Oh, the pressure

on Oct 25, 2007 @ 02:02 pm

OK. All of my immediate family knows my engagement news and have been alerted that we're having our wedding in California, where we live. My family is all spread out: Ohio, California, Philippines. My fiance's family is in New Jersey. We picked California since that is where we live and the spot we've picked out has been in our wedding thoughts pretty much since the first time we went there, well before engagement. Also, a wedding in California gives no one an advantage -- everyone has to travel. We are fully aware that the travel may well inhibit attendance, especially of those family members w/ young kids. But we understand that possibility and are prepared to deal w/ it.

So, one week after our announcement: enter family stage left, pour on guilt and pressure!! Soooooo frustrating! I wish they would respect our wishes and what we want for our wedding, not what they want.

Both my parents and the sister in the Philippines are pressuring us to move the wedding to Ohio. And if we won't do that (we won't), they ask that we at least have some post-wedding celebration back in Ohio for those that are not willing to travel to California. We understand their point of view and appreciate their suggestions. However, we plan to have a budget wedding. Having a 3rd event in Ohio could very well blow that idea. On the up side, dad offered to pay for the Ohio event.

From my parents point of view:
They want an Ohio event so it can be a sort of family reunion and be fun for them b/c it'll be all of their friends and family. Of course, we would also invite area friends and it'd be closer for his New Jersey family.

From my sister's point of view:
She's in Manila, so a plane ticket is a plane ticket (to OH or CA). However, as a matter of convenience for her, she'd rather we get married in OH b/c she wouldn't have to worry about a rental car and car seats and lodging and etc ... b/c all that stuff is available to her at our parents house. She also stresses that a wedding isn't just for us, but also for our guests, to celebrate our special day w/ us, so we should be accommodating for them.

From our point of view:
We like the Ohio event idea, even though we'd not planned for a 3rd occasion. But there's a hitch. My fiance is a commercial airline pilot. The way it works is he gets his schedule one month is advance. So, in November he'll know his December schedule. So *at best*, all we can provide is 4 week notice to our guests. Is that adequate? Otherwise, we plan the event w/o knowing his schedule and w/ no guarantee that he'll be present!

We understand where they're coming from, but why can't they just respect what we want? We've given everyone an entire YEAR lead time to make arrangements and save money. And if its still not possible, then its not possible. We're ok w/ that. Its like my siblings (parents said they're coming no matter what) are trying to make me feel bad for the fact that they can't come. Shouldn't it be US that are upset that they can't come?

Anyway, I've been warned about this sort of thing come wedding-time. I always thought, "No, my family isn't like that." I guess they are. I guess I'm mostly venting, but I'd also like to hear some thoughts/suggestions. Are we being too strong w/ our wishes and original plans/desires? Should we be giving more? Are they not understanding? Are we not understanding?

Thanks for reading such a long post! :-)

4 Replies

Ali de Bold
It's about you and it is about them too on Oct 25, 2007 @ 02:52 pm

My sister got married in a small town in another province where NONE of our family lived. Everyone was upset. Some people didn't come even though they probably could have afforded to. In the end her wedding was beautiful but very small. I think she did end up with some regret that she didn't do it where the family was as so many people missed it...

I got married where my family lives instead of where we live. Most of our friends couldn't make it, but the family was all there. Alex's family flew in too. We had a wonderful time and there were more people there than would have been here where we live, but we really missed our friends.

I think at the end of the day you need to decide what is more important to you. If you have something in Ohio, you will definitely have more family there, your Dad will chip in and people won't punish you by boycotting your wedding. It sounds terrible, but true. Your friends may even be able to make it, given the amount of notice you have given. Your fiance's schedule is going to be the toughest part here. You will have to plan the event out of state, which is always harder and I don't recommend this unless you are extremely organized and able to fly out a couple of times to check things out prior.

Here is how I would look at it:

- if you have the wedding in Ohio, it will be harder for you to plan, but you will have more family there. It also means you have to give up your dream location and more predictable weather.

- if you have the wedding in CA, you will have less family there but more friends as this is where your life together is. Some people will be upset, but you have given them plenty of notice, and who doesn't want to visit California??

- if you have the wedding in CA and then an after party in Ohio, 4 weeks is going to be hard regarding notice for everyone to fly in, but no one can fault you for it, and your Dad will pay.

If it were me, I would have the wedding in CA and then an after party in Ohio to get the best of both worlds. Everyone is happy and everyone gets to participate in some way.

Beyond that, I would just politely ask everyone to butt out while you sort out the details.

Unfortunately, there is always drama at a wedding. Someone always has to behave like a boob at some point, but by the time the day rolls around it is all forgotten and you will have a wonderful time.

Vent here any time. ;)

Good luck with your decision!

been there, but didn't buy the t-shirt on Oct 25, 2007 @ 05:29 pm

I'm Miss Chickie's sister who had the audacity to get married far far away! Our situation was that my family lived in central Canada and my husband's on the west coast. We chose the west coast because that was where we were too, and I wasn't comfortable having someone else pretty much plan my event if we would have had it in my hometown. We even batted around the idea of having it at some half-way mark but changed our minds when we realized how much more work that would have been.

The interesting thing was, much of the family was willing to come half way but almost no one said they'd go another 500 kms to get to where we were. We did have some limited space so that a few people could have bunked down with hubby's family, but that was apparently not good enough. They would have rather paid for a hotel (which kinda blows the whole argument against driving the extra distance to save money?).

So, in the end, I had my parents and siblings and one set of grandparents (plus an uncle and aunt who happened to live close by) and no friends. At all. Hubby's extended family lives in Europe, so we weren't expecting them to come. We also put the whole thing together in 3 months and it was short notice - we recognized that it was too short for some to make arrangements. A few of his friends made the trip, which was really nice. We had 50 people, of whom 10 were his parents' friends (we only knew their names) and 10 from my third cousin's family (who I called in desperation about a week before the wedding because I realized NO ONE was coming) - that sounds bad, but a zillion years ago we had visited them in Vancouver and got on really well... so they were more like "long lost friends". Bottom line is that there were 25-30 people that we really wanted there, and about 50 or so that we missed having.

I was ticked! I know that some people couldn't make arrangements fast enough, but I know for a fact (because they flat-out told me so) some didn't come on principle. Not everyone completely agreed with my choice of mate either. We decided not to do an after party back home because my husband had job conflicts and no one was going to foot the bill (we were poor students living on love alone!).

Spotty, you're gonna lose something either way. It won't be totally perfect, so as cold-hearted as I may sound right now, you just have to lower your expectations some. The bottom line is that you have to be happy with your own wedding. I think your sister is a little out of line for insinuating that family considerations be valued as highly as your own.

My opinion would be that you shouldn't plan a wedding out-of-state. Having an afterparty is not such a bad suggestion, but make sure it's for the right reasons. Hosting an event to placate your relatives might have the effect of making you resent them. One year is a huge amount of time to have people figure out travel arrangements! Puhleeze! They need to worry less about themselves and more about your feelings. Not only that, but they are causing you extra stress during what is supposed to be a happy time. I don't think you're being unreasonable at all.


Scents Of Peace
Let me tell you . . . on Oct 26, 2007 @ 03:08 am

First off - FRIENDS are the FAMILY we CHOOSE !!!

Having been recently married - I know your headache, and avoided it all by doing what we wanted and not what others expected. Bottom line - It's YOUR day !!

If you didn't get it - read it again !

Unfortunately, this was not my first wedding, but it is definitely my last and I wanted it to be memorable for the right reasons. We have family in scattered states and friends who could not travel, nothing unique there - it's everyone's story.

We picked our date and location, because it was where we wanted. If you remember it was an outdoor wedding performed by the Principal Chief on the Seminole Reservation. Not everyone embraces the Native American culture in our family so it was a potential issue. Also there was going to be major, MAJOR, major guilt trips from several family members about not planning it when "they" could travel - so we spared "them" the grief and inconvenience.

I hate to compare weddings, but the one where I had family members (his) and a compromised location, etc. was an absolute disaster from the beginning. I barely knew anyone at my own wedding and had many regrets. I did what others wanted and felt shuffled through a significant day of my life. It was doomed before it started. . . . we never had a honeymoon because the budget was blown on food for people I never saw much of later.

My recent wedding was perfect. Greg knew I had a bad experience and wanted me to have the storybook wedding and honeymoon afterwards. As far as family was concerned - we had a scheduled elopement and it the people that mattered the most were there . . . US !

We had a group of very close friends and my son. My family was told in advance, but I told them I did not expect them to come. His family was told after the fact since they would have laid on the guilt.

My cousin has only been married once ( very happily ) and she eloped and advises everyone to do the same. All my friends who played into family dramas seem to continue the pattern into marriage.

My advice ? Keep the drama and the butt-in-ski's out of your marriage by keeping it out of the wedding ! Sorry to be so militant but it IS about YOU and what YOU want and absolutely no one else !

Bottom Line : It is the most significant day for you and your beloved, make it one you will remember for the right reasons. Your wedding is a reflection of your love for each other. Express it in it's most purest form they way you want. Let the others have their own day . . .

Scents Of Peace
Also on Oct 26, 2007 @ 03:19 am

In our culture we celebrate the wedding one month after the ceremony. In a way that allows the ones who could not come to the wedding to come to the "after party"

I think it is perfectly alright for you to do the same . . .

Please don't give up your dreams because of a few thoughtless remarks by well-intentioned family members. People tend to forget how stressful planning any event can be - let alone a wedding !

I agree about the opinions concerning far away weddings. They only work if you elope . . .

Let us know how your plans progress and vent on us anytime; we really care about you Spotty ;-)

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