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This is a bit long but I really need opinions.

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#1 CoCo Malec

CoCo Malec
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    Posted 29 May 2010 - 05:50 AM

    I'm unsure how to feel about the way my parents are reacting to my fianc© and I wanting a destination wedding. It would really help and make me feel better to hear what other people have to say about it.

    Since I was very young my parents have been telling my two sister and I that they would give us each $10,000 for a wedding - it was talked about very openly. I always said I would want a small wedding and now that I have a fianc© and we are saving money for school the $10,000 sounds like a blessing.

    My fianc© Jim and I are less traditional then the rest of my family. We moved to Europe together after only knowing each other for 4 months, lived in Vienna for a few months, then back home for a bit and now currently live in the Czech Republic. We'll be back in the states in October after a nice long bag-packing trip then we plan on going back to collage.

    As you can see we love to travel, so the whole destination wedding thing really suits us. When Jim and I started talking about a destination wedding my parents were against it from the start, but never actually said no. My parents did managed to get us to consider having a wedding in our home town in Florida, but of-course things turned sour quickly.

    We said we wanted around 50 guest and they were adamant on having the same 30 friends come to our wedding that they had invited to my sisters wedding of 150 people, so we bumped the guest list up to 100. A $10,000 wedding is pretty tough to plan with 100 people and we were having to sacrifice things that were important to us to complicate for all the people, and before I knew it didn't even feel like my wedding anymore.

    We decided to switch back to our original destination wedding idea. We were thinking the Florida Keys or Petoskey, Michigan (Jim's home town). With the Florida Keys we were thinking keep it close so no one has to buy airline tickets - We made the guest list only 18 people, all immediate family and started looking into things.

    Once again my parents threw us for a loop. If at the Keys they wanted to invite 8 - 10 friends and there was no saying no - their money. I felt like adding those people (who by the way don't show us any respect, I think because of how we live) ruins the balance of everything; having 1/3 of the guest be their friends especially when we aren't even inviting our friends. It's literally just siblings, sibling in laws and parents. So again it was quickly turning into a different wedding.

    I do feel a bit torn, part of me feels like I should give a bit since they are paying so much, which I really am thankful for, but the other part of me feels like they are using the money to control how we have our wedding. They will not budge on there friends they say "weddings are for parents and friends who have supported the kids their whole lives", and we can't have a conversation about it because they just so "no" adamantly. I feel like a child being told I can't go to my friends house. They want one wedding and we wont something totally different.

    Petoskey, Michigan was what really did us in. We researched and found out that we could have the 18 family member come, pay for a place for them to stay, have our dream wedding, and a nice vacation with the whole family. We were looking into activities that everyone could do together that we would also be able to pay for, all for under $7,000. The only problem was we would have to make the wedding sooner then we'd expected since it gets cold so quickly in northern Michigan. We were thinking late July or August. We personally liked the idea of bumping the wedding up since we had delayed planning to wait for my sisters wedding to end because there was some bad feelings with her on that.

    I was naive to think my family would go for it with all that’s been said, but I was thinking it's just my younger sister, parents, older sister with her husband plus possibly one Aunt and uncle, the quickness shouldn't be a problem. This is when s**t hit the fan.

    My father said it was coming up way to fast and he wouldn't pay for it and he also ran it by other people in the family and they said it was a horrible idea and they wouldn't be able to put time aside for it either. (by the way coming up with the $10,000 isn't the problem it's already put aside) He also said he doesn't see the point in us dragging the whole family to some random small town in Michigan and of-course how disappointed the family is. Also he would be very hesitant to suport this even if we did change the date to next summer.

    Jim and I have decided to turn the money down and have the wedding in Michigan as planned next summer and pay for it ourselves, but now I know my whole family hates my wedding idea and wont be able to enjoy it. Plus I'm hurt my whole family said they wouldn't want to come to it if it was this year. I hate that this has turned into such a money thing and I'm sad the money was never for me like I thought, it was actually always for them and their friends. Plus it's hard to be the different one that everyone can talk about and feel the same about and say all the same things about because they are the same.

    Am I the ridiculous one like my whole family says or is this as sad to you as it is to me? Please be honest.

    #2 AishaB

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      Posted 29 May 2010 - 06:45 AM

      Coco Malec, let me first say that you are not being ridiculous and is is as sad to me as it is to you.

      Unfortunately, your parents believe in giving gifts with strings attached. That is the first problem. They should be willing to give you the money with having to say it is "our money, do with it as WE please!" That is unfair and it is not a very nice thing. So I applaud you and your FI for doing what I think is the right thing, which is turning down the money and doing with YOU, the both of you, want to do. I know it must have been a terribly difficult thing to do, since you had already relied on that money to finance your wedding. But I believe, it is more important to have a day and experience that you will cherish forever, instead of having one that you will look back on and resent in the future.

      It is very unfortunate that your parents are acting this way, however, with your stand of independence they will see that you are serious about having your wedding your way and they have a choice to conform or to miss out on of the most important, if not the most important day in their daughter's lives. Trust me, your family will regret their behavior in this sooner or later. Sometimes it is difficult for people to backtrack after they have made a "grand stand" about something. That is what your parents will have to do now since you have proven to them that you will not be pulled in all directions like a puppet on a string!

      Many brides on here have stories of their families giving them a lot of grief about having a destination wedding. And they will all tell you the same thing, "it's our wedding and we did what made us happy." I say take that advice and run with it. Your parents will come around, and if they don't they will be missing out. You cannot allow them or the rest of your family to ruin what is supposed to be a wonderful experience for you. Your parents should know by now that you are not like your sisters (so I have gathered from your post). You are independent, carefree and adventurous. Therefore, you will plan your wedding not in the conventional sense but in your own independent and adventurous way.

      My advice, you will never get this time back again. This moment is all that you have. Enjoy it, embrace it, love it. It's your wedding, your time, your moment. So hold on to it and do it in style. Your style!
      BDW the best place for my TYPE A personality!

      #3 jajajaja

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        Posted 29 May 2010 - 12:55 PM

        Wow, such an unfortunate turn of events. No- you are not being ridiculous. Let me tell you, I've seen a lot of brides that are very ME, ME, ME and this story has none of those elements. I absolutely believe your parents gifted you that money with strings attached. If it was truly a gift, they would have given you the money and allowed you to do as you wished.

        I'm not sure what kind of relationship you have with your parents, but I would open up and tell them exactly how they have made you feel. Tell them how disappointed you are in their actions. Sure, they might not agree with your choices, but it seems you are putting a lot of thought into having them involved in your wedding. If you were truly being selfish, you could have told them to piss off from the start. I mean, you are taking the money and paying for everyone to travel- most people would not do that! Most would buy a nicer dress or a longer honeymoon! Since their travel would be accommodated, I think everyone going doesn't have a lot of room to bitch- unless vacation time is difficult due to the short notice. Just my opinion.
        Happily married since 2008

        #4 CoCo Malec

        CoCo Malec
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          Posted 29 May 2010 - 01:29 PM

          Thank you both for the replies, I really needed to hear that. I've been upset all week and you have made me feel much better.

          #5 mlabbe

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            Posted 29 May 2010 - 02:42 PM

            Unfortunately, the people who pay for the wedding have a say in what goes on at the wedding. It's not fun, but it does make sense.

            To me, it feels that your family won't be happy whatever you do. Some may say that the wedding is for them, but really the wedding is about you and your FI. Since you turned down the money, plan the wedding you want. If family doesn't want to attend, that's too bad but at least not having unhappy people there is better than having people who complain a lot.

            Did you speak to your relatives directly? Perhaps your dad was influencing their opinion and hearing your plans directly from you might help.

            I'm not sure what to say... aside that you should do what fits best for the two of you. Those who are meant to be there, will be there.

            #6 jealousy88

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              Posted 29 May 2010 - 02:46 PM

              I am so sorry about this, it is so awful to have family act like this. But I would say do it your way, you will not regret it. Even if you can only afford to have you and FI fly somewhere and get married, it would still be better than some stiff-necked wedding that your parents want. It is your wedding, and not your parents and their friends, and I would tell them to take the 10,000 and throw a party for them and thier friends and they can have everything just the way they want it. lol I just think this is so horrible, and believe me you are not the one being ridiculous here, they are. They are making it all about them, and if you give in, then pretty soon your mom could be telling you what type of dress to wear too. Stick to your guns, you will not regret it!
              Tiffany and Shawn, June 23rd, 2012


              #7 Mischaka

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                Posted 29 May 2010 - 02:57 PM

                You are not wrong for feeling the way you do..but is it possible to do it the way your parents want with their money and do it the way you want with your money? It may seem like alot but if you do it your way and most of your family and parents are not there you will end up feeling bad about it later. Maybe you should really sit down and talk to them and let them know how you feel. I'm really sorry you have to go through this. But it seems like either way you choose someone will have hurts feelings.

                #8 jajajaja

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                  Posted 29 May 2010 - 03:02 PM

                  Originally Posted by mlabbe
                  Unfortunately, the people who pay for the wedding have a say in what goes on at the wedding. It's not fun, but it does make sense.
                  I disagree with this. My parents paid for a huge chunk of our wedding as a present and they did not ONCE dictate one single thing to us. It was a gift and they said "spend however you see fit." If someone pays for the bride's dress, does that mean they get to dictate which one? That's crazy!

                  I think it would be respectful to consider their feelings if they are paying, but for them to use it as a way to control and guilt trip the bride into conceding to their every desire- no thank you!

                  I agree that the parents should take the money and have a huge party for their friends if that's what they really want. Otherwise, it's like they want to show off their show-ponies. At least that's what it seems like to me.

                  Oh and a lot of my family didn't make my wedding. I have 50+ members in my family and my parents, sister, grandparents, an aunt, and 2 cousins were the only ones to attend- so basically 8 out of 50+. My DH only had his parents attend- which left a lot of his family out too! We were sooo sad about them all not coming, but we chose to have a DW so that's part of the consequences. Two years later, we still do not regret a thing! Best freaking week of our lives and we STILL talk about how awesome it was and every time I look at the pictures I can't help but smile and want to do it all over.
                  Happily married since 2008

                  #9 Thomasjsgirl

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                    Posted 29 May 2010 - 03:54 PM

                    Your parents are engaging in emotional blackmail. They are treating you like a child and their "gift" is not a gift at all, it's a leash. This wedding is not about their friends or family who have supported you over the years -- people do that because they love you, not because they expect to be rewarded for it. Your parents are worrying more about what people will say than worrying about their daughter's happiness. If you give in to them, don't expect this type of behaviour to change as you will have conditioned them to keep you in line by bullying you. Even though they're your parents and you love them despite their faults, you are your own person and you have your own life. Go ahead and plan the wedding you want and they will probably come around as they will have no choice, otherwise, "what will people say"
                    Lucy & Tom - Married 24.11.08
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                    #10 JanineA

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                      Posted 08 June 2010 - 02:41 PM

                      I have to agree with the ladies. This gift is not a gift at all. Lucy is right its more like a leash. My FI and I are paying for our wedding but my parents did give me some money (not alot, since they live in another country and I knwo things are hard for them), not once did they try to dictate who should be invited or not. I am glad that you have decided to pay for the wedding yourselves so that you can have the wedding of your dreams. In the end they will take your stand of independence as seriousness and they will probably come around and realize how fickle and selfish they are being. Rachel is right they can take the money and throw themselves a party for them and their friends or if you have the wedding in Michigan they can throw you and AHR at home, maybe that would be a happy medium for them. Either way I think you are on the right track.

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