My Future Mother-in-Law

My fiancé and I got engaged in April and will be married in December. My future mother-in-law is quite… how shall I say… overzealous. She decided right away to throw a shower in July. The shower is coming up, and I’ve been through some things.

1.) It all started when she bought me some flatware that I didn’t register for that I didn’t like (and can‘t return because she ordered it off TV). Not wanting her to know I didn’t like it, I decided to use it as my nice set, considering the set was great! It had all the proper forks and spoons and everything – even matching tongs! It would actually make more sense to put it up except for special occasions so that everything would match and look nice. The pattern, however, was awful! It had big flowers all over it. (This is after my fiancé told her I don’t like floral patterns.) She got offended when I registered for a different set to use for every day, but bought it anyway. 2.) We registered for several different sets of dinnerware that we liked from 3 different places. She picked one up and called my fiancé, telling him we needed to register for different dinnerware because she wanted to buy us a set that served 8 instead of 6. This is after she told us to register for a different set because the one she picked up at that time came with no cereal bowls! There are several for her to chose from! 3.) My future sister-in-law bought and sent us a new vacuum cleaner from Florida. Before either of us knew about it, my future mother-in-law had it out of the box and used it[mad]!!!![mad] 4.) She’s only inviting their family members – none of which I know – to my shower. 5.) The only reason she’s having it is so that my fiancé will have things when he moves into our new house before the wedding (which I will be moving into after the wedding). 6.) She sent invitations out. She sent none to anyone I know, as I mentioned before. [mad] What really boils my blood, though, is that she didn’t even invite my mother! [mad] My mother’s invitation was telling me to tell my mother that if she wanted to come, she was welcome. However, I don’t even feel welcome to my own shower. This isn’t really even for me! It can’t be with all the evidence at hand! The only reason I’m there is to uphold the title of it being a “bridal shower.”

I don’t know what to do. I mean, when my fiancé got my engagement ring, before he gave it to me, she wore it! I don’t know if she even means well anymore. I kept telling myself she did, but after I found out about the ring and the vacuum, I don’t know anymore. I don’t know what to do about her. I don’t feel I really know her well enough to confront her about this, but something has to be done. PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Dear Trapped,

First of all, mothers are not supposed to host bridal showers. This is a prime example of why this is the case. Mothers tend to want to get as many gifts as possible for their family. The guests should be close friends and family of the bride or those who will be family soon. This should also be a small affair.

The major problem here is that she has already sent the invitations. If you didn’t attend and all of these people are future family, you may be perceived as trouble. Yikes!

A shower is an optional event. So, this could be your only shower. It may be best to just attend, meet everyone, and try to enjoy yourself.

I agree that you have a problem that needs to be dealt with soon or you will have more problems coming. Your fiance should be the one to talk to his mother. There needs to be clear guide-lines and boundaries. Unless she is paying for the wedding, she needs to back away. If she is, you have a bit more trouble. She will stay in the picture until the wedding is over. But, boundaries still need to be set.

Perhaps it would be best for him to also ask her to stop buying gifts and that you two have registered for enough items.

He should also inform her that the gifts are to be opened by you two so you may write your thank you notes. But, none of the gifts should be used until after the wedding, even a vacuum.

Good luck [unsure]


This isn’t the only shower I’ll have. I’ll have two more later (closer to the date) – one from my church and the other from my Maid of Honor. This is just the one coming up soon and that has problems. Thank you for the advice.

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc

So why are you worried about your mother being invited to this shower? Just put her on the list of guests you’d like to have invited to the shower given by your maid of honor.

I agree with Rebecca…let your fiance deal with his mother.