Let me start by saying that my future in-laws are usually wonderful, but they tend to favor their oldest child over my fiancé.
My fiancé and I are planning to get married this summer after being together for almost ten years, even though we are both in our 20s. Since getting engaged, my future mother-in-law (MIL) and father-in-law (FIL) have constantly given their opinions on how we should plan our wedding. It became apparent when I mentioned having one large table for everyone, and my MIL immediately disagreed, stating that it would be a bad idea because not everyone would have a good view of us.
The real issues started when my fiancé decided to choose his two best friends from elementary school as his groomsmen. My MIL and FIL asked, “What about your brother?” When my fiancé explained that his brother (in his 30s) wouldn’t be at the wedding party because they aren’t close, his parents insisted that the brother had to be the best man. When my fiancé mentioned his plans for a bachelor party centered around gaming, his parents only asked about his brother’s involvement, since he doesn’t play games. When my fiancé responded that his brother wasn’t invited, they got upset, and we left shortly after. All of this happened the day after we got engaged.
Since the beginning, I’ve wanted to elope to avoid disagreements with them. The only way we could get away with not inviting anyone would be to get married in another country, but it’s financially out of reach for us.
We eventually decided on a small and casual event. I have a large extended family, so we decided to keep it intimate with close friends and immediate family due to budget constraints.
Here’s where the main issue arises. I don’t particularly like my brother-in-law (BIL). He’s not a terrible person, but he’s spoiled and self-centered, and we have different core values that make it challenging for me to enjoy his company. My fiancé feels the same way. Since our engagement, my BIL has gone through several girlfriends. None of us, including my MIL and FIL, have met his latest girlfriend, despite them dating for a few months. I don’t want a stranger at my small wedding. I don’t want someone who may not even be with my BIL a month later to be in our wedding photos. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
We knew that if BIL was the only one without a plus one, he would throw a fit. So, to be “fair” (though it wasn’t truly fair since I’ve known my friends’ partners for years), we decided to have no plus ones. When we told BIL, he surprisingly took it well (as far as we know).
However, my in-laws were furious. My MIL argued that family is more important than friends, so BIL’s girlfriend should come. She said we should consider BIL’s feelings on our wedding day, considering it’s his younger brother getting married before him. They insisted we should be more considerate of the difficulties BIL has faced witnessing his younger brother reach these milestones first.
I expressed my frustration, pointing out that they seemed to care more about BIL’s feelings than their youngest son’s on HIS wedding day. They claimed they cared about both, but it feels like they prioritize BIL.
We stood firm on the no plus ones, although my fiancé acknowledged their perspective. They were pleased that he listened, but I remain upset.
I don’t think I should have to worry about what my in-laws think of my wedding or how they feel on that day. Isn’t a wedding supposed to be about the couple getting married?
This situation has made me anxious about the level of involvement they will try to have when we have children. I can’t help but worry about how they will shift the focus onto BIL if we have children before him, which seems likely.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m overreacting or if I should just let it go. But deep down, I believe that a wedding should be a reflection of the couple’s wishes and dreams, not a platform for appeasing others. It’s disheartening to feel like my opinions and desires for my own special day are being overshadowed by the expectations of my future in-laws.
As the wedding approaches, I can’t help but feel a sense of apprehension. Will they continue to push their preferences onto us? Will they make our wedding day more about their own expectations and desires? And how will this dynamic evolve once we start a family?