(Closed) Am I being unreasonable? – Clash of cultures

posted 10 years ago in Intercultural
Post # 17
293 posts
Helper bee

I agree with all of the previous posters! No reason to skip the Greek dancing, it will be a lot of fun! The large guest list is certainly a bigger issue. But as for feeling like a stranger at your own wedding, they will all be welcoming you to the family and it is a good opportunity to meet many of his relatives you may not have met before! Your loved ones will be there with you, just among a larger crowd 🙂

Post # 18
202 posts
Helper bee

Just a thought – Have you thought about having a very private and intimate ceremony and cocktail hour/reception and then later (that day or on another) hosting a big party where you can renew your vows and celebrate Greek style? Explain to your Future Mother-In-Law your wedding day dreams and see if you all can come to a creative solution.


Post # 19
209 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

The wedding isn’t just about you – it’s about your fiance as well.  The people invited probably mean something to him.  It seems a tad unfair to punish him just because your side of the family/friends isn’t as extended as his.  Just because his side of the invites is 105 doesn’t mean ALL 105 is going to come and the same will be true for your side.  Count for at least 20% of the people invited to decline.

Also, why cut out the greek dancing?!  Personally I’m asian and I would LOVE to go to a greek wedding and learn the dance and I’d feel less intimidated since I’d know there’d be lots of people for me to copy.  Just talk to your fiance that you really want to keep the list down from this point going forward.  

Post # 20
91 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I too agree that on some level you are being unreasonable…its hard when two cultures clash…I should know because I am also going through the same thing…

I’m vietnamese and will be having a traditional Viet wedding  (not by choice only to  make my parents happy) and my Fiance is just going through the motions to make me happy…

his family does not have any traditions/cultures etc…ANYWAYS..if I had it my way I would incorporate the two so that both sides can be happy…I”m just glad my in-laws are OK with it…and actually I had “the talk” with them to expose them of what a traditional vietnamese wedding would entail and I think that made it a lot easier on myself.  

All I can say to you since you are in my FI’s position is to take what they want and need into consideration when planning the wedding.  It may not be important to you but it may be important to your Fiance….I got this quote from a movie and I remind myself all the time and it may be useful to you “THEIR WEDDING OUR MARRIAGE”  hope that helps.   

Post # 21
13094 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I too think you are being unreasonable.  First – cutting Greek dancing has no effect on your real issue – the guest list.  It comes across as very pointless actually.  Considering you are marrying into this family (and culture) and are converting yourself, you need to embrace it, not shun it.  Also, as a non-Greek, I’d LOVE to get up at a wedding and join in Greek dancing so I think you are very wrong in your assumptions about the non-Greek guests.

I also think you’re being a little unreasonable about the guest list.  The wedding isn’t just about you and your family – it’s about your fiance and his family as well.  The people invited from his side are important to him and to ask for them to be cut down just because your side of the family/friends isn’t as extended as his isn’t right.

Look at it as an opportunity to meet the people close to your Fiance whom you’ve never gotten the chance to meet yet.  Saying you’re going to feel “alientated at [your] own wedding” when you are surrounded by family and friends (even newly met ones) seems a little over-dramatic.

Post # 22
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I’m sorry that things are turning out so different from your vision – that has to be hard. I grew up Orthodox, and I know how much religion and culture can be intertwined.

I tend to agree with some of the other posters, though, that if you’re upset about the guest list, that’s what you should talk to your Mother-In-Law about, not the dancing. Are there things from traditional “Western” weddings that you’d like to include (such as a first dance, having your father walk you to the door of the church, garter toss, etc)? Maybe make sure that you include those things as well. What language is the service going to be in? You may want to ask your priest to do a bilingual service so that your family can follow along. Also, you may want to reach out to other converts to Orthodox church, and possibly other priests’ wives, since it’s a very different culture and religion.

Good luck!

Post # 23
33 posts

View original reply
@MrsLantern:Thanks for the support.  


Another thing to think about – as things were developing, and I was feeling totally controlled by his parents, I started making a point of discussing with my fiance whether whatever issue was important to him or just to his parents.  I realized that it was necessary to make that distinction.  As long as I was agreeing to things that were important to him – and not just things his parents wanted – I felt a lot less out of control and accepting of the situation. 

Post # 24
9024 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

banning greek dancing will not solve anything.. when u agreed to marry him u knew that he of greek descent and u embraced that, dont make decisions that will come back and bite u, cos he will always remember that u didnt allow his cultural dance at the wedding.

Post # 25
58 posts
Worker bee

This is so opposite My Big Fat Greek Wedding!  I say the more the merrier—you only get married once, why not embrace all the people who are there not only for your Fiance, but for you as a couple?  Bite the bullet and let them all come…and celebrate with dancing!!

Post # 26
339 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I’ll be the voice of dissent at this point in the thread 🙂

I agree with some PP that you are being unreasonable in that you are not addressing what is truly bothering you – the size of the guest list and your fear of feeling out of place and uncomfortable at your wedding. 

But – I don’t necessarily agree with the ‘completely embrace your FI’s culture and everything your Future Father-In-Law wants.’  I will respectfully disagree with you – although you say you have no ‘culture’ needed to be represented at your wedding, I promise you that you do.  Everyone has culture.  Period. 

Yes, you are marrying both your Fiance and his family (b/c that’s how it goes) but a compromise needs to be reached where BOTH parties are comfortable – not just one side.  I think fleur99 had excellent advice when she mentioned that when things got brought up, she’d find out if it was important to her Fiance or just her FI’s parents. 

Maybe the compromise is the current guest list, but zero courtesy invites.  Maybe it’s something else.  But a common ground needs to be reached and your Fiance needs to be the one leading the hunt for it.

EDIT: How much are they contributing financially?  As terrible as it sounds, that does play a part.  I know if FI’s parents had their way, we’d have a 300 person wedding (they’re Mexican but they don’t do padrinos for weddings, only quinceaneras) and we’d go into an enormous amount of debt for it.  But they can’t afford to host that type of wedding, and Fiance & I are not willing to go into debt for it, so that was the end of the big wedding talk for me.

Post # 28
1 posts

Something really bothered me about your post. You said you have no culture or heritage. However, just as your husband has his greek culture you have your candian culture. It doesn’t seem this way only because you are imersed in Canada daily. Don’t sell yourself short 🙂

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