When this groom asks his mother to help pay for his fiancé's wedding dress, he asks Reddit:
This took place awhile ago so I'll use our ages at the time. When we (30m/27f) got engaged, we decided we wanted a small-ish wedding and would pay for it on our own.
No small feat considering we were maybe pulling in $70k/year combined. We set aside a little from each of our paychecks every week and sure enough we were able to get enough saved up to start paying vendors, etc when we needed to.
At the same time, my mother (77) asked if we could invite her church friends. I say "ask" but it was closer to "demand", honestly. I was worried about what adding a couple dozen plates to our reception bill would do.
She offered as a compromise, to assist in paying for the wedding (enough to cover those extra plates) We were all content with this, can't say either of us were thrilled, but paying for it wouldn't be a problem.
(Also worth mentioning that she was unhappy that we were doing most of the planning ourselves. My mother was not content if her children are not under her thumb.)
Fast forward a couple months. We were about tapped out from paying stuff (incl the deposit for the food), when we get the the dress bill. I thought I could explain the situation to mom, she'd help out and we'd be square as far as her friends being at our wedding (part of what we paid down was the deposit for the food at the reception).
So, the next Sunday before church, I mention the dress bill and could we go ahead and make this the part she helps out with? I figured, had we waited on the other bills, we'd have had the funds to take care of the dress.
No big deal, I figured. (clarification - we did not ask for more money, it was the same as what we had originally agreed on in the above paragraph. Apologies for not being clear here.)
Well after church she comes to the piano (I was playing for the service) and starts loudly going off about how she doesn't think she should have to pay for my fiancee's dress. Then she expressed doubt we were even saving anything. I'm getting pissed but I calmly tell her how much I'd been putting aside.
Then she says "well what about (my fiancee)?" And I hesitated for a second because I wasn't exactly sure (she made less so she was putting less away). My mom took the hesitation to mean that she wasn't saving and said "uh huh. that's what I thought!"
Keep in mind that we are amongst several hundred people filing out of a church and at least 1/3 of them could hear this conversation. So I tell her - not quite screaming but approaching it, and on the verge of sobbing - "you don't know anything!" and I walk away.
A couple months later one of my relatives calls me, and I recount the story for him. Then he tells me that after the incident, mom told half my family that that I went off on her in church, and we were trying to get her to pay for our dress.
During this time I didn't speak to my mother at all (~3 months total), and I'm not the chattiest with the rest of my family (plus this ugliness was hanging over everything) so I had no idea about any of that.
At the time I didn't feel I'd done anything wrong, but I'm a different person now and started thinking about the whole incident again, and my role in it. So, AITA?
NTA. Your mistake started long before the dress conversation. It started when you didn't say, "no," to including your mother's church friends. By your own admission, you know that she is controlling and manipulative. You invited that into your wedding planning.
You second mistake is that you didn't ask her to pay for her friends' food, instead of asking for money for the dress. Because that's what you were really doing even if the present issue was paying for the dress itself.
Your third mistake is that you avoided the necessary follow up conversations. With something like this, you can't go months without talking to your mom, unless you decide to cut her off completely. Even then, you should tell her this, not just ghost here.
Now, none of this makes you an AH, but it sure does make your own life much more difficult than it needs to be.
ESH. Mom is a handful and making things more difficult because, as you said, she wants her kids under her thumb. She doesn’t like that you’re planning your own wedding yourselves? Seriously? OP was out of line asking for mom to pay for the wedding dress. Mom offered to help pay for the extra guests.
NTA. Let me see if I understand. You saved up X+d amount of money (X for everything but the dress, d the dress). Your mother insisted on adding people from her church.
This would increase the overall cost of the wedding to X+d+n. You say ok, so long as she pays n. You burn through X+d making the plans with the increased cost of the extra guests. Then you needed the n your mother promised you.
Yeah, she reneged. She promised aid in return for some control over the guest list then didn’t follow through on her agreement to pay for them.