Post # 1
Oh boy…I don’t even know where to begin without sounding selfish. It such a long story and I hope I can get it across without having to tell you my life story! My fiancée and I are finally setting a date to get married after a very looong 7 year engagement. I’ve been ready to get married since the day he gave me the ring but my fiancée wasn’t due to unresolved conflicts with his parents. Long story short…he wouldn’t introduce me to them because I had children from a previous marriage, and due to his culture he figured they wouldn’t approve of me because of it. He is of Armenian heritage and my heritage is English. We had been together 8 yrs before he finally introduced me to them and none of his fears came true…they like me just fine. The whole thing was an ordeal and really did in my self-esteem especially since they live like a quarter mile from my house. Nothing like being made to feel like a 2nd class person for having been previously married and having children. My fiancée didn’t mean to make me feel this way but he did. I blame myself for allowing it to happen, I should have put my foot down about it but I didn’t because I was afraid he would leave if I pushed the issue too much. I should mention that my first marriage ended when I just couldn’t take the abuse anymore and I started becoming afraid for my children’s safety. My ex husband hasn’t seen or paid child support in over 10 years. I only tell you this so that you know where I am coming from. I’m also highly educated, own my house and a very successful business so to be told that his family wouldn’t approve of me because of my children was a real slap in the face. If it wasn’t for the fact that I love this man dearly I would have told him where to go and how to get there but all these years I kept telling myself he’ll do the right thing…and he did…..it only took him 8 yrs to do it.
Anyway, so now we’ve been together 9 years (7 yrs engaged) and now just planning the wedding. My first marriage was a JOP wedding with only my sister in attendance. We had a small informal backyard cookout the next weekend to celebrate. It wasn’t the kind of wedding I wanted but I settled because we had kids together already and money was tight. That is the kind of thing that happens when you make BAD choices in your late teenage years. I’ve come to terms with the bad choices I have made (like not going straight to college after high school and having kids out of wedlock instead) and I’ve more than made up for them as an adult but I just keep feeling like those choices are always going to come back and bite me is the a**. Man…..maybe I need a therapist LOL
After I left my ex husband I vowed I would do it “right” the next time around. I wanted a traditional formal wedding with a white gown, reception ect. We can afford to pay for the wedding ourselves….the problem? I have no guests to speak of. 6 yrs ago my grandmother, the matriarch of the family, died. Since then it seems like everyone has gone their separate ways and certain members of my family (like aunts/uncles) have become almost cliquish for lack of a better term and I’m not included. A cousin was married 2 yrs ago, and I wasn’t even invited, and this was someone who I had spent the better part of my life babysitting when I was younger! A few of my family members live out of state and I highly doubt they’d fly in for my wedding. My mother has no family since she was orphaned at a young age so the only family I have is on my father’s side. I counted a total of 7 guests on my side that I am sure will come if I had a wedding and my fiancée counted about 20. Hardly enough for a formal wedding. I know I sound selfish for saying that but hear me out. I have spent the last 10 years working about 80 hrs a week, finishing college and taking care of a house full of children. I have put myself last in every respect to make sure my children have a roof over their head, have money for their sports, food, clothing ect. All of my prior friendships with other people have gone by the wayside because all I do is work and I have had no time to nurture those friendships. <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”> I have worked myself to the point of exhaustion to make sure that everyone under my roof is taken care of. Clean floors, clean socks, food on the table ect ect. I have, for the last 7 years, been dreaming of finally having my dream wedding with the man I love. Just one day that would be about ME! I know…that’s selfish, isn’t it? It is REALLY hard to admit that that is how I have felt about it. I guess I should have asked my fiancée how big his family was before I started dreaming up this wedding (< insert dry English sense of humor here lol) seriously though…. I am very disappointed because I just do NOT want to have to go the same JOP route I did with my ex husband but I cannot justify going through all the trouble and expense for 27 guests of which 7 are children. My fiancée’s church wants $1000 just for the ceremony alone! My fiancée suggested a destination wedding but it just feels like a cop-out because it just isn’t what I want! I also don’t want to have a “reception” at a restaurant because I don’t have enough guest to rent a banquet hall. Here I go being selfish again! I know there are plenty of brides here complaining about having to have a big wedding but I haven’t seen any posts about not having enough guests. I just know that I didn’t want another JOP wedding and I’m sad that it looks like that is the way it is going to be.
Post # 3
Small doesn’t have to mean JOP. If you or your fiance have a close family memember or friend, have that person get ordained. You can do it online very easily, and it’s fully legal, (just make sure whatever program you go with is accepted in your area). Or find an officiant online; there are all kinds available, religious or otherwise.
Then get married wherever you want. Paying $1,000 to rent a church for only 27 people might be silly, yes, but what about a park, garden, or orchard? An outdoor wedding with the fall colors would be awesome! Or a lot of historic mansions rent out for weddings…might be perfect for a small wedding, and a lot more cozy than a church you’re only going to fill a few pews in, (heck, we had about 100 people at our wedding, and because of the size of the church, in a few shots, it looked like we hardly had anyone there! Hehe!). Resorts, Hotels and B&B’s are great, too, locally, if you don’t want to go the destination route. Or a chartered river cruise…you really don’t have as few possibilities as you think.
Your reception can be wherever you want, too! Restaraunt or bar, those are possibilities. But so are most of the places I mentioned above, whether or not you have your wedding there. Do a Google search for venues near you.
I’m sure you’ll get lots of great ideas from the awesome Bees here as well!
Post # 4
I’m sorry you feel this way. You aren’t being selfish. Weddings are important events, and it is difficult to accept giving up our long held dreams about them. It is ok to feel angry and upset that you aren’t going to have the kind of wedding you wanted…. for a little while. Sometimes we need to grieve these thing, even if it seems silly. Once you allow yourself to wallow (again, you have to set a brief time period here) you will need to start imagining a wedding within your reality. It sounds like part of what you are really upset about is not the wedding, but the fact that your family has gone in different directions and you feel excluded. If you want them to attend your wedding, invite them. There isn’t a better time to extend an olive branch, though you should prepare for the possibility they won’t come.
There is a lot of area on the spectrum between JOP and huge formal wedding. My sister had a wedding for 40 that cost as much as my wedding for 100. She invested in every little detail, the best food, champagne, all of it. It was a beautiful intimate day. I would write down the elements of the wedding that matter most to you. The dress? The type of reception hall? Food and drink? And then I would imagine ways to create a wedding for 30. Don’t worry about it being uneven. It sounds like you are longing for a big family, and so you should be open to fully embracing your husband’s family as your own.
Hope that helps in some way.
Post # 5
I’m sorry that things have been so rough for you, but your achievements are a testament to your strength!
You have the perfect opportunity to throw an intimate, but very classy affair. I say you embrace the amount of guests that you have and throw a very swanky party. It’ll be less stressful than a large wedding and you can focus on getting every single detail perfect.
I know it doesn’t help, but my partner and I really wished that we had the opportunity to have a small intimate affair!
Post # 6
hey! count me in…i’d come to your wedding!!can i bring my FI?
a small guest list doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice having the wedding of your dreams. you can still have it, just make adjustments. do you have to be married in a church? if so, does it have to be that one? are you willing to look around and see if there are other churches with smaller fees? if you don’t have to be married in a church, then why not find a venue where you can have the ceremony and reception?
there’s lots of places that will cater to smaller weddings. how about an art gallery? i’m sure you can still do it at a restaurant, without having to go the big banquet hall route too. you’d probably get a better deal at a smaller, family-owned type of place. expand your mind, the possibilities are endless.
for music, if you don’t want to hire a dj or band, you can always do an ipod wedding. mrs. dg raved about her ipod wedding. check out her posts. that’s certainly easier on the wallet. do a search for “ron and jade’s wedding,” on here. i think jade posted as ms. blossom. they had a really nice wedding with a smaller guest list. maybe you can pm her for some ideas.
remember, it’s quality, not quantity that counts. you can still have the wedding of your dreams with a small budget and small guestlist. gl!;=)
Post # 7
I think having a small intimate affair is so amazing. I’m sorry you’ve had such a hard road and you’re so brave to talk about it. Good luck =)
Post # 8
- Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch
I think you can have a beautiful, formal, small wedding… if anything, it just saves money over a large one. I saw one 30-person wedding where the couple rented a large, beautiful house and hired a chef instead of a caterer to make the food (etc.), and it was lovely and didn’t look like any old backyard shindig. 😉 Or you could try a winery, or a really NICE restaurant with a small banquet room…
Or you can take this opportunity to mend relationships with your family and invite them anyway; see what happens, you know?
Good luck!!! Keep an open mind and you’ll find something that will make you happy!
Post # 9
Your intimate wedding sounds wonderful and you can make it as formal as you want!
Check out hotels too they often have nice meeting rooms that they rent out for smaller weddings! I love the museum idea too!!!!
You can make your intimate wedding into the wedding of your dreams!!!!!!
Post # 10
freckle, I hear you one not having many guests. I only have 13 for certain on my side, and my FI has over 40! I know its not the same as having no guests, but I’d rather have fewer people and have them all be people I’m very close with and love. His family lives in CO, so it’s been hard to develop comfortable relationships with him. I finally feel comfortable with his mom, but that’s only because she calls me all the time. 🙂
Anyhow, just thought I’d relate a little. Like others have said, they wish they had your opportunity to have a small wedding. Everything is marginally CHEAPER by the head, and you can have WHATEVER you want. Go treat yourself to the dress of your dreams, get a five-tier wedding cake and a professional photographer to take GORGEOUS pictures of you and your hubby in a beautiful destination. If you ever do make friends, which I’m sure you will, you’ll always have these pictures to show and the memories of the small version of your dream wedding. Best of luck!
Post # 11
Small can be really classy. Also, I bet you both know people who would love to attend. Rethink your guest list. Imagine your perfect wedding and then make it happen. You can dance the night away in a long white dress with 20 or 30 guests. Really, don’t let your dream die. We’ll help you plan.
Post # 12
I understand where you’re coming from. But let me share some insight for you. My fiance and I were always figuring on a small, intimate wedding of about 36 guests. We only invited people that are (supposedly) close friends and family on purpose because we were going for “intimate” and didn’t want to invite every person that’s ever touched our lives. Well, with much surprise to us, only 9 guests are coming! I was so upset earlier on (especially since most of them said that they would come for sure before we started planning this), but I’ve settled into the fact and we’ve “re-evaluated” a handful of friendships. Without sounding selfish, these people that are not coming are all people that I’ve known for a long time, participated in their showers, weddings, new homes, baby stuff, kids birthday parties, etc. and even have had to travel for them. I’ve endured a lot of expenses for “their” days even when it was a stretch…..do you think that they could JUST attend my wedding???? I think that it’s inexcusable! But on another note, we’ve moved on, and we have put a lot of effort into all of the details and it’s still going to be a nice wedding. Just because we’re only having 9 guests, we’ve done everything as if there were 100. So, plan what you want. It’s your day and it should be how you want it to be. We’ve done the same. I have the couture dress, a european classic car, beautiful flowers, etc. The people who have made the effort to be at our wedding will be getting the royal treatment. We’re having an afternoon reception with 5 star cuisine, a winery tour and tasting and then a second 5 star meal in the evening at a different venue. We’re treating those guests to an “experience” unlike they’ve had at any other weddings, I’m sure. So, don’t let the guest count get you down. Have your day exactly how you’ve invisioned it!
Post # 13
I’m on board with bridedenise.
I think it’s fine to be upset, and want things to be a little different. ANd I’m sorry that you aren’t feleing as happy about the planning process as you’d like. But all wedding sizes have their pluses and minuses. If I had a really small guestl list, and had the money I wanted to blow on a big wedding, I would really treat the few guests I had, to something amazing. And I would also jsut reconsider looking at a destination wedding. Even if it was a few hours away. Maybe there is a nice spot that’s in easy driving distance. With the numbers you have, maybe you could rent some limos to drive someplace.
And just logistically, you can do some pretty special things for an initmate group, rahter than a large group. If you travel for the wedding, you could offer to treat them to some tour, helicopter ride, scenic train ride… who knows, skies the limit.. yeah a plane ride!
Post # 14
Small doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your dream. Have you looked into estates rental? Here in New England we have a ton of old historical sites and libraries, you just need to get creative with your venues. I shot a wedding last year that only had 18 guests and it turned out to be one of the most intimate weddings I have photographed. You really get a chance to spend time with each person who came to enjoy this day with you.
Post # 15
Rock on bridedenise! A smaller wedding means you can make it more extravagant, and spoil yourselves and the people who really care about you! I would set your budget to whatever it would have been if you were having a bigger wedding, and then keep that same budget for whatever your head count ends up being! Use it as an excuse to splurge and treat yourself – you deserve it!
Post # 16
It’s so hard to feel that people dont’ care about your wedding and aren’t even willing to attend. I feel for you and understand how lonely it feels to have sacrificed to be a part of others’ lives when they don’t reciprocate the same for you. We are eloping with four guests – but doing it formally. FI is wearing a tuxedo and I’m wearing a wedding gown and we’ll be getting ready in separate hotel rooms on the day of the wedding. We have a wonderful photographer and our attendants will be wearing black tie attire. After the ceremony at San Francisco City Hall, which is a seriously beautiful space, we have a private room at a restaurant were we can make merry and have a wedding reception. We’ve also made plans for a wedding cake, so we can do the traditional cake cutting. It’s a wedding with the people who love us and it feels so much better than the 50 person wedding we tried to plan with people who didn’t want to come. Intimate is great and fine. Do it with the people you love and who want to support you and do it as formally as you want.