Post # 1
Well we got engaged in October and everyone has been asking us when the date is etc. We have been very open with family and friends about not wanting a wedding and just going to the courthouse. We had a cruise booked to the Bahamas on Saturday and on the previous Friday my then FI asked me if I wanted to get married that day and have the cruise as our honeymoon. I thought this was a great idea and so off to the courthouse we went. We decided to not tell anyone we got married until we got back from the cruise since we wouldn’t be able to call/text anyone during the cruise anyway.
Fast forward to having an amazing time in the Bahamas and coming back to reality. We had planned to tell his parents together, but I had to go straight back to work when we came home so since they watched our house and pups while we were gone he saw them first. His mom ended up asking him if we got married, (I have no idea why she even thought to ask since we gave no hints about doing if before the cruise) he told her we had and she evidently didn’t take it well and shouted “are you f***ing kidding me”. His reenactment of her outburst had me in tears. I love his parents so much and they have always shown me nothing but love and acceptance. I hate that I have upset them and this has made me even regret our elopement. I wish now that we would’ve at least had a small wedding for our families.
DH and friends keep telling me not to worry about how everyone else feels and that this is about us. I mean it’s not like they were offering to pay for our wedding or anything. I am so nervous about Thanksgiving and having to see so many family members for the first time since being married and that they will be upset with me. Some have said I could do a renewal of vows ceremony or something if I wanted, but honestly I don’t want to. I love our elopement story and don’t feel the need to spend money on a ceremony. Anyone with suggestions or ever “offended” any family with your marriage?
Post # 3
I got married alone without family. Ours new it was happening, and they knew they weren’t invited. They understood that we just wanted to focus on each other and our marriage that day.
I understand that your MIL might be upset because it’s not what she had always imagined in her head. But guess what! It’s not about her! She already had a wedding, this was yours and your new DH’s. It’s about you guys, your marriage, and your new life together. You shouldn’t have to be pressured into having anything else if you don’t want to. (We did a really low key anniversary party).
If she says anything to you about it directly, you can just say something like “I’m sorry you feel that way, but DH and I did what we felt was best for us and our new marriage.”
CONGRATULATIONS, by the way!
Post # 4
@MissBlessedOne: Congratulations! We had a very small ceremony with the family closest to us in attendance, but were only a hair’s breadth from taking off and eloping in the South Pacific…so I understand the appeal. But you sincerely have nothing to apologize for or feel badly about.
That being said, someday when you have kids and they grow up and find someone they want to spend their lives with…it might sting a little if they choose to do something private, but after the initial shock, you would understand, right?
Your MIL will too…
If it were me, I would set bring any pictures from your elopment or trip to share, maybe some flowers for your MIL with a card or note sharing how very much your care for her and her son.
Post # 5
@MissBlessedOne: We had a similar situation with DH’s mom as well. We didn’t quite elope but we had a tiny DW with only 4 guests (and only because we legally had to have 4 witnesses). We had planned on a big wedding in our town, but that meant every single family member had to fly across the country & then drive 4 hours to get to us. After all the complaining and questions about whether I could just book their travel accomodations for them We just threw in the towel. It was many reasons but it included FMIL acting like she did not want to make the trip and not being excited whatsoever about it, so we thought we were doing everyone a favor. My family thought so too and were over the moon happy for us (but courthouse weddings run in the family), but FMIL was beyond angry. We spent weeks trying to come up with some compromise to make her happy but in the end it turned out to be a combo of multiple issues, mostly unrelated to the wedding. She wasn’t ready to let her “baby” grow up in her words (nevermind that he’s 40+ yrs old) and had pulled the same emotional blackmail with her other 2 kids when they got married. She even wanted us to have a vow renewal just for her less than a week after we got married! Sorry, but to me that makes me feel like I’m saying my marriage ceremony wasn’t real enough for her….
It’s still a bit of a sore spot for me, not sure if it is for her or not as we don’t speak much- We are firmly in the each deals with their family camps. I was a bit hurt by some of the things she (and DH’s brother who was one of our witnesses) said and did (planned an alternate wedding for us in her home state, budget and all; said we wouldn’t really be married because we did it in another country & without a pastor/priest). When we went to our families home states to celebrate afterwards she seemed happy for us, but didn’t look at any of the ceremony pics at the dinner and when we tried to show them to her at the hotel she kept screaming things at her grandson playing with the family in the parking lot.
I don’t have any tips except to let her know you understand how she feels, you are sorry she feels that way, and let it be. DH & I are both very practical people and could never have been comfortable spending a ton of $$ on one day no matter how special, but she doesn’t feel that way. In reality, even if we had the big wedding she’d still be angry because it would never have met her standards anyway…
Post # 6
@MissBlessedOne: It’s too bad she didn’t censor her mouth before she blurted out her reaction, but I do empathize with her.
As a Mom, I too would be disappointed not to see my son get married.
I’m sure she will get over it.
Post # 7
I don’t blame her; but what can she do?
My mom would be pissed if I did that… PISSED…
Post # 8
@MissBlessedOne: I would just be as happy and friendly as you can during the holidays. Just because she reacted that way doesn’t mean that anyone else was or is that offended. Even if they were it was your decision as a adults and they will have to learn to respect that.
Post # 9
I think it’s normal to expect that some people will be angry. When you see everyone on Thanksgiving just bring some photos from your trip and tell everyone that while you love them all, you both have never wanted a big wedding and just wanted something small and simple. They’ll get over it (eventually).
Congratulations though! So happy for you!
Post # 10
I think when you elope knowing your family wants to see you get married, you should be prepared for a negative reaction.
That being said, I’m sure she will get over it over time. It’s ultimately your decision I suppose how and when you actually get married!
Post # 11
@MissBlessedOne: Do NOT worry about Thanksgiving. Go in there and smile and be awashed in “new bride” goodness. Going in there looking scared shows to them you feel ashamed!!
You and your FI need to present a united front. Go in there wearing your best clothing, holding hands, arms around each other.
If the topic comes up, you say nicely but firmly you two did want YOU wanted to do. If someone brings up the “what about family” card, ask them if they want to throw the reception. Asking people to put money where their mouth is usually shuts them up LOL.
Post # 12
@MissBlessedOne: You made the right decision for you. But since the parents were “for” the marriage, it would have been nice to give them a heads up. Keeping it secret meant you wanted to surprise/shock people. Okay. But then you have no control over the reaction.
Post # 13
Could you even just have a party with his family and some close friends to celebrate? Would she be happy with that? It sucks that she is upset and although it is good that you two did it your way and you’re happy with it, you can understand why she would be a little upset. I am sure they love you too and would have loved to see you guys marry.
It is done now though, so maybe try to meet with her in the middle. Have some sort of celebration with them and that may help. Good luck!
Post # 14
@MissBlessedOne: First, congratulations on your marriage! It sounds like it was exactly what you had both hoped for and thats a wonderful thing!
Second, is it possible that your MIL asked jokingly and didn’t expect the answer to be yes? I know you were both vocal about not having a wedding, but is it possible she was just really shocked that it had happened already? Maybe she thought you would have a longer engagement or something and it just took her off guard. I speak from experience here – my sister and I were talking with mom a few years back about her roommate who had gotten a tattoo. Mom jokingly asked where mine was and I said “Right here” and showed her my brand new tattoo. . . not the best life choice I’ve ever made, but I was only 19.
Thirdly, your DH and friends are correct. This was what you both wanted and you were both happy with how it turned out. That should be what matters most. No one can make you feel badly about the decision you made if you don’t let them.
Don’t worry about the holidays. Just show up with a happy smile, relaxed, and ready for some good food. If anyone tries to lecture you just politely respond that you’re happy how things went and then change the topic. If they persist and ask about holding a more “traditional” family affair then ask whether they’ll be paying for it. I used to do that at work with people who would urge me to go get my Master’s Degree – they would usually stop asking after the first time I turned the tables like that.
Post # 15
I’m so sorry that your DH’s mother is so upset, but, like @julies1949:, I can understand her strong disappointment and even grief over the fact that she did not get to witness her son’s wedding.
Because you have always had a positive relationship with your DH’s parents, I think it’s very likely that you will be able to get past this. However, I think if you and your DH admit to his parents that you may not have been as sensitive as you should have been to how your families may have received this news, that may help to begin the healing process. It’s not that you would be apologizing for the wedding that you loved, but, rather, for not fully taking into account how hurt others would be by it.