Should I call off my wedding?

posted 2 years ago in Emotional
Post # 76
2130 posts
Buzzing bee

notmeeither :  I get what you mean, it just isn’t something that is very common here. Maybe I’m just lucky that my family doesn’t feel the need to use a wedding to ‘show off’ (for lack of a better word) to their associates! It’s a toughy though, huh. Why should one side have to give up family invites for non-family invites, but also why should the other side have to restrict their list to accomodate a large family. 

I supposed at the end of the day all of this could have easily been avoided with some real communication. I was very weary of having an expensive, luxe wedding because playing with other people’s money is a dangerous game! There were some major fights, but they were between my parents and myself over old issues. The best thing we did was ask both sets of parents for opinions and input, then make the decisions ourselves. We also made it clear that money contributed to the wedding was a gift, and did not buy the right to steamroll anyone, and both sides agree. 

I think people get so caught up in the wedding planning they forget what it is all about, which is where I see value in eloping. It doesn’t have to be a strict ‘elopement’ where nobody knows. But to go and get married without the drama is surely appealing when dealing with this kind of chaos. I think it sends a message to all parents too, that they are not in control. For sure it will upset some people, but life does go on and they will come around. 

Post # 77
202 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I skimmed, I have to admit. But my immediate response is stand your ground. It’s whose wedding again? Yours and fiance or his parents? Its of course incredibly generous what they’re offering up but at the end of the day this is YOUR union. 

My mom has this issue with my Dad and his family right now. Of course it’s different, as my grandparents are at the end stages of life but EVERYTHING revolves around his parents (his mom in particular) and his crazy siblings (my aunt and uncle) – my Dad is the only sane and increidbly successful one so everything is put onto his shoulders. So, the time his energy requires for them removes time for my mom, affection, validation etc. It gets ugly. You don’t want to START a marriage with this dynamic. My parents are 29 years in and it’s incredibly stressful. 

You need to have a VERY real and honest convo with Fiance about this dynamic. See a counselor. This is a hurricaine waiting to happen until you sit down and resolve #1 — that’s the two of YOU and your priorities and wishes. After ten years it may be hard to change but it needs to happen unless you want a marriage rife with neck breathing from your in laws. 

Post # 78
94 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

Oh my gosh. I got exhausted just reading this. I can’t imagine what it must be like going through it. 

Post # 79
697 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

FFS, I couldn’t read all that. But from the gist of it, I’d say pay for it yourselves, invite who you want, or elope. Or don’t marry this schmuck who can’t stand up for you.

Post # 80
619 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

I’m sorry bee, you’re engaged to a classic Jewish Momma’s Boy. Speaking as the daughter of one, my mom has fought this her whole life. She still complains that my dad needs to cut the umbilical cord already (he’s almost 60). I’ll probably end up with a Kosher caterer too, not because any of us keep Kosher, but because if it’s a jewish wedding, we simply must observe jewish traditions like hiring the blandest caterer in town :(.

You and your Fiance should get away, like far away to a national park, and have a heart-to-heart with him. Tell him you will not stand to be in a marriage with his parents, and what will it take for him to learn to stand up to them? I believe number one will be agreeing to discuss big issues between the two of you first, and only tell his/your parents what decision the two of you have made when announcing big changes or asking for advice, like jobs, finances, a house and kids. Second, don’t accept any more money from them, as it will totally come with strings. Third, he is going to have to learn to say, “thank you for your advice” and recognize he is not obligated to do what they say. He is, however, obligated to make decisions with you, his wife. Last, make it clear what personal topics he should NEVER discuss with his parents – medical issues, your opinions on raising kids, religious views, etc – as you would consider it a betrayal of your trust, and soon your marriage vows. 

I’m not gonna lie, you are going to have to (emotionally) slap some sense into him. He is a momma’s boy, and he needs to recognize being a husband is his first priority going forward. You don’t want to get in the position of battling it out with his folks, because he isn’t tough enough to speak on behalf of you two. 

Post # 81
32 posts
  • Wedding: November 2017

Hey! I have to admit I’m a little confused here. Especially about the kosher thing which seems to bother you so much. You state-

“I wanted to do a kosher style that seemed more appropriate and affordable”

But his parents wanted a more expensive style? AND payed for it? So what’s the problem? Unless you were hoping to have that 20k alotted elsewhere? But if that’s the case that’s not your money to feel entitled too. 

With regard to your fiance.. are there examples where he caters to his parents outside of these ridiculous wedding circumstances? Because from what I’ve read it just seems like he’s advocating for his parents and their role in the wedding..


Post # 83
5558 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2017


jhempstead :  

You haven’t responded to the question of giving the money back and having a wedding on your own terms, later, after sorting things out with your fiance.

I’m assuming if you ever upset them in the future (which seems highly likely given their past actions) they will throw the $45k in your face.

If you can cancel, DO IT. Don’t tie yourselves to them by accepting such a MASSIVE contribution. That’s going to be a nightmare down the line, it’s a nightmare now.

Post # 85
222 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2019 - City, State

Mo’ money mo’ problems…

seriously though I cannot relate to these type of problems at all because both my family and Fiance family come from poor upbringings. We could only dream of spending even 1/2 that amount on our wedding. Not trying to be rude but why do you need such an expensive wedding to begin with? I feel like you are not being 100% honest here or with yourself. Obviously you are willing (to some extent) to put up with any of this if it means you will have a fancy big wedding. Am I right?

I’m a big believer in fairness. I think if your family is contributing more money (which is traditional I guess) then I don’t see why they cannot have more input. On the other hand I think you should compromise with the guest list, the invites, the speech, and anything else that gives FI’s parents equal respect. I do think it’s an ego thing, obviously, but to be fair you knew this about these people. Are you really this surprised they can act this way? Especially with money involved? 

I do agree with you on the Kosher dinner. I cannot believe these people can and will pay a 20k premium for that especially when only 2 guests would care. That’s insane to me. I see your point that if minus this from the equation then it appears they are only helping themselves or we should say ego again. I wouldn’t be surprised if the kosher meal was more of an image then want to give off. It sickens me actually. Anyways I see what you mean. I’m not going to lie and give you a fake in a perfect world answer because I would be angry about this. So you reluctantly agreed to accept their “generous” offer to add kosher ok whatever but would they still be this way if you just took 25k? I still think it’s a lot for most people. Maybe because it’s not a lot for them you are silently judging them on it. However it’s not their fault that the parents of the bride typically pay so with that I understand their point of view. Only to an extent though. 

I agree with anyone who suggested counseling. I think it would be a positive thing to help you get this all out in the open. Not to just anonymous bees but to the people who can make a difference! Talk to your Fiance and really let him know what’s up. I bet you are regretting taking their money but you did so deal with it. Just make it clear it’s your wedding not theirs. Or rather I should say it’s yours and FI’s wedding not theirs. Not your parents neither. On a side not some people with small families consider friends and people they work with or see a lot as close friends or even family. I don’t know if that is true for them but something to take into consideration. 

What does your heart tell you? Not just your head…

Post # 86
5558 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2017

jhempstead :  

I had a feeling your mind was already made up to continue on with the wedding, I’m not sure what you were looking for by asking if you should cancel when you knew you weren’t going to.

My sister paid for my dress with the expectation that I would pay it back when I could. I owed $400 on it, we got in a fight, and she threw it in my face in a room full of family. I will never let her help me again after she acted that way when I didn’t even ask her to pay. I will not forget the sting and embarrassment I felt.

This is forty five thousand dollars that will be hanging over your head, used to manipulate you.

Is it seriously worth all that?

Sure you can’t pay for it on your own, so don’t have it. Get back what you can, give it to your parents, and have your own wedding that no one can hold against you.

Post # 87
222 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2019 - City, State

Sansa85 :  I agree with you! I’ve had some free time and read pretty much the whole thread lol. I don’t think she ever really planned to call off her wedding. I think she’s just looking to vent her frustrations out loud and to validate her concerns. There is no problem with this. I do it from time to time. No judgement here. I think counseling is the best advice given. We cannot fix her issues and neither can she at this point in time. I think it’s much too late to call off a wedding of this size. Hopefully you learned a big lesson here. Hopefully you can take these concerns more serious now. You don’t want to bring this into a marriage or when you have kids. I’m not of the mind that it’s just “one day” its symbolic of relationships and making joint decisions and pretty much everything that comprises a union. If people can’t see that then either they are blind or nieve. 

Post # 88
257 posts
Helper bee

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the concept that your parents don’t deserve a larger portion of the guest list considering their contribution is TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS MORE. My parents were very specific in wanting the parental wedding contributions to be split 50-50 as much as possible to avoid this very pitfall. My Mother-In-Law wanted to invite all sorts of her friends and we had to put our foot down and say no, I’m not disinviting my relatives and reducing our/my parents guest list so you can have your buddies that I don’t even know attend. They both put in x dollars, they both got x percentage of guests to invite. In this case, it should be PROPORTIONAL, not equal. 

I get that in some circles, a wedding is a status thing, but FUCK THAT NOISE. You don’t get to invite your 30 coworkers and a tailor (I’m sorry, big old WTF there), I’d be putting my foot down on that immediately. These are people who get B list invitations – if the family they’ve invited declines, then he can extend those invitations. Your wedding is the celebration of the marriage of two people, not their opportunity to flaunt their wealth in front of people who don’t even know you and your Fiance. This seriously grosses me out, what kind of people do that?

Everyone seems to have glossed over what you said about the invitations – she said it would be:

The parents of bride and the parents of groom request your presence blah blah blah

That’s appropriate. Your future Mother-In-Law doesn’t get to say anything besides “I want our names listed”, not “i want it on the same line” – what, are your invitations 20 inches long to accommodate everyone’s names? How you list it is up to you and what you’ve chosen is completely within etiquette. Dont’ give that another thought, its not worth it. The choice you made is correct.

The kosher thing? Let it go. You didnt want it – they insisted and are paying for it. Done deal, not worth any more thought. Annoying? Yes. But its not coming out of your pocket so thank your lucky stars and move on. And you don’t get to negate the $20k they’re contributing. It’s part of the contribution, so you can’t say they’re only REALLY putting in 25k and my parents 65k.

I do have to agree to a point with other PPs that at this point, there are some things you should just let go of and let them have. If it goes against your principles (oh we want a priest AND a rabbi!) and its just costing more money for the sake of it, put your foot down. The other thing is they’ve gotten a lot of what they want – you shouldn’t have to sacrifice YOUR wedding day to make them happy. Do what you can to keep the peace, but remind your Fiance that the day is about YOU, not about his parents. 

I hope the counselling goes well and you’re right, its about boundaries. I’ve had a really hard time setting boundaries with my in-laws and I’m actively working on it with a therapist. I found that my therapist is really able to succintly put my feelings into words so that I can explain it better to my husband. It’s made our communication a lot better, so I hope you have a similar outcome.


Post # 89
929 posts
Busy bee

Yup, this is def a glimpse into your future. If she is like this with the wedding, it will only get worse if you have children.

Post # 90
12091 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

jhempstead :  I don’t think you have the right to sit in judgment about why the kosher thing is necessary. It’s obviously important to them and they’ve offered to pay big money to cover the entire catering bill which is really all you need to know. I also don’t think they are obliged to have holidays together with your family. That said, the father sounds pretty overbearing and unreasonable. The birthday thing is a very good example of that.

The wedding is a one time event, but you are right to worry if  FI is going to be capable of setting limits with his parents in the future. What bothers me the most in this whole situation is that Fiance outright admits that he intends to prioritize his parents “until marriage.”

If he doesn’t prioritize you now, where is the evidence he ever will? The other huge red flag is the fact that he allowed his father to speak disrespectfully, actually yell, at you and your parents. A deal breaker right there. Do you think there is a chance the parents are intentionally trying to break you up? 

If the relationship has enough else going for it that you want to explore all options, then counseling is a must.  But I would keep the focus off the wedding issues and the mistakes that were made on all sides and concentrate on your FI’s loyalties, working together as a team, and setting major boundaries. 

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