Post # 1
- Wedding: July 2014 - Prague
Just ranting. Three things I just don’t get:
1. Why does paying for part of the wedding mean you get to dictate what the wedding is like? To me, offering money to the Bride and Groom should be viewed as a very very generous gift. Even paying for the WHOLE thing! I know, GASP! I don’t see why that isn’t seen as a gift just like any other gift. Why, instead, do parents then insist on hijacking weddings and turning it into something the B and G don’t want? And why does everyone think that’s ok?
2. Connected to the first. Why do parents ask to have random people added to the guest list? Are weddings some kind of currency? Why should the B and G have strangers at their wedding? Why would these strangers even want to attend?
3. What is the point of bridal parties other than having a very specific type of photograph at the end? Everything bridesmaids are purported to do (though mostly I hear about how they DON’T do them), a regular friend in a regular dress could do as well: support the bride, help her get ready on the day, help with DIY stuff, have the hen party. And why have all these groom’s cousins who you don’t even like as your bridesmaids? More often than not it seems to just be a source of drama.
Every time someone posts about how their parents or ILs are ruining the wedding, Bees tell them “If they’re paying, they have a say.” It makes me totally fume. lol
Every time someone posts about parents adding 80 million strangers to the guest list, I think WHY? Who are these mad people who want to go to strangers’ weddings?
Every time I hear about issues with bridesmaids, I think: WHY? What is the point at all? Fire all of them and stand up by yourself! Who needs them?
Ok, I am not sure what was in my coffee this morning, but these issues BUG me. No offense meant to anyone, of course.
Also, not sure how to get this out of the Destination board. 🙁
Post # 3
I would ask another question (why do you care) but go ahead and rant away. LOL
1. I had a bridal party with no issues and wouldn’t change that for anything. Yes, they could’ve been there as guests in their regular clothes but it was my choice. I don’t criticize others for not having a BP.
2. My parents paid a large portion (over $40k) so I respected the few requests they had and let them invite who they wanted. On that day it made no difference to us with over 150 other guests there.
to each his/her own
Post # 4
1) If you don’t want their opinion, don’t take their money. Once they provide the money for the wedding, they are now viewed as the hosts. As the hosts, they get to make the decisions. There’s a simple solution: Pay yourself.
2) Parents should be able to invite their friends, even if those friends are not close to tbe bride and groom. Shockingly enough, the wedding is not all about you and the groom — it’s a celebration of love and happiness, and your families have played a big role in that. A wedding is about uniting two families, and so, the families and their friends should be included. Your parents want to share their joy with their friends. If they are paying, of course their friends should be invited.
3) The point of the bridal party is to honor the bridesmaids and groomsmen as very, very special people to the couple who have ideally played a big role in their lives. For me, I didn’t care about ther pictures, I only cared that these four very special girls were standing next to me, giving me any support I needed during the wedding day, just as they do every other day of my life.
Post # 5
Well, not saying that it’s right, not at all… but I assume for a lot of parents /ils the wedding day of their kids is a big celebration where they want to show of… (there are not really any other occasions they can show off anymore, right? okay…maybe a big party for your 50th, 60th or 70th birthday… but usually you can’t do those to the extent of a wedding)
– that’s the reason for having strangers to the B & G at the wedding, because those are people the parents feel close to / want to impress
– also with this impressing / showing off comes their wish to dictate what the wedding should be like (rustic-themed wedding might not be percieved that impressive by the parents… they want to impress those people with some classy, over the top champagne & caviar thing… or maybe the other way round… maybe they think the choices made by the B & G are too lavish)
I really do understand the say = pay… and that’s why i’d rather pay for things myself, then have others contribute to it and then have to include their wishes…
Isn’t that the same with a lot of things? most of the bd / christmas etc. presents we get are decided by the gift giver. if they spend the money, they get to decide what to get you.
Post # 6
@Kili: yes the gift is ultimately the decision of the gift giver but they choose what they think the gift receiver would like, or what the gift receiver has told them they would like.
I disagree with you OP about bridal parties, I think as long as it includes those nearest and dearest to the bride and/or groom and no obligation invites it should turn out ok. Yes there may be drama but that’s life.
I agree with you about the pay = say thing though. I think that even if the parents are paying it is still the bride and groom’s wedding, so I don’t comprehend why on earth there should be complete strangers who don’t know the bride or groom there, just because the parents are paying. My parents and FI’s parents are paying for the wedding but FI and I will be inviting those whom we want there. So no friends of the parents that neither of us knows. A few family friends of my parents will be invited, but they are family friends that I have known my whole life, including my godmother. I am not sure about my FILs whether they will want to have people there FI doesn’t know, I hope not!
Post # 7
@prahajess: The good news is that even if someone offers you money, you don’t have to take it. Some parents choose to gift money for the couple to use as they see fit. Others are willing to pay but also expect to be included in the planning. If you don’t want to include them, then you politely refuse the money. Easy.
No one is obligated to have a bridal party but a bridal party are also not employees to be “fired.” Their only obligation to the bride and groom is to show up to the ceremony on time and dressed appropriately – that’s it.
Unless you choose to elope, weddings aren’t just about the bride and groom. When you involve guests and families, you do need to take them into consideration.
That’s not to say they should be able to plan your entire wedding and set the guest list, but it’s a special day for them as well so if they want a reasonable amount of people there to share it with them, that doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.
Post # 8
@prahajess: i think you are confusing these two options: the gift of money vs hosting the wedding. these are very different and parents or other relatives do offer both to the couple. this decision is completely individual and unfortunately the b&g often mistake the hosting gesture as just simply a gift of money.
parents inviting their friends is simply a tradition to show off their newly married son or daughter. it’s a very proud moment for a parent. some cultures are still very big on this tradition.
bridal parties, again an old tradition. i do however feel that the job description in some cases for this group has evolved into more of a ‘beck and call’ role.
Post # 9
@abbie017: I agree with all of those points.
OP- I think the biggest thing to remember is that the wedding is not all about you. We had some strangers at our wedding but they were our parents friends. Although I never met my mom’s coworker, she watched me grow up through the pictures my mom got to work.
Post # 10
@abbie017: +1 to everything 🙂
Post # 11
To OP, if you don’t want people trying to change your wedding, pay for it yourself.
Post # 12
If they offer money they are seemed as the hosts. We are lucky that we had them assign the money for a part of the event and they got a say in that. One choose the venue and they wanted it to have an outdoor area and easy to move around since some people are older. The other chose my photography and they just wanted gorgeous high quality so we got that. My dress, semi modest was the request kinda no clevage but I can have my open back if tasteful. I don’t see the issue and so far we haven’t had any problems and stuff is already booked. Now with the wedding party most don’t have the hosting skills to know how to plan these parties or help a bride stay organized while planning. It’s true most would scramble putting together a party that was pizza and kegs in a backyard at times. We took that off the table as older adults offered to throw them and we can enjoy fun stuff with the bridal party: spa days, happy hour to chat etc. I understand parents wanting friends there. If it was larger I would allow it but my parents have friends that always ask about us, stay up with info and feel like they have heard of all the good and bad. I neccearily wouldn’t think of adding them to a list and would view them as a guest of my parents but I also know them if I didn’t and it was just to show off to friends I would definitely say no way. fi and I will both know each guest and that’s how we like it.
Post # 13
For us my FILs are contributing and they are inviting a bunch of people we don’t know that well. But they are close friends with my FILs and they have attended the weddings of their friend’s kids and are returning the invitation.
Even if they weren’t paying we would still be getting input from them are they are excited and want to be a part of the wedding. We don’t have an issue letting them know where we will budge and where we won’t. You pick your battles.
The bridesmaid thing I don’t get at all and is why I’m not having any except for my MOH. She’s my best friend, any one else would just be there for decoration and could bring drama I don’t need.
Post # 14
My parents are very generously paying for a large portion of our wedding. They have not been pushy at all but there are a few things my mom wants that we felt neutral about (like passed appetizers in addition to station apps during the cocktail hour) that we are doing to make her happy since they are being so generous with us. In return for the money they’re contributing I feel more than happy to do a few things like that. They’ve been very helpful and supportive so far during the planning process and have not tried to influence our choices or take over anything. I feel really lucky to have their ideas and opinions to consider when forming my own.
My parents are also each inviting some of their friends. Most of them are people I’ve known for many years but there are a few friends I’ve only met once or twice. They didn’t go overboard and invite every person they know, they just invited people they’re close to. I do feel like they are co-hosting the wedding with us since they are funding the majority of it, and I’m perfectly happy inviting a few of their friends for them to celebrate with.
Honestly, I don’t think that their contribution should allow them to take over and make all the decisions without the bride and groom’s input, but I do feel that if they’re paying for a large portion of the event then they are co-hosting the event and can have some input. I guess I’m lucky that my parents are not trying to hijack my wedding and impose all their ideas on me. My mom is great at this kind of stuff and I am thrilled to have her input. So far if I don’t like something she suggests she has been totally cool about it and let it go.
You don’t have to have a bridal party. If you don’t see the point then don’t! NBD. I am having one because I want the friends I’m closest with to not only be there for me but to be recognized for all the love, support and friendship they’ve given me throughout the years. I’ve always known I’d want my sister and best friends by my side and that I’d want to honor them for the role they play in my life.
Post # 15
- Wedding: July 2014 - Prague
I’ve been sitting trying to respond for 15 minutes and I’m getting nowhere, mostly b/c I feel sort of ridiculous for posting in the first place. My FI thinks I’m ridiculous anyway, lol. Grr, I hate when he’s right.
You all have brought up a good point about paying as “hosts” vs. gifting money. But I still think it is such a shame that so many posts here seem to be about “this isn’t my wedding”. 🙁
And I see that I’m guilty of cultural blindness in the guest list thing. Personally I wouldn’t want to go to a stranger’s wedding, especially knowing how stressful it might be to the Bride and Groom! And I’m not saying I think the parents should go to a wedding where they know no one… I just don’t think that’s really likely to happen. I know most of my parents’ really good friends and have in fact invited them to my wedding. Why my dad would then need to invite his second cousin or whatever? No idea. (He has not done this, btw. I don’t have extra guests; I was responding to another thread.) I do think MrsBeck‘s situation about her mom’s coworker is a sort of special exception of a *virtual* family friend, if that makes sense.
And the Bridal Party topic– I really like the idea behind it, but over the years I’ve seen very very few that didn’t involve drama or the “beck and call” aspect. It just seems like the majority of people do it b/c it’s a tradition. I’m happy to be wrong, of course. 😉
Anyway, I appreciate all the responses, as well as the discussion and different perspectives.
I apologize if my original post seemed irrational or judgy.
Post # 16
I slightly disagree with you, but that’s okay, you can rant if you want but I don’t think all of those things are that big of a deal.
There’s a difference between giving you a gift (to use for whatever the hell you want) and paying for the wedding. If they’re paying for the wedding, they are hosting. So it makes sense that they have some say. Some people are different than others, my parents paid for a little over half of my wedding (mostly the reception) and they mostly told me to do what I wanted (though my mom had opinions on the food). Some people want more control, and I think that’s fine if they’re hosting. If you don’t like it (if your parents are extremely demanding and dramatic), pay for it yourself.
If these friends are helping you out and helping you get ready on the day, helping with DIY stuff, throwing a bachelorette or bridal shower….well they deserve some recognition, don’t you think?! You can let them wear whatever they want and still have a bridal party. I think it’s kind of a way of recognizing these special friends/people that helped you along the way and are close to you. Someone you want standing up in front of everyone to support your wedding. You don’t have to have cousins you don’t like as your bridesmaids… I had 0 drama with my 5 BM. Furthermore, you don’t have to have any bridesmaids if you don’t want to. So I don’t see why this is a big deal.