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Grrr... FMIL is back in town with her opinions!

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sumbride

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 17, 2006
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Warning: Rant Ahead!

My FMIL has been out of town since mid-December on multiple cruises, including a month in the Amazon! It was so nice to have the peace, the calm. But she got back on Saturday and wasted no time telling us how upset she is with us. Why? The Rehearsal dinner!

Our wedding is in my hometown, a thousand plus miles away from here, and her. The event itself is a Country Club evening wedding... read elegant and expensive. VERY expensive. Getting more expensive by the day. Mainly because my mom is inviting everybody she knows. My parents are paying for it with no qualms. They''re the ones that keep upping the budget. They aren''t asking for a cent from my FMIL.

FMIL told us she''d pay for the rehearsal dinner, since that was "traditional". FI and I, mindful that her financial situation isn''t quite that of my parents (all trips to the Amazon aside!) picked what is probably the most reasonable option in the whole area aside from Denny''s. We went for something authentic to the area, unique, special and fun, and completely laid-back since the wedding is the opposite. The fact that it happens to be approx. $10 a person is a total bonus. It''s a catfish place, down on a bayou in Arkansas. We try to go there everytime we''re in town, we love it, it''s special to us, its famous in that part of the world, and it has a huge banquet room. We had them put our date on the calendar last fall and they didn''t ask for a deposit or anything. I almost wish they had!

FMIL has started thinking about the RD and she is offended that she didn''t have the chance to pick the place. She''s never even been to my hometown! She''s going in April for the engagement party so somehow she thinks that will be when she picks the place. And she''s upset that we have a guest list of about 85-100 for the RD. The majority of which is family, the rest of which are the wedding party, out-of-town guests and close friends of the family that might as well be family. She wants us to cut it down so she can have it somewhere else. FI and I just went through the list and found that 85 was the MINIMUM number, there will be no cutting down, it''s not negotiable.

I''m just so annoyed that she thinks that she can find something that''s 1) better and 2) cheaper. Cheaper than $10 a person? for dinner? WHERE? She completely doesn''t respect that we picked this place for a reason... and actually, it was M''s idea... he''s told her that. She doesn''t care. M is fighting this battle with her... we will not have our RD at any chain or diner. If she won''t let us have it where we want, she won''t be hosting it. We didn''t ask for the money, she volunteered it. But for $1k, I''d rather not fight this battle!

GRRR!!!
 

anchor31

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Messages
7,074
Oh, ugh, FMILs... We honestly should start a Crazy FMIL/MIL Club...


I don''t think I can offer you any advice, just some sympathy! I think I would die of shock if my FMIL offered to plan the rehearsal dinner... She pulls the "traditional thing" argument on my parents when it suits her (bride''s parents planning the engagement party, paying for the wedding, etc.), but when it''s her turn... hah.

Anyway, I''m sorry this is happening to you. I agree that 10$/person is really cheap, and the place looks nice! Good luck!
 

cara

Ideal_Rock
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Mar 21, 2006
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2,202
I think the problem here is that "traditionally" the groom''s mother gets to plan the rehersal dinner. That does include picking the place and the scale of the invitations. And having her pay just conforms to tradition enough that I can understand why she wants to have a say in where the RD is. Not that I don''t totally understand your desire for the larger, more inclusive RD at a authentic local spot, and that her expectation of finding somewhere cheaper is ridiculous, but... Those are all your and your FI''s choices. Not hers. She might have in her head the smaller RD at a nicer restarant - you know, the steak dinner with only the immediate family and wedding party (which I can''t believe would be 85 people unless you have huge families and 10 people standing up on both sides). I mean, my FI and I wanted the same thing as you - more inclusive RD at casual but not Denny''s place, but I was also worried about stepping on my FMIL toes enough to ask her what she had in mind. If she wanted smaller, nicer I was prepared to budge. My mom, in turn, is very confused by the larger RD idea, because she thought it was supposed to be a small intimate dinner and has never seen the large ones where you invite all the OOT guests and it turns into a mini-wedding.
 

sumbride

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 17, 2006
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hmm... Cara, you may be right... I don''t think she understands how big my family is. And she showed no interest in making the RD plans until this week. She never asked about places. The only ones I''ve been to have been big fancy steak dinners with 100+ guests... which is still only 20% of our wedding guest list.

I''m the youngest of 4 kids, and all my siblings now have families. Plus I am very close with two aunts and some cousins that will be traveling from out of town. Plus FI''s family. Plus we DO have a large wedding party... 6 on each side, plus their husbands/wives/kids. The out of towners that aren''t in the wedding or family number about 20.

A "nice steak dinner" may be what she has in mind but it''s the last thing we want. I think we''ll just tell her that she can choose whether or not she hosts but she can''t choose the venue. This is more important to us than the money she would kick in for it. My parents are letting us make the decisions that are important to us, so it was kind of a shock that FMIL isn''t... but that''s her. I can''t believe we forgot.

FI tells me not to worry... that he''ll take care of it, but it''s just stressful.
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
I would nicely say that you have both made the decision, it is a place that is fun, reasonable, special to you both and can accomodate your list. You appreciate her offer to host, but at this point in time there will be no reevaluating of the location, and so you understand if she chooses to back out. Let her look like a jerk and a petty person, and leave it lie. Can your parents help with the rehearsal dinner? You can also tell her that anything she can contribute would be appreciated but at this point everything is firm. She seems (shock) to be a selfish person and so it is no surprise that she would come in at the last moments and be obnoxious. I am sorry you are having an issue but sadly I am not amazed where mother in laws are concerned!
 

aljdewey

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
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9,144
Date: 2/13/2007 6:02:33 PM
Author:sumbride

If she won''t let us have it where we want, she won''t be hosting it. We didn''t ask for the money, she volunteered it. But for $1k, I''d rather not fight this battle!
Summer, this is absolutely the right way to handle it! Kudos.

This is your wedding, and your (you and FI) choice. If she wants to assist with your choice, lovely. If not, then you can politely decline her offer to contribute or pay for it and do it yourself.....which is exactly what I''d do too in this situation.

You''re right on track, gal.!
 

FireGoddess

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
12,145
It would be one thing if you were set on someplace very extravagant and she just couldn''t afford it. But I seriously doubt you would ever do that sort of thing. The fact that this place is where you want the RD to be, and that it is inexpensive should be a good thing! Finding someplace that has dinner for less than $10 a head is not likely and like you said, for $1K, I wouldn''t want to have this fight either! I''d rather pay for it myself!
 

dmamsquared

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 26, 2007
Messages
101
Summer,
Your FI stepped up and said that he would handle it. Wow, I''m impressed. Let him work his magic. It''s all about control. I am surprised that FMIL didn''t hire a planner for her "event". I''ll be truthful, I did not realize that OOT guests were included in RD. We would have that option ourselves for the destination wedding that we will be attending next month. We were also invited to niece''s RD. That too was a destination event in Rehoboth. So you learn something every day. It will be interesting to see how this all works out. I agree, a grand is a small price to pay to do it your way! Get ready for the next possible snafu: the color she chooses for her dress.
Take a deep breath, exhale, and keep delegating. And one more thing...your southern charm can work miracles. Kill the b.... with kindness! LOL
 

cara

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
Messages
2,202
You have a 500 person guest list?? Did I do my math right? Maybe your FMIL isn''t used to weddings of that size and is angling for something smaller for just that reason, to get a smaller event where she can meet the important players.

Right, so technically you aren''t required to invite the OOT guests, the close family friends, the aunts and uncles not in the wedding, or any kids not in the wedding (that''s what babysitters are for). I totally understand why you want to, why its a pain not to invite people''s kids, why its a nice gesture to invite the OOT guests, why its heartbreaking not to invite the close friends and family, why you are willing to pay for it, and would prefer a catfish dinner with everyone to steak with fewer, but...

The "traditional" division was that the groom''s mom could plan RD (including the scope of the invitations, ie. do we invite OOT guests or not) and the bride and her mother get to plan the wedding. To allow each their own sphere of influence! But we live in more modern times, and now the its more about what the bride and the (previous bit-player) groom, want.

Try honey. Or have your FI try honey. Explain how its customary in some regions to invite the OOT guests because they have traveled so far and you want to be good hosts, how its important for you to have the extra special people in your life there, how you are willing to contribute to the cost but you two really want/would appreciate the more inclusive RD at the quite reasonably priced blah, blah, blah...

The alternative is just to play hardball and say, well, we''re having it here and we''ll pay if you woln''t. This might be better if your FMIL is a piece of work and all, but if she''s just a bit clueless and trying to contribute in her own somewhat sensitive yet clueless way, maybe try the honey...
 

sumbride

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 17, 2006
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3,867
Thanks ladies, I feel so much better now! Yes, it''s a huge southern wedding... which is completely different than what she''s used to. At a southern wedding, it would be so offensive to not include the whole family and the out of towners. The "southern" thing is difficult for her to understand. We just about blew her mind when I tried to explain it wasn''t a sit-down dinner reception and there would be no seating chart. I''ve tried to explain the choices we''ve made for it but she''s always managed to change the subject. I thought she didn''t care, but now I see that maybe she''s just upset and going through her own issues. I''m so relieved I decided not to have it here... I wanted it far from her sphere of influence. My mom isn''t planning our wedding... she''s helping me, but she''s so happy we''re doing it our way. She even helped us find a judge to officiate and loves my Stevie Wonder processional. Now if only FMIL felt that way!

Oh, and FMIL is definitely best described as "a piece of work!" I LOL''ed at that! M only heard she was upset about the RD on Sunday, but it didn''t get all blown out of proportion until she called his brother in Paris and complained to him for an hour... and then he called M and said "Dude... guess what..." and then M called her back so she could further elaborate. Oh, it''s such a messed up family dynamic.

We are completely able to pay for it ourselves, but I imagine if I mentioned it to my parents they would take care of it. I won''t mention that to FMIL though. I''m sure she''d love for my parents to pay for absolutely everything, not just mostly everything. The onslaught of southern charm and kindness will begin at the engagement party... she is so going to flip out when she meets everyone and they are nice to her! Not many people are nice to her...
 

dmamsquared

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 26, 2007
Messages
101
P*O*W Piece of Work

Yeah, I''m learning about the stations thing that y''all do at the reception. I can''t wait to attend the plantation wedding in a month. My friends are going all out for their daughter.
 

sumbride

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
3,867
Wow, SDL... I''m so impressed that you were able to get her to come to her senses! You had one of the worst MILs around! I don''t know if a letter would help in my situation. More like I need to send her to emotional rehab. I do want to spend some time with her and tell her what we envision for our wedding... very little of it is "traditional" so maybe she just doesn''t get that. i don''t know.
 

sumbride

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
3,867
A Good News UPDATE!!!

She''s given in!

She asked FI yesterday if he is "dead set on going to that fish place?" He said "YES." She said "and 100 people?" He said "YES, and if you don''t want to pay for it, I WILL."

She said "well, how about if I give you an amount I''m willing to pay and you can pay the rest." He said "ok".

Of course, we still don''t know what her amount is, or if she even understands how cheap this place is, but the important thing is that we get to have our Rehearsal Dinner OUR way. YEA!!!

 

robbie3982

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 28, 2006
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3,960
Yay!
 

kcoursolle

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
10,589
Date: 3/19/2007 2:34:57 PM
Author: robbie3982
Yay!
ditto! Sometimes getting the fi involved in helping with the in laws is a great way to solve problems.
 

sumbride

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
3,867
Date: 3/19/2007 3:06:55 PM
Author: kcoursolle

ditto! Sometimes getting the fi involved in helping with the in laws is a great way to solve problems.
As far as I''m concerned, he can be the one that deals with her from now on! I''m so glad he stood his ground on this one. Maybe the more we stand up to her, the better! And I''m glad we got through this without me telling her what I really thought of her ideas! I told you all of course, but not her!
 

lovebug

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 30, 2006
Messages
32
Ahhh! Sumbride! I am experiencing the exact same thing!!! Large wedding that my parents are totally covering, have never asked for a cent and we are going all out. FMIL''s nose is all out of joint that she doesn''t have a say in anything (I have included her in helping pick the invites, etc, but like your FMIL she lives hundreds of miles away and has only been to my hometown twice) and her and FI''s dad are planning the "traditional" rehearsal dinner. His Dad mentioned that he would obviously be paying for the rehearsal dinner about 2 minutes after we were engaged! This totally annoyed me because this ASSUMES that my parents would be paying for the entire wedding! They are anyway, but when he offered there had been no discussion of this, and still hasn''t really. FMIL thinks that I am being extravagant by having save-the-date cards, that''s what we are dealing with here!

So, she picked a place that I really like, actually (one of my parents'' favs) in my hometown for the RD. I was thrilled! Then she told me that it would be just the wedding party invited. Hmmm. I had thought more of a "out of towners welcome reception" than a traditional dinner. Problems:

1) More than 50% of our guests are out of towners and our wedding is on a long weekend so I wanted to plan a whole weekend worth of events. My parents have no problem paying for the RD to have it they way I want it, but I just can''t do that because she will lose it! FI tried talking to his parents, but they got offended when he offered to pay himself, so I don''t think it will work if we suggest that my parents will pay for it! They will lose it!!!

2) If I do bow down and decide to let her have the "traditional" RD, I will NOT allow her not to invite the bridal party''s significant others. We are having 6 people on each side (so 12 + FI and I in the party), and most are married or are in realtionships and I can''t imagine making their SO''s fly all the way up to the wedding and have them sit in a hotel room all night! Insane! So, I am going to send an email and just give her a list of about 40 people and see if this can be done. So annoying, but I don''t think it''s worth getting all pissed off about because I will have to deal with his parents for the rest of their lives!

So annoying! Congrats on getting yours to work out! Send some good vibes this way!
 

sumbride

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
3,867
Lovebug, I''m so sorry you''re going through this too!!! Good vibes coming your way!!!

Definitely work the "here is the guest list" angle. And don''t budge on that. There''s no way to exclude the SO''s of the wedding party! That''s just ridiculous!

If she won''t "let" you invite the rest of the out-of-towners, maybe you could have a pre-dinner cocktail reception or something?
 
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