Advice for a Dealing with Fiance's Family

My daughter is getting married in a few months and she is so stressed out. Her fiance's family is trying to change most things about the wedding. She doesn't have much done, but she wants an evening wedding and they tell her she should have it in the afternoon. She had already decided on the church, her colors, her menu, and that she wanted to have a nice wedding. Nothing too big, but nice. Now they're telling her to look around at other churches, she should add other colors, to only have finger foods.

She is always in tears and she doesn't want to be rude, but enough is enough. She won't let me say anything to them, and believe me I want to so bad. They're not paying for anything, they just like to throw around advice thats not wanted. Any advice for my poor stressed out daughter.

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Pepple from Zwolle, LA

February 25, 20080 found this helpful

Your daughter and her fiance should have the wedding they want. Her future inlaws sound like a bunch of control freaks who don't know how to mind their own business. Where is her fiance in all this? He is the one who should set his family straight, set some boundries. Believe me, it will not get better after they marry, it will get much worse. Imagine what it will be like when they have children. If he can't stand up for her now she should reconsider marrying him. Maybe that sounds drastic but I know so many families living in misery because the husband/father won't put his family in line. Love is not a once-in-a-lifetime thing, life will give you many chances to fall in love. Wait for the man you deserve.

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February 25, 20080 found this helpful

Hi People! I agree with Perfumed Fan that your future son-in-law needs to be the one to speak up to his family. There are some phrases your daughter (and fiance) can actually use when unwanted advice and suggestions are given. Learn to say things like, "Thank you for that suggestion. I'll take it in consideration" or "Oh! I'll have to think about that" The bottom line is that it is "their" wedding and not her future out-laws. oops. I meant in-laws' wedding (tee hee). Tell her to just keep smiling sweetly and then do it HER way. God bless you all during this stressful time.

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February 25, 20080 found this helpful

Let your daughter deal with it. :)

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February 25, 20080 found this helpful

MAYBE her future in-laws are only excited about the wedding and are only trying to help her recognize her options, not push choices on her. Try not to make a "war" out of this. Hopefully she will have a long happy marriage and all of you will be somewhat "connected" from now on. Let your daughter know that you support her but please don't fuel the fire! I've been a wedding coordinator (unpaid ) for many weddings over the years. I'm told I have a "knack" for it. I think that's just a way to flatter me and get me to work out the hard stuff for them :>) for free! I hate to say it but both mothers (future mother-in-laws!) often get a bad case of the "Uglies" before the wedding and stir up so much unnecessary grief. Try to take the high road for your daughter's sake.

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February 26, 20080 found this helpful

Maybe they should elope, take a holiday with a few close friends as witnesses and enjoy themselves without stressing about everyone else. It's better that they enjoy a stress-free ceremony instead of worrying about keeping everyone happy.

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February 26, 20080 found this helpful

I agree with Luvyabye, your daughter should be pleasant and say she will take their ideas into consideration,and then just do what she and her fiancee want. It is her wedding and she should have what she wants.

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February 26, 20080 found this helpful

Does her fiance have a backbone? He should say something to them, nicely of course. It is THEIR wedding and if his parents are not paying for anything then they have no say in the matter, unless asked for their opinions.

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February 26, 20080 found this helpful

I don't really have any advice for your daughter, I just wanted to say that if she doesn't speak up now, it WILL get worse. When grandchildren come, watch out. If the son says something to his parents, believe me they will "Know" that it came from her, even if it didn't. It's a no-win situation. I'm not trying to upset her or you, but, that was the way it was for me. I try to avoid mine and I don't let my husband leave the room even now when his parents come over. Now, after years of being married, he understands and sees how they are, especially with our children.

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February 26, 20080 found this helpful

Sometimes it's not the fiancé's fault. DW went through that during our engagement period with her own relatives, she sometimes tries too hard to please everyone and tends to put her own interests last. I told her that "We're the one's paying for it, if they don't like it TDB." It helped, but there was a day or two when she was ready to elope just to get away from other people's expectations.

Or it may be that the relatives are merely offering what they think are only suggestions and your daughter is interpreting them as demands. Everyone has in their own mind the "ideal" wedding and sometimes they try to help by offering parts of that ideal.

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February 26, 20080 found this helpful

I'm having a baby next month and I get lots of unwanted advice from everybody too. I just say, "Oh, that's a good thought. I'll keep that in mind." People just give lots of unwanted advice about major life events like getting married or having a baby.

If they get upset when she does not follow their advice, your future son-in-law needs to tell them this is his wedding and he and your daughter are doing the planning, but will let them know if they need anything. If they don't really get upset, just continually offer suggestions...well, it's their son's wedding, what do you expect?

You didn't mention their reaction to your daughter's refusal to their ideas so it is hard to gauge whether or not they are crossing the line. It's reasonable to expect advice and suggestions about a big event like this, and you, your daughter, and your future son-in-law can't control that, but you can each control your own reaction to it.

Is your daughter a person who likes to please people and doesn't like anyone to ever be mad at her? If so, maybe this is her time to grow some self-confidence and practice being firm about what she wants, even if it means someone may disagree with her. I just can't tell from your post if it's the relatives' actual reactions or just your daughter's fear of their possible negative reactions that is upsetting her more.

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February 26, 20080 found this helpful

Brides are always stressed out. I think you should give her the phrases that the others have suggested, and then encourage her to do just what she likes. Grooms usually don't care two hoots about colors or menu or anything. Sometimes the grooms family offer unwanted advice because they are so pleased to have a chance to plan a wedding, even if it really isn't their business.

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February 26, 20080 found this helpful

I have never been married, but everyone else I know is (and I know a LOT of people). From what I have heard and observed, the wedding is really the BRIDE'S DAY TO SHINE. It is all about HER. I know people from many places and many cultures, and even in cultures where the women are not treated well they have weddings where it is the bride's day.

I agree with the general consensus that the bride should "take everything into consideration", with a cheerful smile no less, then do what SHE and HER GROOM plan to do. People amaze me when they have all these opinions about whatever subject, yet they do not jump up to open their wallet to pay for "what we should do".

They don't even have to like the wedding, it's not theirs, it is an expression of the bride and groom's tastes and creativity. Tell that poor bride to let it go in one ear and out the other because she can't please everyone and should only try to please herself and her groom for this special day, and dry those tears! Best wishes!

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February 27, 20080 found this helpful

The bottom line is, marriage is the bringing of two families together; like the saying goes, "You don't marry a person, but a family." Your daughter is lucky to have you by her side while she is learning to navigate through the maze of assembling a wedding. As the mother, I'd take control and set up a time when the bride, groom, and both sets of parents can meet.

Explain what a stressful time it is for everyone, ask everyone for their opinions of what they'd like to see done, actually hear the opinions (repeat them so they know you are listening). Let them know that this is their time (In-laws) to be heard. Explain that since you are paying, you are allowing the bride and groom to make all final decisions--after all, it is THEIR wedding, both you and the groom's parent's parents have already had their/your day to shine, and that you'd appreciate if they'd step back too.

Explain that this way, if something doesn't work out, the young couple must take responsibility for the results and won't be able to blame the problems on anyone else--a wonderful way for two young people to start their new, adult life together. Make it clear, that if unwanted opinions are given after this meeting by anyone, the bride and groom are allowed to tell that person to "Back off." Then hope they can follow you lead. If not, your future son-in-law should be mature enough to deal with his family. Good luck to the happy couple.

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February 27, 20080 found this helpful

Stress in planning a wedding goes without saying. And advice is just that, advice; it can be taken or left alone. Your daughter has her choices, and ultimately it is HER day. But she should try to incorporate some of their ideas and suggestions where she can, even if it's only in small ways. If she has picked her theme, colors, time and church, and that's what she really wants, she should stick with it. But if there's and area that she's not so set on, say flowers or center pieces or even gifts for the bridal party, she could ask his mother (or his family) specifically for their advice in that area. For example, when they tell her to look around for other churches, she could say "Well, this Church really means a lot to me because .... (whatever the reason is), but I'm absolutely lost on what to do about the centerpieces, what do you think?" and then her future in-laws will be part of it (which is all they really want), but she will still have what's important to her. After all, they will soon be her family too.

Good luck!

bailegirl in NC

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February 27, 20080 found this helpful

I have three sons, and I definitely feel the place of the groom's family is to support only as they are asked. Two are now married. Joel and Alice did all their own wedding planning. With James and Catie, James just let Catie "do her thing." I even asked where she would prefer the reception dinner which the groom's parents usually pay for and check that my dress color would be OK with the bridal colors. I wanted her to have her "perfect wedding."

Dr. Laura was talking to a groom who was very upset because his parents were doing a similiar thing. She said that the groom should be the one to talk to his parents and tell them that it is not their wedding and that he and his bride will ask them if they need advice on the matter and not to discuss it unless asked a question, then only answer the question. That should help remove the stress of the wedding. But Dr. Laura said it is important that the groom stand up to this issue now or the poor wife-to-be may have in-laws telling her how to decorate her house, dress her kids, and where to go on vacation.

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February 28, 20080 found this helpful

I agree, the son-in-law should be the one to speak up. If this is not handled now the daughter will have other problems with her inlaws in the future causing continual stress. Her inlaws may mean no harm but they need to be dealt with and put in their place right from the start. Imagine their intereference when children arrive. She needs to send a "strong" message to BOTH her husband and future inlaws.

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