Wedding reception woes...am I being selfish??

Online Users: 0 guest(s), 0 user(s). Replies: 9

tnichelle1485 Posts : 119 Registered: 2/28/08
Wedding reception woes...am I being selfish??
Posted: Jun 12, 2009 8:44 PM

Hi all,

I need some advice! Here's some background info:

While looking for a reception site, I fell in LOVE with one (FH was rather fond of it, too)! However, after getting my FMIL's guest list (about 100 people), my FH and I realized that we wouldn't be able to afford this particular site. This is because in addition to FMIL's guest list, we would also have to include FFIL's side of the family (FH's parents are divorced), my family and both of our friends (about a total of 8 guests)...total list was about 200 people. We definitely could not afford this! So, we started looking for cheaper venues and found a couple. However, FMIL told us that she would plan a party for her extended family (some time after the wedding) so that we could have the venue we want and just invite the immediate family from her side. This practically cut our list in HALF! We were now at 105 guests! So, we went back to the reception venue and paid our deposit.

THE PROBLEM

FMIL wants us to ask for our deposit back (it's non-refundable) and find a cheaper venue so that all of the people from the original list can be invited!! She wants to scrap the party that she planned to throw for the extended family.

Here's why:

After going to FH's cousin's wedding this past Saturday, all of his extended family kept coming up to us and inviting themselves to our wedding. "You're next! We have it down on our calendar!" Many of these people, FH doesn't even know. He actually rode the elevator with one of his relatives, but didn't recognize her! FH is not very close with his extended family (obviously) as many of them live in different parts of the country and such. Anyway, these extended family members were also making comments to FMIL about how excited they are for our wedding.

So, now I am in this position where I either will look selfish for not wanting to change the venue or look sweet and considerate for changing it. I DO NOT WANT TO CHANGE OUR VENUE!! I should mention that FMIL was not planning on helping us financially when we were planning the reception at the first venue, but has offered to help if we switch venues to a cheaper one. I think she feels guilty for suggesting that we change venues. I just don't know what to do...I want to be accommodating, but at the same time, this is OUR wedding...and we don't NEED her help, financially.

Also, I'm not trying to paint my FMIL as an awful person. She is very sweet and I absolutely adore her. She is not demanding that we switch places. She says it is our decision, but I can't help but think that I will be looked at as selfish and FH will be getting numerous phone calls from hurt relatives that were not invited.

What to do? What to do??
 

~We're getting married on "Loving Day!"...June 12, 2010...He asked if I'd be with him forever and of course my answer was yes

Reply


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Wedding reception woes...am I being selfish??
Posted: Jun 12, 2009 9:24 PM Go to message in response to: tnichelle1485

Dear TNichelle,

Wow, what a dilemma. I was ready to say "Tell FMIL to stuff it" until I got to the bottom of your note where you say you really like her and have a nice relationship with her. You've also got a bunch of apparently well-meaning, nice, people who want to come to your wedding which means they have an emotional investment in supporting the new marriage. That's also a good thing. Gee, you'd hate to see all that good will from nice people go into the dumpster.

I'd say it's a great idea to build on the nice relationship, which will pay dividends in the future. You and DH have a fight; she takes your side. Stuff like that.

Here is my suggestion.

Sit down with a spreadsheet and calculate two scenarios.

One, you have the larger wedding, with the relatives invited. This will cost $X.

Two, you have the smaller wedding, lose your deposit, and book the alternate venue. This will cost (bottom line including lost deposit) $Y.

What's the difference between X and Y?

Get all your ducks in order, then ask your FH to talk to his mother, privately, and see if she might be willing to at least fund the difference in price. Get her to really nail down a full guest list, at the same time, and make it clear you can't have any last minute add-ons. ("I forgot to put Aunt Gerta on the list.")

I like the idea of each member of a couple dealing with members of their own family privately when it comes to finance or other unpleasant, potentially embarrassing topics. Mom might have an easier time saying, truthfully, to Son "We can't afford that" than saying the same things to a FDIL she really likes and wants to continue having a good relationship in the future.

If she is willing to pay the difference, then great. If not, then re-think your existing budget and see if you can accomodate the larger wedding, perhaps cutting the guest list "slightly".

Reply

tnichelle1485 Posts : 119 Registered: 2/28/08
Re: Wedding reception woes...am I being selfish??
Posted: Jun 12, 2009 9:44 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Thanks, AOTB!

All this time, FH has been speaking with his mother about the issue. I agree that things could get very uncomfortable, for both of us I'm sure, if she and I were talking about it with each other...eeek!

I appreciate your advice and your suggestion sounds like a great idea. I love FH's family and really would like for them all to be able to attend the wedding.

Just to clarify:

Smaller wedding=the venue we both love, only immediate family as guests, about 105-person guest list.

Alternate Venue=lose of deposit, all family as guests, about 200-person guest list, will probably cost more even though the cost per guest will be lower...

FH and I will discuss the possibility of FMIL paying the difference. Thanks again for the advice:*)
 

~We're getting married on "Loving Day!"...June 12, 2010...He asked if I'd be with him forever and of course my answer was yes

Reply


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Wedding reception woes...am I being selfish??
Posted: Jun 13, 2009 11:09 AM Go to message in response to: tnichelle1485

Dear TNichelle,

Sounds like a plan. I really hope it works out that the max number of your nice family members can attend.

Reply


Toast Posts : 480 Registered: 9/10/08
Re: Wedding reception woes...am I being selfish??
Posted: Jun 13, 2009 2:06 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

i would also suggest you have FH talk to his mom. If she is willing to help pay if you switch venues, maybe she will halep pay if you keep the venue you love, but add some of her guests. Maybe just find out how much she is willing to pay.

If it were me, i dont know as i would be so easy to give up my dream venue. There are lots of ways to cut costs on other things...like a cake, flowers, invites, favors, etc.

So maybe you find a way to cut all those costs, and find a way to cut the guest list some. I mean, that realative who FH did not recognize in the elevator....do you REALLY need her to be there? or maybe if you have lots of aunt and uncles with younger children, maybe the kids donw come? Or, your younger guests who are single, think your 15 year old second cousin, are not alowed to bring a date? Or, maybe you decide that you will invite FMIL siblings, and your FH cousins, and you leave it at that. no second cousins, or FMIL's coworkers, etc.

There are lots of ways to work it so everyone gets what they want.

good luck!

Reply

tnichelle1485 Posts : 119 Registered: 2/28/08
Re: Wedding reception woes...am I being selfish??
Posted: Jun 13, 2009 5:43 PM Go to message in response to: Toast

Toast,

I agree with you. Initially, FMIL agreed to pay for the guests that she wanted to attend (after NUMEROUS relatives kept coming up to us at the reception and inviting themselves to OUR wedding). She said, "you know...maybe I could just pay for the family members that I was gonna have the party for." FH and I both said that was fine. But she changed her mind after we told her the price per person.

I am so torn because I really do want to be accommodating of the family and I am grateful that they are supporting our relationship. At the same time, I know that we won't find another venue that we love as much as the one we booked! It's beautiful...and just perfect...FH is kind of on the fence. He's upset because the ONLY reason that we booked the reception at the venue is because his mom said she'd throw a party for those not invited some time after the wedding. And basically, we are losing our $1000 deposit. We are both frustrated about the situation. However, he has agreed to look at other places, but doesn't say whether or not he actually wants to change the venue.

I've been price pointing some places and it looks like we will pay about the same amount or more than if we had the reception at the place that we have booked now. FH will have to talk to FMIL and see just how much she is willing to help.


 

~We're getting married on "Loving Day!"...June 12, 2010...He asked if I'd be with him forever and of course my answer was yes

Reply


PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Wedding reception woes...am I being selfish??
Posted: Jun 13, 2009 6:55 PM Go to message in response to: tnichelle1485

TNI - If you can't even find a place that is less expensive then you really don't need to change. BUT if your FH goes to his Mom saying Well we can't find a place that's cheaper, then she's going to find a place that you guys DON'T want and say BUT it's cheaper.



I think you both need to figure out it out and decide one way or another BEFORE FH talks to her.

And if you change your mind, I would ask her if she's willing to reimburse you on the $1000 since she reneged on her arrangement.

 

 

 

Reply


Toast Posts : 480 Registered: 9/10/08
Re: Wedding reception woes...am I being selfish??
Posted: Jun 13, 2009 8:10 PM Go to message in response to: PharmToxGirl

do you have any sort of guest list started yet? If so, I would take it with you to your FMIL (or have your FH do it when he sits down with her) and say to your FMIL "this is who we were definately planning on inviting. Aside from these people, who else do you feel absolutely needs to be there". Then she what she comes up with for a list. If its a small enough list that you think you can afford, or dont mind paying for, then go for it, add them and everyone is happy. It its too many people, and too expensive, then ask her if she really wants them there, would she mind footing the bill for them. If she is ok with that, then great!

Just make sure that she knows what the price is INCLUDING tax and gratuity. For example, if you are paying $100/per person, and then have to pay 18% gratuity, and 6% sales tax, your price per person is really about $121 per person. The extra $21 may not sound like much, but it you add over 100 people to your guest list, it will be over $2,000!!!

Why does she not want to have the party? Did you say? Or did I forget?

Reply

loveisjoy Posts : 85 Registered: 2/6/09
Re: Wedding reception woes...am I being selfish??
Posted: Jun 14, 2009 12:20 AM Go to message in response to: tnichelle1485

I feel you should have your Reception at the Venue of your choice. You don't want to regret it later. I just don't understand why people always want to come in and suggest changes, on another persons big day. I understand you have a great relationship with your FMIL, but she should allow the two of you to plan your wedding.

Good Luck!!

Reply


ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Wedding reception woes...am I being selfish??
Posted: Jun 15, 2009 12:58 PM Go to message in response to: tnichelle1485

Personally, I think you're being too accomodating. Even considering that you like her.

I love my MIL, but I put my foot down about the guest list. DH and I wanted a small wedding, with 60-80 people. The first guest list my MIL gave us had 140 people on it. Nope, that wasn't gonna work. I went back to her (yes, I dealt with my MIL on this stuff, even though a lot of people say to let DH deal with his own parents. Whatever. I've known my MIL for nearly 10 years and we get along well. There's no reason we can't discuss a guest list and come to a compromise like normal people.) Anyway, I called MIL and said, 'Sorry, but you're going to need to cut your list down to 40 people. We're planning a small wedding and we're uncomfortable inviting people that we don't know well, particularly since it's not local for any of your guests. We don't want them to think we're inviting them just so that they'll send a gift.' Probably a little blunt, but it worked for OUR relationship. MIL understood and cut her guest list. We didn't nitpick about certain people - as long as her final number was under 40, we were happy. Actually, her final number came out to 40-something, and that was good enough.

I also love my own parents, but I did the same thing to them. Really, if we had tried to please everyone, we would have had 500 people at our wedding and we would have pleased no one. You really have to learn to say no. Nicely. You can be accomodating and cultivate a good relationship with your MIL without having to double the number of people at your wedding.

As far as the family members inviting themselves goes, how did your FMIL deal with this? Did she say, 'Yes, you're absolutely invited!' or did she make some noncomittal comment? Some people might take a positive reaction as an invitation, so I'd avoid saying anything positive when people try to invite themselves. My standard reaction was to be as vague as possible when people who weren't invited asked about the wedding. If they said, 'When's your wedding?' I'd say 'April' or 'next spring,' rather than giving a specific date. If they said, 'You're going to be such a beautiful bride!' I'd smile and change the subject. If they said, 'I want to put your wedding date on my calendar, so I can save the date,' I'd say, 'Please don't make plans yet. It's going to be a small wedding and we're still finalizing the guest list.' Most people took the hint.

Of course, you can't help it if your FMIL (or someone else) tells people that they'll be invited. Some people will probably tell you that a verbal invitation like that must be followed by an actual invitation. Personally, I don't think that's fair. As the host of the party, I issued the invitations. Verbal or written invitations from someone other than the host of the party don't count. So I didn't worry that my MIL told some of her friends that they'd be invited. She shouldn't have verbally invited them without consulting us, so that's HER faux-pas, not ours.

Anyway, that's my two cents. I would continue with your plans for a smaller wedding. It's not fair for your FMIL to invite half the guests at the party, anyway. The guest list should be divided equally between everyone: in this case, your FMIL, FFIL, your parents, and you and FH.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People

Reply
RSS

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from brides.com

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift
Subscribe to Brides magazine