Author Topic: Need "Firm but Nice" Wording Suggestions UPDATE 39  (Read 9547 times)

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lisen

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Need "Firm but Nice" Wording Suggestions UPDATE 39
« on: December 09, 2012, 04:47:55 PM »
Hi eHellions!

I hope you've all been leading dilemma-free lives in these past few months of my eHell hiatus. I have a question for you. I don't think this goes on the wedding board because it isn't a question about wedding etiquette, but a wedding does figure in the story.

I'm getting married fairly soon. (yay) My fiancÚ (Lukas) and I spoke with his parents in late September about our plans for the wedding and to review the guest list and make sure we hadn't forgotten anyone important. At that meeting, they told us that they would plan and pay for a rehearsal dinner and that they would get back to us soon with the details.

Our wedding is now in about 5 weeks and they have not made any plans for the dinner, despite being asked by me and Lukas about 8 times if they had made the arrangements, whether the invitations were ready, etc. because we wanted to make sure out-of-town guests were invited. When I spoke to Lukas' mother yesterday, she said they have still "not made any firm plans".

At this point, I have decided that they are probably not going to do anything and that with the date so close we need to have something in place, especially because of the Christmas holidays creating havoc in people's schedules. I want to simply tell them (Marta and Franz) that we appreciate their offer, but it is clearly too big a job for them to get organized, and we will do it ourselves.

I do not want to estrange them or hurt their feelings, but I think that my feelings are hurt enough. Especially when I found out that Marta has invited all four of Lukas' grandparents, but has not seen fit to include my one living grandparent. Can eHell help me draft a response that conveys: they dropped the ball and were rude to promise to do something and not follow through, we no longer want their help and will be doing it ourselves, and it has hurt our feelings to be disrespected in this way. It would be great if this response also had a gentle coating to take the sting from it.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 11:24:14 PM by lisen »

yokozbornak

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Re: Need "Firm but Nice" Wording Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2012, 04:56:23 PM »
First, I would let Lukas deal with his parents because if it comes from both of you, you will end up being the villian.  I would let him contact them to let them know you need concrete plans by the end of the week or you are going to book a venue and host yourself.  That way, you give them time and they aren't blindsided. 

I would also like to point out that they may have a very different idea of what a rehearsal dinner is than you so they may not be interntionally trying to obstinate. I have been to many rehearsal dinners, and they were all different in terms of formality - from a formal dinner at a hotel banquet hall to pizza at someone's house after the rehearsal.  Mine was somewhere in-between.  I have never received an official invitation for one.  They may be planning an informal event that really doesn't need a planning 5 weeks out.

lisen

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Re: Need "Firm but Nice" Wording Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2012, 05:00:55 PM »
I understand that not everyone would have the same idea of what a rehearsal dinner would include. However, we live in the same city as Lukas' family and also all his family lives within a 30 minute drive. My family lives about a 10 hour drive away, or a short plane ride. So if they are wanted to be in attendence, they have to be told far enough in advance to make travel arrangements. It also seems unequal to invite all the grandparents of one party and not of the other.

MOM21SON

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Re: Need "Firm but Nice" Wording Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2012, 05:03:53 PM »
I am already confused.  Were they doing the wedding invites also?

Especially when I found out that Marta has invited all four of Lukas' grandparents, but has not seen fit to include my one living grandparent.

sweetonsno

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Re: Need "Firm but Nice" Wording Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2012, 05:04:47 PM »
Congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

I agree that the future in-laws have dropped the ball, but a letter that focuses on hurt feelings may not be the best idea in the long term. Instead, I'd focus on telling them that you've made alternate plans. Without knowing more about your relationship dynamics, I can't say whether this would be better coming from Lukas or you (or you both), but I would just make the plans and then tell them that the plans have been made. "Marta and Franz, I know that you intended to organize our rehearsal dinner, but I was feeling quite anxious about not having firm plans, so I arranged for a caterer to come to the wedding venue that evening. I hope your feelings aren't hurt and we do appreciate your generous offer and good intentions. I just didn't want to hold off on plans so long that it was too late and we didn't have any options."

(Also, you might consult Lukas to find out whether "no firm plans" actually means "no plans at all." If it means "we've narrowed it down to two places and are going in to make sure that they can accommodate wheelchairs/special diets/whatever," then you might not need to sweat it at all, but ask that they nail it down. You should also make sure that your grandmother/grandfather gets an invitation. Assume that it was an oversight rather than being any sort of malicious act.)

If you don't want it to sting, then leave feelings out of it entirely. Simply tell them what your solution was to the problem. No blame, no guilt, nothing.

lisen

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Re: Need "Firm but Nice" Wording Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2012, 05:06:31 PM »
I am already confused.  Were they doing the wedding invites also?

Especially when I found out that Marta has invited all four of Lukas' grandparents, but has not seen fit to include my one living grandparent.

Sorry if this wasn't clear. We are paying for our own wedding and we invited the guests ourselves. I was referring to the rehersal dinner, to which Marta intends to invite her sister and brother-in-law, her parents, her husband's parents, etc., but does not want to invite my grandparent or my siblings "who aren't in the wedding".

lisen

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Re: Need "Firm but Nice" Wording Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2012, 05:09:41 PM »
Congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

snip

(Also, you might consult Lukas to find out whether "no firm plans" actually means "no plans at all." If it means "we've narrowed it down to two places and are going in to make sure that they can accommodate wheelchairs/special diets/whatever," then you might not need to sweat it at all, but ask that they nail it down. You should also make sure that your grandmother/grandfather gets an invitation. Assume that it was an oversight rather than being any sort of malicious act.)

If you don't want it to sting, then leave feelings out of it entirely. Simply tell them what your solution was to the problem. No blame, no guilt, nothing.

Thank you! It has been a trial to plan while in grad school, after the seamstress set fire to my wedding dress, etc. :)

From what I have heard from both Lukas and Marta (Franz is not involved much), "no firm plans" means "no plans at all". Other than making a very rude and exclusive guest list (see previous post), they have not secured a venue or anything. I'm a touch tired of waiting.

Shoo

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Re: Need "Firm but Nice" Wording Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2012, 05:11:25 PM »
I am already confused.  Were they doing the wedding invites also?

Especially when I found out that Marta has invited all four of Lukas' grandparents, but has not seen fit to include my one living grandparent.

Sorry if this wasn't clear. We are paying for our own wedding and we invited the guests ourselves. I was referring to the rehersal dinner, to which Marta intends to invite her sister and brother-in-law, her parents, her husband's parents, etc., but does not want to invite my grandparent or my siblings "who aren't in the wedding".

It sounds to me like you need to relieve them of this responsibility ASAP.  Otherwise, you're going to have a rehearsal dinner wherein the guests are comprised solely of your future inlaws' friends and family, and none of yours.

Your fiance needs to be the one to do this.  He should call them up, or go see them in person, and simply tell them that the two of you are getting rather anxious about the RD and are just going to plan and host it yourselves.  They will protest, and your fiance must be firm.  If they ask why, he absolutely must bring up the fact that his grandparents were going to be invited but yours were NOT, and neither of you can tolerate that.  It's not fair, it's not nice, and it's causing a problem, so therefore the decision is made, thanks for the very kind offer, but we'll take it from here.

There's no way to sugar coat this.  They are behaving badly and your fiance is going to have to call them out on it. 

MOM21SON

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Re: Need "Firm but Nice" Wording Suggestions
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2012, 05:21:11 PM »
I am already confused.  Were they doing the wedding invites also?

Especially when I found out that Marta has invited all four of Lukas' grandparents, but has not seen fit to include my one living grandparent.

Sorry if this wasn't clear. We are paying for our own wedding and we invited the guests ourselves. I was referring to the rehersal dinner, to which Marta intends to invite her sister and brother-in-law, her parents, her husband's parents, etc., but does not want to invite my grandparent or my siblings "who aren't in the wedding".

I am sure it was my reading it wrong.  I have to agree with others.  They seriously dropped this.  However, your DF needs to handle it.  Best wishes!

cheyne

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Re: Need "Firm but Nice" Wording Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2012, 05:32:57 PM »
I had a long reply ready to go, but Shoo said it all.

Sounds more like Marta is planning a family reunion.

Deetee

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Re: Need "Firm but Nice" Wording Suggestions
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2012, 05:33:57 PM »
I agree that your fiance should be the one to address this with his family. I also agree that it would be best to give a deadline before you take over.

As others have said rehersal dinners vary widely. There really are not firm etiquette rules. I had some that I had a seperate invite for and others that I wasn't aware of until the day of the dinner, but most were a verbal invite some time prior to the wedding that I was welcome to attend. Some are only the members of the wedding party and spouces. Some include close family and some include out of town guests. All of these are perfectly fine but the hosts and the happy couple need to be on the same page.

Plenty have no details in advance or plans like "We will make a huge pot of chili".

So you need to decide who you want invited and find out if that meshes with what you future  in-laws were planning. Then give them a deadline to get things sorted out. Then deal with it yourself.
But if at all possible have everything go through your fiance.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Need "Firm but Nice" Wording Suggestions
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2012, 05:39:23 PM »
I am already confused.  Were they doing the wedding invites also?

Especially when I found out that Marta has invited all four of Lukas' grandparents, but has not seen fit to include my one living grandparent.

Sorry if this wasn't clear. We are paying for our own wedding and we invited the guests ourselves. I was referring to the rehersal dinner, to which Marta intends to invite her sister and brother-in-law, her parents, her husband's parents, etc., but does not want to invite my grandparent or my siblings "who aren't in the wedding".

It sounds to me like you need to relieve them of this responsibility ASAP.  Otherwise, you're going to have a rehearsal dinner wherein the guests are comprised solely of your future inlaws' friends and family, and none of yours.

Your fiance needs to be the one to do this.  He should call them up, or go see them in person, and simply tell them that the two of you are getting rather anxious about the RD and are just going to plan and host it yourselves.  They will protest, and your fiance must be firm.  If they ask why, he absolutely must bring up the fact that his grandparents were going to be invited but yours were NOT, and neither of you can tolerate that.  It's not fair, it's not nice, and it's causing a problem, so therefore the decision is made, thanks for the very kind offer, but we'll take it from here.

There's no way to sugar coat this.  They are behaving badly and your fiance is going to have to call them out on it.
POD to this. 

bonyk

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Re: Need "Firm but Nice" Wording Suggestions
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2012, 05:42:51 PM »
I'm still a little confused.  If the guest list has been made, then the people from your side who are invited can go ahead and make travel arrangements.  They don't need specifics for that, right?

lisen

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Re: Need "Firm but Nice" Wording Suggestions
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2012, 06:03:23 PM »
I'm still a little confused.  If the guest list has been made, then the people from your side who are invited can go ahead and make travel arrangements.  They don't need specifics for that, right?

The guest list is not made. I have asked her several times and even given her lists of all the people who are involved in the wedding rehersal and told her "You need to tell me who on this list is invited - eg. clergy people - and who else you are including." That way, I reasoned, we could at least tell them "There will be a dinner on X date and X pm, details TBA." But she has not told me who is invited - eg. my sister's partner, the clergy, etc. She HAS informed me that they're taking a long time "to keep costs down" and that for that reason they're going to invite only the "local grandparents", but that they're inviting her sister and brother in law because "they're travelling so far". So there is no guest list, no time, no decision about the meal, except that they want to have a "big party" but not pay much, so they asked "Would it be okay to not include your siblings if they're not in the wedding?"

I just want to be told "There will be a dinner. It will be at 8 pm on [date]. We will email/ call [names]." My parents are not arriving until 5 pm by plane for the wedding at the rehearsal is at 630. Marta has said "Oh, we thought of doing a rehearsal lunch because a lunch is cheaper at a restaurant." In that case, my parents will not even be there.

Deetee

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Re: Need "Firm but Nice" Wording Suggestions
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2012, 06:20:19 PM »
With your update, it doesn't change my advice much, but it really sounds like it is up to you guys.