Turning a Family Member Down

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SarrahRocks Posts : 1 Registered: 1/15/08
Turning a Family Member Down
Posted: May 2, 2010 10:49 AM

My FH's grandmother has offered to make my bouquet for our big day, in leu of a wedding gift. I've shared with her all the details and she doesn't agree... she said she'll come up with something that suits her.

What are some suggestions in turning her down? I also know I'll become a part of her family, so it seems a little sticky in how to go about this. We also live 4 hours away from his family and I've only met her twice.

A phone call? A letter? Any suggestions are welcomed! :)

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Turning a Family Member Down
Posted: May 2, 2010 11:38 AM Go to message in response to: SarrahRocks

How have you spoken to her in the past? On the phone? Email? Snail mail? Through another family member? Personally, I would probably give her a call and talk it over, but if you don't know her very well and you'd be more comfortable communicating some other way, do it however you've done it in the past.

As for the gift, I don't think I would turn her down, even if the bouquet she makes isn't your style and doesn't go with your wedding. Her gesture is a very thoughtful one, and turning it down would make you seem ungrateful and stuck-up. I would graciously accept it and carry it on my wedding day, even if I hated it. To me, creating a strong bond with a family member is far more important than the details of one day, even an important one like a wedding day. Also, a handmade gift, even one I dislike, means a lot more to me than something I can pick out and purchase on my own.

But if you're hell-bent against it, I would try to think of a compromise. Does she have other crafty skills, and could perhaps make something that's less important to you? (My mom wanted to help big time, but her taste is the opposite of mine. She was OBSESSED with chair covers and I really couldn't care less, so I gave her free reign to do whatever she wanted with the chair covers. She must have visited a dozen fabric stores and looked at millions of types of fabric, but she finally found one that matched the color of my BM gowns EXACTLY and made sashes for the chair covers. It was a detail I really didn't care about, but she did a really good job with them, they looked beautiful, and she was so proud of herself. And I only had to listen to dissertation-length phone calls about one topic rather than debating EVERYTHING with her, which made me happy. Everybody wins.) So is there something else she can make that you care less about? Like making pew bows, decorating a cute basket to put programs in, embroidering the ring bearer pillow, something like that? Friends of mine had everybody sign little squares of fabric instead of a guest book and the bride's grandmother later made it into a wedding quilt. I thought this was such a nice idea and really wish I knew someone who does quilting!

DaisypathWedding Ticker

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

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alymar Posts : 100 Registered: 3/2/10
Re: Turning a Family Member Down
Posted: May 2, 2010 1:43 PM Go to message in response to: SarrahRocks

Ohhh... that is a hard one. Unfortuntely you have already said yes to this I am presumming and now want to say no?

I am kind of with the previous poster - just talk it over with her some more. Send her some images of what flowers you are using. The more you talk to her and collaberate. She may have something specific in mind and you never know - you may love what she comes up with in the end. Ask her what she is wanting to do and go from there.
Friendship is a wonderful base for love...
When is my wedding
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TheeBride Posts : 130 Registered: 1/17/10
Re: Turning a Family Member Down
Posted: May 2, 2010 2:46 PM Go to message in response to: SarrahRocks

Hmmm maybe you could incorporate them into your wedding along with the flower you intended on using to begin with. I agree with the other posters, turning them down would definitley hurt her feelings and you really do want to build a good relationship, but still...this is your wedding, your vision. That said, how about use your flowers for the ceremony and most all of the pictures, use her flowers for some of the pictures (I'm sure she'd love that) and maybe use hers when you and your husband are introduced for the first time when you walk into the reception room. Otherwise, the flowers are done...they're sat on the table, maybe in a vase/some kind of holder and that's it.

"I carry your heart with me, I carry it in
my heart. I am never without it, anywhere
I go you go, my dear..."

E.E. Cummings

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IDzine01 Posts : 26 Registered: 2/27/09
Re: Turning a Family Member Down
Posted: May 2, 2010 2:48 PM Go to message in response to: SarrahRocks

Ugg. I can understand your diappointment. I'm like you and would prefer to handle my own bouquet design and would probably not like grandmas gift bouquet nearly as much from a purely aesthetic design standpoint.

It's a mixed gesture. On one hand it is very thoughtful that she wants to spend the time to handmake your bouquet and on the other hand it is sort of selfish to tell you that she doesn't want your feedback and that she will design it the way it suits her. She put you in a tough spot.

If it were me (and you obviously don't have to take my advice here) I would graciously accept with smiles and faux-enthusiasm but I would also tell her that I have spent a lot of time coordinating all the details and would love it if she could at least consider the style of wedding (formal or casual, classic or contemporary) and be mindful of the color scheme. Then I'd cross my fingers and hope for the best. At the very least, your guests will think it's sweet (even if it is hideous) that your grandma-in-law made your bouquet.

Good luck and let us know what you decide to do. Like I said, this is a tough call.
“Maybe some women aren't meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free til they find someone just as wild to run with them.” -Sex and the City

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Turning a Family Member Down
Posted: May 2, 2010 5:18 PM Go to message in response to: SarrahRocks

Dear Sarrah,

How different is Grandma's design from your idea? Is it a hill to die on?

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Turning a Family Member Down
Posted: May 3, 2010 9:11 AM Go to message in response to: IDzine01

On one hand it is very thoughtful that she wants to spend the time to handmake your bouquet and on the other hand it is sort of selfish to tell you that she doesn't want your feedback and that she will design it the way it suits her.

I don't think that's necessarily the case. Perhaps grandma only knows how to make one kind of bouquet, and the OP has been asking for a totally different style that is much more complicated. Flowers are REALLY hard to arrange if you aren't a florist, so it wouldn't surprise me if grandma made the offer thinking that she knew how to make bouquets, but now the OP has put HER in a tough spot by asking for something different.

I agree with AOTB. Not a hill worth dying on.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

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

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Agape14 Posts : 201 Registered: 12/31/08
Re: Turning a Family Member Down
Posted: May 4, 2010 12:32 PM Go to message in response to: SarrahRocks

Sarrah, this is the exact reason I've avoided using family members for any aspect of the wedding that I really care about having a particular way. Things that I'm flexible on, then it's fine to compromise, but if I really have a particular idea in mind I don't want to be in the position where I either a) don't get what I want, or b) unintentially hurt someone's feelings. It's SOOOO much easier dealing with professionals where you don't have to worry about saying you don't like something or want something a particular way. I really feel your pain!

For your situation I think you should just be honest. You and FH should talk to grandma (definitely together! the united front should diffuse any potential awkwardness) and tell her that you have something in particular in mind for the bouquet you're going to carry down the aisle, but you'd be honoured if she could make a special bouquet for ______ table/centrepiece etc. Find a place where her bouquet could be prominently displayed and make a point of drawing attention to it at the wedding (maybe a card indicating that it was made with love by Grandma X).

I agree with another poster that said that it puts you in a bad position when someone is offering to do something for you but only wants to do it their way. Whether it's because they just don't want to or even if it's because they're unable to do what it is you'd like, it's not really a gift to someone to say "I'll take care of this aspect of your wedding, but only if I get to do it the way that I want, not the way that you want". I have a similar problem with parents who offer to pay for all or a portion of a wedding but then use that "gift" as a means of control. Not very kind or generous in my book.

 

 

~~Life's tough, wear a cup~~

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