Post # 1
My parents and I are now in an all out war w.r.t. wedding planning. As a bit of background, they are paying for most of it. But it’s a complicated thing b/c if we didn’t have them pay it would be a slap in the face to my dad and probably prevent my FI from ever having a good relationship with them. I guess he sees this as his last act of fatherhood or something.
I knew that doing it this way would mean a lot of compromise, but also mean a grander celebration and make it easier for my extended family to attend. I’ve gritted my teeth through some of the hard times, and tried to focus on all the great things about getting married and the extra things their involvement will bring to the wedding.
But underneath this all it’s been festering that my parents keep trying to go behind my back to do things that I’m pretty sure they know I wouldn’t like. Most recently my mom tried to change the florist mock up to a time she could attend (when I would not even be in town). Luckily, my florist wasn’t having it. Now, after I spent a lot of time working on the wording for the invitations (which we’re having made in India b/c they are like a tenth the cost), my Dad scrawls something unintelligible onto a piece of paper and has my brother type it up to send to the printer without telling me. Luckily, my brother sent it to me, not my Dad.
I guess these seem like small things, but they are just examples of how at every step of the way this feels nothing like it’s about my getting married. I understand that this is a big deal for them. So we picked a venue that would serve Indian food from a caterer they like, and we are having twice the guest list we would have liked so they can invite their friends, and we’re paying for the many small details that they don’t think matter. But I feel like they just want everything their way and they could care less about my feelings. After the DOC incident last week, I explained to my Dad that I really did not want to have a big wedding anymore and I was seriously considering eloping. He said he was sorry it felt so bad and that he wanted this to be a happy time for me (it is no longer any fun at all for me). But the first thing he did after that conversation is rewrite the invitations without telling me (in a way that comes across as unwelcoming to my FI’s friends and family…not intentionally but it does).
We’re going through a hard time with the recent loss of my uncle, and you’d think it would be a time to come together. But I’m dreading the next two months, and I really don’t feel excited about any aspect of the wedding. I think I do want to just elope at this point…b/c being married to my FI is the only thing that appeals to me about the whole thing. I wanted this to be a chance to celebrate that with my family, but I dread talking about anything with my parents. I wanted a wedding b/c I wanted to make the biggest commitment of my life in front of people I care about. But it feels so much like none of the "marriage" aspects of this thing even matter to my parents anymore…so why are we doing this?
Post # 3
Aww honey! (((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))))))))))))) You arent alone in this. I think all of us have felt this way one time or another. I hope things get beeter for you ((((((((((good thoughts)))))))))
Post # 4
I’m sorry Fizics… You’ve really been going through it lately. I don’t have great words of wisdom for you. I know it’s especially challenging in South Asian families to find any autonomy in the planning. I would say that you are doing a good thing in paying for things that are important to you.
It is possible that they don’t realize what they are doing, and you should try to figure out how much is oversight and how much is willful. Try and find common goals with them (your happiness, good party etc) and emphasize how you can work TOGETHER to meet these common goals.
Having said all this, sometimes I have felt similarly… like things are going on that I don’t even know about… so I know how you feel. I would wager that most here do.
Hang in there!
Post # 5
Is there a small part of the day that you can carve out and completely control?
Maybe it’s the rehearsal dinner… or the after party… I dunno, something that you have total creative control over? Then maybe you can focus on making that part of the day unique and special, which might take the sting off the family stuff.
Ugh, so sorry you have to deal with all this!
Post # 6
- Wedding: January 2010 - Mr. P's GrandparentsÃ¢Â€Â™ Ranch
I agree with Mr. Bee, and i am so so sorry!!
You are not alone! try to relax and focus on the good things 🙂
Hope things get better *hugs*
Post # 7
I know how you feel. My dad is trying to control my wedding as well. I’m talking to my parents on Friday and I’m going to let them know what I will and won’t budge on in planning.
It’s understandable when you want to have a semblance of yourself in an event and it turns out that it’s anything but what you imagined. I’ve had the same thought of just eloping but see if there isn’t something that you can get control over, such as the music or decorations. See if you can compromise. It isn’t easy, especially with parents, since they honesty want you to have a wonderful wedding. I know that my parents are the same way, but I think telling them that I feel that the wedding is turning into something that I don’t want may help change their minds on some issues.
Post # 8
Your post broke my heart… I’m so sorry that your wedding isn’t really feeling like its yours.
I’m sure eloping (although appealing) isn’t a viable option, but what about doing something extra special on your honeymoon to celebrate your union? I’m not very informed of your families customs, but could you say some vows (or something similar) just the two of you on your honeymoon in a special location? I hope that doesn’t sound silly… I’m tired & not really getting my point across as well as I’d like to!
We’re a private couple & would have preferred to avoid a big family affair, but that’s not possible. So my FI and I are having 2 weddings: our family wedding in Canada & a private, legal ceremony w/ just the 2 of us in the US. We could have had just one ceremony in the US with all our family & friends, but we wanted to have that private time away from all the hooplah. Maybe you could have a private second ceremony- just the 2 of you?
I really hope you can find some peace & that you can find some way to enjoy your day! I’m really so, so sorry you’re feeling this way & going through this stress.
Post # 9
fizicsGirl– Lots of hugs for you!!
That’s terrible that they are controlling every aspect of it.
I hope you guys can come up with some sort of compromise if not I agree with Mr. Bee.
Post # 10
may i say kudos for your florist and your brother for speaking to you before any changes…. keep the communication between your suppliers and the family who want to support you happening so you know they are answerable to you and no changes are to be made uless you sign it off!
now for dad…. comfront the man – nicely. say stuff like "dad i love you but we discussed this i know you want my wedding day to be happy and fabulous so we need to talk about any changes so we all know whats going on" . try not to be too accusing towards him but make it out that you are depending on him to listen to you as you want your day to be happy so you will remember it for always (guilt trips are a wonderful thing)
goodluck… hopefully things will seem better for you in the morning
Post # 11
Ugh, that whole situation just really sucks. When I was planning, my FMIL would go behind my back or go over my head to try and change things to her way, including giving my photographer her own shot list. Luckily, she wasn’t the one paying for anything, so my mother and I got final say from all the vendors. The whole time I just kept saying how glad I was that she *wasn’t* paying for the wedding. It just breaks my heart to read that someone is stuck in the exact situation I was so thrilled not to be in. Are you close with your parents? Not that I am an advocate of being deliberately manipulative or anything, but at one point I did confide in my FFIL that I was considering eloping because of the difficulty FMIL was causing. Obviously he told FMIL and she did kind of knock it off- for a little while. Maybe if you talked to one parent or your brother?
Post # 12
Your post reminds me of my indian friend so much! She struggled with all these issues. In the end, she decided to tell her parents to plan it and she will show up but she WON’T do certain things like the mendi and some other things. She said that it wasn’t worth the big fights and tears (a constant thing) because in the end, she was marrying her FI and she can’t deal with them. She’s also having an American style ceremony 2 weeks later so she can acknowledge her FI’s Americanism. She is now excited about the Indian stuff, though.
I don’t have a lot of advice to give, because I can understand how Indian families are after listening to her talk about hers. I cannot relate and it’s so frustrating when parents don’t listen to their kids. Make sure you talk to your vendors that YOU get the final call on everything. I think it’s really inappropriate of them to be sneaking around like that.
Unfortunately, parents tend to have the mindset that they get to plan their kid’s wedding in that culture (from what i deduced) whereas I’m guessing you are more Americanized than them and want the wedding to be more about you and your FI whereas your parents want it to be all about them.
Just try to reason and tell them how *hurt* you are when they do certain things, like they don’t trust your opinions or you and your FI’s wishes and you feel trampled on. Try to spin it that they are making you feel bad. Yes, guilt them a little. Parents tend to respond to that better it seems. You are acknowledging your culture and giving in to a lot of their wishes, so they should respect yours since you probably aren’t asking to have anything crazy.
Post # 13
Thanks all for your support. I’m so at a loss for what to do. I was crying for like hours over the weekend, and my brother and sister both talked to my Dad. I had been having a hard time with my Mom so I suggested maybe my Dad and I handle the ceremony and reception, and my Mom do everything else. Well he ended up going nutso on me too. But after talking to my siblings he called me and said he really hated how upset I was and how maybe we should just do things the way I want with his veto power.
The problem is that what I want is to not have this be a battle while maintaining a semblance of myself. I’m sorry, but my FI is not Indian. We are not serving Indian food (at $120/head BTW) "family style" while also having non-Indian entree choices which his family will likely be the ones eating so that they feel like outcasts (we are having Indian food, though). We are not wording the invitations in a way that implies that they are only intended for guests of the bride (e.g. "< > invite you to receive the groom’s family at…"). It’s not that I need things to be in a specific way, but every time I don’t insist on having things a specific way they go and pick the one option that is completely unacceptable and offensive to me or my FI.
We don’t want two weddings, and it goes against everything that I am to have a religious ceremony that neither of us believe in (this is not a point they are even insisting on, though). I wanted a wedding that was about honoring the people close to me and celebrating this day in my life. There are many concessions I’m willing to make, but a few that I am not. And I feel like they’ll stop at nothing to get what they want. My mom informed me that no one would come to my ceremony if I didn’t have it half an hour later. Like my whole family is going to fly over from India but then skip the ceremony b/c it’s at 4:30 instead of 5.
And all of this is like a million times worse for me b/c it’s already really hard to be planning a wedding. Probably one of my earliest memories, maybe the earliest, is from my uncle’s wedding. So every single time I think of wedding planning it’s also a reminder of him…and it’s too soon for that to not be painful. I talked to my Dad for a long time about this, and we decided that it would be a joyous and healing occasion for my family to celebrate a new union. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s hard right now…so while needing extra support right now, I’m just getting extra pain. And I’ve thought about whether that’s what’s going on for my Dad, but I really don’t think so b/c some of these battles began a while ago. I just feel like I wish my wedding were done and over with…
I know that it was my choice to do this with my parents, but I feel like this has turned into being about everyone except me and my FI.
Post # 14
I’m so sorry your family is putting you through this. I don’t have any words of advice since we’re paying for it and so far no one has pushed their wishes on our wedding, I just wanted to let you know that I’m thinking of you and hoping that your family shapes up and realizes that this is your day and to do what you and your FI want. (((HUGS!!)))))
Post # 15
You are right, you have to acknowledge the fact that your FI is not Indian and doing everything the "indian way" could be perceived as outcasting HIS family, who is also attending the wedding, and your parents need to be gently reminded that there are two people in this wedding, not just an Indian bride. My friend dealt with this. His family is all meat eaters and meat is a sin and to serve it would have been major taboo. They’re still having indian food but with an american plate option. So when we get our RSVP notes, we can check "american" or "indian" meals. You might want to do that. I love indian food, but a lot of people do not, especially if they have not been exposed to the food. It can be very strange and overwhelming if you aren’t familiar with the flavors. Mmmmm!
Your wedding SHOULD be about you and your FI with some of your parents desires thrown in. I think this is a cultural bash unfortunately. Here’s waht my friend did. She made a list of THE most important things to her. Venue, photographer, and cake. Those were her top 3’s. And she had the veto power on those. Those were things she and her FI felt so strongly about. And when she reminded her parents of how they could plan other stuff, they let her have dibs on those 3 items. See if proposing a list of what you want to your parents help and explain why they’re so important. Make sure you say "we" instead of "i" to reinforce the you and your FI couple
I can only imagine how upset you are and I hope things get better. I’m sure planning the wedding is hard and hopefully it WILL be a joyous and healing occassion. Just make sure you end up wtih a wedding that you are happy to be at, not dreading.
Post # 16
Oh fizicsgirl! I was hoping things might have calmed down after the DOC debate, but clearly they haven’t 🙁
It sounds like your parents expected to have 100% control over your wedding, and even though it does sound like your dad wants to make you happy, I think he still doesn’t get why something like sending in the invitation without showing it to you first is not OK. He probably thought he was helping.
Since it sounds like your dad is more receptive than your mom, I might suggest sitting him down and saying, "you know I’ve been really unhappy and stressed out, and I know you want to help me be happier about the wedding. Here’s what I need in order for that to happen." Then explain that decisions need to go through you because of what you just told us — that you know the tradition in your family is for the bride’s parents to plan everything, but the choices your parents have been making have the potential to alienate your non-Indian FI and his family, and the wedding is about them too, not just you and your family. Be really explicit about the kinds of things you want them to stop doing. Tell them you know this is important to them and you want to include them in the planning, but there will be no more talking to vendors behind your back, no more ridiculous threats like "no one will come."
If you can get your FI to join in this conversation with your dad, that might be even better — he’ll realize that this is important to your guy as well. Good luck, and please let us know how it works out!