Post # 1
I’m getting married next summer and am super excited. However, I am getting less excited about the wedding planning as it is just getting stressful.
My ex-hippie parents (well ok really my dad) are getting all traditional on me and I am not a traditional person. My fiance and I are paying for our own wedding (really my fiance since I am in grad school) and my parents might contribute about less than an eighth for it as a gift.
However, I am getting stressed out with making everyone happy. My fiance and I are getting married out of my hometown (about 7 hours) and we have lots of friends from all over the world that we would love to see. Yet, we want to keep the list to under 150 so we can actually talk to everyone and for costs and venue space. I;m having a hard enough time cutting my guest list. But, my dad wants to invite his friends and some of his co-worker friends. They are nice people, but honestly I don’t feel close to them, hardly ever see them, and my fiance has never even met them. My mom wants her cousins (who I see maybe once every ten years). My parents keep telling me that the wedding is about celebrating with family and friends and it is a family event. I think the wedding should be about my fiance and I. I keep on getting guilt tripped and let them both invite one couple. But, I am being guilt tripped still and it is hard to even get responses from my parents (also because I am so busy with work now!) I want to send my save the dates, but this is stressing me out. I am also bitter to keep cutting my own friends when half of my list is family. My mom suggested having my fiance cut his list since he doesnt have a big family or as many friends. However, I think this is unfair and he should be able to invite whoever he wants.
Any advice for dealing on the parent front? I’m also just tired of hearing input on the menu, music, etc. We are even having it within 5 hours of most family even though my fiance and I wanted a totally different location so that we could accomodate my family (though my dad complained about this being too far too). It’s not their wedding and I don’t want to feel bad about it. I also don’t want to take any small amount of money in exchange for my parents feeling like they can dictate. They are calling me a bridezilla and they think I need to be sensitive to family needs. Any advice for making people happy? Sorry if this is some venting!
Post # 3
@gaucho25: I’m sorry you are dealing with this. My sister got married about 2.5 years ago and she and her now husband annoucned that they were paying for it themselves. Both his parents and my parents made guest list requests and they were denied. None of my mom’s cousins, none of his grandmother’s friends, my parents even lost friends because my sister wouldn’t let them come to the wedding (she doesn’t like them).
Were my parents annoyed? Yes. But they got over it. If you pay, then its your call who is on the guest list, where to have the reception, everything. Just stick to your guns!
Post # 4
Hmmm…. this is tough. Yes, your parents aren’t paying for the wedding. But, I am one who believes you just can’t cut family. Just my opinion.
Post # 5
I feel bad for your situation. I think that the guest list is up to you and your Fiance. If you are close to the family members and would like them there, then invite them. If not.. then do not feel pressured to. Have the people who you are close with. It is about you and Fiance that day, not your Mom, Dad and their friends. If they would like to have a party to celebrate with their friends tell them, they are more than welcome to.
Good luck and never feel guilty for your decisions… 🙂
Post # 6
The majority of weddings my parents have gone to have been Korean weddings. Which means, huuuge guest list. They’ve been invited to so many business partner’s daughter/niece/cousin/randomstranger weddings that they were shocked when I said I wanted to keep our guest list to immediate friends and family.
But my fiance and I are paying for the wedding ourselves, so we’re going to have exactly the wedding that we want.
The compromise though (and it’s really not much of a compromise, since my fiance and I are happy to do it) is that my parents can throw a 2nd wedding reception if they want. Invite all their friends and friends of friends and 3rd cousins twice removed. They plan it, they pay for it, and we’ll show up and be happy smiling newlyweds.
They loved the idea. Best of both worlds. It helps that your wedding is going to be a few hours away from where your parents want it. Because if you do go with a 2nd reception, most of those not-so-close people will probably be glad to go to a local shindig anyway.
Post # 7
I think you’re going to have to be blunt with your parents and tell them what you told us. Say, “Mom and dad, you know I love you, and I can’t wait for you to walk me down the aisle dad, but *FI* and I are paying for the wedding and we really cannot afford to make it a family reunion type event, so we are really trying to limit it to people we are close to. We feel that a wedding is a very personal event, and we’re very happy with the kind of wedding we’re planning , so it hurts when you imply that we’re doing it wrong or that our wedding isn’t up to your standards. I know you’re worried about offending the family or friends, but it is really quite common now for couples to have smaller weddings with just those who are closest to the couple. I want to be able to share details about the wedding with you and have this be a happy time, but that’s impossible when you call me bridezilla and make me feel bad about my decisions.”
Post # 8
Thanks for the validation fellow brides! I had an emotional tearful phone conversation with my dad yesterday. I had said earlier this summer that we couldn’t really have all family friends on the list, but I guess I hadn’t made that clear enough or they didn’t want to hear it. He says now I should have never asked them for a list in the first place. I had to hear about how my values are different than my father’s because I am not valuing family and important people (why my father’s boss is important to me, I have no idea). I tried to explain that for every person added that they want, I have to cut one of my own friends. But, they think I should just add as many people as I can because I will remember it for the rest of my life. Geez. I resent all of this because I feel like I have bent over backwards for family (spending every cent my fiance has saved and still working in a job he hates while I am in graduate school) instead of having the smaller destination wedding we both really wanted. The wedding is already much bigger than what my fiance had envisioned as part of his special day with me. And in the end, I just feel badly about myself and not even excited about the wedding anymore. Both my parents, my dad especially think the wedding is not so much about the couple, but about the family celebrating. Why my dad’s friends are involved, I don’t know. I get that he says they know about me from him talking about me all the time. But, come on, I actually see some of them once every ten years. It is about the money, but also about the feel of the wedding that we want.
My grandmother is even with me on this one that it’s my wedding with my fiance.Dad said that I was taking non-traditional too far (he got married in a blue suit at city hall and my mom’s family had a house party after). But, he says that weddings are like a graduation and the culmination of so many things. He is upset that I can’t see his side because he says he sees my side.
Realistically too, my parents don’t have much money and did everything to make sure my brother and I were able to attend private schools and colleges that even with the financial aid was expensive. So I feel guilty and don’t know if they should pay for a second party. Also is a second party considered an insult or will people assume they are invited to the wedding?
And seriously, thank you everyone! Dad just wants to add his boss now in addition to the two friends I already added for him on the guest list. I don’t know if I should just cut one of my friends now to just get over it. Mom wants to invite her two cousins as well (already added a cousin on her other side of the family) and cut one of my friends. ANd I kind of feel like family should rule over dad’s friends if anything. Part of this now is almost the principle of standing up to my parents. I think I am upset too because even on the day of my engagement, my dad has pretty much complained about the wedding. I don’t want this to be a sign that he will get everything in my future marriage (holidays, raising grandchildren a certain way)
Post # 9
Does your Dad’s boss have a wife? Because thats an extra 2 people now.
How about your Mom’s cousins? 2 cousins plus spouses equals 4…. plus any kids that they may “assume are invited”.
I think you need to be really upfront with your parents, and either give them a total number of spots… say like 10, of people that they want to invite, that you don’t want to.
Or…. you need to just change back to your original plan and have a small destination wedding. It would be a lot cheaper, and your dad’s boss isn’t going to fly down to mexico for his employees daughters wedding.
Also this sounds rude, but if your Dad is so dead-set on being traditional – then don’t let him get out of paying. Because it is traditional for the brides Father to pay.
So, tell him that if he insists on being traditional, then you will let him invite whoever he wants, if he pays for the entire thing. I’m guessing that he can’t afford it, like you said, so tell him that then everyone can come, but I guess there will be no food etc.
You need to get him to see it from your point of view. Weddings have changed drastically since the 70s.
Post # 10
I understand how you feel. I’m having a very intimate wedding of 50 ppl or so. The most important thing is that you and your fiance’ present a united front towards both sets of parents. Thank them for suggestions but tell them the decision comes down to the hosting couple. I wouldn’t want to spend such a special day with ppl I disliked, just doesn’t make sense!
Post # 11
The PPs have all said what I would say: have the wedding of your dreams or have your parents pay for their guests.
My mom and I were fighting over our guest list up until the day the final count was due. I did not invite extended family I saw once a year, if that, nor those who were not close to me. In the end, she was annoyed but she got over it.
If they keep making snarky remarks in the future, tell them pay up
Post # 12
Honestly, I think you should stop adding people you don’t want there and stop cutting friends that you DO want there. This is your wedding and you’re paying for it. Offer to invite a few people off of their list but tell them you can’t afford to pay for mor ethan the 150 guests you want, so you can’t invite everyone. It’s not fair to you to have people you don’t know at your wedding but not your own friends. Sure your parents might be upset, but you’re still their daughter and you’re getting married, and they will get over it.
Post # 13
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
I think you need a break from wedding planning. Take a week off from everything and use that time to quietly discuss with your Fiance what matters most to you for your day. Be honest about your feelings and values, and really listen to his. then develop a mission statement. I know it seems kinda lame, but it really helps. Write out in black and white what you want to achieve and how you want to feel during and after the process. Then go back and look at your current plans. Do they fit with that mission statement? If not, it’s time to start making the necessary changes. because it sounds to me like you are currently not planning the wedding you want. A wedding is the beginning of a marriage. Don’t begin your marriage in a way that feels false to you. That’s the wrong foot to begin on.
Post # 14
I am in pretty much the exact same boat as you. Im hoping your situation turns out ok. and I thank everyone also that commented on your behalf.
I dont want to start a fued. But I dont see any other way. 🙁 its sad that people cant see that. ie, family.
Post # 15
*Hugs* I’m so sorry you’re going through all this stress. It honestly sounds like since your parents didn’t have a “wedding-wedding”, they want to make up for whatever right now and that’s why they are pushing the “family” thing on you. If I were you, I would stress to your Dad that this is all about budget and you are already inviting “x” amount of family — be sure to tell him that a wedding lasts for one day. Tell him… most importantly… You and your Fiance are more concerned with starting life out without a lot of debt, starting a savings to survive in life, ect. Really break it down for him. Tell him “Dad, you don’t want us to start out our marriage in debt, do you?”. This economy is tough enough and you have to have a good amount saved for the future and it needs to start asap. There is nothing wrong with seeing some of these people after fact that are not invited… i.e. going to dinner, ect.
Wishing you lots of luck!