- 6 years ago
- Wedding: June 2012
I don’t know what to do… My partner and I are very non-traditional. My family is very non-traditional. We don’t have big weddings. My family either skips them completely or elopes. But after 10 years together, my Boyfriend or Best Friend and I decided to tie the knot. This is pretty much as a direct result of pressure from his family, combined with the fact that we now own property together and getting married is the only way to protect both our interests without spending gobs of money on paperwork and taxes. Plus, our families have never really met each other and honestly, getting married seems to be the only way I can ensure my family finally gets to meet the in-laws. And after a decade, it’s crazy to not be married. As you can tell, I’m not super romatic. I’m pretty pragmatic.
So we said yes. We set the date. And we set it close, in June, because I wanted to just do it and get it over with… I didn’t want a long engagement.
I’m not really into weddings. But I will admit that I always had the occaisonal wedding fantasy. In my mind, my wedding would alwas be a very simple/rustic feel. No white satin dresses in sight. Think wildflowers, long hippy dresses and hair, and small, fun gatherings of friends and family enjoying a picnic wedding in a beautiful setting.
Now, things are spiraling out of control. My Future Mother-In-Law is a gracious, lovely lady. But she is super excited about her oldest son tying the knot and she’s making all these plans and steamrolling things along. She wants to host everything. Literally, everything. It will take place at her house and last the whole weekend. She wants to set the menu and cook everything. For 150 people at the reception. She wants to choose the servers and dictate the place settings that we will be renting. At the same time, she keeps saying “this is about you dearies, whatever you want. I want you to be happy!”
The wedding is getting waaayyy too big and expensive. The guest list is spiraling out of control. I wanted to invite 100 people including out-of-town cousins, assuming 80 or less would go. Now the guest list has 150 on it. Only 49 are my family/friends/coworkers or our MUTUAL friends. The rest are his family (which is big), his entire department at work, friends of his family that I don’t know, oh and of course people his mother and father told us we need to invite.
I thought we were on the same page about keeping it small and simple (if you can call 100 people small or simple). But more and more, it’s his mom calling the shots, him agreeing to go along with what she wants “because doing it makes her happy” and me trying to stop the avalanche. I keep getting rolled over and overruled. All of my attempts to save money or reduce the size or scale of the event are tossed aside. Everything I’ve suggested, from buying flowers from a local flower farm and making bouquets instead of using a florist; to using a caterer and disposables instead of dealing with the hassle of his mom cooking and renting table settings; to serving beer and wine instead of an open bar; to limiting the guest list; to using a local baker for pies instead of boring wedding cake… It’s all received push-back from him or (more often) his mom.
I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to deal with 80 people I don’t know so the 70 people we care about have a chance to meet. The thought of spending $1000 on tableware rentals alone makes me sick.
This is bigger, fancier and more expensive than I’ve ever wanted. It feels so completely unnatural for who I am and what we are like. Our budget is $5k, but that’s about half of what the wedding THEY WANT will really cost. And I know that my FMIL’s eagerness to do it all will be replaced by exhaustion and resentment when the time comes… And, above all, I don’t want to deal with the drama.
I don’t know how to get this under control without throwing a tantrum. People make so much fun of bridezillas, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to combat the groomzillas without morphing into some kind of monster. My attempts at reasonable discourse aren’t effective. Today I tried to call her to tell her it’d really be cheaper to use the catering company that is giving me a “friend and family” discount, and my Boyfriend or Best Friend fails to back me up during the phone call so I end up backing down and having another dozen people added to the guest list.
I know I’m very lucky to be able to afford even $5k for the wedding, and being able to use the MIL’s elegant house instead of renting a venue is fantastic. These “problems” are really blessings. But now the wedding feels like a showcase for my MIL’s home and character and I don’t feel like any of it is meaningful to me or our relationship.
I don’t want to go into debt. Spending 10k on a wedding when I have family struggling to pay their mortgages feels wrong. Thinking about or talking about the wedding fills me with anxiety and dread, and writing this is literally bringing me to tears. I feel like I’m going to have to sacrifice the the things that I want – like an intimate gathering and personal touches instead of bling – so we can afford the wedding they want to have.