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

posted 2 years ago in Intercultural
Post # 16
Member
9623 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

marbster :  Well, how I see it is this:

He can try to talk to them a bit longer, but eventually if that doesn’t work you’ll be down to two options:

let them do it their way

or

elope

I can’t really tell you which is the better way–both have some pretty high costs.

Post # 17
Member
517 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

I agree with amanda1998.  While I applaud you for sticking to your guns, you should at least take eloping into consideration.  OR, sit down with them again, and try to explain that because you are having american guests there, that they are going to need to make some consessions regarding things like menu etc. (whatever is important to you).  I think at the end of the day, part of it is tradition, and part of it is them wanting to be involved.  Maybe there is a compromise where they can have the ability to plan the things that aren’t so important to you.  For example, I didn’t really care too much about the reception venue…So FH and I gave my parents a list of 10 places that we thought we might like, they picked 2, and then we picked 1.  It gave them the ability to help plan, but we still had the final say.

Post # 18
Member
1527 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

 

marbster :  This is the pushback I was talking about.  If possible, try to find a sympathetic relative who will support you.  Other than that, all I can say is you’re both grown adults so stand your ground, cave and let them have at it or elope.  There’s no getting around hurt feelings now, they’ve made it clear they want things their way.  Somehow you’re going to have to make your voice heard and your Fiance is going to have to stand by you 100%.  This is a basic culture clash so you’re going to need some allies, be it from the church or the family.  Does their church hold some sway?  Have Fiance go there and explain your sitution.   Find family members who are sympatheric.  You need somebody on the family’s side who will fight for you and what you both want.

Post # 19
Member
1527 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

  marbster :  

One final thing, does the family KNOW your fears about this wedding?  Have you both made it clear that you don’t want to be in this position BECAUSE you both see it as you having no say in your own wedding? 

Here’s the thing about being dismissive or insistent on having things your way.  Either they are overbearing and don’t care what you want oooorrrr they simply don’t understand why you want things the way that you do.  They don’t understand why you would turn their help down and may see this as a rejection of them and their customs.  Maybe all that needs to be done is to have someone make clear that this is NOT a rejecting them but about a culminating of cultures.  It’s about not only their ways but ways of others who will be joining their family.  That kind of thing.   

 

Post # 21
Member
7865 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

One of my best (American) girlfriends got married to a Swiss dude and they had their wedding in Switzerland. His family hosted and I believe paid for the bulk of it. I don’t think they had to deal with any weird engagement issues (they just got engaged on their own like most people), but otherwise it sounds kinda similar to what you’re describing. The wedding itself was nicer and more over-the-top than many American weddings i’ve been to, although it was all very tasteful. They got married in a candlelit castle on Lake Geneva (literally most magical ceremony venue I’ve ever seen), had cocktail hour in a local winery and moved to a beautiful indoor venue for a 5-course dinner reception. They chose to get married over there for similar reasons as you–he has a bigger family that he’s closer to than she is with hers. I don’t think either of them cared too much about the details of the wedding so they were fine leaving most of the decisions to the groom’s parents. As for the ceremony, they wrote their own vows which were lovely, but beyond that they really didn’t have much wiggle room to do what they wanted because I think Swiss laws required a justice of the peace to do it his own way. The wedding was almost entirely in French so I have no real clue what was said lol – but I think it was all very by the book.

Culturally, the reception was quite similar to an American wedding albeit with a lot more French spoken! But if you’re concerned about details I would definitely agree that you’re better off declining their financial support and making it clear that this is going to be YOUR wedding from the get-go. Good luck bee, I’m sure it will be lovely!

Post # 22
Member
1066 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I’d probably let them do it their way, and have another ceremony/celebration in the US for my side. Maybe even have it before theirs, because I’m passive aggressive lol.

Post # 23
Member
7865 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Woof, I failed to read your updates before writing my first post. I would actually just do two weddings in this case. This is actually what Darling Husband and I did cause we’re in a similar situation – his fam lives on the other side of the world and most of them couldn’t come to the wedding we had in the states. So his parents threw us a second “wedding party” in his home country. This way, everyone wins!

Post # 24
Member
25 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: December 2017

Consider letting them do it all and just relaxing with the stress off your shoulders if this won’t make you and your family crazy… look at it as another part of the adventure. Consider what traditions or elements are really important to you and see if you can work those into their celebration. And you can always plan a gathering before or after for your friends/family and arrange it in a way they’ll be comfortable with.

Otherwise maybe the solution is to do their church wedding in their hometown how they’d like it then you can do another “reception” somewhere else that you and your fiance control. Depends on what you, your fiance, and your side of the family will be comfortable with…

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