The madness begins (wedding expectations)

:eek::eek::eek: WHAT!!! :eek::eek::eek: I don’t remember being invited to a bridal shower!!! Why do you hate me!!!11!!one


P.S. I’ll attest to the fact that your wedding was a lot of fun. So there, evil step-MIL! :stuck_out_tongue:

People want to come to your wedding because it expresses their friendship and affection for you. (At least, the people who really count want to come for that reason.) It’s a ceremony designed for that purpose. I do think it seems a little callous not to have the ceremony, because you’re denying these people the chance to make that symbolic gesture of love and support for you. Rituals are important to the people you love even if they’re not important to you.

My suggestion is to have a simple “mock” wedding ceremony at the party at your house. You’ll already be married, but you can still stand together at the front of the room, say some simple vows, have a close friend pronounce you married, put on rings and kiss. Then everyone cheers and heads for the punch bowl.

Sounds like the perfect wedding to me.

She did the invites, and it was all family, and just my boss. I only knew like 2 people there. My own mom didn’t even come because she was in WA state at the time. You didn’t miss much. She also hated, and I mean HATED that I wanted all practical gifts. My family understood. So I got stuff like a pasta strainer filled with all the fixin’s for a dinner. I even got a laundry basket full of laundry and cleaning supplies.
I drew the line at sexy nighties and other useless stuff!

I totally understand where you’re coming from, but do understand that the family might feel hurt if they’re left out of the wedding altogether (and by family, I mean your parents/siblings and possibly aunts/uncles/cousins you might be particularly close to… I don’t mean great-uncle Fred’s stepchildren-in-law or anything like that).

My sister and I had a major falling out based on the fact that she informed in no uncertain terms that I was NOT invited to her wedding because she wanted to keep it small (meaning her, her fiance, and the two best friends she frequently calls “her real family”… obviously, there’s a whole lot of backstory I won’t get into that made this discussion 100x more hurtful than it would seem at face value). When I expressed my hurt at being shut out of such a big event in her life, she informed me I had no right to dictate how Her Special Day should run.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have the wedding you want, obviously, since it’s YOUR wedding and all… but just be careful of feelings when you’re dealing with friends and family. They want to do something to show just how happy they are you’ve found Your Someone, and as a friend/child/sibling, your refusal to accept those gestures can be interpreted as a refusal to accept their feelings.

Congratulations! If it’s important to you not to have a ceremony, then don’t let your family pressure you into it.

However…it’s human nature to celebrate big, life-changing events with rituals. Getting married is one of the biggest life-changers there is. You’re not only publicly declaring your commitment to this person forever, you’re creating a new family. It’s normal that your loved ones want to be there. I would just reassure them that there will be a party to celebrate after you get married.

A couple of years ago, my father-in-law married his long-term girlfriend. They had a very small ceremony at which the girlfriend’s family was present, but my father-in-law’s adult children and other family members weren’t invited. It really hurt my sister-in-law that her own father wouldn’t invite her to his wedding.

Right. Because nobody could possibly want to marry me. Thanks.

Just to throw in a it-turned-out-really-well story to balance out all the our-families-hated-what-we-wanted-to-do stories:

I wanted to have a formal wedding, but we couldn’t afford it for a big group so we had to keep it really small. Plus, we’d both just moved from two different states to a third (where we knew no on) to be together, AND my parents had just moved to a fourth state. So there was no central location. We’re 1/2 way across the country from both my parents and my childhood home, which are also ~7-8 hours from each other.

So… we ended up with a destination wedding just because no matter where we went, almost everyone would end up traveling. We got married in a 200-plus-year-old inn in Lenox, MA (near-ish to where I’d been living before all this and not too far from two sets of my friends and my old minister who performed the wedding) at Christmas time. The nice thing about the Christmas season is that most places are already decorated so you don’t have to do all that yourself. Just something to keep in mind in case you do end up having a wedding.

To avoid questions of “fairness” we only invited our parents and his sister - I’m an only child - with NO aunts or uncles, cousins, etc. We did also have two sets of friends each, not so much as attendants but one of them held the rings, two of them signed the license, one took pictures, etc. In total there were 16 people plus the minister and a violinist (a friend of his family).

And in the end no one complained. Those who were with us really enjoyed the day, and we had a party the following summer for my extended family, friends, former coworkers, etc. He wasn’t interested in doing the same for his side of the family so that was ok.

We both have laid-back families and friends and everyone was just really happy for us and didn’t try to force us to do something we didn’t want to. (Except for a couple folks here on the Dope who thought it was really mean to our extended families to have the formal wedding we wanted for just a few folks instead of a less expensive one for more people. I think they may have missed the part about no one living in the same region of the country so we really couldn’t have had an event that everyone could get to without having to travel long distances anyway. But the point is, there are always going to be some folks here who disapprove of your choices, especially where weddings are concerned.)

I don’t know what it is about weddings, but people (ok, women) absolutely lose their freaking minds. It takes a lot of gall for someone to tell you how you should plan your wedding, especially if they don’t have their checkbook out.

That said, my mom always said she didn’t care where I got married, just please tell her so she could be there. It was an occassion that she wanted to a part of because she’s my mom. I would seriously consider allowing your parents to witness your wedding (if they want to). And no, my checkbook isn’t out, so do whatever you want. :wink:

My now-husband and I did consider eloping to Vegas, but in the end I’m a girly girl and wanted the whole shebang-foofy white dress, walk down the aisle, string quartet, reception, bouquet tossing… you get the idea. But just because I wanted that doesn’t mean that’s what everyone has to have.

Congratulations! I wish you many years of happiness.
When my husband and I moved our wedding date up and had to really start planning our wedding, we decided we wanted a tiny ceremony with just future mr. spockerel, me, and our parents. He told his mother this and she wept. Profusely.
My main reasoning had been that we were all totally broke and couldn’t afford a big to-do, not to mention the fact that most of my friends wouldn’t be able to attend anyway. My MIL insisted we have a public ceremony and invite many people, though she did not offer to help with finances, planning, or anything else.
I caved, figuring it was more important to maintain good family relations than do what we wanted to do. It was a pain to plan, continually more expensive (even though we really kept it on the cheap), and pretty stressful. On the other hand, we have nice photos and a friend-made video of us and our friends. My point, I guess, is that whatever you decide to do, you will be married and pleased about that. Any family snarkiness will blow over, because really, it’s pretty silly to hold a pointless grudge against newlyweds.
It’s true that ceremonies are mainly for your family and friends to rejoice with you–but really, isn’t the marriage (not the ceremony) what they’re supposed to rejoice over? Don’t let yourself be bullied into more than you want.

We did the wedding for the family, though I hate being the center of attention. If I had it to do over, I don’t think I would. I would probably have had a close-family-only ceremony at the synagogue and gone out to dinner with everyone afterward if I had it to do again. I would probably have kept it to parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and first cousins only. I sometimes still have nightmares where I dream that I have to go through another wedding. I’m very, very relieved to wake up from them and see Mr. Neville sleeping beside me and the wedding ring on my finger, and know I will never again have to do that.

We did stand up to them on some, though. No bouquet or garter toss. No smashing cake in each others’ faces. No video of the wedding. I hate watching myself on video (all I can see is screw-ups I made). I always hated the “yeah, I’m still single” implicit in the bouquet toss. I think the garter toss is tacky, especially when it is removed or put on with teeth. I have thought since age 7 that the smashing cake in each others’ faces is too childish and undignified for me.

I wish I’d stood up to the photographer when he had me take my glasses off for some of the pictures. I’m very nearsighted, and it’s obvious in pictures of me without my glasses that I can’t focus. I look stoned or brain-dead. And then there’s the fact that Mr. Neville tends to close his eyes in pictures and I can’t fake a good smile. We didn’t really get any professional wedding pictures that we’re that happy with.

No matter what you do or don’t do, somebody’s going to be unhappy with it. It’s a law of the universe. Just accept that you can’t make everybody happy, and deal as best you can.

Learn some bride-speak. “Thank you, I’ll keep that in consideration” (also “Thank you, I’ll think about that” and other variants) is a helpful phrase. It means “HELL no, are you out of your freakin’ MIND, that’s the TACKIEST thing I’ve ever heard of, it’s infantile and undignified, and I’d rather snorkel in raw SEWAGE than do that.” Then, of course, change the subject. If they press you, say you’re not to that stage of planning yet, or something like that.

“We can’t afford that” is another good one, especially with the economy doing what it is now.

You can make it very clear to all your female relatives and friends that you don’t want one. If someone asks if they can have one for you, you can say “I’d rather not”. It might upset them, or it might not. Only you can say whether or not that would be better than squirming in embarrassment through a bridal shower (as I know I would have done). I’m extremely glad I didn’t have a bridal shower. I think if they had played the “what you’ll say on the wedding night” game at a bridal shower for me, we might have an actual case of death by embarrassment in the medical literature now.

You can register for stuff other than dishes and household stuff. Target has all kinds of stuff you could register for. We registered for and got lots of DVDs. Some people object to registering for stuff other than household stuff- IMO, these people are whiners and totally out of touch with what a newly married couple today needs. Don’t ask for cash or money toward a honeymoon, though, unless this is normal in your culture (and if you’re standard white-bread American, it isn’t). Don’t try to discourage people from getting you gifts by not registering- they’ll get you all kinds of weird tacky crap instead if you do that. You’ll get some weird tacky crap anyway, of course, but you probably won’t get as much of it if you register.

I proposed just two weeks ago, and the fun has already begun. Despite having Jewish upbringings, my girlfriend and I are both atheists.

I have been an atheist since 8 years old when I told my parents. They had fair warning. Nevertheless, my mom doesn’t understand why I can’t have a Rabbi marry us. In fact we’ve received persistent questioning over the topic from several people. I would have thought, “because we don’t believe in god” would be a sufficient excuse, but people still seem to be confused and mystified!

This looks like English to me, but for the life of me… I have no idea what this sentence means. It sounds like there was a housewarming party that was in an apartment and, for some reason, your mother was upset about this. But the thing about the boat and the nukes… Erm. :: shakes head :: Gibberish. You could have switched to Swahili and that sentence would have the same meaning to me.

No need to reply and clarify… I prefer the mystery.

Be careful with that one - someone might think they’re doing you a favor by getting it for you, and then expect even more input since they’re contributing.

200 people is a “medium size” wedding? Holy cow! To me that’s more along the lines of “very big without being massively huge”… am I just really that out of touch with what most weddings are like?

If my hubby and his family had their way it would have been 500 people, which is fairly normal around here. My niece’s wedding had about that many people at it last year. The food alone cost 5X more than my whole wedding.

That’s a really unfair characterization of what Gus said. He (she? Who can tell around here?) didn’t say jack about you, only that the situation makes rebound a possibility.

I mean, c’mon, some near-stranger tells you she started dating this guy three freaking weeks after his 14-year marriage ended, and 4 months later they’re getting married–can you honestly say that the possibility of it being a rebound situation would never cross your mind? Honestly?

It’s nothing to do with you, your personality, your relationship, or your worthiness to be loved. I’m sure you’re a wonderful person, and any number of men would be thrilled to marry you. It’s just that we’ve all seen these situations, and the vast majority of them are rebound situations that disintegrate within a year or maybe two of the wedding, no matter how incredible either party is. I sincerely hope you guys are the exception, but you would be just that–an exception to the rule.

There were about 100 people at our wedding, and I considered it small and extremely simple. 100 people was also 93 more than I wanted.

I don’t know anything about you, but the situation you’re in screams “rebound”. I’ve seen it many times. I did it to a woman after my own divorce. I didn’t think she was a rebound and I assured her that she wasn’t a rebound, but she was a rebound. I sincerely hope that you are not a rebound. I wish you nothing but the best.

When my sister got married (second time) she made it clear she would not have a big wedding – in fact, she swore she’d just go to Vegas and get married over a weekend.

Okay, thought my parents, my other sister and I. They’re both adults, they both have kids from their previous marriages, it’s no big deal.

Then my sister and her fiance did go to Vegas, got married and didn’t tell us until after the fact. The rest of us felt like she’d given us a big fat “in your face” by not at least telling us the date and allowing us to come see her on our own dime.

Your family may feel differently. But I suspect they don’t.

NAF, I think you ARE me. My wife and I had a similar situation–married on Thursday (so her dad could make it, as he was literally on business trips every weekend and most weeks for two months in either direction), only our parents, living grandparents, and three good friends were at the ceremony (which was officiated by good friend #4). Then we had a BBQ reception at the local big park, with bocce and horseshoes and a tent with board games and a set of lawn darts one of our college friends had scrounged (best gift ever)–we had about 80 people at the reception, and you could tell who was upset–most of the relatives, especially the older ones, sat under the pavilion with the food and tut-tutted all day, while the rest of us had a blast. Hell, we even managed to scrounge a life-size R2D2 soda cooler for the drinks.

Three years and change later, people are STILL talking about it as the most fun wedding they’ve yet been to (it was sandwiched between two other college friends who both had far more formal weddings, although with the help of the DJ (and the blessing of the bride and groom) all their college friends hijacked one and turned it into something approximating a rave with tuxedos).
Bottom line–it’s your damn day. Have the celebration you and your fiancee want.