French groom's family wants to host the wedding?!

posted 2 years ago in Intercultural
Post # 2
Member
1883 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

All of your ideas sound good to me. Paying for the majority yourself, setting them specific tasks, etc.

Where are you currently living? If you aren’t living in FI’s hometown it’ll be a lot harder for you to organise without depending a lot on them.

Leave communication with them about the wedding to your Fiance. They’re his parents so he should best be able to communicate with them.

Maybe you could also find out what they think is most important for a wedding and make sure that is part of your planning?

Post # 4
Member
759 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

marbster :  they seem somewhat controlling. Be sure to set boundaries!

i lived in Paris for 5 years and have never heard of these “traditions”. If anythinga things there are rather American 

Post # 5
Member
1883 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

I’ve never organised a wedding in France but woudln’t be surprised if Parisian weddings were less traditional (and more American) than weddings elsewhere in France – although I don’t know where OP is either!

It’s good that you’re at least within driving distance marbster. I guess the other thing is to make sure that before talking to his parents, your Fiance is on the same page as you. In any intercultural relationship, there are a lot of uncommunicated differences. He’ll assume things about how the wedding will go, because “that’s how weddings always go” (in his French experience) whereas you’ll have different assumptions on “how weddings always go” based on your American experience.

Have you attended weddings in France? Has he attended weddings in the US? I’m living and getting married in my FI’s country and although I’ve been to half a dozen weddings here, I’m going to another next month and plan to really pay attention during it to what I do or don’t want to happen at my wedding!

Post # 6
Member
1544 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

Well you’ll have to sit down with them and explain that while you love that they want to host the entire wedding, you both decided on a blending of traditions instead of a totally French wedding. That includes paying for most of this yourselves.  Make it clear that you want them involved in the planning, not just all of it.   You’re Fiance will have to be the convincer on this since it is his family. Then you both need to figure out which “traditions” are most important to you and take things from there. They will push back as all families do and there will inevitably be hurt feelings, I don’t think you’ll escape that. This is life hon, hurt feelings are a part of it. Just be as open as you can, forgiving as you can and reassure them that this will be a family affair….His AND yours.

Post # 7
Member
1078 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

I agree with a previous poster that you should leave this conversation to your fiancé to have with his parents. Have him make it clear that while the both of you appreciate their desire to throw the wedding, you both have very specific ideas of what you want. Have him ask them what they feel are the most important aspects of the wedding, and what they hope isn’t part of the wedding. Don’t promise to follow their desires, but do take them into consideration. Anything that doesn’t go against your own desires, let them handle and help. Also you can reassure them that it won’t be a crazy, torrid affair that they see in American films. They will probably still be upset, but at least you will have included them and helped assuage their fears somewhat. And once they see that your wedding is lovely even though not quite what they wanted, they will get over it. 

Post # 8
Member
546 posts
Busy bee

I think the things you mentioned, like asking for their opinion is a really good option, and I agree about having Fiance talk to his parents. At the end of the day it’s your wedding, and though they may have concerns or get upset at first, from the way you make it sound- it’s not going to be what they think, so maybe it will take getting to the actual wedding for them to realize you’re not going to embarrass them.lol

Post # 9
Member
576 posts
Busy bee

 

LOL did you land an aristocrat with a castle on the Loire? Honestly, so few people in France are getting married (rather, they do the so-called PACS – civil union for any two people, which can be rescinded at anytime at no cost), that it is really hard to believe such traditions really exist. But, first thing, first: if you do not live in France, you have to make sure that you can marry there:

https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F930

The formalities are usually quite daunting (which is why, my husband and I married in the US, while living in France).

As for the order of ceremony – you do know that you will first have to be married at the “mairie” – the city hall – this will be your legal ceremony and I am not sure how much freedom you will have in designing it, since it probably is quite standard and in French. After that, you can also get married in a church (maybe this one would be in Latin?) – but I have no idea how easy it is to marry in a French church as an outsider.

Post # 10
Member
18 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Hi ! I am French and I can tell you that most French weddings are very traditional even if there is a big trend to get inspired by American weddings to be less formal, or do a PACS to skip the wedding process. Especially for large families where people are very proud of their traditions and they don’t expect something different because they probably have never seen something different ! 

I think all the ideas mentionned above are great, they just need to be involved in the important things that matter to them. Maybe you could also show them an American wedding the way you picture yours, so that they can better understand. Sometimes it is just education 🙂 

Good luck for planning your wedding ! 

 

Post # 11
Member
9623 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

my grandparents/father are Spanish–from the Pyrenees (so customs may be similar to those in southern France).  My grandfather took care of the entire wedding–invites, venue, food, etc.. My mom literally showed up with a wedding dress.  Luckily, that suited her just fine.

FWIW I never heard her complain about my grandparents being controllig–and she is very vocal.  (My aunt on the other hand.. my mom has plenty of complaints about my aunt being controlling.. unrelated, but just showing how she has no problem complaining about controlling in laws, so I really don’t think my grandparents were controlling.)

Post # 12
Member
4038 posts
Honey bee

The only thing I can add is that you might want to consider the menu. I know someone (from the US) who went to a European wedding, in the past year. (Both bride and groom live in the US, but one was born in Europe).

A member of the family was a gourmet chef and there were a ridiculous amount of courses (like 10). I think the only thing my friend dove into was the dessert. She didn’t know what most of the dishes were – and the menu was not in English. They also offered dishes that are generally not offered in our social circle, like foie gras.  

Post # 13
Member
576 posts
Busy bee

2XMOB :  Ahh.. you are very right. Rabbit, all kinds of giblet, liver, snails, winkles, whelks – all those would be naturally served in France without a second thought – so you have to make sure you and your family will be comfortable eating what is on the menu. 

Post # 14
Member
3118 posts
Sugar bee

I planned a wedding in a location 6 hours away by air. You will do fine. But I would hire a coordinator to help with deliveries and day of logistics.

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