Post # 1
Hi, everybody! I just got engaged last weekend, but we’ve already hit a wedding-related road bump that I’m sure some of you have dealt with: Deciding where to have the ceremony when your families live far apart.
Our families live on opposite sides of the U.S., and fiance and I live near his family on the west coast. My mother wants us to have the wedding on the east coast. I would love to get married where I grew up, but unfortunately it would be too costly and time-consuming to travel back and forth during planning (my job doesn’t pay PTO) and my fiance’s grandmother is not well enough to fly cross-country. It’s very important to both of us that she attend.
I feel really torn, because of course I’d love for my friends to attend. And it looks like my fiance wants a strictly immediate-family-only ceremony – my parents, my brother and his fiancee and two boys, and fiance’s parents and grandmother. His family is small and really close-knit (compared to my disaster of an extended family, anyway), so they’re going to be really hurt if they’re not invited.
Just don’t know how to go about this without hurting feelings of people I care about and compromising with what my fiance wants. Obviously I can’t move forward on wedding plans until I know where we’re going to have it and how many people will be there. And oh god, what do you do when people invite themselves?
Sooo, anyone been there? Advice? Just want to commiserate? 🙂
Post # 3
I think you should weigh the pros and cons of each place. It sounds like you are leaning towards the area your Fiance is from for some good reasons (like his grandmother). Whatever you choose to do it has to be the right choice for YOU and nobody else. If you can’t afford to have the wedding where you grew up I’m sure your family will come to understand. If you do decide to have the wedding there is your mom willing to help you out with things that you can’t be there for? Hopefully some of the bees who have planned cross-country will see your post.
ETA: Oh I don’t know how visual you are, but making a chart for pros and cons always helps me. And have you told your Fiance about how important it is to have your friends there? Maybe you could do a small intimate wedding and a dinner at a nice restaurant for your families and then celebrate with a big party to share with your friends?
Post # 4
What about having a close “family-only” ceremony on the West Coast with FI’s family that his grandma can attend (with a nice dinner afterwards?), and a reception on the East Coast for your friends and family?
I planned long-distance, only traveling back twice before the month before the wedding (when we did move to our wedding location). It can be done, if that’s what you decide, but you will need your mom’s help.
Post # 5
Generally, the couple marries where they live and everyone comes to them. You’d be amazed at how many folks have no issues whatsoever with travelling to where you are to see you get married, as it is quite common.
Post # 6
I live to make lists and charts. 🙂 I’ll definitely do a pros and cons on paper!
Maybe if we get married over here and it’s immediate-family-only, we could have a reception for his extended family and friends, and then have another one in NY for mine. My mom suggested two ceremonies and my fiance thought that was nuts, but he might go for two receptions.
My mom is probably more excited about planning than I am! She dove right into talking about dresses and such when I told her the news. She’s definitely eager to help and I already kind of gently told her that we probably wouldn’t be able to get married in my hometown. I don’t think she’ll be surprised when I put my foot down about it, as long as the ceremony stays fair with regard to who’s invited.
Post # 7
I don’t think two ceremonies is nuts. If you have your official ceremony with his family you could do something fun and out of the box with your mom’s family. I don’t know if you were planning on a church wedding or not, but I can see how your Fiance might not want to do two church weddings.
You two have plenty of time to talk things over and find out what’s best for you. Good luck!
Post # 8
That’s a good idea, thanks!