Post # 1
My fiance and I have been dating for 7 years. We met in high school, so we grew up in the same hometown and therefore know each other’s families very well, which truly has been a blessing. My fiance and I got engaged this past October, and since then I have been back and forth on whether or not to elope. I really like how intimate eloping is, and I like that you would save by not spending so much on flowers, food, etc. Plus, the idea of combining a vacation/honeymoon with the elopement really appeals to me. It just sounds so personal and fun!
Anyway, even though I have always liked the eloping idea, I was excited about planning my wedding with mom, who said that she would be sad if I eloped but that she would understand nonetheless. Then she passed awayunexpectedly this April, and now I am feeling really sad about planning my wedding. I am still excited about marrying my FI, of course, and since the marriage means more to me than the wedding and I am super bummed about wedding planning right now, elopement sounds like a great option at the moment.
My issue is, my FI’s mother is totally into wedding planning. She is the sweetest lady, and I really think she is trying to be there for me now that my mom is gone, but she is picking out venues, asking her friends to cater, and telling me we can make the invitations together. It is totally well-intentioned, but it’s a bit too much for me. Plus, since she clearly wants to be involved and this is the only wedding she will get to plan for son (an only child), I am worried about hurting her feelings and disappointing her by eloping. So here are my questions for the hive:
1. How do I gently tell my future MIL that I don’t need quite so much help with the planning?
2. Even though the wedding is about the bride and groom, how much should you think about your family’s feelings and desires when you are planning your wedding/elopement, especially if you are worried about causing rifts or creating family drama?
Post # 3
You can have the best of both worlds. Plan an intimate wedding or elopement, then ask her to plan a reception when you get home.
Post # 4
First off, sorry to hear about the passing of your Dear Mother… always sad, but especially so if one is in the midst of another emmotional milestone event in life like a Wedding
Agree with @julies1949: , upon reading your post 2 obvious ideas came to mind for me…
1- A small intimate Destination Wedding, still get to enjoy the perks of having a Family Wedding, but at the same time it isn’t over the top, and can be combined with a nice vacation / honeymoon for the two of you
2- Go ahead with the Elopement idea, and then do a Back-Home Reception afterwards. You can make the Reception then whatever you choose… BIG or small… Formal or Casual. Your MIL can most certainly help with the planning of that… infact, if you marry and have your Honeymoon, she can do the majority of the “heavy lifting” iin seeing that things fall into place while you are away
Hope this helps, and (( HUGS )) to you as you work thru all this.
Post # 5
I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I think you should explain to your MIL that wedding planning has been unbearable with the loss of your mother and really want to elope, but have a wedding reception afterwards. I think she would be hurt if you didn’t tell her you were planning on eloping and I think you would feel better about everything. That way you are putting you and your fiance first and also including the family in a reception that your MIL can plan.
Post # 6
@crescentloon23: I would not do a true elopement (just the two of you). Let your FILs and immediate family know about and attend the wedding. Then let the reception be as big as FMIL want to host.
Post # 7
I am so sorry for your loss. My mom passed away when I was 19 so I understand how sad it is planning a wedding without your mom but I couldn’t imagine losing her so suddenly while already planning with her. I’m so sorry.
From what you’ve said it sounds like your FMIL would probably be understanding if you could jsut sit down and talk to her. Just explain how this is very difficult now without your mom and you feel a smaller wedding is what’s best and what you can emotionally handle.
As PP mentioned the idea of planning a small elopement or ceremony could be done and then have your FMIL plan a reception back at home for you.
Post # 8
I’m so sorry for your loss. I would hope your MIL would understand how wedding planning would be difficult for you right now and respect your decision. That said, my FMIL is very into the idea of weddings and had a breakdown when she heard we were going to elope.
I’m not sure if it will help you with your decision, but we decided to elope for several reasons. It’s definitely cheaper, which was one of the big factors. We live in DC and I can’t even begin to fathom how much a wedding here would cost. Our elopement will be at the beginning of a 2-week trip, so it’s straight into the honeymoon, and the whole thing will still cost less than what we would have budgeted for a wedding. We really didn’t want to invite anyone to go with us, mainly because we’ve both traveled with our families before and it can be really stressful. We are eloping to Italy, and since we’ve both been to Italy before, our families would kind of just assume we should be leading them around doing things for them the whole time. This is what happened when they came to visit while we were both living in Europe as students, and while it was fine for a family visit, it’s not necessarily how we would want to spend a honeymoon. Since we didn’t really want to invite our parents, it would seem wrong to invite friends, and having a romantic few days for a wedding will be nice. Since we decided to have a party at my parents house when we return home, it’s really just the ceremony that everyone will be missing. I feel like that’s more for the bride and groom anyway, and can be a very intimate moment. When FMIL was crying about how she wasn’t going to see him get married, it felt very demanding and just wrong. I’m still upset thinking about it.
That said, we’re having a legal ceremony in a few weeks with all of our parents. This is partially to appease his mother (mostly, really) and also because it would be a real pain to get legally married in another country. His mom seems more ok now that this is happening, along with a party in a couple of months, but she’s still giving attitude here and there. If MIL is being insistant that she absolutely must see him get married with her very own eyes, that might be something to consider. You can always have a courthouse wedding and a civil ceremony somewhere else with just the 2 of you, and let her plan a party for later.
I sort of understand how the groom’s mother probably feels left out of all the fun and the planning, but at the same time they already got to plan a wedding (their own) and have that experience, and now it’s time to let go. It’s hard to convey that eloquently, so I’ve been mainly biting my tongue and avoiding. Probably won’t work for you since it sounds like you all live near one another, but so far it has served me well- I’m just thinking of it as practice for the future 🙂
Post # 9
@redsangria: It sounds like you are doing a good job of doing what you want to do and still balancing other people’s expectations, which is such a hard thing to do. Thank you for telling me how you did it. It helps to know that other people are doing this kind of balancing act, because it’s so hard to have “your special day” when everyone else wants it to be special for them, too.
Best of luck as you keep planning and biting your tongue, which probably is great practice for the future. Never too early to start practicing! 🙂
Post # 10
@ashkat: I’m so sorry about your mom, too. I know it’s the normal order of things, for the kids to lose the parents, but that doesn’t make it less painful, somehow, you know?
I really like your idea about having my FMIL plan the reception. A few people have suggested doing something like that, and it seems like a good way to keep her involved while still having the ceremony that I prefer. Someone else also suggested having my FMIL do a bridal shower, but I feel a bit strange asking someone else to throw me a party. Still, she loves parties, so I should just talk to her about it, like you said. She will probably think it’s a great idea!
Post # 11
It is heartbreaking without your Mom, and may be you need to elope. If your MIL wants to plan a reception for you let her.
We eloped just the two of us and let our families know beforehand. I said to both Moms that they are welcome to plan something small for us in their perspective cities if they would like to celebrate. My Mom went all out with a big reception in my hometown. My MIL never even got the invites out before they got into a big fight over something else and we didn’t have anything in DH’s hometown.
We both loved that we got our ceremony just the way we wanted 🙂