We were faced with the same thing when we decided we wanted to elope. I’ve been married before, so I didn’t think it would be a big deal to my family and DH only has his brother and sister left, so we knew they wouldn’t mind. Boy was I wrong about my family, more specifically, my mom.
She told me she was sad and disappointed that we were going so far away for the wedding, because they couldn’t afford to go. Then she told me everyone was hurt by our decision and that everyone had a right to be hurt by our decision and that no one understood why I needed a wedding gown for strangers.
Feeling guilty, I talked to DH about it, and we decided we’d pay for Mom and Dad to go to the wedding. Well, when I offered, she said she and dad wouldn’t go if the kids (my niece age 12 and nephew age 9) couldn’t go. Well, we weren’t going to pay for my mom, dad, brother, SIL and niece and nephew to go, because we couldn’t afford to pay for everyone. So I let it drop, but I was really hurt.
I talked to my brother and SIL and at first my brother tried to convince me to have our wedding here and then honeymoon in Savannah… But he soon changed his mind when I explained how important it was to us. That this was the wedding DH and I wanted. That I had been married twice before, but DH had never been married and that he deserved a wedding that would make him happy. When I explained that, my brother was on board with us and told me not to give into mom’s guilt trip, that we would regret it if we did. My SIL agreed, because she gave into the pressure of family and didn’t get the wedding she really wanted, and still regrets it after 16 years of marriage.
Reading your post made me glad we didn’t give in and eloped the way we planned. But I know what it feels like to have family make you feel like you have to do this or that or you’ll disappoint them. I’m so sorry that you’re feeling this way.
I’m sure your wedding will be beautiful and you and your fiance will be very happy. Maybe you’ll look back on your day and be happy that changed your plans and had a ceremony with family and friends around you. You might wonder why you ever considered doing it any other way. I hope that’s what happens, that your day is so wonderful that you only look back with happiness.