We are in a bit of a predicament as my FMIL offered to pay for our wedding. She gave us a budget which is wonderfully kind of her but she has made it so that every decision, choice, meeting we make is ran by her. I am now feeling that the money was offered due to control. She has already chosen our date, our venue (which she has paid for) and is now putting restrictions on our planners and florals. I am fine with having her input and feel as though I’ve already sacrificed a lot.. the date (significant meaning for her) and the venue. How do I deal with this? I don’t want to be rude or mean. But I am starting to think we need to pay for everything else ourselves as this whole dilemma is giving me anxiety and making me feel like I’m not even being heard! I should note that during the venue walk throughs it is as if I’m not even there! The event managers don’t even ask me questions anymore (In regards to setup of my vision) as she interrupts or talks over me. Now they just direct their inquires to her. A lot of other posts I’ve seen about controlling FMIL have comments like “well is she paying?” Does paying equal full control over the wedding? I thought we would at least have some say.. I am feeling like a child asking for permission and I hate that feeling. If I had known this is what it would have been like I wouldn’t have accepted the offer/allowed her to pay for the venue. What do I do at this point?
Unfortunately that's often the way things go when somebody else is paying for your wedding. Our parents paid for our wedding (my parents and my husband's parents split the cost 50/50) and our moms made most of the big decisions. Some of the things they chose were the venue, the band, chairs, linens, alcohol package, hair and makeup artist, and entree choices. This was in consultation with us, so we did have some input, but at the end of the day, they had the final say because they were paying. There was certainly some tension and disagreement along the way. Mostly, my husband and I thought that our parents were spending way too much money and we constantly begged them to not get so many upgrades, but it was their money and their choice. I would sit down with you FH and talk things through to come up with a plan. The best way to get more control over your vision is to pay for things yourself. The event managers should definitely be communicating directly with you, though.
That being said, my comment probably came off as very privileged. My husband and I are incredibly grateful for what our parents did (our wedding ended up costing more than what my husband I make in a year combined). We didn't ask for it, but they insisted so we went with it. But we had to hand over a lot of control since we were not the ones paying.
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Thank you so much for your comment and for sharing your experience! It is good to know that what I am feeling is normal and that other people have gone through similar situations. I’m sure your wedding was absolutely beautiful and it’s great that they consulted with you both first and you still had some input along the way! I totally agree with what you said though about paying to gain more control.. as of right now that sounds like the best option for us as there are some things we are not willing to give up! I will definitely discuss with the FH
I completely disagree with PP. If your FMIL wants to help pay for the wedding, it does not entitle her to choose how your wedding should be nor should you have to run every decision past her. I would ask FH to speak to her and lay down the law.
I mean you should have a say but usually when otra are paying they tend to step in more. Your option is to have fh speak to her and say that you would like more say in the wedding planning and that if she would prefer that you two can pay.
Def talk to her and tell her how you feel, but if that doesnt change I'd cancel what she set up and tell her that and start planning your wedding that you will have to pay for. I hope it all works out!
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I guarantee if OP and her fiancé do this, FMIL is going to reneg on paying, leaving them to pay themselves. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I wouldn’t want to relinquish control of my wedding to save a few bucks. But unfortunately that’s how it works. Money always comes with strings in some form.
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My parents and FILs are contributing significantly to our wedding. I told everyone that we would happily consider anything they put forward but that it was our day and that if they wanted to contribute that they would have to respect our wishes to achieve our dream day. Every one of them has so far been very courteous of our request.
We had set a budget and selected a venue with a deposit by the time my dad offered to contribute. I was prepared to cover the cost myself, but I'm also not going to push away significant cash. He wrote us a check for the budget. There were definitely a few times during planning that I told my partner that I'm going to write the man a check so we can tell him off. My partner calmed me down - our issues were more about my dad's unkind political and racial views than wedding choices. I'd say this is more about your relationship dynamic with your FMIL than anything. Handling this tactfully will set you up for a smoother life post wedding - I'm assuming she's close if she offered to pay for this wedding. Good luck!
Since she's paying for the wedding, she should get some say (as in, "here are some of my friends I want you to include on your guest list" or "that venue is too expensive, I'd only be willing to pay $--", and then you and your fiance should get to decide whether to switch venues or you cover the balance remaining after her contribution), but I do not think she should get total say. She shouldn't get to pick your date, or colors, or anything like that. I suggest having a conversation with her. Let her know that while you greatly appreciate her offer to pay for the wedding, you feel left out of the planning, and that you would like to make the decisions for your wedding. If things don't change after that conversation, you and your fiance should decide whether to still accept her offer to pay (and give up getting to make decisions), or if you want to decline her offer and you pay for everything yourselves.
I agree to an extent that if parents decide to offer financial aid on the wedding, they should get some say on how the money is being spent. My dad said he would help contribute, but then turned around and said he didn't want to pay for some of my friends who he didn't know. So I said if it makes you feel better, your contribution is being put towards the photographer then. So if you have a talk with your FH/FMIL about the things you want and you are being shut down because you are not paying for it, might be time to say you are paying for the things you want, and any financial contribution from others can be put towards the things that are important to them.
I’m in a similar situation (my parents are paying a significant chunk) but I’m very lucky that my partner & I have had a lot of say. However, we have it set up so that my parents are paying for specific things—venue, food, & alcohol—so that’s where they have more control. We wanted control over everything else—photographer, videographer, attire, rings, music—so we’re covering that ourselves. My parents certainly have a lot of thoughts about those items, but we’ve made it clear that since they aren’t paying they have no real input. Could you do something similar—outline what she can and cannot cover?
Ideally, this should be negotiated up front before the couple agrees to accept a dime from anyone. Some parents/benefactors take the position your FMIL seems to be taking and others offer the money with few, if any, strings attached. We did the same thing with daughter that my parents did for our wedding: up front, we gave her a total dollar amount we would provide with the understanding that what they chose to do with it was up to them -- traditional wedding, small wedding and an awesome honeymoon, elope and put the money toward a down payment. We didn't care, the money was a gift to do with as they pleased. They (especially daughter... ) chose the traditional wedding. She is quite close to her dad and me, so she involved me a lot in her planning, but all choices and decisions were ultimately theirs to make. Our contribution covered about 80% of the wedding, FOG covered about 15%, and the B&G took care of the remainder. From the beginning they knew what our contribution would be -- so there was no negotiating for more money -- and daughter made all decisions with her total budget in mind. When everything was paid, she was within about 1% of budget.
Given how far you are into the process, you'll likely have a much tougher time renegotiating now. However, I do think you and FH need to make sure you are both on the same page, and then he needs to lead the conversation with his mom about how you both feel and what you really want to be different moving forward. Ultimately, you may need to decide to decline her contributions to regain control over your wedding. Good luck!
Completely agree that financial support doesn’t mean she gets full control, but just sitting her down and telling her to back off isn’t likely to work. I think you should sit down with FH and decide what your priorities are (like top 5) and then have a similar talk with her about hers. This way when she starts to jump in, you can nicely point out that her idea doesn’t fit with your goals (like you’ve always wanted white roses or something) but then let her run with the things you care less about.
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That’s awesome!! Glad things are going well. Unfortunately not everyone has that experience though, and lots of people don’t want to contribute such a large amount of money without the control.
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That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t push to assert your own wishes. Honestly if the cost of the wedding being funded is losing total autonomy and having ‘FMIL’s dream day’ play out, then it’s not worth it. A little bit of input can be expected but I think that is a very outdated view of ‘put in money and you get to choose’.
You say, Thank you FMIL for your offer to pay for our wedding, we really appreciate it! But, we've decided that we're going to pay for it ourselves, and will take over planning from here. We'll refund you for any deposits you are not able to get back.
Then, you take back control and plan you own wedding.
When you accept the offer to have someone foot the bill for something you should really be paying for yourself then yes you are going to lose some of the decision making. That doesn’t mean that you and FH shouldn’t sit down with her and discuss how you both need to be a part of the decision making because it is actually your wedding. But like someone else said if things don’t change then you either have to cancel everything and fund your own wedding or be ok with her making all the decisions.