Post # 1
just want to vent/get some input from bees who have also had a family-only wedding.
fiance and I are having an immediate family-only 9-person destination wedding in Iceland. My parents are divorced and are not on speaking terms, but I want them both to be there. My dad will be bringing his girlfriend whom I barely know and wish didn’t have to come. My mom is bringing a good friend. My fiancé’s parents refuse to come because they don’t like that it will not be in a church. My fiancé’s 4 siblings are supportive and will be there.
On top of the family drama, both of my older brothers passed away tragically in the past 10 years (which is part of what led to my parents’ divorce) at separate times so I’m now an only child. I’m starting to get anxious about how family members will get along in such a small ceremony. It’s also hard because I don’t know my fiancé’s family super well and they don’t all know what happened to my brothers, and I’d like to remember my brothers in some way during our ceremony.
My fiancé’s brothers wife (my soon to be SIL) has asked me several times if we’re including friends, etc. I feel weird telling her “no” like it seems like we don’t have friends to invite. Fiancé and I wanted a small wedding but I’m just so anxious with how
1) my parents will interact in such a small ceremony, especially with my dad bringing his girlfriend, whom I don’t know and don’t really care to know
2) my fiancé’s side of the family interacting with my parents when my parents don’t speak to each other, possibly making the guests feel uncomfortable.
3) how I will incorporate my brothers into the ceremony when some of the guests (namely my fiancé’s brother’s wife, my SIL) will react when I mention that both my brothers died – people tend to act awkward about death
help! I’m worried our dream wedding in Iceland will not be fun for guests for reasons that feel out of my control. 😞
Post # 3
First off I am so sorry, it sounds like you’ve had a tough few years so I’m so happy you’ve found someone to support and love you. I’ve been struggling with this as well and will have a short mention of my brother in the opening statements of the ceremony and then either leave a place open for him or a picture and candle on a table. Whatever you decide to do to remember them, I would make sure his side of the family knows and understands before the wedding so they aren’t blindsided.
Post # 4
iceland0519 : I’m sorry for everything you’ve had to deal with. Your wedding will be perfect, don’t stress. I’d give FI’s family about both the issue with your parents and the passing of your brothers beforehand so they aren’t blindsided like PP said.
Post # 5
I’m sorry you’re dealing with all of this. Family drama is THE WORST. Have you considered eloping to Iceland, just you and your partner, then taking your family out to a really fancy dinner at home afterwards? It will be cheaper overal (Iceland is INSANELY expensive) and reduce the amount of time they all have to spend together.
Post # 6
First, so sorry for your losses and difficult past decade. Your wedding will be great! Iceland will be amazing!
At least for me, feeling prepared helps ease my anxiety. A few ways to prepare that I would suggest… Could you talk to both your dad and his gf over video chat (or in person if you see them) about wedding plans and make sure you’re all on the same page? Even if you don’t want to have a relationship with her, making sure they know all the plans and when your parents might have to interact could help you, and them, feel better. Same with your mom.
For a small wedding, I think expressing confidently that this is what you want will help people understand. “We wanted a really intimate ceremony and we’re so excited to celebrate with our family.” No one reasonable will think this means you have no friends…you just wanted a small wedding.
Definitely have your fiance tell his siblings and their families about your family. They will soon be your family, and it’s important for them to have some context. There are lots of beautiful ways to recognize loved ones who’ve passed away in the ceremony, but I think it’s only fair to let them know ahead of time. Make your fiance do this! it’s his family.