- 4 years ago
I’ve been an American expat living in Europe for 4 years now and will be marrying my Nordic man next summer. We’ve been engaged for about 8 months and have been together for 4 years. From the beginning we’ve planned to have our wedding in his hometown since he has more family we’d like to attend and it would actually be significantly cheaper for us to have our wedding there than in the USA. It is also more convenient for us since we are living in yet a different European country.
The only person I really hope to attend my wedding from my side is my mother – I am her only child and she has never once come to visit me since I’ve been abroad. This should be a good reason to come, right? A couple years ago she informed me that she had $8,000+ saved to contribute to my wedding. She has since informed me that they’ve spent it on a too large of house for her and my step dad, so she no longer has this large of an amount to contribute. This is irritating but fine.. the only thing I hope for is her attendance at my wedding.
In the 8 months we’ve been engaged, she’s not found the courage to speak to my step dad about her coming to my wedding (he’s a bit of a ‘bleep’). She is avoiding the discussion and he is under the impression that it is enough for her to attend our second reception in my home state the following Christmas. This is something my fiance and I are tentatively planning depending on finances and it would certainly be a very casual, low budget affair.
So my issue is this… for 8 months now my mother has been wishy-washy as to whether or not she will come to my wedding and whether or not she will contribute in any other way (either to a reception in my home state or otherwise). If she won’t come and won’t contribute, fine, but it’s driving me crazy not knowing (of course I’d be upset if she didn’t come, but honestly, if she did come, I’m quite sure my step dad would find a way to dampen her enjoyment of attending and ultimately mine). The longer she waits the more expensive airfare becomes.
As for a reception in my home state, she says to plan something and then she will let me know what (or if) she can contribute anything. If she cannot contribute anything (or will not inform me as to what she can contribute in advance of booking a venue), the only thing my fiance and I could afford would be to buy some Costco food and have an open house reception at my mom’s house (and this is an option I’ve presented to my mother, but she does not seem interested in hosting such an event at her house). We are already paying for our wedding and reception in Europe and would not be able to host any other type of reception in the USA after buying plane tickets for both of us to get there. We just need some information so we can make plans! I’ve also asked her to walk me down the aisle, so it would be nice to know if she will be there for that or not.
I’m not sure what my question is other than “how do I deal with my mother in this situation?”
Additional Info: My step dad (via my mom) blemishing big events in my life is not new. For instance, when I graduated from college, I planned a graduation party. I was living outside my home state but all my grandparents managed to come as well as my parents. However, when it came time for the party, my step dad decided he’d been away from the dogs for too long (they brought them with) and was going to skip out on the party and go back to the hotel. He made my mom feel guilty about choosing to attend my graduation party over leaving with him. She chose to leave with him. A similar event occurred when I graduated with my master degree. I could go on and on with stories like this… I just do not want this kind of drama to upset me cry on my wedding day.