(Closed) Small wedding dreams crashed by aunts & others

posted 9 years ago in Family
Post # 3
2865 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

This is tough and we had something similar– I wanted a 50-100 person wedding, max, and his family expected at least 100 from his side (not including family friends).

I would have your Fiance talk to his parents and lay it out for them– you are not having a big wedding and it is important for you to have his parents there. Have him say that he will be hurt if they do not honor his decision and that he is afraid of it hurting your relationship going forward. He wants you to all get along now so that it will be easier when grandchildren are here. One option– can he invite just his aunts and uncles, but no cousins? 

Post # 4
301 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I don’t think that it is selfish at all for you to exclude people.

I did my wedding the exact same way that you want to. We had people there that we truly cared about.  There were 30 people there total (including me and DH)

Not one person on my dads side of the family was there.  I set a 2 year no talking limit.  Meaning if I haven’t talked to you in more than 2 years then you are not invited to the wedding.

For a while I did think about inviting them and I told my dad that if I were to invite them then he would have to pay for them because I would not want to be responsible to foot the bill for people that I don’t want at my wedding in the first place.  He agreed to this.  However, in the long run I decided to stick to my guns and not invite them.  He hated the idea but he got over it.

It is not fair for people to expect you to have a wedding that they want.  It is your wedding.  Your Mother-In-Law needs to understand that she had her wedding and now it is your turn to have yours and that you are going to have it the way that you and your Fiance want to have it and that even though you appriciate her opinion that you are going to plan it your way and that your would love it if she can be there to support her son.

Post # 5
1486 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Ummm…a bunch of people that you don’t know expect to be invited to your wedding AND you are supposed to pay for their rooms?! I can’t get past that part!

Have the wedding you want and if she won’t come then that is her choice!

Post # 6
3518 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

We’ve had a similar problem. His family is huge and weddings are typically massive, kinda lavish affairs. Unfortunately, we’re not getting mountains in the way of money help and we’re not rich. (We’re getting help with our plane tickets to fly back to the US for it, which is wonderful and generous, but it’s just in comparison to what we’d need for what some family member would ideally want…) 

We cut the guest list down to just aunts and uncles on his side, and on mine, just a few people from my mom’s and almost no one from my dad’s. Basically we’re only inviting who we want and paying little attention to people’s expectations. If we invited everyone who we’re “supposed to” we’d have 3 times the number we’re going with in the end. It’s just not terribly reasonable.

My vote: Have your wedding in Italy if you want. Invite the aunts and uncles, but stand firm on not paying for their flights or hotels or anything — they can choose not to come if they don’t like it. Don’t let them sway you. You’re not responsible for giving them a paid vacation. They should be there for YOU if they go anyway. 

Post # 7
2419 posts
Buzzing bee

@Bebealways:  My vote: Have your wedding in Italy if you want. Invite the aunts and uncles, but stand firm on not paying for their flights or hotels or anything — they can choose not to come if they don’t like it.

This, exactly.  If your Future Mother-In-Law says the aunts need to be invited, it’s smart to honor that request in the interest of future-family harmony. But it’s also smart to still plan the wedding you want, and not honor the expectation of paying for their travel. (It’s also smart to let your Fiance handle issues with his side of the family as much as possible). It sounds like, as long as you don’t pay for them, the aunts wouldn’t come anyway, so invite them for the sake of satisfying your Future Mother-In-Law and then go ahead with your plans.

Post # 10
2419 posts
Buzzing bee

Ah, I understand the context better now, thanks. Initially, for some reason, I was thinking that the people who would have to travel a long way were in the US (the backyard BBQ comment, I think, made me imagine a US wedding, I see now I was clearly reading it wrong).

If you are in Italy, and marrying into an Italian family, a couple of thoughts:

– in the US, there is a lot of wedding rhetoric about “it’s your day,” “it’s all about the bride,” etc., and people talk about “having the wedding I want.” Those assumptions don’t necessarily apply in other places. Weddings are seen much more as family events, and the decisions don’t necessarily default to the bride. You will have to weigh how much it’s worth to you to have the wedding you want, if it comes at the expense of having a good future relationship with your Future Mother-In-Law and your FI’s extended family. Conversely, you have the opportunity to build up a lot of good will with his family by going ahead with a traditional Italian wedding – and it could be a really cool experience!

– since this is his family, how does he feel about all of this? Throughout wedding planning it’s a good idea to banish the phrase “MY wedding” from your vocabulary and cultivate the habit of always saying “OUR wedding.” It helps remind you to consult with one another frequently, and it presents a united front to outsiders.

– it’s probably also a good idea, as much as possible, to have him handle the conversations and negotiations with his mom. There are a lot of complicated dynamics around mother-son relationships in Italy and, like you say, it can be a cultural minefield to try to navigate them. Let him take the reins. Also, try as much as possible to give them the benefit of the doubt: when they want something that you disagree with or don’t understand, assume there’s a reason and that they have good intentions. They also love your Fiance, he is a part of your family, and they have a legitimate interest in wanting to be there for one of the biggest milestones in his life.

Post # 11
2453 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I really hate this sense of entitlement people have about getting invited to a family member’s wedding. being related by blood doesn’t give you a damn thing. that being said, that’s a US way of thinking, and doesn’t apply in Europe nor Asia apparenty >:(

Post # 12
2419 posts
Buzzing bee

I really hate this sense of entitlement people have about getting invited to a family member’s wedding.

I think, actually, that there’s nothing wrong and a lot right with having family members who care enough about you that it matters to them whether or not they are included in your wedding. I know that not all families are happy and harmonious and close-knit, but it saddens me to hear it called a “sense of entitlement.” What about the sense of entitlement people have nowadays that the wedding is the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to indulge all their whims and fantasies? A wedding is traditionally a public and family celebration; in the past, people who wanted a private, “just us” affair went to the courthouse.

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