Post # 1
Hi all, I’m new to these boards and to wedding planning and am having some issues! I am really frustrated at the moment! My story:
Fiance and I get along great most of the time. We make decisions together, plan together, compromise together – in short, I am used to us working well as a team. Somehow as soon as it came to wedding planning, though, things changed.
Our roadblock is this. He wants an extremely small, no frills wedding. Ideally, he would prefer a quick legal ceremony with a judge and then an informal party with our close friends only afterwards, maybe ending the night with us all going out to a bar. I am the opposite extreme. I come from a huge, close-knit family and I envisioned all of my family and extended family there to celebrate the occasion with me. I am not looking for a platinum wedding or anything but I really want a traditional reception with toasts, dancing, all of that. And because of my religious beliefs I absolutely want it to be in a church.
On his side, he feels that I’m insisting on something frivolous. He wants a logical ‘reason’ as to why we should have a big wedding, and I can’t give one. Because there’s no practical ‘reason’ to have a wedding he then thinks it’s clearly a waste of time and money. He thinks the planning will be a headache and in the end it’s all for not because we would have had a better time at a party and won’t remember the day a year from now. He thinks I need to be more flexible and willing to compromise on different types of non-traditional ideas for the wedding.
From my point of view, I can’t really say why a traditional ceremony and reception is important to me but for whatever reason, it is. I feel like he’s tossing aside something that I’ve always dreamed of simply because it seems silly and girlish to him (I would feel differently if he had strongly held beliefs of his own on weddings but I think this is more a ‘nah, I think that sounds silly’ attitude) Then I worry about what this means for our marriage – is it a bad sign that he can’t seem to see things from my perspective here or do something ‘just’ because it’s important to me? Is this how it’s going to be anytime we have to make a major life decision together?
I don’t know what to do. Keep explaining and hope he’s willing to compromise? Let it go and do it his way? Argh!
Post # 3
I have a somewhat similar situation, so I can empathize. I won’t go into details, but this is roughly how I explained it to him:
For us, there are two reasons for getting married. One is a formal legal commitment to eachother. The other is an emotional commitment. And while an emotional commitment does not add to the bottom line in any way, it is the foundation of the relationship. It is important to me to have the opportunity to stand up in front of everyone I love and say "this one. I choose him. I am making a lifelong commitment to this man. And as the people I love, I ask for your support in making this commitment, living up to it, growing better within in it."
I need to do this, and my emotional needs are as validly a part of this relationship as any financial concern. My emotional needs do not include $200 centerpieces and a string quartet playing the processional, but they do mean a ceremony that I feel comfortable with, and a celebratory reception that matches how I feel about this incredibly momentous day. I understand your concerns about finances, and will work hard to make this day a reality within a budget we are both comfortable with. However, I need you to recognize that even if my emotional needs cannot be logically quantified, they are real and valid.
You of course also have a religious aspect, so work that in as well. But try to explain that this is something that is worthwhile because it is emotionally validating and important for the emotional side of your relationship.
Post # 4
I could have written this post myself, except my groom’s dream is to be married on an island with just our immediate families. We tried planning that route, but had to go back to the more traditional wedding(my preference) for family reasons.
We have a great relationship, but wedding planning has been rough on us.
I chalk it up to us having different wedding views, but not different ideas of what our marriage will be. We’re almost there, a couple months to go, and wedding planning will be over and we’ll be back to us.
The planning has had its high points and low points. The point is at the end of the day, we’ll be married. No more stress about the big day, just living our lives with each other.
Post # 5
My fiance and I had similar talks in the beginning of our wedding planning – though less extreme. I wanted a bigger event, while he didn’t care as much, he just didn’t want to go into debt over the wedding, which I agreed with. Something that really really helped us was to sit down one night with a glass of wine and make a list of what we both wanted. It turns out that our list was almost identical and our first priority was making the other person "ecstatic" (we actually used the same words. After that, things got easier and we figured out something that satisfied every single one of our emotional and fiscal needs. Maybe seeing it on paper will help?
Post # 6
I think you have presented valid reasons.
1) You want to celebrate with your complete family, and this is a lot of people and you want to have a traditional party with them.
2) You want to be married in a church because of your religious beliefs. A civil ceremony wouldn’t be the same for you.
If this were me (and we surely had some compromising to do when we were deciding what kind of wedding to have!) I’d try to see why he wants something different. Is there a specific reason that he doesn’t want the larger wedding? Perhaps he’s worried he won’t have enough excited guests, or he’s worried about paying for it, or he doesn’t want to be the center of attention. Not to throw the question back at him, but you should see what his valid reasons for calling your desires frivolous are.
Then, see if you can either help him feel more comfortable with your idea by compromising within that, or else understand what he really wants and go from there. For us, choosing what kind of wedding to have was our first big compromise because it wasn’t like sometimes he gets his way and sometimes I get my way…
Post # 7
This is me and my Fiance as well! But the difference is that he pretty much said that he knows how much all of this matters to me so he’ll go along with what I want. I should also add that the ritual of having our marriage "witnessed" by those we care about isn’t all that important to him, but for me it’s crucial (which at least partially has to do with my large extended family and how important they are to me). And especially the part about needing my family there with me really swayed him toward having a bigger wedding. I should also note, though, that my parents are paying for the big wedding. We did talk about what a much smaller wedding (closer to his vision) would look like and cost, and the budget we both agree on for that would be a small fraction of what we’re ending up with from my parents. There were several reasons we chose to accept this big wedding from my parents, and the main two are honoring aspects of my culture and including my family.
All of that said he’s right that planning is stressful…so you should recognize that before proceeding and accept the consequence. Most importantly, since you have such different visions, a lot more of the stress will fall on you. Even when I find tasks that I think my Fiance will enjoy, he ends up getting sick of looking for vendors or whatever and just settling so then I have to decide whether it’s worth searching more or not.
Post # 8
Thanks for all the comments, it’s always good to get some outside perspective when you are in the midst of something emotional! And it makes me feel better to see that other couples go through this as well!
I think we have arrived at something of a compromise. After talking again he said he was worried my family would go ‘crazy’ with the wedding and end up inviting the town dentist, his third cousin, his third cousin’s ex-bofriend…ha ha, you get the idea. So we agreed that it will only be family and true friends, although that is still going to total at least 100 people with my huge family! Also, we will try to keep a slightly less formal, fun ‘party’ atmosphere at the reception and cut out some of the stuff like the first dance…I hate to see that go, but he explained that he really does hate to be the center of attention and I can understand that.
Post # 9
Oh my goodness, I too am new to the board and just started wedding planning. Anne, when I was reading your post I was sure my fiance was cheating on me. lol
My situation is that my parents really want to host the wedding and it was a big deal just to convince them to go from 250 to 200 for the guest list. My Fiance thought that was too much, but my family is also close-knit and supportive by the way (relatives usually pitch in when there’s a wedding). But his other issue was that he doesn’t want to seem like he’s taking advantage. He hears the dollar amounts and thinks about all of the other things that the money could be going to. I appreciate his frugality and voice of reason because that’s what will help us balance out as a couple. The problem I had been having, was that he would bring that up every time we had a wedding planning discussion. So today, we had it out and I told him, either you’re on board or you’re not. And if you are on board, then stop bringing up the same tired issues that won’t change. In the end, my Fiance did agree to stop laboring on the same things and he is now trying to grasp that if it makes me happy, then he should just go with it.
Post # 10
you know what? i wouldn’t stress about your Fiance. i think most guys say they just want a small ceremony, city hall preferable, and most women want the wedding with their family (generalizing here i know). my Fiance (husband) and I are doing both. we eloped, just the two of us and a Justice of the Peace on the beach in a quick and simple ceremony, and now we are getting married (a year later) in a church with a reception (120 people). maybe you guys can do that? what i can tell you is that we did elope first, and that experience really led both of us to want to get married in a church (we’re catholic) with and witnessed by our families. and of course, to party and celebrate with our families and friends at our reception. either way, everything will work out for you guys. good luck, and congratulations!!
Post # 11
My Fiance and I had this problem a bit – except it was opposite. He wanted a big wedding and I wanted something tiny. Eventually I just sort of understood the importance of the family aspect (even though my relatives wouldn’t mind if I eloped) and how he really wanted everybody around him that day, and I think your Fiance will come to understand that, too. We worked it out similar to how your recent post makes it sound — we’re keeping it casual, just like a big party, instead of doing too many of the frills.