- 2 years ago
Long-time lurker, first-time poster. (It’s nice to meet all of you!)
I got engaged recently, and it’s been more difficult emotionally than I anticipated because I don’t have parents or close family. Unfortunately, that means that I’m on the hook for paying for my wedding (and makes getting engaged really sad because I didn’t really have anyone to call). I don’t have a great job right now and my future husband is about to attend graduate school, which is both expensive and time-consuming. We know we’ll just have to scrimp and save, but there’s just not a lot there, especially considering that paying for a party will never be a financial priority for us.
There’s a lot of pressure to appease his family and have a huge wedding that we simply can’t afford anytime soon. His family has huge (200+ people) weddings. I met a family member of his recently, and she asked if my fiance had met my parents. When I said that they were deceased, she sneered and said, “So you’ll have a small wedding because you don’t have any family,” as though not having a large wedding were some sort of great offense to her sensibilities. (She didn’t even say she was sorry. She’s the rudest person I’ve ever met.) This family member continued to discuss another family member’s future wedding and remarked that they were <insert conservative religious group here> so obviously, the wedding won’t be any fun. (For the record, I don’t agree.)
I really just want to have a simple wedding that honors our commitment to one another and the most important people in our lives. I would love to keep it pretty small (fewer than 25 or 30 people) and have a luncheon afterward in a great restaurant. I can also see us just renting out a bar on a weeknight and having a friend’s band, finger foods, board games, and booze. I could even see us doing a wedding on a cruise ship with our closest friends and family. We’re simple people. We spend a lot of nights at home with video games and our pets and huge parties just aren’t our thing.
I know I should just do whatever I want to do and can comfortably afford and should just let FH deal with his family’s reaction. I’m just worried that a small wedding will be fodder for gossip and judgments. I’m worried that people will feel excluded. I’m worried that people won’t have fun. I’m worried that if we do a cruise ship wedding (which actually sounds amazing), people will resent us for forcing them to take a vacation. I’m worried that if we just elope people will be irrationally angry.
I just want to enjoy being engaged, but the wedding questions are constant and I feel a lot of pressure to come up with “acceptable” answers. I’ve tried responding, “We haven’t figured it out yet because we have other priorities,” but that’s not good enough of an answer for some people. How can I handle the pressure to have a big wedding with grace and perhaps even a little humor? I know I’m never going to please anyone so I might as well please myself — but that doesn’t change the fact that families will always feel entitled to opinions about weddings, even ones they aren’t paying for.