Post # 1
FI’s paternal aunts have a tradition where a particular figurine was placed in the background of their bridal portraits, and then later appeared in the bridal portraits of their daughters. I can’t get a straight answer of the significance of the figurine, but I think it may have belonged to FI’d grandmother or great grandmother.
Anyway, FI’s aunt #1 asked if I would like the figurine for my portraits or to display at the wedding. I’m not doing portraits ahead of time (I think this is a southern thing and I am a true blue Yankee?) and already had plans for the one table where there could be a display. (I’m doing a photo display of our parents, grandparents, and siblings at their weddings.) So I thanked aunt #1 for the very generous offer, but declined. Fiance and his parents were fine with that.
Now aunts #2 and #3 are furious because they say I am not respecting their family traditions. The figurine was not offered to my Mother-In-Law or other women who married into the family, but apparently aunts thought because I am marrying the first grandson, I should have it. On the one hand, this is very generous and inclusive. On the other hand, well, I’ll be honest, I can’t see including something no one can tell me the significance of, that is visually unappealing to me, and for which I would need to alter plans for what I thought was going to be a nice display that is inclusive of both families. And to be blunt, I’m also a bit fed up because I have bent over backwards to do other things that FI’s family considers wedding musts (band, children in bridal party, making room for 6-12 toasts by all the aunts and uncles) that are not part of my family’s wedding preferences.
How have you negotiated including/excluding family traditions?
Post # 3
I feel that it is very important that you and your FH make your decisions together, then inform your families what you have decided. Letting them in the loop of decision making breeds conflict. They asked, and you politely declined. As far as your post reads, they are being very unreasonable. You don’t have to carry out every family tradition, especially if your FH’s mothers wasn’t involved in the tradition either. It seems like they are making a move to exclude her somehow (I could be reading into that). I would be wary of anything that his family demands on you. It’s your choice, stick to it!
We were always very independent with our decisions, so no one really pushed anything on us. But we were very open to including any traditions too (our families didn’t really have any). I think that it will take some careful navigation for you both, and just remember if it is really important to you, don’t compromise on it. If it’s not that important, just go with it. It’ll help keep the peace.
PS-Is the figurine breakable? Because it would be a shame to see it broken by the children you were forced to have in the wedding party…
Post # 4
I totally understand about not wanting to include traditions without meaning to you. I would probably just grin and bear it, take a few pictures with it to appease the angry aunts and be done with it. No display at the reception, just a couple pics with the photographer, and make someone take it back and put it away!
Then, of course, you’ve got the next few holiday gifts taken care of for said aunts.. Frame one of the said pics, make them a magnet, mug, mousepad.. haha ok, now I’m just joking. But that’s probably what I would do, just to save my sanity from the nagging of the aunts.
Post # 5
The request itself doesn’t seem so unreasonable, so if you are looking for a way to keep the peace, you could easily take a picture or two with it (no need to put it out at the reception). It would take an extra 3 minutes, not a huge deal.
It sounds like, however, the bigger issue is that you feel pressured on an ongoing basis, and have chosen this request to draw your line in the sand with. In that case, I think it’s important that you stick to your guns, but articulate it not as “I had this particular idea,” but rather as “while I am happy to be incorporating so many of your family traditions already, I can’t do everything, and this is what I’ve chosen not to do.” And, of course, your fiance needs to be supporting you on this (or else you need to discuss it with him until you both agree).