Just Engaged and Proposals

31 Days Engaged and FMIL demands have begun!

kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
I don't know how to handle this, we have 17 months to go still.

Long story short:  FMIL and FFIL were married for 7 years and were divorced before FI was 1.  FFIL moved on and remarried quickly.  He then divorced.  FMIL made a pass at him, he became engaged to FSMIL (future step mother in law?).  They have now been married for 22 years and their son, FI's brother is a GM.  FMIL and her whole family are professional grudge holders and haven't forgiven FFIL (still not really sure what he needs forgiveness for lol).

Here are her demands (not exaggerating use of the word in order from least to most offensive)
  • Snowflakes in the window (no this is not a kindergarten classroom)
  • Christmas Tree as decoration (I wouldn't object if the hall usually put one up but they don't, end of story)
  • Poinsettia centerpieces (even though we're not doing "Christmas" theme)
  • Great Aunts being invited (we knew that was coming and made room for them - there's only 3)
  • She wants us to tell her what she needs to pay for.  We keep saying anything you want to contribute is generous and appreciated but we will not ask for anything.
  • Her name leading the invitation (we're 35, both sets of parents are divorced, and while his parents are making contributions, we're paying for 75% of the wedding ourselves and planned for zero parental names)
  • FFIL must pay for Rehearsal Dinner
  • FSMIL must sit in the fourth row while FFIL sits in the first.
FI tried to discuss these with her and what our plans actually were.  She has agreed to come over and view the budget and hall photos with me so we can "plan together."  And then she said FI was being "cocky and unsurly" for not taking her ideas into consideration.

Help!
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Re: 31 Days Engaged and FMIL demands have begun!

  • I don't know how to handle this, we have 17 months to go still.

    Long story short:  FMIL and FFIL were married for 7 years and were divorced before FI was 1.  FFIL moved on and remarried quickly.  He then divorced.  FMIL made a pass at him, he became engaged to FSMIL (future step mother in law?).  They have now been married for 22 years and their son, FI's brother is a GM.  FMIL and her whole family are professional grudge holders and haven't forgiven FFIL (still not really sure what he needs forgiveness for lol).

    Here are her demands (not exaggerating use of the word in order from least to most offensive)
    • Snowflakes in the window (no this is not a kindergarten classroom)
    • Christmas Tree as decoration (I wouldn't object if the hall usually put one up but they don't, end of story)
    • Poinsettia centerpieces (even though we're not doing "Christmas" theme)
    • Great Aunts being invited (we knew that was coming and made room for them - there's only 3)
    • She wants us to tell her what she needs to pay for.  We keep saying anything you want to contribute is generous and appreciated but we will not ask for anything. If you don't want her to have any say in the wedding, decline her offers to pay.
    • Her name leading the invitation (we're 35, both sets of parents are divorced, and while his parents are making contributions, we're paying for 75% of the wedding ourselves and planned for zero parental names) 
    • FFIL must pay for Rehearsal Dinner The only person that MUST pay for the RD (if you have one) is you and your FI. If someone offers to contribute, great you can choose to accept or not. 
    • FSMIL must sit in the fourth row while FFIL sits in the first. 
    FI tried to discuss these with her and what our plans actually were.  She has agreed to come over and view the budget and hall photos with me so we can "plan together."  And then she said FI was being "cocky and unsurly" for not taking her ideas into consideration.

    Help!
    You need to decide what you want more. FMIL's money which come with requests or no money and no requests. Everything else can be solved with a "I'll think about that idea, thank you. Have you tried the bean dip?"
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    [Deleted User]
  • Your best bet here is to just turn down any and all money from her. Money comes with strings and it will just be so much easier if you can just smile and say "Thank you for the thought" when she starts making demands. Also just keep letting your FI deal with her. If you take none of her money and she still starts to but in your FI takes over and says "Mom we are grown adults, we are paying for this wedding ourselves. We love you and want you to attend and have a wonderful time. However, we will no longer be discussing the wedding details with you. Period."


    [Deleted User]
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited June 2015


    We have told her many times, even before we were engaged, that we would pay for our own wedding and all she has to do is show up and enjoy herself. This is the lady that still brings us Easter Baskets, and shows up with basic items like ibuprofen, tupperware sets and even undershirts for FI in case we need them. She is never going to *not*contribute because then she can't tell people about what she did to help "us kids."  And if we stopped discussing wedding with her it would turn into an uproar because as she reminds FI "I am your mother."

    We're used to this level of interference and demands from her. She has always treated FI like her SO so we had a lot of boundaries to establish with her when we moved in together; like when we're out of town don't rearrange our kitchen and closet (yes this happened lol). She has also insisted that our potential unborn children must be baptized in her church. She knows we only want one (because again, we're 35) and has even gone so far as to rebut that with "maybe you'll have twins!" In retrospect, I should have led the post with this information first to put her into perspective haha.

    It's really not her decoration ideas etc that are a problem. I was listing those tongue in cheek lol. She hasn't seen the space yet so I know when she comes over and sees the photos it'll be fine. On that part she's just excited and she desperately wants everyone to view her as this amazing MIL who swoops in and saves the kids from their crazy ideas!  

    It's her grudge against FFIL and FSMIL that's causing the problem. We're not treating FSMIL like a second class citizen at our wedding because FMIL hasn't been on a date since 1981 and doesn't want the "new wife" (of 22 years) rubbed in her face. She literally wants her in the fourth row and not acknowledged at all as FFILs wife. FI and FSMIL are very close, we even went on a weekend vacation with her and her sister without FFIL! 


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    Jen4948
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Refuse all of her money. And your FI needs to tell his mother that he's not going to seat his step-mother in the 4th row like she demands. That's pretty freaking rude. 

  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited June 2015
    Refuse all of her money. And your FI needs to tell his mother that he's not going to seat his step-mother in the 4th row like she demands. That's pretty freaking rude. 
    Right?!?!  And FMIL is such an emotional nutbag when FI disagrees with her that she refuses to acknowledge that he has a relationship with her because "15 years ago she made you XYZ." 

    Is there a way to refuse money from a person without telling them you're refusing the money?  Like is it possible to just keep procrastinating on her offer and then, oh, wedding time, thanks for the offer?  If we tell her we won't take her money she will literally buy things and show up with them anyways and then that's a whole new argument LOL.  We have refused things before and then they show up in the mailbox anyways.  We even got a phone call from a handyman once because we mentioned we wanted to hire someone to paint our trim so she took it upon herself to recruit one.

    ETA: @justsie - our budget is set so that we can 100% cover our costs, including Rehearsal Dinner and fully intend to.  FFIL has offered a very kind contribution no strings attached because he wasn't able to contribute to FI's college fund 10 years ago but can help out now.  However, if he changed his mind or his situation changes, it isn't anything we can't handle on our own.  She just has this prehistoric idea of who should pay for what.

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  • Refuse all of her money. And your FI needs to tell his mother that he's not going to seat his step-mother in the 4th row like she demands. That's pretty freaking rude. 
    Right?!?!  And FMIL is such an emotional nutbag when FI disagrees with her that she refuses to acknowledge that he has a relationship with her because "15 years ago she made you XYZ." 

    Is there a way to refuse money from a person without telling them you're refusing the money?  Like is it possible to just keep procrastinating on her offer and then, oh, wedding time, thanks for the offer?  If we tell her we won't take her money she will literally buy things and show up with them anyways and then that's a whole new argument LOL.  We have refused things before and then they show up in the mailbox anyways.  We even got a phone call from a handyman once because we mentioned we wanted to hire someone to paint our trim so she took it upon herself to recruit one.

    ETA: @justsie - our budget is set so that we can 100% cover our costs, including Rehearsal Dinner and fully intend to.  FFIL has offered a very kind contribution no strings attached because he wasn't able to contribute to FI's college fund 10 years ago but can help out now.  However, if he changed his mind or his situation changes, it isn't anything we can't handle on our own.  She just has this prehistoric idea of who should pay for what.

    That is great! I think this is a situation in which your FI (not necessarily you, but you can support this) needs to talk to FMIL and say "thank you so much for your offer to contribute. Unfortunately we don't want to give in to your ridiculous requests   are going to decline and pay for the wedding ourselves." You don't have to give a reason why. If FMIL pushes for a reason FI can let her know that you disagreed with the strings that she was attaching if you want. FMIL probably won't be happy, but probably no more/no less mad than if you just procrasonate. 
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    kimmiinthemitten
  • lovegood90lovegood90 Ontario member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    kimmiandkoley said:

    Is there a way to refuse money from a person without telling them you're refusing the money?  


    Yes. Just book your vendors, venue, etc without telling her and if she asks say "we have it covered." You can't keep telling her things you don't want her to know just because you're scared she'll blow up. That's called emotional manipulation at its finest and you (more importantly, your FI) need to put a stop to it before you get married.

    I'd also make it clear to your vendors/venue (hell, I'd put it in your contract) that ONLY you and your FI are allowed to make any payments and any changes to your contract/orders, and that they are not to share any information about your orders/dates/contracts/etc with anyone else. That way if she does somehow find out who your vendors are she can't go meddling and make changes or payments (and then use the fact that she made payments to further manipulate you). There have actually been a few stories on here of that happening.

    Formerly martha1818

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    kimmiinthemittenCasadena[Deleted User]
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Update:  FI talked to his mom yesterday.  She actually brought up the seating arrangement.

    She cried, and they negotiated.  Instead of being ushered by her nephew who is a GM, she will be escorted by her Uncle and he will sit with her in between her and FFIL and FSMIL.  Our plan all along was to invite her to have someone sit with her so this part is suprisingly good despite the guilt trip she tried to take FI for it.  She cried some more and then decreed that there is to be "no intermingling or seating" between her family and his in our arrangements at the ceremony or reception.  Whatever LOL.  I'm sure there is more to come.

    She's also insisting on paying for our cake.  Which we have told her we are not having because no one eats wedding cake anymore and we don't want to feed each other.  That's just weird IMO.  So as long as she doesn't show up the day of with a cake, we should be good.  But I wouldn't put that past her.
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    teddygirl9
  • lilacck28lilacck28 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited June 2015
    br>
    She's also insisting on paying for our cake.  Which we have told her we are not having because no one eats wedding cake anymore and we don't want to feed each other.  That's just weird IMO

    Above is a quote fail.... Knotting on mobile.

    @kimmiandkoley
    No one eats wedding cake anymore?! You cray cray! Cake is delicious, and if it's put in front of people, chances are many are going to eat it, whether the word "wedding" goes in front of it or not!
    MJKloverlyndausviMairePoppy
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I haven't worked a wedding (catering service) yet where we haven't thrown out at least 60 % of the cake. I actually drove home covered in the last cake after a rather unfortunate case of short girl/tall dumpster lol.

    We LOVE cake in general so we're doing bite size cake pops. The bakery will let us have up to 16 favors and provides boxes so people can take them home too if they want. And extra frosting- bonus!
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  • You have a bigger problem than your FMIL interfering with your wedding plans.  From the sound of it, she will be interfering in the rest of your life.  Fortunately, your FI sounds like he can handle her.

    You need to set limits right now, and stick to them.  Your FMIL sounds very manipulative.  If you plan to have children in the future, she is really going to be in your face if you don't set limits early on.

    Take a deep breath, and be prepared for more drama.  Don't worry.  It sounds like you chose the right fiance.  Together, you can handle things.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    kimmiinthemittenAddieCakelachattefatalekmmssg
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited June 2015
    CMGragain @lovegood90 and @MobKaz - I think you're right.  I so badly wanted to believe she was just immature or self centered but she is absolutely emotionally manipulative (like 7 out of 8 signs).

    Today, she called FI just to start a fight.  She called to tell him her feelings were very hurt because he was rude when she called Sunday to warn him that FFIL will invite 50 people to our Rehearsal Dinner.  Without any real evidence he plans on doing so.  That's in 17 months.  That she insists he has to pay for.   

    FI was like, I can't do this anymore, I want to include my mom,but I can't argue with her every other day over this, I'm not telling her anything anymore.  She'll get an invitation like every one else. 

    I still feel like this is the quiet before the storm, but thanks to your advice, we have looked into emotional manipulation and ways to handle it so hopefully that helps!
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    MobKazlachattefatale
  • I'm so glad to hear he's the one putting his foot down, and that he's not just backing you up in doing so (or worse, dragging his feet). While it probably won't ever be easy to deal with your FMIL, it will be easier if you and your FI are so completely on the same page about it. Good luck.
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    kimmiinthemitten
  • MegEn1MegEn1 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    We're in the same boat. FMIL will get super offended if not included in everything. She's generously paying for the catering and now we have cut her out of any other information aside from the catering.

    Speaking of, going to the tasting in ... four minutes. With FMIL, FFIL, and FSIL. GET READY FOR THE RANTS TONIGHT PEOPLE. 

    Achievement Unlocked: Survived Your Wedding! 
    kimmiinthemitten
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