Moms and Maids

Mother in Flaw (?)

Since our engagement, my FMIL has presented my fiancé and I will an extraordinary amount of pushback, requests, and dramatic reactions fit for a scorned teenage girl. The kicker is, my family is paying for the entirety of the $200k+ wedding, including myself. 

As as an overview, we live in NYC, which presents us with very expensive options. I understand that not everyone can afford such a wedding, and I am in an extraordinary circumstance for which I am very grateful. The difficulty, however, has been in my FMIL having certain expectations based on my family's abilities, and it has made me feel taken advantage of. To wit, she has:

-Propounded a guest list of 80 people, which is more than my fiancé and I combined.  When we asked her to cut that number down due to financial considerations (politely, I might add!), she began to cry and stopped talking to my fiancé for two days. She has even ignored my parents' request to keep her list at a certain number of persons. 

-We are having a black tie affair so I've asked all walking down the aisle to wear a long black gown, so there is some cohesion. This has been, quite literally, the only request I've made regarding same. She immediately said "no."

-She told my fiancé that she has no intention of providing for a rehearsal dinner, and did so without consulting her husband who later told my fiancé that they would assist. Her response? "Ignore your father, we are not contributing."

-She has asked us to pay for her parking, hair, and make up.

-She asked us to add more rooms to the hotel block to accommodate her friends, even though I told her I would be financially responsible for rooms unfilled/more rooms than the contract allows. She pressed the issue because her best friend had not yet booked a room, even though she had several months to do so. 

-While she offered to throw a bridal shower, in addition to my own mother's, her guest list consisted of no less than 10 of her friends (on a list of 15 people). I  never met and/or heard of the friends listed, and expressed that I would feel uncomfortable essentially asking persons whom I've never met or have no relationship with to attend a celebration in my honor and/or purchase a gift. 

-She created a list of songs she wants to hear at the wedding and got upset when we told her that we would consult with the band (again, paid for by my family) and pick great music. 

-All of the save-the-dates for my friends, fiance's friends, and his family were paid for by me. She did not offer to assist considering the extraordinary expense and amount mailed to her family and friends. 

-Since all bridesmaids, sisters, and even stepmother have been excited and sent pictures of dress choices--I NEVER asked for them!--I asked if she would provide a photo, too. She FLIPPED out and told me that I had no right to pick her dress. I never said I would or wanted to, just asked if she intended to send photos, too. Everyone is excited and wants to share their part, I guess she's not? The text berating me was literally war and peace. 

I've had several crying meltdowns over the behavior because I have anxiety that any step in the process will be met with something bizarre. I know wedding planning isn't always a pleasant process, but this has made me dread things that should otherwise be exciting and joyful. I'm afraid she's taken that from me. What do I do? 

Re: Mother in Flaw (?)

  • ei34ei34 member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Her crying/tantrums/silent treatments sound super annoying.  Let her work out the RD with her husband.  If she wants to throw you her own shower, that's fine, as long as the friends she's inviting are also invited to your wedding.  (And that there's no overlap on your mother's shower guest list, aside from immediate family and BP.)  Are the songs she's requesting the band play very offensive or inappropriate?  If not, I don't see what the problem is here.  And her attire shouldn't be a concern at all. 
    Oh and "mother in flaw" is very clever, I've never heard that before :D
    OurWildKingdomKnottie1452098987SP29
  • I'm sorry that you are having this experience.

    Most people on here will tell you that those that pay get a say, so if she isn't paying, she gets no say. If she continues to throw a fit about everything, I would just bean dip and not respond. No one will ever be as excited or interested in your wedding as you, but if you have friends and family that are interested and excited ... look to those individuals to share in your joy.

    Any member of a wedding party (MOH/bridesmaids/groomsmen/BM) should technically wear the outfit that the bride and groom choose and if you are telling people to wear long black gowns ... you are giving more leeway than most brides. The same attire doesn't apply to those outside the wedding party and is actually quite rude to dictate what your guests wear. Asking guests to wear black tie attire is technically allowed, but beyond that, guests can choose their black tie attire themselves.  

    As someone who has anxiety, I get the feelings of being overwhelmed and that your FMIL's behaviour is upsetting. I would encourage you to seek out someone who is supportive to speak with so that you can discuss your feelings and find the joy in your upcoming wedding.

    OurWildKingdomOliveOilsMomSP29
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited June 2016
    Since our engagement, my FMIL has presented my fiancé and I will an extraordinary amount of pushback, requests, and dramatic reactions fit for a scorned teenage girl. The kicker is, my family is paying for the entirety of the $200k+ wedding, including myself. 

    If she's not paying, she's not entitled to a say. If you've been bean-dipping her (this is what I'd recommend as an initial response to her demands and drama) without success, then your FI needs to make that clear to her - firmly. Leave that to him.

    As as an overview, we live in NYC, which presents us with very expensive options. I understand that not everyone can afford such a wedding, and I am in an extraordinary circumstance for which I am very grateful. The difficulty, however, has been in my FMIL having certain expectations based on my family's abilities, and it has made me feel taken advantage of. To wit, she has:

    -Propounded a guest list of 80 people, which is more than my fiancé and I combined.  When we asked her to cut that number down due to financial considerations (politely, I might add!), she began to cry and stopped talking to my fiancé for two days. She has even ignored my parents' request to keep her list at a certain number of persons. 

    Again, your FI needs to be very firm that if she doesn't cut her list, you two will.

    -We are having a black tie affair so I've asked all walking down the aisle to wear a long black gown, so there is some cohesion. This has been, quite literally, the only request I've made regarding same. She immediately said "no."

    In this instance you were wrong. You only have the right to dictate what you wear and what your attendants wear - but not anyone else - regardless of whether or not it's cohesive. I'd apologize to your FMIL for this.

    -She told my fiancé that she has no intention of providing for a rehearsal dinner, and did so without consulting her husband who later told my fiancé that they would assist. Her response? "Ignore your father, we are not contributing."

    I'd plan and pay for your own rehearsal dinner without expecting your FILs to pay for it.

    -She has asked us to pay for her parking, hair, and make up.

    Have your FI tell her no.

    -She asked us to add more rooms to the hotel block to accommodate her friends, even though I told her I would be financially responsible for rooms unfilled/more rooms than the contract allows. She pressed the issue because her best friend had not yet booked a room, even though she had several months to do so. 

    Again, you can tell her no and stand firm. But I would put it gently: "Unfortunately it isn't possible for me to add any more rooms to the hotel block at this point."

    -While she offered to throw a bridal shower, in addition to my own mother's, her guest list consisted of no less than 10 of her friends (on a list of 15 people). I  never met and/or heard of the friends listed, and expressed that I would feel uncomfortable essentially asking persons whom I've never met or have no relationship with to attend a celebration in my honor and/or purchase a gift. 

    As long as everyone she wants to invite to her shower is invited to the wedding, there's no overlap in guest lists with your mom's shower, and the scheduling works for all parties involved, I'd let this one go.

    -She created a list of songs she wants to hear at the wedding and got upset when we told her that we would consult with the band (again, paid for by my family) and pick great music. 

    Can you accommodate any of her requests? If so, I'd try to accommodate at least one. If it isn't possible, then I'd have your FI tell her, "Mom, we looked into this for you, but unfortunately it's not a possibility." And bean-dip any future attempts on her part to continue her complaint.

    -All of the save-the-dates for my friends, fiance's friends, and his family were paid for by me. She did not offer to assist considering the extraordinary expense and amount mailed to her family and friends. 

    At this point I'd let this one go.

    -Since all bridesmaids, sisters, and even stepmother have been excited and sent pictures of dress choices--I NEVER asked for them!--I asked if she would provide a photo, too. She FLIPPED out and told me that I had no right to pick her dress. I never said I would or wanted to, just asked if she intended to send photos, too. Everyone is excited and wants to share their part, I guess she's not? The text berating me was literally war and peace. 

    While you have no right to pick her dress for her whether or not you said you would or wanted to, I 'd ignore her text unless she brings it up again, in which case you can tell her, "I got your message the first time and am not trying to pick your dress."

    I've had several crying meltdowns over the behavior because I have anxiety that any step in the process will be met with something bizarre. I know wedding planning isn't always a pleasant process, but this has made me dread things that should otherwise be exciting and joyful. I'm afraid she's taken that from me. What do I do? 
    I think that 1) you should stop discussing anything wedding-related with your FMIL that she doesn't need to know about, and 2) if she throws any more fits, your FI needs to shut her down with, "Mom, while FI and I are sorry you're upset, this is what we're doing and the subject is closed."
    OurWildKingdomMairePoppyKnottie1452098987SP29
  • TyvmTyvm member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer Name Dropper
    I agree with PPs but wanted to add - if OP already sent her Save the Dates, then the guest list is finalized? EVERYONE who receives a Save the Date MUST get an invitation. It's why we recommend STDs solely for your VIPs. 


    k thnx bye

    OurWildKingdomKnottie1452098987MesmrEwe
  • As others have said, you don't get to decide what your guests wear, even parents. Let go of the idea of "cohesion" because this is not a hill worth dying on.

    For the bridal shower, as long as everyone invited to the wedding who's invited to that, I'd just let her throw one for you. It may help to keep peace and shut her up about some things.

    Overall, I think you need to lower your expectations of this woman and stop talking about the wedding with her unless it's really necessary. For now, assume you and FI are paying for the rehearsal dinner. As far as everything else goes, your FI should be dealing with her. Let him handle her meltdowns from now on and stay out of it.
    image
    OurWildKingdomKnottie1452098987SP29
  • edited June 2016
    My thoughts in bold

    Okay, so right off the bat your title is pretty rude. You don't have to love your MIL or even like her, but you don't need to call her names. That said, most of these things you're complaining about regarding her you need to let go.

    Knottie34398572 said:
    Since our engagement, my FMIL has presented my fiancé and I will an extraordinary amount of pushback, requests, and dramatic reactions fit for a scorned teenage girl. The kicker is, my family is paying for the entirety of the $200k+ wedding, including myself. 

    As as an overview, we live in NYC, which presents us with very expensive options. I understand that not everyone can afford such a wedding, and I am in an extraordinary circumstance for which I am very grateful. The difficulty, however, has been in my FMIL having certain expectations based on my family's abilities, and it has made me feel taken advantage of. To wit, she has:

    -Propounded a guest list of 80 people, which is more than my fiancé and I combined.  When we asked her to cut that number down due to financial considerations (politely, I might add!), she began to cry and stopped talking to my fiancé for two days. She has even ignored my parents' request to keep her list at a certain number of persons. 

    What does your FI do in response to this? You two should be a united front, but FI should do the talking when it comes to their side of the family. And FI should do make the cuts if FMIL will not.

    -We are having a black tie affair so I've asked all walking down the aisle to wear a long black gown, so there is some cohesion. This has been, quite literally, the only request I've made regarding same. She immediately said "no."

    You don't get to tell an adult who is not in the wedding party what to wear. Period. A cocktail length dress can be appropriate for a black tie wedding. And you don't get to dictate the color either. The 'black' in black tie does not determine what color dress a woman can wear.

    -She told my fiancé that she has no intention of providing for a rehearsal dinner, and did so without consulting her husband who later told my fiancé that they would assist. Her response? "Ignore your father, we are not contributing."

    They don't have to do ANYTHING for your wedding, so drop it and plan everything as if they are not contributing.

    -She has asked us to pay for her parking, hair, and make up.

    FI can politely tell her this is not happening.

    -She asked us to add more rooms to the hotel block to accommodate her friends, even though I told her I would be financially responsible for rooms unfilled/more rooms than the contract allows. She pressed the issue because her best friend had not yet booked a room, even though she had several months to do so. 

    FI can politely tell her this is not happening. Additionally, you signed a bad contract if you have to pay for unfilled rooms. That should never be a requirement. Especially in NY, there should be no reason they cannot release and sell those rooms.

    -While she offered to throw a bridal shower, in addition to my own mother's, her guest list consisted of no less than 10 of her friends (on a list of 15 people). I  never met and/or heard of the friends listed, and expressed that I would feel uncomfortable essentially asking persons whom I've never met or have no relationship with to attend a celebration in my honor and/or purchase a gift. 

    You are right to decline a shower where the guests are not invited to the wedding.

    -She created a list of songs she wants to hear at the wedding and got upset when we told her that we would consult with the band (again, paid for by my family) and pick great music. 

    Her getting upset need not effect you. She is paying for nothing; she is not part of the planning.

    -All of the save-the-dates for my friends, fiance's friends, and his family were paid for by me. She did not offer to assist considering the extraordinary expense and amount mailed to her family and friends. 

    Again, she DOES NOT HAVE TO PAY.

    -Since all bridesmaids, sisters, and even stepmother have been excited and sent pictures of dress choices--I NEVER asked for them!--I asked if she would provide a photo, too. She FLIPPED out and told me that I had no right to pick her dress. I never said I would or wanted to, just asked if she intended to send photos, too. Everyone is excited and wants to share their part, I guess she's not? The text berating me was literally war and peace. 

    She is right. You should not have asked for pictures. Difference is, the others volunteered. You voluntold, and yes, that comes across as 'I want to have a say in your dress.'

    I've had several crying meltdowns over the behavior because I have anxiety that any step in the process will be met with something bizarre. I know wedding planning isn't always a pleasant process, but this has made me dread things that should otherwise be exciting and joyful. I'm afraid she's taken that from me. What do I do? 
    This is so not worth having crying meltdowns over. STOP talking to her about any and all things wedding related. Direct any questions she has to FI because blood talks to blood. It seems like you are being a touch overdramatic here.

    And again, what are your FI's thoughts on any of this? Your entire post is all about you and FMIL. It's FI's wedding too. You two should be getting joy out of planning together.
    image
    Knottie1452098987SP29
  • To clarify several points here:

    I think several people went a little balls to the wall here on a situation where I have never made a single demand. The point was to illustrate that I haven't been able to plan this wedding without push back on every single part of the process. And never once did I said, "you must," "you shall," or "you will" to this woman. That needs to be made clear first and foremost. 

    Another thing that needs to be mentioned is that my own parents are bothered by the fact that his parents are not contributing. But more than that, that they didn't even say anything to my parents on the subject. So my parents were kind of like, "I guess this is falling to us?" Not everyone is able to participate in a meaningful way--regardless of what that could entail, money or otherwise--so my parents are a bit upset that nothing was ever said, because they have been left wondering and scratching their heads over what the FIL's intend to do. 

    With respect to other things, I mentioned that my bridal party would wear long black gowns. I never told her, "you MUST do this." Regardless, I was met with "no, I'm not doing that" immediately. And it wasn't in a particularly nice way, despite the fact that it wasn't in response to a question. And when I asked for a photo, it was also, "I would love to see a photo of the dress you were thinking of!" This was completely in context. She actually asked me to forward photos of other people's dresses, so it fell in line with that conversation. It was not an independent ask that had no context, it was directly from a conversation where SHE asked for photos of other people's dresses which, btw, I happily sent her. She also went out of her way to ask my  mother for pictures of my dress, because she wanted to see it. I do not believe I was acting out of line when I made my comment because she asked to see other people's dresses and I just responded in kind. Her response was awfully misplaced, I feel, because I said it would be nice to have a photo of hers too. Her response, to me, did not make sense based on what I said. 

    With  respect to STD, she was allotted a certain number of guests to *attend* but could invite whoever she wanted. Basically it's because my parents are more concerned with who is there because that's who they are paying for. So, my parents asked that if more than a certain number attend of those invited, they told my FIL to pay for the amount of people over who they said would attend. She told my family that of those, promised that only X amount would come, and just invited the others as a courtesy. Now, of course, no one really knows who will show up to a wedding until the rsvp's are in--we get that--but they are over the number my parents set, and have no intention to pay for the overage. My parents aren't happy because they asked for assistance in this and feel like they were taken advantage of. 

    For the hotel, I signed a contract that maxed out the number of rooms avail in our block, which would not cause financially liability if they didn't fill.  They filled. Were I to ask for more rooms, I'd be financially responsible for those additional rooms were they not to fill. I explained this to her, and she still demanded more rooms for her friends who were a bit slow to book. She swore they would fill, and I wouldn't be in a tight spot.  She asked several times, too. I stupidly obliged, thinking it would be easier than her getting upset, and asked the hotel to add more rooms. With the prior behavior and the like, I really just didn't want to deal with more crying.  Months later, there are several rooms that remain available, which, if unfilled, will cost me around $2k because I signed the contract. I am crossing my fingers they fill. Was it stupid on my part? Yes. But it made me feel badly that she ignored the possibility that I'd be financially liable.  

    Parking in NYC isn't free, of course, but there are many garages. The hotel where she is staying does not have a lot, so she asked us to pay for her parking.  

    Whether or not there is a rehearsal dinner, we don't particularly care. It was that she made a unilateral decision to not have one, while her husband said they would like to contribute, and talked to my fiancé about a RD.  So it's a bit confusing here because it seems like she, alone, doesn't want to participate.

    While she and her husband are not under any obligation to financially contribute, it's seemingly odd that she has been the only one--quite truly--with a negative opinion on everything. It's very stressful because it causes anxiety for the next part of the planning process, whatever that may be. The crying and whatnot over silly things makes me walk on egg shells--that was the point. 

    In any event, thank you to everyone for their advice. I think the best thing for me to do is set boundaries, like some of you said, because it will allow me to have an easier time going forward--not just for the wedding but future. 



  • I'm assuming you mean that your FMIL wants you to pay for parking for the hotel she's staying at rather than the reception?
    Because I have to assume you have free valet for all guests at the reception.

    Agree with PPs.

    Your parents are in the wrong to be verbalizing any displeasure/complaints/whatever that your in-laws aren't paying for the wedding. Only you and your FI are responsible for paying for any sort of wedding and the fact that your parents are paying so much is wonderful but is totally on them. That's their decision and they have zero right for judging your in-laws for not making the same decision.
    If that kind of talk comes up again, put a stop to it.

    I would just start thinking about planning a RD you can afford yourselves (or skipping the rehearsal completely). If your in-laws come back to you with an offer to do it, great. But it doesn't seem promising. She seems disagreeable and I doubt your FI wants this to cause a big fight between his folks. Too much drama. Just plan your own RD and get away from the drama.

    Give a couple of her song requests to the band. You don't have to give them all of them. But I don't think it hurts to throw a bone here.

    Apologize for making it seem like you wanted to control her dress. Let her know you're sure whatever she picks will be lovely and drop the subject.

    You're definitely in trouble with the guest list... but unfortunately that really is a problem of your own making. You should have been firm with the numbers, got the names and addresses from her, and invited the guests yourselves instead of giving her control. But that ship has sailed. So I hope it works out for you number wise.

    Good luck!
    Knottie1452098987SP29
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    To clarify several points here:

    I think several people went a little balls to the wall here on a situation where I have never made a single demand. The point was to illustrate that I haven't been able to plan this wedding without push back on every single part of the process. And never once did I said, "you must," "you shall," or "you will" to this woman. That needs to be made clear first and foremost. 

    Another thing that needs to be mentioned is that my own parents are bothered by the fact that his parents are not contributing. But more than that, that they didn't even say anything to my parents on the subject. So my parents were kind of like, "I guess this is falling to us?" Not everyone is able to participate in a meaningful way--regardless of what that could entail, money or otherwise--so my parents are a bit upset that nothing was ever said, because they have been left wondering and scratching their heads over what the FIL's intend to do. 
    Your parents offered to foot the bill. You can't start charging people to attend your wedding which is kind of what your parents want to do in a way by expecting your FILs to pay for the guests they want. 

    With respect to other things, I mentioned that my bridal party would wear long black gowns. I never told her, "you MUST do this." Regardless, I was met with "no, I'm not doing that" immediately. And it wasn't in a particularly nice way, despite the fact that it wasn't in response to a question. And when I asked for a photo, it was also, "I would love to see a photo of the dress you were thinking of!" This was completely in context. She actually asked me to forward photos of other people's dresses, so it fell in line with that conversation. It was not an independent ask that had no context, it was directly from a conversation where SHE asked for photos of other people's dresses which, btw, I happily sent her. She also went out of her way to ask my  mother for pictures of my dress, because she wanted to see it. I do not believe I was acting out of line when I made my comment because she asked to see other people's dresses and I just responded in kind. Her response was awfully misplaced, I feel, because I said it would be nice to have a photo of hers too. Her response, to me, did not make sense based on what I said. 
    You actually said, "I've asked all walking down the aisle to wear a long black gown, so there is some cohesion." So you can't be upset that people think you told her what to wear. 

    With  respect to STD, she was allotted a certain number of guests to *attend* but could invite whoever she wanted. Basically it's because my parents are more concerned with who is there because that's who they are paying for. So, my parents asked that if more than a certain number attend of those invited, they told my FIL to pay for the amount of people over who they said would attend. She told my family that of those, promised that only X amount would come, and just invited the others as a courtesy. Now, of course, no one really knows who will show up to a wedding until the rsvp's are in--we get that--but they are over the number my parents set, and have no intention to pay for the overage. My parents aren't happy because they asked for assistance in this and feel like they were taken advantage of. 
    You never invite people as a courtesy. If your guest list needs to top out at 200, you don't invite 250.

    For the hotel, I signed a contract that maxed out the number of rooms avail in our block, which would not cause financially liability if they didn't fill.  They filled. Were I to ask for more rooms, I'd be financially responsible for those additional rooms were they not to fill. I explained this to her, and she still demanded more rooms for her friends who were a bit slow to book. She swore they would fill, and I wouldn't be in a tight spot.  She asked several times, too. I stupidly obliged, thinking it would be easier than her getting upset, and asked the hotel to add more rooms. With the prior behavior and the like, I really just didn't want to deal with more crying.  Months later, there are several rooms that remain available, which, if unfilled, will cost me around $2k because I signed the contract. I am crossing my fingers they fill. Was it stupid on my part? Yes. But it made me feel badly that she ignored the possibility that I'd be financially liable.  

    Parking in NYC isn't free, of course, but there are many garages. The hotel where she is staying does not have a lot, so she asked us to pay for her parking.  

    Whether or not there is a rehearsal dinner, we don't particularly care. It was that she made a unilateral decision to not have one, while her husband said they would like to contribute, and talked to my fiancé about a RD.  So it's a bit confusing here because it seems like she, alone, doesn't want to participate.

    While she and her husband are not under any obligation to financially contribute, it's seemingly odd that she has been the only one--quite truly--with a negative opinion on everything. It's very stressful because it causes anxiety for the next part of the planning process, whatever that may be. The crying and whatnot over silly things makes me walk on egg shells--that was the point. 

    In any event, thank you to everyone for their advice. I think the best thing for me to do is set boundaries, like some of you said, because it will allow me to have an easier time going forward--not just for the wedding but future. 




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