Post # 1
We’re having a traditional Filipino ceremony, but the reception won’t be traditionally Filipino (i.e. every relative we know and their kids are invited)
We just don’t have the money to invite all of our aunts and uncles, cousins and their kids to the wedding. We’re having an adults-only reception and we’ve already given family and friends a heads up on it. We’re inviting only our close family members and friends.
Some family are very disgruntled that they can’t bring their kids. They complain that they won’t have anyone to look after them. They’ve even complained to my parents on why we’re being disrespectful and not including all family members! They insist if money was an issue we should just have it in a hall or backyard so we can fit everyone! They’re telling me how to plan our wedding just so they can come! Not only that, but we’re not close to these people at all. They never come to family events and they don’t call on holidays. They barely even know me. Some of them I haven’t seen in years, decades even! I barely even know their kids! And I should downgrade the food and venue just so I can accommodate them????
I know this is a cultural issue, or maybe they’re being just plain rude, but what’s the best way to deal with this?
Post # 3
I don’t have any advice to give on how to deal with the situation, but I can offer my support and understanding. As a fellow filipina, I know that there are some unrealistic expectations about who (everyone!!) should be invited to weddings.
I know its easier said than done, but try not to worry about what people are saying. If you’re not close to them and they never come to family events, you’ll never have to see them anyway.
Post # 4
I’m so sorry to hear that…and sadly, it’s not a cultural issue…just plain rude! I often to say African Americans we treat weddings as family reunions…and yes fiance and I have gotten the same backlash…”well, why ddin’t you all have it at a less expensive place so that everyone can come”…like you said, we invited everyone that is near and dear to us….but Darling Husband grandmother wants to invite everyone on the block, many people fiance has not seen or heard from in 10 years…many he doesn’t know…and oh yeah all of our friends want to be able to bring “dates”….even though we noted on teh rsvp : “we have reserved ONE seat in your honor” and nevermind the fact that they ALL know one another…and don’t care that it inconvenience us and just maybe we left off cousins/family friends just so they can make the list and they pout about not being able to bring a stranger…r u kidding me!
I’ve realized for the wedding, for a lot of people…its not about the bride/groom…it’s about what THEY want on YOUR day!
Post # 5
Newbee Bride, as a fellow Filipina, I fell your pain, too. We are not having a traditional Filipino wedding either and I’ve heard some comments. Filipino families/traditions sometimes border on the ridiculous. How do they suggest you pay for the wedding of 400 people coz you have to invite aunties/uncles you met once when you were 2 years old….and their kids you never met your whole life? I say…THEY CAN SHOVE IT! It’s your wedding, your budget, your rules. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE SHOULD YOU START LIFE AS MR. & MRS. IN DEBT! If they want to invite the whole family, tell them to have a family reunion.
Post # 6
Owww, newbee, I totally feel you. FI and I are both Filipinos and we also decided to have a no-kids wedding. So far, we’ve only gotten one I-won’t-go-if-my-kid-can’t-come issue but nevertheless, I didn’t appreciate it very much. I actually posted it in one of my previous posts.
Don’t feel bad about your choices. If you choose not to have kids or opt not to invite the whole family on your wedding, it’s your prerogative. I think it’s very rude for people to even bring it up. i feel like guests should never complain about how the wedding is an inconvenience or not the norm. They have the option not attend if they can’t or won’t come to the wedding and they should never “suggest” something more feasible for them as guests. I agree with hazel: your wedding, your budget, your rules. And I don’t think that this is just a cultural issue (although it’s very prevalent in ours) because I’ve heard this from other non-Filipino brides as well. I’ve come to terms with the fact that as brides, we can’t please everybody with our decisions. Some people might like your idea but a few others might feel strongly against it. A lot of times, we ruffle a few feathers here and there without meaning to.
I wish you luck!!! Hopefully, they will be more understanding 🙂
Post # 7
I feel for you. As another fellow Filipina, the wedding planning is very much about the family. In fact, I was just in my cousin’s wedding this past Saturday so it’s all fresh in my mind.
I agree with everyone that you have to stay firm in your decisions despite whether or not it will come off as disrespectful to others. Just continue to be consistent, polite, and diplomatic when you repeat (over and over) your reasons to them. In the end it’s your and your fiance’s wedding. Remember that even if you try and do things to keep relatives (even those you’re not even close to at all) happy (like having it in a backyard), things aren’t going to magically be better at all. As an example, this past weekend during my cousin’s wedding (which was opened to kids and the whole gamut) there were families that showed up (with all their kids and some of their kid’s boyfriends/girlfriends) who did not even RSVP. They just assumed that because they were family the bride and groom would know they were coming, and they didn’t need to go through the formality of an RSVP.
I say that you stick firm with your adult-only, close family and friends plan and keep in mind that in the end you will be happier it was the way you wanted it all along. If they harbor resentment or grudges after the wedding then you can deal with that later. Most likely, if it’s like my family, they will just move on to the next person in the family and be upset about something else…
Congrats and good luck!
Post # 8
@newbee bride I completly understand what your going through!!! My mom is trying invite all her cousins and their cousins to my wedding…but were not exactly well off enough to afford it. This is one of those culture clashes that you just have to bite your tongue and deal with it. They’re gonna give you shit for it. But remember it’s YOUR wedding NOT THEIRS!
Post # 9
My boyfriend is Filipino and I am not so hearing that you are experiencing the same things we are is so reassuring. My Fiance and I want a small wedding–around 75 people–so we will know everyone there and really get to spend time with those closest to us. Plus we don’t have lots of funds to accommodate a large wedding. We are getting so much resistance about why we are not inviting everyone in his family. We are inviting only his immediate family, aunts, uncles, and first cousins. A few close family friends. But no second cousins or beyond. This turns out to be 55 ppl on his side and 25 ppl on mine! It is tricky fielding questions about why we aren’t inviting so and so, or when one of his more distanced relatives ask when the wedding is. I try to explain that we are only inviting immediate family but it never seems like it is supported or understood!
Post # 10
At first I was considering having no kids at the reception, but it would have excluded about 5 kids tops. Fiance and I are more concerned about the sheer number of immediate family attending, he has about 100 immediate family members and honestly we know its going to be a struggle to include those we love. Fiance and I are toying with the idea of eloping in Hawaii and having a reception at a hall.
Don’t feel bad about your choices, its your wedding, and your financial responsiblity. You shouldn’t have to go into debt because some extended family member wants a free family reunion out your wedding. Those who truly love you, will understand and respect the decisions you will make concering your day 🙂
Post # 11
Poor thing…I am a Filipina too, and I have to say, I would not want people who are there to critisize me, and my food, and what I can afford, at my wedding! If they want to bring their posse, then they should pay for it themselves! This is a very touchy situation, and I cannot tell you what to do. I do want to say, you cannot make everyone happy, so just make yourself happy. Those who love you will completely understand.
Post # 12
Newbee, so sorry to hear that.
I am Chinese Indonesian and my Fiance is Vietnamese, so I know what you are going through.
In our situation, I was flip flopping about the whole invite-the-kids-or-not.
But my Fiance pulled the plug. He told me it is our wedding and we can do it however we want. He even wrote in the guest lists who are coming and how many from his side, since mine are travelling from overseas.
I suggest you talk to our Fiance and make sure you both are on the same page. I felt a lot better knowing that my Fiance supported me in all decisions, including invitees. Family matter can be really tricky. I was fraid I might hit a nerve. I do not want that with the new fam, but then again… you cannot please anybody.
Sorry for the long post and good luck.
Post # 13
@amon_iv:I agree, you want to really talk this over with your fiance.
We are having the same problem. It’s not just a Filipino thing, weddings in every culture are one of very few chances we have to get the whole family together (the other two being birth and death).
Decide together and then stick to your decision and support each other when you get backlash. You will get backlash no matter what you decide. If you two are in it together it will be easier to weather.
Post # 14
One suggestion, for the ones you are inviting who are saying that they have no one to watch their kids, hire a babysitter. It’d be pretty cheap and might be enough to stop some of the complaints. I hired a sitter to watch 2 of my cousins in a hotel room at the venue. They ordered pizza, played video games and had a good time.
Post # 15
@Mrs2theDr: I agree it is not cultural but just plain rude. There is plenty of drama on the boards about not having kids invited to the wedding. Just take a deep breath and realize that if they really wanted to be there they would find a way. You will have those you want around you and that is what counts the most.
Post # 16
Ahh… the cons of a huge filipino event. WHY DO WE DO THIS STUFF?!?!
I think its a cultural thing. My FI’s mom (also another crazy filipina) was so hurt that we decided to keep it small. She’s kept mentioning people I’ve never met. (My mom on the other hand, even though she’s older and stayed in the PI until her late 30’s, is very laid back and kinda giving her opinions and suggestions when asked <– DAVING GRACE RIGHT THERE!)
I think I may have handled the situation rudely, by simply telling my Future Mother-In-Law “NO.” But sometimes you have to put your foot down! (FI really has no say in this, since he is off in boot camp and we are having a small ceremony when he gets back from bootcamp for leave.) The more you try to accomodate, the more hectic and crazy it becomes. And as we are all in the planning stage, it can get crazy and stressful very quickly!