Friday, April 16, 2010

mama drama

Oh mama drama, I thought we were done with you forever.

Okay, that's a lie, but it would be nice to get through an entire week without some sort of wedding-related drama occurring in the family. Tough luck for us, there. Once again, we are forced to face mama drama. This time, it's coming from the Mr.'s side.

The subject this time? The rehearsal dinner. Since my family's cottage (aka, the wedding venue) is 40 minutes out of town in the middle of nowhere, there's a limited amount of place to hold the rehearsal dinner. In fact, there's only 2 restaurants within 30 minutes of the place. And since we're obviously having the rehearsal at the cottage, it doesn't make sense to drive 40 minutes from the main city, rehearse and then drive 40 minutes back to the city to have the rehearsal dinner.

So we decided to host the dinner at the restaurant of the local inn which is only 5 minutes away from the cottage. Initially, we had also planned to book a couple of rooms so Mr. FP's parents could stay there and the groomal party would have a place to stay the night before and to get ready in the morning. And we were able to solidify everything 2 months ago, well in advanced.

Perfect, right? Yeah, we thought so. After Mr. FP and I were discussing the invite list for the rehearsal dinner with his parents, the drama started. For us, keeping it small is important. Not for financial reasons really, but just because we want to relax and hang out with our closest peeps. When this was revealed to his parents, they flipped. Apparently, his mom has had a mental image in her head for the last 4-ish months that the rehearsal dinner would be a chance for all of the out-of-town guests on the groom's side to get together. Did she ever tell this plan to us? Nope. But she had it in her head. So when we broke the plan that we didn't even know about, she was extremely hurt.

To make matters worse, in our quest to keep the dinner small, we decided that it would only be the wedding party, both sets of parents, my grandparents and the minister and his wife. And since Mr. FP's brother isn't part of the wedding party, this meant that he would not be on the invite list. Obviously, his parents were not impressed.

Now, I know that traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is open to immediate family and out-of-town guests. And trust me, I heard that over and over again. I have now come to loath the word 'tradition'. But since when have we ever done anything traditionally? We don't give a flying you-know-what. First, Mr. FP has never been close with his brother, in fact, his brother has never been anything but cruel to him and since we started dating, the only references his brother made to my existence involved insulting my chosen career path. He's an ass. Even his parents will tell you that, and Mr. FP certainly will. So when it comes down to it, we don't want him there. Honestly, inviting him to the wedding was a bit of a stretch for us, so there is no way we consider him one of our nearest and dearest. Maybe that's wrong, maybe we should fix it. I don't know, but that's how it is. Second, remember that whole keeping it intimate thing? Well, almost every single one of the guests on his side are from out of town... except maybe 4. Out of 50. So inviting all of the out of town guests is ridiculous.

While I understand where his parents are coming from because it's a time for them to celebrate too but it simply isn't going to work for us to have the rehearsal they wanted. So we're having the one we want to have. Or, at least, I thought we were. At this point, his mother is refusing to eat at the inn because the out-of-town guests will be there. Although there's a separate dining area for larger functions, she thinks its rude to eat at the same establishment where her family is staying. So her plan is to get up and leave our rehearsal dinner so she can check in with the other guests. Yep, that's right, she's planning to partially boycott our rehearsal dinner.

Personally, I don't think its rude. Honestly, I don't think any of the relatives staying at the inn will expect to be invited... I mean, it's a rehearsal dinner. Emphasis on the rehearsal part. His parents keep bringing up the fact that traditionally, the grooms parents are in charge of the rehearsal dinner while reminding us that they had 200 people at their rehearsal dinner.

And we keep bringing up the fact that traditionally, the brides family pays for the whole wedding, the bride is a virgin, there's a 4 foot cake, the whole town gets invited, and the couple has to stand in a receiving line for 10 hours. How many times can I say it? We're not traditional; nothing about our wedding is traditional; why the hell would we care about tradition?

At this point, they want us to have the dinner at another local restaurant but for logistical reasons, we've rejected that idea. Too far away, too small, not great food. So we're back to having it at the inn where everyone is staying even though his mother... and I quote.... "took that option off the table." She's joking, right? Telling us where we are and aren't allowed to have our rehearsal dinner?

Gosh, I wish that were the case.

Even after an attempt to compromise, we've gotten nowhere. Obviously, they're extremely concerned with getting enough time to celebrate with their family. Initially, we both thought... um, isn't that what the wedding is for? Well, apparently that's not enough. So the Mr. and I tried to work out a compromise. Most of the out of town guests will be there early the day before the wedding so we thought it would be nice to have a lunch that day or maybe breakfast the day after the wedding with just his family. If we have something like that, will they be okay with having the rehearsal dinner where we want with who we want? Nope. At this point, his mom is playing the passive aggressive card and refuses to deal with any of it.


Can I just ask one question?

What ever happened to the idea of eloping? Because it's sounding pretty damn good right about now.

Okay readers, advice. Now. Pretty please. I'm in the middle of exams and I don't have enough brain power left for this one.


kc said...

Hang in there. It sounds like you are dealing with this in the best way possible. Good for you for sticking up for yourself. Question: are his parents contributing in any way to the rehearsal dinner? If not, then I don't see why they get any say. I know that's not very diplomatic of me, but I'm not a very diplomatic person.

Margaret said...

Ugh, rough situation.

>Okay readers, advice. Now. Pretty please.

Would it be chicken of me to say that, if it were me, I might just say, to h*ll with the plans, do what you want (if they're willing to pay for 50 extra people, that is!).

I think it sucks when people override the bride and grooms wishes, but at some point, ehh... it's just one night, it's not the wedding, and it seems to be SUPER important to them.

But you do what's best for you guys, that's just me.

Runrgurl10 said...

We went through the exact same thing, only I decided that ultimately, it was their decision and ruining my relationship with my IL's wasn't worth it (altho I'm still kinda bitter), even though it wasn't what we wanted...So we invited almost 200 people to our "Rehearsal Dinner" but worded it as a welcome reception instead.

I do think it is a very nice thing to do for your out of town guests, not expected but definitely will be appreciated by everyone, plus it could be a fun way to kick off your wedding weekend with sense of community...Just some thoughts.

I think it's up to you both whether this is a battle worth fighting...I hope it works out to where everyone is happy! Good luck!

Hollie said...

holy crap. can you say monster in law? I'd tell her she's more than welcome to boycott, your wedding, your choice!

Anonymous said...

Holy cow. I feel for you...I haven't made it that far in the planning process so I have no advice for you! Hope something works out soon...Future MIL needs to get over it...she had her chance to plan a wedding and it's festivities so she needs to butt out of yours!

Jess said...

Awe your poor thing!

For a rehearsal dinner I went to it was just the bridal party, MC and partners (even half the partners didn't show) no parents or anything else.

You should do what both of you want, not what other people believe is right or should be done. This is your time and you should enjoy especially because it rushes by. I know it's hard to go against a mother but she's sounding like a right old cow so don't put up with it!

Cupcake Wedding said...

Who is paying?

If it is them, you are stuck. You have to do what they want. AS MUCH AS THIS SUCKS ASS

If it is you, screw that. It's what you want.

Ellie said...

So, this might sound weird - but I seriously considered it for us - what if you simply had take-out or boxed catering lunches brought to where you have the rehearsal, and after you rehearse, you hang out on picnic blankets and talk and relax? Then your FMIL can go back to the hotel and hang with her peeps, and you can, well, not.

We're doing a rehearsal lunch and it saves a lot of that headache - that might be another option. We're actually rehearsing after the lunch, and that doesn't bother me a bit, because well, who cares about tradition? You could even go into town at lunchtime, take care of any last minute errands, and then have your rehearsal luncheon, and then go rehearse.

Also, to convince you why you didn't elope, here's the scenario if you had eloped. Your FMIL would say, "I can't believe you eloped, you must let us throw you a party with 300 of our closest friends." This way, you control the playing field.

JEM - Aqua Bride said...

Oh i've had my share of family and "traditional" issues. It's very annoying and I say do what makes you and your fiance happy. At the end of the day, somebody is bound to be upset about something. It's just the nature of people.

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Jen said...

Icky. Sounds like mama drama at its finest!
I might actually agree with Margaret on this one - if they are paying for it, I might just give in to them on this one. You could be at one table with all your bestest and all the other invites would just be there. But really, at a large dinner like that you only talk to the people close to you or at your table. So seat the brother far away.

Or my other idea is to have the rehersal then the dinner without all the extra guests and then have a gathering at the inn's bar? (hope they have one!) so that its a good compromise where the guests are involved but not at the dinner.

Hope some of our advice is helpful!

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