Post # 1
Only just recently engaged, but FI and I have talked about a small, intimate, no fuss wedding. We had a location in mind and things seemed pretty easy to me.
FI has been married before and, frankly, hates the idea of a wedding at all. This has caused a few hurt feelings in the past and we have made a strong distinction between wanting to be married to me (something he wants very much) and wanting to get married/have a wedding. I am very comfortable keeping things low key (even my preference). We have gone round in circles talking about what a wedding that we feel good about looks like – just us, family only, family and a few (10) close friends. Just us for ceremony, reception with others, we talked through every option. I knew his preference would be to elope. I know my family is very, very close and marriage is a big deal – they would be devestated not to come. And I have never been married before and while I don’t need anything crazy, I don’t want to let it feel “brushed under the rug” I want it to feel happy, however small and “non-traditional”
Through some freak communication accident, we thought we both ended up on the same page. In fact, we ended up on different pages – he thinking the two of us for a courthouse ceremony, then small brunch with family and close friends; me thinking the brunch included the ceremony (but nothing formal, no aisle etc). We mentally sat with that for a while – no one bringing it up beause we thought we were in agreement. And apparently my expectations solidified.
It came up as we were working toward booking our restaurant and we realized we don’t agree at all. And I started crying. And couldn’t get it together which is very unlike me. I think I just realized that no matter what we do, someone is going to hate the decision – either him or my family. I am honestly and truly fine with either option and think it could be sweet either way. He is willing to “give in” and have family there. But I know he will hate it. And I know my parents will be hurt for a long time if they aren’t there. I see “solutions” I just don’t see a solution that won’t feel crappy to someone I love and therefore to me and it breaks my heart.
Not sure if I am looking for advice or just related experiences. I will take either I think. Thanks for letting me vent.
Post # 3
Why does he hate the idea of your family (I am assuming just immediate family) there for ceremony?
Post # 4
@thenewmrsmax: He says that he hates the idea of being the center of attention. I personally think there is an …embarassment is maybe the word? factor with having been married before? He says he feels really strongly that marriage is ours, just the two of us, and hates the idea of making a show of it. And in some ways, I agree with what he is saying. In other ways, i know our close friends and family are thrilled for us and want to be there to support and celebrate – ceremony included.
Post # 5
@yandz: I kind of feel like he needs to consider that this isn’t your second marriage and that you haven’t had this experience before so he needs to make it less about him. that’s just how I would feel about it. I don’t think you are being unreasonable in wanting your family present. You aren’t asking for him to be a show pony at some elaborate affair. You are asking for a small event with those you are closest to there to share it with you.
Post # 6
I agree, you seem to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. It’s hard to say what I would do if I were in your situation, but I think I would (as you said he’s now ok with) have immediate family and very close friends at the ceremony. But then you know it’s not what he really wants, so thats hard too. Maybe you just need to imagine both scenarios, and which makes you feel better? Will you be ok with not having your parents see you get married? Is it a big sacrafice to him to have your family there?
Post # 7
@yandz: I think embarrassment and the fact that it’ll be his second marriage may be the main culprit. I recently sat through a wedding – my friend had never been married before but her now husband had. Ceremonies usually have a lot of content about how this is for the rest of your lives, you’re one with one person forever, from here on end, etc. And…the terrible, awful person in me wondered if the groom or his family thought, “here we go again!” (Obviously I feel terrible that the thought even crossed my mind – I’m very happy for my friend and hope they have a happy, lifelong marriage!)
Here’s the thing. Since you want a small, intimate wedding anyway and nothing ostentatious, I really think he should suck it up and let you have the wedding you want. This is once in a lifetime! I mean, even if you wanted a huge, showy affair – provided you could realistically manage that financially – he should let you do it your way, because this will hopefully be your one and only wedding.
I have a similar kind of personality – “But I want him to want the same things! I don’t want to force anyone into anything they don’t really want!” – but you know what? The truth is no two people want exactly the same things. 99.9% of the time there’s some degree of give and take. I think your wedding is one area where it’s okay to have things your way because it’s such a significant event in your life. Besides, people with our personality type are very self-sacrificing and often let others have their way to make them happy – it’s not too much to ask to have the wedding you’d like (especially since it’s not the complete opposite of what your FI wants – you both want an intimate wedding!).
Post # 8
Are you two doing premarital counseling? We did ours through a local family therapist and it helped a ton. It sounds like there is something else going on under the surface.
This is what goes through my mind as I read your story:
Why on earth would he be embarassed that he found an amazing woman to marry? Is he ashamed that he failed the first time? Is he scared he will fail again? Is he worried about disappointing your family if things don’t work out? Is he trying desperately to make sure that this wedding is nothing like the last wedding?
He may not know the answer to any of thos questions or know why he feels the way he does. A professional can help him figure it out.
Post # 9
I guess I’ll give you my perspective, because I dont want anyone at my wedding. I want it to just be me and him. I’m a shy person and i hate being the center of attention. I hate feeling like everyone is judging me, and I hate when people are watching me. I do not even like my parents coming to events. When I was younger I would tell them to stop coming to sporting events where I was playing, because I would just get extra ‘aware’ they were continuously watching my every move, and it was an icky feeling. Also, I’m a bit of a worry wart, so I’m continuously worrying then, if to the ‘audience’ I will look like im slouching, sweating, tripping, falling, etc. etc.
When I get married, I want it to feel romantic. I want to be able to focus on the vows. On me and him. I dont want to worry about all the other crap I worry about when I’m in the spotlight. I want it to be just for us. I want to feel like I did the hair and the makeup for him. not for an audience.
I feel like you are in a tough spot, really. I’m really sorry you two have conflicting views. I guess I dont have any advice on how to get those to line up. Maybe eventually you will find something you didn’t think of that you both like. Like having a live feed that family can watch simultaneously or something.
Hope you feel happier soon!
Post # 10
I’m in a similar situation to you – my FI was married before and did the whole expensive, fancy wedding thing. I’ve never been married before.
He doesn’t really care one way or another about the wedding, and we both luckily wanted something small. We originally wanted to elope, but my sister was upset with that idea, so we changed the plans. My FI isn’t exactly thrilled, and I’m not super excited to have guests either, but in the end it’s a bit of a compromise… and overall I think I’ll be happy that my mom and sister and BFF will see us marry. I’m kinda like your FI where I feel like it should be a private thing. But then we need witnesses anyway so might as well invite people, right?
I agree w. PP that he should just suck it up, and it sounds like he will. It’s not like you’re asking for a lot of guests. If you said “let’s invite 50+ people” then I’d say maybe you should scale back… but parents and a few friends won’t ruin the thing.
The way I’m looking at the wedding is that it’s only one day… it’s a means to an end, and it isn’t supposed to be perfect. We’re not spending so much money that if something does go wrong, we’ll be upset. I am sure aspects of the wedding will be great, but I’ve never been one of those girls who dreamed of the perfect wedding. At the end of the day we’ll be married, and that’s really the main goal here.
Post # 11
I think he needs to meet you halfway here. It’s your first marriage and it’s selfish and unfair of him to take that experience away from you. I think the perfect compromise is a small, intimate wedding with family and close friends there. If he says he will do that for you then go for it and don’t feel guilty about it for one second.
Post # 12
@Luligem: +1 times 100!
FI has been married before, we both agreed that we wanted something small, whether that included family or not. Ultimately, we decided to make it just about us.
Hope OP can find a happy medium with her FI. 🙂
Post # 13
Is your FI able to envision a potential moment in time in the future, where HE is the father of a beautiful little girl (by that point, woman) who has been the apple of his eye for more than 20 years, and when she potentially could become engaged to a man who does not want HIM to be present at his own daughter’s wedding? Would a thought like that give him any more understanding as to why your family would be very upset at the thought of not being able to witness such a special occasion?
Sometimes people erroneously think that having others present for their wedding makes them appear to be selfish or as if they want everything to be “all about them.” However, in a case such as this, the contrary is true: By depriving your family of being able to enjoy this moment with you, your FI IS making himself the center of attention — negative attention — by thinking only of himself and by refusing to consider your feelings and the feelings of those who are important to you.
Post # 14
@stardustintheeyes: Thanks for your thoughts – yes, I know he ultimately feels the same way you do: that when we are in disagreement, my opinion should trump. He is saying he will jsut “grow a pair” and get over the people watching. I am just such an empath that I still feel gross about it. If he is uncomfortable during vows, I will notice. I probably need to get over it.
@ChicFoodist: “I want us to want the same things..don’t want to force…” This exactly. I can stand up for things I really feel strongly about. I struggle when I can see it both ways and things are at a tension. And you are right, reality is give-and-take. I feel like he is doing a lot of giving with regard to any kind of wedding celebration, but right again, there have been other huge life things where I have been the giver (selling my house and moving into his). And hopefully with the small-ness and the warmness of the event, it won’t be as bad as he is picturing.
@CanadianBride456: Thank you for your sympathetic words!
We are planning on it, but haven’t started yet. I will say that I know he is not embarassed of me, just divorce not being common within our circles. That said, it was his ex who cheated on him and he even still tried to patch things up before it ended. He isn’t scared of failing again, he does feel like people judge him (but our
people don’t, I just don’t think he as embraced that). He is pretty emotionally literate and (aside from this clear fail) we have really good communication. Stuff to work through? Probably. Anything terrifying lurking under the surface, I don’t think so.
@Luligem: Thanks for lending your perspective. I can totally understand. He and I are BOTH introverted (actually me more so than him) and neither like attention. I think the issue is I can clearly see it both ways. If I thought he was being crazy or unreasonable, I would havea different conversation. But I see his point. I just also see a small group of people who love us and want to be a part of things and would be very hurt not to be a part of it.
Post # 15
@yandz: He’s worried about being the center of attention? But darling, everybody knows grooms are totally unimportant at weddings, all everybody’s looking at is the bride’s dress!
Joke aside… You’re in a tough spot here. Obviously you were blindsided the first time so I completely understand why you started crying. But try talking to him again, and calmly this time since you know what you’re dealing with here. Explain to him that this is your wedding too and that having your closest friends and family there is very important to you. If you wanted a 200 people wedding, I’d tell you to cut him some slack but since you don’t want that many people there in the first place, he won’t be in the center of anyone’s attention any more than if it were his birthday party. That’s not so bad, is it?
One more thing. There’s a good chance the reception/brunch won’t be that much fun if your guests don’t see the important bit of your wedding day, the actual ceremony. They can’t really be expected to joyfully celebrate something that they didn’t witness, you know? I was once invited to a friend’s party that she and her husband threw after getting married on a paradise island all by themselves. It was nice but a bit anticlimactic – and we’re not even that close.
Anyway, just a few points to discuss with your FI – I hope you can get him to see your side of the story!