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Wedding Forum - Difficulty with grooms parents :(...

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  1.  
    • AnnieB87
      CommentAuthorAnnieB87
      Posted: Jan 11th 2017
      edited
     
    Hello ladies!
    This is my first post on here so please excuse me if I've done it all wrong.
    I am having a bit of a panic about H2B's parents. They divorced years ago and my H2B and his brother lived with their mother, which was not good to say the least. Unfortunately over this time he mostly lost touch with his dad and after his mom kicked him out at 17 he barely heard from her. I have been with him 4 years and she has no idea who I am and we haven't seen her, although she has showed up at his work a couple of times asking for him.

    We reconnected with his dad a couple of years ago, at first things were great but now he has a new partner and things drifted off again and frankly went south very quickly after he met her (he has lots of money and even he has admitted he knows that's why she is with him.)
    We decided to invite his parents to the wedding to basically attempt to rebuild bridges but it's not going well. H2B's brother got married last year and their dad not only didn't show up due to their mom going, he held back invites for other family members to prevent them going too.

    My parents have paid for the entire thing, and we would have never expected them to pay anything but I am at my wits end with them causing issues. His mom is expecting gifts as far as we have been told, which was a surprise. We are giving my parents gifts as they have done so much for the two of us, and although people keep saying "the gift is for raising you", H2B frankly doesn't want to give them anything for that, but he seems hopeful that somehow the wedding will start to rebuild the relationships. I'm in a bit of a pickle as I can't help but feel like everything is going to go wrong and he will end up feeling awful, which is the last thing I want.

    Any advice? Anything will do! Thank you in advance xx
  2.  
    • Elinor Claire
      CommentAuthorElinor Claire
      Got married 6 years ago
      Posted: Jan 11th 2017
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    That sounds very difficult. You may just have to go for damage limitation, if your husband definitely wants both of his parents there. You can learn from your BIL's wedding and make sure that invites go directly to family members, or follow them up. We had a potential issue with MIL's brother and sister who hate each other, they were on separate tables with people primed to sit with them and prevent anything blowing up. In the end the brother didn't come as his partner was ill. It may be difficult as no doubt they will expect to be on the top table. You'll need to consider whether partners sit with them or separately, or if they are invited at all. At least if you do the top table the traditional way the parents won't sit together, and maybe your parents can keep the peace. It is normal to give gifts to parents, I can see why your husband isn't happy to, but potentially a small token like a box of chocolates is a good compromise. If gifts are given in speeches your husband would do that but, and could choose the wording carefully e.g. thank you for bringing me into the world. You could even do that bit and say thank you for my husband. Quite sweet but doesn't say anything you can't mean. Otherwise I'd say allocate friends or relatives who are good at being diplomatic to keep an eye out and stop things blowing up.

    Members signature icon
    30th August 2014 was the best birthday ever.
    It was the day that I became Mrs. Dixon.

  3.  
    • Glitterfairy
      CommentAuthorGlitterfairy
      Got married 8 years ago
      Posted: Jan 11th 2017
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    If s father done that to his brother, then chances are high he will do it to you as well. If you really want the other family members there, I would suggest you hand out the invites yourself or post to their address. Maybe he needs to confront his dad and say to him if he wants him there, then he turns up. Naturally his mother will be there, if his father is not happy with that then he does not go on the guest list. It's times like this that people need to be straight and upfront with them. It might make his dad realise what an idiot he was to his brother.

    Members signature icon
    Our wedding day - 6 October 2012


  4.  
    • Emily17
      CommentAuthorEmily17
      Got married 3 years ago
      Posted: Jan 11th 2017
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    For the gift situation I wouldn't give them during the speeches. That way, done before the wedding it will be private and personal and you don't need to give them anything or if you do, can be something small

    Members signature icon
    Met in 2009
    He proposed Jan 2014
    Will become Mrs P 7th October 2017
  5.  
    • FayeH
      CommentAuthorFayeH
      Got married 3 years ago
      Posted: Jan 11th 2017
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    Just to chime in with my two cents, fron my limited knowledge weddings can be really stressful .so close to the wedding may not be the best time to reconnect with people, especially if there is a painful history. You don't seem to have a countdown on but if you have plenty of time before the wedding it might be good to arrange a few low-key meet ups (coffee in a coffee shop etc) to get to know her first? That way you can assess the situation properly and make informed decisions about whether you want her to be at the wedding and for so, what arrangements might be appropriate.
  6.  
    • AnnieB87
      CommentAuthorAnnieB87
      Posted: Jan 12th 2017
     
    Thanks all, really helpful replies. You're all absolutely right. I'll think I'll do token gifts for all parents during the speeches and then something nice for my parents another time. His mom showed up at his work again yesterday when he wasn't there, so I think it could be worth meeting her for coffee as suggested and we can see what happens from there. We shall see! The wedding is July this year so we have some time to try and figure it out.
    You've all been brilliant, thanks again ladies! :) xx
  7.  
    • FayeH
      CommentAuthorFayeH
      Got married 3 years ago
      Posted: Jan 13th 2017
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    Hope it goes well! Keep us updated if you can!
 
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