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More Wedding Drama From My Fiance's Mama

More Wedding Drama From My Fiance's Mama

Dear Sugar
I am in the early stages of planning a wedding for next fall. My fiance's parents are divorced and while my parents have pledged to pay for a good portion of the reception, and his father has pledged to pay the rest, his mother remains very unresponsive.

Though her husband makes upwards of $100,000 a year, she has pledged us $500 and acts as if it is a big favor that she is doing this for us. This won't pay for one detail in our wedding. Even though we are planning a modest wedding (approx. $9,000-$10,000 budget), this doesn't amount to even taking care of one item.

I was willing to let it slide, however, today I received an e-mail from her. She had scanned in an advertisement regarding a consignment shop for brides and included in her e-mail three cost-cutting suggestions. I politely responded to her e-mail, telling her that I had already found and purchased my dress on sale and I also noted her other suggestions.

This is the second time I've been given cost-cutting suggestions from her, and they're done in a manner that feels like a slap in the face. We wouldn't have to cut costs if she would ante up. Our planned affair is very cost-savvy and we have planned it to maximize the money we do have.

I need help. I feel caught between a rock and a hard place. I really think that she should be helping out more. Should I say something to her or just grin and bear it? She has the ability to help more and I am feeling very insulted at her cost-saving suggestions when I know she is spending thousands of dollars on her pets and herself a month.

I have been so afraid to even tell my own mom what she is contributing because my parents are struggling financially and have still found ways to contribute meaningfully. Am I making mountains out of molehills? Bride On A Budget

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Bride On A Budget,
It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job of managing expenses for your wedding. It's very easy to get caught up in all of the little extra's that are available, but you sound very mindful of your budget. Really when it's all said and done, a wedding isn't something worth going into debt over.

Your mother in law sounds like she is being frugal. But keep in mind that just because you know how much money her husband makes, doesn't mean that you know in ins and outs of their financial situation. Take the $500 and show your appreciation for it.

As far as dealing with your future Mother in law, for long term sanity's sake, it really is your fiance's responsibility to talk to her. Not only about the wedding finances but also about asking her to stop sending you cost cutting ideas about the wedding that are not helping the situation and only causing you anxiety.

In the meantime continue to be polite to her. She is going to be in your life forever, so try your best to maintain a good relationship with her. Arguing with your future husband's mother is only going to add a massive amount of stress to the wedding and your marriage.

Join The Conversation
onesong onesong 9 years
good jesus, when did 10 grand become a "modest" wedding? i understand your frustration with her priorities, but all in all, it's none of her business--nor is it her obligation to give you a dime. use her advice, because she obviously thinks you're ridiculously extravagant (which, im afraid, i agree with). i understand weddings cost a good bit of money, but ask yourself this: would you rather have a "dream" wedding, or would you rather have good relationships with your in laws? remember, the wedding is ONE DAY, marriage is forever. i hope you're not taking this "one huge day and then all is over" attitude with your marriage,'re in for the shock of a lifetime if you are.
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
why are you expecting someone else to pay for your wedding? if your expenses are really "modest" you should have no problem paying for them yourself. your mil is giving you "hints' that she thinks you are spending too much. she's entitled to her opinion. if you can afford to spend $10k on a party to celebrate finding the man of your dreams i think you should count your blessings and quit your bitching. and btw, $100k a year in certain parts of the the country means you can't afford a house. it's all relative.
lexichloe lexichloe 10 years
Just b/c you "think" her husband makes a certain salary doesn't mean it's yours for the taking. That's his salary, not her's, not your's, not your fiance's, unfortunately...What you need to recognize here is that she is offering you what she is. Be GRATEFUL for that!!!! Maybe your fiance's mom and STEPDAD don't have the common fianancial bond your parents have had for the past 20 years. Stop, think, and be an adult...You'll need to study the dynamics of divorce if this is going to last.
georgie2 georgie2 10 years
Hehehe... I am pretty sure some cultures it's the other way around when it comes to who pays for the wedding. I'm with nicachica... not sure I want to get married after reading about all the hassle involved! My friend comes from a nice greek family and her family wanted to have a big wedding. They were so horrified that they're eloping instead.
naked_american naked_american 10 years
Sure, etiquette calls that certain parents pay for certain things, but this is 2006. You are not entitled to one red cent from ANYONE, and you should be happy you're getting what you're getting. A $9-10,000 wedding may be frugal in your book, but that's still a large chunk of money. Take your $500 and be happy you're getting anything. Talk about ungrateful...
nicachica nicachica 10 years
jeez, reading about all this wedding drama just makes me not want to get married. or rather, it makes me just want to avoid a big one... i'd rather get a civil ceremony and have a big bbq with friends than spend months of planning/stressing/generally going crazy (which i tend to do anyway!) for one freakin day that everyone will remember for a couple days but forget after a month. and i definately agree with jen and L7 on this one. if you want the wedding you've dreamed of, pay for it yourself and don't expect handouts. frankly, i think its pretty generous of your MIL to even give $500 but maybe that's cuz i'm just jealous that you're getting other people to pay for your wedding! either way, good luck in dealing with her cuz she doesn't really sound like a peach. ;)
angelbaby angelbaby 10 years
i agree with Jen and tox and L7amiguita-why are you expecting anyone else to pay for your wedding? If you are old enough to marry then you should be able to foot the bill for your own wedding. If you pay for your own wedding-mil has NO SAY or control of any kind in the matter-i am sure your wedding will be lovely but in 10 years will anyone remember how much was spent or the wedding at all other than you and your husband?
kimsaks86 kimsaks86 10 years
I agree with facin8me--it is a control issue. It doesn't seem like a money issue; I don't think the issue is greed or even ungratefulness. It is the idea of controling the way things are going to be done is a hard one for anyone to swallow, especially a bride-to-be. It doesn't have to be all or nothing--she doesn't have to suck it up and accept every "tip" that comes her way, nor does she have to start World War III. There is a middle ground and that's probably where the solution lies.
L7amiguita L7amiguita 10 years
I totally agree with Jen and T0xxic! Be thankful that someone is helping you out...they don't need to give you $1. It's you're wedding so I think you and your fiance should be responsible adults and not expect someone else to pay for your wedding. Remember that beggers can't be grateful she is giving you $500.00.
facin8me facin8me 10 years
I see this issue as less about who is paying for the wedding, and more about control. A lot of people pay for their own weddings these days, and the comments about being grateful about getting anything at all are right on. I think even if the couple was going it alone, the future MIL would still be trying to throw some money at them so she would feel like she could makes comments, give suggestions, etc. What I think is getting "bride on a budget" upset is the future MILs priorities. It's clear that she puts herself and her pets above her own son, and if that's the way that she wants to live her life, that's fine. But then she should not behave as if she's doing the couple any favors when she throws them a few monetary crumbs and act like she has the right to give advice.
mrs_smith mrs_smith 10 years
The reality is, no one really has to help you pay for your wedding. My husband's parents are divorced, and his mom and dad split the tab for the rehersal dinner, which actually was less than 500 dollars. The way you responded to her cost cutting ideas was polite, and that's how you should continue to respond to her ideas. "Thank you so much for the ideas, and while I appreciate the thought, we already have taken care of "fill in the blank". Congrats on your engagement and have a wonderful wedding.
ohsuri ohsuri 10 years
I agree with Dear.. by the way the etiquette is for the brides parents to pay for the wedding and the grooms the rehersal dinner. If your parents can't afford the wedding than you either have to make it cheaper or pony up some money yourself. I would also be grateful for anything you get from others... you don't want to start your marriage off with a problem with your MIL, that could become VERY stressful!!!
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
Yah we are prolly just jealous. ;) :YAAR:
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
Same here! LOL Maybe I'm just jealous of all these people who get a free ride. :P
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
Maybe you should be happy people are helping at all. I know I paid for my own wedding.
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
Jen is totally right to.
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
I've never heard of the grooms's parents being expected to pony up so the bride can have a bigger wedding!? Your MIL probably feels like she *is* helping by giving you cost-cutting suggestions. Your parents are struggling financially and you still expect them to put out $10 GRAND for your wedding!? I'm sorry, but I'm squarely on the side of your in laws on this one. [And Dear is right. I have no idea how you came by the info of how much your FIL makes because its none of your business, but it still doesn't mean you know anything about their financial situation.]
facin8me facin8me 10 years
I'm going to take a different road on this one and disagree with almost everybody here. Tell your future MIL to keep her money and just let her be a guest at your wedding. Tell her you're grateful, but that your parents and his father have it covered. I was in a similar situation when I got married two years ago. Your fiance's mother knows that everybody else is willing to pony up to cover the costs of the wedding. She's just throwing her hat in the ring so that she can have some control over the planning of the big day. She will use her measly contribution to try to have a say in the guest list, the flowers, the ceremony, you name it. 500 dollars isn't worth it. Planning a wedding is stressful enough, you don't need her adding to it. My current in-laws played poor when it was time for their son to get married. They gave enough to cover the photographer, and my parents paid the rest (about 10 times what his parents gave). That didn't stop his parents from complaining about the guest list, trying to invite coworkers who we didn't even know, complaining about the ceremony, complaining about the lack of a videographer, and generally being a pain. To top it off, they thanked everybody at the reception for coming as if they had hosted the whole affair. You're better off without her "help."
Lakey Lakey 10 years
Just bite the bullet and elope instead!
honeysugar28 honeysugar28 10 years
That is wonderful advice I agree 100% I love my mother in law and I know how important it is to have a good relationship with your new hubbies family its a big issue in many families the competition for affection for the son/husband.
tra tra 10 years
Great advice. My in-laws didn't contribute much (about $1000) leaving my parents to pick up the rest of the tab. Just thank her and her husband for what the offer and as for the cost-saving tips, grin and bear it! It's your mother-in-law...learn to pick your battles. When my in-laws made the note in our wedding card "$2,500 check awaiting you upon your return from Bermuda." I couldn't have been more thrilled. Our 3 year anniversary was yesterday and the check has never made it to our bank account. I never mentioned it though...some things are just not worth it. Let a lot roll off of the fights for the bigger things that will come down the road.
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
All the advice given sounds good, u kinda have to grin an bare it or my Fi do all the work it is after all his mom and u have years to come of mil induced crap lol gl!
YummiSushi YummiSushi 10 years
Good Advice on all counts. In some sick, parallel universe, your Monster in law to be thinks she is helping you out by sending you these emails, when all she is really doing is exacerbaiting the situation. If you want to take Dear Sugar's advice, and still come out on top, you should ask M-I-L stories about HER mother-in-law (and maybe who planned her wedding). I am sure that will bring back some flinch inducing moments and maybe she will get the hint.
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