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To want to have my wedding my way, not MILs

(155 Posts)
Pembilton Thu 09-Mar-17 15:55:56

Ok so I need to rant so apologies for the long post.

Basically my partner (28) and I (25) are getting married this summer and according to MIL every little thing that we've done since is wrong and somehow suggests that we don't love each other and the marriage is doomed to failure.

Our "proposal" went something like this:
(On the way home from a friend's wedding)
Him: That'll be us someday...
Me: (smiling) yeah
Him: Someday soon?
Me: Okay
Him: (couple of mins later)...Are we engaged?
Me: Yeah (kiss)

That evening he asked if I wanted to go with him ring shopping or if I wanted him to chose. I told him I really didn't want a ring (I think it's an outdated tradition, I would have to take it off for my job everyday anyway, our finances aren't fantastic, I'm not a fan of diamonds etc.) Evidently not the response he was expecting and he was a bit surprised but agreed. A couple of weeks later he surprised me with an antique 1st edition book from my favourite author with a lovely message from him inside. It's beautiful and perfect and my most treasured possession.

We told people the next day. My parents were over the moon, they really like him and they're normal human beings. MIL gave partner a really hard time for not proposing "properly" and kept going on about how disappointed she was that there were no photos (of what? we were on a train and obviously no ring or anything!). I was really annoyed on his behalf. Then she had a go at me for not wanting a ring suggesting I had some reason for wanting to keep the engagement secret. She then said even if I didn't want a new ring I should wear something on that finger so people "knew I was taken". I'm not sure if I should be offended or complimented by her belief in my appeal to the opposite sex! Anyway we all moved on aside from the occasional "they're engaged, not that you'd know it... she doesn't want a ring apparently..."

So we knew we wanted to get married soon and wanted a nice honeymoon (it was the middle of winter!), but neither of us were that fussed about the big white wedding so it was an easy decision to have a smaller, cheaper wedding and spend on a holiday. My parents offered to give us some money towards it but I graciously refused as we've both been working for some time, have our own savings etc. MIL never offered any money which is absolutely fine as we wouldn't expect it or have accepted anyway but she then took umbrage with our plans. "If you can't afford to do it properly now wait until you can" etc. Great, but I want to be married asap not have a wedding and tonne of debt some time in the distant future.

So wedding plans currently: 28 guests of family and close friends (16 for me, 12 for him), intimate secular wedding ceremony in a pretty location, private room for nice meal in a fancy restaurant and then booked a couple of booths at a trendy nightclub we both know and love for whoever wants to party with us afterwards. Dress code smart casual for us all (clothes we can re-wear yay!). Mum's already told me she's still going to wear a fascinator because she's mother of the bride and no one can stop her and dad wants me to make sure the club will take requests so he can dance with me to "our" song (we danced to it at my 16th). This is exactly the reaction I wanted and shows how it can be simple and quirky and still work for us. Obviously MIL is a different story and to be honest I've been leaving DP deal with her over most of it but I know she's thoroughly disapproving.

Most recent development has been over speeches. In short I really, really don't want them. I've never been to a wedding where they didn't make me feel awkward and uncomfortable. Not that they were dreadfully bad or anything I'm just a bit weird that way (I hate stand-up comedy too)! I hadn't even really thought about them until DP was talking about how he was dreading it. He was very happy to knock the whole thing on the head and so was my dad. Bearing in mind it's just a group of us sat around one table as opposed to a big hall anyway I really don't think we need them. I imagine my dad will probably lead a toast or something and obviously we'll say a quick thank you but really with so few guests everyone knows how special they are to us and we'll be able to go round and talk to/ thank everyone individually anyway.

So just got off the phone to MIL who had just found out that her son wouldn't be giving a speech. She was crying, telling me I'm ruining her sons wedding and clearly don't want to be getting married. I reassured her that I did, that I love her son more than anyone else in the world, that we were both planning the wedding that would be right for us together. I tried to find out why it all bothers her so much but all she seemed to say was that I was being a fool and I'd look back on this one day and regret it. I somehow ended up apologising for not running the details re speeches etc past her earlier (!) but at this stage I'd do anything for her to just let us do what we want.

To be honest I think she might have more of a problem with me than the wedding but I don't know why. We had a good relationship up to all this, I really love her son and I'm a nice person I promise! It's just really getting me down and although I'd never act on it it's getting so that I don't really want her there as I'm going to feel like she's just finding fault with everything! Ugh!

Obviously DP and I have spoken about this lots. He's completely happy with the wedding we've planned and very excited about it (he's even making some distressed wood flower planter things for our table decorations <3). He's upset about how his mum is reacting to it all too and has tried to talk with her before now but I think having him on my side over all this just makes things worse as far as she's concerned. He doesn't know about this latest development as yet.

Sorry for such a long post and thanks if you've bother to read this far! I don't know what to do or what I'm hoping to hear really. AIBU? How can I get MIL on board without compromising my own wedding? Thanks smile

happypoobum Thu 09-Mar-17 15:58:48


Stop answering the phone to her - she is clearly deranged. Let DP deal wit her. Minimise the details you tell her, and just let her get on with it.

Prepare yourself for the cats bum face she will wear all day and totally ignore it. Under no circumstances ask her opinion on anything.

Good luck flowers

Velvetbee Thu 09-Mar-17 16:02:56

You can't get her on board, she has probably been planning her DS's wedding in her head since he was 5. You have tried, you have been kind, now she just needs to get a grip (and grieve the loss of her fantasy). If she can do that with grace things will be fine, if not DH may have to be firm.

ohfourfoxache Thu 09-Mar-17 16:03:58

Agree with Happy- don't tell her a bloody thing, let your df deal with it.

Also if you give in to her now, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of her whinging to get her own way.

Fwiw your plans sound absolutely beautiful thanks

MouldyPeach Thu 09-Mar-17 16:04:51

Do you have FIL or other ILs who can help her to see she is being unreasonable? You just have to ignore and have the day you want and the day you want to remember. She doesn't have to go, especially if she won't be able to 'behave' on the day.

ErneyAndAgnes Thu 09-Mar-17 16:08:04

The only thing you will regret is not doing it the way you wanted. It's yours and your DPs wedding, not hers. Maybe try to calmly and politely explain your reasonings behind your choices to her? She might not get it but at least she might understand a little better.

ferriswheel Thu 09-Mar-17 16:09:39

I have three sons, I hope they all meet someone like you.

Please, please ignore your mil.

Trifleorbust Thu 09-Mar-17 16:10:04

I'm going to try to be nice about her: she has probably invested a lot in the idea of watching her son get married in a traditional ceremony. Obviously she isn't in the right here, as you and your DP have the right to have any type of wedding you want, but one person's 'quirky' is another person's 'weird and cheap', isn't it?

All you can do is keep saying you love him and you are both happy with the decisions you are making.

ClaireLumia Thu 09-Mar-17 16:10:34

I don't think you can get her on board. As far as she's concerned she knows best. As you've got DP putting your wishes first I'd just carry on as you are.

BTW your wedding sounds lovely.

Laiste Thu 09-Mar-17 16:11:38

Stick to your guns with DP over all your plans and let her wash over you.

You wont change her. This is it. This is how she wants to behave and if you try to engage or placate her it will just add fuel to her fire.

Ignore and distance yourself. Don't answer the phone to her, let DP do it. At least he IS actually prepared to deal with her - unlike so many of these mummy's men you read about on here who go spineless when the water works get turned on.

Isthismummy Thu 09-Mar-17 16:11:44

Your wedding plans sound fantastic op. It will be a beautiful day.

MIL clearly has an idea in her head of what a wedding should look like and it's very different to yours. As others have said it's time to stop filling her in on the details. She isn't going to approve, so no point seeking her approval.

You and dp need to practice saying "it's our day and this is what WE want" whenever she complains.

Be prepared for a fade like a smacked arse on the wedding day and just ignore it. She's only going to make herself look stupid anyway.

Thumbcat Thu 09-Mar-17 16:15:20

We had something with MIL. I stayed out of it altogether and DH spoke to her. He basically told her to stop acting like a spoilt child and that it was our wedding and would be done our way. When she played what she thought was her trump card by saying that she wouldn't come he told her that that was a shame, but ultimately her decision. She behaved much better after that and of course was at the wedding.

ProfYaffle Thu 09-Mar-17 16:17:21

My Dad was very similar, kept going on about us not 'doing it properly' and we'd regret it one day etc etc.

We persisted with the small do we wanted (incidentally I don't wear a ring either) we were both very relieved that we didn't end up with a big fancy affair foisted upon us. We're 11 years down the road now and are yet to regret anything. Dad's got over it, it's all fine now.

Try not to worry too much, press on with your own plans. MIL will just have to get over it too.

EweAreHere Thu 09-Mar-17 16:17:53

She's had her chance to have the wedding she wanted.

You and your DP get to have the wedding you want.

Ignore her and let your DP deal with her as much as you can. But remain polite and firm when her visions don't match yours and you have to engage.

Doyouwantabrew Thu 09-Mar-17 16:19:10

Happy nailed it on the first post.

My ds and soon to be ddil are having a church wedding with just 10 guests smile walking to the church and champers and food back st ours afterwards. grin perfect I think.

Soubriquet Thu 09-Mar-17 16:21:04

Sounds like a lovely wedding

I'm married. I don't wear my ring because I don't like jewellery. Besides why do I need to "show I'm taken" anyway?

Ignore your MIL and enjoy your wedding

The wedding is for one day. The marriage, hopefully, is for life.

MiddleClassProblem Thu 09-Mar-17 16:25:51

YANBU. And I assure you neither of you will regret having the wedding the way that you are both happy. You will regret putting each other through hoops to please others.

Stay strong, if he hasn't had a big sit down heart to heart with her yet then I would recommend he do so or done quality mother/son time to attempt to get through to her that he is happy with it all but otherwise you are just going to have to tune it out if you can in your own head x

ClaryIsTheBest Thu 09-Mar-17 16:27:50

Good luck!!!!

MIL still hasn't forgiven me for our wedding (and I haven't her, tbh).

She wanted to pay for the whole thing. We said "no". And explained that it would be huuuuge (my family is really really big...). She insisted. We said no. She insisted. She ultimately agreed on half (apparently they had already payed for DH's sister's?).

DH talked with her again. That it really wasn't needed etc. MIL contacted my mother behind our back (DM and my grandmother were doing a lot of the wedding planning). So she payed half.

Then she was offended that our wedding was "too big" and trashy...?!?

Not sure what to tell you. You two sound lovely. All the best. It sounds like it will be lovely wedding smile

JordOfTheManor Thu 09-Mar-17 16:28:01

YANBU. My MIL threw tantrums about our wedding plans too. We compromised on certain things to appease her and it didn't solve anything - but now those are the things I regret.
Best advice I can give is to do whatever you can to avoid letting her that the things she's taken issue with are solely your wishes. Your DP needs to have these conversations with her and stand his ground, and you need to come across as a united front. You want to avoid her brewing resentment towards you personally as that will carry on past the wedding day.
flowers I know how hard and upsetting these situations are. But it's great you and DP are united and it sounds like you're planning the perfect day for you, which is all that matters.

Pembilton Thu 09-Mar-17 16:29:01

Thank you all so much! You've put a smile on my face after a tough day smile No IL/ FIL to help out. DP is an only child and his father left when he was 8, and I believe lives out in Australia now but neither MIL/DP have anything to do with him and he didn't want him at the wedding. Somewhere in all this is probably the cause of MILs over-reaction but I'm no psychiatrist!

I can see that she's obviously spent a lot of time dreaming of something different for her son and I'll bear it mind when we speak but thank you all for reassuring me and giving me the courage to stand up for the wedding I want. No more nonsense-taking here! I will talk to DP and get him to try to talk to her again but ultimately put our foot down over any more complaints.

Please spare a thought for DP who has no idea yet what he's got to come home to!

Justwantcookies Thu 09-Mar-17 16:30:35

Its your wedding, you need to do what you both want and not what MIL wants. I think your DF needs to sit her down and try and explain that to her. is there anything she can do to keep her happy? I don't know, let her make a speech or something for a few minutes?

Good luck if you ever have kids though!

babyunicornvomit Thu 09-Mar-17 16:32:13

Your MIL sounds like my mother!

I think your story is lovely - real love and not all about a giant rock of a diamond and a £30,000 wedding day. The whole thing sounds perfect to me - intimate, loving, a nice number of people around you.

Do it your way and to be honest, I'd say if she's going to have a face like a slapped arse on the day, tell her to paint on a smile or not to come at all. smile

midsomermurderess Thu 09-Mar-17 16:33:23

Your wedding plans sound ideal. Perhaps gently remind her that she has had her wedding and now it is her son's turn. Then just get on with planning your perfect day.

LemonBreeland Thu 09-Mar-17 16:33:43

YANBU. She has an idea in her head of this big fancy wedding, probably so she can show off pictures to her friends etc. You won't make her happy, but your DF should sit her down and tell her clearly that you are both having the wedding you want and it will not change.

MrsJaniceBattersby Thu 09-Mar-17 16:35:36

MIL sounds a nightmare
Do exactly what you want to do . Ignore her childish behaviour . It's your bloody wedding

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