My MIL Is Ruining Facebook

AAPW: In-laws and the digital age

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Q: I’m currently drowning in guilt and don’t know what to do.

Here’s a quick backgrounder: I have over five hundred photos from the wedding and chose a modest eighty-eight to create a nice little album to share on my own page. Most of the photos focused on my husband and me, and I only uploaded a fraction of the photos so viewers could get a snapshot of the day—not a detailed account of every moment and every guest who attended.

Boy was I wrong in my approach.

I had no idea it would cause so many rifts, especially from my husband’s family (most of whom don’t even use FB).

My new mother-in-law wrote to my husband to let him know that she was offended the album appeared to be “off-balance.” She suggested that I purposely chose to favor my family more than his.

Here’s how I see it: I see my FB page as my space to show whatever I want. I’m not going to post something just to check off a checkbox, and I certainly don’t want to overwhelm or annoy any of my friends with a massive photo album. I didn’t think it would be such a huge deal. After all, there were many guests (college friends, high school friends, a few of my uncles and aunts, etc.) who didn’t make it in. The album told such a nice story of the day, and each photo was selected for a particular aesthetic that I liked. I wasn’t a huge fan of the plain old snapshots. And lastly, if there’s anything I hate, it’s a bloated Facebook photo album.

In my mind, the more curated and simpler, the better. The album was simply meant to be a snapshot of the day—nothing more. This is by no means the “official wedding album.” It was just for Facebook.

I didn’t mean any harm by it and now I feel so incredibly guilty. If my MIL is upset, who else might I have offended?

Right now, my plan is to do the following:

1. Upload every wedding photo ever to my Flickr account and share that with all wedding guests, and invite them to comment and share.

2. Create a massive printed album for us and for my in-laws that includes everything and is more “balanced.”

What are your thoughts?

—Anonymous

A: Dear Anonymous,

Neither of those options. Leave the Facebook album just as it is, and don’t bother with any additional photo-sharing methods just for the sake of smoothing things over. Your Facebook page isn’t about your mother-in-law, no matter how much she tries to make that so.

You’re completely right that your friends don’t care to see all 1,200 photos of your wedding. They want the happy little summary to breezily click through when they’re bored at work. They don’t want six different shots of your floral arrangements from different angles, or a photo of each and every guest in attendance.

Your plan of action should involve shaking off that guilt, period. And fine, I guess apologize that she feels hurt by it and explain that wasn’t your intention. But that is seriously it. Instead of devoting your energy to creating new albums or whatever else, start bracing yourself. Because a lady who can make your Facebook album of your wedding all about herself is for sure going to find a whole plethora of unexpected things to be miffed about.

If you would like to ask APW a question please don’t be shy! You can email: askteampractical [at] apracticalwedding [dot] com. If you would prefer to not be named, anonymous questions are also accepted. Though it really makes our day when you come up with a clever sign-off! 

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