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Jessica
Dedicated September 2019

Advice Needed/family Relationship Drama

Jessica, on August 8, 2019 at 12:16 AM Posted in Family and Relationships 0 23
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My FH's grandmother made my wedding dress, she offered, I accepted. I got all the materials and the pattern, and she put in her time. It was a nice touch. She didn't mention any stipulation when she offered. Months after we got the material, I mentioned FH and I wanted to get married at the courthouse instead of having an elaborate ceremony/reception and she got offended, because she didn't want to make a dress just for us to go get married at the courthouse.

I mentioned I might want FH to see the dress prior to the wedding (I was considering first look pictures) and she refused. Said the dress would stay at her house because it was HER work and she didn't want FH to see it until wedding day...fair enough. she made it. It irks me that she is making that decision for me, but I'm not fighting it.

So we go through and plan this elaborate wedding. Invites went out in May, wedding is September. Now she is asking all sorts of questions about who's invited. We started with a guest list of about 120 and realized, with our budget that's impossible. So we cut down from 120 to a little under 70. I added the obvious people on FH's side and asked if there were any more people that he wanted to add. He said No. During the down-size process he specifically stated that he really didn't care if certain people were invited but he would much rather not have them there. I removed them.

Now about from the wedding date, FH's grandmother is asking whether these certain persons were invited and I say no. It was over text, but she seemed offended. Asked if these other 2 people (that fall in the same relationship category) were invited; they were. Apparently she feels that we should have invited the other ones as well since they were the same types of family members.

I just told her that we don't love them any less than anyone else, but we couldn't invite everyone, it wasn't my decision who got invites on FH's side of the family, and not everyone from my side of the family was invited. She didn't seem happy about it.

So my question is, with her having made my dress...how much say does she actually get in terms of guests or other decisions??


FYI - We invited the one set of family members because my FH actually enjoys their company and we are a lot closer to them. One of the members actually happen to be a really close friend of mine too. The set of relatives that we didn't invite... one of them always acts superior to my FH and my FH really just doesn't want them there.

23 Comments

Latest activity by Renee, on August 9, 2019 at 7:42 AM
  • W
    Super September 2020
    Willow ·
    • Flag
    I am sorry about this. Your gma sure sounds handy though!
    I don't think she gets any say about the guest list, esp FH's side. Making a dress is different from contributing a significant chunk of cash. Since she made the dress, I guess she gets some say on how it's used, but don't let her deprive you of a first look.
    • Reply
  • Jeanie
    Super February 2020
    Jeanie ·
    • Flag
    No one gets to dictate who you invite to your wedding unless they are paying, and even then there’s a limit. Maybe you should have mentioned the guest list cuts earlier, but it shouldn’t have made any difference. Even though it was very sweet of her to make your dress, she does not get to keep it captive and does not get to deny you of the first look if that’s what you want. Maybe offer to have her there to watch the first look. I know that’s usually a private thing, but maybe she wants to see his reaction and that’s why she’s opposed to it.
    • Reply
  • D
    Super July 2020
    D ·
    • Flag
    Granny doesn't get a say on the guest list with the new vision of the wedding. I understand a few of her frustrations but it's not okay to hold the dress hostage. While it is special she made the dress she is at the same time ripping up all the niceness away by holding it over your head. Kill her with kindness and talk out concerns over the phone or in person, not in text messages. Text messages are too easily misinterpreted.
    • Reply
  • N
    Expert August 2019
    N ·
    • Flag
    “We are no longer discussing the guest list because it has been causing arguments.”
    To lord a gift over your head is wrong and she will never see it that way. Ugh.
    • Reply
  • Kelly
    VIP October 2020
    Kelly ·
    • Flag
    I think she doesn't get any say on any of it. I would have your fiance handle the guest list questions from now on. Just tell her fiance picked who he wanted from his family to attend and if she's got questions she needs to ask him.
    • Reply
  • Arielle
    Expert August 2020
    Arielle ·
    • Flag

    I don't think she gets any say in the guest list honestly. I would also probably send her to your FH if she has questions.

    • Reply
  • H
    Super September 2019
    H ·
    • Flag
    I think it's wrong of her to use her kindness of making your dress and holding it over your shoulders like that, especially because she offered. I understand you don't want to hurt her feelings, but she shouldn't be able to dictate anything. I would, on the safe side, find another dress from a local boutique or something incase she doesn't budge and flay out refuses to give you the dress at all (idk if she would do that of course, but she sounds a lot like my mom who would most definitely do something like that).
    • Reply
  • Andrea
    Dedicated October 2019
    Andrea ·
    • Flag

    Considering your FH's grandmother isn't the one paying for the wedding, she has no say in the guest list whatsoever. She's entitled to her opinion but it stops there. Also, she offered to make the dress and as such should not be holding it hostage to get what she wants. I agree with the PP that you should probably look into possibly getting a dress from a bridal boutique if she insists on holding the dress hostage to get what she wants. This manipulation is unfair to you and it's better to be safe than sorry should she decide to just keep the dress from you altogether.

    • Reply
  • Cristina
    Devoted December 2021
    Cristina ·
    • Flag
    Yeah she definitely doesn't get a say on guest list or wedding details. I agree with what's been said. Id look at securing another dress. My grandma was the same way while I was trying to plan my first wedding(ended up going to the courthouse). She wasnt contributing anything and had opinions about everything. She would always say "I don't like that". I've always been really close to her so it definitely bothered me. My FH and I are planning a wedding and if she knew the details she would say "I don't like that". Now my new challenge is my mom. She also isn't contributing anything to the wedding. Good luck!
    • Reply
  • Cher Horowitz
    Master December 2019
    Cher Horowitz ·
    • Flag

    FH's grandma is being ridiculous. Yes, she made the dress, so she has a say in whether or not you show it to FH before the wedding.

    However, she's totally out of line for trying to dictate the guest list. I saw nothing in your post that said she was willing to foot extra people's bills. Don't cave to her! If you cave now, you'll be caving to her the rest of her life. Set boundaries now, even if it seems harsh!

    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Dedicated September 2019
    Jessica ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Yeah, she and her husband are a blessing to have around. They are reliable, selfless, loving, and yes, very handy. I just wasn't sure how much of a say making the dress for me would give her. I think it extends to how the dress would be used since she is making it free of charge. Separately, each person hasn't asked for much but I feel like their old traditions are being pushed on me when I don't want to follow them. Thank you for your advice!

    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Dedicated September 2019
    Jessica ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I wasn't sure how to bring up the cut to the guest list, specifically, telling people that they weren't invited :/ I never thought of letting her watch that...that would be a compromise I'd be willing to make.

    I just think she is more caught up in tradition than anything else though.

    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Dedicated September 2019
    Jessica ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I think not discussing the guest list might have been the problem because her being how she is, and so excited about the wedding and new dress, probably talked the ear off of people that thought would be getting an invitation and didn't.

    That is a good statement that I'm gonna keep handy though in case s*** hits the fan.

    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Dedicated September 2019
    Jessica ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Yeah, that's basically what we decided and it's pretty much what I told her when she asked about it the first time.

    Fiancé even asked me earlier today what to do if she asks him about it, whether we wanted to extend the invitation or not. He specifically stated he REALLY does not want them there. So I said, "that's fine. You make whatever decision you need to make, I'll back you up however it turns out."

    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Dedicated September 2019
    Jessica ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Yeah Arielle, that's a good suggestion. Why am I the one even handling this? I'm sure there are probably some family members on my side that might be butt hurt... so far they haven't given me any grief.

    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Dedicated September 2019
    Jessica ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I don't think she would refuse, H. I think her reluctance to hand the dress over is more cemented in old traditions rather than pettiness on her part. I still do want a smaller less formal dress as well for afterwards (our wedding ends at 4PM).

    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Dedicated September 2019
    Jessica ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I don't think she is straight up doing it to manipulate. She is older and very traditional and I think that's were she is coming from. It just rubs me the wrong way because I'm not traditional. I don't like people telling me what I can't/can do in my private life.

    Same thing as when the MIL asked about doing the old, new, and blue tradition and I said I wasn't interested. Last night we talked on the phone and told me she and her best friend went and found the items anyway and all I have to do is accept them.

    Same thing MIL did with the cake. I wanted cheesecake, but she and her best friend (her best friend is making the food) went ahead and added a traditional cake, no charge to me (and I still get my cheesecake), but still... you know? I say no, but they still go and do it anyway. Although this one I'm sort of thankful for a few reasons. It's the principle of the thing though. ugh.

    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Dedicated September 2019
    Jessica ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Yeah, I guess it could be worse though. I mean, I haven't shared that many details with anyone unless they specifically ask so I haven't given many people the opportunity to irk me with their opinions.

    Besides not allowing me to take the dress home and showing unpleasantness if I went to the courthouse instead she hasn't demanded much yet. My concern was exactly how much leeway I should give her would she start demanding.

    It's good to see that the responses so far are pretty uniform across the board.

    • Reply
  • Cristina
    Devoted December 2021
    Cristina ·
    • Flag
    Yeah this is true. It's a difficult situation to be in for sure. Hopefully she won't get too demanding. Fingers crossed.
    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Dedicated September 2019
    Jessica ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Ok - so you do agree about the dress with her. That's fair. I don't like it...but I can see where she is coming from.

    I wouldn't say she tried to dictate per say.. but I did feel pretty guilty and understood she didn't seem happy about our choice. Were it totally my choice, I probably would have caved right then and there. I have a special place in my heart for FH's Grandma. However, It is FH's family, his choice, he said no - my job is to back him up, especially because I don't think he is straight up wrong. I'm gonna stick to our guns! thanks for the advise Cher!

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