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Step parents and new siblings at wedding - AIBU??

(30 Posts)
pickupsticks Fri 02-Sep-11 18:42:41

Me and DP are in the last few weeks of planning our wedding.
But there has been a slight sticking point with my in-laws to be and my mum so AIBU??

Me and DP met though our parents (his parents became very close to my mum when she moved after my parents divorced)
I should point out mine divorced when I was 8 and DBro was 10. Though they had joint custody my dad had primary custody. My DSMum entered the equation around about 2 years later. I have always and still today get on very well with her (she is a wonderful woman, personalities wise better than with my actual Mum) I also have 2 wonderful younger siblings who are 12 and 14 yrs younger than me.

Now the problem:

We are paying for the wedding ourselves but in lo of presents from our parents we have asked for them to contribute to the wedding itself as such DP parents decided that they would like to pay for the decoration of the reception room inc the flowers on table/tables placings/table cloths etc.

At DP parents house with my mum there they asked to see the plans for these decorations and the receipts for it (they decided we would pay and they would give us the money back once we had done). Which I showed them including a mock up of the room layout (measured to perfection I must add)
My Mums first responce was 'Oh so she is sitting on that table is she?' meaning my DSMum.

We are not having a 'top table' they are circular tables (10 altogether). One of which is slightly in front of the others (Me, DP, His best man and wife my Dsis1 who is my best woman, My Brother and husband and my DSis2 on this one)

We made the decision to have 'ushers' and partners on the next with my DDad, DSMum and have a seat there for our DS who is 3.

The next table has my mum, DP parents, his 2 grandparents and 3 close friends of ours.

DP parents then informed us that 'we are not happy paying for that set up, we should be on that table (the one with My Dad and DSM)'

We explained that the set up works and people are sitting next to people we think they would get along with/know. (also don't want all parents on same table - they will be fine but not sat together)

But this is not good enough.

DPs mum (and mine agreed) then had the audacity to tell me that we should move my brothers husband (lets not get into my mums feeeling on my bro being gay that it is a whole other thread), best man's wife and my Dsis2 off the table we are on so the three of them can sit on it. My mum then decided that night on the phone to tell me that she didn't think that 'her' (meaning my DSis's who are techinally are my half-sister, though we are not half anything) children (both - including the one who is my Best woman) shouldn't get to sit on an 'important' table because it isn't like they are proper sisters (!)

I didn't get a chance to reply (DS wanted me)

But DPs parents are now saying they will not pay for the set up as it is we have to change it.
DP and I know that they are paying and DP thinks we should maybe move some people to meet them half way (splitting up Dad and DSM was said but I shot it down). This is really stessing me out, which DP is worried about as I'm pregnant (but haven't told anyone yet)

-Sorry it is a bit long-

I know they are paying for it but it is my wedding, AIBU and what should we do?

RebelFromTheWaistDown Fri 02-Sep-11 18:47:24


I think you would be better paying for your own wedding.

CleverClod Fri 02-Sep-11 18:52:34

Tell them thank you very much for offering to pay, but we can manage. Then sit everyone where you'd like them to be sat.

Honestly! I don't understand where people are coming from when they make demands like this, I don't care if they are paying for it. It's your wedding, you should have want you want.

If they had any consideration for you they'd give you 'X' amount (a figure they'd be comfortable with) and say 'this is to contribute towards paying for decorations/the wedding.

Sod them all, just get on with it!

PS: I'm getting married myself soon and luckily don't have any of this - MIL has just totally refused to come at all - good, one less problem then grin

Sandalwood Fri 02-Sep-11 18:53:23

Pay for your own reception, even if that means drastically cutting back.
It's better than others having such a claim on how they want things to be.

hairylights Fri 02-Sep-11 19:06:16

Yanbu. When did they say theyd pay if they got to decide who sat were? They sound like really inconsiderate people and v petty - it's your wedding.

DeWe Fri 02-Sep-11 19:08:58

My main feeling is that your wedding you choose where you sit. DBIL's gf made a huge fuss about not sitting next to him because we'd asked him to anounce the speeches and put him on the top table. We'd put her with plenty of people she knew well, whereas my dsis fiance, who knew no one except people on the top table (and is very shy) just thanked us very nicely for inviting him. hmm

However I can see why your dm is upset. Traditionally she would be on the top table, and according to your table order she's below not only your dsmum, but also your 2xdsis and db (who she's angry with), plus you're also trusting your ds to dsmum. She may worry that people will notice and make comments about it, and she may be hurt.

I did go to a wedding where everyone moved round after each course. They had triangular place names and you turned it round and moved on. Could you do something like that, perhaps?

RueyBoey Fri 02-Sep-11 19:43:20

It is your wedding you decide where people sit. Thank them very kindly for the offer of the money but no thank you.

Could you make the 2 second tables the same level (they may be already but make it very obvious to them maybe scrap numbers and give them names?), or put your DS on the table with your mum and DP parents to pacify them. But only if you are happy to it.

And say very very clearly to your Mum that your sisters are just that sisters and her saying otherwise is not only incorrect but incredibly hurtful to you.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 02-Sep-11 19:49:34

I saw this comment on another thread, OP, and I really agree with it. If you are not going down the conventional or traditional route then the least you can do is think through the impacts and notify the people involved accordingly.

I think your wedding was set to 'grate' when you asked for contributions to it. By doing that, there was a risk that you'd abdicate responsibility for making decisions about it - and that's what's happened. You haven't done anything wrong but you need to put people straight about what's happening, having regard to the complex relationships of blended families. Good luck with that. confused

spookshowangellovesit Fri 02-Sep-11 19:54:52

its your wedding and frankly she is attempting to blackmail you by holding this cash to hostage unless you do what she wants, which tends to suggest why she isnt on a better table grin.
i would tell her to to ever so kindly shove her money and pay for it yourself love. you dont need that kind of crap.

onemoreminute Fri 02-Sep-11 20:17:29

I would tell them i didn't want money that came with conditions and pay for it all myself,

thebird Fri 02-Sep-11 20:27:08

Weddings bring out the worst in people and you have just reminded me why it was DH and I eloped!

eurochick Fri 02-Sep-11 20:35:00

I think you should decline their contribution and sit people where you want.

However, part of the deal with the reception (in my view) is that the two families united through the marriage that has just taken place should get to know one another so it might be better if the parents were all sat together either with you or on another table. I got married last year and had a step-MIL to deal with to make the seating awkward. We put all parents and the step-MIL on the table with us (we also had circular tables) and told them to deal with it. They did. You should do what makes you comfortable though.

Gastonladybird Fri 02-Sep-11 20:42:28

Yanbu this is why I went to Vegas as knew my dm in particular would have been a nightmare

CMOTdibbler Fri 02-Sep-11 20:49:51

I'd say that I was sorry they didn't like it, but this is how it is going to be, whether they wish to contribute or not. End of.

DoMeDon Fri 02-Sep-11 20:50:16


'Thank you for offering to pay for the decorations, etc. I would not have accepted if I knew the caveat was that you had a say over who sits where. I am sorry if it upsets you but we want our wedding to be about us and have arranged the tables according to who we think will get on best. It is not a slight against you and I hope you come to realise that. Please keep the money you were going to spend, it will come in handy for psychotherapy, you fucking knobbers...' The last sentance may not be that helpful wink

edwinbear Fri 02-Sep-11 20:56:58

I would also thank them for their offer, but say that being able to sit people where you planned was more important to you than accepting contributions so you'd rather pay for it yourself. I do have some sympathy with your DM though, it's a big deal being mother of the bride, my mum looked forward to it for about 18 months bless her, and I can see that she would have expected to be sat with her daughter and new son in law.

youarekidding Fri 02-Sep-11 21:01:30

I'd tell them you'll pay for it yourselves but that may mean some people can't go because of cost wink

YADNBU. Congratulation on being PG btw.

youarekidding Fri 02-Sep-11 21:03:18

Actually I think you've been clever by not seating either set of parents at the 'top' table. It was never going to be easy to choose.

slavetofilofax Fri 02-Sep-11 21:10:14

I agree you need to decine their offer of paying and leave the seating as it is.

We had circular tables and friends at the one we were sat on, my Granny Was Not Happy. Neither was mil. But we paid for it ourselves so the parents just had to lump it, or not come.

fedupofnamechanging Fri 02-Sep-11 21:12:50

Don't give in to this childish, selfish behaviour or they will all continue to believe that what they want is more important than what you want.

I agree that you should tell them to keep their money - making a contribution is supposed to be a gift and given with love. It doesn't buy them rights to over rule you at your own wedding.

If something comes with conditions then you really are better off not having it.

I would explain why I had made these arrangements and tell them that the arrangement stands. Your IL's were very wrong to let you pay for something with a promise that they would refund you and now set terms and conditions.

I'd be very tempted to uninvite them.

Eglu Fri 02-Sep-11 21:19:15

You need to to pay for it yourselves. It is your wedding.

Eglu Fri 02-Sep-11 21:19:37

Meant to say, they don't get to choose.

Sandalwood Fri 02-Sep-11 21:24:20

Are you not liking the 'pay for your own wedding' advice OP?

DoMeDon Fri 02-Sep-11 21:32:06

If you're not liking the pay for it yourself answers you could just say - 'we'll think about it and come to a solution to suit everyone', make a 'fake' plan to appease them, take the money and keep it the old way for the day. But then I'm a bitch.

BiscuitNibbler Fri 02-Sep-11 21:46:57

This is why I married in Vegas.

Pay for it yourself and you are beholden to no-one.

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