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Author Topic: I think my mom is being snobbish about my wedding plans?  (Read 12231 times)

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nuit93

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I think my mom is being snobbish about my wedding plans?
« on: December 22, 2014, 01:11:24 PM »
I was at my family's place on Friday and often times I'll be asked how things are progressing.  Since we have a reception site narrowed down, I let them know the name of it.  Mom pulled up the site and went "oh, that's...interesting...."

She later looked downright horrified when I mentioned we were getting a food truck for the reception food and only eased up a little when I assured her that no, guests would absolutely NOT be responsible for paying for their own meals, and that we'd also be serving beer, wine, soda, and possibly some hard alcohol though it's not a huge priority for us.  She still acted disgusted and reminded me that "well, it costs a LOT of money to host people PROPERLY".  She's displayed a similar attitude towards buffets and no-alcohol weddings.

I have...no idea what this means.  My sister had a full formal wedding celebration a couple years ago, complete with plated meals and a full open bar for some 175 people.  I'm having to leave out friends because it's expected that I invite my entire extended family even though I don't feel any particular closeness to some of them (though for the record, they've all been really excited at the idea of a food truck.  My mother is literally the only one who's acting this way). 

We're paying for all this ourselves, just as my sister did with her wedding.  Am I committing some vulgar faux pas just because I can't drop $20k feeding everyone?  It's not like big formal weddings are a family tradition, people have done everything from the big church service to the small backyard family wedding to the "just the two of us at city hall" weekend.  We're just trying to strike a balance of including all our loved ones and not going into debt.

TootsNYC

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Re: I think my mom is being snobbish about my wedding plans?
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2014, 01:16:05 PM »
Quote
My mother is literally the only one who's acting this way

Repeat this over and over in your  head.



What a bummer--to feel that you have to protect yourself from your mother's criticism. You  might mention that to her, if it gets too bad.

nuit93

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Re: I think my mom is being snobbish about my wedding plans?
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2014, 01:23:13 PM »
I've been working on that.

A non-rational part of me keeps thinking "what if she's right and everyone else is just too polite to say anything?"

cattlekid

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Re: I think my mom is being snobbish about my wedding plans?
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2014, 01:25:47 PM »
Having lived through a little bit of something similar with my own parents and ILs a few years ago, here are a couple of my thoughts in no particular order.

Your mom may have legitimate concerns and some not-so-legitimate concerns.  She may be concerned about whether or not a food truck can serve all of the guests in a reasonable amount of time.  She may also be of the mind that a wedding isn't a wedding without hard alcohol.  She may also be concerned about the outward disparity between your wedding and your sister's wedding and a possible perception of favoritism for your sister over you.  Finally, your mom may just have hard-set ideas about what a wedding/reception "needs" to have and anything outside of that narrow view is hard for her to wrap her mind around.

Personally, I'd give her a couple of days to mull it over.  Then, I would approach her with an open mind.  Casually bring up something wedding related that is minor.  Then, I would say something like "I noticed you were a little apprehensive about our plans for the reception food and beverage.  Is there something that we need to know or should take into consideration?"  Give her some room to talk out her thoughts.  Then, if she has rational concerns, you can address them then.  If she slides back into "that's not how it's done", you can gently remind her that she is a guest, not a host.  If it comes to that point, then I would no longer bring anything wedding-related into a discussion when she is around unless it directly affects her as a guest.


nuit93

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Re: I think my mom is being snobbish about my wedding plans?
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2014, 01:33:04 PM »
Having lived through a little bit of something similar with my own parents and ILs a few years ago, here are a couple of my thoughts in no particular order.

Your mom may have legitimate concerns and some not-so-legitimate concerns. She may be concerned about whether or not a food truck can serve all of the guests in a reasonable amount of time. 

I was actually really concerned about this too when DF first suggested it, so I did a fair amount of research before determining that it would be sufficient.

She may also be of the mind that a wedding isn't a wedding without hard alcohol.  She may also be concerned about the outward disparity between your wedding and your sister's wedding and a possible perception of favoritism for your sister over you. 

Maybe?  I mean...we're all paying for our own weddings here.  My sister didn't get any parental contribution either.


TootsNYC

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Re: I think my mom is being snobbish about my wedding plans?
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2014, 01:49:17 PM »
I've been working on that.

A non-rational part of me keeps thinking "what if she's right and everyone else is just too polite to say anything?"

She might be right to a certain definition of "right." There may be people who will think, "Hmmm, that's kind of chintzy, to not pay for a sit-down meal!" There may truly be (there is in my ILs' family) a set expectation or frequent way of doing things. Because almost everyone does it exactly the same way.
    If someone did it a little different, I think most of them would find it to be both refreshing and offputting, at the same time. It would be good for them! They need to shake it up a little bit.

And I love cattlekid's approach.

Also, if you do discuss any more stuff with Mom and she criticizes, or says "properly," say to her, "Can you be specific about what exactly is improper about this Mom? Be really specific and logical. What's the underlying etiquette principle that is involved?"


(re: the parental support/favortism: Many guests either won't know of will discount the idea that you girls were on your own. Also, many people judge the parents if they object to the kid's behavior or actions. I've flat-out said it to my own kids: "I don't want you to do it this way, because people who see you will think I created this behavior in you, and I don't want to be judged negatively." I think I've been fair in the instances where I said it, and apparently so did they.)

cattlekid

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Re: I think my mom is being snobbish about my wedding plans?
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2014, 01:53:25 PM »
I'm not sure how much who pays for what is known among the guests.  I can see that if it was just a couple of years between your sister's weddings and your wedding, guests may still mentally be doing the comparison.  It was a good five years after DH's sister got married that we got married and I know that we got a lot of "your SIL/BIL did XXXX"  when we were planning our wedding.  I didn't care what they did, I wanted our wedding to be our wedding but like I said above, there are just some folks who can't wrap their minds around anything but a "standard" wedding (whatever that means in their book).

She may also be of the mind that a wedding isn't a wedding without hard alcohol.  She may also be concerned about the outward disparity between your wedding and your sister's wedding and a possible perception of favoritism for your sister over you. 

Maybe?  I mean...we're all paying for our own weddings here.  My sister didn't get any parental contribution either.

HannahGrace

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Re: I think my mom is being snobbish about my wedding plans?
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2014, 01:55:13 PM »
I had people (thankfully not my mother) occasionally make similar comments during my wedding planning process.  I found the best tactic was to respond positively... i.e. "Oh, you guys are doing X ...?" My response: "yes!  We are really excited, it's going to be fantastic, blah blah."  Basically, kill them with enthusasism.  And I would be so psyched for a food truck as a wedding guest!

(As a side note, we just did beer/wine/cider, not hard alcohol, and everyone had plenty to drink and was happy - it not only saves money on the alcohol itself, it cuts down on the numbers/types of glassware you need to worry about.)

cattlekid

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Re: I think my mom is being snobbish about my wedding plans?
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2014, 01:56:44 PM »
I had to do this *a lot* when DH and I were planning our wedding.  We got married in his church which was fraught with rules, regulations and customs.  A lot of it was non-negotiable and some of it was just "that's how it's always been done".  If DH, his sister or his cousin could clearly explain to me why something I wanted would go against a rule or custom, I would bend.  But if it was someone else who said something "had" to be done that way, I would take it with a *large* grain of salt until I could confirm with someone who had the logical answer.

Also, if you do discuss any more stuff with Mom and she criticizes, or says "properly," say to her, "Can you be specific about what exactly is improper about this Mom? Be really specific and logical. What's the underlying etiquette principle that is involved?"


TootsNYC

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Re: I think my mom is being snobbish about my wedding plans?
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2014, 01:59:45 PM »
Oh, and maybe have a stock question: "Is this truly unfair to guests, Mom, or is it simply that you are used to it being done a different way?"

And then, "Exactly how is it unfair to guests?"

nuit93

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Re: I think my mom is being snobbish about my wedding plans?
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2014, 02:03:31 PM »
I've been working on that.

A non-rational part of me keeps thinking "what if she's right and everyone else is just too polite to say anything?"

She might be right to a certain definition of "right." There may be people who will think, "Hmmm, that's kind of chintzy, to not pay for a sit-down meal!" There may truly be (there is in my ILs' family) a set expectation or frequent way of doing things. Because almost everyone does it exactly the same way.
    If someone did it a little different, I think most of them would find it to be both refreshing and offputting, at the same time. It would be good for them! They need to shake it up a little bit.


Yeah, I'm sure there's that factor too. 

Though as I've pointed out to her--I've planned semi-large events before.  I've been to more formal gatherings in the past decade than she did in her entire adult life.  I know how hospitality works...I'm not completely out of touch!

TootsNYC

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Re: I think my mom is being snobbish about my wedding plans?
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2014, 02:11:40 PM »
Oh, I'm totally on your side! But us moms sometimes have trouble letting go of the idea that we're more expert than our kids.

Mostly, I think this is actually a good training for you.

(Sort of like wedding planning is all the time--you have a conflict with your family over the details & decisions, and you figure out how to internalize the concept that you really don't particularly care if they're unhappy anymore; they aren't the boss of you, they aren't the "parents" anymore, they aren't the "grownups" anymore--you are!!)  (even if you don't have kids yet, or aren't planning to have them ever, you are the "parents" now.)

nuit93

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Re: I think my mom is being snobbish about my wedding plans?
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2014, 02:16:02 PM »
Oh, I'm totally on your side! But us moms sometimes have trouble letting go of the idea that we're more expert than our kids.

Mostly, I think this is actually a good training for you.

(Sort of like wedding planning is all the time--you have a conflict with your family over the details & decisions, and you figure out how to internalize the concept that you really don't particularly care if they're unhappy anymore; they aren't the boss of you, they aren't the "parents" anymore, they aren't the "grownups" anymore--you are!!)  (even if you don't have kids yet, or aren't planning to have them ever, you are the "parents" now.)

LOL, exactly.

I told my DF about the stresses I was having, and he pointed out that "if she doesn't like what we're doing then she doesn't have to come."

sparksals

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Re: I think my mom is being snobbish about my wedding plans?
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2014, 03:34:49 PM »
I actually like the food truck idea as long as the wedding is casual.  If it is formal, I don't think a food truck would match. 

TootsNYC

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Re: I think my mom is being snobbish about my wedding plans?
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2014, 05:28:10 PM »
Of course, its very "not matching" could be part of its appeal; the stories of successful parties w/ people in tuxes eating hot dogs (for the novelty) are legion.