(Closed) Cancel Reception, Due To Stress/Unhappiness?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
420 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

Plenty of people don’t do receptions in this economy with everything being so expensive.  I was going to suggest just heading down to the courthouse, but it looks like getting married in church is important to you.  I’m assuming you haven’t sent out invitations yet.  If that’s the case, and you really don’t want a reception, just make sure the invitations clearly state that it’s for the ceremony only.  That might mean fewer people come, but it will also get rid of a lot of stress and it sounds like you don’t really want a reception.  I don’t see anything wrong with that.  I do think the important thing is to make sure you’re marrying the right person, and don’t do anything you can’t afford or aren’t comfortable with.  It does sound like there’s a lot of drama and financial incecurities happening though, I don’t blame you for wanting to not deal with it.  Just make sure you’re making the right decision by marrying this guy and don’t worry about the rest.

PS Plenty of people elope too, don’t rule that out

Post # 4
9674 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

@AuroraD:   It would be bad (IMO) to have a wedding without a reception afterwards.  As a guest of many weddings in the past I naturally looked forward to the reception.  The reception is the time to congratulate the bride and groom, for starters.  It is the time to catch up with the other guests and share time with them.  Food and alcohol are always appreciated.  The witnessing of the cutting of the cake.  And eating cake.  And possibly dancing if the music is decent.  I’ve never been to a wedding without a reception being held afterwards.

Personally I feel that a portion of the $10,000 contributed by your parents towards your wedding should have been allocated to a reception and not to your student loan balance.

If you don’t have a reception count on lots of RSVP’s being “Declined.”

Can you and your Fiance afford to pay for the reception?

Edit:  If you can’t afford it, I agree with the suggestion to head to the courthouse or elope.

Post # 5
420 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

@Sunfire:  I do agree with this, but only if that’s ok with the parents.  I got the impression that the parents probaby agreed to pay for the dress and loan, not an amount towards the wedding to be spent as they pleased.  However if the money was for the wedding (and therefore not dress and student loan) then I think OP should either return the money, or use it for a reception.

Post # 6
1284 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I’m a little confused about the whole 10k contribution from your parents. Was this just a gift? Or an actual contribution to your wedding? If it wasn’t a gift then I don’t think it was right of you to use it toward your student loans…

That said, you should definitely stick to what you can afford. The church reception sounds very nice. Eloping/court house weddings are good options too!

Post # 9
1212 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

If you oarents want you to have this reception instead of the church tea, how do they think it would get paid for exactly?


Can Fiance family help on just going to a restaurant and paying for bridal party people and family?

Post # 10
1778 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I would say- take a deep breath, relax for a few days and then plan the wedding and a small reception that you can afford. Best of luck with all your family issues.  Hopefully they will come around soon.

Post # 11
420 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

@AuroraD:  There’s no other money for the wedding?  Do you guys have any savings? Are his parents helping at all?  I’m doing my entire wedding and reception for under $2000 so if the issue is not having ENOUGH money, then I’m sure myself and others can offer suggestions to do things on the cheap.  You don’t have much time though.  

However, if the issue is having literally zero money to spend, then I think you should just do the church/courthouse and be done with it.  

Or maybe the issue is that you just don’t want to do a reception?

I think I need a little more info before I can give you more specific advice, but I’m glad you’re happy with the bee.  We do generally try to be as nice and helpful as we can. πŸ™‚

Post # 12
12974 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@AuroraD:  I don’t get the wedding money used for a loan thing.  Sure I get where they’re coming from with not getting married when you’re in debt, but then they can’t say they also helped you for the wedding.  Why are they kicking you out of the house as of October 1? 

I didn’t see in the post where you said what YOU want out of all of this.  Do you want a reception?  Do you want to do something light at the church?  Do you want to cancel it?  What about your FI – what does HE want?  That’s what you have to consider in all of this. 

Post # 13
3693 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

While it was nice of your parents to pay for your dress and student loans, I think they’re being awfully judgy by saying they won’t stick around if you don’t have a full reception.  Cake and punch are fine by etiquette standards.  You had to spend your wedding money on medical bills, which was the responsible thing to do.  How the hell do your parents expect you to pay for the reception they are the ones insisting you have?

And what is this crap that you can’t stay with them longer if you push back the wedding?  Even if you do get married on 10/6, where are you supposed to stay between the 1st and the 5th if you can’t live with your fiance before marriage?

Post # 14
12 posts

I am in a similar boat with the parents wanting a reception we don’t want.  We have decided to get married fairly quick (less than 2 months) in Las Vegas for a number of reasons.  First- my mom is going through cancer treatments and has been given a 2 week window where she is allowed to travel, and that falls in the beginning of Oct.  After that she will be having a bone marrow transplant and won’t be able to be around people (per doctors orders) for a minimum of 3-6 months without wearing a giant respirator mask.  Basically, if we want to get married and have my mom there, it needs to be in the first two weeks of Oct, or next year.  The 2nd reason we chose vegas is the cost.  We picked a beautiful place (The Grove- its a wedding facility, not a hotel or casino) that has inexpensive packages for ceremonies.  We don’t plan on inviting guests other than immediate family members because we may have to cancel it.  If her DR says her blood count is too low for travel, we’ll have to cancel the Vegas trip and look at alternate plans.  Third, we chose Vegas because my parents LOVE to go there (they live in CA and we live in OR).  When her dr said travel was possible in Oct, they immediately booked the Venetian, their favorite hotel.  They don’t ever come visit us here in Oregon (my mom would if she could, but my dad won’t, being a small business owner he works 7 days a week… but they do take quick trips to vegas at least 3-4 times a year).  I thought, they love Vegas, they’re already going, lets have the ceremony there and go to the Grand Lux afterward at the Venetian since it will be a very small group.  I also feel that Las Vegas implies “last minute/quick/eloping” and no feelings will be hurt if relatives and family friends aren’t invited (for health reasons and possible cancellation last minute)

My dad is pissed.  He wants me to have a typical wedding in CA (we SOOOOOO do not want your typical wedding, we don’t want a standard reception with the catered food, decorations, table linens, DJ, awkward dancing, garter toss, etc.  NONE OF THAT.) but I want a morning 11am wedding with a lunch at a restaurant after.  He wants to invite all their friends.  None of our friends would come to CA, and because of the short notice, none will likely come to vegas either, but at least there’s plenty of other incentive to come than just our wedding if they really wanted to spend the $$ on coming. 

I’m 30 and he is 29.  THis is my first wedding, this is my FI’s 2nd.  He had the typical standard wedding when he was 18 and it was miserable for him, he does NOT want to repeat that (and neither do I).  His only criteria for a wedding is “fun”.  That pretty much sums up what I want too- fun.  I don’t care about the decor, the guest list, receiving gifts, the food… I just want to have fun.  I feel like we’re forced to have a reception we don’t want or my dad will hold it against us forever.  We know my mom may not be able to travel and we’ll have to cancel the Vegas trip, so we’re in the process of coming up with an alternate/backup plan for CA if she can’t travel.  But if we have it there… all the distant relatives and family friends will expect to be invited.  We are also paying for this ourselves.  My parents have offered to pay for it, but with my mom’s cancer treatment I know they CANNOT afford it right now.  She has insurnace… but its a lot more expensive to go through this than just the copayments; basically they can’t afford things right now and they don’t need my WEDDING to add to their list of expenses… especially when WE DON’T WANT that type of wedding.  We want a simple ceremony and lunch afterward.  My dad doesn’t.  I’m so frustrated at this point I feel like we shouldn’t get married at all, because he has ruined the excitement of the Vegas wedding I already planned and booked and PAID for, and he is guilting us into a wedding we don’t want, and saying my mom has cancer so I should have it there.  He’s playing the cancer card, and it sucks.

What would you guys do????   If we get married at this point, I want a courthouse wedding, but he was offended at that as well, saying I’m excluding “the family”  (meaning extended family we never talk to and THEIR friends) and weddings aren’t just for the couple- its for the family as well.  We will paying for it though, because we have morals and refuse to accept their money. It is absolutely a requirement for my mom to be there! We’ll relocate the wedding, but I don’t think I should have to have a TYPE of wedding I don’t want out of guilt.  The most important thing is my mom is there.  Earlier this year my grandmother passed away from cancer.  I’ve already lost one of the most important people in my life, and I do NOT want this special occasion to be pushed back till next year so we can save up some money, pay for a wedding we don’t want, and invite guests we never talk to, just because my dad wants it.  I have an older sister, who got married 4 years ago and had the big expensive $30k wedding (which my parents paid half of) formal Sat evening event at a country club.  I feel like they already had that dream of seeing one of their daughters get married in this fancy affair.  I don’t feel like I’m cheating them out of that experience; they had it with my sister.  I don’t want that, my fiancee doesn’t want it, we already live together and have a 5 year old… its just not for us.

Post # 15
4194 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

@min2758:  Your day, your way. Your father will get over it. He’s being incredibly selfish to want the wedding *his* way, considering that your mother is undergoing cancer treatments! You’re an adult, you and Fiance are paying for the wedding, you two decide. 

Post # 16
2556 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@min2758:  I’m a firm believer in if you’re paying for it, you call the shots!  It’s your special day.  A wedding is about the bride and groom and celebrating their love.  It’s not about what Uncle Al and Aunt Edna (twice removed!) are eating duringy our reception.

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