Post # 1
- Wedding: September 2014 - SPRING VALLEY COUNTRY CLUB
Is getting married in black community not the norm? I mean it can’t be…can it? Durning this whole wedding planning process, i have found that issues regarding race have come up, on several occasions. We’ve been told “Oh yall throwing a white folk wedding” “You guys are doing too much, it’s not that big a deal..it’s just one day” Or my absolute favorite “Why didn’t you just ask so and so to cook some wings and have it at your house” EXCUSE ME!!!
I am caught off guard by it. More so it makes me sad. Yeah i understand that we live in world where race is a prevelant issue, but I didn’t expect it. Especially not from my own family.
I am not sure what type of response i’ll get. but i can’t be alone….somebody had to have gone through this before.
Post # 2
I am sure there is data you could find on the numbers of percentage of black people that are married either to other black people or outside of their own race. My now divorced parents used to tell me that the welfare system did not support marriages. As soon as there was a man in the household funding would be cut. But, the old addage “last hired, first fired” was one reason many poor black families needed assistance in the first place.
I grew up in an upper middle class community and marriage was what I saw. Whether my neighbor was white or black. With regards to my own family, my grands were married, but the majority of my parents siblings were not. It’s a choice. Some people opt to have kids without a commitment/ marriage. And others wait until they are wed.
What it sounds like you are running into, OP, is a difference of opinion of how to get married. Your friends and fam think a casual get together will suffice. When I married a few years ago we had a small intimate wedding on the beach. To each his own. I have attened country club weddings of black friends too. To each his own.
I absolutely hate when I hear “you’re doing xyz like white folks!.” It’s not a race thing. It’s a money thing. When you have more you expect more and you do more.
Post # 3
absolutely_tati: I understand what you are saying. I”m not married nor engaged yet, (soon) *fingers crossed*, but my SO is white and I’m considered black. My SO and I have decided to have a small wedding for some of the reasons you listed. I love my family dearly, but there are some members I look at and just think, “How can I be related to you?” Some of the things that comes out of their mouths are not only racist but ignorant in itself. Like you, I’m desiring a wedding, not a cook-out at my Aunts house or some stereotype that has been suggested by some of my ridiculous family members. Hell, I still have family members that won’t even address my SO by his name, they refer to him as “White boy”, “Are you still with that white boy?” That’s part of the reason my SO and I have decided to have a small destination wedding some where. One because he has too many family members and two I have some ignorant family members that are always perpetually broke. lol You are not alone in this at all!
Post # 4
absolutely_tati: I’m dealing with something similar! First, my family has never been involved in the planning of a “traditional” wedding. Everyone has just eloped or gone to the courthouse. Second, I’m black. Third, I live in Georgia. Fourth, our wedding is same-sex. Lol, I’m sure you can imagine some of the comments I hear! What makes it worse is that my partner and I are very conservative, well off, we own a nice house, we’ll educated, we do things well, etc. Most people, black or white, just can’t seem to handle that we are black AND gay and having a nice wedding (or can afford one). It’s like we are supposed to be second class citizens or something! No ma’m!! Whoever called your wedding a “white-folk” wedding is confirming the idea that “nice things” are off limits to black people, and that we should settle for less! It’s a crippling mind-set that unfortunately spills over into many aspects of our lives. I guarantee that the majority of the people who made these comments to you would LOVE to have the fabulous celebration you are planning but viewed it as “out-of- reach” for whatever reason. I’m sure your wedding will be beautiful and exactly how you want it! You may even provide inspiration for future “white-folk” weddings! Keep doing what you are doing and good luck in your planning process 🙂
Post # 5
LadyAprill: Let me first say that I’m in GA too…
You said that your family has never participated in the planning of a traditional wedding, but has it ever occurred to you that traditional to THEM is going down to the courthouse or eloping? My inlaws have been married 48 years. They did the courthouse thing as did all of their siblings and then a cookout at home to celebrate. Same with their oldest daughter. Same with the oldest daughter’s oldest son.
I have to agree with them. Some of this stuff people are doing is just too much. Instead of a ceremony that brings 2 people and 2 families together, people have gone to putting on full on productions and in their mind (and mine), there are much better things to do with all that money you are spending on ONE DAY. Lots of focus on the party and very little focus on what a wedding is really supposed to be. I hate the cop out that people are basically jealous that you are going to have this fabulous event and it’s for whatever out of reach to them. To that, I say, my husband and I have a combined income well into the 6 figures and we would both balk at spending even 10k on a wedding. Instead, we had a 300 person wedding that cost of less than $5 from start to finish, we woke up on our wedding day owing ZERO dollars and spent that money on a house that we put 50% down on.
Now, while everyone else is paying for that fantastic event, we’re sitting on a pile of money, not having a financial worry in the world and everyone else is in debt up to their eyeballs. I’d rather have that than an uber expensive party ANY DAY.
Post # 6
CurlyCue: How did you jump from her family’s idea of a wedding involving wings to the welfare system? Proving her point, I guess.
absolutely_tati: Your family will always disappoint you the most, because you know they can be good. Show them a nice wedding and change their ideas, right?
Post # 7
I don’t think it is neccessarily a race isssue more than it is complete ignorance. I am sure if you spoke to a white person or a latino person they have probably experienced similar things from their own culture. I think there are many people who have never been exposed to things beyond their environment and because something is unique, new or different they don’t understand it. Wanting a nice wedding that is elegant has nothing to do with race.
I can remember when my grandmother died, my father has 4 other sibligns. Three of them have gone to college and my father had a high position in the Departmetn of Agriculture. They have one sister who has not accomplished much with her life from that perspective and has always lived off the system. At my grandmother’s funeral several of my father’s colleugues came through to pay their respect and my aunt said ” don’t you know no black people”.
You see you can’t buy class or tact, people either have it or they don’t regardless of the color of their skin. Take a look at “Honey Boo Boo” that says it all.
Keep planning the wedding of your dreams and don’t worry about your family… I would suggest you limit your discussions with them on what your plan is.
Post # 8
absolutely_tati: I do not think this is really a racial issue, but a cultural one. Getting married in the black community is not necessarily outside the norm. However, the way they celebrate or go about it may be different.
For example, in some places, especially small communities, it is normal to get married in the church and have the reception in the basement (catered by the church ladies). This crosses racial lines. In some communities it is more special if it is done that way.
Actually, I was very surprised to find that a very sophisticated wedding I attended was catered by the friends of the bride’s mother, but it was their privilege to do so.
I had a lot more to say, but this new format is hindering me. I’ll come back if I figure it out.
Post # 9
absolutely_tati: Just plan the wedding you want. I heard similar things i.e. I went to the courthouse why do you need a wedding other than that?”.
Also remember people have different priorities. To some, having a “dream” wedding means alot, while to ohters not spending the money means more. No one is right or wrong when planning their day.
If it really bothers you, stop talking to them about your wedding plans…
Post # 10
I’m not seeing this as a race issue. Class, absolutely. But race? Erm, no.
Post # 11
this isn’t about races, the same things could be said of white couples. Not everyone will like the wedding you want, if you like it that’s all that counts. I grew up in a white area (middle class with a lawyer for a mom). My grandparents were/are all married, my parents were HS sweethearts and married for 20 years. We grew up being expected to get college educations and date for marriage (not meaningless flings).
I had a beautiful wedding and my sister will be getting married at Notre Dame University…some people have class and some don’t, some accept that you want things done your way and some don’t. I had family members that thought we did too much (my DH is white btw) and whined during our wedding but I loved it and that’s what mattered to me
Post # 12
To all the people who say this is a class issue not a race issue: racism is still alive and sadly, race and class are still closely linked. If you go to Statistics Canada (or whatever the American equivalent is), you can see how ethnicity affects poverty rates, education, and crime rates.
Post # 13
- Wedding: September 2014 - SPRING VALLEY COUNTRY CLUB
LadyAprill: I almost felt like i was alien or something?!?!? LOL!!! Thanks for letting me know i am not alone in this issue
Post # 14
absolutely_tati: let me just say, good for you! I cannot BELIEVE the crap I’m getting now that I’m engaged to my same sex fiancee. We’ve been together almost 3 years, I’ve been talking to my mom about getting married to her for almost a year now, yet my mom is just not thrilled. She said she was happy for me and the obligatory congrats but then as time has gone on it’s constant comments…”I won’t be able to go if it’s during the winter out of state, I can’t risk getting stranded due to snow”, “I won’t fly by myself”, “I can’t be in NYC, it’s too big”….what. the. fuck. It got to the point that I told her if she didn’t want to come, don’t. Period. My FI & I have talked about how black gay people have to take an extra stand. I applaude you, I truly do!
Do what you want, have the wedding YOU AND YOUR FI want, and show everyone how it’s done =)
Post # 15
almostmrsj: I addressed two thoughts in the original post or at least how I interpreted them. 1st- black people don’t get married and 2nd- the manner in which black people get married-wedding celebration.
I offered one reason why marriages may not occur as frequently among black people. Welfare has been around for ages and while many people whose grandparents or parents used it and they do not some of the social trends ie not getting married are still perbasive.