@Sunshine09: Wow…I have so many takes on this one. I’am 31, I was with someone for almost 9yrs before I met my fiancee whom I’ve been with for 3 years now. Everyone was expecting me to marry my previous boyfriend and I almost did when I was about 22 but I took a rain check and time kept rolling by and everyone kept asking about it and then as I hit my mid 20s they stopped asking about marriage and moved on to asking about kids.
You see I was and always have been gun shy and I’d all but break into a rash when anyone even mentioned marriage. Been proposed to 4 times and this is the only time I’ve taken someone up on their offer! About 5 mos ago I went to dinner with some highschool girlfriends, 3 had rings on their fingers and 4 of them had kids with only 2 of us out of 6 being without either (my other girlfriend was single) and I have to admit that I felt a little defensive about my status when they asked me about my personal life and a little out of sorts with the different phases everyone else was in and that they had more in common than me and my single friend….but they’re good friends and they just teased that it was only because I was so wily that I was difficult to catch. More or less it was just me feeling awkward so I can also see how you feel left behind as well (BTW I was not invited to any of their weddings) and I was adamant about holding out and standing my ground based on the fact that I was not ready yet.
To tell you the truth, I don’t know that Ive ever been big on weddings at any point in my life, though I’ve been invited to a handful and was in 2 of them, one of them just last year and I loved being in both and bent over backwards to make their day what they wanted it to be so on that account, I can appreciate your view about reciprocity 150%. I’m a stickler for returning effort and sentiment BUT I think I may not have had the same expectations as you so I’m not feeling like I’m relying on anyones presence or enthusiasm to be happy about my day (mind you I also hated big birthday parties and fusses of any kind that amounted to ‘events’, always thought it was ridiculous) and attending weddings was never my thing.
So now that its my turn, I want a wedding but I really only need my family to be there and I feel that I’am on the other side of the fence as you, that I’am close (and not so close) to people who would be outright offended if I DIDNT invite them to my wedding though I would not be offended or even disappointed if none of my friends showed up, save one. The pressure TO invite people is just now starting to feel like its snowballing into more worries about interpersonal tangles over whos gonna get along with whom and who should I invite before who and who needs to be told before whom….it drives me outta my tree BUT the flip side of that coin is that I wanted a beautiful dress and why pay big money for a dress no one is going to see riiight??….you see even as I complain about having to referee people, I still want to be noticed and have my day and after all, you need an audience to put on a show and thats just one of the more shallow aspects of a wedding but I say this in fun so I hope no one takes me too seriously because a wedding should be fun or why do it at all? That aside, I sincerely feel that my wedding to the love of my life is a private moment between he and I and the bottom line is that the ONLY person I need will be standing across from me that day and I’am just consumed by that feeling alone…
Its funny because when my fiancee went to ask for my hand (what a chivalrous fellow!) my father inquired if I might not consider by-passing all the drama and expense for a simple and private ceremony he said “why do you wanna do that to yourselves anyway??”….so I see and hear both sides of the situation and I hope you can look past all the expectations and disappointment as well because even though its nice to share that day with friends, you don’t need validation to be happy and if you think I don’t ‘get it’ beleive me, I do, I find myself conflicted and feeling contrary to my simple desire to be happy with just me and him at our wedding at LEAST twice a day.
We’ve discussed this aspect of the wedding as well and he’s said that hes totally fine with having just us at our wedding and being no less happy but my fiancee is QUITE the social butterfly and if it werent for the venue limiting us, I think he’d invite everyone and his 5th grade teacher (i’m not kidding!) and in his circle of friends (who are ALL late bloomers I guess, and all in their 30s) many of them have small kids under 7 and so do mine. A couple of his friends are pregnant or expecting and if that isnt enough, we’ve been invited to several weddings and have a handful more coming up….We try to be happy for them and its harder for me I think, not to feel some jealousy or irritation at not being given the same attention or having to feel like I should hold back making announcements especially when he runs off to celebrate their events instead of plan with me.
But when we made the choice to go ahead with a wedding, I told him that above all else, I dont want drama and I don’t want to feel disappointment, it defeats the purpose of doing this at all. I want to be happy with whatever I get and I don’t want anyone to make anything I do personal and in return I will try to do the same so when I’am alone with my fiancee or just by myself or even when I’am not so calm because I’ve hit a snag in my planning I try to keep sight of the simple thing that I told you: THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON AND THE BIGGEST FAN OF YOUR WEDDING WILL BE STANDING NEXT TO YOU THAT DAY. I’am FAR from being a hallmark sap or even appreciating, what I used to and still do in some ways think of as ‘foo foo stuff’, but this still chokes me up with emotion because when I envision our wedding day, I can really only see him in my minds eye anyway.
Try to remember, your friends are STILL your friends (however bad you might feel that their attitudes are towards your special day) and they probably still care about you even if they don’t show it the way you want them to so you should try to enjoy your day however it turns out. I will be endeavouring toward the same so you are not alone in this!