Michelle
Devoted August 2021

My fmil doesn't want to join bridal shower or baby shower

Michelle, on May 14, 2021 at 8:56 AM Posted in Family and Relationships 0 36
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Good morning. First, I'd like to thank all of you who share your bridal joys, woes, and priorities on this forum. I cannot say I am a sentimental or traditional bride, but your perspectives help me try to personalize my wedding. But, now I find myself in a situation where I'm livid.


Let me set the scene: my FH 4-person immediate family is not that close. But, for Mother's day 5 days ago, we traveled to his parents house in North Philly (we are in NYC, FSIL & her husband from VA). We told them we were pregnant with their first grandchild, and the dad actually said "see you in November".


So yesterday, my FH was going to Philly to help with their Cable. I told my FH to tell his mother that the bridal shower will be in Chicago (my side) and most likely will be in August. He tells me she said she wouldn't travel (from Philly) and that we also shouldn't bother with the Chinese tea ceremony. The tea ceremony is a short cultural ceremony (his culture) where parents and elders give their blessings and then drape the bride in gold jewelry. I'm not looking for fancy, but these items I would continue passing down in my lineage, and in general the custom is awesome. So in short, it looks like my FMIL and maybe my FSIL (in VA) will not take part in any bridal or baby showers. I know the family likes me. But, I don't understand because my FSIL got married in a cocktail wedding 2 years ago. Ultimately, it just looks like haphazard negligence.


But, it will look different to my family that is close. My family and friends are all flying into NY for our Nov wedding in which I'll be 8 months pregnant. They are older, and my mom has a condition so travel is not easy but they are willing to mentally, financially, and physically prepare. So if no one in my FH's 50-person (mostly local) extended family shows up to any events, except for the day of the wedding, there will be hell. I'm bringing hell right now.


People know about bridal showers. People know about baby showers. I don't care about gifts, but I do want to have LADIES PARTIES, and a Jack 'n Jill if there's time. I'm already canceling a rehearsal dinner and post-wedding dim sum because my pregnant body may not keep up.


I told my FH the steps to fix it, or I will cancel the wedding. I wanted to have a mini-wedding in Vegas velvet. My priorities were my man, our parents, and now my baby. I was even willing to give up the Church ceremony. But, we went with my FH's vision. He wants his extended family and friends in a City black-tie, band-playing, cocktail station-rich gala. Now, I and my family are paying for the wedding. My FH did not save for our wedding despite living together, but says he can find 20K, so in sum the overall wedding budget is bigger. But, hell no I'm not paying for people that don't give a damn about me. Now I'm getting heated again and sweating with this new "all-natural" deodorant (lol). Yah, he has to fix this quick before I lay down any more deposits.


I tell my FH if he wants to include his family in our future where we can rely on them, it takes steps. You have to teach people and guide them. They had 44 years like this. sigh


Thanks for reading!

36 Comments

Latest activity by Michelle, on May 18, 2021 at 1:04 PM
  • Sarah
    Master September 2019
    Sarah ·
    • Flag
    I can understand being frustrated that they now don’t want the tea ceremony, but not traveling multiple states away for a baby shower is pretty common. My ex-husband’s mother and her entire side of the family lived 1,000 miles away from us and didn’t come to my bridal or baby shower.
    • Reply
  • Cool
    Super July 2020
    Cool ·
    • Flag
    There’s a lot to unpack here. For the tea ceremony, from what I understand that’s a very expected and traditional cultural element- it seems like more than an innocent oversight for them not to plan that. Are you sure there isn’t a bigger issue at hand? Beyond that, you and FH need to have the wedding that *both* of you want, agree upon and can afford. I would have a conversation with him about both of these pieces. Now that you’re bringing a child into the mix, it isn’t as easy as just cancelling the wedding. You have to get on the same page.
    • Reply
  • Kk
    Devoted October 2021
    Kk ·
    • Flag
    Starting a marriage with an ultimatum is never a good thing. You have every right to be frustrated, but I also don't think it's fair to assume that your FH would be okay traveling to a different state for showers. I would just let it go and focus on taking those steps to build your relationship with his family in other ways.
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Devoted August 2021
    Michelle ·
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    Weren't you still disappointed? In my personal experience, I have always flown out for family bridal showers, baby showers, bachelorettes, surgeries, and I could do that because I was single with no kids. It was really important for my family to welcome my brothers' new wives and their families into our family. In this situation, my FH's parents are retired and flights from Philly to Chicago are cheap, frequent, and short. Honestly, it could all be fixed if they had a function for me here on the coast, and my FH might have to elicit his NJ cousins to make that happen. But, also to him, they are not that close either. So then I ask, why are we including 50 of them?

    • Reply
  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Legend March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride ·
    • Flag
    Wow, I agree, a lot to unpack here. Totally get your frustration and feeling unimportant! Ugh. But I do think there are some misplaced expectations.
    1) Stop wedding deposits and get on the same page with your fiancé. You both need to afford it. And it should be a wedding you both want, not something to please one person’s family.
    2) If his family isn’t really close I wouldn’t expect them to come to events beyond the wedding (some might not even attend the wedding). It sucks. It’s disappointing and hurtful. But it shouldn’t be expected, or used as a reason the retaliate (cancel wedding).3) I’m not sure what your fiancé can fix? He can’t make them care or be involved. It’s their loss if they don’t nurture a relationship with you both and their grandchild. But trying to force them into anything is not going to go well or likely change anything.
    Cry. Vent. Then let go the expectation of others and create the wedding (or elopement) you want with your fiancé! 🤗
    • Reply
  • Karla
    Super February 2020
    Karla ·
    • Flag
    I understand your disappointment, but considering the circumstances surrounding the pandemic, I think a flight for a baby and/or bridal shower is kind of a big ask. I had my wedding pre-covid, and I still didn’t expect husband’s side of the family (all on the east coast, we’re on the west coast) to travel for my bridal shower. I definitely am not expecting them to fly out for my baby shower taking place this summer. Might not be ideal, but have you thought about a virtual shower?


    I didn’t fly out for my sister-in-law’s shower and I was in the wedding party. I’m pretty sure only local guests actually attended so people from both sides of the wedding were missing. I think it’s a lot more common for people NOT to fly out for showers.
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Devoted August 2021
    Michelle ·
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    Thank you for your comment. I think COVID in NY was so traumatizing that as we lived in isolation, I figured we would get married in isolation. My FH went wedding dress shopping w/me because I had no one to do girl things with. So in terms of underlying, yes I miss my family and have prioritized time with my Ladies. Then, after we found out about our pregnancy, I brought up wedding revisions like changing dates, changing formality, adding children to our guestlist which requires changing venue (kids are $100/head), and doing a joint wedding/baby shower. But, he passed on that, and now he's reconsidering for practicality and cost. To be fair, I am use to black-tie and was ok with cookie-cutter, but now I kinda don't want to include anybody else. I know all these wedding articles say, who holds the money, makes the decisions, but I'm trying really hard to not be this way now that I'm slighted.

    To be clear, I would cancel the wedding, not the marriage. I have a high-risk pregnancy and my family's future on my plate.

    • Reply
  • whirlwind
    Devoted March 2021
    whirlwind ·
    • Flag

    I am wondering if there is something deeper going on here. They sound quite traditional. Maybe they have a problem with you getting pregnant before the wedding and then being very pregnant at the wedding. Maybe they just need some time to adjust to that thought.

    Just an idea. I could be totally off.

    But it sounds like a lot of conversations between you and FH and him and his family are needed. So sorry you are going through this.
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Devoted August 2021
    Michelle ·
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    Thank you for your perspective. We will have to do this or resign ourselves they want no part in our family's future.

    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Devoted August 2021
    Michelle ·
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    Thank you for your message. Those are the hard truths.

    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Devoted August 2021
    Michelle ·
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    Thank you for your comment. I'll consider a virtual shower. We are all just opening up our lives and doing public things.

    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Devoted August 2021
    Michelle ·
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    Thank you, but they were actually hoping we would get pregnant a while ago. And now here we are, pregnant and middle-aged. I guess if they were really traditional, there is some protocol where one mother calls the other, but I guess now they'll just meet at the wedding.

    • Reply
  • T
    Super April 2021
    Tiger Bride ·
    • Flag
    I would slow down a bit here. The fact that they don't want to travel from Philly to Chicago for a baby shower doesn't sound like they "want no part in your family's future". Like...it's a shower. No one travels cross country for a shower. And no one expects people to. Can you have a shower in NY/Philly?


    Is there some cultural element that looks unfavorably on premarital pregnancy? Can you have a tea ceremony if you're pregnant?
    • Reply
  • Grace
    Super February 2022
    Grace ·
    • Flag
    My FH's family have a similar dynamic (he puts in way more effort taking care of them and receives nothing in return). It sucks but there is nothing your FH can do to make them more interested in your wedding or children. Also, their behavior might be hurting him too more than you realize, even if he was expecting it.



    On the note about canceling the wedding: have a serious sit down with your FH and make sure you can afford what you are planning (and that what you are planning is something that will make BOTH of you happy). If you go to Vegas or otherwise elope, great! If you have your 8-months-pregnant black-tie wedding, also great!
    • Reply
  • A
    Super December 2020
    Anais ·
    • Flag
    Like others have said, it is extremely normal for people to not travel for a bridal shower. Especially if they’re not close knit family.
    Honestly, my MIL originally wanted to throw me a bridal shower on the other side of the country and my mom had said she couldn’t travel that far. It wasn’t because my mom doesn’t care or doesn’t love me or isn’t supportive, it’s just completely impractical to travel hours for a party.
    You’re allowed to feel disappointed of course, cancelling the whole wedding over an optional event seems a little dramatic
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Devoted August 2021
    Michelle ·
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    Yah, I could be unduly amped right now. I always traveled for that stuff and now I know others do not. It would fix everything if they did throw a welcome party here, and I heard it was custom in Cantonese for the MIL to throw the FDIL a party. So I'm perplexed.

    I do not know about pregnancy barriers in tea ceremonies, other than I will need help kneeling down. I'm still figuring out how to tell my priest.

    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Devoted August 2021
    Michelle ·
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    Thank you for sharing. Yes, we should sit down and figure out how we can both be happy.

    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Devoted August 2021
    Michelle ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    Yes, I am dramatic right now. Ahh, new pregnancy emotions. Thank you for your comment.

    • Reply
  • Samantha
    Rockstar October 2022
    Samantha ·
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    I broke down and cried at Wendy’s because the man in front of me got that last baked potato. That was not my “normal” at all. It happens.
    Drink some water, have a snack and watch videos of kittens playing and a good way to resolve it may come to you.
    • Reply
  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Legend March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    You’re welcome. These truths suck. They hurt. Know that you are also highly emotional right now (wedding stress, pregnancy). Totally ok to cry. Then reflect on what you and your fiancé CAN change for your wedding experience and focus on that. ♥️
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