Keep you chin up. This sounds like my step-mother. This really falls to your fiancé. He needs to step up and deal with her. If he doesn't then tell him you can kiss any relationship with her goodbye. You will eventually snap and that's it, the relationship will be history. He has dealt with her his whole life and needs to use those skills now. If he refuses then exclude her. Do not talk about your wedding around her. When you go shopping do not invite her. When she asks about it blow her off. Tell her someday you'll have time for it. What ever it takes.
Now the part you haven't thought of... Her trying to take over the day of. Make sure all your vendors know she is not to make changes. She is not to pull them away. Particularly your wedding planner and/or photographer. Be up front and make sure they know how to handle this type of person. If the person is knowledgeable in dealing with this type of person they can actually run interference for you and keep her off of you.
If you are getting married in Eastern PA, or New Jersey area give me a call my contracts are specifically with the bride for just this reason. The groom doesn't even have a say unless the bride wants him to. Like I said my step mother is the same way and I have dealt with her for years.
Most importantly this is your day. My wife showed me the flower arrangements that her, her mother and maid of honor discussed and everyone had cascading waterfall bouquets and the maid of honors was a round circle. I kept asking "but what do you want?" listen to advise then make a decision. Don't let anyone bully you into compromise except maybe your fiancé.
In a quick Google search I found no such etiquette rule regarding shopping for the wedding dress. I have been the mother of the groom and I would never have suggested I go with the Bride. Had she asked me, I'd have been thrilled, but it wasn't expected.
Parents and siblings are just as much a part of a marriage as the two of you. Boundaries need to be set or the aggravations will build even bigger over time. They have the ability to tear at the fabric of your relationship and need to be fully considered when making a decision of marriage. Just as you've weighed the groom's faults and have decided you can live with them, you need to do the same with the extended family.
I have two daughters that married into seriously dis-functional families and it has put a huge burden on the marriage. In both cases the husband has had trouble putting limits on his family. If your groom will not respectfully let his mother know she is out of line, you will have a bigger problem.
I wish you luck with your marriage and in-law problems and hope you are able to come to some understanding.
Do NOT take her to get your dress, (there is NO such tradition with the groom's mother), and do NOT let her ruin your day. This is YOUR DAY, and your wedding day. Stand up for yourself, and get your fiance to help a LOT, standing up to her.
There is no such tradition, but it can be a graceful thing to allow her to accompany you and your friend on a dress hunting trip or two. In-laws / family of origin are definitely an issue that engaged couples need to discuss fully prior to their wedding date. Boundaries need to be explored and fully delineated. Whether you do it on your own or with the assistance of an objective third party such as a counselor or clergy, it should be done.
Rev. Ann Fuller
August 10, 2010
Thank you all for your advice and opinions. A lot of people make me seem like i am in the wrong when i talk about her and say how much i cant stand her. I guess you have to go through it in order to know what im talking about and you guys do. Thanks for listening to me :-)
Greg- I live in Rochester, NY by the way. Thanks for giving me a heads up on her trying to take over the day of the wedding, your right i didnt even think of it!
well your a little out of my normal area but I would still be willing to discuss it. There would be a travel charge but you may find even with the travel charge my rates to be competitive. Send me and email and we can take a look at if it would be beneficial for the both of us.
First, CONGRATS on being savvy enough to NOT post even a "handle" name...people can get to be really sneaky when they want to get into your business!
In every wedding, we have a devious-manipulator that tries to present themselves as a lamb when really, they are a wolf in lamb's clothing who will try to steal away the control from those who should be making the decisions. This sounds like it might be your pain.
First, take Greg's advise. Notify all vendors in writing of expectations. Second, get an enforcer of these rights you have come expect. I recommend a professional planner - they are there to take your stress away. I am a planner and will give you free advise of how to select such a person or company.
A planner is outside of your immediate world. They will control things under your directive.
They will not allow someone else to redirect.
Most importantly, they will not be harassed or embarrassed at Christmas time in front of the family - because they are not and cannot be a friend or family member prior to the job at hand being done! Therefore, they have no vested interest other than YOURS!
And lastly, as a planner, I hate to say it this way, but I don't care if ANYONE likes or wants what my brides and grooms have chosen...it is THEIR day and THEIR decisions are the only ones that impact my end success or failure.
Beyond that, a planner can often save you cash and time by simply using the resources and the expertise they have earned and learned by over the years.
Importing vendors is often a GREAT idea. Sometimes, you can get a good deal, which is still a fair deal for the vendor as well...even with travel fees. I have been exported/imported even over seas for this very reason. I would definitely look at Greg's portfolio and have a serious conversation to weigh that option. We often forget that planners, photographers, florists, etc. have a great network of people - most willing to travel - and can assist out of state/oout of country at a great value to an area that has limited supply of vendors. It is all supply and demand.
If you have any questions about my services, comments, or other areas you may need to explore...please feel free to contact me on my personal mobile 317-490-7894. Suz Haire, Owner, Studio Brides & Events www.studiobrides.com
I agree with the other posts. She goes dress shopping with you. Oh boy. She will try and take over your wedding day. The wedding day is about you and your future husband.
August 18, 2010
dear Guest in Rochester, N.Y.: It seems that everyone that has posted heron has the correct answers you are seeking. Your husband to be must step up to the plate and put his mother in her place. She must understand that her son is marrying YOU, and that his decision to back you up is made in CEMENT. Having your vendors be warned in advance is very good. I have been an ordained minister for 43 years and now have been elevated to Administrative Bishop. My experience with unruly mother-in-laws is extensive.
Wow, I know exactly how you feel. I created the post "Difficult in-laws". First, with the dress. I did not tell anyone, except my mom and sisters that I was going to get my dress. We went to Klienfeld's in Manhattan, I found my dress and still did not tell her. I didn't even want to show it to her, then my dad made me (I am 26 and I still listen to mommy and daddy).
How do your parents/family feel about how she is effecting you and her involvement? Have they met yet? From experience, my mom actually stuck up for me and had a calm discussion about everyones role in the wedding.
People say "what about the groom?". That is on a case to case basis. My fiance says I can pretty much do whatever I want, if he does not have to do any intensive labor or thinking he is fine. I bring him what ideas I have and we agree on which way to take things. You should really tell your fiance how you feel and to take your feelings seriously.
DO NOT LET ANYONE TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR BIG DAY!
Best of luck, from Yonkers, NY
August 25, 2010
Thanks Finesse. My mom and family always think im being rude when i talk about her because i have nothing good to say about her. But my mom has met my fiances mom and she even said herself that she seems a little off but at the same time tells me that its my fiances mom and to be nice. Now like i said never have i ever said anything mean to her face in any way but i complain all the time to my fiance about her and 6 months later nothing has changed. See she is the type of mother that makes her children feel bad for her in situations and hes approached her only once about this and she acted like a 2 yr old the way she responded. His sister just had a bridal shower and his mom comes up to me and goes you know i can do this and this and this for you because now she thinks shes a pro cuz she did her daughters shower. I told my mom what she said and she freaked and i completely understand why. Im her daughter and she wants to do things with and for me. My moms starting to see it slowly why i cant stand my future mother in law. And my fiance wants to be involved with the wedding which is great but hes going over board because he thinks my family is gonna take control of it. Now can tell my family to back off if they did and they would listen but with his mom he cant speak up and he even told his mom and his sister we are gonna try to get everyone involved. He does not know how stressful it is to plan a wedding and he wants to include his whole family in it. All in all I cant stand my future mother in law and since shes pushed me so far id like to tell her off and say that she isnt going to have a say in anything. She keeps pushing and im just gonna let it out some time soon.
August 26, 2010
Dear Guest with the problematic mother in law:
You and your hubby-to-be are a team. So, in all things, tell her, "I have to discuss everything with "tom".
As far as dress shopping, it YOUR mother who should attend with your for your fittings. You may also bring your maid of honor or YOUR grandmother. You could also bring your husband to be if you wish. There is NO rule or code of ethics that says that a mother in law must be present in the process -- UNLESS SHE IS PAYING FOR IT!
To keep the peace, I would tell her, "Sorry, this is something that me and my mom had already planned to do ourselves." However, I would LOVE if you helped me to pick out the favors and the limo." (Or whatever else you want her to do). This way, she will feel like she is participating in her son's wedding. Do have your fiance present in all things. And, remember, the final decision belongs to you and your beau. Financial stuff should never be discussed in front of her; but do make her feel important in a simple way that does not threaten your well being. You may also, during your ceremony, present yellow roses to both mom's (you to her, your fiance to your mother) and this is a nice way of including them on that special day.
Hiring a planner can also dilute any issues. Your planner can deal with any shannigans and act as a wedge to buffer you from any hurts. Do let your planner know what's going on. They have experience and are used to dealing with difficult family members.
Being firm, but loving will go a long way. It is very important that you and your beau are on the same side and can make compromise, particularly if your mother in law to be is trying to meddle in.
My Beloved, Inc.
My future mother in law refuses to come to the wedding because hes marrying me. But I guess the feeling is mutual but its not fair to my Fiance. To the point she hasnt even seen her grandson and hes 4 months and she doesnt want to see him
I recently got married about 3 weeks ago. The situation was that we only invited close friends and family (about 25) to our wedding, to keep within our very, very small budget. We had both the ceremony and reception at our home to save money. I distinctly told this reasoning to one of my closest friends of over 20 years when I invited her, but the next time I talked to her, she tells me she is bringing her daughter. Now, if I had wanted her daughter to come, I would have invited her specifically. Her daughter is not a friend at all; in fact, I had not talked to her daughter in over five years. On top of that, her daughter took her own Grandmother for over $40,000.! She had also screwed her Mother (my friend) over as well. I didn't want her to come to my wedding because I have no relationship with her, never have and I really want nothing to do with her.
Well, my friend got VERY upset with me and when she did, I told her that I thought she was completely out of line in inviting someone to my wedding without my permission. I reminded her that we wanted to keep the guest list small because of costs, and that her daughter wasn't my friend, and that I really didn't want her there because of what she had done to both her and her Mother. Then, my friend gave me the ultimatum that if her daughter wasn't welcome, that she wouldn't come to my wedding either. I told her that if that was how she felt, that she should just stay home. I then wrote her off completely.
Our wedding went off without a hitch, and everyone had a lovely time. It was just as I had wanted it to be. I felt then and still feel that a real "friend" would have understood and would have "uninvited" the uninvited guest at my request. I'm sorry she felt like breaking up a 20 year relationship over something she did to herself, and then wouldn't back down from. I'm not one reacts well to ultimatums, especially when given by someone who has decided to do something with no regard for my feelings. Your thoughts?
This is what you do.....PICK THE UGLIEST DRESS YOU CAN FIND and pretend like it is the most beautiful dress in the world to you and tell her this is the dress you want. That way, you can pick the dress you want and she will be happy that it is not that ugly dress you first picked out. lol Trust me, It works