JFF - MIL Involvement Wedding Plan

Updated on March 10, 2011
J.L. asks from Hoffman Estates, IL
14 answers

Just curious as my Aunt is experiencing difficulties with her next DIL and DIL mother as they plan wedding.. We all know that the wedding is about the "bride" but....without the groom there would be no wedding right?

I agree if you and future hubby are paying for the wedding on your own then the decisions are totally up to you but what if your Mom and Dad and your future inlaws are contributing to paying for the wedding...how much input should they have??? I mean if they are paying a portion wouldn't you want to be invovled for example taste testing food for reception...just sayin'

How much input did you let your future spouse have when planning your wedding?
My Aunt's first son got married and they paid for half of their son and DIL wedding and had no input whatsoever...Second son is getting married and they will probably help again but DIL mother not communicating any of the details to my aunt...I know its not my problem...that is why I ask the question in general....My take on her situation is that if my cousin is being a pushover and his future wife and MIL are calling the shots then my aunt and uncle shouldn't pay a dime and stay out of the drama...No money given...no involvement...no stress or resentment.

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So What Happened?

Thanks Mama's for your responses..I can tell already who were the bridezilla's! Yikes. As a mother of two boys who I hope someday when they grow up find that special someone, I do hope that my boys will have an active roll in planning their wedding. It may be about the dress, the colors and flowers..I agree the bride should have the say in that alone period!!! One of the posts said it is a celebration of family...I couldn't agree more...I just see a double standard of the bride's mom having all the involvement and the mother of the groom being excluded. While the bride and groom should make all of the decisions it is nice to communicate and share your ideas and plans with your family!

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answers from Minneapolis on

Giving a gift (in this case the gift of money to your cousin and his soon to be wife) should be done with no strings attached.

If your Aunt is unable (or not mature enough) to be able to do that then it's probably better that she not contribute to the wedding and just give them a gift that she is more comfortable giving.

The rehearsal dinner, on the other hand, is ALL about the groom and from an etiquette standpoint the responsibility of the Groom's family.... perhaps her energy/$/ideas are best channeled there.... and leave the wedding to the Bride and her mother. I mean.... she already had her day right??

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

We paid for everything - then were given large checks as gifts from our folks. They had no input, though I did ask mine for input on their roles. My husband had an equal role in the planning and I assumed (perhaps mistakenly in retrospect) that he talked with his folks as well.

I don't understand why your Aunt would be having any difficulties. Is she the groom? (kidding) I think that if her son doesn't care, neither should she.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

It's her wedding. She wears the dress, she chooses the colors, they eat what they would like to eat at their reception. It should be about the couple and what their likes and dislikes. If the parents and/or inlaws are contributing to the wedding that's great - what a great help...but the thing is that is the bride and groom should have a "Great" wedding and have wonderful memories. Or is it going to be a fiasco and a lot of hurt feelings. Other people involved can help out with suggestions and help with the budget. But shouldn't be over-bearing either. That causes stress and strain on the relationships. I could go on and on....

Ha ha - although I didn't have an issue - I was 6 mos pregnant - had a shot-gun wedding and all I wanted was BBQ Chicken....I didn't care about the rest...

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

It was MY wedding or so I thought. My mom said that since she is paying then it is her way. :( We didn't have the money to pay for it ourselves. I got some input but major decisions were left up to her. We ended up having sooo much food because I don't eat veggies and she wanted one and my dad wanted another so we had four veggies to choose from. I think the only things we got to pick was color, reception place, and d.j. My dress was custom made so I guess I got to pick that, but my mom still limited on how low it could go down my back.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

For that very reason my husband and I paid for our own wedding so that we could have what we wanted.

I think taste testing should be exclusively for the bride and groom it is their day and about what they like and think would be great to host their guest with however if they do want to include family who are paying it should be the mother of the bride and mother of the groom or father.

Your aunt should not get mad at the bride but needs to have an open communication with her son as to what she would like to be involved in and she may not be included in as much as she would like because even though she is paying it is not her wedding.

It is always easier if the families give the bride and groom a certain monetary amount and let them choose to spend it how they like for their wedding rather than saying I will pay for the cake and since I am paying it has to be chocolate.

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answers from Chicago on

My husband and I paid for our wedding, our parents contributed what they could (my mom bought my veil and threw us a shower, his parents paid for rehearsal dinner). But I planned the whole thing except for the music and the favors (custom made CD), those were my husband's job - he loves music and did a much better job with it than I ever could have. It really depends on the bride and how much control she's willing to give away. I think if the wedding is being paid for by the parents and in-laws, they deserve input as far as limiting spending, but as for who, what, where, when, and how... that's up to the couple getting married. It's their wedding after all, they should get to design it how they want to experience it.

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answers from Chicago on

My husband and I were married recently. He and I made all decisions together, except for my dress. :) I did decide on the colors, but made sure he liked them too, so no pink.
His parents did contribute to the wedding, put they didn't have any input other than his mom picking the type of corsage she wanted. They said the money was a gift so I would have thought it weird if they wanted any control over the wedding. Maybe I'm just old fashioned but I didn't think she'd care what kind of cake we had. Its just cake! :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Just my 2 cents, for what they're worth.
With the exception of the dress, my husband had his opinion in every single decision. His mother did not. We chose to keep her in the loop, we showed her what stuff was going to look like so she could still feel involved. She did actually come to the tasting along with my sister (since my had om passed away), but their opinions were not as key as ours. But it was our marriage/wedding and therefore it was our choice who got involved and when. If we loved a certain hors d'oeuvers, we were having it! We really didn't need the opinion of others to pick a photographer or floral arrangements. Kind of like with baby names...everyone has an opinion, but the only one that matters is parents-to-be! This is what worked for us,tarticularly since we were/are very independent people. Other couples want more involvement from others, but it's their choice and they should never feel guilted into it from those others.

In our opinion, the wedding and the party afterwards are the couple's. If you were hosting a party, would you want your guests telling you what the menu should be? Probably not.

In short, it's the couple's wedding and how they handle the arrangements is up to them. If the groom is content letting the bride deal with everything, then that's what works for them. It's THEIR day. If the groom knows stuff about the wedding and chooses not to include his parents, that's his decision and he'll have to deal with any relationship damage it may (but shouldn't) cause. If his mom wants to know more, it's not up to the bride or bride's mom to tell. It's up to HIM to tell his own parents! He could even have the bride come over to his parent's house and together they can go through the official binder of stuff to show the groom's mom. But that's up to them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I was engaged to another man before I got married to my current husband. In my previous engagement we were both young and his parents were paying most of the wedding. They got way over-involved, and even when I said I no longer wanted them to pay for the wedding they wouldn't back out. In the end we called off the wedding and broke up because of it. When my husband and I got engaged we decided from the get-go to pay for and host the wedding ourselves to avoid that problem. We told the parents that we'd be happy to accept any money from them after the wedding as a wedding present. We still did a tasting with the parents for fun and as a chance for them to meet and get to know each other. The whole thing worked out beautifully and I wouldn't recommend anything else.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

This may not be a popular position, but here goes...

I think sometimes engaged couples (and, mostly, brides) tend to focus on the wedding day being a celebration of them. But, who's doing the celebrating? And why? Isn't it more appropriately a celebration of love, honor and commitment? Isn't it about the joining of two families through these two people? Shouldn't there be some appreciation of the parents and families who love and support this couple and who made these people into someone who someone else will love? If even half these statements are true, then the wedding should include honoring and respecting the love and the families -- and all the parents. Now, I understand and agree that a wedding shouldn't be conducted by committee, much like a marriage shouldn't be, either. Still, there should be respect for opinions from all parents and room for compromise.

If the wedding is "the bride's day", then let her have it on her own. There's no need to invite a hundred people -- just celebrate on your own! Or, if you want an audience, rent a theater and sell tickets. But, if this a story of love and caring that the couple want others to witness and be a part of, then open up the planning a little.

Marriage is a state of shared love, marked by communication, compromise, humor, patience and unity. Shouldn't the wedding be the same?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

If people are putting in money, they have a right to be involved. When we got married - my parents footed the bill for the wedding and reception. My husband was with us when we picked venues and made decisions. His parents paid for the rehearsal dinner and they picked the venue.
If the future DIL and her mother are making decisions without informing your aunt, then they cannot expect her to foot part of the bill. If your aunt wants to help, but doesn't want to force the issue - she could give your cousin and his bride a gift to help with wedding/honeymoon expenses.

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answers from Phoenix on

My mom paid for our wedding and my in-laws contributed to our honeymoon, but neither felt the need or entitlement to make demands or decisions as to our wedding plans. I agree that a gift of money is just that, a gift. The only thing a bride and groom need to consider if their parents are contributing to the wedding is making sure their parents friends are invited. As to the bride and her mom making all the decisions, that is between the bride and your nephew. For all youand your aunt know, he's content with the way things are going. It sounds like your aunt is feeling left out because she has boys, but she needs to let it go before she starts problems with her new DIL and her family.

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answers from Chicago on

It is the union of families that have different ways of doing things. When our son just got married 15 months ago, our DIL and her Mom planned the wedding but we needed to share information because we hosted rehearsal dinner and paid a part of the wedding expenses. Our son and DIL did the food tasting and picked but they shared information so we didn't pick same foods for rehearsal dinner. We DID get together with DIL on invitations for rehearsal dinner and food choices and guest list for rehearsal dinner (because it is the bride's day and we wanted her to feel welcome as she joined our family). We included key out of town guests at our rehearsal dinner (all the grandparents came from our side of the family and were present at the rehearsal dinner). The point is the familys are coming together to welcome, support and celebrate the new couple.
YES it is way to easy to get stuck down in the trenches thinking about who's picking if the meal is beef or chicken and many more details. It is only when you lift your head to think about the new couple and wanting them to have a special time together as they celebrate their union.
I picked a small wedding and picked most of the details as the bride. Our DIL picked most of the details for her larger wedding (and it was lovely and we are very thankful that we didn't give everybody the same food two nights in a row because if we had not coordinated there would have been salmon both nights). We worked closely together on who got invited to rehearsal dinner to make sure that the people our DIL wanted got included. Yes we did get some grandparent lobbying on who got included at the wedding (this was fun...DIL allowed them to impact her guest list but overall vetoed having anybody else impact her guest list for the wedding - but it was HER guestlist and HER wedding). She used a nice web site called "the knot" to help with her planning and sharing wedding details.

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answers from Baton Rouge on

We didn't allow anyone but us any input. We designed the ritual ourselves, and when we had it the way we wanted it, we picked a date, contacted the few friends and family members we wanted to invite, told them we were getting married, and said we hoped they could make it.
Of course, we had a very small wedding, in our living room, and no one else was asked to contribute anything beyond their presence.

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