Mum-in-law's critical email about bride goes viral

30/06/11

Computer keyboard

An email to a bride-to-be from her future mother-in-law has gone viral on the internet.

Heidi Withers was sent a list of rules by Carolyn Bourne, the stepmother of her fiance Freddie Bourne, after she visited the family home in Devon.

The 29-year-old was apparently shocked to be told she acted "like a brash celebrity" and that she had a "lack of manners".

So she forwarded the email to her mates.

They sent it to others and the message was forwarded around the world.

Old-fashioned

Carolyn Bourne, who is being dubbed the "mother-in-law from hell" online, also hit out at at Heidi's parents.

"I understand your parents are unable to contribute very much towards the cost of your wedding," she said.

When a guest in another's house, you do not lie in bed until late morning
Carolyn Bourne, the future mother -in-law to Heidi Withers

"There is nothing wrong with that except that convention is such that one might presume they would have saved over the years for their daughters' marriages.

"If this is the case, it would be most ladylike and lower your sights for a modest wedding."

Carolyn Bourne, a 60-year-old from Dawlish in Devon, ended the email to her future daughter-in-law with "one could be accused of thinking that Heidi Withers must be patting herself on the back for having caught a most eligible young man. I pity Freddie."

The list of rules included:

  1. "When a guest in another's house, you do not lie in bed until late morning in households that rise early - you fall in line with house norms.
  2. "When you are a guest in another's house, you do not declare what you will and will not eat.
  3. "You do not remark that you do not have enough food. You do not start before everyone else."

The message also went on to criticise the couple's wedding plans.

"No-one gets married in a castle unless they own it," she said. "It is brash celebrity style behaviour."

Heidi Withers works as a PA in London. A spokesperson for her said she was unable to comment.

Mr and Mrs Bourne have also said no to any interviews.