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Rachael
Just Said Yes October 2021

Mother In Law invited strangers to our wedding

Rachael, on February 11, 2021 at 10:02 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 19
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Hello everyone! I do not know how to handle this situation, so I am hoping you’ll be able to offer some advice. My mother in law has a daughter from a previous marriage that my fiancé only found out about at age 20, he is 23 now. My fiancé and his younger brother (21) have never met their half sister. Yesterday we called Fiancé’s mom to inform her that we set a date. She was very frazzled and not happy about it at the time, kept bringing up a million reasons why we should postpone. (Our wedding is in late October 2021) One of her reasons for needing us to postpone was that she was picking up his half sister from the airport for a friends wedding in October. This surprised us both, because we are pretty certain MIL and half sister have not seen each-other in person, at least in the last 10 years. When he heard about the sister being in the area at the time of the wedding, my fiancé off handily said “should we invite her or something?” To which his mom ignored and continued to talk about her grievances with our wedding date. She said at the end of our conversation that she would tell my fiancé’s father the news and was hoping he would not be upset with our date.


The next morning she calls, and she’s a a very chipper mood. She tells us that my father in law is happy to hear the news and she finally congratulates us. The mood shift was welcome until she informed us that she had already informed his half sister (that none of us have ever met) that we are getting married, and that she will be taking off extra leave from work to come to our wedding after her friends. She tells us her and her husbands names (that we have never even heard before) and gives us their address, telling us to send an invitation. She also informs us of some family friends she wants invited, and says we will be rude not to invite them.
Our wedding has only 40 people on the guest list. They are family only, not even a single friend. I have always wanted a very intimate wedding, and this seems safest considering there’s a global pandemic going on, and no one knows where we will be in October. My mother in law has has issues with boundaries and manners in the past. How can we tell her that we are not inviting these people just because she says so? I have 3 half siblings myself that I met as a very young child, and I know the time and place to meet them for the first time is not your wedding!
How can my fiancé and I handle this without creating drama? Any advice is appreciated. Thank you for reading.

19 Comments

Latest activity by Judith, on February 15, 2021 at 9:51 AM
  • A
    Devoted May 2021
    Ally ·
    • Flag
    I would explain that there’s a pandemic going on and you only want people you know there, and you can also say youre not paying for more people. Two very valid reasons. But this should ultimately be your fiance’s job since it is his mother, not your responsibility to get into it with her
    • Reply
  • Rachael
    Just Said Yes October 2021
    Rachael ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Thank you! I agree my fiancé should handle it.
    • Reply
  • Claudia
    Dedicated November 2021
    Claudia ·
    • Flag
    I think you already said it perfectly. We're in a pandemic, we're having limited guests. But I agree with the PP, this should not fall on your shoulders.
    • Reply
  • Stacey
    Super May 2021
    Stacey ·
    • Flag

    Agree with Ally, let your FH handle the conversation so she’s clear that these are his feelings, too. “I’m so sorry, we have already finalized our guest list and are keeping it small with close family only. However, we’d love to meet up with you and *sister* for lunch while she is in town if schedules allow.”

    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle Online ·
    • Flag

    Stand your ground. Maintain boundaries and keep repeating no. Be a united front and tell fiance's mom that under no circumstances will these people be invited and that is the end of the discussion. If mother in law doesn't like it, she is free to stay home.

    If you cave and let her win this, she will only get worse throughout your marriage.

    • Reply
  • Mrs. Spring
    Master April 2021
    Mrs. Spring ·
    • Flag
    Maintain boundaries. Use COVID as the reason for limited guests
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar April 2021
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    Totally agree with everyone- boundaries need to be reinforced. This is something your fiancé needs to handle
    • Reply
  • KiwiDerbyBride
    VIP May 2015
    KiwiDerbyBride ·
    • Flag

    I wouldn’t bother explaining beyond “sorry, our guest list is full and we are unable to accommodate any extra guests. If you’ve told people they will be invited you’ll need to tell them that unfortunately you were mistaken.” I’m not sure there’s any way to avoid drama. Is she giving you any financial help towards the wedding? If she is, I’d reconsider accepting it because she’ll think it gives her a say.

    • Reply
  • Shelly
    Rockstar January 2022
    Shelly ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I agree with Ally's suggestion!!

    It's not her place to invite people to your wedding. It's fine for her to SUGGEST people, but the decision lies with you and your FH. Like Ally said, your FH needs to handle this himself first since it's his mother/family, and just make sure that you both stand your ground on this matter.

    I went through a similar situation with my mom. She wanted to invite my dad's side of the family (I never speak to them, and have met a few of them once my entire life....I'm 27...lol). This included an older half sister that I've never met. We explained to her that our guest list is limited to those we have a special bond with, people that we actually know. She was upset at first, but since our guest list is already at 193, she understands why we can't invite the whole world lol.

    • Reply
  • A
    Super September 2020
    Alli ·
    • Flag
    Jus tell her... my MIL invited two of her “best friends” and my husband acted like a man and told her to uninvite them. If she doesn’t like then she doesn’t have to show up. The only brides who regret their wedding are the ones who let others change their day. Stay strong!! 😊
    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Devoted February 2021
    Jessica ·
    • Flag
    I understand what you mean unfortunately due to Covid and my future mother-in-law‘s craziness about going out or having people over even in the yard our parents have actually not gotten to me and we’ll meet each other for the first time at our wedding it’s super ridiculous and frustrating! The best that you can do is try to make nice A very awkward situation. After all you don’t wanna add to the uncomfortableness. I wish you the best of luck on this one!!
    • Reply
  • Meghan
    Rockstar October 2019
    Meghan ·
    • Flag

    Stand your ground. Have your fiancé tell her exactly what you put in your post. Close family only due to Covid and wanting to keep things intimate. If she has an issue with it, let her know she doesn't have to attend.

    • Reply
  • M
    Just Said Yes September 2021
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    You said this perfectly! Stand your ground. My first marriage my MIL did so many things I didn’t agree ( inviting strangers to us, altering food menu, shifting tables for her family in front, etc) with for our wedding and it was a sign that it went further after the wedding and throughout the marriage. You must set healthy boundaries now, these are huge red flags I wish I didn’t ignore.
    • Reply
  • Katie
    Rockstar August 2021
    Katie ·
    • Flag
    First be prepared for drama cause it's bound to happen no matter how you put it.


    Second tell her that first there is a pandemic going on so you don't want people whom you and your fiance never met at the wedding. And tell her it's yours and your fiance wedding not hers so at the end of the day you and him have the final say on who comes and what goes.
    You have to start setting boundaries and sticking with them, stand your ground with her and don't back down. If you don't now she will do this sort of thing throughout your life with everything she can.
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Devoted April 2021
    Michelle ·
    • Flag

    Stand your ground and prepare for drama to come, its the unfortunate side effect to telling people who think this is acceptable behavior. You do not have to have anyone you do not want at the wedding and you have never even met this person. Sounds like boundaries are goign to start being pushed so be ready for backlash

    • Reply
  • Amanda
    Just Said Yes July 2021
    Amanda ·
    • Flag
    I get where you’re coming from but she is technically family too. I don’t think it’s a terrible idea to invite her.
    • Reply
  • Katie
    Rockstar August 2021
    Katie ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    They never met her, probably could trip over her on the street and never even realize who she is. She may be blood related to him but blood related doesn't really hold that much meaning when you never ever met the person. I would never invite a family member to my wedding I never met before because they are as much of a stranger to me as someone on the other side of the world.
    • Reply
  • Cassidy
    VIP October 2017
    Cassidy ·
    • Flag
    No is a complete sentence. If she doesn’t like it, too bad. She will get over it. She will only get a say if she’s paying for any of it.


    • Reply
  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
    • Flag
    It would be nice if you told her, it would nice to see new half sister and relatios for a family dinner and cookout. That said, you have a list of 40 people, and that is it. No more, period. And a wedding is a terrible time for the bride and groom to spend more than 10 minutes with new acquaintances. Worse, to invite them and bruff them off.
    • Reply

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