- 3 years ago
- Wedding: November 2013
So, I’m having some serious dramas with my family as a result of our wedding plans. For a short background of our situation – FI and I met in Jan 2012 when i moved from Australia to the US for grad school. We got engaged June 2013 and in short, need to get married before I graduate in order to do a Visa transfer rather than the more complicated (and expensive) Fiance Visa process. We do not have a lot of money – i am in school and he is a beginning professor in low paying job – and so we wanted to do something small and intimate. We had orginally considered eloping, but thought that would offend our families too much. I am also the first grandchild in my mum’s family to get married.
So we settled on a small ceremony with immediate family (originally 15 people, now ballooned to 23, which i know is not “ballooning” but for us thats a HUGE jump) in Florida to deal with the US visa thing and to celebrate with FI’s family in their home. I invited my sister, mum and dad (my parents are newly divorced, and dont get along very well) and their plus ones. As Fi’s family all live in the town we’re getting married in, his grandma, and aunts and uncles are also present as we felt it rude to not invite them as they live so close. We are also getting married over thanksgiving and we felt that we couldnt really tell his aunts and uncles that “hey, we’re getting married in town and instead of you coming to celebrate thanksgiving with us all as usual, you can’t come to thanksgiving or the wedding”. It was just not possible to do that.
After this, in July of 2014, we are going to Australia on our honeymoon where we are planning to conduct a celebration (and hopefully ceremony/vow renewal) for my australian family and friends to which all my grandparents (on both sides of the family),aunts, uncles, cousins and close friends will be invited, with none of FI’s family invited/attending. We thought this would be a good way to make sure we could include as many people as possible (as its super expensive to fly from Aus to the US, pay for accomoodation etc all over the thanksgiving weekend, and i know that only 5 of my relatives would actually be able to afford that – and to travel, my dad’s parents are not able to travel anymore due to health). i sent them all mail (i can’t call them very easily), with letters, photos and postcards explaining everything and telling them to keep an eye out for information about our australian celebration. This is where our issues have come to light.
The 5 relatives who could afford to come to the US are all extremely offended that they arent invited as they would have wanted to come – they are my grandparents on my mum’s side, one of my aunties on mum’s side, and two of my aunty’s daughters. My mum and sister are also super offended by the whole thing and keep attacking me about how its unfair that FI’s grandma can come, but mum’s parents can’t. (FI’s grandma is 91 years old and lives virtually across the road from the event itself, so not inviting her isnt an option).
We’ve tried to explain to them that we cannot afford to host a wedding with all of the people who want to come in attendance, and that if we invited any more people, we would need to hire a venue and pay for catering and beverages as we would no longer fit in his parents house. We are also on a tight time frame – he will be flying in 2 days before the wedding, then flying out 2 days after due to work, and i will also have to leave 2 days after the wedding due to school, so its not like we will be around much to hang out with my family.
On a personal note, I will be completely anxious knowing that each of my australian guests would have paid $3000 – $4000 on their trip over, with 30+ hours of flying to attend a tiny wedding with nothing more than a basic ceremony and cocktail hour with Hors d’oeuvres. I will feel like i havent put on the party that they were expecting and they would have paid almost the same price for their travels as we would have spent on the wedding itself. I just feel so guilty thinking about it.
I understand where they’re coming from with this, but we just have no way to make it possible for us to invite everyone. I wanted to make sure that my family and friends who couldnt afford to travel could still feel included and celebrate with us, but I’m really hurt that there are members of the family who feel that they should be able to come even if the ohers can’t. If i did invite everyone to Florida, we wouldnt go to Australia for our honeymoon and ceremony – that was one of the main purposes for going to Aus, and these members just dont get it.
We’re trying to be fair, but i just can’t seem to explain it to my family members in the right way.
I would love to hear what you Bees have to say – and i’m sorry for such a long post. FI and I are feeling so lost and if it werent for the fact that dad, mum, my sister and dad’s girlfriend had already bought their tickets, we’d absolutely just elope.
Again, i want to reiterate that i understand the feelings of people feeling left out, i honestly do, but I just don’t see a way around what we need to do. I would appreciate any advice, kind words or feedback as this whole thing just makes me so heartbroken. Our issue is that we have too many people caring about us than we can cater for, and whilst its a priveleged place to be in, its also horrible as i don’t want to upset anyone and i can’t seem to help it.
Sorry for the rambling, I’m just really upset by it all.
EDIT – in terms of the logistics of planning, FI and I both currently in two different states, 18 hours apart, so planning anything in Florida over thanksgiving is a challenge in itself too.