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Old 11-29-2007, 04:35 PM
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Question Just how nice do I have to be?

I am the soon to be Mother of the Bride in June of 08. Can someone tell me how nice I have to be to the Mother of the Groom We have had the meeting of the parents and all of the other formalities but somewhere along the lines this woman has figured out she is now running the show. After the reception site was booked she called and told me she had several quotes and brocheres of different places. Places that wouldn't hold the number of people that will be invited. The Mother and Father or divorced and there is still a bit of hatred there as she told me if she has any thing to do with this wedding she will shut the booze off at 10:00PM (the fathers side are the drinkers and have offered to pay for it). DH just rolled his eyes and said we didn't need her money to help pay for the thing. Come to find out she is offering to throw us $500.00 to help. She is driving me nuts to the point that I check caller ID everytime the phone rings. Now she wants to spent the money on M&M's with there names on them, this would be fine but she wants them served in a punch bowl! No spoons No little cups or bags just your hands Oh man what a mistake waiting to happen, the kids don't even want the m&m's but she won't take no for an answer. So tell me just how nice do I have to be to the nut
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Old 12-02-2007, 06:59 AM
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Hey lady, my kids aren't nearly old enough for me to be going through what you're going through, but my mother-in-law sounds she was like the woman you're dealing with.

After we got engaged, my DH's older brother told him to sit their mother down and give her ONE THING to handle any way she wanted. That way, she wouldn't encroach on anyone else's territory somewhere else. My mother-in-law, bless her soul, was a wonderful person, but her downfall was that she never met a wedding, other than her own, that she really, truly liked, and while she would be polite about it at the time, later on she would talk about how she would have done this or that or... whatever.

So when we were planning, DH told his mother she could plan the rehearsal dinner and do it however she wanted. She was absolutely thrilled and planned a really nice event.

Now, the trick is, you are going to have to get your daughter and her son to handle this, and they need to be firm. If you do it, Groom's Mom is going to think you are meddling and it will give her something else to butt in about. You need to take the couple aside and have them remind her that it's THEIR wedding, and while everyone wants them to be happy, sometimes their happiness can get lost in the middle of everyone else's hopes and dreams. They need to tell her exactly what the division of labor will be, and then if she doesn't honor it, they can remind her later that she's stepping on toes and she needs to knock if off.

If he's afraid of upsetting his mother, all I can say is that my husband was in that very same boat, but once he told her exactly what was expected of her, she took the ball and ran with it without complaint.

Everyone wants the same goal here- a HAPPY wedding and reception to remember. As far as the hatred between the divorced folks, that may need to be addressed as well-- there is no call at all for Groom's Mom to plan everything around her anger towards her ex-husband's family.
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Old 12-02-2007, 12:30 PM
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My first husband's mother was exactly like you are describing this woman to be. My ex would not stick up to his mother for anything. Now, anyone that knows me, knows that I will only put up with things for so long and then I speak my mind. I don't envy the position that you are in!

I think that you should sit down and talk with your DD to let her know exactly how you feel. If you are close with your soon-to-be SIL, talk to him, too. See how they react to how you are feeling. If they are willing to go to his mother and tell her that she is overstepping her boundaries, fine. If they would rather not, try to make this work for their sakes. It is, afterall, their wedding.

I like the idea of telling her that she can be in charge of certain things ONLY--like the rehersal dinner. If she doesn't like this idea (and if she is anything like me ex MIL, she wont), your SIL will have to explain to her point blank that they have other ideas for their wedding. My MIL took over our wedding and I hated it. Advise your DD not to let this happen if she is not comfortable with it.

After you have aired your feelings, if things don't change, do yourself a favor and step aside and let things happen as they may. You will save yourself a lot of headaches and heartaches by doing this. They will still get married and you will still have a great DD and SIL. AND...you SIL can say that he has a wonderful MIL!!! (My husbands Mom was wonderful BTW )


Hugs to you!! Keep us updated on things!


PS....the thought of everyone grabbing the M&MS with their hands is just gross!!
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Old 12-08-2007, 08:35 AM
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I feel for you. I think you are wise to set limits with this woman. I am glad you have caller ID. I know you want this day to be special for your DD. Let this woman know that you appreciate her help, but as mother of the bride, it is YOUR reponsibility to make this wedding something that those kids will cheris their whole life. Maybe you could suggest she put her ideas in writing and give them to her DS to give to you. This would put some nice distance between you and this woman. Then, if this woman calls you with ideas, you can use what i call the broken record technique. Say, "Thank you. Please give these ideas to your DS to give to me when he is here next." Just say that same thing over and over and over. That way you aren't always on the defense attempting to invent excuses to give to her. Plus, you haven't agreed that you'd use her ideas nor have to said that you won't use them.

As far as keeping her busy, does she have the dinner/party planned for the rehearsal? Isn't that the grooms parents' job? How about asking her how the planning for that is going?

I don't know how manipulative she is or how much she will bully her way in if she is allowed, but I hope you are able to set boundaries and limits with her. You can do this nicely by doing the broken record technique and by either making her give her suggestions to her DS or mailing them to you so that you don't have to deal with her directly with your busy lifestyle. Good luck!
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Old 12-08-2007, 08:46 AM
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I would set down groung rules, and tell the nut that enough is enough that this is not her weadding and then also tell the kids that thay have to stand up to her and let her know that this is the way it is going to be. and if she dont like it than she just dont have to come and I would not acceot any money from her as then she will think that she can tell you how to do things . and just what she wants not what the kids want.
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Old 12-08-2007, 11:24 AM
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I feel for you! Please remember that anything you say now.. will set the tone for the rest of your daughter's life. Try not to get into a power battle, and try not to put your daughtr in the middle... (easier said than done )...

I love catwoman's advice, and arjsmom had great pointers too. I would let her know that although you 'appreciate" her offers to help, and "thank" her for her opinions, that you are a traditionalist who believes a bridew and her mother should make the wedding arangements.
Tell her that your daughter's wedding day is an event that that is special for you as a mom and daughter, and has been 'planned" since she was a little girl. .Remind her that "traditionally" the groom's family is responsible for the rehearsal dinner, and it would be such a favor to you of she wold plan that. You don't have to be responsible for anything that goes on there.. but you and your daughter do have to be willing to give up control. Tell her that any suggestions she has should go to her son, and that phone calls to you are not necessary, you're "confident" she'll do a lovely job....

Then you wont have to worry about her till the first baby's Christening party!! ..
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Old 12-08-2007, 11:24 AM
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My ds just got married in the summer, so I know what you are going through. We paid for about 85% of the wedding, but since I was just the mother-of-the-groom, I took a back seat to most of the plans that the mother-of-the- bride had. I know that it is very difficult, but be as nice and as patient as you possibly can. The best gift you can give your dd is a wedding without family conflicts. Don't worry about M&M's in a punch bowl (the mother-of-the-bride insisted upon doing similar stuff at my ds wedding). No one cares about that or will remember. What is most important is that your dd needs a good relationship with her new mil. You don't want any antagonism of wedding plans to be transferred to their relationship. Give the mil an assignment (or a couple of little jobs) to do and be appreciative of whatever the outcome. The best gift my ds and new dil gave me was when they came up to me and my dh at the end of the wedding and said that it was the best event of their lives and they appreciated our patience with the other family. The two families may not always see eye-to-eye, but are unanimous in our love for each other's children!
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Old 12-08-2007, 12:08 PM
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She pulled a fast one on me

Grooms Mom used her cell phone to call and I didn't screen it in time She wanted to know if DD has gotten anything on her wish list for Christmas yet, I said not that I know of and was then told she wouldn't buy anything from it because it was just to ugly! Just because its all in an outdoor theme ( deer, bear, moose) she thinks it tacky. OK buy what you want.
We have tried to give her one job to do and she has backpeddalled on that and jumps to something else that is already done. DD told her she could go with her to pick out the cake and now she is looking at all of these books for ideas because Jill (DD) can't think for herself. DD has had the cake in her head for about 3 months now and knows what she wants it to look like, she just wanted to let her have something to do with the wedding that I don't. I have called the lady that is making the cake and told her that the bride has the final say on the look and flavors for everything. I also told her I was paying for it so as not to put the M.O.G. on the spot.
I think because she has no daughters it is hard for her to not have any major say in the whole thing but on the other hand I have waited for 27 years for this moment and am NOT going to give it up. SIL won't take her calls because they are so silly of calls he just rolls his head too. Latest is wanting the family heirloom dishes for the bridal party to eat on at the reception, but is not thinking anything will happen to them. If one of the dishes broke I would be devistated.
I have just figured I would go with the flow and see how it goes. Who gets to pick there dress color first, its her first isn't it? I thought that was my call to but I guess not. Jill just laughs at this because I tell her good luck with your new mother in law and I really mean it as she is going to need it.
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Old 12-08-2007, 12:22 PM
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The mother-of-the-bride picks her dress (or dress color) first. The mother-of-the-groom is supposed to pick something that "coordinates" with it. Also, the MOB sets the "tone" of the dresses (i.e. long dress, tea length, etc.). The mother-of-the-groom is not supposed to pick something more formal than the MOB.

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Old 12-08-2007, 01:32 PM
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Thisgirl, I completely agree with Sue. If this isn't clear to the MOB, find an etiquette book about weddings or even a site and email it to the MOB. Maybe she'll get the hint. lol

I had the opposite problem when my DD got married. Her future MIL wasn't involved at all! So, everything, including the rehearsal dinner, was left up to my DH and I. I emailed her the places to order the dress for her DD, who was one of the flower girls. I think this was an easier situation to deal with than what you are dealing with though.

Don't be afraid to be assertive! You may feel that you are being rude by asserting your rights without infringing on the rights of others, but you aren't being rude! Being assertive only means that you are taking the necessary action to get what you are entitled to.

You have every right to kindly tell the MOG that you appreciate her help, but you already have everything planned or are in the process of planning. She strikes me as the type that if you give her an inch, she will take a mile. I don't think you owe her explainations as to what you are doing, why you are doing it, or even to if she approves of what you are doing. When she calls, kindly tell her that you are too busy and if she has ideas to please send them to you rather than call. Maybe you could tell her that you don't like talking on the phone? You could even create an email account just for her so that she can email you her ideas rather than call you a million times. That way, you can deal with it when it is convenient and you can plan how you want to word the emails back to her.

I also believe that if you are paying for the cake, you and your DD should have the final say in how the cake is decorated. Stick to your guns. Get support from friends while you are dealing with this lady so you'll feel stronger and better prepared to deal with her. Good luck!
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