- February 18, 2014 at 2:49 pm #432857
Ok so I thought I had been going pretty well with all the planning up until now but the family stress has caught up with us and now we are just about ready to walk away from it all!
First of all, my mum has been coming up with ideas for the wedding from when we first got engaged that just don’t fit with our theme at all (she keeps coming up with rustic ideas and our theme is modern-vintage-glam so it just doesn’t work). She has actually been doing DIY things for us without even asking us, and then she then gets offended when I tell her I don’t want to use her ideas or that we already have something in mind etc. She has even taken floristry lessons so that she could do the wedding flowers (!) without consulting me, when I had already booked an AMAZING florist (first thing I booked, that’s how important the flowers are to me). I know it’s just because she’s excited but I’m very hands-on and have very firm ideas about what I want so it is causing quite a bit of tension between us. Other people have said to give her a job to do that I don’t really care about, but there really isn’t anything I am comfortable with her doing!
Then there is the money side of things… we got engaged the same week that my fiance’s parents separated. When we initially spoke to my parents/his mum about who would pay for the wedding, we came up with the agreement that we would go thirds between us, my parents and his parents, and that my fiance’s mum would approach his dad to ask for his share. That was almost a year ago and she still has just been putting it off, so my fiance asked his dad and nope… he won’t put in a cent! So that’s a $5000 hole in our budget that we will now need to fill. The only way I can think of cutting back on costs are to cut down our bridal party. We have 5 each – I only wanted 3 to begin with, but my fiance has 5 friends that he couldn’t choose between so I asked another 2 friends (who I’m not even actually close to). I really want to cut this down to just MOH and best man, but we have already asked everyone. I have calculated that we could save $2500 if we just had 1 each but I know it’s super awkward to un-ask. Has anyone ever done this?
And then finally – my parents have just been overseas visiting my dad’s family. It turns out mum and dad have invited dad’s entire extended family to the wedding WITHOUT CONSULTING US, and my fiance and I have never even met them! Apparently they are all very excited and have started working out their flights and accommodation. Then mum and dad are planning on inviting a whole bunch of their friends too, not to mention that in my mum’s extended family there are over 30 people. We are very definite on not wanting to have over 100 people, and at the moment my family/parents friends are taking up 65!! We are very private about our relationship and the idea of having a whole bunch of strangers watch us get married makes us very uncomfortable. It’s not a spectator sport, it’s the most personal thing we will ever do! I have said this to my parents and my mum has threatened to withdraw their financial contribution. There is no reasoning with that woman!
Wow what a rant! haha. My fiance and I are honestly considering walking away from the whole wedding (pretending we are ‘postponing’ it for financial reasons) and then eloping overseas. Of course though, that would just make things even more tense between my mum and I!
I am sure there are LOTS of other brides with mother/finance problems – how have you dealt with them?February 19, 2014 at 6:41 pm #433115
Firstly.. after reading your story, I’d be stressed too!
I did have a very similar problem with the “inviting extra people thing” my with father (my parents are separated). He wanted me to invite all extended family that I hadn’t seen in 15 years. I stood up to him and said no. Now he is not even coming to my wedding (there were other reasons too, but this was one of the main ones). Unfortunately with some parents there is no reasoning. When it comes down to it, you and your fiance must have the wedding YOU want. Not anyone else. You’ll regret it forever if you don’t. So if you really want to elope.. just elope! We were going to if we couldn’t afford a bigger wedding. The honeymoon we’d booked would have just turned into an elopement and had an open invitation to anyone if they wanted to come to see the ceremony.
If eloping is really not an option, I’d suggest going another route. Tell your parents that if they want to invite so many extra people you had not originally intended to invite, that they need to contribute more. If they can’t or won’t, then you can’t afford the extra people to come. Simple as that. It’s a bit of a risk, but hopefully they’ll say they can’t and that should take care of all the extra people you don’t want there.
I feel for your situation. I hope it get resolved. Just remember it’s your wedding. Do what you want!
February 20, 2014 at 3:10 am #433126
I’m going to break this up into major points to make it a little easier for me to answer all the ranting…
On this point you’re really just getting caught up on semantics, “rustic” VS “modern-vintage-glam”? For one thing, “modern-vintage” doesn’t make sense, unless you mean something like a minimalistic 1920’s/30’s design; but rustic tends to have a lot of crossover with vintage themes and can easily translate from a design perspective. It sounds like you’re getting very stuck in your ways and want to control every little detail; instead of pushing away help, re-purpose it by giving clear instructions as to how best to retro-fit their ideas into yours (or if your brave, open youself to a new perspective and try something, if it doesn’t fit you can change it).
But in the end, if you don’t want imput from other people, don’t get so frustrated and upset about it, put things into perspective, it is just a few small details that you won’t even notice once the whole thing is over and done with. Just calmly and respectfully decline the help or ask for help with something else.
As has been previously suggested to you, the best advice is to give your mother something constuctive and personal to dofor you. This doesn’t have to be pre-wedding, it could be a small speech or hymn, it could be handing out confetti or umbrellas/shawls (depending on the time of year), making sure everyone finds their seat at the reception, or announcing speakers, or a first parents’ dance with the bride and groom.
Try not to be so stubborn, think outside the box, there are many ways she can feel helpful with interfering with your plans. The more you get angry, the more desperately she is trying to help to lift the stress. She knows how important this is to you, and the fact that she is trying to learn floristry is an enormous compliment; she just wants you to be happy and wants to feel included. Who cares if you have an “AMAZING” florist, consider letting your mum have a special touch, maybe she could be an assistant on the day?
Family contributing $$:
Any money given to you by family/friends etc. is a gift, it is not something you should be expecting or budgeting for. Your family are not obligated to pay for you to get married in any way, and if they choose not to, are not financially able to or feel that prior family issues such as a divorce (or any other reason for that matter) it is up to them.
You don’t have a “$5000 hole in your budget” you should never have expected them to pay forit in the first place, it is your responsibility to ensure the wedding is paid for, and any money (even a few dollars here and there) are a generous and wonderful gift that is a token of their love and support (which shouldn’t need to be a monetary value to begin with). If you’re having a tantrum because your family won’t cough up money that they shouldn’t be expected to forkout in the first place, you’re being very selfish.
Bridal Party numbers:
You can have as many BMs as you like, whether 1, 3, or 5; but don’t make your FH choose to even it out as it isn’t fair. If having fewer people in the bridal party will save cost and you feel you are not close to all of them, you can honestly discuss your cost concern with them and they should understand (they may even offer to help pay for themselves). You can’t exactly ‘revoke’ asking someone to be a BM unless they’ve been truly awful and a terrible BM and friend, otherwise they kind of have good reason to be upset with you for renegging on your promises.However you can give them the option of giving you a break financially and explaining that you still want them involved but can’t afford to pay for them entirely.
Family being invited without your approval:
On this point I actually do agree ith you (amazing right?) your family shouldn’t be inviting people without your consent. You need to explain it to your immediate fmily that it is not ok and you may have to write, email or call your distant family to explain you cannot afford to host them all and that sadly the wedding is invite-only. The damage has already been done, so to try and control it, I would suggest asking your mother and father etc. to host a big get-together to celebrate the union (where they can invite anyone and everyone as long as they will pay for the extras); this will help your wider family feel included (and prevent resentment) as well as keep your mother happy.
Hope that helps!
February 26, 2014 at 3:23 pm #433626
Ok there is a lot to get through and like Happy G I think it is best to categorize each issue.
Mum helping out:
Come on Lucy, there has to be ONE thing that is slightly less important the everything else. Maybe she can help you build the cetrepieces you’ve picked out or design the packaging for the bonbonniere. Perhaps she can help you narrow down the linen choices. But seriously, you need to ease up a bit.
In my mind the most important things are booking:
Celebrant, locations, good food, entertainment and transport.
Cover these basics and then no-one will notice too much on the other things. Can choosing which shade of theme colour the napkins are really be as important as choosing the venue? Of course not so let you mother help you choose once you’ve narrowed down the choices.
The “missing” $5000.
According to you you only spoke with FH’s mum and she was really in no position to agree to what her newly separated husband could contribute.
You should have realised this and not built your budget around unsecured funds. Also any money family or friends contribute should be viewed as extra and not guaranteed.
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The extra “guests”
I’d flat out ask your parents to cover the cost of these extra people.
When you tell them “Yes, so mum and dad we’re going to need an extra $15,000.”
They are naturally going to freak out. When they ask why you calmly tell them:
“That is how much it is going to cost to have all those extra family members you invited without consulting us.
So either 1. they are going to be the only ones there which means none of our friends, close family or even you can go mum and dad to our wedding, 2. you are going to have to pay for them since you invited them or 3. you are going to have to uninvite them.”
Once you lay it out in finacial terms like that you will probably get an argument but when she calms down and realises exactly how much all these extra people are costing her not just financially but in the ability to have the people that actually matter there, she will reconsider.
Seriously, I doubt she thinks second cousin Anne is more important to have at your wedding then her own children, brothers, sisters and nieces and nephews.
And if she and your dad do manage to cough up the extra $15,000 then you will just have to put up with them, I’m afraid.
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