Post # 1
I wanted to know if there was anyone who had advice to get through a difficult time right now. I am engaged to an amazing man but as I prepare for the wedding everything is just sad because my parents will not attend the wedding. They refuse because they have animals to take care of, jobs to go to, and it is not going to be in Texas (where I was born and raised). Instead, I will be having it in Iowa at the church where my Fiance and I first met.
We have been engaged since January and when asking my parents why they refuse, they say it is not always about me. What should I do? How do I get over this ordeal and become happy again. Everytime I look at weddings with the brides mother and father it stresses me out.
Also, the day we got engaged in Hawaii on top of the Diamond Head Monument they said, “if it is not in Texas don’t expect anything from us.”
Post # 3
I don’t have any personal experience with a situation like this, but wanted to send you HUGS. I’m so sorry that you’re having to deal with your parents reacting in this way instead of with unmixed joy.
Can I ask what your relationship with your parents is like aside from wedding issues?
Post # 4
i’m sorry your parents are acting like this.
they’re acting like spoiled children, and it’s unfair of them to treat you like this. but if they’re going to be that way, it’s probably not worth your time and effort to try and change their minds. for some reason, they obviously don’t feel the need to see you get married. which, in my opinion, is absolutely ridiculous. they should be willing to do ANYTHING to be at your wedding. that’s what parents do.
Post # 5
I agree that your wedding isn’t about you… it’s about you and your fiance! What a ridiculous comment. If it helps, my dad has been like your parents for a long time. He didn’t go to one graduation ceremony b/c my mom and step dad would be there (FWIW, both parents are re-married). They didn’t even have to sit near them, but he told me I had to pick between them. THEN when I graduated w/ my master’s degree he didn’t come b/c he had other things to do that day. I let him know WAY in advance teh day it would be, even sent him a special card to invite him and my step mom. I’ve been married once before (and it obviously didn’t work out)… we got married in Oregon, and lived in Ohio. My dad made plenty of excuses for why he couldn’t be there. He kept mentioning money, so my ex husband and I looked at budget, and offered to buy him a plane ticket. Then it was he couldn’t afford a hotel room. We said we couldn’t pay for the room, but we could pay for a portion for him to split w/ someone else. THEN it was he needed his wife there (FWIW, he makes slightly more than my mom, and she had no problem getting out there). I had to draw the line. My partner and I were supposed to get married last year (long story) and when I called my dad to ask him to walk me down the aisle, he told me he would try to be at the wedding. TRY? This time distance wasnt going to fly as an excuse (oh but he tried). A one hour drive isn’t too far. We even offered to pay for his hotel room for him and his wife.
I was upset for a while, I won’t lie. I see a counselor for other reasons, but spent some time on this issue and it really helped. I had to learn (and still working on it) to realize that this is who my dad is. I can get upset about it, but it won’t change him – it will only leave me upset. Anyway, last year I met up w/ him and calmly explained why I wanted him at my wedding, but taht the choice was his. I’m not saying this is how you should do it, but I instead tried to focus on who would be there. We’re eloping in a month, and no parents. I’ve learned that for whatever reason, my dad doesn’t see me as a priority. Yeah, it sucks and hurts, but I don’t really dwell on it anymore. I stopped going out of my way to drop everything for him.
Post # 6
@stressfulbridetobe: Why exactly are they refusing to attend? Can they not afford the vacation time and the cost to board the animals? If so, can you help them with these costs?
The first two reasons you listed seem financial and, although sad, perfectly legit. If your parents are not in a financial position to attend, you need to either 1. Pay up, or 2. Be more understanding.
It’s not easy for many people to just up & take vacation, even for their daughter’s wedding. Many people wouldn’t HAVE a job to return to. And animals are a huge responsibility, often you can’t simply leave them home for a few days. If these are the reasons your parents can’t make it, you truly do need to realize this is not about you. Maybe they are embarassed and haven’t been considerate when communicating these problems?
However, is their refusal based on them not approving of your FI? Or do they have some extreme loyalty to Texas and think it’s wrong of you to marry outside your home state? If so, that’s another matter entirely.
It would be helpful if you provided some more details so that we can better understand your situation.
Post # 7
What is your relationship with your parents like? I am in a somewhat similar situation, but this is not the appropriate place for me to vent. ItsHollyAgain imparts some very wise words. Also, it may help to imagine stepping into your parents’ shoes. Are they extremely strapped for cash? Are the animals they’re taking care of particularly difficult to handle (e.g. from a shelter, wild animals, etc.)? Is there any possibility of meeting halfway? For example, they can host a celebration for you when you visit them as a married couple.
Post # 8
Firstly, let me say that it is my experience that planning for a wedding makes other people madder than a bucket full of frogs. Even when you are dealing with normal people, they behave in abnormal ways. You get used to it after a while.
Secondly, people have lives. Your wedding is just one day. Do you need their presence and their implicit consent? Of course not! You are a grown woman who is more than capable of giving her own consent. So, as sad as your parents’ absence may be, you do not need them, and nor should you be blackmailed by them to hold your wedding in your home town.
That is just reality. Be strong and enjoy your day… plus, you can always hold a party or a gathering in Texas after your big day, if you want to involve everyone. It doesn’t have to be your wedding, per se.
Post # 9
@valintine: I tried to think of it that way, but then I got stuck on her parents’ initial INITIAL reaction after being informed of the engagement (well…if it ain’t in Texas, we can’t help you). Not congratulations, not we’re happy for you…but immediately negative and surly? Possibly I’m projecting my own ignorant parents onto OP’s (so take all that with a grain of salt, lol) but peoples’ initial reaction is usually their true reaction. It seems, from the limited information available, like they didn’t even TRY to be supportive.
Post # 10
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@stressfulbridetobe: Your parents are dicks. You have two options: 1) have the wedding you want in Iowa without your parents; or 2) give in to your parents and have your wedding in Texas like they want.
At the end of the day you have to make the decision for yourself and sometimes that means choosing the lesser of two evils because you don’t always get everything you want in life.
Post # 11
@stressfulbridetobe: I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. I know how frustrating it can be as I’m dealing with my Father-In-Law who are also “protesting” our destination wedding. What I will say is this, you’re a strong wonderful and intellegent woman who has found the man of her dreams. So unless your parents truly have some major issue with him, “cleave to your husband”. That being said, please remember that sometimes parents do change their minds and eventually realize they are being pigheaded. So don’t completely write them off for coming to your wedding. Just keep them abreast of what’s going on, send an invitation, and express to them how much it would mean to you for them to be there. The rest is up to them and is between them and GOD. As someone said before, the wedding is just a day, but the marriage is a lifetime. If in the end, someone misses your wedding but is there for your marriage, that’s just as important as someone who comes to your wedding and you never speak to for years later.
Post # 11
stressfulbridetobe: There is a big difference between an elopement and a wedding. By choosing to get married in Iowa, and not in your parent’s home state, where you grew up, you have chosen to elope. As a result, you should not expect your parents to travel half way across the country to attend. Historically, no one attends an elopement except for two or three close friends. Parents of the bride and groom do not attend, as they 1.) don’t approve of the hasty way its being done, 2.) the distant location, or 3.) the marriage itself. The only reason for a bride to get married in a different state from where she grew up is because her parents don’t approve, or because there is some kind of break in their relationship that makes their attendance unlikely even if it was close by. A wedding, on the other hand (as opposed to an elopement), and the reception following, are historically paid for by the bride’s parents. The cost of the ceremony and the reception are paid for by the bride’s parents, because it is a celebration that they provide FOR the bride, and they want their close family and friends to attend and join in. So, they usually choose to do it at their own church in their own hometown, where the family’s friends and guests will find it convenient to attend. If anyone travels from out of town, it is usually close relatives and friends of the bride and groom who live out of town. That usually includes members of the groom’s immediate family if he is from some other town. (They will be happy they aren’t paying for the big wedding.) However, if for some reason, the parents of the bride don’t plan to pay for the wedding, then the bride can choose to have it where ever she wants. But, if she refuses to be considerate of her family and their friends by choosing to hold it out of state, far away from her hometown, then it can only be assumed that she is doing so because she doesn’t want her family and friends to attend. You don’t throw a party (wedding or otherwise), and tell your invitees that, rather than holding it somewhere convenient, you have chosen to locate the party at a very inconvenient distance, which will cost them travel and hotel expenses that they would not ordinarily incur.
Post # 12
Er….this thread is a year old so hopefully the situation has resolved itself.
However, quite a lot of your advice is simply wrong or at the very best, woefully outdated. This, for starters:
There is a big difference between an elopement and a wedding. By choosing to get married in Iowa, and not in your parent’s home state, where you grew up, you have chosen to elope.
It is 2014, not 1814.
Couples often live far from where they grew up. Choosing to have a wedding where you live does not make it an elopement.
My daughter in law’s parents, for example, happily and willingly travelling from Utah to England for my son’s wedding. It never occurred to them to miss the wedding despite the distance and indeed, had the wedding been in the US, I would have just as happily travelled there. To refuse to attend your child’s wedding because it takes place elsewhere is ridiculous. As indeed it is to call such an event an elopement.
As for suggesting that the only reason that a bride chooses to get married in a different state from where she grew up is because her relationship with her parents has broken down is utterly bonkers. Neither is it a given that the bride’s parents pay for the wedding nowadays. Very many couples prefer to meet the cost of their weddings themselves.
So I respectfully suggest that you put your very ancient guide to bridal etiquette back on the dusty shelf from which you took it down.
Post # 13
MisterManners: I don’t know what century you’re from, but nowadays people frequently move away from the towns they grew up in and settle elsewhere. Marrying away from your home town isn’t an elopement by definition, it’s a wedding that’s held in a different place.
It sounds like these parents aren’t offering any financial assistance, and so get no say about the wedding details. If they choose to decline an invitation for their child’s wedding, that’s their choice – and, frankly, a poor one. They have no right to be pandered to in this case.
ETA: I had no idea this thread was so old, haha. Seems like someone was just itching for a place to share their bizarrely dated views!
Post # 14
nanoinfinity: I suspect that the Etiquette Police temporarily fell through a hole in the space/time continuum!
Post # 15
MisterManners: You seem to be forgetting someone pretty important – the groom. It’s his day too, and he should have a say in where the wedding is held. And the notion that the brides parents are going to be paying for the wedding is rather antiquated.
Yes, you should try to be considerate of your family and guests, but it’s not always possible to please everyone, and making blanket declarations like you have is unhelpful.