Post # 1
SO and I aren’t even officially engaged yet. We bought the ring last weekend, but won’t have it for another month and then he still wants to propose. My parents went to a wedding this weekend and apparently it was huge and there were children everywhere. My dad was forced into early retirement by the economy and I call him everyday on my walk home from work because he gets lonely. He told me today that my mom wants him to talk me into a destination wedding because she doesn’t want my wedding to be a circus. I don’t think that’s something we can do because SO’s family would not be able to afford the travel and we want them (some of them) to be there.
A bit of background on my family. My dad is number 6 of 7 children. I am the only only child in the entire family and am the youngest of 13 full-blooded cousins who are pretty close. I am on average 5-8 years younger than my cousins. Most of my cousins are in baby making mode right now. So. Many. Small. Children. There are 14 children right now with 10 of them under 5. Considering our date is alomst 2 years out there could be even more by the time our wedding rolls around. I know a lot of posters say ‘if there’s a problem with my child I’d remove them from the ceremony/reception’. I trust 2 of my cousins to do that, the rest I’m not so sure, and there is one I can garantee would not reign in her children (hers are some of the most obnoxious. Her son (5) kicked SO in the neck last Christmas becase SO was preventing him from getting in a forbidden corner containing a lamp and many breakables.).
My mom’s side is easier because we are not close to many of them. It would just be my Nana and my mother’s three cousins and their husbands. I don’t want to invite her cousin’s children because honestly I can’t even remember their names much less keep them straight.
SO’s father’s side is small and they are great people. I really love them and always have a great time at their New Year’s day get together.
His mom’s side is another story. I see his grandparents every Thanksgiving and his grandpa seems ok with me. His grandmother has been against our realtionship for its entire duration and has actually written him letters urging him to break up with me. However she has never actually said anything to my face. His mother has two sibilings whose children have children. In 6 years I have not met any of these relatives. SO is on the fence about inviting them because he feels like they exclude his nuclear family from things. If his mother didn’t throw a fit, he probably wouldn’t invite them.
My dream wedding would be a small (appx. 40 people) afternoon garden party with cards and lawn games. However, just my dad’s side of the family alone exceeds 40 people. I think I would get a lot of flack from my family for not inviting children to an afternoon event.
I know I have a lot of time to figure this out, but I was wondering Bees how would you navigate these treacherous family waters? I feel like once we annouce the engagement people will start asking questions and I’d like to have some kind of answer ready.
Post # 3
@Eckle: it seems unusual. are you sure its not abotu finances…as in, your mum isnt worried about it being a circus but shes worried abotu the contribution you might be expecting from your parents?
if you want it small, you might have to just invite aunts and uncles and no cousins, if the no children thing will be really a problem
Post # 4
@newname_99: She’s stated before that she doesn’t want to pay for all of the children. I’m not even planning on a contribution from my parents even though they probably will help with something. SO and I are recent grads and not made of money. Almost 20 children (there are some on his side too) is a lot of invites for people who probably won’t even remember the event. I’m pretty sure all hell would break loose if I don’t invite my cousins. My uncle’s wedding caused a 4-5 year rift in the family after a misunderstanding about dinner plans afterwards. I do not want to be resonsible for tearing my family apart again. My cousins and I are pretty close I see them for most holidays. There are also a few that I really want to be there, but if you invite one you have to invite all. I can probably manage to afford my cousins, but not with all the children. My mom also thinks that some of the ones I am not as close to would not come if we did adults only. She thinks even fewer of them would come if it was a destination. I do live 400 miles from home so I suppose detination could technically be where I live rather than planning a long distance (for me) wedding. I just don’t think that’s fair to make SO’s realtives and our elderly family have to travel that far.
Post # 5
I would just plan the wedding that you can afford and that you envision (which sounds lovely!). The key to minimzing other people’s input is to not share too many details with them.
When you do get engaged, you’ll get the most annoying question ever – “When’s the big day?” I’d go into a logical rant about how could one possibly have figured out a venue and a date when the proposal just took place two days ago is beyond me!
You can give a generic answer, “We don’t have a date yet, but we’re enjoying the engagement period immensely!”
Honesty if you pay for it yourself, and keep your parents as pure guests, then you can minimize the opinions from both. There’s no need to analyze each relationship with each family member. Just invite who you want. No one scenario is going to please everyone so don’t even try to figure that out!
Post # 6
I think sitting down and talking to her about all the options. YOur Mom is going to extremes. I also have cousins who are popping out babies left and right. We are having a no children wedding. We understand some people will not attend because of that. If she really worried perhaps save money and have some money set aside to have professional childcare in a room next door or something. I think explaining to family that due budget and space and the amount children in the family that you aren’t inviting any. Some may kick up a fuss be prepared for it and stick to your guns. Do not have a destination wedidng unless it is really what you and your Fi want.