How do I handle this situation with my mother and future in-laws and my wedding?

May 13th, 2011

Here’s the situation- I’m getting married. I only have a mother and she’s tight with money. My fiance’s parents are pretty well off. The thing is I’m trying to plan my wedding, and my fiance and I are trying to save up for it and pay for things ourselves.. And my fiance’s parents are offering to help pay for a lot of stuff, which is very sweet. The thing is my mom has so much pride and she seems to have a problem with it.. like she suggested that we borrow chairs and set them up ourselves, and his parents suggest we rent them and pay for somebody to do it so we have time for other stuff.. and my mom got upset and said she couldn’t afford it and they said they’d pay for them.My mom keeps telling me traditionally the bride’s parents pay for everything and I keep telling her this isn’t going to be a traditional wedding anyway.. I never asked her to pay for stuff, but I know she wants to be involved. We were thinking of having it at his parent’s house, but there’s too much drama and work involved with it. Plus my mom seems to have a problem with his parents house for some reason! Like at first we were thinking about his parents place, she kept mumbling that my Aunt’s place would be better. Everybody keeps saying “this is your wedding, do it the way you want” but then keep saying things like “this would be better! no, this!” Everybody’s doing this over OUR wedding so me and my fiance were thinking of just eloping and having a party when we come back. Even when I said that to my mom she kept hinting that she didn’t like his parent’s house..but I’m just wondering why people do this? Are all moms this crazy? Why does she have such a problem with my in-laws? They’ve never fought and she never seemed to have a problem with my fiance.. I know I shouldn’t care because this is our wedding, not theirs but I’m wondering what the deal is or how I can help fix it.
Thank you for the answers so far! Oh I don’t actually think my mom’s crazy, that was just a figure of speech but you know how parents are, lol.. It was actually my mom who suggested eloping and that was what me and my fiance were thinking of before she said anything.. but we still want to see fam and friends and celebrate which is why we were thinking of the reception when we came back..
Oh me and my fiance are keeping things simple, it will be our dream wedding but we’re not extravagant at all

16 Responses to “How do I handle this situation with my mother and future in-laws and my wedding?”

  1. Gary says:

    Come on … your Mom isn’t crazy. Maybe a little too proud but certainly not crazy. She knows tradition calls for the bride’s family to cover most everything. She also knows she cannot do that, but because she can’t doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the best wedding you possibly can.

    His folks want a nice wedding too. They love their son and want to do what they can to make this a wonderful day for him as well. It sounds like they like you quite a bit so they also want you to be happy. If they have the money and want to do it then, by all means, regardless of tradition, let them do whatever they can.

    Running away and eloping sounds like the answer, but it isn’t. When you start planning for the party when you get back, how will your Mom deal with that? Your Mom, bless her heart, will just have to suck it up and do her best. Not all of us have the same financial capability.

    Bottom line is that you want to get married. Let both sets of parents chip in wherever they can are willing to. You are in the position where you should accept whatever they are offering; not just because it will save you personally but b because the parents always want a role in their child’s wedding.

    Be sure to highlight your Mom’s importance as being the last one to enter the auditorium, the last one to be seated and the first one to rise at your entry. Make her understand how important her role is, but accept whatever you feel good with from whomever is willing to contribute.

  2. albro says:

    you mom is right dear…u are getting married u should pay on your own not with the help of ur fiance’s money..that doesn’t seem gud dear…
    till marriage it doesn’t seem gud if ur inlaws pay instead of ur parents..and after marriage it doesn’t seem gud if ur parents pay in leu of ur husband.
    hope it solved ur prob.

  3. Sharon Wiliams says:

    It’s unfortunate, but quite a few parents see their children’s weddings as their own stage for their problems.

    My mother refused to go to my brother’s wedding because our father would be their with his wife. How selfish of my mother to put her pettiness before her son’s happiness. I always wondered if she realized how ignorant people thought she behaved?

    Yes, it is traditional that the bride’s parents pay for certain things. But tradition doesn’t mean “has to do so”. Your mother’s pride or problems should NOT be allowed to mar your day. Have you noticed she doesn’t give you any specific reasons? That’s manipulation. She selfishly wants her own way and she is working on your emotionally to get it.

    My advice?

    Dont’ ask, TELL your mother this is how YOUR wedding is going to be. Don’t argue with her. Don’ be mean to her. Tell her once and let it go. If she wants to keep dragging it out, walk away. Do your wedding, your way. You’ll never regret it.

    Congratulations. Be happy.

  4. t_jet_72 says:

    You need a heart to heart with your mom. I am guessing she is feeling pretty guilty about others (you and your in laws) paying for what is traditionally the bride’s parents duty. Set her down..tell her how important this is that she is comfortable with the decisions you are going to make. You can suggest to her to tell you her limit on what she might be able to afford or time she can donate to the preparation of the wedding. Once you have a clear picture, then you can plan the wedding where and when you wish and tell her not to worry about any more of the finances, that they will be handled. Whether it is you or your in laws paying, does not matter and does not need to be discussed with her. She can help you in many other ways with the wedding. You need to make the choice of where you will be married and ask her to respect your decisions, not argue them. This is your day, no matter what, and if she cannot let go of her pride, you will have to plan without her. Some hard love might be what she is needing. Maybe if she is handy at sewing or flower arranging or just being beside you when you make your dress choice or shoe choice would be better time spent than worrying about not being able to foot the bill. Nowadays many many couple pay for their own weddings as parents just do not have the money to be able to do this.

  5. Norma says:

    Your mom’s pride is getting in the way of your happiness. It’s a shame since all we parents want to do is make our children happy. Your mom doesn’t want to admit that she can’t do more for you financially. Take her aside and remind her how much she has done for you your entire life and how much you have appreciated it. Ask her for one more favor…the freedom to plan your own wedding. She is afraid of losing you. Have her get with your future in-laws and work out some compromises. When you recite your vows and come to the phrase for “richer or poorer” remember you wedding planning and learn from it. Congratulations and Best Wishes.

  6. Blunt says:

    She feels inadequate that she is unable to provide for the “dream” wedding that you seem to want. It is obvious that feels sidelined because now you know/think that your in-laws are “oh, so well off” that your mom’s efforts out of the sudden mean nothing to you.

    Downscale your plans or elope, because this ego war is so elementary school. Give your mom the importance she deserves and value the great sacrifices that she is already doing instead to comparing how small they are in comparison’s to your in-laws fat wallet. You are hurting your mom’s feelings, plain and simple.

    Good luck

  7. Sue S says:

    This is what happened to my wedding stuff his side pretty much hated me they said i ruined his life mostly his mom did this we was in tons of augments and we planned it to be at his aunts house very simple just the people we seen every week 23 people counting the man who was to marry us our daughter and the two of us well his mom was so mad we would not have it at her house and wait a few yrs before we got married she said we was just to young we was 20 yrs old well his mom kept it up so in the end we had his mom her two kids, my mom and dad and 2 sisters his 1 aunt and 1 uncle and 1 grandma and my grandma at the court house then after wards since my family and his family would not get along we went back to our place and had my family that showed up come over and we done the hole dinner and cake thing then about a month later we went to his grandmas and had the celebration there with them but of course they was mad it was not that night but my family is around 10 hrs away and had to leave the next day almsot a yr now and they still dont get along the best so we have to do everything twice it really is not the best thing but nothing else we can do because i cant handle the fighting anymore it drives us crazy we had our first christmas eve had his parents and brother and sister over and my mom and her then husband over (the one i called dad before really is not a dad but my dad has not been in life for over 15 yrs and the husband then cheated and left her so nothing really bad about my mom) we had to make his family leave because they was the one causing trouble with everyone its sad but you jsut have to work around things there is no right and no wrong way of doing things we go to my mom for everything we needed mostly just talk to figure out what to do ad his mom wanted us to go to her but she would just end up yelling theres nothing like family best of luck to you and yours

  8. Messykatt says:

    Your mom is complicating things (even if she’s well intended) and eloping is a terrible idea if you want to have a “reception” when you come back. There are many pluses to eloping, but once you come back, you are a married couple and all wedding related activities are over with. You could throw an open house or something, but if you want the real deal with the toast and wedding cake and head table, etc. then this needs to be the same group invited to the ceremony.

    All these situations have individual twists to them, but the general issue is the bride and groom not setting boundaries for what they want. Money can be a complicating factor in that if parents are paying for the wedding, they do get more of a voice because they are the hosts of the event. Since your mom isn’t paying, she’s a guest and she does need to back off. Guests don’t make the plans for any event – the host does.

    Maybe find something she likes to do and ask her to research this and help you with it, like catering or flowers. But at the same time start reinforcing to her that some things are non-negotiable, and it’s our wedding.

    PS – Also, if she feels bad about not paying, that rule went out the window a long time ago. Nowadays it’s completely open and usually the couple pays.

  9. But Inside I'm Screaming says:

    As someone who’s had a wedding, and as a single mom, I see your mother’s point. Money you spend on your wedding is NOT an investment….it’s p*ssed away. Her idea of borrowing chairs and going at least some of the work yourselves is great! The money you would have otherwise spent can be used for things like a down payment on a house, or even just saved. I think that huge weddings, with money thrown everywhere are just so impractical. There are so many ways to cut costs and still have a fabulous wedding and reception. Just let yourselves be open to them. And think of the fun you can have with friends and family doing simple things, like setting up chairs. It’s really worth it in the long run.

  10. Saya says:

    Just tell her straight up.

  11. Perse says:

    Seems your mom might have turned a shade of green. She’s worried about what other people will think. What if they compare her to your future in-laws and see how much better off they are? How they were able to provide grounds for your wedding and chairs, etc; She might end out feeling like a lesser equal. Then, she might feel she’s losing her daughter to their financial success, like they dropped a shiny object in front of you and you went running for it. This probably makes her feel like you will become more a part of their family and leave your own behind.

    So, reassure your mother. Give her some confidence and ease her worries. It will hopefully give you some more peace of mind.

    Or, you could elope. That’s up to you. But no reception when you get back, a reception is to receive wedding guests and you won’t have any. Instead, throw a celebration party.

  12. Stargazer says:

    And weighing in from a Mom’s point of view —

    Almost 40 years ago I did elope — his family was a nice middle of the road folks – his dad a copy and mom a stay at home who raised 5 children. My family were professionals with a lot more money and my mom commandeered my wedding. We wanted small, simple – she had grandiose plans.

    Net result – we eloped — and I have heard about it ever since!!!! Both of my siblings had the traditional wedding – and their first marriages failed. One remarried once and has stayed happy for the last 25 years, the other has gone through 4 marriages — none took.

    The best thing for all parties is for you to develop a budget. Let both sides know the bottom line that you will plan to spend — and then allow them to give you a check. Then — do things that way YOU want to do them, DIY, hire, have friends help out … do it in a park, the garden at a reception hall or party place, a church with a community center for the reception.

    I really suggest strongly against eloping — you can never get back that first time — and the little things, especially the pictures can never happen again!!! There is an old addage of not cutting off your nose to spite your face and this is the time to listen to old dogs ….

    Let your mom know how much you love her, but this is your life, and you need to do things your way. If she could foot the bill I’m sure she would, and part of what you are hearing is her frustration that she just can’t hand you the world on a silver platter – many of us wish that we could.

    Tell her that you really appreciate the sincerity of her love – but a checkbook does NOT equate love, and that the two sets of parents should consider paying in proportion to their ability — not the same because they are NOT in the same circumstances — but the $ she spends equates to the $$$ his family can afford and in your mind it is an EQUAL contribution.

    Hope this helps oil the waters,

    Mom of two – only one whom I can still give a wedding to when she is ready —

    Best wishes to you both

    Telefonica Rob’s Mom – he is with the angels and still here in our hearts.

  13. Crystal says:

    Your mom came from a different time, when she was younger the couple probably paid for everything themselves. If you decide to have his parents help out just explain to your mom that things are more expensive these days. If you need the help take it there is nothing wrong with it, you could always pay them back.

  14. Kelly says:

    My mom is the same way as yours I think.

    My mom isn’t able to help financially and I think to an extent it makes her feel less important or inferior to my future in-laws who are able and willing to help financially. Especially since when both of my brothers got married she was able to help them, however her finances aren’t today what they were then so she isn’t able to with me, which I’m fine with, my wedding, my party = my bill. She has the old school mentality that the brides family pays for most of the wedding expenses.

    With that, I still involve both mom’s with pretty much everything regardless of who is paying what. Both our mom’s went dress shopping with me, helped me pick out invitations, pick up small things like programs, candles, decorations, etc. My fiance’s parents have been sneaky about paying for or on things and not telling us.

    As for the input with your inlaws, your family or anyone else take it with a grain of salt. Thank them, say you will take it into consideration then – do what you want. Most people handing out advice mean well.

  15. iHelen says:

    Tell her sternly and clearly.

  16. Quirky Captivation Girl says:

    Tell her out loud and clearly enough so she can fully understand and comprehend.

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