Post # 1
Over the last week, my wedding has begun to spin from the happiest event of my life to a real bummer. 🙁 Don’t get me wrong, I’m still excited, but this situation is making it hard for me to feel like a ‘worthwhile’ bride.
Some of my family members have RSVP’d [or not, and gotten a call to confirm], except they’re choosing to attend my wedding and not my reception.
The problem is, I can’t come up with a reason for this that doesn’t hurt. The wedding’s on a Friday evening; the reception is a nice dinner and then dancing at a country club that’s 5 minutes away from the church.
We are using the ‘costume ball’ theme, since it’s on Halloween, but all of these people participate in Halloween events, so it’s not a religious issue. They have all attended numerous weddings of other family members, driving out of state for some, so the 45 minute drive from their homes isn’t the problem. They’ll already be at the ceremony, so what’s 5 more minutes? It’s not a matter of missing work or being out of town. Their kids were also invited, and we’re having costumes and candy, so it’s not a matter of finding a sitter or missing trick-or-treating. I even meticulously chose every song on our playlist to be conservative enough for the older generation and for the kids [no swearing, sex themes, etc].
It feels like I’m being snubbed. I’ve put months of work and thousands of dollars into this thing, and they can’t come eat dinner to celebrate my marriage? Fiance says he feels like they’re ‘saving face’ by coming to the church, but refusing to celebrate with everyone else afterward. [He is being wonderful about the whole thing, and has said I can ‘share his family’ so I won’t be without.]
I’ve emailed one couple [my grandpa and his wife] to ask why, and they haven’t written back. That was two weeks ago.
Am I wrong to think that they just don’t like me? It’s breaking my heart.
Post # 3
*hugs* I suspect your family members probably don’t realise (unintentionally) how important the reception is to you. The wedding per se is probably the most important thing in their minds for the evening (afterall that’s where you officially become a Mrs! :)). For the family members who mean a lot to you (eg your gramps), you should give them a call, thank them for agreeing to come for your special event, that you really appreciate their RSVP, and then casually ask them why they aren’t coming for the reception. Tell them it will mean a lot to you if they were to come for the wedding + reception, even if the latter is just to grab a quick bite.
You may also want to check with them whether the idea of having a "costume ball" is the source of their absence. Assure them that they don’t HAVE to come dressed in a costume (in case they think they have to spend extra money to rent outfits to fit in at a reception) but feel free to dress up if they want to. For those with kids, tell them of the wonderful efforts you have put into the evening to make it kids friendly (i think that’s awfully sweet of you)
In consideration for their coming to the reception, you may want to cut down the waiting time between the ceremony and reception (where some brides take time off to take photos with photographers, some taking longer than expected and thereby causing a longer than necessary wait) so that everyone can go to the reception and at a decent time to spend the rest of their Halloweens / weekends. It is also possible that their kids / families are looking forward to trick or treating with the neighbourhood kids or that they have neighbourhood Halloween parties to attend to which is why they are more reluctant to be around for the reception.
If transport to the reception is an issue (although I dont think so since they are already driving to the church right?), maybe get a few buddies to stand by, ready to do car-pooling so that the folks without transport can hitch a ride (and make sure these buddies responsible for the folks will drop them off at a train / bus station after the reception).
I can go on with postulating 101 reasons as to why your relatives may not be able to make the reception while you sit around and feel sad, so I reckon the best thing, is to call them up directly and check! Good luck babe. If all else fails, you know you always have your FI’s family who will be around! 🙂
Post # 4
Thank you so much. Just the kindness of someone I haven’t ever met is doing wonders for lifting my spirits. This is a wonderful community, and I’m very grateful.
Post # 5
I also had several relatives RSVP for the wedding only. Initially I was wondering what the heck? It turned out that they had a family reunion (other side of the family) the next day on the other side of the state (where they happen to live). So really, they were driving 5 hours to go to my wedding, then turning around and driving 5 hours back to make the family reunion. After finding that out, I actually felt pretty amazed that they would go to that effort just to go to the wedding!
And I second what littlebigfoot says about Halloween and kids. For people with kids of a certain age, big people Halloween parties need to start after the trick-or-treating. It is a really big deal to them, and so to their parents. Is it clear from the invitation that you have taken the trouble to provide all the fun stuff for the kids? (Which, by the way, is really, really thoughtful of you.) If not, maybe try to spread the word. If people know that you’ve put that much effort into a kid-fun reception, they might be less inclined to worry that they are making the kids miss out on something.
Also – it’s not clear to me – is there time or are there facilities for guests to change into costumes? I’m sure I might be confused as to whether to bring the kids to the wedding in their costumes (potentially inappropriate) and how to get them into costumes before the reception. And me too, frankly. Costume parties are really fun, but I might feel a little weird in church in a costume. People might be having issues with the logistics.
Anyway – I know that it doesn’t feel good to think that your family is somehow less than excited about the whole thing. I would go ahead and call, or have your mom call (moms are good at this sort of thing) and try to figure out what’s going on. Hopefully its something that makes all kinds of sense and you’ll feel lots better once you know.
Post # 6
littlebigfoot pretty much covered it all. I just want to say I’m sorry and I hope your day goes perfectly. Remember, even if your reception attendance is small you’ll be married to the person you love and that’s all that matters. 🙂 I hope you feel better *hugs*
Post # 7
@Suzzano- The country club actually has locker rooms available for guests to change and store their clothes. I didn’t write that on the invites, but I did make sure to send out an email or mention it in conversations. I took your advice partially- I asked my aunt [instead of my mom] to ask around. She’s kind of everyone’s ‘favorite’ so I’m hoping that goes well. I just feel so pathetic saying ‘why won’t you come to my receptionnnnn?’ Thanks for the idea. :]
@mrshudson- Thanks for the reminder. :]
Post # 8
I think you’re doing the right thing by having your aunt ask around. Maybe you will find out they didn’t want their kids to come, as has been theorized. In that case, maybe once they find out it’s very kid-friendly, they’ll come. If the costume is the problem, once they find out it’s optional, maybe they’ll come. ETC.
Good luck, and regardless – have fun on your day.
Post # 9
I don’t have any good advice for you. I think the others said it all but I empathize with you. My dad had cancer and passed away right before my wedding. I had to travel to NJ to arrange his funeral at the beginning of the week, then get home in time for my wedding that following weekend. None of my Dad’s family came to my wedding. Travel was involved but my mother even offered some of them rental car coupons so they could rent a van for free. And they are used to driving long distance.
It did hurt that not one of my dad’s 7 brothers/sisters or any of my cousins could take the time to make it. And I’d be lieing to you if I told you I was completely over that, 8 years later. That was an extremely stressful time in my life (with many other issues besides my dad’s death) but the wedding and my husband was perfect.
Post # 10
Just an update. My aunt found out [and tried really hard to say it nicely] that the costumes are the reason my grandpa won’t come. Apparently he thinks it’s ‘freakish’ that we would have costumes at our reception, and doesn’t want anything to do with it.
At least I know now, though. I haven’t heard anyone else say it’s weird or bad- most of our guests are actually putting a lot of effort into creating awesome costumes. [Examples- FI’s grandparents are going to be 1920’s gangsters, my uncle is coming as Dwight Schrute from the Office, and a friend of FI’s is coming as a ‘split personality.’]
Thanks for all the support. I feel more at peace with things now that I know the reasons behind them, and I’m actually feeling stronger in the fact that I’ve put so much work into this awesome event and any unenthusiastic people won’t be there to kill the mood.
Post # 11
- Wedding: March 2018 - Ritz Carlton, Marina Del Rey
First of all, the Halloween idea is awesome — it’s going to make for such a fun, festive, and creative wedding. Second, is there a way you can talk to your grandpa about why you’ve chosen this theme and how much it means to you that he come? Perhaps he has the misimpression that you’re not taking the "event" seriously? I’m so sorry that you’re going through this.
Post # 12
I can sympathize with you. We invited only our very very very close family members, people that I wholeheartedly expected to come. Well, my family members didn’t even bother to RSVP to tell me they are not coming. My parents and my brother will be there, along with ALL of the grooms family, who are all traveling from much farther away. It hurts me that my family is not coming, but it hurts more that they couldn’t even be bothered to tell me. I am trying really hard to still be excited about the wedding and reception, but I feel very lonely. My fiance has commented to me previously when we visit my family about how I am such an outsider amonst them, but I didn’t actually think he was right until now.
Post # 13
If there’s anything this has taught me, it’s the importance of family… in our cases, that’s not just biological. What’s really helped me is that my Fiance keeps reminding me that his family will be mine too, on our wedding day, and we’ll be surrounded by people who love us.
It’ll be okay. :]
Post # 14
Thanks lily1223, you are right about family being more than biological. I also want to tell you that your wedding sounds awesome! We are getting married the day after you on Nov 1st, but we are having a costume halloween party for our Rehearsal dinner. I will think about you that night, and hope that you and your husband are having the time of your lives.