Saturday, July 17, 2010

speaking of estranged parents and weddings and MONEY...

Hey ESB,

It's me, the one who wrote in asking about who was going to walk me down the aisle. Thought you'd be glad to know that B and I have decided to walk each other down...partially to not hurt anyone's feelings, partially because we already got courthouse hitched (though barely anyone knows that) and partially because we feel it symbolizes the beginning of our new chapter together and I'd rather walk down with him than anyone else.

Well, I'm having more (biological) mama-drama. Always will, I guess. Basically, she has not helped with anything. B's mother has paid for almost everything. I have paid for the band and am saving up for the catering, and bought my dress of course, but my mother has not come off of anything. She actually called B's mother to say that we were not including her in things. Luckily, B's mom knows her history and set her straight on some things, explaining that we asked her to come meet with the caterer, but she brought my aunt and uncle with and gabbed to them the whole time. B's mom also told her that we took her to the venue to make sure she liked it, and have asked her to help us with some of the DIY decorations/flowers that we're planning to do, to which she said no thanks to. (Selective memory is a bitch.)

(I'm not sure if you remember my incredibly confusing family history from the last time I wrote in, but) I am an only child who was adopted by my maternal grandparents. She likes to take credit for everything until it comes down to actually DOING something. During the conversation she had with B's mom, she told her that she had offered to help pay for the wedding but if I didn't "ship up" and start including her in things, that she wouldn't. I feel like if she does help with anything, it will just be to dangle it over my head in the future. But my aunt keeps reiterating to me that I need to ask my mom for money to help pay for things.

In my mind, she offered then never came through with it. I'm her only daughter, and if she wants to help she should write me a check for what I need instead of making me beg and plead for it.  I'm not rich by any means, and the help would be nice. Plus, I think it's kind of shitty that B's mom is going above and beyond and my family is not helping at all. (Though B's mom is only doing it because she wants to and because she's always treated me as a daughter and knows how insane my biological mother is, firsthand.)

Am I wrong to think that she should offer money instead of making me ask for it (especially since she's already offered, but then just never brought it up again, and told B's mom that she was going to retract the offer)? Should I, once again, be the grown-up and buck-up and ask?




You're a grownup. You are fully capable of pulling this thing off on your own. Bonus: You have a terrific mom-in-law.

So cut your biological mother out of it entirely. You don't need her money, you don't need her bad energy, and you certainly don't need her help with the planning.

(Image via YIMMY'S YAYO)


  1. agreed; as rachel said on the last "fraught parental funds?" post, sometimes the cost of money is too high. and as esb just said, focus on the bonus here (happily, you have a great FMIL to get your back) and don't provide any openings for drama. in many cases wedding drama can't be controlled at all; here you have an opportunity to dial it down, and you should take it.

  2. ESB, best advice you've ever given.

  3. @17 beats "Fuck that shit" to be read in the voice of Dennis Hopper. obviously.

  4. AGREED. I could barely read all that.

  5. Yes. Best wedding choice we've made is paying for this shindig ourselves. Paying for it doesn't stop the drama, but damn it helps. And you need some help right now.

  6. @lauren
    "sometimes the cost of money is too high"
    That was fucking profound. Love it.

  7. I agree with ESB, pay for it yourself (even if you have to do cheapy things or DIY) and you will feel independent and proud of yourself...and then no one also has any right of say in any of the wedding business! That's a mega plus!

  8. Should I, once again, be the grown-up and buck-up

    The answer to this question is yes. You'll have to do it over and over and over again with her. But, in this situation I think being the grown-up is *not* asking for her help because why put that pressure on yourself?

  9. Amen. Do not ask. Turn it down politely if offered. Do not give an already frustrating mother further excuses to meddle with your life.

  10. agree 100% with ESB... and Lila! the last thing you need is someone holding things over your head... and this way you'll feel like a rock-star having done it YOUR way, YOURSELF, on YOUR terms!

  11. WORD. cut her out and if you're feeling super ghandi-like and generous, tell her you'll allow her back into YOUR life if SHE shapes up.... AFTER the wedding. no need for the extra rage right now!