Carolyn Hax: Stepmom plans big overhaul of ‘perfect’ little wedding

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Adapted from an online discussion.

Hello Carolyn: I got married during the pandemic and the wedding was small and quaint. It was the wedding of my dreams.

My mother-in-law wants a bigger post-covid wedding which she will pay for in full, but it’s on her own terms. Some people I know from his family aren’t invited, which I honestly find terrible considering how well I get along with them. She also rejects all my location suggestions in an aggressive and rude way and won’t in the state I live in.

At this point I am completely indifferent to his ego driven plans and want to focus on my life and my new family. I feel like I had the perfect little wedding with fond memories, and I’m afraid the one she’s planning will be a nightmare, but I also realize that the second wedding is about her and not me. Should I just let her drive the plans and accompany the trip? Cancellation can start a war.

Concerned: Hmm. Where is your spouse? “It’s me”, not us, “I had the perfect little wedding?”

I’ll wait. While waiting for the other half of the story, I’m 100% pro-war.

(Update: I haven’t seen a follow-up message.)

Tell us: What’s your favorite holiday column from Carolyn Hax?

· When planning our wedding, my mother-in-law had several suggestions and was REALLY annoyed that we didn’t consider her for some of them. And my husband quietly pulled her aside and said, “Listen. That’s what she wants. It’s ours. His choice is the one that matters, and I’m on his side. Without this attitude, chances are we wouldn’t have gotten married.

· If the mother-in-law “wants a bigger marriage,” then she should get engaged or renew her vows. Problem solved.

· Start the war! Do not feed the ego! If you give in to this, she will continue with bad behavior and unreasonable demands. We can all imagine what she will do for the first birthday of a future baby.

· Say no. It’s disgusting to have a fake marriage when you’re already married. And if your spouse can’t stand it, it’s time to think about annulling unless you want that deranged asshole to rule the rest of your life.

· It amused me and then frustrated me. Amused at the idea that the mother-in-law is undeterred in planning this huge affair that the couple does not want, then frustrated because how can you say you are old enough to marry when you can not say no ? “Thank you for the sweet thought, but our wedding was exactly what we wanted. Please don’t waste your time, energy or money planning something for us that we won’t be attending.

· I think I would take the opposite view. If the mother-in-law wants this big feast and wants to pay for it, let her. Take on the role of the stereotypical groom and stay away from all the decisions. Just ask where you need to make an appointment for fittings and what time you need to show up. Whenever someone asks you for wedding details, just say, “It’s beyond me, my mother-in-law is planning everything.” You will have to ask him. We had our wedding last year and this one is for her. Let her run with it and be very careful about what you accept money for in the future.

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