Post # 1
We plan to marry in Santa Barbara in Sept 09. My fiance and I went out to lunch yesterday to discuss wedding plans and it did not end well.
Since the time that I last posted about "guest issues," most of my family and friends have calmed down and begun to accept our decision about an out-of-state wedding. However, now his grandmother has weighed in and all hell has broken loose.
My fiance is very close to his grandmother and wants nothing more than her happines. She always talks about how he is her first grandchild and of course, you can tell he is a favorite. Grandma is not happy with our location choice, however he thinks that she will give in and attend the wedding in California. I should add that his grandma is very spry, fiesty, and still works although she is 70 something. She is a very sweet woman and I love and respect her a lot.
Because grandma is unhappy, my fiance wants to have a 2nd ceremony when we return home. I already agreed to a reception, but I was not planning on an actual ceremony. The reception is tentatively scheduled for 1 month after we return and I planned to have some photos and maybe a video to show.
This has become a lot larger issue b/c now my fiance doesn’t want to put our photo in the paper or generally announce to the world that we are marrying in Santa Barbara because of this. He thinks that it will upset his grandma b/c all of her friends and family will call her and ask questions like "why can’t they get married here like everyone else" or "what is so special about California?" You get my point.
Oh, and did I mention that his grandmother starts crying every time she talks about it with him and he hates to see her cry.
I am torn. What is the point of a location wedding if we are going to have the same ceremony at home? Plus, it is going to cost way more and be tons more work. We also agreed to a wedding somewhere else so we don’t have to deal with all the stress of planning a large affair and let me tell you, if people know that we are having a ceremony at home there is no way to keep the guest list small b/c family alone will be b/n 150 – 200, and that doesn’t include family friends/church members/business associates/our parents friends, and the list goes on and on.
Do I put my foot down or just let it go and have 2 ceremonies?
Post # 3
I think I would push for having a videographer and then show the ceremony at the 2nd reception if it was me. That’s definitely tricky though! Good luck!
Post # 4
I wouldn’t want to have a second ceremony either. It seems disingenous. Trying to pretend it didn’t happen by not announcing it would probably not work because people are bound to get wind of it and then be miffed at witnessing a "fake" ceremony if you do do it. If you’re set on having a California wedding, then I think a second reception in your home state is a wonderful gesture.
Post # 5
Just have a 2nd "reception." Like you said what’s the point of having 2 ceremonies.
Post # 6
Is the grandma attending the first ceremony?
If she is I think you should talk to her, not Fiance about why she needs a second ceremony. Tell her you will be happy to show a video of it at your local reception so that her friends can witness the fact that you are legally wed but that it takes the meaning our of the ceremony to do it twice.
If she is not going to the Santa Barbara wedding then perhaps you could have a small ceremony prior to the reception where you repeat your vows in front of her and your immediate family but without a minister or officient. You could even make it more meaningful by creating a special set of vows for the occasion. This way it is more of a seperate type of ceremony (like the Tea Ceremony in some cultures) instead of an actual marriage ceremony.
Post # 7
I will be having 2 ceremonies and 2 receptions. My first one will be in Panama, since my Mom absolutely wants to invite all the family there. We will have a ceremony with a pastor, but not actually sign any papers. And the second will be in the Bay Area were the FI’s family is (most of them won’t travel to Panama), at which we will actually sign papers and make it "official."
Twice the fun!
Post # 8
My sister had two ceremonies. The first was the big wedding – decorated church, white dress, bridal party and everything. The second was just a private ceremony in our local Catholic church after mass. No bridal party, no dress, no invitations, no decorations – just a small ceremony performed by the priest after the morning mass. I would say that if your FI’s grandmother doesn’t come to the big wedding, something like that would not be inappropriate, just so that she could witness your vows. But doing the whole thing over in another location just be cause one person is upset is overboard. A second reception for those who didn’t or couldn’t travel to the wedding should be enough.
By the way, this isn’t the only time you’re going to have to deal with the manipulation of crying relatives. Go ahead and bring up (and start to hash out) the issue of where you’ll spend the holidays. It’s nice to make your relatives happy, but you and Fiance will be your own little family, and you get to make your own decisions in the interest of your own happiness. While you shouldn’t make them selfishly or just to inconvenience or hurt other family members, you also don’t have to decide one way or another just to keep somebody from being unhappy.
And FYI – my dad is 71, quite athletic, and still working. From your description of the grandmother there doesn’t seem to be any reason why she shouldn’t travel to the wedding. Just being miffed because you haven’t planned everything the way she would have it doesn’t constitute a reason for you to change your plans.