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-   -   Divorced Mother-in-Law Has Problem with Potential Wedding Venue (http://forums.macnn.com/89/macnn-lounge/497401/divorced-mother-law-has-problem-potential/)

 
NormPhillips Jan 21, 2013 06:56 PM
Divorced Mother-in-Law Has Problem with Potential Wedding Venue
Hi all,

This is going to be strange posting on MacNN, but I could use as many perspectives on this as possible. Here goes...

Here's the predicament my fiancée and I are in. Her parents don't have the financial resources readily available to help us pay for our wedding. My parents, while in better financial shape, are only willing to give us a little bit toward our wedding. Therefore, we're paying for this all ourselves. Additionally, her parents are divorced and are on very bad terms with each other.

In order to help alleviate some of the expenses, my fiancée's aunt (her father's sister) is willing to have her backyard/house the place for our reception and ceremony. We both desire an outdoor wedding and the location is perfect: it's large with a beautiful garden. Additionally, my fiancée has some happy memories at this particular house. We figure this could save us ~$10K to ~$15K, which would be a big help. However her mother somehow found out about our potential plans on having the location there and isn't too thrilled.

She's claiming it's extremely disrespectful to be having a wedding at a sibling's of a divorcee's. She claims she would be equally offended if we had it at one of her siblings. She also states that this former sister-in-law of hers has made her life a living hell because she has helped accommodate some of the legal expenses of her ex-husband. (I thought siblings are there to help each other out?) She also has stated that we could have it virtually anywhere else and if so, she will not make a scene. (Does that mean she will make a scene if we have it there? )

Now we were both afraid of this happening. We were going to have sometime in the near future a dinner/lunch with her mother to explain where we were planning on having it. We've looked at a variety of different venues, but considering cost we haven't been able to find anything (that's also willing to accommodate some of the other features we want).

Here are my questions:

1) Are my fiancée and I being disrespectful to her? Is she right?
2) If she isn't, what should we do?

Please note the wedding is not until September 2015. However, considering we're saving up for it and we don't want to feel rushed, we'd like to start some planning soon.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you.
 
turtle777 Jan 21, 2013 07:05 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by NormPhillips (Post 4213001)
1) Are my fiancée and I being disrespectful to her? Is she right?
No and no.

Quote, Originally Posted by NormPhillips (Post 4213001)
2) If she isn't, what should we do?
Tell her to respect your choice, because it's *YOUR* wedding, not hers.

Tell her that you would support her not being at the wedding if this offends her too much.

Lesson #1 in marriage: don't let your parents or your in-laws dictate your lives, especially regarding petty shit. It's never too early to start sending the message that you WILL cut anyone off that comes in between you and your wife, even if it's parents.

Parents / in-laws can never be more important than your spouse.

-t
 
subego Jan 21, 2013 08:16 PM
I'd say you're both disrespecting each other.

Also, mom might mean she's causing a scene now.
 
andi*pandi Jan 21, 2013 08:23 PM
Sounds like the aunt is being very nice, and if the mother can't put up the money to pay for another venue, she should just accept this. Any mother who would make a scene about/at her daughter's wedding deserves to be uninvited.

I might just make sure that Aunt also knows that despite any past bad blood between her/her side of the family, the wedding is neutral territory, got it? Stay cool, daddio.
 
Waragainstsleep Jan 21, 2013 08:38 PM
Its clearly not ideal for everyone, but its your day so unless she has a better idea that she is willing to cover the cost of she needs to deal with it. Has anyone barred her from attending due to the location?
 
NormPhillips Jan 21, 2013 09:05 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 4213008)
Also, mom might mean she's causing a scene now.
Well actually, she was referring to at the wedding if it's at the venue she didn't like.
 
NormPhillips Jan 21, 2013 09:06 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep (Post 4213013)
Has anyone barred her from attending due to the location?
Nope. She just doesn't want it there because she wants nothing to do with her ex-husband's family. Her ex-husband's family has no issues having her or her family there. Furthermore AFAIK, her mother's family has no issues being there. It's simply the mother.
 
subego Jan 21, 2013 09:38 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by andi*pandi (Post 4213010)
the wedding is neutral territory
This is my point. If it's at the ex's sister's house, it's not neutral territory. That's why mom's pitching a fit.

I'm not saying pitching a fit is an appropriate response to that fact, but it is a fact.
 
subego Jan 21, 2013 09:49 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by NormPhillips (Post 4213018)
Well actually, she was referring to at the wedding if it's at the venue she didn't like.
If someone insists beforehand they're going to cause a scene, that's either code for "I'm asking you not to invite me", or you better get bouncers because she's going to crash the wedding (in more ways than one).

Sorry. I feel your pain. :cry:
 
Shaddim Jan 21, 2013 11:01 PM
Elope, spend the money on the honeymoon.
 
subego Jan 21, 2013 11:02 PM
That suggestion had certainly crossed my mind.
 
FireWire Jan 21, 2013 11:36 PM
*save* $15000?? How much do people spend for a wedding? Remind me to never get married! I heard of people putting 5K for the ring alone...

As for the topic, I'd say as most people here: she's not right and she should just accept it. The fact that she is upset that the sister helped her brother says a lot...
 
Face Ache Jan 22, 2013 12:35 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by Shaddim (Post 4213037)
Elope, spend the money on the honeymoon.
Correct answer. :thumbsup:

If you have to save for two years for a wedding, you can't afford that wedding.

Your mother-in-law-to-be doesn't sound emotionally mature and your wife-to-be wants a huge wedding you can't afford.

Run, NormPhillips. Run as far and as fast as you can. :P:D
 
Spheric Harlot Jan 22, 2013 02:28 AM
Do the official wedding stuff now if it's important to the two of you, and postpone the entire "family" wedding until such point that you can afford it and have figured out just exactly whom to give the finger two for trying to mess with YOUR party.
 
OreoCookie Jan 22, 2013 02:52 AM
I think this one is quite easy: it is your wedding, and you are paying for it yourselves. So you can decide what kind of wedding you want to have. She'd have a point if it were her money or you're doing it just to make her feel uncomfortable. Make sure your fiancé is on board with the decision, though. Your future mother in law is an adult, she should be old enough to find an accommodation with her ex.

I think it's a wise decision to start a marriage with as little debt as possible. Even if the additional 10-15k are not financed through loans, I'm sure you can find better uses for that money (e. g. as down payment for a house or for the honeymoon).
 
Face Ache Jan 22, 2013 03:26 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by OreoCookie (Post 4213052)
I think it's a wise decision to start a marriage with as little debt as possible. Even if the additional 10-15k are not financed through loans, I'm sure you can find better uses for that money (e. g. As down payment for a house or for the honeymoon).
My sister-in-law spent $45,000 on a wedding for a marriage that lasted 18 months.

That's $82 a day. :D
 
Shaddim Jan 22, 2013 03:37 AM
We spent ~$7k, including the reception, but twice that for the bachelor/bachelorette party. :D
 
OreoCookie Jan 22, 2013 06:52 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by Face Ache (Post 4213053)
My sister-in-law spent $45,000 on a wedding for a marriage that lasted 18 months.
Wow, that's insane. Color me unrantic, but I refuse to spend new car-type money on two days. I'd much rather have a nice, relaxed party with friends and family, nothing too fancy and invest the money we've saved into my new family.
Quote, Originally Posted by Face Ache (Post 4213053)
That's $82 a day. :D
Plus alimony ... ;)
 
Thorzdad Jan 22, 2013 08:07 AM
My daughter is currently planning her wedding. She and her fiance are paying for the bulk of the thing, and we are chipping-in a very modest amount to help. Thankfully, they are cutting corners and going cheap at every possible point.

My observations from a "dad staying out of the way" perspective is that the whole wedding-industrial-complex should be nuked from high orbit. It's a vile racket, preying on the emotions of happy young women. Probably the weirdest aspect of the whole thing is how much extra crap is sold to the brides under the rubric of "That's what they do today"...instant "traditions". $$$
 
Wiskedjak Jan 22, 2013 08:32 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by andi*pandi (Post 4213010)
Sounds like the aunt is being very nice, and if the mother can't put up the money to pay for another venue, she should just accept this.
This.

You have chosen this venue for financial reasons. Tell the divorced mother-in-law to suggest an equal location for the same value (free) or to cough up the cash to have the event located at a venue that she feels would be more appropriate (RISK: her choice may now offend others)
 
Phileas Jan 22, 2013 10:10 AM
It's your wedding, your rules.

My wife and I also paid for our own wedding. When my mother started making "suggestions" I took her aside and told her, gently, what her options were. They didn't include having an opinion. :)

She backed off and had a great time.
 
andi*pandi Jan 22, 2013 12:40 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 4213023)
This is my point. If it's at the ex's sister's house, it's not neutral territory. That's why mom's pitching a fit.
I was being poeti-musical about it. :) If the ex's sister can be neutral, so can the location. If the ex's sister however, said everyone can come except the mother, because I hate her for breaking my bro's heart... then find another location.

My parents were very cool about our wedding, and knew that they had little say since they weren't paying. My mother's only question was "what color do you want me in."

My inlaws however... :rolleyes:
 
Salty Jan 22, 2013 12:42 PM
I would tell mother in law that you want a nice place for your wedding and that you're free to alternatives if she can help find one. Let her know that if she wants to be constructive and help then you'll be glad to accept. But if she's simply going to be a destructive force that it's best if she stays out of it, and if she can't be sure she'll be fine at the wedding, then she should stay home.
 
ort888 Jan 22, 2013 02:14 PM
Unless her grievances with the ex-husband and sister are really really bad... as in, he was threatening or beating her, breaking the law, doing really horrible things, etc...

Heck no, you are 100% in the right.
 
Snow-i Jan 22, 2013 05:35 PM
Has she stated why this location offends her? I mean specifically...Has the sister been awful to her or is she just not over the failed marriage? I've found these types of situations most easily diffused with a healthy does of empathy. If that fails, its best you make it clear early that no one else's problems will get in the way of your wedding. No one's.

You are 100% in the right (unless your wife disagrees with you, then you are most certainly 100% wrong, 100% of the time...Just smile and nod, smile and nod).
 
NormPhillips Jan 22, 2013 06:27 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Snow-i (Post 4213163)
Has she stated why this location offends her? I mean specifically...Has the sister been awful to her or is she just not over the failed marriage?
Initially, she just mentioned it's disrespectful to have the ceremony/reception at the divorcee/sibling of a divorcee.

Later, she also mentioned she was upset that (she believed) the sister of her ex-husband was paying for his legal (divorce) bills and perhaps various living expenses of his.
 
Waragainstsleep Jan 23, 2013 04:15 AM
Divorce brings out the worst in everyone. I'm sure she will see that $15K is a pretty unreasonable request on her part if you spell it out. Sometimes in life we need to suck it up and keep quiet for the benefit of those we love. Just remind her of that.
 
chris v Jan 23, 2013 08:43 AM
Go to the Justice of the Peace, send them all Instagram photos, then take a vacation. Ugh.
 
ort888 Jan 23, 2013 10:23 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by chris v (Post 4213303)
go to the justice of the peace, send them all instagram photos, then take a vacation. Ugh.
ding ding ding ding
 
mitchell_pgh Jan 23, 2013 04:19 PM
Quote
1) Are my fiancée and I being disrespectful to her? Is she right?
You are in no way being disrespectful. Apparently, your mother would rather you be in debt vs. cause some minor awkwardness.

Quote
2) If she isn't, what should we do?
You should do what you think is best, and try to remove all the drama. If it is a good venue, it's affordable, and it's what you want to do, just do it and don't look back.

It was a life changing day when I realized it was OK to say, "I would like to see you there, but understand if you aren't able to make it." You can't fix some people... and you shouldn't have that burden.
 
besson3c Jan 23, 2013 04:48 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by turtle777 (Post 4213002)
No and no.



Tell her to respect your choice, because it's *YOUR* wedding, not hers.

Tell her that you would support her not being at the wedding if this offends her too much.

Lesson #1 in marriage: don't let your parents or your in-laws dictate your lives, especially regarding petty shit. It's never too early to start sending the message that you WILL cut anyone off that comes in between you and your wife, even if it's parents.

Parents / in-laws can never be more important than your spouse.

-t

Wow, this is pretty good advice. Surprising advice that doesn't involve preaching about spending cuts and accounting software would come from you! :p
 
besson3c Jan 23, 2013 04:52 PM
Am I the only one that sees the whole expensive ring tradition thing as pretty silly?
 
Spheric Harlot Jan 23, 2013 05:35 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 4213462)
Am I the only one that sees the whole expensive ring tradition thing as pretty silly?
No, you're not.

I'm all for "special", though
 
mitchell_pgh Jan 24, 2013 08:44 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 4213462)
Am I the only one that sees the whole expensive ring tradition thing as pretty silly?
I've discovered that a family ring (grandmother, mother, aunt, etc.) is much more symbolic. That said, if someone really wants to walk around with a $15,000 ring (that's is now worth $7,000 the moment they leave the store), good for them.

I'd love to see a "size of ring to divorce ratio" study.
 
Shaddim Jan 24, 2013 09:45 AM
The value of the ring is in the jeweler and the craftsmanship, not the materials (though you don't want poor quality stones, of course). A well thought out and carefully chosen purchase will appreciate steadily over time, buying something at Kay or Zales won't. Go with superior artistry backed by a name, even if it means you must buy a smaller stone(s).
 
OreoCookie Jan 24, 2013 09:45 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by mitchell_pgh (Post 4213450)
It was a life changing day when I realized it was OK to say, "I would like to see you there, but understand if you aren't able to make it."
What a great piece of advice.
 
MacGirl80 Feb 12, 2013 09:18 AM
These kind of occasions bring out the worst in people. First of all, it's your day, you're paying for most of it (although I'd say the same even if she was contributing financially actually) and you are old enough to choose your own location. It sounds like this place has special meaning for your partner, her mom should understand this.
Divorce is awful but when kids are involved, however old they are, they should always come first. This woman should be thinking about how bad her daughter might be feeling about all of this. To threaten to make a scene at your daughters wedding is really bad and I bet it wont even happen. Everyone at a wedding is there to support the couple so even if she does decide to go ahead and make a scene she'll be dealt with pretty quickly. I think somebody needs to talk to her about how this is making her daughter feel.
She's not right, you're not being disrespectful and you should go ahead and plan YOUR day.
I'd say that you don't need to spend a lot of money on a wedding but you do need to have a day that's right for you, there's so much pressure now to have an amazing day, it just turns out too stressful and the couple are often glad when it's over. Do it for yourselves, not other people.
Good luck. Families are a nightmare :)
 
shifuimam Feb 14, 2013 03:03 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 4213462)
Am I the only one that sees the whole expensive ring tradition thing as pretty silly?
Definitely not.

A lot of traditions surrounding marriage have to do with the idea that a woman is property. The father gives away the bride because he is transferring ownership to her husband. The value of the ring is a measure of the worth of the woman. The woman takes the man's last name because she now belongs to him. The "man and wife" phrasing is interesting on its own - she's now a wife, while he's still a man.

Don't misunderstand me - I'm not remotely a feminazi or anything. The fact is, a lot of very long-running marriage traditions date back to an era when marriages were no more than arranged business contracts that benefited both the father of the bride and the family of the groom. A lot of these traditions have much different meanings today. There's nothing wrong with that, unless it means your future husband is starting your marriage with $30,000 in debt just so you could have a Michael Baudry custom ring with a two-carat diamond in it...
 
Shaddim Feb 14, 2013 03:19 PM
I've only ever heard, and used, "husband and wife". :hmm:
 
mattyb Feb 14, 2013 03:26 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by NormPhillips (Post 4213001)
Please note the wedding is not until September 2015.
Your mother has 2.5 years to get used to the idea.
 
mattyb Feb 14, 2013 03:27 PM
Thats more than 900 days.
 
mattyb Feb 14, 2013 03:27 PM
FFS.
 
freudling Feb 14, 2013 10:49 PM
Her problems aren't your problems. Regardless, she's going to be with people at the wedding she doesn't like. If she wants another venue, she can pay for it. Just present the problem: you can't pay for another venue, so it's up to her if she wants to have it somewhere else. Make it her problem.

It's your wedding, not hers. In other words, she should shut up, pay up, and then shut up some more. If she can't do any of that, ignore her and do what you need to do to make this happen.

And be happy!
 
shifuimam Feb 15, 2013 12:05 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by Shaddim (Post 4217273)
I've only ever heard, and used, "husband and wife". :hmm:
I think it all depends on where you come from. In more conservative circles, "man and wife" is still used, unfortunately.
 
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