Family Venue Drama...

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from jdd01. Show jdd01's posts

    Family Venue Drama...

    Does planning a wedding really have to be this difficult?

    Backgroud:
    As you all may know, my fiance and I reacently got in engaged in May.  It was such a special moment for me because I hadn't been expecting him to ask for another year or two.  Because we had started to talk about getting married last year, I had been doing some research on venues just so that I can get an idea on the places we could afford.  I like to be very organized so when he finally popped the question, I had already researched over 90 reception venues.  I wasn't planning on using all this information so soon, but I'm very glad I had already started my search.

    My issue:
    I sat down with my finance and we looked over the 90 venues.  We picked out a couple of places and then we presented them to his parents since they are the ones who will help us out the most financially for the event.  We quickly ruled out places that were out of our budget.  His mom suggested we reduce the guests count from 140 down to 60 or 30 people and have something really intimate.  I presented this information to my family and they said that they want to invite everyone on our list.  Discouraged after switching the numbers so many times, I went back to the drawing board and looked at my venues once more.  I ending up finding a venue that my finance and I absolutely fell in love with.  It's a restaurant called L'andana in Burlington.  It was the first venue we saw (we only went to two venues).  It had everything that we wanted and could ask for in a venue and everything was within our budget.  I had seen so many other places online in my research that I knew I wanted to stop my search when I found L'Andana.  My finance was with me 100% on the decision.  His family on the other hand doesn't want us to have it there.  They think the bar area is too small and that the drinks are going to be too expensive.  The restaurant is bending over backwards for us and giving us so many many options when it comes to the bar yet his family still does not want us to have it there.  I know they will be helping us so much, but I could care less how much the drinks are if I have a set budget for alcohol.  With a budget, I'll help pay for some drinks, but if people want to get drunk on my wedding day, they can use their own money.  I told his parents that this is a no win for everyone in the situation...if my finance and I have our wedding elsewhere, we'll regret it and if we have our wedding at L'andana then they'll be all pissy about it the whole time. 

    I went to the restaurant last night and signed the contract with L'andana and then we will continue our search for a new venue just to make everyone else happy.  This is so frustrating, I guess I needed to vent a little.  I've been doing this for over a month now and nothing seems to be set in stone...not even the guest list.

    Am I being too picky when I know what I want and what I don't want?  I wish it was only my finance and I planning this thing cause we don't disagree on anything...

    Thanks for letting me vent!  Thoughts...Am I crazy here?

    Sorry so long...I have a lot pent up!



     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Missy509. Show Missy509's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    The major point here is that his family is footing most of the bill. If they are paying, they do get to make most decisions regarding where and how their money is spent. If they will not agree to have the wedding there, your best bet is to either find a new venue you, FI and the families agree on, or, to have the reception at the place you love and foot the bill yourselves.

    Another option though is if say they are willing to contribute say $15k to the wedding, maybe they can give you the $15k as a gift, and you can kick in the rest yourselves, so that they do not spend more money than they want to / can afford (I was guessing they want a small wedding b/c they do not have the funds for a large one), and you can have it at the place you want...just a thought.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from elmirag. Show elmirag's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    I don't know- even if his family is paying for most of the bill- isn't that considered a "gift" and shouldn't the bride and groom still pick where THEY want the reception for THEIR wedding? From the original post, I really feel the family is being unreasonable. Are they trying to relive something through their son and future daughter in law? If the alcohol is such a big issue, have a dry wedding (that never killed anyone, even though most people don't like the idea!) Or just have beer and wine only. 

    However, since you fiance is 100% on your side, he should take the brunt of this decision with his family, so they don't "blame" you, so to speak. If their only (or main) reason to not like the place is because the bar is too small, and the drinks are pricey, they really do have their priorities mixed up. Could you maybe bring them to the venue for a tour or tasting, (telling the venue in advance why) and see if that maybe puts the future in laws in your court? 
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    Missy is right.  Politics of money apply to families.  Whoever pays gets the final say.

    His (which will soon be your) family is not responsible for your choosing to take on so many hours of research.  It's not like they owe you because you've done that; they are paying for your wedding, not covering the hours you've spent researching.

    Now, this not as bad as it may seem unless you make it a problem.  Presumably, they are paying because they LOVE you and their son and are wishing you the best in your marriage.  Keep the lines of communication open, and try to keep things in perspective.  I'm sure you can fall in love with any number of those 90 venues.

    It's all about the marriage and combining two families, not about the perfect everything.  The fact that you bothered to research 90 venues tells me a bit about your perfectionism (takes one to know one, by the way).  In wedding planning and in marriage, it's best to let some of that tendancy go.  The earlier the better.

    ~kar

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from 7x4. Show 7x4's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    The easiest way to save money is to cut down the guest list.

    You can have a much higher "quality" when you reduce the "quantity".
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie18. Show pinkkittie18's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    You're going to want to find a place you can all agree on. Your wedding may be a very important day, but it's just one day. Your relationship with your in-laws will last decades, and you don't want to spoil it by insisting on a venue they don't like.

    Sit down with your future in-laws, you, your FI and your parents.
    Make a list about what each one of you (FMIL, FFIL, FI, you, your parents) are looking for in a venue. Talk about what's important to each of you and why. Talk about which things you're flexible on and what things you're not. Combine your lists into one list of the things that are the most important to everyone.
    Type up a one or two page summary of each venue you've researched. Bring those to the meeting and pass them around. You can all talk about them and see which venue has the most of the things on the list of everyone's wants.

    After you've all narrowed it down or agreed on one, you and your FI go and check it out. I do think the bride and groom should have final say, but I don't think you should book a venue if your in-laws hate it.

    I know it's a lot of work and it's frustrating, but the initial wedding planning is the hardest part. Once you choose your venue, it's mostly all down-hill from there.

    If after the sit-down it seems that you'll never be able to agree on a venue, then start thinking of how you and FI can host your own wedding. It would most likely have to be much smaller, but smaller DIY wedding can be lovely, intimate and truly personal.

    FWIW As far as bar space goes, I find smaller bar spaces to be better as it ensures that no one is hanging around at the bar for a long period of time. A smaller bar space encourages guests to get their drink and go mingle elsewhere.
    That might be something you can point out, but if they won't budge on it, then you're going to have to find something else.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from jdd01. Show jdd01's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    I have offered to pay for the venue on my own, but his parents are still not happy with that. 

    I have made the suggestion to just offer certian drinks and possibly just offer beer and wine, but his mom wants to offer the whole bar...how do you keep costs down then?

    My parents and his mom have seen the venue and loved the food.  They also keep telling me that they love the style of the place.  The only concern for his parents now is the size of the bar and drink cost.  I do understand their reasoning and its not the perfect place (no place is), but my fiance and i instantly knew it was our place once we walked in there.

    "His (which will soon be your) family is not responsible for your choosing to take on so many hours of research.  It's not like they owe you because you've done that; they are paying for your wedding, not covering the hours you've spent researching."  I'm not saying that they owe me in anyway what-so-ever for whatever time I spent doing research.  I would have gladly done another 100 hours of research if I still hadn't found the place I wanted.  But I have found the place and I just haven't heard them offer any other suggestions that would better fit the size of the party and our budget.  They told us that whatever we don't spend on the wedding we could keep as a downpayment to a house so since L'andana fits our budget so well, it will be more money for us down the line.  Now they are asking us to look at other places that will be more expensive and shrink our downpayment. 

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie18. Show pinkkittie18's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    So they won't even go for wine, beer and a signature cocktail? That's a tough situation.
    I can only suggest pointing out that it's good that the bar is small because it means no one will be hanging out at the bar. The bar should not be a focal point of the reception. It's a place for guests to get drinks and move on.
    As long as there's adequate room at the tables, that's where people should be hanging out.
    Also point out that you'd hate to give up a venue that has everything else going for it except the liquor part. It's much harder to find a venue with good food, ambiance, service and size than it is to find a venue with a great bar.
    Try to find out why the bar and liquor is such a sticking point. I think it's unusual.

    I had two bars at my reception, both were very small, 8ft at the most. And sure enough, no one was ever standing at the bar unless they were waiting for a drink.

    If there's no convincing them, maybe ask the restaurant if they can set up a smaller bar in another location just for part of the evening. Or even just cocktail tables near the bar so that people with drinks can mingle there if that's what your FMIL wants.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    I'm not sure I can give much advice, but I do want to say DON'T WORRY!  It is completely normal to be engaged ONE month and not have anything "set in stone."  No one has their guest list finalized one month after getting engaged.  It doesn't need to be finalized until you order your invitations (or save the dates if you decide).
    One bit of advice I would like to give for the rest of your planning is not to open yourself up for their opinions on anything unless you have to.  If it were me, I would have just said, Here's the place we're booking yay!  But of course I understand that everyone's situation is different and perhaps that wasn't an option for you two.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from jdd01. Show jdd01's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    They wont even go with the beer, wine and signature cocktail option.
    The restaurant actually has two bars...there's one main bar area and there is also a bar in the private function room that we are having the ceremony in.  I'm more than happy with leaving the whole place open for everyone to explore and walk around and use both bars if it gets too crowded, but his mom is worried that everyone will start sitting at the dinner tables (they are between the two bar spaces) and God forbid anyone do that.  She apparently wants everyone standing and mingling and doesn't want them to have the freedom to sit if they want to.  This seems like a little too much for me. 
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from elmirag. Show elmirag's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    Your FMIL worries too much about things she won't have any control over. No offense, but really, she needs to be able to just enjoy the wedding, and not worry if someone has to wait 3 minutes to get a drink at the small bar, or if that person will get to sit right away or have to walk 20 feet to find a seat. Really, I'm not trying to be rude! It just sounds crazy, that she is worried about these things. 

    I stand by my post- it's YOUR (and your fiance's) day, and I really think you should be able to have the reception where YOU 2 want it. I hope you can relax and enjoy the planning!!! 
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Goodness1. Show Goodness1's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    I do agree with pinkkittie.  I know how difficult it can be to come to final decisions whenit comes to your wedding.  But, remember, this is just one day in your lives, and your family and his family will be there forever.  I think all these thoughts and arguments will put things in perspective when it you look back and think of them.

    Some just aren't worth it.  Find a common ground, and move on.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie18. Show pinkkittie18's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    that's a strange thing to worry about. Does the restaurant have an event coordinator? Maybe talk to them about how past weddings have flowed. Ask if a lot of people sat down for most of the reception. If they say no, use that as a defense and talk to FMIL about it.
    Also remind her that a lot of the responsibility for keeping people on their feet lies not in the hands of the bar, but the hands of the DJ. Good music will keep people up and moving.

    In Response to Re: Family Venue Drama...:
    [QUOTE]They wont even go with the beer, wine and signature cocktail option. The restaurant actually has two bars...there's one main bar area and there is also a bar in the private function room that we are having the ceremony in.  I'm more than happy with leaving the whole place open for everyone to explore and walk around and use both bars if it gets too crowded, but his mom is worried that everyone will start sitting at the dinner tables (they are between the two bar spaces) and God forbid anyone do that.  She apparently wants everyone standing and mingling and doesn't want them to have the freedom to sit if they want to.  This seems like a little too much for me. 
    Posted by jdd01[/QUOTE]
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Missy509. Show Missy509's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    Is she worried people will be sitting at the dinner tables in the restaraunt, as opposed to the tables in the private room where your wedding would be held? if so, I would assume your guests could not just sit down anyhow, as those tables will be used for customers coming into the restaraunt for dinner that night, if it is open to the public as well as your wedding. I have personally never seen wedding guests leave the reception and go to another part of the building to hang out while the reception was going on.

    And yes, the bar is not responsible for keeping people out of their seats, that is the DJ. Pick a good one and you will be ok. Why is your FMIL so adamant about people standing up? I am confused by this.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from ajuly09. Show ajuly09's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    THis is the hardest part so don't worry about venting! It seems like FMIL wants to find fault with the place. If they loved it and the food was great, place was nice, there should be no problem about this bar issue.   Why don't you say that you are paying for all the drinks and having an open bar. Does your FMIL want to be able to say that she paid for everything?  If you take over the bar portion of the night, everything else should be fine.   There are so many things to consider when finding a venue if the atmosphere and food are good you have the big things out of the way.    If you are willing to pay for some of this, there should not be a problem.  
      I had a VERY hard time finding a venue as well.  My parents are paying, so they got the say in it.  The place that they had wanted to have it at was their dream venue for my wedding, but really not what I wanted at all.  We ended up compromising and found a place that had aspects that we both wanted.  I have had to let a lot of things slide off my back and let it go their way since they are paying.  There are things that we are doing certain ways that I would not do it, but somethings are not worth the fight.   I was in a huge fight with my family for the first 2 months of our engagement, and since then it has been smooth sailing. So hold out for a bit, it will get better.   One piece of advice though, if you have something to say, speak your mind (in a polite thoughtful way of course). There are many things I had wished that I had said, now it is a bit too late.  It is a sticky situation when someone else is paying however, so don't step on their toes too much.  
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    Figure out how many of your guests are actually drinkers.  If you have any kids or under 21, take those out of the equation for the bar.  Unless you were always planning an adults only reception, this should bring your number down considerably.  Now present this number to your FMIL.  It should alleviate her fears about people waiting in line for drinks. I have never seen a huge line at a bar for a wedding.  You may have to wait 2-3 minutes for a drink, but it's not going to be the logjam that your FMIL is thinking.  Generally, there are only 2-3 bar tenders to a bar at a wedding of the size you are describing.  Try to figure out exactly what your FMIL is worried about, b/c I don't know what her problem is.  The place you've selected sounds fine.  No place is going to assign more than 4 bar tenders for a wedding of 150, no matter what length bar they have.  HTH! 
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie18. Show pinkkittie18's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    this is an excellent idea.

    In Response to Re: Family Venue Drama...:
    [QUOTE]Figure out how many of your guests are actually drinkers.  If you have any kids or under 21, take those out of the equation for the bar.  Unless you were always planning an adults only reception, this should bring your number down considerably.  Now present this number to your FMIL.  It should alleviate her fears about people waiting in line for drinks. I have never seen a huge line at a bar for a wedding.  You may have to wait 2-3 minutes for a drink, but it's not going to be the logjam that your FMIL is thinking.  Generally, there are only 2-3 bar tenders to a bar at a wedding of the size you are describing.  Try to figure out exactly what your FMIL is worried about, b/c I don't know what her problem is.  The place you've selected sounds fine.  No place is going to assign more than 4 bar tenders for a wedding of 150, no matter what length bar they have.  HTH!
    Posted by ALF72[/QUOTE]
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from jdd01. Show jdd01's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    I think she is concerned with the mingling aspect of the cocktail hour.  Since the area is too small for her, she feels like the hors d'oeuvres aren't going to be passed around, that the money will be wasted because no one will eat them and that everyone will get trashed.
    I had suggested that moving the dance floor closer to the bar area will allow us to place some cocktail tables out during that hours and guests can spill over if they feel a little claustrophobic in just the bar area.  She concerned that there isn't a separate room for the cocktail hours and that its just not big enough.  My FI and I think that this suggestion works out best since we could care less if people sit at their tables during cocktail hours.
    My side of the family are not big drinkers.  A few men might have a couple of beers and the women might have a couple of glasses of wine.  Our friends are not picky drinkers in any sense of the word and will probably only drink beer and wine as well.  We are probably only looking at 50 some odd people that might drink something a little different like a stoli raz or gin and tonic. 

    I just agree with elmirag that my FMIL is worrying too much about the little things and she's loosing touch with what we (the bride and groom) want for our day.  She doesn't want people to remember our wedding as being too crammed in (which I don't think it will be) and that the drinks were too expensive (again, the restaurant is working with us to keep costs down).  One, I don't think any of my guest will really think that expect for her and two, I can't help what people are going to think because no matter how perfect the wedding, people still complain.

    Either way, my deposit is down with L'andana and I have been fiverishly looking for any other venues in the event that I do find something else.  I know its 15 months away, but places that I'm looking at are already booking.  I'll start another thread asking for venue ideas and what I'm looking for...its pretty specific so bear with me.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from emugoesnaa. Show emugoesnaa's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    My perspective may be a bit different, but that may be because im one of the few (if not only) dude responding to this.  I also recently got engaged, and am going through some of the very same issues you are.  All I can do is share the stance I am taking. 
    My fiance and her family come from Nantuckett and lots of money... I come from Lynn and my family and I are def in the lower-middle working class without extra thousands to spend.  Needless to say most of our financial help will come from her family.  I was ok with this... Until THEY started looking into venues and THEY started coming up with guestlists.  I put the squash on that real quick, opened up a joint ING Orange savings account with my fiance, and we are financing our own dream wedding.  We may have to push it out a little longer than we wanted to, but OUR day will still be on OUR terms.  I am ok with family assisting, in fact I welcome it because its such a huuuge undertaking, but dont let them bully you into something your not down with.  Ask them if maybe they wouldnt mind footing the bill for something else, like the rehearsal dinner, DJ, or any of the other million expenses.   
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from jdd01. Show jdd01's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    I have the same perspective as you emugoesnaa, but his family will probably be highly insulted if we tell them we are not accepting their money with any terms or conditions (and believe me, I've thought about it!).  My FI and I have a rather large savings of our own that we can use, but his parents have already said that they are simply going to write us one check and we can spend it on what want, be it the wedding and/or a downpayment.  We simply can not say no to this money without creating even more drama.  I am extremely grateful for their help with the wedding and our future home (especially since traditionally the daughters family is suppose to foot most of the bill), but its just setting a bad tone for the great relationship we have.  I mean, I hang out with his parents just me all the time.  The three of us all went the movies together last weekend and had a great time.  I just don't want this to be a precursor for the future...them dangle money in front of us to get us to do what they want. 

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    In Response to Re: Family Venue Drama...:
    [QUOTE]...but his parents have already said that they are simply going to write us one check and we can spend it on what want, be it the wedding and/or a downpayment...
    Posted by jdd01[/QUOTE]

    But this isn't true - they aren't simply writing you a check, they are making demands!  I would be so frustrated!  But it will all work out, it always does.  And I completely understand how you don't want things that occur during the wedding craziness to affect your relationship down the line.  I was really worried about that too. 
    My MIL has been fabulous since the wedding.  We had our issues, but I think now she's a little bummed that it's all over with.  Now she wants to have my family over for a little wine party when we get the photos so we can all look at them.  So sweet!
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from Goodness1. Show Goodness1's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    My FMIL and I NEVER had problems.  EVER!!  Then, my fiance and I get engaged, and she did a complete 180.  She was a different person.  It's getting better now, but it was hard there for the first few months he and I were engaged.  I had to read a book to realize what the issue was, and he also explained it to me.  She was feeling the "loss of her son" to another woman!  WOW!  I love psychology!
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from jdd01. Show jdd01's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    I understand the psychology behind it, but in this case I just think she's being a little too picky.  I'm hoping that things will just pass and things can get back to normal soon.  I hope this isn't how it goes with every little aspect of the wedding planning.  I've looked at another bunch of places today to present more options for her.  I have a bunch of appointments all week to event planners.  Hopefully some good will come out of it.

    The wine party is totally something that my FMIL would do.

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from Goodness1. Show Goodness1's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    It seems like you are doing all of the leg work.  I hope she appreciates how hard you're working to make sure HER needs are met.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from FriarGirl03. Show FriarGirl03's posts

    Re: Family Venue Drama...

    Just one thought - would it be possible for you and your FMIL to go there on a Friday or Saturday night and just watch the bar area?  Just see what it's like on a busy night.  If the venue says that they can accomodate 140 people for cocktail hour, they're probably right.  I'm sure the appetizers will get eaten!  Have you priced cocktails at other venues?  I feel like they are so similar unless you go for an Amvets or something like that.

    I don't know the specifics of your wedding, but are you getting married on site?  Could you possibly do cocktail hour at your ceremony site?  Could you maybe set up a tent or something behind the restaurant and do cocktail hour out there?  (I've only been there once and I'm having a hard time picturing the layout.)

    I think the girls on here are right that the people with the money get to make the decisions.  But if this is something that you and your FI feel strongly about, I don't see why compromises can't be made.  I also think your FI needs to do most of the talking.
     

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