Post # 1
I’m hoping to get a different perspective, because Fiance and I cannot seem to get past this issue.
He wants to have a fairly traditional wedding with his extended family present, about 125 people. I prefer to have something much smaller, ideally even elope. I do not like being the center of attention, and really am just not very "bride-y". I’m having a very hard time getting excited about the wedding details, and just feel overwhelmed and stressed at the idea of having the wedding he wants. I just want to get married, and have the wedding be something i’m looking forward to, rather than dreading.
I totally get where he’s coming from, and know he feels a lot of pressure from his family to make sure everyone is there. Its also important for him to have his family there. His family would not be pleased if we eloped.
So how do we get passed this and come to an agreement about our wedding that we can both live with? No compromises have worked so far, and we just keep fighting, and going in circles. I would love to hear suggestions and opinions!!
Thanks so much
Post # 3
Hey firefly that sounds pretty stressful! A couple I know were having similar problems. They decided to do a destination wedding with a small ceremony of only their immediate family and then they are planning on coming back and having a cocktail party to include the rest of the family and friends. This may work because the cocktail party can be as casual or as formal as you want it to be and you can skip all of the wedding traditions if you don’t like the attention on you. Hope it works out for you!
Post # 4
I agree with kaytee. You could go somewhere and get married, just the two of you. Then you can come back and have a reception for family members.
or, you could say only immediate family at the ceremony that way it feels more intimate and you won’t feel like the center of attention as much. Then, you could have everyone he wants (and you want) at a reception.
Post # 5
We had a destination wedding…inviting 400 people…knowing that a small fraction can come. In total, about 42 people came. That’s one way to invite everyone and still have a small party.
Post # 6
Besides the fact that you don’t like being the center of attention, it sounds like you’re not really into the organization itself.
So if the pressure comes from his family, here is an option: get his parents to pay for a wedding coordinator who will plan most of it so you are stress stress, because they are the one who want so many people involved.
The other option includes a lie: fall in love with a place where you can have the wedding and that limitates the number of people… Yes I know, sneakt, but at least it’s an excuse.
Post # 7
Hello firefly55…I understand how you feel, but you have to respect your fiance’s wishes as well….you could compromise on which of the family members…but that would put him in an awkward position…you may not want to be the center of attention so maybe you could have a non traditional wedding and make it more about the both of you as a couple so that your fiance can share the spotlight with you. This is one of many issues you and your future hubby will be dealing with…so it’s a good experience for you to try to work out a sticky situation…and learn to look forward to it..it’s actually very fun…as you can see on this wedding blog… Just relax and go at your own pace….and have him help you with anything you may feel is stressful or overwhelming! He’s got a big family…what can you do? Good luck!
Post # 8
It might help if you think of it this way: that he is very proud to be marrying you, he wants to declare his love for you to the whole world, and his entire family supports your marriage. All in all, not a bad set of circumstances 🙂
Post # 9
I agree with the intimate ceremony/larger reception later idea. It also sounds like you might enjoy reading books or blogs like Offbeat Bride, indiebride or Anti-Bride. Some of their stuff is way out there, but they really show the range of options you have to make your day whatever you want/need it to be.
Since compromising and conflict resolution are two huge components of a healthy relationship, have you thought about discussing these issues with an outside party like a couples’ therapist or an officiant?
Post # 10
I agree with Kaytee and some of the others. Me and my fiance are having a detinatin wedding too, just immediate family. I am also not Bridey and I wanted to enjoy my day, not spend a year before hand worrying and stressing and fighting with my Finace to end up with a day that has a big bill at the end and I am just relieved it’s over.
Luckily for me my fiance (who has a HUGE family) liked the idea too and infact did not want a bunch of people. I told him I wanted to spend it with the most important peple, which are my parents and siblings and his parents and siblings, and he stated that he wanted it to be fun. So that’s what we have done.
I really like the idea of having a later receptiion too ………………the other alternative is if he wants all the family and muss and fuss, get HIM to plan the wedding….then see how he feels about it !!
Good luck with this and please let us know what you decide!
Post # 11
My Fiance has a large family, but it was important to us to have a small wedding, so it’s pretty much family and friends we consider family. However, it doesn’t sound like you and your Fiance are on the same page, which can be problematic, to say the least!
I agree with Kaytee to propose a small destination wedding with a huge reception after. That way, you both have what is important to you. However, some family may push back and want to see the whole deal. Check in with your Fiance and see what is important to him – having a big family party or the full-on traditional wedding.
Post # 12
Also, if he’s really excited about having a large wedding, he sounds like a great candidate to be an involved groom — consider talking to him about having him take the lead on organizing stuff and figuring out details about the wedding.
Post # 13
I totally feel you. A lot of the traditional wedding stuff doesn’t jive with me, and it kills me when people say, "But if you don’t have that, it *can’t* be a wedding!!!" I have found an excellent resource for perspective and courage to do things my way in Offbeat Bride. I highly suggest checking it out.
Post # 14
agreed with the rest. He sounds like he would make a great *ACTIVE GROOM*. they do exist, and there are some that actually do ALL the planning and the bride simply picks her dress. (for realz, i’ve seen it)
your best bet is to have a destination wedding with family for under 50 and then do a big reception and vow exchange infront of the whole damn family! 🙂
Post # 15
I also wanted a small wedding – ideally a courthouse wedding, with a small dinner afterwards for immediate family and a few friends. We are actually having 150 people at the country club. In the end, after much discussion, the main thing was that the big celebration (although it’s now bigger than even he envisioned) was really, really important to him. And the small wedding was just my preference. I couldn’t say that I absolutely didn’t want a big wedding, just that I preferred a smaller one.
So we agreed that he would need to help out a lot, and we also agreed that we wouldn’t get crazy with the kind of details that didn’t interest me – seating plans (we’re doing buffet); multiple complicated venues (the wedding and reception are at the same place); decorations and programs and chair covers (our country club is providing almost all the decor; the florist is bringing the rest). You can throw a good-sized wedding without making yourself crazy, as long as you decide up front what is important and discard the rest of the stuff.
And I’m actually glad that we are doing this. It really didn’t occur to me up front how excited all our friends and family were going to be. We have friends coming not just from all over the country but from all over the world – I had no idea it would be important enough to them to go to all that trouble. So it’s really a good thing in a way that I hadn’t thought about, because our whole community of friends and family are really very happy to get the chance to celebrate with us. I also didn’t feel any need to be "The Bride," a sort of figure at the front of the room with all the attention on me – but when you think of the wedding and the reception as something you do for your friends and family as opposed to some event dedicated to you and the groom, I find that it feels very different.
And actually this is a good thing for you and your Fiance. It’s not the last big decision where you’re just not going to want the same thing. Compromise is about figuring out not just what you want, but which one of you wants it more, and how to work that out. I don’t know what the answer will be in your case, but it really needs to be something that you and your Fiance decide together, based on your wants and needs. It’s a great opportunity to practice some mutual decision making and compromise. Good luck!
Post # 16
Thanks for all the great advice ladies. It really helped to hear some different points of view!
We’re going to check out a venue this weekend. We’re considering doing a daytime/brunch wedding so it will feel more casual.
I would love to do a destination wedding, but Fiance has some elderly family members who cannot travel, and who would be very disappointed to not be able to make the wedding. I completely understand that, so haven’t pushed the issue.
And i *love* the Active Groom idea that a couple of you pointed out!!