No Good Deed

Update: The Aunt arrived to calm the mother down. They had a huge fight and the mother packed and went to the airport prepared to wait for the next flight. She finally agreed to return to the hotel, but the Aunt was barred from her room. The Aunt stayed with us for three days and then we got her a hotel for two nights. She went home too, but will be back for the wedding. The guest list is now at 122 people. We happily obliged continuing to pick up the tab for the flowers and food, but there will be no swans. Our nanny has been reduced to tears no less than five times, but we do believe everything is set for now. We offered to fly her mother home so she can get some rest. This will help us all out because she has been disruptive and upsetting to our lives. Everything is set for the wedding and we're hoping for some peace in between.
Joan Zilkin
Original Post 5/25/15 10:04 AM 
If I can't fix this mess, I am going to lose a husband! In December, our long time nanny got engaged. We offered her to have her wedding here at our house (property, not inside). Our wonderful nanny was grateful and took up up on the offer.

By March, she had most of the details in place, wanting an affair for 80 people. She had her dress, the menu, the tens and chairs ordered, the cake and the music.

On Thursday, her mother arrived from Illinois and has really caused a lot of problems. I tried to step back initially realizing this was a special day for her mother too and that she had up until now, consulted only me.

The mother wants to in short, add 27 people to the list, place four heavy concrete benches in a semi circle on our grass, add a second band and extend the hours of the wedding. We had decided that the guests could use the bathrooms in the poolhouse where the caterers will operate out of. Her mother had the gull to suggest that we not only allow access to the basement for guests to use the basement bathroom, but we put a sitting area inside for guests in case of heat.  She wants to run extra power through the tents and change the caliber of tent to accommodate ceiling fans. She also wants a raised dance floor. We are not hard people to get along with but she doesn't seem to care that we don't want our lawn destroyed. I know she doesn't care because she asked me about not trimming two bushes until June so that she could have them shaped.

My husband is furious. The nanny is a little bit oblivious because she is excited to see things coming together. I don't know how to handle this without being rude. We agreed to provide the location, a valet to park the cars, provide the flowers and the food. Even the added guests are taxing the food. Because the guest list was relatively small at 80, including our family of 5, we didn't spare any costs on the food. Now, it seems everything I am doing is biting me in the ass.

Our nanny will be moving 35 minutes away after the wedding. She is currently a live-in. She has assured me she will continue working for us for at at least a year after the wedding. Her mother is even attempting to throw a fork in to that arrangement by suggesting that if she were to agree to that she would need "less ridiculous hours" because she will have a husband and home to take care of. My stress level is sky high.  The wedding is still almost a month away, and her mother intends to stay here until the day after the wedding. (6/21). She's at an economy hotel, but I just imagine she can cause a lot of hassle in the next four weeks! HELP!


OTNanny said...

It sounds like you have a good relationship with your nanny, and seeing how my own mother acted when my sister got married (i.e., completely insane), I'd be willing to bet that the poor girl is feeling like she can't say no to her mother's ridiculous demands. So, if you approach her carefully, ask her how the planning is going and what she thinks about her mom's requests, you might find that she'd love to have you as an ally to help her say NO to her crazy mother. You generously offered her your property to have her wedding, so I don't think it's out of line to address these issues with her, and I doubt it would be seen as you being unreasonable about it. If you were my employer, I'd have no problem with your resistance to the mother's demands, and would rather keep you happy than my mother!

this_nick said...

I'm confused why you can't just tell the mother "no." It's your house; it's the nanny's wedding. The mother only has power here if the two of you give it to her.

Betts said...

You need to talk to your nanny and ask her to reign her mom in asap! Mothers can be ridiculous about weddings, but mom gets no say in this unless she's planning to chip in towards the costs. You're being more than generous and your nanny sounds appreciative, but she needs to check her mom! Next time mom asks for something, tell her if she wants to pay, you can discuss it. Any extra guests should be at her cost. A lawn service would also be something I would ask her to pay for, if she keeps insisting on adding things.

Anonymous said...

Your an amazing employer !!! That is so generous of you to do this for your nanny :), your a rare breed!

That being said , since it is your home , you should stand up to the mother, and refuse politely if you believe that her request are being unreasonable.

Good luck !

Anonymous said...

I say you are the ones who offered to do this, now make it work for the poor girl.

Anonymous said...

Her mother can't be so foolish to expect you to accommodate and pay for 1/3rd more guests than you had planned for. If there is no space, tell her it's too bad. If there is space, suggest that she pay for them. Or if she clearly can't afford it and they are essential guests, maybe rework the menu so it's cheaper per head (if you can). if not tell her tough luck. I'd be firm on the house not being used at all and the time the event ends. Tell her you had never planned to have people traipsing in and out of your home and that the neighbours will complain if it goes on later. The lawn is going to be trashed anyway, so maybe just allow the lawn trashing elements and upgrades if she's willing to pay for them- not on your dime though. You've been more than generous with what you offered, don't be taken for a ride! I would discuss all of this directly with your nanny though, not with her mom- that's just a recipe for disaster with too much scope for hurt feelings.

Angi; nanny of 30 years said...

You are awesome and the mother is not only nuts but also a b!tch!!! What a selfish, ride and ungrateful woman. You need to talk to the nanny ASAP to reign mother.


Lacy said...

This is a time when you need to speak up for yourself. Sit both bride and mom in-front of you. Remind them both what you offered and simply say that is all you can offer.

If you are ok with the added guests, tell them you can host that many more, but at their expense.

As for the grass issue, simply tell them NO, you would not have offered if that was what was needed.

The use of the basement and your home, again simply say NO, not what you agreed to. Remind them that you are already being very generous. Let them know if bathrooms is an issue they(not you) can rent porta-pots.

If you are not ok with the added electric bill for the ceiling-fan tents; let them know they can have it but also the added bill.

Alice said...

I would politely discuss with my awesome, appreciative nanny, that the demands are more than YOU AND SHE agreed upon.

Discuss with her how to tactfully address the issues with her Mom, and also discuss with her that you would not MIND these things, just that YOUR FAMILY will not be able to provide the extra food for extra guests, etc.

Being accommodating will of course help, but I'm sure the nanny realizes, at least at the end of the day, that her Mom is overbearing and is throwing a stick in the spokes. :)


Leah said...

Poor nanny. Her Mom/Aunt sound horrible! Props to you for continuing to lend a hand and being soooo generous! Weddings are stressful! I started out wanting 100 people and by the end, my mom added 138 people. There ended up being 250 guests at my wedding. Many of whom I didn't know. You guys are amazingly giving. I hope Karma repays your generosity tenfold!!

this_nick said...

Glad it's come to some sort of resolution - and that it's almost over!

Aria Bubbles said...

Why does no one updates on this site :( I'm so curious!