Nov 2, 2017
This week we share a few fun ideas for your wedding. Unconventional but fun things you can do to make your wedding stand out.
Dear Shannon and Kim,
Thank you so much for your amazing podcast. I listen to it so often in the car my friends refer to you two as my "best friends." Haha. Anyway, I am experiencing some very unexpected in-law drama, and I was hoping you could weigh in.
My fiancé and I are having two wedding receptions, one in Virginia where I currently live and am from and one in the Spokane area where he lives and is from. Planning while being on the opposite ends of the country has been difficult, but we are making it work. We never sat down and discussed each family's expectations for each reception, and I realize now that that was a mistake.
My parents, fiancé and I are paying for the Virginia reception, including rehearsal dinner, ring ceremony and reception. It is going to be a formal sit-down reception on the day of our wedding. The Spokane reception will be in the spring and will be much less formal.
The disagreement began when my fiancé's grandmother texted him to ask for my "permission" to invite 14 additional people to the wedding, including her brothers, their children (adults), and her best friend and her best friend's kids. Our total guest list is about 75 people. (For some context: His grandmother is not of the kindly variety. She has told his siblings that she likes me, but wishes I would lose some weight, and that I am "not what she pictured" for her grandson. So basically, she is the worst.)
I had not even considered his family wanting to add to the guest list as they have never lived in Virginia, but our instinct was to accommodate the family members (my fiancé's great uncles and cousins) and exclude the best friend and her kids. My fiancé was put off by the request as he has never met any of these potential guests, even his relatives, but wanted to be accommodating.
Unfortunately, before we could talk to his grandmother, his mother called. According to my fiancé, she called to discuss the additional guest situation but ended up screaming at him. She said that even considering not including all 14 guests was disloyal to the family. They are "kin" after all. She also told him that his grandmother would never speak to him again if he did not invite everyone including his grandmother's best friend and her kids. He explained our budget limitations, our desire for an intimate affair, but to no effect. She did say that she could contribute if she had to make it possible for the other guests to come. He finally gave in and added the additional guests, planning to cut his friends to accommodate them.
He FaceTimed me in tears. I had never seen him that upset before. I did not love the idea of him allowing his mother or grandmother to dictate our wedding, but it was clear to me that he did not think he had a choice. All this was about a week ago.
Yesterday, when discussing the list again, my fiancé disclosed that the reason he was so upset was that his mother told him if he did not invite all 14 people that she was going to uninvite herself and not come to the wedding.
I am furious. I have a good relationship with his family and am actually staying with them for Thanksgiving, but I feel like this issue is unresolved. My fiancé is the most kind and considerate person I know and I hate how his mother treated him. I also do not want her to think that she can just have a hissy fit and make threats about not coming to the wedding (or any other family event) to get what she wants. My fiancé still has hurt feelings about the whole situation and wants to forget it happened. Should I just pretend it did not happen? Should we have the conversation about expectations that we should have had in the beginning of this process? What should I do about the fourteen strangers that will now be at my wedding?
Any wisdom or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for listening and apologies for the long email.
Remember you can reach us anytime by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
-Until next time, No Stress No Worries Keep Calm and Listen On-