I am having an on going "discussion" with my father about my impending wedding and his financial contribution. He has offered to help, but does not want to cover the whole event, which is his right - but his reasoning for not footing the bill has left me a little speechless...
My father claims it is inappropriate to have a traditional wedding because my fiance was married once before and my dad believes we are being irresponsible for spending money on a "standard" sized wedding when it's typical to have a smaller second wedding.
I am bothered by this for a number of reasons. First, while this is the second wedding for my groom, it's MY first. And I absolutely intend it to be my ONLY wedding. Not only am I a little disturbed by my father's archaic way of thinking, but he's not even being historically accurate with his preconceived notions of acceptable wedding etiquette! Maybe half a century ago a more modest second wedding for a BRIDE would be the norm. A first time bride was usually the financial burden of her family, on the second go she would most likely be more financially independent, older and more "experienced" - there is some link from a big wedding celebration to the bride being "virginal", I could write a dissertation on all the reasons this used to be the social norm... But, my understanding is that the groom's marital history was not a consideration for the wedding celebration size - because usually he had nothing to do with the financing of the event.
I'm feeling a range of emotions about this, I'm angry that my father would say something like this to me, when we are really trying to have a no thrills wedding to begin with - the main expense from the get go has always been our guest list. Both my fiance and I come from very large families - I have a lot of extended family (on my mother's side), who I am very close with. My fiance comes from a large brood as well. And our families are very important to the both of us. I lost my mother a few years ago, I also lost one of my brothers as a child. Meanwhile my fiance lost his father as a child and his eldest brother very recently passed away from a tragic illness. So the fact that these beloved family members cannot be there for our big day only makes us want to surround ourselves with the family we still have. And my family in particular would especially like to be there for me because my mother can't. I don't think this is an extravagance, I think this is a necessity and I resent my father for accusing me of planning an extravagant wedding, when all I want is to have people who matter to me as guests.
I don't know what to do - I feel like the financial help my father is offering is contingent on us having a small subdued affair. We can't really afford not to take what he is offering - small wedding or otherwise. My father is however the type of person who can be swayed by an argument that I can back up with facts. I don't want him to give me more financial help than he wants, but I would like to get out from under the cloud of judgment he is casting over the whole event - it is sucking all the joy out of what should be a very happy time. This is already a stressful time for any couple, the added stress from this is just so unnecessary and taking our focus from the real things we have to deal with.
This seems so ridiculous that I have to ask this, but does anyone have any idea where I might find some sort of historical data to support my case? I've checked online and I can't find any mention about etiquette for the groom's second wedding. Emily Post wasn't much help either. I personally think this nonsense and if it's your wedding you can do whatever you want, but this is how we've always had to present things to my dad to change his opinion of things, silly as it is...
Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated