Snarky Brides

The Un-Wedding Wedding and Family Heartburn

We are getting married in late spring and its basically driving our families insane. 

We are both in our 30s and extreme introverts who do not like being the center of attention. Neither of us really wanted a wedding, but my fiancee comes from a culture where not having some kind of celebration is akin to blasphemy, so we relented. We are only inviting siblings and parents to the ceremony (courthouse) and then everyone is meeting at our home for entertainment (chamber quartet) and a champagne toast. After an hour or two of that we are walking a block and a half to a local raw bar for an extended cocktail hour with oysters on the half shell and a variety of finger foods. Total guest list is about 40 people. 

We will have:

No photographer (can't stand the wedding photos that all look the same)
No throwing of the bouquet
No smashing cake in people's faces
No speechifying
No bridal party
No first dance with the DJ announcing people
No garter toss
No bridal shower
No bachelor/bachelorette party
No gifts
No help from family to pay for this

We are happy with those choices and think it will be a nice affair. 

Sadly others are not happy. Our families are driving us insane. They want to re-do the entire thing and make it more traditional. They are trying to argue us out of not having a photo session, not doing a bouquet toss, even wanting us to change the ceremony and have it somewhere they can all attend. 

As we are not getting any financial help with this nor asking for gifts, we are sticking to our guns. Even friends are trying to throw me a bridal shower and I want no part of it. Any advice on how to approach these well meaning guests when they make rather insistent comments/demands about how we are doing things? They always have the option of not attending...
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Re: The Un-Wedding Wedding and Family Heartburn

  • If you don't want to, I agree you should stick to your guns. You can try being polite about it
    "I appreciate the offer, but no thank you"
    "This is what we want for our wedding"

    Hopefully your guests enjoy themselves and family understands what you and your spouse want to do.
    <a href="https://babysizer.com/geeky"><img src="https://babysizer.com/geeky-2018-06-08.jpg" alt="Babysizer Geeky Pregnancy Tracker"></a>
    ahoyweddingshort+sassy


  • Hopefully your guests enjoy themselves and family understands what you and your spouse want to do.
    I think they just can't wrap their heads around any deviation from what they expect a "wedding" to mean. We live in an urban area and many are traveling from other parts of the country and other environments that are very dissimilar. We had to explain that all of our locations (courthouse, house, reception) are within 2 blocks of one another and they would not need to drive everywhere. Its just throwing them.
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited February 12
    We are getting married in late spring and its basically driving our families insane. 

    We are both in our 30s and extreme introverts who do not like being the center of attention. Neither of us really wanted a wedding, but my fiancee comes from a culture where not having some kind of celebration is akin to blasphemy, so we relented. We are only inviting siblings and parents to the ceremony (courthouse) and then everyone is meeting at our home for entertainment (chamber quartet) and a champagne toast. After an hour or two of that we are walking a block and a half to a local raw bar for an extended cocktail hour with oysters on the half shell and a variety of finger foods. Total guest list is about 40 people. 

    We will have:

    No photographer (can't stand the wedding photos that all look the same)
    No throwing of the bouquet
    No smashing cake in people's faces
    No speechifying
    No bridal party
    No first dance with the DJ announcing people
    No garter toss
    No bridal shower
    No bachelor/bachelorette party
    No gifts
    No help from family to pay for this

    We are happy with those choices and think it will be a nice affair. 

    Sadly others are not happy. Our families are driving us insane. They want to re-do the entire thing and make it more traditional. They are trying to argue us out of not having a photo session, not doing a bouquet toss, even wanting us to change the ceremony and have it somewhere they can all attend. 

    As we are not getting any financial help with this nor asking for gifts, we are sticking to our guns. Even friends are trying to throw me a bridal shower and I want no part of it. Any advice on how to approach these well meaning guests when they make rather insistent comments/demands about how we are doing things? They always have the option of not attending...
    Yours wedding plans are perfectly proper.  You will have a couple who wants to get married, an officiant at the courthouse, a valid marriage license, and legal witnesses.  You are then treating family to food and drink (reception).  Are you paying for the raw bar?  If not, you need to offer some hors d'oeuvres with the champagne at your home.
    The words are:  "We are so happy that you could be with us at our wedding.  Thank you for coming on our special day."  Any further discussion is met with the word, "No."  Keep repeating it.

    About the "no gifts", sorry, but this is not is your control.  Anyone may give you a gift at any time, and you would be very rude to refuse it.  If you are given a wedding gift, you thank the giver and write a proper thank you note ASAP.  Simply do not mention wedding gifts.

    If your family really wants to have a celebration party at a later time, and they are willing to host it, you can cave, but you are not obligated to do this.  The party would not be a "wedding" at all, and none of the customs you listed would be appropriate at a party to celebrate your recent marriage.  Of course, THEY would pay for the party that they want!

    Stick to your guns!  Your plans sound lovely!  You have planned a very traditional American wedding.  Many of my relatives were married just as you describe.

    PS.  you might want to have a girl's movie night and watch the movie Sex and the City, where the wedding goes out of control and the groom doesn't show up!  Happy ending with the original, simple plans.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    short+sassy
  • CMGragain said:


    Yours wedding plans are perfectly proper.  You will have a couple who wants to get married, an officiant at the courthouse, a valid marriage license, and legal witnesses.  You are then treating family to food and drink (reception).  Are yo paying for the raw bar?  If not, you need to offer some hors d'oeuvres with the champagne at your home.
    The words are:  "We are so happy that you could be with us at our wedding.  Thank you for coming on our special day."  Any further discussion is met with the word, "No."  Keep repeating it.

    If your family really wants to have a celebration party and they are willing to host it, you can cave, but you are not obligated to do this.  The party would not be a "wedding" at all, and none of the tradition you listed would be appropriate at a party to celebrate your recent marriage.  Of course, THEY would pay for the party that they want!

    Stick to your guns!  Your plans sound lovely!  You have planned a very traditional American wedding.  Many of my relatives were married just as you describe.
    Yes, we are paying for the food and drink at both our home and the raw bar. I have been attempting to be cognizant of etiquette and had invitations which let everyone know that we will not be serving a full meal. We plan to have some chocolate covered strawberries and croissants with the champagne toast at our home as well. There will be no small children in attendance and we have tried to pay some attention to the formality of attire/time of day. 

    I honestly thought this might be refreshing to some as it doesn't follow the pattern of many weddings I have been to. But the backlash has been surprising. My grandma was married at home and had a single studio portrait of her in her gown-- I was always impressed by how simple that seemed. But apparently the expectation of guests is quite different. 
    CMGragaincharlotte989875eileenrobahoywedding
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    We are getting married in late spring and its basically driving our families insane. 

    We are both in our 30s and extreme introverts who do not like being the center of attention. Neither of us really wanted a wedding, but my fiancee comes from a culture where not having some kind of celebration is akin to blasphemy, so we relented. We are only inviting siblings and parents to the ceremony (courthouse) and then everyone is meeting at our home for entertainment (chamber quartet) and a champagne toast. After an hour or two of that we are walking a block and a half to a local raw bar for an extended cocktail hour with oysters on the half shell and a variety of finger foods. Total guest list is about 40 people. 

    We will have:

    No photographer (can't stand the wedding photos that all look the same)
    No throwing of the bouquet
    No smashing cake in people's faces
    No speechifying
    No bridal party
    No first dance with the DJ announcing people
    No garter toss
    No bridal shower
    No bachelor/bachelorette party
    No gifts
    No help from family to pay for this

    We are happy with those choices and think it will be a nice affair. 

    Sadly others are not happy. Our families are driving us insane. They want to re-do the entire thing and make it more traditional. They are trying to argue us out of not having a photo session, not doing a bouquet toss, even wanting us to change the ceremony and have it somewhere they can all attend. 

    As we are not getting any financial help with this nor asking for gifts, we are sticking to our guns. Even friends are trying to throw me a bridal shower and I want no part of it. Any advice on how to approach these well meaning guests when they make rather insistent comments/demands about how we are doing things? They always have the option of not attending...
    You could inform them that the other option is to elope and include no one.

    Your wedding should reflect who you and your SO are as a couple.  It sounds as if your family has a different vision in their head. 

    I will suggest that if some of your invited guests are traveling far, I could understand if they don't think what you are offering is "worth the trip".  However, that decision is their burden, not yours.  I will say that I am not personally a fan of not being invited to the ceremony, as I find it the more significant and meaningful aspect of the day.  However, I would need to decide for myself.  I would never consider it my place to tell you how to orchestrate YOUR wedding.

    I would stop discussing wedding plans with people.  If brought up, simply say that your plans are set.  Respond with a simple, "No, thank you" if anyone offers to host anything.  I know a friend whose response to unsolicited suggestions/advice was, "Those are great ideas.  When it is YOUR wedding, I hope you remember to include them in YOUR plans."
    charlotte989875ahoyweddingMissKittyDanger
  • Your plans sound perfectly beautiful!
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • MobKaz said:


    I will suggest that if some of your invited guests are traveling far, I could understand if they don't think what you are offering is "worth the trip".  However, that decision is their burden, not yours.  I will say that I am not personally a fan of not being invited to the ceremony, as I find it the more significant and meaningful aspect of the day.  However, I would need to decide for myself.  I would never consider it my place to tell you how to orchestrate YOUR wedding.


    There are some restrictions on how many people can attend the courthouse ceremony, so we had to limit it by necessity. The obvious line was immediate family and we just happened to squeeze in at the limit of how many they can seat. 

    I am TERRIFIED of doing this very heartfelt and personal thing in front of an audience. Hence there will be no handwritten vows. I have always felt that wedding ceremonies can be embarrassingly personal and my fiancee shares that opinion. I think if we both get through it without crying or passing out, it will be an accomplishment. We want it as private as we can get it. Nor are either of us religious (and some family is) so that is another reason to keep the ceremony civil and short.

    Its so interesting that you would prefer the ceremony! Different strokes. 

    CMGragain
  • Handwritten vows  are not traditional at all!  This is a new trend.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • CMGragain said:
    Your plans sound perfectly beautiful!
    Thank you! When we decided to do this, we sat down and wrote out all the things that would make a wedding enjoyable to us, and this is what it ended up being. We are lucky enough to have a lovely home and live in a beautiful area that will be in full bloom (but hopefully not rain) on the day. We really thought that a low key, elegant yet nontraditional event where we could celebrate with our nearest and dearest would be just the thing. But ever since the invitations arrived we have had nonstop prodding about why we are choosing to do things this way. 
    mollybarker11
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited February 12
    Weddings are often fraught with conflict.  My own wedding does not contain pleasant memories, but driving away from my fighting families was pure bliss.  You can't fix families.  Just hold up your head and go for what you want.  We have been happily married for 41 years.
    If they don't like your plans - tough titties.  They don't have to come.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
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    I agree with @MobKaz, your plans are fine but if people have to travel they may not feel it is worth it to not be included in the ceremony and for a simple reception. Again, that is their decision not yours but don't hold it against them if that is the decision they make. My son had a similar wedding and had it not been my son, I wouldn't have attended. 

    And yes, many people think the ceremony is the most important part because that is the wedding (the joining of two people). The reception is the party.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member
    edited February 13
    The only issue I see with your plans is that while you don't have to register for gifts, you can't pre-empt gift-giving with any kind of message other than word-of-mouth, and only once someone has asked you about your gift preferences.

    Beyond that, I'm sorry that your families are giving you so much grief. I hope you and your FI are able to find a positive way to deal with it. I would tell anyone who complains, "We would love to see you, and if you accept our invitation, this is what we're doing. We're sorry for any problems, but we are not changing the plans."


  • CMGragain said:


    Yours wedding plans are perfectly proper.  You will have a couple who wants to get married, an officiant at the courthouse, a valid marriage license, and legal witnesses.  You are then treating family to food and drink (reception).  Are yo paying for the raw bar?  If not, you need to offer some hors d'oeuvres with the champagne at your home.
    The words are:  "We are so happy that you could be with us at our wedding.  Thank you for coming on our special day."  Any further discussion is met with the word, "No."  Keep repeating it.

    If your family really wants to have a celebration party and they are willing to host it, you can cave, but you are not obligated to do this.  The party would not be a "wedding" at all, and none of the tradition you listed would be appropriate at a party to celebrate your recent marriage.  Of course, THEY would pay for the party that they want!

    Stick to your guns!  Your plans sound lovely!  You have planned a very traditional American wedding.  Many of my relatives were married just as you describe.
    Yes, we are paying for the food and drink at both our home and the raw bar. I have been attempting to be cognizant of etiquette and had invitations which let everyone know that we will not be serving a full meal. We plan to have some chocolate covered strawberries and croissants with the champagne toast at our home as well. There will be no small children in attendance and we have tried to pay some attention to the formality of attire/time of day. 

    I honestly thought this might be refreshing to some as it doesn't follow the pattern of many weddings I have been to. But the backlash has been surprising. My grandma was married at home and had a single studio portrait of her in her gown-- I was always impressed by how simple that seemed. But apparently the expectation of guests is quite different. 
    As long as the reception doesn’t fall over a meal time, you are fine with not serving a full meal. If you are over a meal time, you need to serve more. 
    ILoveBeachMusicahoywedding
  • I agree with @MobKaz, your plans are fine but if people have to travel they may not feel it is worth it to not be included in the ceremony and for a simple reception. Again, that is their decision not yours but don't hold it against them if that is the decision they make. My son had a similar wedding and had it not been my son, I wouldn't have attended. 

    And yes, many people think the ceremony is the most important part because that is the wedding (the joining of two people). The reception is the party.
    I guess I have been behind the times-- I have attended many a wedding based on my affection for the couple and not how simple or elaborate they were making it for the guests...kinda shocking to me that this sentiment has been presented more than once. But if someone thinks that way, its their option. Good thing we only invited those closest to us...I guess that will tell us a lot about their priorities.
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
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    I agree with @MobKaz, your plans are fine but if people have to travel they may not feel it is worth it to not be included in the ceremony and for a simple reception. Again, that is their decision not yours but don't hold it against them if that is the decision they make. My son had a similar wedding and had it not been my son, I wouldn't have attended. 

    And yes, many people think the ceremony is the most important part because that is the wedding (the joining of two people). The reception is the party.
    I guess I have been behind the times-- I have attended many a wedding based on my affection for the couple and not how simple or elaborate they were making it for the guests...kinda shocking to me that this sentiment has been presented more than once. But if someone thinks that way, its their option. Good thing we only invited those closest to us...I guess that will tell us a lot about their priorities.
    I stated that I thought your plans were appropriate.  I just would not be interested in traveling a great distance for some "finger foods".  I would, however, travel a great distance to see someone marry.  Conversely, I could argue that your NOT including me in attendance at your ceremony shows me where YOUR priorities lie.
    ILoveBeachMusicahoyweddingInLoveInQueenslovesclimbing
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
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    Yes that is what I was trying to say @flantastic and @MobKaz. The ceremony is the important part. I wouldn't travel to attend a party and not be included in the ceremony.
  • I can understand if you have strong religious beliefs that the ceremony might be important. And some family members my feel that way. We do not have any religious beliefs and wanted to avoid discussions of which church this wedding should rightfully take place in. As stated, we want it as short and nonfussy as possible, thus the courthouse. We have explained to those who are not immediate family that there are strong guest limits because of the rules our courthouse has set up. We are not planning to change that at this late date. 

    From a personal perspective, I am really uncomfortable wedding ceremonies. I think they are boring and personal. I always feel like I shouldn't be there witnessing this private moment. So at my own wedding this is not going to be something I put my guests through. If they really need THAT as opposed to the actual celebration for whatever reason, I wish them well but understand that its their issue not to attend. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
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    edited February 14
    I can understand if you have strong religious beliefs that the ceremony might be important. And some family members my feel that way. We do not have any religious beliefs and wanted to avoid discussions of which church this wedding should rightfully take place in. As stated, we want it as short and nonfussy as possible, thus the courthouse. We have explained to those who are not immediate family that there are strong guest limits because of the rules our courthouse has set up. We are not planning to change that at this late date. 

    From a personal perspective, I am really uncomfortable wedding ceremonies. I think they are boring and personal. I always feel like I shouldn't be there witnessing this private moment. So at my own wedding this is not going to be something I put my guests through. If they really need THAT as opposed to the actual celebration for whatever reason, I wish them well but understand that its their issue not to attend. 
    I disagree that the ceremony is only important if you're religious.

    The ceremony, whether religious or civil, and no matter how "boring and personal" you find them, is what actually unites the parties in marriage and confers the rights and respossibilities of marriage on them - not the reception or any later celebration. Until recently, sane-sex couples couldn't even get that. 

    So I'm sorry, but your "boring and personal" attitude towards wedding ceremonies isn't going to go down well here. If you're going to project that attitude onto your nearest and dearest as an excuse for expecting them to celebrate an occasion with you that they don't get to witness, our forum isn't the place for you.
    ILoveBeachMusicInLoveInQueenssparklepants41
  • I agree with most of the PPs. What you have planned is totally within etiquette, and you've covered all of your bases hosting-wise. I also completely understand the desire to not have a super formal or traditional wedding. 

    I would (personally) understand someone's desire to have an intimate ceremony, but do get confused when someone doesn't want guests but then has their family max out the courthouse guest limit. I also don't understand people who don't want to be the center of attention but then have a reception after the ceremony. It kind of seems like "hey come publicly celebrate this moment that I wanted to keep quiet and intimate!"

    Yours isn't a traditional reception, but the focus will still be on you and your (new!) husband. For me the sticking point is if your guests have to travel. As a guest, I would probably not travel for an after party of finger foods, but I would travel for a small, low-key wedding. That part is kind of a know your crowd type thing, and depends on where people live and what's the norm.
    charlotte989875
  • Jen4948 said:

    I disagree that the ceremony is only important if you're religious.

    The ceremony, whether religious or civil, and no matter how "boring and personal" you find them, is what actually unites the parties in marriage and confers the rights and respossibilities of marriage on them - not the reception or any later celebration. Until recently, sane-sex couples couldn't even get that. 

    So I'm sorry, but your "boring and personal" attitude towards wedding ceremonies isn't going to go down well here. If you're going to project that attitude onto your nearest and dearest as an excuse for expecting them to celebrate an occasion with you that they don't get to witness, our forum isn't the place for you.
    Someone doesn't understand the word "snarky" apparently. 

    I admit. I don't like weddings. I can say that here, as a stranger. I am having one as a compromise on my terms. I am sure I am not the first bride to do this. (Not everyone wants to pretend they are a princess or thinks that is the way to go.) Our wedding is designed with our preferences in mind. End of story.

    If you are offended that someone doesn't agree with your view of a wedding ceremony, that is not something I can help. Perhaps it hits a nerve because of the possibility that some of your own guests felt this way. I would only hope that they were polite enough not to mention it to you. The whole point of this thread is that guests should exercise extreme discretion about how they make demands or feel entitled to someone else's wedding. But as I was not a guest at your wedding, I can freely speak of my own opinions here. 
  • I agree with most of the PPs. What you have planned is totally within etiquette, and you've covered all of your bases hosting-wise. I also completely understand the desire to not have a super formal or traditional wedding. 

    I would (personally) understand someone's desire to have an intimate ceremony, but do get confused when someone doesn't want guests but then has their family max out the courthouse guest limit. I also don't understand people who don't want to be the center of attention but then have a reception after the ceremony. It kind of seems like "hey come publicly celebrate this moment that I wanted to keep quiet and intimate!"

    Yours isn't a traditional reception, but the focus will still be on you and your (new!) husband. For me the sticking point is if your guests have to travel. As a guest, I would probably not travel for an after party of finger foods, but I would travel for a small, low-key wedding. That part is kind of a know your crowd type thing, and depends on where people live and what's the norm.
    This is devolving. My original question has been nicely answered. But now, there are some ruffled feathers because my choices don't reflect those of other posters. Got it. 

    As for the "maxing out the courthouse" we each happen to have 4 in our immediate family. So who should we exclude? Parents? Siblings? Invite one parent and not the other? It just worked out that way. As I see the ceremony as being a private occasion (and in truth, would have been happy with a single witness or whatever my state requires) I am happy enough to keep it to our immediate families. I have refused to move the wedding to say, a park with an officiant as some have requested because I want it private. I don't want the extended guest list there. Its a personal thing to me and not one that everyone needs to stare at. Clearly others have different ideas and they are entitled to them. 

    Its our guests' choices if they want to draw a line in the sand about what is "good enough" for them to travel for. I never once realized people had strong opinions about how THEY should be hosted as guests at someone else's wedding. Don't want to travel because the food choices aren't to your liking or you are going to miss a short civil wedding service? Up to you, but in my opinion, that seems very immature. Can't travel because you have small kids/don't have the finances/have other obligations. Understandable. Again, the GUESTS don't dictate what the wedding celebration is. They can turn up their noses but it says more about them than it does us. 

    My original question was how to politely shut down people who say :"if you do it this way, I will come" or "I want this done differently." The mind boggles at some of the responses about what is "good enough" for some wedding guests. 


  • I agree with most of the PPs. What you have planned is totally within etiquette, and you've covered all of your bases hosting-wise. I also completely understand the desire to not have a super formal or traditional wedding. 

    I would (personally) understand someone's desire to have an intimate ceremony, but do get confused when someone doesn't want guests but then has their family max out the courthouse guest limit. I also don't understand people who don't want to be the center of attention but then have a reception after the ceremony. It kind of seems like "hey come publicly celebrate this moment that I wanted to keep quiet and intimate!"

    Yours isn't a traditional reception, but the focus will still be on you and your (new!) husband. For me the sticking point is if your guests have to travel. As a guest, I would probably not travel for an after party of finger foods, but I would travel for a small, low-key wedding. That part is kind of a know your crowd type thing, and depends on where people live and what's the norm.
    This is devolving. My original question has been nicely answered. But now, there are some ruffled feathers because my choices don't reflect those of other posters. Got it. 

    As for the "maxing out the courthouse" we each happen to have 4 in our immediate family. So who should we exclude? Parents? Siblings? Invite one parent and not the other? It just worked out that way. As I see the ceremony as being a private occasion (and in truth, would have been happy with a single witness or whatever my state requires) I am happy enough to keep it to our immediate families. I have refused to move the wedding to say, a park with an officiant as some have requested because I want it private. I don't want the extended guest list there. Its a personal thing to me and not one that everyone needs to stare at. Clearly others have different ideas and they are entitled to them. 

    Its our guests' choices if they want to draw a line in the sand about what is "good enough" for them to travel for. I never once realized people had strong opinions about how THEY should be hosted as guests at someone else's wedding. Don't want to travel because the food choices aren't to your liking or you are going to miss a short civil wedding service? Up to you, but in my opinion, that seems very immature. Can't travel because you have small kids/don't have the finances/have other obligations. Understandable. Again, the GUESTS don't dictate what the wedding celebration is. They can turn up their noses but it says more about them than it does us. 

    My original question was how to politely shut down people who say :"if you do it this way, I will come" or "I want this done differently." The mind boggles at some of the responses about what is "good enough" for some wedding guests. 


    My feathers aren't ruffled at all, and I did say your plans sounded fine and aren't breaking any etiquette rules, and that I understand why you wanted to do things that way.

    Just pointing out what some of your guests may be thinking. No one will likely say it directly to you (and that would be hella rude of them!). Most people have to make decisions about how they spend their time and money and thus, may decide to prioritize a wedding over an afternoon party. I always wanted a super casual wedding (like, pizza & beer casual). If I had stayed in my home state and most of the guests would have been local-ish, that's how things would have happened. However, I moved a few years ago and we got married in the state we live in now. That meant most of our guests had to travel. We upped the wedding plans quite a bit to accommodate people who were spending their time and money to come celebrate us. Again, if most of your guests live closer to you it's not a problem at all.

    And to the bolded: once you invite guests to an event, you do need to take them into consideration. That doesn't mean bend to their every whim of course, but consider what you're asking from them to come celebrate YOU.
    InLoveInQueenscharlotte989875ernursejMyNameIsNot
  • The bottom line is that everyone who has ever had a wedding, has, by necessity, made decisions about how that would go.  We are no different in that regard. 

    Because the decisions that my fiancee and I have made preclude a lot of the usual trappings of the current US wedding trends, we have had push back from our families. As we are financing this 100% without assistance, we are in no position where we need to change our decision making. I had asked for advice on how to politely say this to those who feel the need to push for whatever their idea of a wedding is/should be. Some people gave helpful suggestions. Which I appreciate.

    Others started on a path of "I wouldn't attend this because I feel this piece is the most important TO ME." And I am sure that that is how the posters honestly feel. Trouble is, to my mind, a very foreign sentiment. As someone who admittedly does not enjoy attending weddings, I have bitten the proverbial bullet and gone to quite a few out of affection for the couple. I would never in my wildest dreams look at an invitation and say "not worth my time. What is fun for ME is when they throw the bouquet and this one is not going to have that." or "Not worth my time. I haven't been invited to the rehearsal dinner and I think I deserve to be. So no, not coming" or "Catholic church? No way am I going to that one" or "No open bar? How cheap are these people? No, not coming." This smacks of entitlement. 

    A wedding can basically be anything the people getting married want it to. And the invited guests can choose to show up or not. But heavens to Betsy, there are some very strong opinions about what those who are hosting and paying should be doing lest they incite the disapproval of their guests. Which is EXACTLY what I said in the first place. Those who choose to attend should be treated with courtesy and kindness, yes. But those who don't, or threaten not to, or criticize, because of some severe boundary around what makes an event worthy of their presence really need to take a hard look in the mirror. 







  • We will have:

    No photographer (can't stand the wedding photos that all look the same)
    No throwing of the bouquet
    No smashing cake in people's faces
    No speechifying
    No bridal party
    No first dance with the DJ announcing people
    No garter toss
    No bridal shower
    No bachelor/bachelorette party
    No gifts
    No help from family to pay for this

    We are happy with those choices and think it will be a nice affair. 

    FWIW, I had an intimate wedding with 35 guests.  With the exception of the 4 things I crossed off, I did not have any of the items on your list either.

    It was GREAT and fairly stress-free.  Stick to your guns and have the simpler/smaller wedding you all want!

    It's annoying that people are pressuring you all and they shouldn't.  But find a few phrases to just keep using, ad nauseum.  Like, "We're pleased with the current plans we have and are not changing them."

    After a few polite phrases to the same person(s), then I would start becoming more stern with, "We have already told you multiple times we aren't doing X,Y,Z.  I'm not discussing this any further with you.  Do not bring it up anymore."  And cut-off/leave the conversation any time they do. 

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    ahoywedding

  • FWIW, I had an intimate wedding with 35 guests.  With the exception of the 4 things I crossed off, I did not have any of the items on your list either.

    It was GREAT and fairly stress-free.  Stick to your guns and have the simpler/smaller wedding you all want!

    It's annoying that people are pressuring you all and they shouldn't.  But find a few phrases to just keep using, ad nauseum.  Like, "We're pleased with the current plans we have and are not changing them."

    After a few polite phrases to the same person(s), then I would start becoming more stern with, "We have already told you multiple times we aren't doing X,Y,Z.  I'm not discussing this any further with you.  Do not bring it up anymore."  And cut-off/leave the conversation any time they do. 

    Thanks for the advice! I look at this event as the wedding equivalent of a tiny house. Not everyone would choose to live in a tiny house, but for some people, that is ideal. They prioritize space differently than, say, someone who lives in a 3600 square foot house in a planned community. And that is okay.

    But would you say to that tiny house dweller "I will never come to your housewarming party because you don't have a master bathroom?" or "I won't visit when you invite me because you can't fit a sectional in your house and I need to sit on a sectional?" Nor would the tiny house dweller say " I am refusing to visit you because I think your house is excessive." or "I won't come to your housewarming party because you chose to live in a planned community and I think that is terrible." Hopefully not. Hopefully people respect one another's choices enough to be happy for what they chose. 

    I have no clue on earth why weddings bring this out in people. Just be happy that the couple is happy and keep your opinions to yourself unless asked to share. 


  • I think private weddings are fine, especially at a courthouse. And I think your plans are fine. But I also understand the perspective of people saying "You know, they want a private wedding, and thats fine, my feelings aren't hurt as that is there prerogative, but also, I'm going to decide not to spend money on travel/outfits/gifts to attend only the party portion, and that is also fine and my prerogative." It sounds like you are throwing your toys out of the pram a bit at the idea that people may have other priorities with their budgets and may prefer to go to a wedding where they are invited to everything rather than just the party portion. Everyone has budgets, just like you. 

    You can't have it both ways. If you want people to understand that you can't invite everyone to your wedding ceremony, you need to understand that the ceremony is the most important part to a lot of people, and they may not travel for just a party. It doesn't mean that either of you like each other less, you are all dealing with finite resources and limitations. 

    You can't say: "Please understand my decision to not invite you to the ceremony" without also heading from guests "That's fine, but please also understand my limitations to spend lots of money to go to just a party".
    This is a massive conclusion jump. Not a single person has cited budget as a reason not to attend. As I earlier posted, budget reasons are understandable. Perhaps re-reading the thread would be helpful. The push back and cajoling is coming from family no more than 2 hours away and many less than that (and I should just dispel the notion that there are a lot of people traveling for this wedding. There are not.) So, let me be clear.

    Family (local and otherwise) does not want us to have the wedding we have planned. 

    No family member has mentioned their budgetary restrictions as a reason not to attend.

    Certain family members have gone so far as to call officiants and find out when there is space available at certain venues because THEY want us to have a more traditional wedding. This was done under the "you can invite more people that I know" umbrella (as we had said early on the guest list was strictly limited). There has been criticism of everything from the dress I chose which is, as the occasion calls for, a tea length selection and not "wedding" enough to the venue, day, lack of photos and general plan of the event itself. All of these have come with "helpful" alternative plans which get annoyingly more insistent as time wears on. People act as though we don't know our own minds and their ideas are much better.

    No one has said to me or my fiancee "you know I LOVE the ceremony and would want to attend if ONLY I could see that!" Its been more along the lines of "we expect a wedding to look, smell, act and sound this way. What you are telling us does not. Therefore, we really insist that you change things so that we are more comfortable."

    FWIW, we are flying a close friend in cross country at our expense because we know he is struggling financially and we really want him there. We are not insensitive to budget issues. We also hired a babysitter for a local friend with three small children so that she can attend. We are willing to make certain concessions to budget for our guests.

    I can see from the responses on this thread that there are a lot of people with very specific ideas about how a wedding should go. 


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