My fiance and I are finishing college this year and each living with our parents. I really want an engagement party. My parents don't want to host one at my house, but my FH's parents said they would be happy to host one. However, my parents don't feel good about this, because they don't feel comfortable at my FH's parents' house. I don't really want to rent out a restaurant so it can be on "neutral territory"; I just wanted a simple low-maintenance bbq, and I feel this is an event our families should come together for. It makes me feel stressed and hurt that my parents will not cooperate to celebrate for my sake.
Nothing major has really happened between the parents, but my mother seems to feel competitive with my future in-laws and says negative things about them. Plus neither side has wonderful impressions of the other. Recently they all got together to discuss our future marriage, and they got along really well in person. But a few days later, my mother's attitude about my future FIL went back to how it had always been.
I want my engagement to be a happy one, and this is such a bad foot to start out wedding planning on. Does anyone have any ideas of what I should do?
I wonder if your mom is worried that you'll end up liking them "better"?
I don't have any great advice, but a warning that a simple BBQ can turn into a more complicated event if you let it, lol! But I think it's wonderful that your inlaws want to host one, and maybe it's time for a heart to heart with your mom. Tell her that a BBQ is what you'd like, and since she doesn't want to host it, it was generous of your future in laws to offer. Then try to find out WHY she'd feel uncomfortable with it at their house (as opposed to with them in general)
I'm sorry that you're having these problems. I don't want to be a wet blanket, but your post is full of "I wish," "I want," etc. I'm afraid that you really have to deal with what IS, and how these two sets of parents don't get along. I hope that you will work through the problems now (whether or not you have the engagement party really is the least of your concerns!), so that as you get into wedding planning, and especially in the years after you marry (there are two sets of future grandparents here--let's see, Christmas at whose house? Eeeek!), you will be prepared and have worked out the potential conflicts ahead of time.
I'd try to honor your mom's wishes on this--though I think it's weird that she won't host but doesn't want his mom to host either.
My hometown has a couple of buildings that can be rented out for this kind of thing--I mean, it's not a fancy restaurant setting or anything--but you could bring in whatever kind of food you want. Maybe your town has something like this?
There's also the Eagles/VFW/ELKs/whatever if anyone in your family is a member. And, if you're getting married in a church (and you're a member), you might consider the church's basement/gathering area.
I think that it is only for a few hours, your parents should be able to deal. What is so wrong about their house compared to just your in-laws alone at a restaurant? If your parents don't want to put up and host their own party, well then, I'm afraid.....
Yuck. If you want to keep the peace, maybe just forgo the engagement party. I never had an engagement party (or post wedding brunch or wedding weekend events). I'm sure it would be nice, but I think there are WAY too many events for engaged couples today. Are the wedding, rehearsal dinner, and shower not enough?
"Plus neither side has wonderful impressions of the other." Perhaps you and hubby2b could start working on those "impressions" - be positive, dear, you have a while until the wedding, you can make a little change every day, but please keep in mind, that while this is s huge change for you, it's also a huge change for your parents (who may see themselves as losing you) - in the end, the only thing you can really gontrol is your own attitude - don't allow anyone to spoil this time for you
I think if your inlaws are willing to host it, then you should have it. It's unfair and a lot of nerve of your mom to NOT host it, but then dictate who does. You said when they all met, they got along fine even though they went back to their old ways. If thats the case, then they should be fine at the engagement party, even if they really hate each other inside.
Why not reserve a local park with a grill for a night? Then it is on neutral territory, low maintenance, and would have more parking (smiles). Also, talk to your mom - she seems to be acting a little immature about it.