Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My In-Laws Wore T-Shirts To Our Wedding And We Haven’t Spoken to Them Since”

I got married in June of this year after six years of dating. The wedding was planned very last-minute and, originally, the idea was to marry at the justice of the peace. However, my mother-in-law and father-in-law offered to have a family get-together with a cake at their house, which is small and only has one bathroom, for family who could not attend the civil ceremony. Within a day, the in-laws had offered to hold the wedding at their house. We accepted the offer, and before we knew it, our guest list had grown to around 70+. After talking with my mother, we decided that having the wedding at my parents’ marina, for free, was a better option to accommodate for the parking and guests. My fiancé — now husband — and I went to his parents’ house to have dinner and talk about the wedding plans. We discussed the number of people we had invited and told them of the marina. That night my MIL told me to my face how she had always seen me getting married by the water and how she understood the circumstances.

Well, the wedding day came and the FIL was dressed in a button-down collar shirt and khaki pants while the MIL, her sister, and her niece show up in jeans and black Queen t-shirts. My MIL was a completely different person and acted like she barely even knew me. We had gotten really close during the six-year period before the wedding, so it was a surprise to me that she was acting this way towards me and her son on our wedding day. I have been told that my MIL and her sister were singing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody during our wedding and talking bad about me in front of my family. My husband and I did not talk to them after the wedding. My BIL went to their house to talk and they didn’t even open the door to him. He ended up texting them, while still sitting in his car in their driveway, basically telling them how disappointed he was in their behavior at the wedding especially since, a week before the wedding, they were singing my praises.

My husband has recently reached out to his parents, and he’s only gotten vague responses back from both parents. We have not seen them since the wedding. My dilemma is I really want to be honest with them and tell them they are in the wrong and should apologize before we can truly become a family again. I could go into a lot more detail from the past six years to the present, but it would take too long. I just wonder if there is anything I should or shouldn’t do? — Queen For a Day

Look, you don’t have to be “honest” and your in-laws don’t have to “apologize” in order for you all to be family again. They are your husband’s parents, so, like it or not, you are family already. Done, period. Now, if you want to have a good relationship, then of course a conversation is in order. But I promise you that being “honest” with them about how “wrong” they were, how right you were, and how they need to apologize is going to go over like a lead balloon. You say that you and your MIL were very close and that her behavior at your wedding was very out-of-character and came as a total surprise to you. So, regardless of the details of the past six years that you didn’t share here, it’s safe to say that something happened just before the wedding to make your in-laws behave the way they did.

What do you think that something might be? Hmm… Do you think maybe they might have felt offended and had their feelings hurt that they offered to host an intimate, family-only wedding at their small home, you accepted their offer, and then, within a day, you were suddenly having a much larger wedding at your parents’ marina? Do you think they might have felt like their humble home wasn’t good enough for you? Can you see how that might have shamed them, embarrassed them, disappointed them? You weren’t even going to have a wedding at all until they encouraged you to do so, and then their contribution was suddenly brushed aside for something bigger and better. They probably felt pretty disregarded.

And yet! And yet, your letter here indicates that all that matters is YOUR feelings. You didn’t even talk to them at your wedding and THEY are the ones who were out of line. How do you not go talk to your husband’s parents at your wedding — at the wedding they offered to host only days before? This blatant lack of regard for them says so much more about you and your husband than what your in-laws’ t-shirts said about them. At the very least, it seems you are equally responsible for how things went down on your wedding day. Yes, they were acting petty and juvenile and should have taken the high road and shown respect for you and their son at your wedding, but you should have been more loving with them, been more appreciative of their gesture to host your wedding (that you weren’t even going to have until they encouraged it), and done something to involve them in the wedding celebrations in a way they obviously wanted to be included in.

It would go a long way to acknowledge where you could have been more gracious and to apologize for hurting your in-laws’ feelings. It might not get you an immediate apology from them or a full and immediate reconciliation, but it would be the start in smoothing the ruffled feathers and repairing the damaged relationship. These are your husband’s parents. You had a good relationship with them for six years. It would be ridiculous to cut them out of your lives because they wore t-shirts to your wedding.

Taking the high road isn’t always easy, or quickly gratifying, but often — and this is certainly one of those times — the discomfort of taking it is far out-shadowed by the risks of not taking it. In this case, I fear that if you and your husband remain stubborn and let this rift continue to grow, the relationship between all of you may become irreparably damaged. It would be such a shame to let that happen. You would miss out on so much. If you can’t do it for your own sake, or for the sake of any future children, do it for your husband: apologize to your in-laws and re-open the space you have for them in your heart. I mean really, what do you have to lose if you do that? Much, much less than if you don’t…

***************

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy​(AT)​dearwendy.com.

59 comments… add one
  • avatar

    for_cutie September 26, 2017, 9:34 am

    WWS. How hilarious that they wore Queen shirts. That is certainly one way to get their point across. At least they came, and cared enough to coordinate their outfits.

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      Sketchee September 29, 2017, 1:54 pm

      It doesn’t seem like the bride was very thankful or welcoming to her husband’s family. The groom needs to be more involved with mediating the situation and talking to his own family. I think you’re right that it’s a pretty fun lighthearted reaction by the family. Sure, more formality is best and more delicate.

      How do you know what to wear at a wedding without being notified on the invitation? Especially now when people have all kinds of weddings.

      Nothing about this wedding seems well broadcast to guests. I would have been a confused guest too. And of course, the best thing for a guest to do is ask the host. However, the hosts seem to have been not well at communicating their expectations. Not before or after. So take the lesson and start practicing that. WWS.

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  • avatar

    Sunshine Brite September 26, 2017, 9:36 am

    It sounds like you got caught in a whirlwind of planning. WWS, it doesn’t sound like you apologized or acknowledged their feelings when the plans changed pretty drastically. It’s not so much the jeans and t’s but the implication that you’re a huge Queen. It sounds like their feelings grew in the time following the venue change. Did you make an effort to still include his family? What was your husband’s role in this and what was his messaging towards his family?

    That they wouldn’t open the door to their own son, the BIL, was telling. You say your husband has recently reached out, but what is he (and you) expecting? It sounds like you want a really specific response you’re not getting. What if they don’t apologize? How will you manage the relationship then? They did wrong, but they felt wronged first; how will the cycle end?

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  • avatar

    boosker September 26, 2017, 9:37 am

    Definitely seems like there’s some tension relating to class differences here since your family has a marina on retainer. Maybe your in-laws leaned into the low-key wedding vibe a little on purpose, but I definitely think you aren’t taking a look at how your actions could’ve been hurtful, particularly if you there is a class disparity between you all.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros September 26, 2017, 9:42 am

    Are you and your husband from different socioeconomic statuses? Because a small home with one bathroom and a marina seem like starkly different lifestyles. My immediate thought was that while this seemed practical to you, they potentially felt like this is was a much deeper dig. But maybe I’m wrong. A lot of people handle things gracefully in the moment because they don’t know what else to do and their conditioned to be polite, but after they have time to stew over it and get other opinions, they find they are angrier than they thought (and sometimes it snowballs into “well, that person did this once, too…”). People also may be normal-acting until drama comes up, and you may not have had any drama with them before. I’m not trying to let them off the hook, but you seem confused as to how this turned out this way, and those are some potential reasons.

    If your goal is to create a deeper wedge, then no, I don’t telling them how wrong they are is the answer. Like Wendy said, they are your family no matter what, so unless you want the rest of your life to be an endless feud, you may want to approach them more diplomatically. Ask what’s wrong. Tell them you were hurt. Potentially apologize for agreeing to have the wedding at their home and then suddenly moving it to a much nicer location because theirs wasn’t good enough. It may not be as fun as telling them off, but you do need to think about the repercussions of how you handle this, even if they were in the wrong.

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  • Cleopatra Jones

    Cleopatra Jones September 26, 2017, 9:50 am

    WWS!
    The sense of entitlement and lack of self awareness in this letter is kinda nauseating.
    .
    I didn’t understand this line, ‘That night my MIL told me to my face how she had always seen me getting married by the water and how she understood the circumstances.’
    That seems like an unnecessarily hostile perception of your MIL. Almost as if, you were anticipating a fight with her so that you would have a reason to reject their offer to use their house. And you stated that their house was too small and only had one bathroom. So what?
    .
    C’mon LW, be real. You were going to take the small wedding until your parents offered their marina. You wanted to be wed on the marina instead of a regular old small house. At least be honest with yourself, and accept your part in this whole thing.

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    • avatar

      Anon from LA September 26, 2017, 10:52 am

      “That night my MIL told me to my face how she had always seen me getting married by the water and how she understood the circumstances.”

      I didn’t read this line as hostile at all. I read as MIL saying, “That’s cool. I understand why you want to have a wedding by the marina. It’s pretty much what I always imagined your wedding would be like.”

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    • avatar

      ele4phant September 26, 2017, 11:53 am

      I have a totally different read on all this.

      I think she brought up the line about how her MIL responded to the venue change not as indicating that she had anticipated a fight about it, but that outwardly the MIL seemed supportive of the change so she was surprised at the passive aggressive behavior later on.

      And of course it matters to point out that a small house with one bathroom couldn’t accommodate their final list. That’s not a judgement about the loveliness of the in-laws home, it’s just a logistical reality.

      And so what if the letter writer decided she wanted to have a larger wedding and get married at a marina even if initially they were aiming smaller? It’s her and her husband’s wedding. What “part” does she have to accept in deciding to have the wedding she and her husband wanted and were able to make happen?

      I mean, I suppose I’m assuming she was gracious in declining the in-laws invite, and maybe she wasn’t, but just because she initially said yes doesn’t mean she was obligated to have the wedding in their home if she and her groom changed their minds about what they wanted.

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    • avatar

      dinoceros September 26, 2017, 12:55 pm

      Yeah, I think she’s trying to show that the MIL was super understanding at first and then acted angry later on.

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  • avatar

    humboldthoney September 26, 2017, 10:12 am

    I dunno – it sounds like the family acted pretty petty! I wouldn’t be thrilled if they acted out like that at my wedding. Maybe she should have been more loving towards them but at the same time they went to their house for dinner to explain their change in plans. I’m not sure why a small wedding suddenly grew to 70+ people but I think its reasonable to see why a marina with a larger parking space would make more sense than a home. I don’t see it as their house not being good enough for the wedding, it sounded more like the wedding itself changed from a small affair to a large one.

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    • avatar

      napoleon1066 September 26, 2017, 11:15 am

      Wedding don’t have wills of their own, and don’t make decisions like changing from small to large.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant September 26, 2017, 11:31 am

        Sure the wedding changed because the couple decided to make changes, but I don’t think they were entitled to have the wedding at the in-laws just because they offered their home first.

        They thought about the wedding they wanted, they realized more people needed to be there, they needed a bigger venue, one was available through other means.

        That shouldn’t be a personal affront to the family.

        I mean, I’m assuming the LW was gracious throughout the whole thing and maybe she wasn’t (which she should then apologize for), but that’s all she was obligated to do. She was not obligated to have a wedding small enough to fit in her in-laws house just because they offered first.

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        ele4phant September 26, 2017, 11:44 am

        Entitled should’ve been obligated in my first sentence.

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        dinoceros September 26, 2017, 1:04 pm

        I think it was less that the in-laws offered first and more that the couple had already accepted. It’s a larger-scale version of “better plans came along tonight.”

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        ele4phant September 26, 2017, 1:12 pm

        But it’s a wedding, not Saturday night plans.

        You (hopefully) only get one of these, so I think it’s more acceptable to change plans if you change your mind on what you want.

        I mean, I can understand the in-laws would be disappointed, but at the end of the day, this wedding isn’t about them, it’s about the couple, and what they want to do to celebrate *their* marriage.

        I also think it matters that it was something they offered up their home – there’s some implicit pressure on the couple to accept even if it isn’t quite what they wanted IMO.

        If the couple had cajoled them into hosting and then changed their minds, I’d be a little more sympathetic to the in-laws gripes.

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        dinoceros September 26, 2017, 1:42 pm

        Yeah, I don’t think it’s the same as Saturday night plans. Just meant that it wasn’t just offered, but accepted.The other similarity with Saturday night plans is that technically a person has the right to cancel, but it’s something people are touchy about even if it’s not a big deal. I just think that it would have prevented some of this if they had not chosen a location until they settled on a number of guests. All my friends had to do this because they were putting down deposits, so I don’t think it’s too unreasonable.

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  • avatar

    AMac September 26, 2017, 10:14 am

    I totally disagree. I would never forgive my in laws if they did this and there would be no relationship between us. I would act like they were acquaintances when I saw them and nothing more. Anyone that is that vindictive that would come to someone’s wedding and do what they did would not be considered my family. Even if they did apologize do you think they would mean it? They knew exactly what they were doing and did not care one iota about your wedding, your feelings, or how they would look in front of your family, their family, and your friends. There is no way they would ever be truly sorry. They wanted to make a statement and they did. I say tell them you got the message loud and clear. OP they showed you who they really are – believe them. And before anyone asks, no I am not the OP just a long time lurker who was really surprised by the bad advice given on this website today. Usually I agree with WWS but not at all today.

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    • courtney89

      courtney89 September 26, 2017, 11:06 am

      Wow, i hope you just love all your in-laws and never have them do something you don’t agree with. They will be cut off JUST LIKE THAT. That’s her husband’s parents . . . . . I agree with what someone said below – it makes the MIL look tacky. really tacky. Rise above it.

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      • courtney89

        courtney89 September 26, 2017, 11:10 am

        And i’m saying this as someone who’s brother’s wife treats my parents like acquaintances and (IMO) is bitter still to this day that my parents didn’t throw down $50k for their wedding like her (obviously well-off) folks did.
        It makes my blood boil to see someone treat my parents like she does when they’ve been nothing but kind to her.

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      • avatar

        AMac September 26, 2017, 2:59 pm

        I do love my in-laws because they are normal decent people who respect me and do not make scenes in public to spite me. Respect is a two-way street. OP’s in-laws clearly do not respect her. Why she should she respect them? Not agreeing with something has nothing to do with allowing people who treat you with spite and disrespect to be in your life. This was not a disagreement, this was a calculated attack.

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    • avatar

      Anonymousse September 26, 2017, 5:41 pm

      Absolutely in agreement with you.

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  • avatar

    Brise September 26, 2017, 10:19 am

    It is too bad they wore offensive tee-shirts at their son’s wedding. I find it sad for themselves, and uselessly hostile towards you. They seem to meddle a bit too much in your business in my opinion. Why would they encourage you to marry, and host your wedding at their place? Then they act very offended. None of this is good, and it is a shame for themselves. It is always low to act with bad manners and somehow a stain in their reputation.
    But… but admit your wedding was badly organised. You don’t do that at the last minute, balance private houses as venues, drastically change the gests’ number in one day. This is simply badly managed, acknowledge it. Anyway… where is your husband in this story? It is his duty to rebuild bridges, not yours. He could write a letter to them, nicely, stating that the wedding was badly organised, in a hurry and without concern for the other implicated people, and apologise or at least say you are both sorry for the sudden change of place. It wasn’t meant as a rejection of their place, it wasn’t personal and you are very sorry if it offended their feelings. But state also that you were both surprised and disappointed by their” out of place” dresses, by the useless target against you, and you hope that in the future, you can have a more reasonable and respectful relationship as grown-up family.
    That is a first step. They perhaps won’t react immediatley, but it is a stepping stone towards mending fences. Don’t ask for an apology. It may never come but be the better person. In the future: be more in command of your own life, don’t rush others for your own fancies and keep your in-laws in a distance. They are too familiar with you, they treat you like a child. Stop being a child, this is what it is about with a wedding, right?

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  • avatar

    Brise September 26, 2017, 10:25 am

    PS: their silence could be also due to their shame. Who wouldn’t be ashamed by such a behaviour and ridiculous clothes at their son’s wedding? Take that perhaps into account: they have to save their face, as they acted very stupidly.

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie September 26, 2017, 10:51 am

    The whole point of manners and rules of engagement is to minimize how many people you offend. The biggest rule of them all is to treat people with respect. If someone offends you, you rise above it and perhaps you engage that person less going forward. Or not at all. Or you forgive them and just roll with it.

    Your MIL didn’t behave well, on this I think we can all agree. However, you treated her poorly at the event – not talking to her. So while I’m not going to say the two are equal, you had an opportunity to be the better person and you didn’t take it.

    So let it go. One really stupid move out of six years? Let it go. Something was up her butt. Just move on. If she pulls crap like that again, you know what it means? NOTHING. Dressing idiotically at an event only makes the wearer look stupid. Not you. She wants to dress in 18th period dress for Thanksgiving dinner? OK. Take extra pics because that is awesome. She buys a LARPing outfit to wear at Christmas? Awesome. You have a kid and she wears a banana outfit to the christening? Sweet sweet B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

    Don’t let this turn you into a petty bitch. Rise above it. Sure, gossip to your friends and your siblings, but not talking to her after the wedding? That’s just ridiculous and it proves any bad things she ever thought about you.

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  • avatar

    Ron September 26, 2017, 10:54 am

    The LW’s husband should be ashamed to treat his parents like this. First, after his parents generously offer their house to host a small wedding in place of a JP ceremony, the entitled couple balloons the guest list to 70+, which son must have known couldn’t possibly work at his parents’ house. The mother-of-the-bride intervenes and convinces the couple to switch venues. Undoubtedly presented as a done deal to groom’s parents. That’s really tacky behavior. Why wasn’t the marina suggested from day 1. Why the JP. It seems that only after the groom’s parents made their home available did the LW and her mother swoop in to one-up them. This was a boorish in-your-face sort of classism. If the groom had class, he wouldn’t have agreed to treat his parents like this.

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    • avatar

      ele4phant September 26, 2017, 11:22 am

      I dunno. I hope the LW and her husband were very appreciative of his family’s offer, but at the end of the day, it’s their wedding.

      The plans changed and they needed a bigger venue (or just changed their minds about the tone of the event). As long as the in-laws weren’t on the hook for paying for their newer grander plans (which it sounds like they weren’t), the couple can do what they want and shouldn’t be seen as a personal affront, and they don’t need to involve the parents (or anyone) in getting sign-off to change their plans.

      They decided they wanted a bigger wedding; they needed a bigger venue. I see no reason that they’re obligated to go with the first plan.

      Which really, was to go to the courthouse and get married.

      Perhaps the LW was really rude about it and disparaged her in-laws home in the process, but two wrongs don’t make a right. If the in-laws feelings were hurt, they kind of dealt with it in a crappy way.

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    • avatar

      Brise September 26, 2017, 12:28 pm

      I don’t agree. At the end of the day, the happy couple has the right to choose where they marry. Nobody asked the in-laws to host the wedding, they proposed it themselves, which is at the same time generous and embarrassing, because it is difficult to refuse. The in-laws, if they are fair, should accept gracefully a refusal and let the young couple choose freely. Yes the couple made a mistake when they accepted then changed their mind, but all in all, the in-laws were too involved in this process. Finally, they made fools of themselves…

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 September 26, 2017, 2:18 pm

      Wow the amount of assumptions you made just so you could call the couple entitled is just hilarious. The advice on this site is usually “it’s your wedding day, do what you want” But all of the sudden, because the bride and groom wanted a larger wedding, they are entitled assholes, where the brides mother swooped in to steal the show. This is all BS really, presented as done deal to his parents, please. The parents made a suggestion, and the kids said please and thank you at the time, but then realized they wanted something better for their wedding day. Then they went about it in a very mature way of presenting it to the grooms parents. It’s not about treating the grooms parents anyways, its about getting the wedding you want, and having the people that are supposed to love you the most, want the best for you. And just because it’s a marina does not mean it’s some sort of fancy wedding, I’ve been to shit whole marina’s for weddings before, with the the family doing all of the cooking, and setup, the reason the family got the marina for free at the wedding I went to, was because they were part of the yacht club, which in the part of Mass they live in, is just a place on a shitty river to keep your boat, nothing special. I feel bad for the letter writer this time for all of the comments. They really don’t make sense at all. I would feel absolutely terrible if my parent’s treated my wife that way, especailly on my wedding day.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 September 26, 2017, 2:24 pm

        I would like to add that even though it was a shit hole marina for the wedding I went to, the family did do an awesome job decorating, and made awesome buffet style food, and we had an amazing time, drinking cheap drinks, and dancing all night. I didn’t mean to put the marina down so much, just wanted to get my point across about that assumption of the marina’s. Also the bride’s cousin ruined the night at the end by sneaking out of the venue with the left over trays off food, which the bride, groom and their family were going to eat for the rest of the week as left overs!

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        Anonymousse September 26, 2017, 2:35 pm

        I agree with everything you wrote. I can’t really picture a “fancy” marina. They all smell like dead fish and bird shit, IMO.

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        ele4phant September 26, 2017, 2:55 pm

        Yeah. I mean, I don’t think it’s crazy to assume that the parents have a membership to a nice yacht club and so there might be some class issues at play, but that’s not a forgone conclusion by any means.

        I grew up in a coastal town, lots of people fish for a living. At the marinas in town, if you pay your boat to be moored at some of the marinas, you also pay to get access to some indoor space. Often fairly bare bones conference rooms and such.

        Are the LW’s parents working class fishermen? Probably not, but the point marina access doesn’t always mean $$$$ fancy yacht club just for wealthy people. There could be some middle ground. Maybe they own and dock a small pleasure craft at a marina that has a small event space accessible to people docked at that marina. Who knows?

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    • avatar

      saneinca September 26, 2017, 8:53 pm

      Elephant and bagge +1
      Ron -1

      Ridiculous bratty behavior from groom’s family. No amount of rationalizing will help explain their utterly shameful behavior.

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  • avatar

    ele4phant September 26, 2017, 11:17 am

    Eh, I don’t know. This is hard to make sense of, I feel like a lot of details are missing (either purposefully or this thing is just so confusing the LW doesn’t know what’s relevant and what isn’t).

    On the face of it, a couple should be able to change the venue and not have it be an affront to the in-laws who first offered their home. I mean, it’s their wedding, their guest list grew (which is their right to decide who and how many people to come) and the original plan (well second plan after the courthouse I guess) couldn’t accommodate everyone anymore. So things had to be moved.

    That’s not personal, and as long the bride and groom were appreciative of the parents’ offer, both in the first place and after they realized it had to be moved, I don’t see any foul being committed there. They weren’t obligated to hold their wedding at the in-laws house just because they offered first, anymore then they were obligated to go to the courthouse because that’s what they thought up first. Plans change.

    Now, maybe the bride was snooty about it and super rude in how she told the family their home wasn’t needed anymore. Which she should own and apologize for. But regardless, it was pretty petty for the family to show up in tee-shirts. I think even if she was being a bridezilla, I think that’s a legitimate gripe. If we expect her to put aside her complaints and take the high road, shouldn’t we *also* expect that from the family?

    Anyways, long story short, the bride wrote in, and I do agree that it was one day, and if she wants to have a relationship with these people she needs to take the high road and just let it go.

    But, I also don’t really feel like she is deserving of getting ripped into. At least based on what was presented to us.

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  • avatar

    Lucy September 26, 2017, 11:21 am

    There is sooooooo much more to this story that we’re not hearing. Guest lists don’t magically balloon to 70 people. Marinas don’t appear out of thin air at short notice.

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    • avatar

      ele4phant September 26, 2017, 1:00 pm

      So, I had a short engagement. Three months. And yes, guests lists can just balloon magically.

      When you leave a crack open for a few guests, pretty soon you get inundated with “Well what about Aunt Margaret and cousin so and so and…” We put our foots down at 40, but yeah, if we accommodated every request from both sides and offered plus-ones to all non-married couples, easily could’ve gotten to 70+.

      And if the parents are members of a boating club and there was an open day no other member had booked the club, then definitely you can book that venue on short order with no cost. That’s one of the benefits of being a member of such places…

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      • avatar

        Ange September 26, 2017, 6:33 pm

        But the thing is you did put your foot down. This couple didn’t and they need to own that. They chose to let the guest list balloon out to 70 while knowing they initially had only a small house with one bathroom as a venue. They wouldn’t have done that if the mysterious marina didn’t appear ‘out of thin air’ and the whole deal was probably done before MIL heard anything about it. I can just about guarantee they got offered the marina then let the guest list expand so they had a reason to knock back MIL’s offer instead of just talking to her like adults. It’s all very underhanded.

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        ele4phant September 26, 2017, 6:49 pm

        Yeah, we put our foot down because we expressly did not want a big wedding. Not because we had picked a venue that was too small and we felt obligated to stick with it, even if it turned out it wasn’t what we wanted.

        Sounds like this couple *did* decide they wanted a big wedding. Or, for whatever reason, accommodating that request for 70+ people is what they wanted for their wedding.

        And I don’t understand how the marina comes across as so mysterious. Clearly the parents have access to it, and have all along. Maybe ma heard the daughter remarking that she was sad she couldn’t invite everyone she wanted, so ma just said, Oh let’s just have the damn thing at the marina. Maybe it’s speculative on my part, but you’re also speculating.

        And sounds like they were pretty mature about telling MIL the change of plans, they did it in private, in person.

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 September 26, 2017, 2:26 pm

      guest list can balloon so easily once you get a chance to sit down and actually look at it. When my wife and I did that we were shocked, that my immediate family alone was 70 people. Like I said above marina’s can appear out of know where, and for free, if somebody is a member there, and not all marinas are these nice fancy marinas that people are thinking of.

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      dinoceros September 26, 2017, 4:04 pm

      I know that it’s definitely possible to increase quickly with more planning, but most people who use commercial venues don’t typically find their guest list ballooning to the point where they have to ditch their deposit and find a new venue, right?

      I could see how maybe they didn’t realize how sensitive the in-laws were and thought this gave them more leeway to decide on a guest list later. But for me, I know that if I told my mom I was having it at her small house, and then later on was like, “Actually, your house is too little, I’m going to have it at so-and-so’s marina,” she’d be hurt, so I would only tell her I’d have it at her house once I’d confirmed that the numbers would allow me to.

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        ele4phant September 26, 2017, 4:22 pm

        That’s the thing though – they weren’t using commercial venues. People who use commercial venues figure out their numbers first so they don’t lose money. But the LW wasn’t in any situation in danger of losing her money by switching venues. Her planning process was different. Why should she have to plan in the same manner when she doesn’t have the same constraints?

        No one is saying her wedding was well planned and executed, sounds haphazard, but at the end of the day, the in-laws behavior was atrocious.

        This wasn’t the MIL’s wedding. I mean feelings are feelings and I can’t fault anyone for having them, but couldn’t the MIL and sister see the bigger picture, that this wedding was about the son and daughter in-law, not them?

        Honestly, I may be giving the LW more credit for somewhat delicately handling the conversation; but all the same, I kind of think it’s ridiculous that it needs to be handled delicately.

        “Hey MIL and FIL – thank you so much for offering your home and encouraging us to have a larger celebration. I know we said yesterday we’d like to have the ceremony here, but after sitting down and realizing just how many wonderful people we’d like to include, I think we have too many people than can fit in your home. We’ve decided to use the event space at the marina so we can accommodate everyone.”

        I can get how they might have been disappointed, but after that, I’m sorry, not all feelings are right. After that initial disappointment, you need to get over it and stop making other people’s choices about you.

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    Anonymousse September 26, 2017, 11:42 am

    I can absolutely understand how a guest list balloons to 70 people. I have a pretty big family, my husband has a giagantic family. AND they are close. I can also understand anticipating hurt feelings and going to talk to them at dinner in their home so as to avoid that.
    I can not understand a childish reaction crafted to hurt your own son and DIL and forever change your relationship.
    LW never said she didn’t speak to them at the wedding, she said she and her husband haven’t since. Can you blame them?

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    kat15 September 26, 2017, 12:34 pm

    Mama mia! Plenty of blame on both sides but I have to say I couldn’t stop laughing when I pictured the three of them sitting at the wedding in their coordinated black Queen t-shirts singing Bohemian Rhapsody, I’m a horrible person . . .

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    kat15 September 26, 2017, 12:34 pm

    but I keep laughing, maybe I need some lunch

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    Ashley September 26, 2017, 1:40 pm

    I feel this is a case of the punishment outweighing the crime. What they did was petty, but hardly warrants cutting them out of your life. By your own admission, you had a good relationship, enough for them to offer their home. You are not faultless here, and I have a feeling there is a long string of slights to your husbands family you are not owning up to, based on how you acted after they offered their home. I mean, the fact you could think of no reason why they’d be upset says a lot about you, the fact you took what sounds to be a benign comment on your wedding as a huge insult says a lot about you. Has it occurred to you his parents have written y’all off, as you sit there thinking about doing that to them?

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      Anonymousse September 26, 2017, 3:33 pm

      Benign comment on your wedding? Wearing Queen T shirts and singing bohemian rhapsody? At their son’s wedding.

      Enjoy Sweden.

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      ele4phant September 26, 2017, 3:38 pm

      LW could totally be painting herself in the best light possible, but trash talking the bride on her wedding day in front of her family is not a benign comment in my book…

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    golfer.gal September 26, 2017, 2:27 pm

    Eh, if things truly did unfold exactly as described by the LW then her in laws are way, way out of line. Speaking rudely/hatefully about your daughter in law in front of her family on her wedding day because you are upset that you offered to host a very small wedding and she and your son declined to have something larger? Jesus. And then refusing to speak to them. And people are going to wear what they’re going to wear, but it seems the jeans and tee shirts were intentional to be disrespectful. At that point why go at all? Just decline. They intentionally tried to ruin their son and daughter in law’s wedding, or at least make it all about them and use it as a platform to express their displeasure. At best that is horribly childish and rude. I do agree that the LW would do better to open the conversation by saying “it’s clear our relationship has been damaged, and you expressed a lot of anger and negative words about me/us at the wedding. Can you tell me what has made you feel this way? I am so sad at how things have turned out and I really want to hear your side”. Then actually really listen. Dont argue or disagree, just listen. And then you can decide how to proceed, though to be honest i would be very hesitant to get close to people who would act that way.

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      Anonymousse September 26, 2017, 3:35 pm

      I agree except, I don’t think she owes them that conversation. They owe their son and her a giant apology and honestly, I don’t even know if that would even help. They ruined their own son’s wedding to spite them. That’s insane.

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      Ron September 26, 2017, 4:42 pm

      No Golfer Gal, that is not at all how it went down. The groom’s parents offered their home as an upgrade over a JP wedding and both the bride and groom accepted that offer. That’s what LW says. Then LW’s mom gets involved and suddenly they’re getting married at the marina. That’s a huge, class-based put-down of groom’s parents. The bride/groom had plenty of time to decide they wanted a bigger wedding. The bride’s mother had plenty of time to offer the marina. None of that happened until after the groom’s parents made a very kind offer of their home. It’s no small deal whatsoever to host a wedding in your home. The LW gives no guidance on timing between accepting the offer of groom’s parents house and having the dinner with them to say ‘nope, changed our minds, your house isn’t big enough to meet our needs’. Possibly a hell of a lot of prep already put in by groom’s parents. They have every right to be pissed. They were insulted, they were put to wasted effort, and their in-laws wealth was thrown in their faces.

      I predict this marriage isn’t going to last very long and the groom will regret the way he treated his parents, even if his bride and her mother twisted both arms to the breaking point. He behaved shamefully.

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        Brise September 27, 2017, 3:14 am

        Ron, are you the MIL? Because your last paragraph is really nasty, and also exaggerated.

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    Miss MJ September 26, 2017, 2:59 pm

    No matter what went on in the planning (or “planning” since this was admittedly a thrown together affair), it is horrible for the groom’s parents to go about deliberately ruining his wedding day to “get back at” the bride for…declining their offer to host the wedding because their space wasn’t big enough for the guest she and *their son/brother* wanted to invite? Huh? Look, if they were that offended, they should have just stayed home, not showed up and made asses of themselves.

    I guess the bride has little choice but to make peace here, but if I were her, given their sheer immaturity and pettiness, I’d have serious problems being especially close with these people again.

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    Northern Star September 26, 2017, 4:49 pm

    Reasonable, happy relationship up until wedding + Queen tees and disgruntled murmuring at the wedding = What in the world did you DO?

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    Gwyneth September 26, 2017, 5:51 pm

    It was probably LW and husband’s first time planning a wedding. They made some missteps. Some people aren’t great at planning and communicating and accepting offers (or thinking them through before accepting.) Sounds like they were going to do almost nothing. Then got an offer from MIL and thought why not, which made them think about it more and they planned something bigger. Maybe after imagining it at MIL’s house with however many people, they started to feel if they were having it they absolutely couldn’t exclude some other friends or relatives. MIL is pretty nuts to think it’s ok to express anger about this in such a rude way, in public on the special day.
    greedy demanding bridezilas may owe apologies but i don’t see why disorganized people who make one mistake accepting an offer and wasted no ones money need to feel super bad. It’s (hopefully) their only chance at a wedding, they’ve never planned one before, and everyone else should be patient within reason.

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    HideUnderArock September 27, 2017, 12:06 am

    In-laws can feel hurt about the situation, but they did not have to be jerks about it. What the in-laws did was terrible. They went to the wedding trying to hurt them. The bride did not intentionally hurt them. The couple changed their minds, better to cancel the next day than later. They wanted to include more people in the celebration, maybe even trying to not hurt people they loved by exculding them.

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    findingtheearth September 27, 2017, 6:01 pm

    I think an avenue that could have been taken is possibly a brunch at their house the morning after the wedding. You could have opened wedding gifts and kept it small and for just family.

    I don’t really understand why it’s a big deal they chose a better location for their needs. It’s their wedding.

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    Anonymous October 18, 2017, 8:44 am

    I have to say, from reading the responses to my situation, I was as nice as I could be to my in laws at the wedding. I swallowed my anger and managed to keep it all hidden towards my MIL, FIL and family. I even had a pin that said mother of the groom that I gave to her on the wedding day that I wanted her to wear. It was black with silver. I told my MIL how cute she looked and that the pin matched her outfit and she should wear it. The MIL was complaining of a headache not even 30 min into our wedding, the MIL made the FIL take her home…before we had our first dance, before she could have her mother son dance and before we cut the cake. Now, before the wedding, my MIL was helping plan the wedding. My own mother also wanted to be a part of the planning, so when I tried to get everyone on board together to plan, my MIL insisted that it should be my mom and I planning that she didn’t want to anymore…even after I pleaded with her to continue to be a part of the planning and the wedding. I am 110% thankful for everything my in laws have done for me and I never missed an opportunity to thank them and tell them how much I love and appreciate them. If you still think that I didn’t say or do something when all I did was do everything I could to not have anyone’s feelings hurt, then please let me know. But I know in my heart I did what any Christian would do and rise above the childish antics and still enjoyed my day.

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    Tricia October 18, 2017, 10:25 am

    Hi all. This is the bride that you all responded to my post. I have read all of the posts and I just wanted to let everyone know who think I am a horrible person, I did talk to my husbands family at the wedding. I gave them all hugs and told hem how happy I was to have them there. I did not once get rude with them, despite the way they were dressed. I told my MIL she looked cute and gave her a pin that said mother of the groom to wear. the MIL threw it n the trash. The MIL started complaining of a headache not even 30 min into the wedding. She made her husband take her home before she saw our first dance, before she could have her mother son dance with my husband and before we cut the cake…which was hilarious bc we smashed the cake in each other’s faces pretty good. My MIL and FIL have done so much for us and I have always been grateful and expressed how I appreciate everything they have done for me and my husband. I did everything I could to keep her involved in the wedding planning and to not have any toes stepped on, but she insisted on not being a part of any planning and stopped responding to my texts and calls before the wedding. Despite the way she dressed and acted at my wedding, I can still honestly say that I am happy she was there to see her son get married. I do want my husband to have a relationship with his parents again, but he is just as disappointed as the rest of his family is with his mothers actions. I do agree with some of you about not getting too close to them again, and I don’t feel that I did everything perfectly. My intentions were not meant to be taken as what they offered was t good enough, I was trying to help. Some things I didn’t go into detail about my MIL is she always finds the negative in positive situations. Say we did have the wedding at their house instead. One thing I know that she would of been stressing over,(keeping in mind they offered their house to us), is she has 6 cats that she does not let outside. She would have locked them in bedrooms so they couldn’t get outside past guests, if something at their house was messed up or if something was spilled on the floor or any kind of accident happened, we would of had to hear about that and how much money she would of had to spend to clean/fix whatever. I was trying to avoid any kind of issues or problems that could of possibly existed. Also, parking accommodations in a small neighborhood is difficult bc you have to deal with neighbors and them possibly complaining about the amount of cars parked along the side of the road, and some elderly guests,(including my grandmother), who can not walk long distances or get around very easily. These are all things I took into consideration while planning the wedding. I did not twist any arms to get my way. My husband was actually the one who suggested the marina before we even knew if it was available. After I spoke with my mom and found out it was available, WE told her to go ahead and reserve it just in case the amount of ppl was too overwhelming for the in laws. When we discussed the options with the in laws, they were very understanding and agreed the marina would be better accommodating and seemed excited we were getting married by the water. We had not told them we reserved it before we talked to them so they wouldn’t feel pressured or forced to agree to the marina. It was more of a back up plan in case they backed out at the last minute, bc my MIL does things like that too. She is not completely well, mentally, and these are things I didn’t go into detail about bc it was so much to write and to keep my post on topic. I’m sure there is more I have left out, but I wanted to let everyone know that all in all, there would of been an issue whether or not the wedding was at their house or the marina or anywhere for that matter. There would of been something for her to complain about and to get mad at. Thanks again for listening and if there is anything else I can clear up, please don’t hesitate to ask.

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      ele4phant October 18, 2017, 12:23 pm

      Okay, so it sounds like your MIL has long been unstable. So her behavior, while particularly distressing because it happened during your wedding, is not atypical or a surprise to you, right?

      Sounds like your husband is on your side, and *I* think you’ve been reasonable in how you handled your wedding.

      So moving forward, I’d let go off the wedding behavior as it appears it is a symptom, not the cause, of her issues. And then you and your husband should get on the same page (if you’re not already) on how you deal with her and her mental instability.

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        Tricia October 19, 2017, 11:27 am

        Yes I knew at some point she would change towards me, bc she has done it to her other DIL. I just hoped in the back of my mind that she was sincere in what she was telling me on how much she adored me and she told me I was her favorite. I guess in her eyes and her mental instability, I didn’t do something to her standards. She will never admit she was wrong. I’m encouraging my husband to make amends bc they are his parents and he does need them in his life. He’s hesitating to rise above this and accept this as it is.

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