Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “His Family Ate All Our Reception Food… Before the Wedding!”

jilted bride
My husband and I had a very small wedding budget of $1500 but, since we have a 9-month-old baby who is our priority, we hoped to spend even less. My dress was $90 and I wore shoes I already had. We had a free park wedding and a small reception with appetizers, not held near any meal time. We also planned to host a night-before BBQ.

Everyone came to our wedding from out of state and several family members stayed in our home. Three days before the wedding, his entire family of twenty-two people took over our place and helped themselves to our food, including all of our clearly-marked wedding reception food in the basement — cheese, cupcakes, crackers and all the food for the BBQ, including eighty hotdogs and fifty-four hamburgers and all our beer. They ate everything. When we told them that they had eaten all our reception food, they told us to “just go buy more.” After some very private tears, my parents, who honestly could not afford it, got us and themselves hotel rooms and hastily bought a bunch of food for my reception. We cut out beer because we simply could not afford it.

For our cookout, we bought more hotdogs and chips. Twenty-nine people ate 120 hotdogs within minutes. His family was taking four or five at a time. I never ate. After the wedding ceremony, my husband’s family charged the reception and ate every piece of food before I or any other guests even got there. We had enough food for four times the number of our guests, and, yet, by the time I made the 3-minute walk from our park ceremony to the reception site, only empty platters remained. My husband’s father bitched several times to my parents that there was no beer, and his mother got pissy with my mom about running out of appetizers.

My parents put $1500 or more on their credit card to help us cover expenses his family caused, including calling a plumber the last day everyone was in my home after someone flushed a bunch of pads down the toilet. None of my husband’s family offered to pay for any of the food for the four to six days they all stayed in my home. In fact, they complained to my husband and me that they needed milk and eggs.

I don’t care about wedding gifts, but not one person in his family even sent us a thank you or card. Some of them make a lot more money than we do. My husband was surprised at how much food they ate, but not upset. He does not know of the snide comments to my parents. Should I tell him? Should I snap back when I still get comments about running out of wedding supplies?” — Eaten Out of House and Home (And Wedding)


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

74 comments… add one
  • Mim0sa August 12, 2015, 12:34 pm

    first of all what the hell?? Are these people starving and have never seen food before? How rude! Also, I’m sorry but your husband SUCKS for not even talking to his family about the first incident let alone not even be upset (just ‘surprised’) about the second.

    I don’t really have advice other than that I am so shocked people like your in laws (btw, sorry about that) exist. Do they know your financial situation and don’t they know that both families are supposed to contribute to the wedding now, not just the bride’s?

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    • SpaceySteph August 12, 2015, 1:05 pm

      Yeah, I’m with you on this. I’m just shocked and not really sure even what to say. I don’t have any good advice. I’d be furious.

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    • Ika August 12, 2015, 1:11 pm

      I’m not a fan of people expecting their parents to pay for their weddings. But in this case it’s even worse, since the bride’s parents were only doing what they could to offset the damage caused by the groom’s family. It’s just disgusting. And those “people” have the gall to complain about stuff on top of that????

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      • Moneypenny August 12, 2015, 1:18 pm

        It’s mind boggling. These people are awful!

  • megustalaplaya August 12, 2015, 12:49 pm

    Wow…just, wow.

    What was your relationship with your in-laws like before the wedding? Did they regularly expect you to be hospitable without returning the favor? Have they been disrespectful to you/your husband in other ways? If so, how did you and your husband handle it? Another question-how does your husband’s family treat him? If there are problems in his relationship with them, how has he handled it? I find it hard to believe that their behavior at this event is completely out of character.

    Without the benefit of knowing family history, these are my suggestions:

    1. Talk calmly with your husband about the interaction between both sets of parents. Something like, “I don’t know if you heard about it, but ___.”
    2. Stick to the facts, and then tell him how it made you feel-“The things that were said made my parents/me feel ___.”
    3. Ask for his input regarding how he would handle it, and decide together how he should approach his parents. (It’s his place to talk to his parents about what happened).

    *Decide ahead of time how you would like the situation remedied. An apology? A payment of damages for the plumber coming out? What would make this right for you?

    As a final note, I’m really sorry that happened.

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    • Ika August 12, 2015, 12:56 pm

      This. exactly. I don’t think I would manage the calm part though.

      Love your username, by the way 🙂

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      • megustalaplaya August 12, 2015, 1:14 pm

        Thanks, Ika! I really do love the beach 😉 Calmness can be hard in an emotionally charged situation, but it’s helpful to think of it from the perspective of what you would tell someone else if they came to you for advice. Unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of experience dealing with shitty, emotionally charged situations. I’ve practiced being calm and level-headed in a difficult situation, and it helps when making decisions.

      • Ika August 12, 2015, 1:15 pm

        Me toooo. Especially when I’m stuck in a horrible horrible winter.

  • Dear Wendy August 12, 2015, 12:57 pm

    I’m curious about whether there was any food purchased and put aside for the houseguests? I wouldn’t go so far as to excuse the in-laws terrible behavior, but if they were crashing at a home, I can see how they would expect basic things, like milk and eggs and snacks, to be provided for them during their stay.

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    • Ika August 12, 2015, 1:02 pm

      Not all of them were staying with LW, from my understanding (several were, the rest seem to have just gone to eat everything.

      Honestly, IMO even if it were only the people staying there they should provide food, it’s common courtesy, esp if they’re saving on a hotel.

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  • wobster109 August 12, 2015, 1:00 pm

    LW, Why does it sound like your husband is blissfully unaware of the cost to your parents? You need to sit down with your husband and tell him everything you told Wendy. You could even show him your letter. Then he needs to take it up with his parents. It sounds like they don’t know about your finances and living situation, so he should tell them.

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  • Moneypenny August 12, 2015, 1:10 pm

    Dude, I would be SO pissed. You need to tell your husband asap what your parents did to help and what your family said about them. It’s one thing to have houseguests and provide basics like snacks, eggs, or toilet paper. It’s another for them to go and eat you out of house and home (22 of them?!) and have them be so presumptuous that you are supposed to feed them all of their meals. If it were me, I would have not had food at the reception and would have told everyone that they all had eaten it.

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    • Moneypenny August 12, 2015, 1:12 pm

      Furthermore, when I am a houseguest (which I have been often, since I have friends that live all over), I do not eat their food. Anything that was there before me, I leave. I go to the store and buy my own stuff. If someone cooks dinner and I eat it, I thank them for cooking and sharing a meal with me. I do not assume that anything there is mine to use.

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      • Ika August 12, 2015, 1:17 pm

        I honestly feel so bad for the LW. The stress of the wedding, all those houseguests, raising a baby, working (?) and these for these fuckers to be so absolutely horribly rude, oblivious, selfish, disgusting?
        I don’t know if I could stay married into that family to be honest.

    • bondgirl August 12, 2015, 2:05 pm

      Agreed, if my guests were so rude as to eat every last crumb of food before the reception even started, there’s no way I’d be able to handle it calmly. If you behave like a pompous ass, you deserve to be thrown under the bus and called out for your ass-hattery.

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      • Moneypenny August 12, 2015, 6:39 pm

        I would have been livid! And not have let them get away with it.
        Btw, I like your name! 😀

  • Ika August 12, 2015, 1:20 pm

    I’m honestly wondering if this wasn’t all some kind of bizarre plan to ruin the wedding. I can’t imagine so many people being so horrible.
    LW, did you know these people before this all happened? What was your relationship with them like?

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  • jlyfsh August 12, 2015, 1:20 pm

    Have you spent much time with his family before this? How much did your husband help plan the reception and their visit. Did he warn you that they might do this? Because he seems not that affected by their behavior. Which seems to me like he expected it almost. But, if he did, why didn’t he plan for that better? And maybe explain to you what having 22 of his family members there would be like. I think they are rude and their behavior was uncalled for. But, I’m surprised your husband knowing his family didn’t prepare you better for what might happen. And where was he when they were eating all of the food?

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  • for_cutie August 12, 2015, 1:22 pm

    I am so sorry this happened to you LW.

    While not on this level, I have a similar issue every time my in-laws visit. They stay at our house and treat it like a hotel or spa. They did this when I was pregnant, when they first visited the new baby, then again with my second pregnancy and when I had a 2 week old and a toddler. Not to mention 2-3 trips in between each year. They expect all of their meals to be prepared (they’re picky unhealthy eaters) and cleaned up after. My husband and I both work full-time out of the home and they still expect me to make breakfast before I go to work and take the kids to Day Care (so they have ALL DAY to think of lifting a finger, and don’t) and dinner when I get home with the kids. It’s nuts and so rude. Our reaction is to limit their visits when we know we can handle the stress. I said one thing once when I had the toddler and newborn and they didn’t talk to us for 10 months (the first year of my second baby’s life; didn’t care there was a grandchild they were not knowing). Some people are just selfish and rude.

    I call it a “vacation mentality” like they took time they would have used for vacation to see you, so therefore you have to serve them as if it were an inclusive resort. It sucks. There are 2 options. 1. limit their visits and deal with this selfish behavior for the sake of having a relationship or 2. have them stay in a hotel for visits to give you a little space. The hotel route worked for my Dad (who does this too) but we are too chicken shit to ask it of my in-laws for fear they will go silent again for extended periods, which is drama we don’t need. For the record, they too make twice what my husband and I make (plus we pay for 2 kids in full time Day Care).

    LW, at least now you know how they act when they visit and you can plan accordingly. In the future, maybe it is better to go visit them than have them come to you.

    Please don’t let this diminish your memories of your wedding. Try to hold on to the fact that your parents really were there for you – financially, emotionally, and patiently handling the rudeness of the in-laws. It is great you have one set of parents that has your back!

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    • _s_ August 12, 2015, 1:42 pm

      Having them not talk to you for 10 months doesn’t sound like “drama” but like the best possible outcome. Pro tip: your in-laws can’t “force” you to do anything – they can’ force you to let them stay in your house, and if you do let them stay, they can’t force you to make any meal. You don’t have to make them breakfast when you’re scrambling to get your kids to school and you to work. Stock your kitchen with cereal, milk, eggs, bread, instant oatmeal, etc., and invite them to fix whatever they like. Either they’ll do it or go hungry. Same for dinner – do whatever you would usually do for dinner, and include them, but beyond that don’t go out of your way. Again, either they’ll eat it or go hungry. They’ll treat you the way you let them.

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      • for_cutie August 12, 2015, 3:26 pm

        The is a good point @_s_ What they do if I don’t fix them things is start making requests like I am a short order cook. They always punctuate it with, “I don’t ask for much, but…” If I give any attitude back they tell me to suck it up, and then they’re mean the rest of the trip lest I apologize for being rude.
        Still figuring out the “let them stay at your house.” My family, both sides, call and tells us when they are coming instead of asking. We put up with it for the kids, and I feel this guilty weight when we are in a not-talking mode – like I am letting my kids down by not having grandparents in their lives. Or not showing my kids family values. I know its crap. I can totally relate to the LW in wanting to do right by your family and feeling like there is no winning.

      • SpaceySteph August 12, 2015, 3:52 pm

        In terms of cooking, I agree that you should grow some backbone and just not do it. They can put their order in, and then you can walk right out the door to work and leave them to figure it out. Sure you will have to listen to them bitch… but you won’t have to make them breakfast. They can come and be sullen assholes for a week if they want, you need to demonstrate just like you would with a bad dog, that their efforts to get your attention will not work.

        As for letting them stay, I do think that its much easier to SAY you can just turn them down then to actually accomplish it. I think all you can do is make it not very fun for them (don’t cater to their needs, don’t do any special work to clean for them, etc) and hope they stop coming.

      • crose August 13, 2015, 7:46 am

        It’s time to establish some boundaries. next time they call and inform you they are coming, let them know you will look at your family calendar and get back with them. Make it clear that if they show up without your permission, they can expect to be given a list of hotels in the area. And stop catering to them. Honestly, they sound like toxic people, and your kids will not suffer by limiting their contact…and really, do you want your kids to pick up those habits? Plus, your kids will benefit from seeing you set boundaries with family. Knowing that is a good thing to do is a great lesson for kids to learn…no one can walk all over you without your permission.

      • SpaceySteph August 13, 2015, 8:57 am

        I totally agree with all of this. This is the “but we’re faaaaamily” trap where you assume that because they’re your children’s grandparents, that having them around must be a good thing because family.
        But you know what, some grandparents are awful and not worth knowing. Other grandparents are good in small doses. And I do agree that showing your kids its ok to set boundaries with family is a good thing. Otherwise, 20 years from now, they’re going to be in the same “but we’re faaaamily” trap you’re in right now. Stop the cycle!
        It took my parents until I was in high school to set proper boundaries and start standing up for themselves against my grandparents, and it was SO good for us all when they finally did. Boundaries, set them early, set them as often as required, and don’t let anyone guilt you out of it because *family*.

      • Portia August 13, 2015, 9:09 am

        Yes x1000. At the age of 10 I told my parents I was no longer going up to my grandpa’s house/spend more time with him than absolutely necessary. I’m so glad they respected my boundaries, he was a miserable man. In retrospect, I wish they’d established their own boundaries better, but at least they let me have mine without guilt.

      • Stillrunning August 13, 2015, 10:10 am

        The delaying tactic is a great idea. It gives you time to decide how long, if at all, you’ll allow people to stay in your home.
        I started using it on a relative who had become an increasingly unwelcome houseguest. She’s a close relative, so for years we’ve put up with her using our home as her private hotel while she visits family and her other friends in the area.
        I finally realized that family or not, I’d rather have her be mad at me when I didn’t agree to her demands to stay with us (and be waited on), instead of being mad at myself because I did.
        Now I tell her I’ll get back to her. I take the time to figure out what I’m comfortable with, and sometimes that means she has to find a real hotel.

      • Skyblossom August 13, 2015, 8:00 am

        Set boundaries and think of it as a lesson for your kids in how not to let people take advantage of you. At some point in your life you have been taught that you have to let certain people walk all over you if they want, people like your parents. You are an adult and can change the rules and set a different example for your kids and teach your kids a different life lesson. You can teach your kids how to set boundaries and how to live their lives with dignity and without feeling that parents are a burden that you put up with rather than a welcome guest in your home. If your in-laws or parents quit talking to you because you refuse to be a short order cook in the morning then so be it. They can sit there refusing to speak during dinner and your kids will more and more see the grandparents as immature and rude and mean. Even if they are sitting there not speaking your immediate family can sit and talk at dinner the same as if the in-laws weren’t there. At some point they will learn that their manipulative tactics won’t work. At that point they may escalate to try to maintain the norm. You can’t give in to escalation. You hold steady with whatever you have established. They will either change or not speak to you but it is their choice.

      • for_cutie August 13, 2015, 8:48 am

        Thanks everyone! Sorry @Lynnlynn for side-tracking your post. You are all right. I need to grow a spine about this. My husband has been telling me the same thing – they are his parents and he knows it is not okay, but that they won’t change. It just feels so unnatural to not talk to family members; like I am a bad human that even parents don’t want to deal with me.
        I am normally assertive with all other aspects of my life, so now it is time for the in-laws to get a dose of it. The holiday season will sure be interesting this year! Thank you for sharing your strength!

      • SpaceySteph August 13, 2015, 9:00 am

        It takes two to not talk. If they are giving you the silent treatment because you stood up for yourself, then they’re the ones not talking, not you. So don’t let yourself feel bad about something that is TOTALLY within their control.
        They are grown adults and the silent treatment is what 5 year olds do. The price of admission into your house and a relationship with their grandkids to act like fucking adults. Keep telling yourself that you are making a reasonable request and THEY are the one’s who are not reasonable.

  • kare August 12, 2015, 1:25 pm

    Send his family laxative laced brownies as an apology? Or a 5 pound bag of sugar free gummy bears (read the Amazon reviews – you will not be disappointed).
    I’m kidding, but oh my god I would be livid! If his family is mostly out of town, I would never welcome them in my home again. Or at least in not a large group. I don’t have any real advice because I’m still completely shocked.

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    • Moneypenny August 12, 2015, 1:43 pm

      Those gummy bear reviews are the best!
      Or, she could send them a glitter bomb?

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    • juliecatharine August 12, 2015, 1:55 pm

      Omg I can’t believe you brought up the gummy bears!!! I worked for the company that invented maltitol (the laxative…er sugar substitute) and my co-workers and I nearly peed our pants reading those reviews. Some of them are just epically awesome.

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      • kare August 12, 2015, 10:27 pm

        I had a bad experience with sugar free cough drops once. The store was out of the regular ones, and I figured it wouldn’t make a difference. Never again. Two days later I discovered in tiny writing “May cause laxative like effects”. That sort of warning should be plastered in giant neon letters. But it did distract me from my annoying cough.

    • Portia August 12, 2015, 7:38 pm

      I saw those for the first time last year and they’re just fantastic. The date with the German girl? The parent who was banned from bringing snacks for kids? I think there was an office that was ultimately paid disability from the negative effects? So entertaining!

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  • dinoceros August 12, 2015, 1:29 pm

    It would have taken everything I had not to just set up a sign on the reception table saying that the food had been eaten by the groom’s family before the wedding.

    I’d agree about talking to your husband and figuring out what he’s going to do about it (not “if”). Be upfront with him about how you feel and what happened.

    In the future, I’d probably not let them stay at my house again and would be clear that it was because they ate the wedding food.

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    • dinoceros August 12, 2015, 1:31 pm

      A question I had, and this is more directed to the husband, not the LW, but considering the large amount of reception food down there, was there any indication during the trip that they were eating it? I guess I feel like the husband should have been aware of this and been able to stop it before they ate everything. I guess I’m just imagining them down in the basement hiding and binging because I feel like it would take awhile to eat all that food?

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  • _s_ August 12, 2015, 1:34 pm

    I can’t even begin to imagine any scenario that would make these scumbags realize how awful they are/that what they did was wrong. I think if anyone is STILL giving you shit, you are well within your rights to tell them straight out there would’ve been more food at your wedding if they hadn’t EATEN IT ALL beforehand, forcing you to scramble to find/buy more food YOU COULD NOT AFFORD, which they then scarfed down IN THE THREE MINUTES IT TOOK YOU TO WALK TO THE RECEPTION. Then feel free to lay on the guilt trip on about how your parents had to go into debt to replace that food and pay for the toilet they fucked up. What a bunch of assholes.

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  • Moe P August 12, 2015, 1:38 pm

    This is such a strange story. As someone who has hosted low cost weddings, I am confused. How many people were staying with you? It sounds like huge numbers of people were over for a week before the wedding? Why did this happen? In all the wedding I have been a part of, besides bridal showers, etc, there aren’t that many guests around in the days before the wedding. Did they travel far? if they were staying with you, i would expect that to be nice, the fridge would be stocked with food, but I would be livid if people ate food clearly marked for the wedding! After this happened, what did you say to them? The amount of food consumed seems very weird, even for a group of hungry adults. I understand if ONE guest made a pig of him/herself, but to have ALL those people eat an average of 4 hotdogs each? Are you SURE? I don’t even know if I should fully believe the story. It just doesn’t make sense.

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  • Essie August 12, 2015, 1:44 pm

    Why is your husband not mentioned until the last paragraph? What was he doing while all the eating and tears and plumbing problems were going on? Where in the fuck was his pride, letting your parents pay for damage that his family caused?
    It was on your husband to stop them from eating all the reception food before the wedding.
    If it happened when he was not present, it was on him to insist that they pay to replace the food.
    It is also on him to insist that they reimburse your parents for damage that they caused.
    Honest to god, I wouldn’t have gone through with the ceremony. I would have walked out of my own wedding. After telling them all to go fuck themselves.

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  • TaraMonster August 12, 2015, 1:47 pm

    How is it even possible for 29 people to eat 120 hot dogs???? Even if hot dogs were the ONLY food, that’s still a lot of friggen hot dogs.
    But to the issue at hand, your husband needs to handle this with his family. What is your relationship with them like prior to this occasion? Wtf is wrong with them! Inquiring minds need to know!
    I’m sorry, LW, you lost the in-laws lottery big time.

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  • Kate B. August 12, 2015, 1:57 pm

    These people sound like barnyard animals. I can only second all the advice given here. I really wish you could have a do-over so you could walk out of your own wedding after telling them all off. I’d give my husband holy hell, too, for not correcting the problem.

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  • Skyblossom August 12, 2015, 2:07 pm

    I doubt that he can do anything with his family to make his family repay or apologize. That’s the kind of people they are, the type that would eat food that was clearly labeled wedding and they just assumed they could eat it anyway and it could easily be replaced. You need to talk to your husband about what to do going forward. My personal solution would be to never have any of them as house guests, ever. Never offer your home to any of them. They have proven themselves unfit to stay with you. The trouble with this solution is that your husband also needs to agree to it. If he grew up with people who behave this way he may take it for granted that this is how family behaves. That may be why it didn’t upset him. I’d be very frank about never allowing his family to treat you that way again. They have no concept of boundaries and that wouldn’t work in my home. I suggest that if any of his family wants to come and visit you tell them that they can stay at a local hotel and you’d be glad to send them the information. If they specifically ask to stay in your home you say no, that doesn’t work for you. If they do come and stay in a hotel they are not allowed to be alone in your home. They must leave when you leave and they are not given a key to your home, ever. They have proven themselves to be people who are selfish and untrustworthy. Treat them that way.

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  • Bittergaymark August 12, 2015, 2:34 pm

    Eh. This is why I would never marry — much less make babies with some one from such a horrifically TRASHY family…

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    • Anon August 12, 2015, 10:38 pm

      I’m at a point with these letters lately, including this one, where i’d give good thought to marry BGM.


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  • Skyblossom August 12, 2015, 2:38 pm

    Also start thinking about your child’s first birthday. I wouldn’t allow his family into your house unless you don’t mind replacing all of the food in the house. If you can’t afford to replace everything then don’t invite them to your house for a birthday party. If the weather is nice invite them to meet you for cake at a local park. If the weather isn’t nice don’t invite them. You can’t afford to have them come into your home and eat everything so don’t let it happen. Also, think about who you want to have a greater influence on your child’s life. Do you want your child to be more like your family or more like his. I’d limit the amount of time my child spent around people who act with total disregard for others and then afterward talk about the poor behavior you saw.

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  • Skyblossom August 12, 2015, 2:41 pm

    Next time your MIL complains about the lack of beer at the wedding reception you can tell her that the family had the reception before the reception, you are sorry they didn’t wait until after the wedding to drink it.

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  • Ale August 12, 2015, 2:42 pm

    Next time, elope!

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  • Moe P August 12, 2015, 2:56 pm

    Also, another question. These hotdogs and hamburgers they were eating from your basement, how did they cook them? Wouldn’t they have either had to have used a grill or a stove or something?

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  • Lynnlynn August 12, 2015, 3:11 pm

    I was the poster of this: first let me say that we had lots of food in the house. Sandwich stuff to 6 dozen eggs, 4 gallons of milk…. I did not know we would have that many people crashing at the house. I did speak to my husband about the food and he actually told them several times they were on their own for food. I adored his family before this I had met basically everyone besides 2 sisters and 1 aunt before. I knew he had a large family (obese) because I had been worried for my daughter genetically. I have never noticed them eating like this… In several visits over the years. I never would cancel the wedding because what his family did has nothing to do with our love or life. They do all live across the country – so I do think they were all on vacation. I am really just mad that they could be so rude, I am mad that my parents spent that extra money- I will pay them back as soon as we can. We don’t live paycheck to paycheck at all but we are practical with our money. My husband has had weird food issues that I have noticed before, he hides food- I guess I know why now. His family is really nice normally, I just wonder if it was the vacation mind set? In planning the wedding I honestly never asked him if I needed Xxxl portions… I just calculated how much events normally use (I work in event industry) I truly thought they would contribute or go out and by replacement food during the visit (4) days for most, when the food was going so fast- but no one did?!? I did not cry till the day before the wedding because I was not aware they had gotten into the actual “wedding food” it was a busy few days and I was not at the house every second. I’m really mad at his mom for how she acted towards my mom, she was perfectly sweet to me. I don’t honestly have to see them much as we live very far apart so I think it’s an issue of time….for me to move on.

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    • Ika August 12, 2015, 3:23 pm

      I have been mad at these people since reading your letter.
      I really am so sorry that they are so awful. Shame they didn’t show their true colours until the time for the wedding.

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    • for_cutie August 12, 2015, 3:38 pm

      I am so sorry you went through this LW. The problem is not you, it is them. It is big of you to move on from it, I still struggle with it with my in-laws. Good luck to you and Happy Wedding!

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    • othy August 12, 2015, 3:52 pm

      I have no advice, but I feel for you and you have every right to be angry!

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    • bittergaymark August 12, 2015, 5:21 pm

      Your husband dropped the ball on this. Big time. He needs to deal with them if they want to return. Honestly? His parents sound like a fucking nightmare! Just classless in every possible way. The way they act when they visit. The snide comments to your parents… The whole wedding fiasco… Honestly? I think it’s sweet that you are trying to rationalize their obnoxious behavior as them simply being in vacation mode. But honestly? Not everybody acts like a self-absorbed fuckwad while on vacation… You are being far, far too kind. 😉

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      • Moneypenny August 12, 2015, 6:47 pm

        I totally agree Mark 😉
        This is way worse than vacation mode.

      • Sunshine Brite August 13, 2015, 8:04 am


    • Moneypenny August 12, 2015, 6:46 pm

      I have to say, you have taken it much more calmly than I would have. And I don’t think you can blame it wholly on “vacation mode”- what they did was just plain RUDE. And they should reimburse you for the food and what your parents spent as well. I have to put some blame on your husband for this- what’s done is done, but he needs to make it clear to them that this was unacceptable. And going forward, that they’ll have to find other accomodations if they come to visit. (Seriously, put your foot down on that. Stat.)
      I am so sorry you had to deal with this!!

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    • Skyblossom August 12, 2015, 7:05 pm

      Your husband hiding food says it all. In his past there were times that if he didn’t grab food fast enough and then hide some he went without. It is like every member of his family looks out for them self with no regard for anyone else. They have all learned this lesson and so when they got together they all went wild. Keep this in mind for the future. Don’t allow them in your house. If one of them starts grabbing food the rest will automatically do the same and I doubt your husband could stop them when they get into their feeding frenzy. You can’t change this. All you can do is limit your exposure to it and their ability to repeat this with you. The big lesson here is to not allow them into your house. Even a few of them in your house will let the rest in if you aren’t there to police the situation. Even if you are there and someone begins letting other people in it is already beyond your control. You must be the gatekeeper of who is in your home.

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      • Sunshine Brite August 13, 2015, 8:05 am

        You and your husband. He should be dealing with his ridiculous family and let them know that what they did wasn’t acceptable.

      • Skyblossom August 13, 2015, 8:30 am

        I doubt her husband can do anything to stop their behavior. They have a group mentality where every one of them worries that if they don’t grab enough food, fast enough, they will go hungry. That is their life experience. She saw it when it happened at her house and she saw it again at the reception. They don’t care how they look. They don’t find it embarrassing. It is the way they are when they are in a group. If she had double the food at the house or the reception the same thing would have happened. If she had ten times the food they still would have gorged. One person can’t stop an entire pack of people who are acting like animals. Knowing what she does now, she can make sure that they aren’t hosting this pack again. She can make sure that a large number of his family is never in their home again. I’d seriously consider never letting any member of his family into the home again. I wouldn’t be surprised that if even one member of his family was in the home that one would gorge them self and then try to sneak food out of the house to take home. The husband wasn’t embarrassed because he grew up this way. He may consider it normal or at least not unusual.

      • Portia August 13, 2015, 9:01 am

        I’m not going to lie, thinking about this kind of thing swayed me to have plated meals, not a buffet or “family style” meal. Bassanio used to have a similar mentality, I helped break him of it/ask before taking food off my plate.

      • Skyblossom August 13, 2015, 9:43 am

        A plated meal may also give each of them the emotional security they need because they know they will get a meal. When it is family style they don’t know if there will be anything left for them so they rush to grab what they can so within three minutes all of the food was gone. It is insures for you that there is food for all and it stops the embarrassment for you.

      • Skyblossom August 13, 2015, 9:47 am

        If all of the food at the wedding was gone within three minutes the food in the house probably disappeared just as rapidly once someone started eating it. Things like uncooked, frozen hamburgers may have been hidden and snuck out of the house.

      • Portia August 13, 2015, 9:54 am

        Also passed hors d’oeuvres are slightly better than when they’re out on a table, but only slightly…
        I have been at weddings with a buffet where because I was at the last table called and a vegetarian, I ended up with basically no food I could eat. It is not fun to be that guest, but I didn’t complain to the couple. It’s not entirely within their control.

      • Sunshine Brite August 13, 2015, 12:34 pm

        Yeah, but it’s not on her to share that message. It’s up to him to set the boundaries in his house with his family. Why throw her under the bus?

    • Skyblossom August 13, 2015, 8:35 am

      I bet you never met them as a group before. You never saw their behavior when there were a lot of them together. As individuals they may mostly be fine, the rude comments about your parents weren’t fine, but as a group they descend into this group gorging behavior.

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  • Laura Hope August 12, 2015, 3:33 pm

    I feel for you and I’d be pissed too. It’s disgraceful and frankly, disgusting. It’s one thing to be gluttonous but quite another to do it on someone else’s dime. I have a teenage son who could eat 10 hot dogs if I let him. But I don’t, because it’s disrespectful. You have every right to be upset.

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  • Classic August 12, 2015, 10:36 pm

    This is the most awesome LW ever. What a strange story, wow! Don’t think you will be able to change anything here, but you have this hilarious story. I’d mention it from time to time, like “Remember how you guys ate up all the wedding food before the wedding?” out of amazement.

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  • Essie August 12, 2015, 10:43 pm

    What I’m not getting is why your husband isn’t utterly mortified that *your* parents had to spend money that they couldn’t afford because *his* parents ate all of the reception food and broke the toilet? And that you’re the one that has to reimburse your parents?

    I’m sorry, I’m not stuck on the traditional gender roles thing, but I can’t imagine any of the men I know allowing this to play out the way it did. Their pride wouldn’t allow it. My old-world father would have died of shame. And even leaving the guy thing out of it….it’s just wrong that he didn’t step up. He’s supposed to have your back.

    And no, it’s not that they were in vacation mode. They knew damn well that they were eating the food for the cookout. That’s not vacation mode. That’s greed and piggishness. And then to have the gall to demand MORE food? I can’t even.

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    • bittergaymark August 13, 2015, 10:33 am

      Yeah, I would absolutely fucking DIE — if my family did something even 1/20th as opportunistic or craven.

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  • lee3 August 13, 2015, 8:27 am

    Don’t make a big deal of telling your husband his Dad complained about the lack of beer and his Mom bemoaned the shortage of appetizers. Just drop it casually when conversation about the reception comes up. He can’t control his family’s rudeness but he can at least be aware.

    No need to snap when people make comments about the reception running out of food. Come up with some gentle comments like “Yes, we underestimated how hungry our out of town guests would be.” It is shocking/sad how much food [some] obese people can put away and be totally unaware of it. Four hotdogs really is just an appetizer to such a person. He will still be hungry enough to eat an entire baked chicken with a gallon of potato salad, down a six pack, polish off a cake and ask when dinner will be ready. I’m not xcusing their gluttony, just saying they have distorted perceptions. Sooey.

    Hopefully the entire hoard will not descend again and you will be able to manage the number of “guests” who show up at your home. 22 folks expecting to stay (and staying while you flee to a hotel) at your house and be fed by you for days when you planned on 4 or 5 is inexcusable. These uninvited siblings or cousins or whatever — total uncouth idiots. They may need some firm handling in the future. Hope you don’t live near Disneyworld or the beach.

    It’s over. You survived. May you live long and prosper

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  • lee3 August 13, 2015, 8:39 am

    22 uninvited siblings/cousins/etc, show up and crash at you home, expecting to bed, when you invited 4 or 5! You have to flee to a hotel. What an uncouth bunch of idiots you’ve become related to by marriage. Hope you don’t live near Disneyworld or the beach.

    As to what to say when folks comment about the food shortage at the receptions, no need to snap. Something gentle along the lines of “Yes, we underestimated the appetites of our out of town guests” will be adequate.

    I’m not excusing the ravening of your locusts, oops, guests at the reception, but I will say, that for an obese person, four hotdogs is just an appetizer. He can eat that, a baked chicken, a quart of potato salad, drink a six pack and ask when dinner will be ready Distorted perceptions.

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    • Natalie August 13, 2015, 5:34 pm

      I’m technically obese, but I never eat more than two hotdogs at a sitting. Just saying.

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  • LisforLeslie August 13, 2015, 9:49 am

    I still think the LW should send a thank you to all of her new in-laws in the form of sugar-free gummy bears.

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  • chief10 August 13, 2015, 10:28 am

    Both this and the situation with the out of town in-laws are both reprehensible

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