How involved should my fiance’s mother be in the wedding planning?

July 6th, 2011

My parents are paying for 55% of the wedding and she’s paying for 45%. (His father is deceased)

My parents live in a city 2 hour’s flight away. This weekend my mom is flying down so that we can do some typical “mother / daughter” wedding stuff together (such as cake tasting, looking for florists and searching for a dress for her). I invited my fiance along to the cake tasting and food tasting as I feel being the groom he should have some say.

But now he is insisting that his mother do EVERYTHING with us. He says she’s contributing a large sum to the wedding and should be part of the planning. When he invited her initially appearantly she said to him “isn’t this your fiancee’s and her mom’s ‘mother/daughter’ time?” And he said to her “No – I mean I’m going along so it can’t be”

My own mom is very upset about this – as being in another city this is the only weekend we’ll get to do some wedding realted stuff together and spend some quality time together – I’m her only daughter. My fiance’s mother has two married daughters and got to do all this stuff with them when they got married.

So my fiance said that on Saturday him and his mom will spend the WHOLE day with us. We will do everything together and lunch together. I told him my mom wants to shop for a dress for herself and that surely his mom doesn’t want to hang around while she tries on dresses. But he still keeps insisting. On Sunday his family is having lunch at our house and although he’s working on Monday, he insists that his mom come with us on Monday when we go to the decor hiring place.

Note this – his mom isn’t very friendly to people she doesn’t know well. The 2 previous times she met my mom – if my mom would ask a question she would answer me or my fiance back and not even look my mom in the eye. (She used to be like this with me too in the beginning)

What should I do?
Please note – I think my question is misunderstood. It’s not really about decision making. Both our mothers are pretty much leaving that in our hands. It’s about his mother being there the whole weekend that my mom had intented for me an her to do stuff together.
@M – You dont have to be a sarcastic little jealous b*tch about it! They were kind enough to do this for us and we’re very grateful. We get to save our own money for our honeymoon. We’re not ignorant about how fortunate we are. You didn’t even answer my question – you just came here to be nasty, so please go vent on twitter or something!

13 Responses to “How involved should my fiance’s mother be in the wedding planning?”

  1. Liz says:

    When you allow other people to pay for your party, you give away control of who does what. You should pay for everything yourself, then you’d be free to make all the decisions yourself.

  2. jed says:

    There are two main people involved in this wedding and there are two people who get to decide together how it going to happen. As far as im concerned family has nothing to do with it. So that’s my answer. do what you both want to make the both of you happy with the memories to last a lifetime. These memories will be your memoies. No one will feel about them the way you both will .End

  3. yourlildarling65 says:

    Well technically the grooms family pays for like the reception and food and stuff so I wouldn’t really include his mom in dress shopping and florist trips. Maybe explain to him that you and your mom are going to make the initial visits and narrow it down and you will bring his mom when you make the final decision and place your orders so you can spend time with your mom and then you can have his mom there for support when your mom can’t be. I would just explain that this is very sentimental to you and that you have dreamed of doing this with your mom since you were a little girl and you just want to live out your fantasy how you pictured. You need to inform him that you are more than happy to invite his mother along when your mom is gone though. I have this same problem. I have problems getting anyone to go do wedding planning stuff with me and his parents are helping with a large part. Well he told his mom that so now she wants to tag along to EVERYTHING! She makes me uncomfortable though because she’s..well.. rather cheap.. and doesn’t think I should pay large amounts for certain things like my photography…well I am a photography enthusiast. Also when I told her about my specialty linens she was like oh no I know a lady you will get your linens from you don’t need those. So i feel you on this! lol Good Luck.

  4. BloopieBlooper says:

    I see both points of view. On his side if this were really about quality time with your Mom then he would not bebjoining. It sounds like a power struggle now and he sees you as excluding his Mom. Maybe he wants her there as an advocate. Do yiu and your Mom really give him a say? Here is what you do, let your fiance off the hook. Just go out with your Mom and if he still wants his Mom involved you say this weekend is less about wedding planning and more about spending alone time with your Mom. Promise to run big decisions by him and if he really wants a planning session with his Mom he can set it up on his own or another weekend if he wants you there. To force bis Mom on your special weekend with yours is really rude and unfair. You need to tell him no, but then you cannot force him to come too or it will look like you are trying to exclud e his Mom which is not okay whether she is paying 5% less. That is petty to even factor in to this situation. Find another weekend to plan with his Mom but he CANNOT force you to share your quality time with your Mom, with his. Boundaries!! Enforce them NOW.

  5. Amanda K says:

    if this was supposed to be a mother daughter weekend with you and your mother, and then opened up to your fiance [which is fine-hes your fiance and your mother lives far], then it should be just that.. a weekend with YOUR mother. people may think i sound like a bitch. thats fine. its your wedding, your mother, and your weekend. she obviously caught that since she checked with your fiance that she suspected it was mother-daughter time for you and your mother.

    id say perhaps compromise.. if you can have your fiance back you up after calmly explaining that this was supposed to be mother-daughter time to HIM first, all the better. if not, calmly explain to his mother that you had planned either saturday or sunday with your mother and just your mother. then perhaps ask if she would like to have brunch or something sunday morning. that way they can be friendly and what not. tell her saturday you have a spa day or some crap that she cant get in because its too late. she should be fine with it, just make sure she knows its nothing on her, just that you had plans prearranged. tell your man to quit being groomzilla. *claps hands in a wiping motion* all taken care of

    ps ignore the snide remarks.. i.e. macy.. theyre just riding the bitter bus.

  6. Ana1226 says:

    I understand you, im a only child too. 🙂
    Talk to him, explain him (with love and being nice) that your mom is very excited for this special time JUST WITH YOU, and that is very important to her because you are her ONLY child,that it would be nice if his mom and he come to see the cake but Just that and that you will like to have this one in a lifetime weekend alone with you mom.
    I think his mom its going to understand since she always knew it was your time with your mom.

    🙂

  7. Gigantaface says:

    I think that since this woman is about to be a very intricate part of your family that you should probably make an effort to involve her and spend time with her. I also think that since she is essentially family and your mother is family, that the two of them should be able to get to know each other better. Your FMIL will never warm up to your mom if she doesn’t have the opportunity to spend time with her.
    However, it is reasonable to want some alone time with your mom as well. Perhaps you need to discuss this with your fiance and come to a compromise. Maybe your FMIL would be more than welcome at half of the days events, but you and your mom can have some alone time just the two of you (without your fiance as well). Your fiance may feel that if he’s there, it automatically becomes family time, and that’s why he wants his mom to be a part of it too. Or maybe he is uncomfortable with your mom (that kind of shyness can run in the family) and wants his own mother there as sort of a security blanket.
    Whatever the case is, you need to explain your feelings clearly to your fiance, and ask him clearly why he wants his mom with for everything. Do not use metaphors or big words when you’re explaining what you want. Make it short and simple. Say “I don’t get a lot of chances to spend time with my mom, so I’d like to have some alone time with her this weekend. I want to involve your mom in activities, but I’d also like to leave some for just me and my mom. What activities are important to you for you and your mom to be there? We need to decide which activities will be all of us, and which ones will be just me and my mom.” Bam. Clear and simple. No room for guess work. It makes it clear that you intend to spend quality time alone with your mom. It opens up room to discuss what’s important to him so you can come to a compromise.
    From what I’ve read, it doesn’t sound to me like your fiance understands that you want mother daughter time. He told his mother you didn’t, so he must think you don’t (or he just doesn’t respect your wishes, in which case, please don’t marry him!) You can’t expect him to just know this. Do you just know why he wants his mother there? No, you don’t. And while we’re on that subject, maybe you should ask him. “Is there a reason why you want your mother with you all day on Saturday?” That’s the only way you’re going to find out.
    Tell him clearly “I want alone time with my mom” or maybe “I want my mom to get to know you better through some quality bonding, so lets schedule one event with just you, me and her”. Tell him what you want to do and why. Don’t expect him to know it.
    And while we’re on the subject of clear and open communication, have you considered calling his mom and asking her if she wants to come or not? She might be a lot more understanding about this situation, having been through two weddings herself, than your fiance is, since he’s likely never done this before. When you get married, his mother isn’t going away. You need to establish a good relationship with her if you want to have a happy family life overall. It’s not cool to force your husband to pick between you and his mom because you don’t feel like talking to her.
    Why don’t you try actually talking to your future husband and future mother in law, instead of talking about them? It’s not really your fault that talking about people rather than to them is your first instinct, it is what we are taught by society. Women aren’t really taught communication skills, we’re taught all this codependent nonsense that leaves us saying “I don’t know what to do, other people are doing things I don’t want them to do, and they don’t understand why they shouldn’t.” Well, first of all, they probably don’t even know what you want, because you’re not telling them. You don’t know what they want, because you’re not asking them (and in many cases, you might not have thought to care about what they want). And none of you are able to come to a compromise that makes all of you happy, because none of you are talking to each other.
    The solution here is to talk to your fiance and your FMIL. Now is the time to learn how to communicate effectivley and respectfully with your fiance, because it’s not going to magicallly happen once you’re married, and if you can’t communicate effectively and with respect, you might as well not even bother, because the marriage is not going to last. Nothing magic happens during a ceremony to make you both suddenly able to read each others minds and agree on everything. Marriage takes work, communication, and compromise. Theh sooner you both start doing that, the easier and happier your marriage is going to be.
    Good luck and congrats on your engagement!

  8. ppetal says:

    i think you should just let your fiance know that u want to spend time with your mum.just you and mum again. he may just want to do the cake thng all together ,then maybe after that/during that just say your helping your mum find a dress and spend time with her,, your inlaw already feels that you wld like to spend time with ur mum so thats nice to knw, i thnk u need to jas let ur fiance knw,and jas do it, spend time with ur mum,,, coz ul only be doing it once and its special to u both, and ur mum will love it too,, its fun doing all the fun stuff wit mum,,,

  9. Jenny Lynne says:

    I can fully understand your feelings of wanting to have a Mother/Daughter day, I remember mine many years ago when my Mom was still alive, Precious Memories. You ask what to do, so, if it were me, I would have the TALK with fiance and ask him who is he marrying, you or his Mother??? I do believe that he should be a little or more understanding. To try to give an honest answer, he sounds somewhat like an immature 5th grader as in, if your Mom comes mine does too. As for me, when she expressed doubts as if this was to be a m/d time, and he says No, I am going, etc.and “pushed” the issue, I would have just about torn his tongue out—-I would be so mad at him for not consulting me. Yes, the groom should be involved, but it is more about the bride and if my MIL had been around on that special day especially due to my hubby to be’s insistence, I would just about be ready to not marry him. This is just me, but when I want a M/D day, that’s what I want.I would be sick. I am not comfortable around people I don’t know that well and just me, but that would ruin the whole day for me and I wouldn’t give a flip about going at all. Can you make up an excuse as to why your Mother can’t come and re-schedule another day after you have put the fear of God in your unthinking fiance. I know she is contributing, but, there are many other things she can be involved in. But a M/D day is just that—M/D and again just me, I would be thankful for her financial help, but would be so sick about special day being ruined I would really want to re-schedule it. Maybe if fiance sees how upset you are, he will grow up. Sorry, just re-read, so it cannot be re-scheduled and your future MIL is downright rude to not acknowledge your Mother and not look her in the eye. I would again not want this woman along on that one special day and I would have one big “hissy fit” with my fiance. He would see the light or else. This is just my opinion, I am older and have suffered my share of being guilted or pushed into things that I did not want, not anymore, not me—-you deserve this day with your Mother and I would be gosh darn if I let MIL, fiance or anyone ruin it for me. Sounds like he may have some maturity issues and this needs to be resolved now. What about when you get married—will he want his Mother there when your first child is conceived. As my parents told me—START OUT AS YOU MEAN TO GO ON—meaning this issue with him and his Mother needs to be resolved now before the wedding. I know I probably sound mean, but I would be so pod and sick at heart, my joy would be gone and I would really not care about going. Again, just me, but do not, do not manipulate (or try to) me!!!!! Have a very, very serious talk with him. I may get some guff about my answer, but you asked and I answered from my point of view and stick to my answer. Maybe it’s because my Mother has been long gone or my MIL is totally nuts, but it is more about your day and I again stand firm with my answer. I do hope you find a workable situation. Have you considered that she may not want to intrude, but is doing so at her son’s insistence??think about it. Do you know her well enough to talk with her about this or would she get mad (really who cares)????

  10. truefirstedition says:

    This isn’t about who is paying for what. This about your fiance wanting his mom to be involved. If he wants her involved, she should be involved, because as you said, this is also HIS wedding.

    If you really wanted to do mother/daughter stuff, you wouldn’t have invited your fiance. So perhaps together the two of you should figure out an itinerary for the weekend. Marriage is about compromise and so is wedding planning, so you have to give him some things and he has to give you some things. There is surely a middle ground here if you will both stop taking this as a personal assault on your respective mothers.

    For example, for anything that is directly related to the wedding planning (cake tasting, decor hiring, etc) OR anything that your fiance is invited to, his mother will also be invited. For anything personal (mother/daughter shopping, mother/daughter dinner, whatever), you and your mom will go by yourself. Then, you can call up MIL and say, “Hi Susan, I wanted to let you know what the plans are for this weekend. We’ll be doing cake tasting at 10, catering tasting at 12, and then we’ll do lunch afterward. On Sunday, everyone is coming to lunch at our house at 1, and then on Monday we’re going to the decor place at 10:30, except for Brad who has to work. You’re welcome to join so please let me know what fits into your schedule.”

  11. KMS says:

    Tell your fiance that you really need to have some time with that is just you and your mom. Maybe do the cake testing and the florist as a group. Then he can take his mom out to lunch and spend time with her alone…since he won’t get much of that once you are married. You and your mom can go shopping, gossip about his mom and have a much needed cocktail!

  12. LOD says:

    As far a going with you & your mother to choose your wedding, this is typically done for mothers & daughters alone, not with the future mother in law. But for everything else, as long as she has good taste, it’s within budget, and it goes along with your plans, then I don’t see why not.

    Edit: I meant to choose your wedding dress.

  13. La Vie Boheme says:

    This is an issue with your and your fiance..Isn’t he the one insisting on how the weekend is going to run? Put your foot down and tell him that you already made plans and it’s final.

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