Small beach weddings... and expectations
Posted 10 April 2010 - 11:07 AM
We did not send out formal invitations, because we know that some family and friends are having money troubles. Anyone can come, but we don't want anyone to feel bad that they can't. Since we did not send out formal invitations and are saving money by not having a traditional wedding, we did not register for gifts. We have notified friends and family of our plans, and said that anyone can come if they would like, but that we will be having an at-home cookout/reception after the wedding also. Most have been happy with that, but still give us grief about how disappointed they are that they can't come to the wedding.
Some friends and family have made hurtful comments. "Why do you have to run off and get married in another country?" "Why aren't you having attendants?" "Why can't you just have a "normal" wedding here?" "Why don't you want anyone else at your wedding?"
Since we aren't having a "normal" wedding and definitely aren't expecting gifts, we also not doing many of the normal wedding events- like engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, showers, etc. THAT has hurt/offended people also.
I didn't realize people would be so hurt or offended. We just wanted to be married on a beach- that's all. And we planned it with good intentions.. not wanting anyone to feel obligated, not putting anyone in an uncomfortable position. We have tried to be as low-key and under the radar as possible... is that wrong? I've found it very difficult to make people feel welcome and loved while also not making them feel obligated/guilty/otherwise negative. Perhaps I went about it the wrong way? For the sake of not offending anyone, should I send out formal invitations, even though the wedding is in July? I REALLY wouldn't expect anyone else to go, but maybe receiving a formal invitation would make them feel better?
Argh... you really shouldn't try to please everyone, because it ends up feeling like you didn't please anyone.
Just wanted to vent/share my thoughts. If anyone has had a similar situation or has advice for how to handle these things, please share!
Posted 10 April 2010 - 11:15 AM
In my opinion-a huge local wedding seemed to be more about impressing and satisfying everyone else and not about the bride and groom-this is what I didn't want.
I hope that your family and friends begin to realize that it isn't about them-it is about you and your fiance-it is your day-your way. I wish you the best of luck!
Posted 10 April 2010 - 11:49 AM
I think all DW brides get this to some extent. Its not the norm therefore people tend to reject the idea. If this is what you want, don't worry about everyone else. They would have complained about your home ceremony as well. Be happy your immediate family will be there and enjoy yourself. Its your wedding and what you want, have a WONDERFUL time.
Posted 10 April 2010 - 12:32 PM
Posted 10 April 2010 - 01:46 PM
In our case the tension came from inviting people who in turn couldn't afford it - it was more a "I dare you get married in Mexico, it's so expensive". Like you said, you can't please everyone! So just ignore their comments and stick to what will make the two of you happy. In the end, that's all that matters.
PS. My sister-in-law told people that she was having a "just very close, immediate family" wedding as her reason to not invite everyone, and people let her be. I think when you exclude everyone instead of just some people, it makes it easier for people to understand and not take it personally.
Posted 10 April 2010 - 04:29 PM
We ended up sending invitations to the small amount of people coming to the wedding and just sending an announcement to others (my mom's idea) We also registered at a few places and were astounded by the number of people who got us things (I mean it was staggering for us). The announcement was very low key and people knew we didn't want a big fuss, but strangely (to me at least) many still wanted to give a gift or do something for us (even though every one in my and hubby's family said it wasn't necessary).
Whether you realize it or not, you are special to people and your parents are also special to people, they may want to do something for you and are "distressed" that they don't have an occasion to do something. I would register at least (not because you expect things but to make it easier on those who truly want to do something for you). And maybe consider sending an announcement after the fact. (I remember somewhere in the etiquette books that an invitation implied a gift, an announcement did not require a gift it was just sharing the good news.)
Enjoy your day, I loved my small wedding...it meant the world to me!
Posted 11 April 2010 - 05:19 PM
It is amazing that hurtful comments and other peoples expectations are so wrapped up in planning a wedding, and that it is some how acceptable for others to comment upon and cause upset and stress however well intentioned their actions. Then gleefully skip away not knowing how they have upset the bride. Breath-relax and remember what you both want from the day.
PS hope you have a fabulous day!
Posted 19 April 2010 - 01:26 PM
We got a lot of hurtful comments about running away too, but we stood our ground. It came mostly from the people that we least expected it from too. I'm sorry that you have to go through it, but I think most dw brides go through some form of criticism or guilt trip.
Wendy - my mil wanted us to get married in their backyard too! How aweful...
Posted 19 April 2010 - 01:46 PM
Posted 27 April 2010 - 11:18 PM
Whatever you end up doing it's your day and you and your FI should be concerned about making it special for you-not friends and family.
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