Post # 1
Lovely buzzing bees, I am looking to restore my sense of inner peace before I spend my Friday night frowning and getting cross.
I’m starting to feel manipulated by my parents, who have offered very generously to pay in a major way.
First hurdle: where to have wedding. Dad said it will be in their home town, where I was born, because that’s the way it is – no option. We wanted it where we live now as it is mid-way between both my and my FI’s families, plus all our friends are here. The only people back where I’m from I know are my Mum & Dad. Oh plus their friends.
Second hurdle: venue. Out of the 8 places we have to choose from (all grand and formal but one), the one me and Fiance like (beautiful stone house from the 1800s on the cliff by the sea with cottages b&b attached, big dome outside to party in) Dad has said no it’s too shabby.
Third hurdle: Dad has now said we cannot make any decisions until we go for ANOTHER meeting with them (we went down 2 weeks ago – takes 2 hours travel and costs £35, while we’re on a budget food plan etc). When we went 2 weeks ago for this purpose, they spent all of 5 mins talking about the wedding essentially just telling us not to discuss it with my grandmother (she’s the only sensible one, I accidentally spoke to her about it before I got told not to and she told me not to let them walk all over me and have what I want).
Now I am starting to feel old anger coming back. They kicked me out when I was 16 because I didn’t want to have every decision in my life controlled by them. Fiance is ecstatic about their offer to pay, and excited at the big party possible, making it the most momentous day ever (yeah Fiance and do you want to start helping me plan things as well ha!! J)
I’m starting to feel annoyed. Grr.
Anyone have some advice, nice words, hair stroking or sunny comments they can put my way?
I feel like a bad person – ooh please tell me I’ve developed enough adult tools to deal with my parents in a different way to how I did when I was 16!
Post # 3
Ps can I just say reading that back I sound like I am 12. I am 34
Post # 4
Sorry to say but if they kicked you out when you were 16 you know what your dealing with. Don’t take their money, pay for it yourself and do it your way. When you take money you invite input.
Still sucks they are like that though.
Post # 5
If you are in a position to, I would decline their money and do what you want. My parents started throwing fits, but they waited until two weeks before the wedding when it was too late to just toss out all the plans ans start over.
Post # 6
Yeah you know I wanted to start off by us paying for it ourselves, but my Fiance was so excited to have this opportunity I convinced myself it might be different. Mum and Dad have always known I didn’t want a ‘wedding’ but just a relaxed party and knowing me as a person, I guess I thought they’d realise to some extent that it wouldn’t be the same as my sister’s. They said I’m not being ‘chic’ enough. I’m going to talk to Fiance when he gets home tonight, he’ll be mad.
Post # 7
Take their money = do as they say
You have to take charge of YOUR wedding. They already had theirs… Pay for the wedding yourself and you won’t be regretting and begrudging your special day!
Post # 8
If they’re footing the bill then clearly for them that comes with strings attached, and those strings are that you have to do things their way. You need to decide whether you can comrpromise and still have something you like within their confines, or if you can’t then I’d say you’re going to have to pay for it yourself.
Post # 9
I’m sorry you are going through this. I hate it when parents give money for a wedding, but do so wanting control over things.
On the positive side: you know this going into it. Your dad is showing his true colors and his expectation is that it’s his money and therefore his say.
IF you can be ok with having the wedding your father wants, then go through having the big party that will ultimately be his vision.
However, if you don’t think you want to deal with that, if you don’t want to put up with the controlling behavior, then I’d seriously reconsider how your wedding will be. OR you could also have a very frank conversation with your father – something like: dad, I appreciate your generosity, but am feeling overwhelmed by your desire to control the decisions of the wedding. Talk about what his expectations are and if he really does desire to be the final say on decisions. Then, you can make a decision if whether or not you want to use his money to pay for it.
I was 34 when we started wedding planning and we paid for it ourselves. Even then – there as SO much drama from my family about how things should go. I was grateful I didn’t have the extra stress of ‘they are paying for it, maybe i should bend’ in my head. Paying for it myself was empowering because it was ALL my decision. Don’t get me wrong – if my family were to contribute, that would have been WONDERFUL and I would have accepted it in a heartbeat. But, I think it’s important – especially as you are getting married, that you discuss expectations with your family. The issue of extended family expectations WILL come up as you join your life with Darling Husband – and getting into the habit of talking about it will help you in the future avoid misunderstandings and issues where your father wants to take control and get you to do things you don’t really want to do.
It’s time to break the cycle!
Post # 10
@weeble78: Fiance is ecstatic about their offer to pay, and excited at the big party possible, making it the most momentous day ever
Explain to you Fiance that it won’t be as he sees it… Dictators rarely listen to their “subjects”….
Post # 11
@risingsun: Eeek, wow I can’t imagine what that would feel like. I’m now starting to feel admiration for my sister although she just gave in to everything they wanted. She regretted her wedding so much, I don’t want to regret it.
Basically what’s so wrong with registry office and throwing a party or bbq or something?
It seems a minefield to me of managing expectations. I read somewhere that this is a big event in a couple’s life, where they get to establish themselves as a unit, and that it’s a fine balance of keeping families happy but establishing yourselves as a new family unit, and that often families can push back against this.
Post # 12
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
You’re right- you’re an adult, and your parents are treating you like a child. This “gift” is coming with a lot of stipulations.
You need to figure out: do you want to have YOUR wedding, or do you want to go to your parent’s party? Sounds like if they pay, it’s their way or the highway.
“Dad said…no option.” “Dad has now said we cannot make any decisions” “not to discuss it with my grandmother” “They kicked me out when I was 16 because I didn’t want to have every decision in my life controlled by them”
The only way you’re going to have peace with this wedding, is if you and Fiance pay for it yourself. “If your wedding gift comes with restrictions, we’ll have to decline it.”
Post # 13
Ps can someone tell me what Darling Husband means? I just can’t guess that one!
Post # 14
weeble78 There isn’t a single thing wrong with a registry office and bbq. But I also had a groom that wanted the big party, and we had to work on it until we found a wedding that made us both happy. You’ll have to work out with Fiance what will work for you two.
“It seems a minefield to me of managing expectations. I read somewhere that this is a big event in a couple’s life, where they get to establish themselves as a unit, and that it’s a fine balance of keeping families happy but establishing yourselves as a new family unit, and that often families can push back against this.” –> I concur with all of this. It can suck at times!
Post # 15
Just because they’re paying for the wedding doesn’t make it their wedding. The wedding is for you and your Fiance and your opinions should be at least taken into serious consideration.
I agree with PP, try to pay for what you can!
And YES, you’ve matured into a rational adult with all the tools you need to deal with them! They need to understand that the choice to marry was an adult decision between you and Fiance, that you are both capable of deciding on HOW you want wed, and that while their opinion is appreciated, you and your Fiance need to do what’s best for you/what you want for YOUR wedding.
Hope this helps, good luck!
Post # 16
This story turns my stomach and I feel very badly for you. I’m going to be rather blunt:
There is no way in hell I’d take money from them for your wedding, sorry. You are 34, pay for it yourself. I understand you may want a grand wedding and they offered to pay, but truthfully, your parents sound awful. I agree with your grandmother.
They will make your wedding miserable for you if you go through with it.
They kicked you out when you were 16? Because you were a strong enough soul to put a stop to their manipulating your every move THEN. Find that plucky 16 year-old-girl inside yourself RIGHT NOW and tell them you don’t want their money!
If you take the money, you need to understand that you’re going to have to suck it up, and not whine or complain about their being in control again. Because you are, in essence, selling your soul, and selling out the 16-year-old free spirit you once were.
I imagine they’re grinning like fiends right now, rubbing their paws together, drooling and slathering over the vision of having you back in their grasp. In their power.
~ Shudder ~
Don’t do this to your 16-year-old self. You’ll crush her.