Post # 1
How do you deal with your parents assuming they get to make certain decisions about your wedding because they’ve offered to pay for it? My Fiance and I want to have our wedding where we live. It’s roughly two hours from where I grew up and my parents currently live. We absolutely love our town. It’s where we met, fell in love, and it’s where we want to be married. We live in North Florida and two hours south is a very different environment. Where we live we have big old tree, lots of spanish moss, just lots of nature and history. My parents live on a costal town that is more touristy and beachy. The last thing I want is to have a beach wedding. Growing up in Florida everyone and their brother has beach weddings.
Where we live now is a half-way point from where my paternal side of the family lives and where my maternal side of the family lives. My Fiance family is all spread out and will all have to travel no matter what. My family is *huge* and the majority of them live where my parents live. I love my family to pieces but I wouldn’t be disappointed if some of them decided not to make the trip. I feel like having it in a different town weeds out some of them from coming. The ones who are closest to me will make the trip, those who aren’t can use the distance as an easy excuse.
Anyways, we’ve obviously made up our minds, but every time I talk to my parents they bring up having the wedding there. Today the line came which I knew would. I told my mom that we wanted to have it here. It’s our wedding and that’s what we want and that’s all that should matter. My mom’s response “If we’re paying for it we should have some say.” Gah!!!! I told her if that’s the case I’d rather they’d not pay for it and we can just elope. (I’d actually like to elope anyways but it’s important to Fiance that we have a wedding because the only time his spread out family all gets together is for weddings and funerals). My parents have done this my whole life. Offered up money as a way to control my decisions. I’m sick of it.
Are we being unreasonable by having the wedding where we live? If your parents said something along the lines of that how would you deal with the situation. We’re visiting them this weekend and I’m thinking we should look at some venues while we’re there just so they feel like they’ve been part of the decision making process, but I’m afraid that could backfire. Any advice is appreciated!
Post # 3
I have to be honest, I completely disagree with the ‘we’re contributing financially so we get to make the decisions’ thing. I know it’s proper etiquette but I think that it stems from a time when brides went from their parents’ homes to their husbands. We’ve come a long way since then!
If either of my kids were getting married, I’d ask what I could do to help. If that meant paying for it all, terrific…. here’s the money, make your dreams come true. Surely being a good parent is about supporting your childrens’ growth and independence, rather than using a milestone in their life as an event for you to show off?
I would have a conversation with your parents (not just your mum) and tell them that you’re trying to compromise but that where you get married is very important to both you and your groom. If they are unable to support that financially, your plans will have to change, and that you’re okay with that. Hopefully they’ll see your point of view, but you have to approach it in an adult to adult manner.
Good luck, and don’t let it get you down.
Post # 4
Hi. I’m sorry you are dealing with this. I wouldn’t go look at venues in a city where you’ve already decided you don’t want to have the wedding. You’d only be giving your parents false hope and wasting everyone’s time.
Id have a conversation with them to find out if the $ is truly a gift. You mention this is their controlling MO. If you know this is how they roll, only have a wedding you can afford without their $.
Eloping sounds great!!
Post # 5
I wouldn’t go look at venues where they live. It seems a bit disingenuous if you have already decided you want to have the wedding where you live.
Instead I would sit down and have a heart to heart with Mom and Dad re how much say they think their $$ buys them in the decision making. I would try to get them to understand that this is your wedding and that you have a vision of how that will be. I would ask them what, other than the location, was important to them in your wedding and see if there is room for compromise in those areas.
I think it is unfair for gifts to be given with strings, but it seems a lot of bees are dealing with the same issue.
Post # 6
I think that there should be compromise on both sides, but if they are paying for it then I do think that they get a say in things. Not 100%, but I think 50% is reasonable. Not many people are willing to just hand over their money with no strings attached and I don’t think that they are wrong for that. My husband and I didn’t take any money from our parents even though they offered so that we wouldn’t have to deal with this.
On the location, maybe you can appeal to them emotionally and explain to them how much it means to you to have the wedding where you live. Perhaps find a location that they like where they live and find a reasonable facsimile where you live.
Post # 7
@peanuthead: You make good sense.
Post # 8
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
@anothersmith: I also disagree with the “gifts with strings attached.” That’s not a gift, it’s an ultimatum.
OP- if the wedding is held two hours from where you live, I can tell you that your mom will be more in charge of the wedding than you’ll be, as far as vendors, logistics, etc. Ex: you could take a long lunch and interview a photographer in the city where you live- to do that at home, you’d have to take a half day off work. So it will take you longer to plan, and will be a lot more work for you, unfortunately. (We briefly considered my home town, an hour away, and I’m SO glad we didn’t do it- it was so much better planning-wise to do where we live)
Sounds like you need to have a little family pow wow to clarify- is it a gift, or are they going to dictate how the money’s spent. When will they be giving you the money- upfront, throughout the process, etc?
If you don’t want to be married in your hometown, DO NOT look at venues there. And be prepared that you and Fiance may have to pay for the wedding yourself. And remind your parents- if you’re paying, you totally control the guest list, as well. So any friends that they’re expecting to be at the wedding, won’t be, if it’s on your and FI’s dime.
Post # 9
@ImaStarr: Were I in that position, I would just explain to them that yes, the fact that they are contributing financially gives them some input and you’ll be happy to listen to their suggestions, but in the end the decision is yours and this specifically is not something you’re willing to compromise on.
Post # 10
Yeah I think that since they’re footing the bill they get a vote. But you get a vote and Fiance gets a vote as well sooooo….. they’re outvoted on this. Have you asked them why they want to have it there so bad? I just don’t get it.
Post # 11
Thanks everyone 🙂 I feel a very awkward, but definitely necessary, convesation will take place this weekend.
I think my Mom is actually content with me having it where ever, my dad would like it there. I feel like my mom might be caught in the middle. My dad hasn’t talked to me about it as much, but I know it’s his opinion. My mom is constantly telling me the pros of having it there. For instance, everyone lives there so they can all help. My Dad hates to travel, hates to miss work, and also still thinks of that as my home. I haven’t lived there any of my adult life though. I’ve also already talked to my Fiance about how important it is that we plan the wedding for a time of year/month that my dad would have an easier time missing work. I think his main reason is convienience to him. It’s also his opinion that’s it’s stupid I dont want to have it there since I grew up there. He’s the type of person where his opinion is always the ‘right’ opinion. Frustrating fact: he and my mom were married there and neither of them grew up there! ALL of his family had to travel to be there. I love him, but he can be so frustrating!!
Post # 12
Pay for it your self. Trust me! I did and was the best thing ever. You get your way, you also show your parents you are not depending on them for anything.
Post # 13
Pay for the wedding yourself, and no one can tell you what to do…that’s what we did and let me tell you how amazing it feels to be the one in control. I highly recommend it. 😀
Post # 14
I think that you have to take some things into consideration, but at the end of the day it’s YOUR wedding. I kind of got bulldozed in the beginning of my planning, but now I’ve become much more assertive. Almost anything can sound sweet if delivered with a big smile. Sit down and discuss your wishes candidly with your parents.
I grew up about 15 minutes north of Gainesville, so I can totally feel you on not wanting to go back south – North and South FL are complete worlds apart, and FL beach weddings get old after the tenth you’ve attended!
I say if your parents don’t want to pay, it might be a good idea to look and see what you and Fiance can afford and still have a wedding. It may not be ‘lavish,’ but in the Gainesville area you can have a very affordable wedding. Good luck!
Post # 15
Just explain to her that you
1) want to get married where you fell in love
2) it would be easier for you to plan a wedding near where you live
3)it would be a midpoint for your maternal and paternal family
Your parents can still be involved. Come to them with a list of place in your area that you are looking at. If they feel like your including them in the decision making they will be less upset that they aren’t completely getting their own way.