Step-son's wedding. Fiance's friends and family are crazy people

L Jean - posted on 04/05/2015 ( 17 moms have responded )

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My step-son, who has lived with his father and me since childhood is getting married. We are very happy for him. They lived with us for 9 months last year and we got to know his fiancé and treated her and considered her one of our own kids. Her childhood was spent living in more than 10 different places with her mother and siblings as her mother went from man to man. In fact the reason they moved in with us is because her mother was supposed to be paying a debt for her but instead was keeping the money and using it. My future daughter in law (DIL) found out an argument ensued and she was kicked out of the mother's house and given two days to move.
Okay so. My step-son's mom and I get along, it has been tough, but she is reasonable as am I so we work it out. The relationship with the step-son and mother has been strained due to circumstances beyond this conversation. Anyway she wanted to be involved in the wedding shower planning. I sent a private message to the bride's (crazy)mother. To graciously allow the mother to head up the bridesmaids in planning the shower (as the two (?) maids of honor were not making any plans)
Seemed to have navigated things well thus far. It didn't go well shortly thereafter. The maids of honor (friend of bride and brides sis) jumped me on a facebook conversation and basically told me that me and the mother were stressing out the bride and didn't know what she wanted. I very quickly stated I would back out of any shower arrangements and do something else with my money as well they could plan it however they saw fit. The mother followed suit the next day.
We now see that the mother and sister wanted to plan everything and have the groom's family left out.
I should mention that the mother and I were going to split the cost of the shower.
As soon as I basically stated I am out and taking my purse with me the one bridesmaid started sucking up to me. I just want out. I don't work well with crazy people.
The brides mother even had the nerve to call me a few days later and tell me that MY SON should have the wedding of his dreams and that I had better pay my share.
Did I fall into the twilight zone? Was this woman raised by wolves?
Someone help me. I am now not only not speaking to the future DIL but have declined to attend the shower. I cannot deal with crazy people. Yes I have heard a million times how it's about my son and my future DIL but I should not have to navigate this if it is affecting me emotionally to the point of panic. Why can't I bow out gracefully, stop wearing a target on my bum?

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Raye - posted on 04/06/2015

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If you all agreed to split the costs evenly, then that's what you should do. However, if they are trying to blow the whole event out of proportion and create more expenses than was initially agreed upon, then you all need to sit down and work it out. In most any negotiation, you start at far ends, and come toward the middle. Your s/son's wedding that he would prefer is courthouse... $100 (for example). The brides preferred wedding is outlandish and extravagant.... $20,000 (example). So, meeting in the middle would be $10,000 that is split between the parents or agreed-upon persons. (Use real numbers for the expenses you know about where you can to come up with a workable amount). If the bride/bride's mother/bride's maids, etc. are racking up the expenses, then that extra amount should be covered by the bride's family. It's not usually the groom's "dream wedding", but the bride's, so they need to realize that THEY are on the hook for her wishes, or their interpretation of her wishes. If it is really your s/son that is asking for something special, then your family can accommodate him on that request. Has anybody asked the bride and groom lately what they really want?

User - posted on 04/06/2015

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You are using the word crazy too loosely. They aren't crazy at all, you just dont like them. If you don't want to work with them, then don't. simple as that.

Jodi - posted on 04/06/2015

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I think you and your step son's mother need to agree on the amount you are prepared to put toward the wedding, let the bride's mother know that this is the amount you will contribute, and that's it. If she starts on at you with the nonsense, then make it clear to her that the bride and groom are adults, if they want their dream wedding, then they need to chip in too. Let's face it, what was traditional was traditional in times past, when our social structure was different and when the bride often didn't or couldn't work because social norms didn't allow it. I don't know too many brides and grooms these days that don't pay a fair proportion of their wedding, especially if they want the extravagance.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/06/2015

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Sounds to me as if two very dysfunctional blended families are not playing well together.

You, L Jean, are questioning your step son's very motives! What I'm reading: Soon to be in-laws have control issues...to you, because they got upset that you were possibly overstepping your role as STEP mother of the groom. I'm also reading that mother of the groom is telling you to step up in your monetary support...What have she and your husband discussed in regards to this situation? After all, YOU are not the bio parent, she and your husband are. Yes, you should be in involved in the conversation, but only because I'm assuming your household money is joint money, so you'd need to be on board.

Were I the two getting hitched...I'd elope.

ETA:ETA: Traditional roles are: BRIDE's family pays for venue, bridesmaids dresses (if so arranged) reception, flowers for venue, attendant's flowers and flower girl, as well as wedding photos, and reception. Brides family pays for grooms ring. GROOM's family pays for groomsmen's outfits (if so arranged), license and officiant's fee, brides bouquet, as well as groomsmen's boutonniers, and mother's coursages, as well as honeymoon

Ledia - posted on 04/06/2015

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This all sounds complicated to me....
Isn't the tradition that the bride's family pays for the wedding, the bridesmaids plan and pay for the shower, the groom pays for the rings, and the groom's family pays for the rehearsal dinner and makes a contribution toward the honeymoon?

That's the way we do it where I live--that way everyone knows their parts and can stay out of everyone else's way. If you want to bow out, I would just call the bridesmaids and tell them you were just trying to help out, didn't mean to step on their toes, and are sorry if you offended them, then say that they can have the shower however they would like to plan it, and you will plan and pay for the rehearsal dinner as tradition calls for. That way no one is fighting over plans.

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L Jean - posted on 04/06/2015

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Raye, I think that is the best thought so far. Having the kids put the breaks on both sides and think about and say what they really want and expect make us all stick to that plan. This was a good discussion from all of you ladies. I see that I should go to the shower if she truly wants me there. I really thought it would be less awkward for them if I stayed away but I see that may be bad form. Thanks girls. I think I miss her and wanted to protect her from her crazy family but that is not my call.

Raye - posted on 04/06/2015

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And it is bad form to bow out of the shower. You should go to show support for your new Daughter-In-Law.

L Jean - posted on 04/06/2015

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Shawnn, also. The grooms mom and I and hubby had all decided to chip in an equal amount. That was easy, we all get along over here. I do appreciate everyone's list of who pays for what too, I think that helps us maybe figure out what we should get bills for and let the crazy one pay for her own things. aka brides mother. It was the brides mother that called me.

L Jean - posted on 04/06/2015

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mother of groom and I are fine. It is the mother of the bride that is giving us both the issues. She hasn't yet called the mother of the groom, just me as step mom.

L Jean - posted on 04/06/2015

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I actually said I would pay the venue. Which I did drop off the money for and pay btw.
I wasn't clear here.
I was supposed to split the other costs with the mother of the groom. What happened was she actually did call me and tell me the amount of money I gave them wasn't enough to cover much and she actually did say to me, this is your son's wedding, this is about them getting the dream wedding they want, things aren't free and you should be paying your share.
I get that prior to that conversation it was a mess of crummy stuff. Don't get me wrong, I am absolutely physically sick about it. My s/son actually doesn't talk to this woman at all as he can't stand her. I thought, I will take the high road, we can work this out. Boy I was wrong. :( I have no problem with the criticism, but I really don't know how to go forward if she calls me again. Do you think I owe it to her to tell her what we will pay for and how much? I thought the brides family paid for the reception too, but not this lady. My s/son would have much rather gone to the courthouse. I am not freaking out, let's not accuse. I hate that this happened and I love them both, I just don't know how to resolve it other than stepping aside and not poking the bees nest.

Jodi - posted on 04/06/2015

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I wasn't giving you a thumping. It sounds like everyone involved could do with a bit of a dose of reality. I don't think there are many doing anything appropriately, and in all honesty, it's quite confusing. If you want to continue to believe that you are totally 100% in the right and everyone else is in the wrong, then you really aren't going to get very far.

Did she actually say to you that you had better pay for this wedding? Or did she say (because you took your purse and ran AFTER you said you'd pay for the shower ) that you had better pay your SHARE. It isn't unreasonable to ask the groom's side to pay a share of the costs of a wedding.

And before you freak out that I'm giving you a thumping again....you DID say you'd pay for the shower and when it didn't go your way you withdrew. So to be fair, maybe she is worried you'll do the same thing if the wedding plans aren't as you like? Just a thought.

L Jean - posted on 04/06/2015

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Yes that is the issue. Left to the bridesmaids they had not helped the bride in anyway all the times she asked them to. We (myself and mother of groom) thought there would be no shower if we didn't step in, and since it's actually tacky for the brides family to throw her shower it made sense to cover the bridesmaids butts. We were trying to do a nice thing for all concerned. I wouldn't say we walked off in a huff, we were told we were stressing out the bride. Speaking of maturity, it would have been very acceptable if the bride was mature enough to tell us herself that there were toes stepped on or the girls before it came out the way it did, from a drunk bridesmaid on facebook. How that's my immaturity is beyond me. We do have etiquette here too and that is what we were trying to do but were told that this is non-traditional and there is no etiquette they will be following. So back to my original question; How is it appropriate for the bride's mother to call me and tell me we better pay for this wedding, when that is between us and our son, and his mother/step-dad? That's what I am struggling with. I don't think I deserved a thumping. Was looking for some constructive help. I don't think telling us to get off our high horse is in anyway constructive. I may mention that I have panic disorder and for me to back out and not stress out the bride or anyone else made perfect sense. Please only comment if you have constructive advice. I get what it looks like, there is more to it but if you have thoughts on how to handle the crazy dil's mother, that is what I was looking for.

Jodi - posted on 04/06/2015

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I always believed it was the maid of honour or bridesmaid responsibility to host the shower, not the groom's family. I find that odd, personally. However, if you offered to pay and now it isn't going your way, saying you are going to take your ball and go home is a little childish. You should have set parameters when you offered the money in the first place. Declining to attend the shower altogether is also showing a lack of maturity. Bowing out gracefully? It looks like walking away in a sulk.

Personally, this just sounds like everyone in this scenario needs to get off their high horses and grow up.

L Jean - posted on 04/05/2015

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I should also add here ladies, my husband has looked at this and decided that he fears that our son may be bighting off more than he can chew. Why the rush for the wedding that he said would be in a few years, but is this fall? How far did the apple fall from the tree? We now see things a little differently and it breaks my heart to say but we think maybe we were told what we wanted to hear while they lived with us and now these are the true colors. She didn't handle this well, but she did handle it predictably so now my husband and his former wife/son't real mom are very concerned about his future.

L Jean - posted on 04/05/2015

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Not saying that at all. We had a budgeted amount to spend. I just don't think I need to share with bride's mother what it is. I don't think it's any of her business what we spend or if we do spend anything. I should have mentioned she has a wealthy boyfriend now so she seems to feel she is in a position to spend as much of his money on her daughter's wedding and therefore make demands on me and the groom's father. There is a mother and stepfather and there is also the father of the bride that I don't believe she has barked up those trees yet. Our children are adults. The bride is inviting 250 people and because she doesn't have a mother that knows anything about etiquette is now inviting 70 women to the shower. The venue was going to be park, pot-luck very casual, as the wedding is, per the brides wishes. That's what the mother of my step-son and I agreed to split. If the bridesmaids plan it and don't want us involved, and the bride's mother emailed the grooms mother and said they had intended to plan it w/o us all along my feeling is this. You plan it you pay for it. The two maids of honor's dresses were purchased by the bride, so son's mom and I thought it would make all happy to have us help with the money. The son's mom is a wonderful planner so it made sense to give the bridesmaids direction. Apparently instead of having manners and just telling us nicely from the beginning they felt left out they created this behind the scenes/backs rouse of anxiety with the bride and rest of the bridesmaids.

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