- 7 years ago
- Wedding: October 2011
long complicated situation, but i will try to be concise. please tell me if i’m being insensitive (honestly, i want to know if i’m out of line)!
FI & i met with his parents about the wedding yesterday for the first time. we’ve been trying since may, but it’s like pulling teeth. FI was born & raised here in the US, as i was. his parents grew up very differently than we did, they lived in africa until shortly before FI was born. i expected them to have different traditions/customs for the wedding, and we looked forward to including some of them in our wedding. they haven’t been willing sit down and talk about the wedding with us until now, so we were excited to go over what we had planned and hear about any ideas they had.
when we all sat down i started by saying that while this is a special day for us, we understand it’s a special day for them as well and that we would like to hear about thoughts they had regarding the wedding. his father immediately goes into his ‘man of the house’ role and doesn’t listen to anything anyone tried to say. he told us that he was going to explain how this was going to work and then started announcing when he would be going over my parents house, that my parents needed to serve him things (my family is not african, they’re irish- five generations back!). his mom tried to say that she could get the food, but he cut her off yelling that my parents would serve him. then he said after that meeting, they would show up again in april or so (at my parents’ house) with ‘his people’ and there would be a ceremony where we would be married.
we told FFIL we had read about traditional weddings where he is from and that we would like to start our wedding with their traditional ceremonies, that way everyone could be part of it. we had hired some musicians that often work in schools teaching about cultures and specialize in west african/jazz fusion music. they informed us that FI ‘comes from kings and queens and will not have anything if it is not authentic!’. the whole point was that it’s supposed to be a blending of families and traditions. we don’t want to segregate the two cultures, we want to embrace both and share them with everyone. i understand traditions are important to people. i’m not saying i won’t participate in some of FFIL’s traditions, i just don’t think he’s being fair in dictating how our wedding will be.
my biggest objection is that he insists we will be married by ‘his people’ before the wedding day. some people save sex for their wedding day, or some special thing (def didn’t save my virginity for wedding, lol!), but i have said that i will not say any lines from our vows out loud, or practice walking down the aisle, or rehearse the ceremony, because i will only do it once, on our wedding day because that’s what marriage is to me. by doing it beforehand, it loses it’s meaning, it makes our wedding simply an over priced party. i don’t know what to do. i am a girl, so FFIL doesn’t pay much attention to what i say, FI is his son so he is expected to do as he is told. my father is going to talk to him, he’s very diplomatic and a social studies teacher so he is very culturally sensitive. but what if he doesn’t budge?? i don’t want to ruin our future relationship on them, but they think it’s absurd that i want 1 wedding, even if we have 2 ceremonies that day, i just want a chance to get married with everyone there on our wedding day. they haven’t even been part of the planning until now, & now they want to decide all of these things for us.
as a side note- the only monetary contribution they have offered for the wedding is clothing for the traditional wedding, which they will pick out and have made. what would you do? would you just let him dictate how the wedding will go & follow all of his traditions or would you expect him to try to work to integrate his traditions into the western wedding (and where he’s from they DO have a western style wedding, just after the traditional one, and not everyone even has a traditional one!)??? i’m overwhelmed…