Post # 1
All of my FI’s family lives close by, here in sunny Orlando. My family is scattered around the country, from California to Texas and several states in between. I was talking to my mom about mailing invitations this weekend and she casually mentioned that I shouldn’t count on too many of my family members flying in to see me get married…for financial/time restrictive reasons. Which is understandable.
But now his family will overwhelm the guest list. I feel so embarrassed thinking about the wedding day and that awkward moment when people from his side of the family realize that they are going to have to sit on the bride’s side…because no one else is sitting there.
It’s silly, I know, because the important thing is that I’m marrying my best friend, I get to wear a pretty dress, and the people who love me will be there to celebrate. But still! I’m the bride! It’s just not right that I told my family members (i.e. grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins) nine months out from the wedding that I’m getting married, and all of a sudden…no one can come.
I’m afraid that the people in his family are going to view me as somehow unlikeable because even my family couldn’t take the time and put aside some money over the next few months to come see me get married. It’s irrational, but I’m just upset over the whole thing. 🙁 I guess I just needed to vent.
Post # 3
dont be embarrassed! Its a difficult situation-we are in this situation too, but my side accounts for a large portion because it is near me and his family is scattered. Just tell the ushers ti fill in both sides equally, and explain that it is to keep everyone as close to the front as possible.
Nobody will view you as unlikeable – put a memo in the program that mentions something like “At this joyous time we wish to remember family and friends who are not able to be here today due to health and distances. Though you are not here with us inbody, you are with us in heart.” Nobody will even question it I promise. I know its frustrating and disappointing and upsetting…but make the most out of it and HAVE FUN – dont dwell. They all wish they could be there jsut as much as you wish they could
Post # 4
It’s ok I totally have been there. We had 120 people at our wedding. 5 were my family members. 30 were our friends. the rest was his family. Well, his family all left after cake cutting (older people) and my friends and my small family had a TON of fun. It was great afterwards. I didn’t have to make nice with people I didn’t even have a clue who they were, and I didn’t feel obligated to sit with a great aunt for half an hour. I just said hello, thanked them for coming, and let DH smooze with the relatives while I did my own thing. WOrked out well for us and I couldn’t have cared less what they thought of me b/c, frankly, i’ll probably never see msot of them again! At least not for a very very long time =]
We had everyone just sit all cattered. There waas no “groom’s side” and brides side. Our wedding looked pleasantly full
Post # 5
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I have seen less people do that ‘brides side’ and ‘grooms side’ at a wedding. You will still have a wonderful day, and it’s okay to vent! We all understand here =D And side note, yay Orlando! Me too – I’ll come to your wedding and sit on ‘your’ side! lol.
Post # 6
I definitely don’t think anyone will think that you are disliked or anything! I like the idea of seating all guests on both sides, so that you don’t have a smaller amount of people on your side than he does. I went to a wedding once where the bride had a very large family and groom had a very small family. They mixed the seating up at the ceremony, so you really couldn’t tell which side was which.
Post # 7
- Wedding: April 2010 - Marie Gabrielle, Dallas
Yeah, you definitely don’t need a bride and groom’s side. Just seat people anywhere. And honestly no one will look around and say wow, this is all the groom’s family. They will just think this is a gorgeous wedding, so no need to stress!!
Post # 8
- Wedding: October 2009 - Church Ceremony/Reception at The Waterford House
Fro Yo, I agree! Just have your ushers seat people so that each side evens out. Don’t stress!! 🙂
Post # 9
People understand that some people have small families and sometimes those families are scattered across far distances – nobody will think ill of you!
Post # 10
After the ceremony you are all “family” anyway, so seating them together just will show your union ahead of time. Try not to worry about it. Good luck!
Post # 11
You will be fine. I recently attended a friend’s wedding where the bride had way more family than the groom. They didn’t have ushers but the relatives started sitting on the Bride’s side and the groom’s side looked empty. When FI and I went to sit, I suggested we support the groom. Since we were sitting on the groom’s side, other friends joined us and by the time the bride entered both sides were full. If you are particuarly worried that people will sit on sides, ask some mutual friends or maybe his cousins to sit on your side. It also helps the mingling of families and friends. Who knows maybe your family will suprise you and make the trip. Or you could invite more of your local friends to make up the difference.
Post # 12
Thanks for all the kind thoughts and advice! I’ve been trying to think of ways to make it clear to everyone that there are no “sides”…I don’t know if we’re having ushers since it’s an outdoor wedding and there’s really no place for people to be escorted. It seems like more trouble than it’s worth! I’m hoping if we have just enough chairs that his family will get the hint that anywhere is fair game as far as seating is concerned.
It’s saddening that my family probably won’t get to come, but I do have to look at the bright side, even if it is a bit harsh…cutting 25 people from the guest list equals cheaper catering and rentals!!
Post # 13
MsAnna, I am in the same boat; his family is enormous and all live in town, and while my family and close family friends having only a short 2 hour drive to get to our wedding, it still will make for uneven “sides”, so we have decided to designate rows for immediate family (parents, grandparents, siblings) and have everyone else just fill in as they get there no matter which side.
Even if you’re not having ushers, you could still have a couple of members of your wedding party stand at the front to guide your guests by saying something like “Please have a seat on either side” so that you guests know that it’s ok. Even if your occasion is less formal, people still sometimes stick firmly to “tradition” if they are not lead elsewhere!
Post # 14
You can always post a cute white picket sign that says “please sit anywhere” or something like that, to get the point across if they are not escorted
Post # 15
I totally get where you’re coming from! (Actually, I’m jealous you HAVE more family, even if they can’t come.) My "entire" extended family, with the exception of two relatives who could not travel came to my wedding….that would be 8 people, including me.
However, our sides still looked even for a couple reasons, mentioned above. We had our ushers sit everyone everywhere and we made sure all our friends knew that I "got" all our friends. It ended up being really quite even.
I think the biggest thing for me was to just not think too much about it. My motto was "It is what it is and I’ll make the best of it." My "bright side" was that my husband and I got to invite more of our friends than we would have if we had two big families.
I’ve never done it before, but I’ll try to upload pictures to give you an idea of the disparity. One is my family and one is HALF of his family (his mother’s side). I don’t seem to have a picture of his father’s side, but it’s at least as many people, if not more.
In the end though, the most important thing is that you don’t let it get to you too much. Just enjoy the day!
Post # 16
Don’t worry, I know that it will be the same for me. My immediate family (mom, dad and 4 of my 7 siblings) all live here in WA, EVERYONE else lives in southern Oregon, and most of my aunts and uncles won’t attend. I know that since I have planned my own wedding before, but we broke up 12 days prior. So all I had were 1 aunt, 1 uncle, and my grandma and her husband, plus my immediate family coming to my old wedding. My SO now lives within about 45 minutes of ALL his family, so I know they will dominate most. Although, he does have a cousin and and aunt and uncle that live about 3 hours away, but that’s nothing. We went to his cousins wedding down there, so I know they will come to ours. Plus, I now like 2 1/2 hours away from my immediate family, and I know no one will want to make a 10 hour drive to come to a wedding from Oregon. Especially since they won’t know the area since no one has been to visit me.
I wouldn’t worry about it-it is what it is. If anyone asks, just say that with the way the economy is, and how your family is scattered about, no one could afford to fly over for a day long affair. Maybe you could invite a bunch of your friends? Even ones that aren’t that close to you? That way you would have more people there, and more people=more presents, even if that’s not what it’s about. It’s a nice perk though!