Post # 1
I’m at the very beginning of the planning process (we’ll get engaged this year!) but I’ve been wracking my brains trying to figure out how we can have a wedding that both of us will enjoy… does anyone have ideas for types of weddings that incorporate all of the below?
SO: he HATES the formulaic nature of weddings, the aisle-vows-reception-speeches-dances corporate nature of it all is awful from his point of view. I don’t think this can be remedied with just mixing up the ceremony here and there. He’s also not a romanitic, vowsy type person at all, and I’m not either really. He’d be happy with a really small ceremony with just his family there, maybe somewhere abroad. I actually really like this idea too BUT…
Me: my parents recently got divorced (finalised last year) and there is so. much. drama. They hate each other, and even if they were able to chill out for a wedding day I don’t know if I’d want a small ceremony, it would feel so awkward / tense for me. I’m not completely against it, but I do worry about it.
Also, I *really* like the idea of gathering all my friends from around the world for a big party but I also agree with my SO that it doesn’t need to be formulaic. If we do the actual ceremony I don’t want to walk down the aisle, or at least maybe I’d do it with him. I like the idea of a humanist ceremony too but still not sure how we could make it unique…..
I wouldn’t mind eloping and then having a big wedding reception at a later date but my SO wants his family there, and I just can’t imagine it being a very joyous occassion to have a small ceremony with my parents there…
If we do a big ceremony it’d be nice to do it in his hometown by the sea, but again, how can we change it so it’s not so formulaic?
So I guess what I’m looking for are ideas on how to make the ceremony unique while keeping in mind it can’t be too intimate or my family will cause too much drama? I’m really open to lots of ideas!
Tips for dealing with divorced parents are definitely welcome too.
Post # 2
iomi : you’re both going to have to compromise. There is no dream wedding for one person because both people have different dream weddings and there needs to be some compromise. So when you get engaged, I would sit down together and discuss what your 3 priorities for a wedding and what his 3 priorities for a wedding are. Then also consider your family situation and circumstances and how that affects your priorities.
For example, both my husband and I wanted a small wedding probably just parents only, probably abroad somewhere. This wouldn’t have included my grandparents, which my husband knew would be upsetting to them. He pointed out that on both sides it was likely that I would be the only grandchild my grandparents saw married. So we both compromised on our small ceremony, had a wedding close to my family which meant the potential for a lot more guests. We then navigated it together how to limit the guests without being rude. Neither of us got exactly what we wanted but it was the best option given our family circumstances.
Likely your wedding will have some formulaic elements but you don’t HAVE to do everything. If it doesn’t work for either of you, then don’t do it. If it works for one and not the other then it’s time to search for a compromise. Knowing what is important to you both, would would make your wedding feel special and enjoyable to both is the way to script your wedding. It might be that your partner has to compromise and have a bigger wedding to allow you to fee comfortable around your parents but you need to compromise on walking down the aisle to make him feel less like a corporate cog in the wedding machine, or something. It won’t be perfect or the dream but it’ll be yours that you created together and that’s what you need to remember.
Post # 3
iomi : I forgot to answer your second bit. My parents are divorced but they had nearly 25 years of divorce at my wedding, although they hardly ever interacted at all in that time. My parents managed to put their differences aside for my wedding day, which is how it should be. I would talk to both your parents separately and ask them if they can be civil to the other for one day, that it’s important to you. I mean this goes without saying but they probably need a little reminder and it sucks that you need to do that. If they can’t put their differences aside for their child’s wedding that is their problem, not yours (not saying it won’t suck for you) and they should hopefully realise their fault and apologise. Time also may help. They’re very newly divorced so hopefully things will have calmed down a bit by your wedding.
Post # 4
iomi : Regarding the ceremony, here’s an idea: have the ceremony and reception not only at the same venue, but in the same space. Instead of walking down the aisle, have a lounge area set up, where you can greet your guests in a relaxed manner. You could have the opportunity to chat a bit with guests before the ceremony, before locating their tables (assuming there would not be enough space at the venue to have rows of chairs for the ceremony and tables and chairs for the reception).
Several photos of lounge areas to give you an idea:
As for your parents: the divorce is very recent, so it’s no wonder emotions are still raw. It will probably be a year before you actually marry, so there’s a good chance that the anger/resentment will have reached a tolerable phase, where they actually will be able to share such a joyous occasion as your wedding without stresssing you out. Just in case, I suggest you plan to surround your parents with their own best friends; people whom you trust and that love either your mom or dad, but will not let themselves get enmeshed in any post-divorce wars. If your parents each have their own friends with them, it is possible that they would be entertained enough to abstain from any rude behavior.