Post # 1
Don’t get me wrong, I love my fiance to death – we’ve been friends for years and there is no one in the world I’d rather marry. I just don’t want to marry his family!
My fiance is from an Italian family (that should be the first warning – it’s like living an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond!), he is the oldest child in his family (only one brother), and he’s the oldest out of all his cousins (on both his mother and father’s side of the family). So everyone (grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, etc.) are so excited for his wedding – it’s their first family wedding in about 10-15 years!
My family, on the other hand, is huge – so we’ve generally got a wedding every other year and no one really gets all that excited about them (just a chance to catch up and have a party). Since I got engaged, my family have been saying “Just do whatever you want for the wedding, as long as it’ll be fun.” whereas my fiance’s family are pushing for the big white wedding with all the trimmings. This would be fine if I actually liked weddings but, my whole life, if I ever considered getting married, it was a low-key, casual event where I wasn’t the centre of attention. Unfortunately, my fiance wants it to be a proper, traditional wedding too, and I don’t want him to have to compromise what he wants, but on the other hand, I hate hate hate the idea of having a big, formal event where everyone is looking at me. Formality just isn’t me, and it’s stressing both of us, because I get upset at the idea of a big wedding, and fiance is upset at me getting upset, so then we’re both just miserable and saying “Let’s do what you want to do.” “No, let’s do what you want to do.”
I guess this is stressing me today because we’re going to visit fiance’s family tomorrow and I know they will ask about the wedding and if we’ve decided on a venue/date, whatever and hassling us about what it’s going to look like and we’ve totally got to hurry up and organise it, and fiance will be all short-tempered and snappy at them and I’ll be stressed and unable to say “I don’t give a crap about the wedding, I just want to be married.”
Post # 3
I think you need to talk to your Fiance and come to some kind of compromise around your shared wedding vision. It is great that you recognise that it is his wedding too but that doesn’t mean that it should be all his way. I think you guys need to discuss the bits that are important to each of you about a wedding and see how you can incorporate that into your day. Forget the family- well unless they are paying for the whole show- and concentrate on what will make you comfortable but also keep Fiance happy!
Can you have a smaller intimate wedding and then maybe a big family celebration (not a wedding do over just a casual backyard party) later for the extended family on FI’s side?
Post # 4
Thanks so much for the reply!! I know this is something that only myself and my fiance can sort out, but it’s just so frustrating having such different opinions, not to mention massive (emphasis on the massive) pressure from the in-laws about what a wedding “should be.”
@j_jaye: “Forget the family – well unless they are paying for the whole show.”
That’s another can of worms! Because, as I said, fiance is the first of his family to get married in, like, 10-15 years, his parents are so excited and are insisting on paying for half of the wedding. So if we disagree with anything they suggest, they carry on about how their paying for it. But, and here’s the fun part, fiance and I are very well off financially (no, we’re not trust-fund kids – both our families are lower-middle income – fiance and I have both just been very careful with money since we were very young). So if we say to his parents “You don’t need to contribute any money,” they throw a fit about how they love us and care about us, etc. and of course they will help pay for the wedding.
So basically they insist on paying for the wedding (which we don’t want/need) and insist on the wedding being done the way they’ve dreamed of their son’s wedding since he was a little boy. So frustrating!!
Post # 5
Yes I understand that that would be very frustrating. Maybe have a round table discussion with everyone who is contributing (so FI’s parents, you and Fiance and your parents if they are ontributing) and set some ground rules. Maybe ask them what the most important 2-3 things are for them that has to do with the wedding. Also mention the fact that you have some anxiety over large crowds and attention on you. Maybe also say how grateful you guys are for their gift and you want to ask if there are any requirements that come with the money (maybe nicer than I wrote its late here and my brain is fried sorry). Also you say they want to have the wedding they dreamed for their son so maybe your Fiance needs to stand up and say exactly what he (as in you and he) wants for your wedding. Maybe also say if that you guys understand if they feel that they can not contribute to wedding if it is the way you and Fiance want it. I would try and throw a couple of things their way though- maybe one big thing and one little thing just to include them. I think parents often feel very invested in their kids weddings.
I think you need to put the smaller wedding idea out there asap otherwise you will get swallowed by the whole wedding train as it steams ahead full speed!
Post # 6
I come from an Italian family and yep that sounds like my family. They’re very very pushy about what they think is tradition. To most Italian families ( my family and friend’s families) following “tradition” is very important and omg if someone wants to do something that’s gasp…not traditional everyone’s panties are in a bunch…hell I said to my mother the other day that idk if I want to do a traditional first dance to slow music…thinking more of a fun dance bc we re not the slow dancing kind of people and I swear the veins in her head were about to pop. Girl, hold your ground. Like PP suggested sit down with them and calmly ( try to at least) explain to them your feelings about the kind of wedding you and your Fiance want. If the parents want all the bells and whistles then tell them you are strictly keeping the guest list small. It may not go over well at first but eventually they will come around. I’m sure they mean well. It’s when my mother,aunt,and grandmother aren’t pushy about something is when I worry…bc when they’re pushy it means they care…as oddly as that sounds lol. hope this works out for you. 🙂
Post # 7
andWe also had totally different visions– Fiance thought 350 people with a lot of pre and posr wedding hoopla. I asked him what indication had I ever given him that a wedding like that would make me comfortable. We compromised due to location– my university chapel fits 185 and the only reasonable venue (we wanted a non-hotel) was capped at 185 too. What we are doing to ease the family pressure is focusing on a few key tgings for each side– for his it is convenience, that we are including his niece and nephews, that there will be a big group photo of his side, and that his mom gets a whole table of her friends there.
Post # 8
Have you told them that you are uncomfortable with being the center of attention at a big white wedding? I would hope that they would have a different opinion if they realized that this isn’t just something that you don’t want, its something that you’re not comfortable having. Why would they want to make the bride uncomfortable on her wedding day?
Post # 9
I have a sort of similar problem. My family is huge and there has been no wedding for 10-15 years. I have about 36 first cousins alone and the last wedding was for my uncle (the 9th sibling) everyone is so happy, because lately all the family gatherings have been for funerals.
I always thought I’d have a wedding at some cool venue with a ball room reception. Now I am unemployed and money is not going to allow that. We were going to have the whole thing at my mom’s house but that would be more expensive so now we are going to have the ceremony at my grandma’s church (were I absolutly did not want to have it) and the reception at mom’s house. But whatever, we will have the big church wedding I never envisioned and we will be fine with that. FI actually pushed for it because he knew thats what my dad would want.
But I have given my family so much say that they are trying to micro manage everything. My mom said she’d talk to my brother to get a DJ and he said that that would be overkill at mom’s house and I should just make a playlist and we should handle it. I say no I dont want to worry about it and people are then going to try to mess with the music if there is a DJ they cant do that. My mom is trying to push me to have the whole shindig at the church but I am not for that because we cant have the reception we want (and we couldnt have alcohol). Her and my dad got married there and she said thats what we did and then we had a low key thing at her mom’s house which is what I guess she pictured for us. *sigh* Then Fiance doesn’t want kids at the reception and I know thats not a possibility unless he wants only 5 people to show up in which case we should just have the reception at the church. He wants a small reception which is fine but that might involve doing it at the church and doing the party thing later like mom is saying. My family is bascially “paying for the wedding” because they are saving us thousands of dollars by giving us the free venues, so its like hey take this shindig over. 🙁 Basicially the more we plan this wedding the less and less I get that I actually wanted, it sucks but hey whatever I am just lucky that my family is excited about the whole thing so people will actually show up.
Post # 10
I feel for you! My fiance is Italian, and I am Irish… So we are going to have a great big Irish-Italian Wedding. Sometimes I also feel like we are on an episode of Everyone Loves Raymond. He purposely does not watch that show, because it’s too true to his life. lol. I can definately see where it would be so hard to stand your ground. Italians like to show off to eachother, and so they want to throw the biggest, grandest party that anyone has ever seen before!!
My advice is if this really bothers you, why not have a destination wedding! Less hurt feelings of all the people you did not want to invite!
Good luck, but remember they are only pushy because they care, honestly love you, and want to have the biggest best celebration ever.