 2014
    I wasn't being snotty.

    But people who choose to be snotty, like these parents, should realize that being snotty can result in adverse consequences, including being informed that they are not entitled to financial information that is none of their concern because they are not paying.  That isn't "being snotty."  It's "cutting the crap" aka "setting boundaries."

    If you (generic) are going to ask for information that is none of your business so you can use it as ammunition against the person giving it to you, you deserve to be told that it's overstepping a boundary that adversely affects your relationship-and that you won't be provided with the ammunition.
    [Deleted User]
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited August 2014
    Okay. You think the answer doesn't sound snotty or childish. Other people obviously do. 
     But what's the end result? What does the poster want to accomplish here?

    If it's to teach the in-laws a lesson- Get rude with me and you'll get rude right back at you, then okay. But is that a contest anyone wants to win? Nobody wants to win the Asshead award. The in laws can keep that trophy.

    If the OP wants the boundaries set, and wants to do that in a more graceful and adult way, she can accomplish that without any question of rudeness at all. Same results. 

    "We prefer not to discuss this" is perfectly fine. Firm, adult, respectful. Boundary set.
    "We prefer not discuss this with people who aren't paying" crosses a line. It comes across as a childish little dig, or resentment.  Boundary set, but sounds like a jab. Not nearly as adult, not as gracious. 

    Why not take the higher road, if the results are the same? Or maybe even better, for long term relationships? 

    Because the higher road doesn't always produce the same results.  When it fails to make clear that the boundary is in place and is not to be crossed, and the persons doing it keep crossing it over and over again, taking the higher road doesn't work.  And that destroys relationships far more than telling someone that something is not their concern ever could.

    The bolded is where I disagree with you.  People who aren't paying have no business criticizing the decisions made by those who are.  As we say all the time here, they who pay get a say, but at the same time, if you (generic) want a say, I'm sorry, but you have to pay.  Not offering a penny while being snide and hostile about every decision those who are paying make is snottier and ruder than anything said to them in response by way of making it clear that what they said is unacceptable.  And when it goes on extensively, "turning the other cheek" and "taking the higher road" simply doesn't work.
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    @ohannabelle‌ has good advice to bean dip and to be polite and respectful to your future in-laws. I never know what to say when put on the defensive but have learned to look the rude one in the eye and just smile. No need to speak. They'll figure out they're headed in a direction where you're just not joining them. Good luck.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited August 2014
    @ohannabelle‌ has good advice to bean dip and to be polite and respectful to your future in-laws. I never know what to say when put on the defensive but have learned to look the rude one in the eye and just smile. No need to speak. They'll figure out they're headed in a direction where you're just not joining them. Good luck.
    Not necessarily.  I know people who never take hints when you just look them in the eye and smile.  They see it as permission to continue their offensive acts.  

    Sorry, but I don't agree with you or with ohannabelle on the best course of action with people who ask rude questions and offend repeatedly.  Sometimes it needs to be made clear with them that they need to cease and desist from their rudeness because it is unacceptable, and that means not smiling at them or behaving in any way that makes them feel like they have permission to keep doing what they're doing.  And sometimes that means telling them that they 1) had no right to ask a particular question and 2) they are not going to get an answer to it.  There is nothing "impolite" or "disrespectful" about that.
  • I have a similar situation with my FMIL. She doesn't want to contribute much financially, but wants to tell us how to allocate ours and my parent's finances for the wedding. Drives me crazy. She always tells us we should just do something small and have a big, grand honeymoon, and of course she would say that, she's had two weddings and a vow renewal of her own. 

    FI and were getting so sick of hearing her tell us that we're spending too much after booking each vendor that we just decided to stop sharing those details. I usually just say "uh, I can't even remember what we're paying for that, but we got a really great price." She still finds things to lecture about, I just smile and nod. she's entitled to her opinion and I'm entitled to mine. And since it's my wedding guess whose opinions win ;). I would say don't let them get the best of you and absolutely don't let them ruin the fun for you! 
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