- 4 years ago
- Wedding: September 2014
I think there is sometimes a fair amount of judgment on the bee which makes me kind of reluctant to post this, but I really do need to vent about it because it is eating me alive. So here comes the part where people get judgey- I’m 23 and my parents are paying for my wedding. I am recently out of school and looking for work (finished master’s in December). My FI has a great, full-time job that he is very successful in but hasn’t really a hit a point where he is making a a GREAT living. I’m looking forward to finding a job (should hear back on one on Monday or Tuesday) so that way we can enjoy a dual income and start to really save more money. Anyway, my parents do quite well and have anticipated the expense of a wedding. They gave me a very nice budget to work with. Please bear in mind that in our geographic area, weddings are very expensive and that many of the venues here are quite pricey (like, a $25,000 food and beverage minimum on a Saturday is pretty standard. It’s cheaper if you do a wedding outside but based on weather and allergy issues that is not an option).
The problem is, I feel like I’m stuck in between a lot of people. FI’s family is very well off, but they have made it pretty obvious that they think we are being frivolous about the wedding. For example, I thought it was a steal that we got both my E ring and wedding band to go with it for UNDER $2000 total. Their response? “Well when we got married, we spent $300 for ALL of our rings.” What really bothers me is that while I do not expect them to make a large contribution to the wedding, I feel like they CHOOSE not to know traditional groom’s family obligations. It would be deeply meaningful to me if they even said “Ducky, I know you and your family have been working so hard on making a nice day for both of our families. Let me come over and help you stuff save the date envelopes.” or “Mr. Ducky, we are so proud of you for being completely on your own financially even though your job pays you next to nothing. Here is a $200 contribution to your honeymoon!” I like them a lot personally, but I wish that they would be more helpful or at least more respectful of the fact that it is a different time and place than when they got married. When I ask FI about it he gets kind of defensive and it goes nowhere. I know to expect nothing, but I feel like they have the means to help even just a little. It doesn’t even have to be with money (although they go on very elaborate vacations and will stay in hotels akin to what a celebrity would stay in). My mom, who is very traditional and etiquette oriented, is furious that they aren’t doing the traditional groom stuff like the bride’s bouquet, knowing about the rehearsal dinner, making some contribution to the honeymoon, etc. I’ve tried to explain that their family culture is very casual. I’ve never been to their home and not eaten off of a paper plate. While I think it is stupid they aren’t educating themselves about what goes into a wedding (i.e, , I do think that if she wants some sort of assistance or dialogue with them about it, she should probably err on the side of being blunt. I.e., “have you guys thought about the rehearsal dinner?” or “how would you feel about splitting the cost of <insert minute expense here>” I just really think it would be a wonderful gesture on their part to acknowledge that a lot of time, effort, and money are going into the wedding rather than just addign to the guest list and acting so judgmental. It would be so meaningful if they would even say “Ducky, I know you have a lot going on. We are going to bring some lunch over and help you stuff invitation envelopes.” Instead I feel like “well when we got married, we just called people and didn’t send invitations” or something like that.
Meanwhile, we’ve hired a wedding planner. Because of the event size, it was important to my family and I to have someone there who was able to confirm with vendors, help us to not overlook details, help us stay on the correct timeline, make sure that day goes smoothly, etc. My mom isn’t getting along well with the planner. At all. It’s becoming another source of stress. The planner can be kind of abrasive. She’s good at what she does, and she is good at the details. But she’ll call my mom a “go getter” with the implication that she’s a control freak (which she kind of is. But it’s her money going into the wedding, so I understand). I can’t deal with any wedding related meeting without my mom complaining about the planner or accusing me of conspiring against my mom with the planner. I like the planner more than my mom does, but my communications are usually “have you heard back on this estimate yet?” or “just FYI, looked at this store for bridesmaids dresses today.” One day the planner did detect that my mom was mad at her and called me that evening to ask if everything was okay. I just said “oh yeah! She just had somethign else on her mind. We’re good. I think we were very productive today.” I’m fucking Switzerland.
I’m really losing my mind over how many strong personalities I am trying to make happy. Do I think FI’s family should provide more help and support? Yes. It doesn’t have to be financial, but some degree of assistance and/or participation would be quite meaningful. A rehearsal dinner is a standard thing and doesn’t need to be more than $10/person! My expectations are truly not high. My FI, acknowledging the cultural difference of our families (city vs. country), defends his family’s actions and doesn’t understand why I expect a little more help from them (even though his family’s guest list is bigger than my family’s guest list. And MY family is paying). The planner scenario is frustrating. I can see why my mom is annoyed at times, but I do think that she’s kind of overreacting to the situation. She’ll say that the wedding planner wanted us to use her florist pick rather than someone else. I said “well we went with who we liked. Planner works for us.”
I’m very stressed out being stuck between these different people. I’m trying to make FI happy, I’m trying to make my parents happy (and try and keep them within budget), I’m trying to get off on a good foot with FI’s family although I don’t appreciate their judgment and general lack of assistance (financial or simply displaying interest), and I’m trying to simultaneously make sure that the planner does not offend my mom. It’s a lot to be in the middle of. It’s not that I am not grateful because I’m sure it will shape up to be a really great day, but I really wish I could have gone back in time and just eloped. I am sick to death of this all.