(Closed) Only a week engaged and already family issues :'(

posted 9 years ago in Family
Post # 3
3539 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Your wedding isnt until feb, so you have plenty of time for them to “cool” down.

Its a wierd tradition about inviting people, but I have seen it done, I was a bridesmaid for a friend of mine and shes italian. I asked her how many people she knew and she said about 30, there would have been about 150 at the sit down reception and the church was packed!!! I know for certain I wouldnt have coped with that many people I didnt know.

That sounds a bit odd about your fiance calling the wedding off if it went that down road? Wheres the compromise? But i dont know all the details.

My Dad is a Baptist Minister, so I can understand about the religious issue, also my FH father is jehovahs witness. They wont even come to the ceremony if its in the church, so its very hard to please them all. Were not even sure FH family will come to the wedding due to religious issues. Its a tough one and takes alot of juggling. Unfortunately theres not a secret but doing what you and your FH helps, also take on what they say but it doesnt mean you have to do it right? I have found that patience helps, or going for a long walk lol.

Anyway, good luck. your in a tough sitcho.

Congrats on being engaged tho!! that bits exciting!!

Post # 4
46 posts
  • Wedding: August 2010

I feel your pain. I think it was about a week after I got engaged that my best friend and Maid/Matron of Honor created some major drama for me. It’s an awful long story that I won’t go into just now, but my advice is to step away from it for a minute, and let your parents calm down a bit before trying to talk to them about it. It seems like your parents were taken by surprise for your wish not to have a religious ceremony. I think you need to sit them down and explain your and your FI’s reasons for wanting a secular wedding. It is your wedding, afterall. Hopefully you will be able to reach a sort of compromise when they realize where you and your Fiance are coming from.

Also, I would have a conversation with your Fiance, as well, and see if there is room for compromise, there, too. If you marrying in a church is as important as it seems for your parents from your post, the Fiance should hopefully be open a bit. They are going to be his in-laws, afterall, and I can’t think he would want to start things off with them badly, for his sake as much as yours, of course. Issues of religion can be very difficult to deal with as people tend to feel very strongly about their beliefs. So, I would keep the two conversations separately, at first.

I really hope that you can sort this out quickly and go back to the happy engagement stage! I do strongly believe that it is your and your FI’s wedding, so it should primarily be what you both want, but weddings are also about families – both yours and your FI’s – so some sort of compromise should try to be reached with which everyone can be ok. Just try to stay calm when explaining what you hope for your wedding. Your parents and Fiance love you, and I sure they all want you to be happy. Best of luck, Love!!

Post # 5
873 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Wedding planning is not all fun and games 🙁  I agree with PP that your parents might be a bit surprised by finding out that you are not going to have a religious ceremony when that’s what they had always planned for you.  Weddings are amazing, but you’ve already found out that there are a lot of customs and expectations that suddenly come out from nowhere.  You have 2 years until your wedding.  I think that in that time you can slowly get your parents on board and sort out the issues that are causing stress right now. 

As to your parents thinking that the wedding has to be Eastern European not North American in style, I think that this is a common issue.  If your parents left their home country a while ago, they might have outdated visions of what actually happens there.  I am Canadian living in Korea, and sometimes I see Korean-American posters saying ‘my mum says that in Korea….’ … but actually that’s an old custom and rarely happens in Korea anymore.  On the flip side, I haven’t been to a Canadian wedding in ages, and then I come on Wedding Bee and find out that most brides aren’t doing something I remember being ‘mandatory’ when I was a child and going to weddings.  It’s hard to negotiate culture, but it’s possible, and over time I’m sure you’ll be able to work out a wedding that works for you and your families.

Post # 7
81 posts
Worker bee

what do you want? from your posts, it seems like you’re feeling torn between your parents’ and your fi’s completely different visions of the day, but i don’t see what you want except that you want everyone to be happy. if i were you, i’d give the situation some time to simmer down and to figure out what’s really important to you (and your fi). with your parents, since you just got engaged this may just be a sort of knee-jerk reaction, especially if they didn’t know you were getting engaged, etc. they’re probably really emotional right now, and they may be more willing to compromise after they have some time to process the fact. for example, my fi’s parents knew we were getting engaged, and yet were still really touchy when we started asking them for input on sensitive topics they weren’t ready to discuss yet. i would take some time to really think about what is important to you and what you want, and not discuss it with your parents until you and fi are on the same page. 

an idea of a compromise– what if you had a religious officiant but not in a church?

Post # 8
40 posts
  • Wedding: May 2010

I agree with others on letting the whole situation cool down. You just got engaged, and your parents’ initial reaction might soften with time. I come from Eastern European background, and can totally relate to different cultural backgrounds, traditions, and how do you incorporate it all in the wedding. But I would start thinking about 2 things:

as akd0110 mentioned, what do YOU want? And what does your Fiance want  besides non-religious ceremony? When we decided to do a destination wedding I went through stages of guilt because a lot of family wouldnt be able to come. But in the end you and your Fiance (as a team) have to stand by your decision and go with how you want your big day to be. You dont want to be inconsiderate, but keep in mind that you will also not be able to please everyone.Once you decide what in a wedding is more important, than you can start looking for areas to compromise in. And at that point, who knows, maybe your parents will be more open to talk about a non-church ceremony. but until you and your Fiance are clear on what you want, I think it’d be hard to present your case, so to say, to your family.

Secondly, money. I dont know if you and your Fiance already started talking about how much you are going to spend. And are parents planning to contribute to costs? If your parents already put a list of 600 guests, will they be financially contributing, or are you planning to accomodate big guest list on your own? You have time to think over costs once you decide on what type of wedding your want, but costs can get so get out of control if you dont set a guest list and budget early on. And if you want a small wedding with 50 guests, and your parents want to invite everyone they know, there has to be a lot of talking and compromise.  And, sorry if it sounds harsh, but money is independence: the more your parents contribute, the higher expectation will be for them be decision makers in your wedding. Obviously every family is different, but from what you described, I would be prepared for that as well.

You also mentioned that there have been many arguments on your Fiance coming from a different culture, etc. So it seems religious ceremony is one way for your parents to show they are not quite approving of your choice, if I read your post right? While you might not be able to get your parents fully on board with your decision, you and your Fiance will have to figure out how to co-exist as families beyond your wedding day. And have you discussed how you will raise your kids and how, if at all, you will incorporate your cultures in your household? And will your parents expect your kids to be baptized, etc?  Sorry if I am going beyond the realm of your post, but I hope you are already thinking about things like this as well.

Wedding planning and family stuff can be hard, but ultimately, you are marrying the man you love, and who loves you! In the end, that is what matters.

Best of luck with everything

Post # 9
399 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I am sorry you are having to deal with this.  It would be nice if everyone in our lives could take a step back and simply be happy for us, wouldn’t it? 

I agree with most of the advice you have gotten.  It is always a good idea to let things lie for awhile, and it will be easier to talk to your parents when you have a more concrete idea of what you want your day to be like.  As for the church thing, I say you two need to stick to your guns.  If you don’t believe in the church teachings and your Fiance is non-religious, getting married in the Roman Catholic church would mean you would be starting your marriage off on the wrong foot.  You might consider looking into a Unitarian church or a community chapel, which would give you the church atmosphere without having to commit to all the requirements of the Catholic Church.  This might be worth discussing with your Fiance.  In the end, it really helps to understand why each person feels so strongly about their opinions.  It makes it easier to have a calm conversation about the issue.

Good luck with your planning! It is fun, and hopefully the frustrations will be few and far between.

Post # 11
2532 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

IF it makes you feel any better….not even 24 HOURS after we got engaged there was drama. I cried 2 out of 3 days during our engagement weekend. Then we resolved that issue and it was something else. Then it was something else. and something else. It will always be something. Im having a REALLY hard time dealing with it. Future In-Laws are paying for A LOT of the wedding so I have to be grateful, but its very very difficult to keep a smile on my face and be polite when I am just aggravated almost all the time.

Post # 12
3124 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

you have over 2 years til the wedding – save all of your pennies and throw it how ever you’d like without either of your parents.  Send them an invite and let them help plan things that don’t impose too much of their personal views on you, but keep them involved. 

Post # 13
211 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

Weddings don’t always bring out the best in the parental units.

Remain calm. You can control how you react, you can’t control them.

Sometimes family will react viscerally at first and will back off. I’ve noticed that a lot with our family.We let a lot of things slide. It’s not worth the stress.

If they don’t back off, then you and he need to decide what to do. Remember, you’ll need to be a united front against the world. Not a disrespectful united front, but you and he come first. It should start before the wedding because it’s great practice for when times get tough after the wedding!

Elope- though I know it’s easier said than done. Smile I know, I couldn’t do it either!

Post # 14
215 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

my guy and i sat down when things first got tense between us and with our famiies about planning the guest list, venue, etc.  We made a pact to make decisions that were best for us first, then for families.  we dubbed this agreement “team wedding.”  now, whenever problems flare, he and i say to one another, “remember ‘team wedding'” to center ourselves and remind us that we are on the same team and will be for the rest of our lives.  we told our parents that “team wedding” has to be the first priority because we are making a new life together, much as we love our families.  it doesn’t make family problems go away, but at least we don’t fight as a couple about wedding stuff, which can be the most demoralizing part of the process.

Post # 15
1154 posts
Bumble bee

Okay, this is going to be really really harsh but I think it needs to be said.

If your Fiance wrote a post to this board outlining all of the above – I would tell him that if his finace won’t stand by him in the face of her parents being utterly unreasonable and rude he needs to seriously reasses the relationship.  I’d tell him that it sounds like she values and depends on her parents more a lot and given that they are religious and opinionated and don’t like him that if he marries her he is in for years of misery.

If you were religious and he was not, I would think it’s a difficult situation and needs compromise.  But here neither of you is religious or support the church yet you’re supposed to get married in a church (and you’ve gotten you Fiance to agree!) because of what your parents want and think?  Since your parents seem to be okay with you lying to god by having a religious ceremony when at least your Fiance and maybe both of your don’t believe in him I’m classify your parents as not so much religious as controlling. 

I believe in making compromises and making your family happy when it comes to the wedding reception.  But the ceremony is your spiritual and legal joining.  It should have meaning to you.  You should not be standing there feeling like a hypocrite and an idiot.  (That’s how I would feel in a religious ceremony).  That your parents aren’t even willing to see this point of view – red flag.

It seems like you and your Fiance love each other.  It also sounds like you have a good relationship.  I think you should be careful not to let your parents cause too many problems in it.  I hope you work it all out. 


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