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Grrr! How to handle demanding Future In Laws?

Discussion in 'Bride World Wide & Grooms Grooves' started by Mediterranean, May 25, 2009.

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  1. Mediterranean
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    by Mediterranean » May 25, 2009
    So, my wedding day is Friday. As in, 4 days from now!!

    Obviously, this is a big, busy week for me. In addition to picking up my gown, getting my nails done, I need to transport my mother (who has MS and doesn''t feel well enough to drive all over) to her appointments (picking up her dress, taking her to get her nails done, etc).

    My FI literally just walked in the door 45 minutes ago, hoome from his last travel-assignment before our wedding. He just spent 10 days in another time zone, doing 12--15 hour days with a huge motion-picture camera on his shoulder, with minimal breaks. He is BEAT TIRED and he has his final errands to run, too (picking up his tux, getting a haircut, etc).

    So, his family which consists of SIX people, has e-mailed him demanding to be picked up from the airport. They apparently found a less expensive flight into an airport that is in a DIFFERENT city, DIFFERENT county from the one we live in. The airport is over an hour away.

    Months ago, he had a conversation with his Mom and his Sister (phone, AND email) stressing that they should fly into the airport in OUR city because a taxi ride from the other airport would be about $100 each way, and we aren''t available on Wed. May 27 to pick anyone up (nor could we, because we each have small passenger cars that can''t fit six people, plus luggage, plus the driver).


    This time around, they had his Step-dad send the e-mail (I think this is because he already told his Mom and Sister "no" but it could also be that his Mom and Sister didn''t mention this to Step-dad so I don''t want to assume).

    Can anyone help me with a nice way to tell Step-Father-In-law-To-Be that we can''t do it?

    Should we forward the e-mails we sent to his his Mom and Sister and write something like:

    "We''re sending these messages to keep you in the loop. We''re unavailable due our schedules, so a taxi-cab is one of your options, and here is a link to the airport shuttle service so you can contact that company to see if they cover shuttle rides between the two cities/airports."

    can''t miss this medical appointment! I had a terrible case of bacteremia a while back which almost caused sepsis and I was in the hospital overnight. This is my final appointment and I need to get the results of my bloodwork, and deal with medication management. I also can''t make my Mom do her own thing, because her illness makes it difficult for her to deal with driving all over the pace to get her stuff completed.

    I told them this already, and I''m kind of annoyed that they''re using us as their "personal concierge'' at the the 11th hour, but I don''t want to start a family feud.

    Help! [​IMG]
     
    


    


  2. cara
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    by cara » May 25, 2009
    Some families just have different standards on this kind of thing. Growing up, family visiting from out-of-town would always get a ride to the airport, borrow a car or be driven around rather than rent one, and would stay in someone's home even if it was crowded. No hotels, etc.

    No that I'm older I am glad to have different options, that sometimes it is a huge benefit to everyone if the guest just rents a car to drive themselves around, or stays in a hotel if it is truly crowded, but it can be a cultural issue to convince people to do things differently from how they are used to.

    Can't tell if your in-laws are cheap by nature or necessity, but your job is to:

    1) Make sure your future husband is the point man on dealing with them, especially for unpleasantness like telling them that you aren't available for picking them up.

    2) Be polite but firm (if you happen to be asked over the phone or something): Oh, I have a medical appt but here is the number of the airport shuttle/rental car company that will let you drive cars across the border!

    3) Balance your limit-setting with a nice welcoming tone to convey you are glad to see them/marry into their family so they don't have a chance to get to hostile or upset that you didn't bend to their schedule.
     
  3. Bliss
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    by Bliss » May 25, 2009
    Wow, that is so crazy I don't know what to say. What is up with people?

    [​IMG]

    OK, in that case - I would nicely offer to split the cost of a rental car or pay for it myself. It could be a win-win. You could rent an SUV or mini-van for everyone AND they'd have mobility that weekend as well. It's worth it because the aggravation of being taxi driver to all of these relatives RIGHT BEFORE YOUR WEDDING DAY would just make everyone nuts!

    People can't pay for their own rental cars?! Seriously. Between 6 people, it would barely cost anything for the weekend. And they're going to make the GROOM (who has a zillion things to do) chauffeur 6 different people with different flights?! From another city? OMG. No wonder you are so stressed out. HUGS.
     
  4. wannaBMrsH
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    by wannaBMrsH » May 25, 2009
    We are having a DW and lots of people are flying from our city due to the package we got. I have 10 different family members coming in on the Tuesday and Wednesday before we leave. The company I work for has a car service and I spoke to the owner to see if I could get a discount. I then sent the following e-mail to my parents, sister, brother, godparents and everyone else who has asked FI and I to pick them up:

    Dear XXX,

    FI and I are going to be ridiculously busy in the days leading up to the wedding and will be unable to make any, much less multiple trips to the airport as it is over an hour from our home. However, we have made arrangements with Express Limousine to offer discounted pick up rates from the airport. Please call (123) 456-7890 and ask to speak to Rob. Let him know that you are with our wedding party and you will receive a flat rate rate of $65 per trip regardless of the number of people in your party. Please call ahead of time, so that they know to schedule your pick and arrange for a sedan or van depending on your party.

    We have also requested Express Limousine to have cars available to pick up at the airport at 3:45AM at the two hotels where we have room blocks so that no one misses their flights. Again, please call Rob at your soonest convenience to schedule your transfer.

    We are so excited that you are joining us for such a special occassion and appreciate your cooperation during this stressful time. We are sure that once we arrive in Punta Cana, we are going to have a fantastic time!

    Love-
    Me

    Could you do something similar? I would stress the "appreciate your cooperation during this stressful time", but that is just the HR part of me.

    Good Luck and I send you tons of wedding dust!!!!
     
    


    


  5. iheartscience
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    by iheartscience » May 25, 2009
    Yikes, that is really ridiculous. I would definitely let your fiance handle it, but I would have him firmly and politely let them know that neither of you is available to pick anyone up from the airport, and I would also have him pass along any relevant car rental/airport transportation information.
     
  6. MakingTheGrade
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    by MakingTheGrade » May 25, 2009
    I agree with Cara, depending on the family and the culture, it''s "normal" for parents to expect to be picked up from any airport at any hour. So they might not realize that they are being demanding if it''s what they are used to. I know in my own (Chinese)family, nobody in my extended family would ever suggest my grandmother hail herself a cab from an airport, she would be picked up by a relative, or a friend of the family, etc. Anything less would be disrespectful. Even my parents who are more "Western" would expect I pick them up at the airport.

    That being said, I think if you''re polite about it and let them know that you really just can''t do it, they would understand. It wouldn''t hurt to see if you could call a taxi for them ahead of time, or ask a bridal party member to pick them up, just to show them that you are concerned for their comfort.
     
  7. katamari
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    by katamari » May 25, 2009
    I have to agree that the best way to handle this would be to make other arrangements for them. That way you can show you care and want to be helpful, but you just cannot. If they all come in around the same time, rent one car for them to share. If not, call in favors and see who will go get them. People will want to help you with your wedding (maybe not your FILs. . .), so don''t be afraid to take them up on it!
     
  8. kama_s
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    by kama_s » May 25, 2009
    I agree, it's definitely a cultural thing. My father is flying down from Dubai for my wedding. I intentionally booked his flight only 10 days before the wedding (he initially wanted to come down 3 weeks prior!), because I know he's going to expect me to not only pick him from the airport, but take him around, sight-see, book things for him and my brother to do while we're on our honeymoon etc etc. I finally told him today that I'm going to try my best to accommodate his wishes, but we're going to be incredibly busy so I wont have the time to do every single thing on his list (which, thankfully, he understood *phew*)

    It's a really dificult position to be in, but honestly, they made the decision to fly into that airport. It's almost as though they didn't take into consideration how inconvenient it would be for you two. I would let them know you are otherwise occupied with medical appointments and looking after your mum, give them the phone number of a few taxi cab companies, let them know approx how much it would cost and leave it at that. You know, to be honest, if they landed in your hometown airport, I probably would've picked them up. I just completely turn-off when someone's being self-centered.
     
  9. Mediterranean
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    by Mediterranean » May 25, 2009
    You're 100% right, they would absolutely, 100% could have counted on me, FI, or my brother to pick them up from the airport here in our County. They were really happy to have found an airfare that saved them $50/each on tickets, flying into the inconvenient airport. Unfortunately, their flights (2 people show up at 5:00PM, and the other 4 show up at 6:00PM THE HEIGHT of rush-hour traffic) are scheduled in such a way that, byt the time i picked up the first two and dropped them at their hotel, I would probably not even be able to drive BACK across the county line and get to that airport again for the other 4 people until about 45 minutes after they land, at best (traffic, crossing county lines, bla bla).

    FI had that conversation with them when they wanted to buy the tickets, explained about traffic, schedules, distance. We didn't hear anything else after he let his mom and sister know that the logistics were totally crazy, so we thought they dropped the idea. Until now. With this.

    FI is going to call in a favor and try to get a friend of his with a production vehicle to pick them up in a shuttle-bus style van.

    If not, I' just going to shell out for a car service to avoid the bad blood. I think they're simply misunderstanding the in-and-outs of a large metropolitan area, they're from a really small town. And they never travel, so I just think they simply don't believe us when we say it's an expensive and inconvenient endeavor to fly into an airport the next county over.
    [​IMG]

    ...and yeah, in general, they're a teeny bit diva-ish and slightly self centered. It's usually just cute and funny , but this time it's gonna $$cost$$ us. Oh, well. I just hope the flights come in on time!

    Oh yeah, forgot to add. Our personal cars are a Saturn Sky and a Lexus IS, so, not super useful in this situation....
     
  10. Yimmers
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    by Yimmers » May 26, 2009
    Sigh, I feel for you. The last week is the hardest week. Here''s my story and the lessons to be learned. In my case, I had the demanding OOT family (mostly the parents). Since my mother is sick with nerve problems, my parents had me book all of the family''s flights, make hotel arrangements, arrange the car rental, and look for a local place to rent a wheelchair for my grandmother. Then, I had to drive my parents around, show them how to get to places (never mind that they had a car with GPS), accompany my dad to pick up the car rental, wheelchair, and then have him guilt me into seeing my other relatives at the airport (they''re old school asian like that)...The remaining family members flew in the night before in the evening...but was delayed due to the weather, and then delayed longer because the airport had to get a wheelchair so that my grandmother could be pushed from the airplane. I couldn''t get to Kinkos to print out all the final stationary items until 8:00 pm, and the local Kinkos closed at 9:00. I was so irritated because up until that last week, we were pretty on top of all of our wedding stuff. Further, MIL demanded the day before the wedding, for extra time on the slide show (she wanted it to be 20 MINUTES long) so she could NARRATE the slides individually (and change it from a movie format to a power point).

    I just cracked on the day before the wedding. I got so fed up with everything that I told DH to tell his mom NO, and lost it with my dad. MIL was super pissed, but I was at my limit. I think my dad finally understood just how much stuff still needed to be done and how their demands just ate up all my time. By this time, all of the running around had cost me so much time, we didn''t have dinner, we didn''t get up to the hotel until nearly midnight the night before, and we stayed up another 4 hours finishing up place cards, programs, menus, and table names. We have great friends who helped us out, but I was so pissed off and tired beyond belief.

    It''s a fine line between keeping the peace and putting your foot down, but it''s impossible to please everyone and have enough time to finish everything else. So, looking back on my last week before the wedding, while you should be accommodating to some degree, be firm about how you have other things to do and don''t let people guilt you out. People should respect the fact that you''re planning an event for numerous people, and that you don''t have the time to entertain them or cater to their every whim. You need to be happy on your wedding day, because the day is for YOU and YOUR FIANCE.
     
    


    


  11. honey22
    Ideal_Rock

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    by honey22 » May 26, 2009
    Arghh! Families can be such a pain in the you-know-where sometimes. My first reaction is to tell them no, but as you say, it would make things easier, less stressful and more pleasant for you, if you organise them transport. It''s very generous of you, but I do think the most important thing for you at this time is to try and remain stressfree, so sometimes just gritting your teeth and letting it happen is the answer.

    Good luck for the next few days, and I hope you wedding day is everything you dream of. [​IMG]
     
  12. MakingTheGrade
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    by MakingTheGrade » May 26, 2009
    I hear that a lot, and I agree. But not everyone feels this way, my fiance''s parents for example see Weddings more as a celebration of 2 families and not the 2 individuals per se.

    I hope the airport thing works out with no hurt feelings! In laws can be really sensitive sometimes to how the new fiance treats them (I know mine can get overly touchy sometimes).
     
  13. Bia
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Bia » May 26, 2009
    In my family, asking them to take a cab/shuttle/bus/whatever would not work. So what I would do, if one of us, by some weird coincidence was not able to pick them up, then I''d ask another relative or friend to do it. Can anyone from your side pick them up? Maybe your father/mother/sister/brother/best friend...someone?

    But that''s me. I don''t know your family customs or dynamic. That''s just what I (of my FI) would do.
     
  14. allycat0303
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    by allycat0303 » May 26, 2009
    I have that too. But on the day of the wedding. Yes the DAY of the wedding. We will be picking them up at the airport at 9:00 in the morning (45 minute drive). But our family expects that (it would be a huge NO NO not to greet them at the airport). I''m going myself before my hair+ makeup appointement.

    However, if it stresses you I would try to enlist the groomsmen for the job (i.e have them take 2 cars and pick them up) I assume that''s what groomsmen are for....complete exploitation. Or maybe your bridesmaids? Huge pain in the rear, I agree, but family can be totally clueless.
     
  15. Bliss
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    by Bliss » May 26, 2009
    Wow! I totally understand the cultural thing of family being tops. If it were just my parents flying in, I would definitely pick them up or DH would no matter what time of day it was.

    BUT if there were others there, like a sister - she could certainly rent a car and drive them to my house. I mean, if there are young people like us around, why can't they help? Parents, yes, get white glove service. But younger relatives who can operate a car? They're not helpless. I mean, I'd be totally willing to pay for it or even pay for car service. I've sent car service to pick up my brother and other relatives from the airport all the time. They actually like it. Less stress for you, they get VIP black car service with bottled water and magazines and everyone's happy. It's worth it because in the end, it costs you less stress and doesn't strain the relationship/set up unrealistic expectations that are unsustainable.

    MORE HUGS FOR YOU.

    ETA: Yes, I hope your FH's solution works out! That would be perfect. If not, I echo your logic on car service. It's WORTH IT. Pricey, but soooo worth it. You don't want to be rushed, harried and upset. A wedding in itself is stressful. Sometimes you have to throw money at it to make the problem disappear. And it works. Not the optimal solution, but I'd say this was a case in which it would be valid and worth it.
     
    


    


  16. Mediterranean
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    by Mediterranean » May 26, 2009
    Thank you guys SO MUCH, OMG!!!! I knew I could count on PS!!!

    Since we don''t have a BP, and everyone but my (not-in-great-health) Mom is coming from OOT, we decided on the car service option...

    AND, guess what? We got some great luck on our side!!! We got cut a KILLER deal by one company that made the two town-cars less expensive than two taxis !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And they''re including soft drinks, a little map of the area where the FIL''s are staying, and even a few menus for restaurants in the area too.

    Yaay! One less stupid problem - - they''ll feel like the VIP''s they are, and we won''t have to play our little insane version of "The Amazing Race" tomorrow!!!!

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Yimmers
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    by Yimmers » May 26, 2009
    Perfect! Good luck, I bet you''ll have a wonderful wedding!
     
  18. mayachel
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    by mayachel » May 26, 2009
    hallelujah! sounds like a decent compromise, and will likely go a long way for keeping the peace.
     
  19. Clairitek
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    by Clairitek » May 27, 2009
    So glad you worked it out Med! Hopefully they will thank you for your efforts. Good luck with your appointments and errands today! I can''t wait to see some of your wedding pics and GORGEOUS GORGEOUS GORGEOUS dress after the big day!
     
  20. honey22
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    by honey22 » May 27, 2009
    Sounds like a perfect solution Med! Now you have less stress and they feel like VIPs - a win win situation!!!! [​IMG]
     
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