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Snarky Brides

The Un-Wedding Wedding and Family Heartburn

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Re: The Un-Wedding Wedding and Family Heartburn

  • I find it just a little humorous the person getting upset people are giving a heads up about guests caring about the ceremony is telling people not to get their feathers ruffled. 

    OP, it sounds like your plans fit you; good for you, you should absolutely have the wedding that is right for you and your FI. But the minute you invite guests, even a small number of guests, you do have to take guest comfort into account, which is basic etiquette and sounds like what you’re doing. You don’t have to do everything they would want to see at a wedding. 

    But like PPs have said, just because you personally don’t want to attend a ceremony does not mean others don’t want to. This is the point of the whole event so some people feel bad being left out. You don’t actually have to do anything with that information. If you’re happy with your plans, that’s great. All people are saying here is that you should just be aware some people might not make a trip for a party, where they would have the actual wedding. 
    LondonLisaahoyweddingInLoveInQueens
  • I find it just a little humorous the person getting upset people are giving a heads up about guests caring about the ceremony is telling people not to get their feathers ruffled. 

    OP, it sounds like your plans fit you; good for you, you should absolutely have the wedding that is right for you and your FI. But the minute you invite guests, even a small number of guests, you do have to take guest comfort into account, which is basic etiquette and sounds like what you’re doing. You don’t have to do everything they would want to see at a wedding. 

    But like PPs have said, just because you personally don’t want to attend a ceremony does not mean others don’t want to. This is the point of the whole event so some people feel bad being left out. You don’t actually have to do anything with that information. If you’re happy with your plans, that’s great. All people are saying here is that you should just be aware some people might not make a trip for a party, where they would have the actual wedding. 
    Yes I understand (well honestly no, I don't understand why anyone cares about a ceremony unless they have religious reasons, but I will accept that some do based on the responses.)

    Again, we have a handful of people who have to travel more than 2 hours by car. Someone, somewhere upthread started the "people won't travel if its ONLY a party" idea. And the traveling was never really a "thing" but it became one. 

    I will posit that a good party celebrating the marriage of two people is every bit as valid and interesting to me, honestly more so, than some stiff or overtly sappy ceremonial offering. And yes, apparently that offends the sensibilities of some sensitive former brides who have posted. My own grandmother used to tell me stories of the village weddings where she grew up. The priest would marry the couple at home in the presence of the family and the bride and groom would be "introduced" to the guests for three days of eating, drinking and dancing. I grew up with the notion that its not so odd for a ceremony to be limited to family only. And then as an adult I was invited to all of these long wedding ceremonies where the bride and groom would light unity candles, cry at the altar during their very intimate vows, and have a long procession of people in matching attire. None of this was something I wanted for myself.

    There are a million ways to celebrate getting married. There is no one right way. 
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    2500 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers


    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. 


    Look, you are clearly incredibly defensive about this. I get it- your family is probably criticising you left, right and centre. Things that matter to a wedding: 2 adults enter into legally wedded matrimony. Anything else is optional. I understand your family is thinking that they want a wedding to look a certain way. No one is saying your plans are rude. All we are saying is just as you are allowed to throw a wedding how you want it based on several variables, people are allowed to still care about you, but decline because of several variables. 

    Saying flippantly "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. " is NOT being sensitive to people's budgets and frankly just passive aggressive. Posters were talking in generalities and frankly explicitly about travelling to a wedding where one had been only invited to the party portion, which sounds like isn't the case here with most people complaining. Affection doesn't pay for wedding gifts, holiday days from work, outfits, petrol, parking etc, let alone when you add flights and hotel. Going to a wedding is expensive.  But frankly, that is neither here nor there. Because it sounds like it is the local people that are judging you. The poster's opinion is still valid, and she is not this arsehole you are insinuating she is simply because she would decline an OOT, party only wedding. 

    AGAIN, NO ONE IS SAYING CHANGE YOUR PLANS. But you have a massive chip on your shoulder about the idea that someone may hypothetically decline a hypothetical wedding because they were only invited to the party. You have insinuated that if someone had to make the hard choice to decline, they don't care about the couple. 

    Be defensive with your family, by all means, they probably deserve it, but everyone on here has been honest and friendly. No one is saying that they would boycott your wedding out of spite of not being invited to the ceremony. But simply, some people have busy schedules, finite resources, and just attending a party vs going to a whole wedding, no matter how much affection you have for someone, means you are going to have to make hard choices. 

    You need to grab a margarita and turn off your phone for a couple hours. Because I can feel the resentment and anger from all the way over here across the ocean. I get it, wedding planning is stressful, let alone a layer of family being a giant bag of dicks- and it sounds like they are. 

    But one of the hardest parts of wedding planning is understanding that people you genuinely love, and people that genuinely love you, might have to decline for several reasons. You can't be angry at them, just as they can't be angry at you for not inviting them to the ceremony. 

    Adulting is about choices. Just as you have made your choice, you need to respect other's choices as well, and not as a referendum on how much others care about you. 
    ahoyweddingInLoveInQueensflantastic
  • I find it just a little humorous the person getting upset people are giving a heads up about guests caring about the ceremony is telling people not to get their feathers ruffled. 

    OP, it sounds like your plans fit you; good for you, you should absolutely have the wedding that is right for you and your FI. But the minute you invite guests, even a small number of guests, you do have to take guest comfort into account, which is basic etiquette and sounds like what you’re doing. You don’t have to do everything they would want to see at a wedding. 

    But like PPs have said, just because you personally don’t want to attend a ceremony does not mean others don’t want to. This is the point of the whole event so some people feel bad being left out. You don’t actually have to do anything with that information. If you’re happy with your plans, that’s great. All people are saying here is that you should just be aware some people might not make a trip for a party, where they would have the actual wedding. 
    Yes I understand (well honestly no, I don't understand why anyone cares about a ceremony unless they have religious reasons, but I will accept that some do based on the responses.)

    Again, we have a handful of people who have to travel more than 2 hours by car. Someone, somewhere upthread started the "people won't travel if its ONLY a party" idea. And the traveling was never really a "thing" but it became one. 

    I will posit that a good party celebrating the marriage of two people is every bit as valid and interesting to me, honestly more so, than some stiff or overtly sappy ceremonial offering. And yes, apparently that offends the sensibilities of some sensitive former brides who have posted. My own grandmother used to tell me stories of the village weddings where she grew up. The priest would marry the couple at home in the presence of the family and the bride and groom would be "introduced" to the guests for three days of eating, drinking and dancing. I grew up with the notion that its not so odd for a ceremony to be limited to family only. And then as an adult I was invited to all of these long wedding ceremonies where the bride and groom would light unity candles, cry at the altar during their very intimate vows, and have a long procession of people in matching attire. None of this was something I wanted for myself.

    There are a million ways to celebrate getting married. There is no one right way. 
    I think you're deliberately being obtuse. No one is saying there is one right way to have a wedding, literally no one is saying what you're doing is wrong, and zero people here are saying you have a to have a traditional wedding. I'm 0% offended by people choosing weddings different from my own, and as PPs have said many people on this thread have had very different weddings. 
    ahoyweddingshort+sassyflantastic
  • 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. 






    The thing is, you're not inviting most of your guests to your wedding. You're having a wedding at a courthouse with your immediate family, and your hosting them immediately after the wedding at your home with food and drink appropriate to the time of day...i.e. your wedding reception. The rest of your guests you're inviting to a party later in the day. It's not your wedding, it's not your wedding reception (since they didn't go to the ceremony). 

    You can argue all you want about which of the traditional or non-traditional trappings of a wedding reception or a party are worth traveling for or not, but if you're talking about a WEDDING you're talking about the specific ceremony where two people enter single and leave married.  
    charlotte989875MyNameIsNotInLoveInQueenssparklepants41

  • The thing is, you're not inviting most of your guests to your wedding. You're having a wedding at a courthouse with your immediate family, and your hosting them immediately after the wedding at your home with food and drink appropriate to the time of day...i.e. your wedding reception. The rest of your guests you're inviting to a party later in the day. It's not your wedding, it's not your wedding reception (since they didn't go to the ceremony). 

    You can argue all you want about which of the traditional or non-traditional trappings of a wedding reception or a party are worth traveling for or not, but if you're talking about a WEDDING you're talking about the specific ceremony where two people enter single and leave married. 




    WOW. This one takes the proverbial wedding cake! So now its not a "wedding" because it doesn't fit your definition of what a wedding is? And its not a reception? Perhaps I should have sent out party invitations with balloons on them instead of the WEDDING invitations we sent.

    I am beginning to wonder if this poster is not a plant by someone in my family...

    Bride and groom get married. Festivities are happening on the day this occurs. This equals WEDDING. I am not really concerned about semantics.
  • I really don’t understand the fuss here. OP it sounds like you’re planning a perfectly lovely intimate ceremony and slightly larger reception. A few of your guests are miffed that you’re not having a more contemporary or religious event.

    Some posters noted that they personally wouldn’t travel for a reception if not invited to the ceremony, as another potential issue to consider. You said this is not an issue that you anticipate, so what’s the big deal?

    Again, your plans are great, PPs just wanted to give you a heads up about another complaint you may run into. Now you’re prepared if it happens to come up and won’t react with such shock irl.
    Thank you for attempting to bring this back on topic. There is no fuss. I wanted some advice for dealing with the narrow views of family and instead got a lot of other narrow views. 

    We are aware of certain logical and typical objections to attendance-- money, time, conflicting obligations. The shock comes in on the value judgments expressed. I was blissfully unaware that this existed until some of the PPs enlightened me. And yes, its a value judgement if you say "I won't attend X event unless it has this piece of it." That is not about the individual's lack of resources or schedule conflicts-- that is a value judgement a guest is making about whether or not the event is worthy of their presence. 

    You can insert anything in the reason that someone deems an event unworthy. No ceremony. Ceremony in a church. No reception. Reception in a large hotel ballroom that isn't intimate enough. Chicken served at dinner. No chicken served at dinner. Not seated close enough to the bride. Seated too far away. Not picked to be an attendant. Don't like the time of day the whole shebang is happening. You can literally pick apart any event and object on the terms of what the event is offering as a reason not to attend and that has zero to do with any pragmatic barrier. Its straight up entitlement.

    I find this generally awful human behavior. And maybe its because I have suffered through the events that many of these relatives have planned with grace and genuine well wishes. So, stupidly I would have expected the same courtesy. Instead I find that our wedding is being unplanned and replanned based on their ideals with attendant tantrums on being shut down.

    I was kinda blindsided that those who are near and dear to us would act like this. And its been unrelenting. 

  • And with that, I think I am going to request this thread be closed or at least bow out. I got some helpful advice from a few which is appreciated. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited February 15
    And with that, I think I am going to request this thread be closed or at least bow out. I got some helpful advice validation from a few which is appreciated.
    You can bow out, but you're barking up the wrong tree by requesting that this thread be closed.

    Everyone here has the right to express their opinions, including opinions which are not the same as yours. So does everyone else in the world. I'm afraid you don't have the right to pre-emptively decide whether they should express their opinions, let alone how other people should answer your questions.


    InLoveInQueensahoywedding
  • frances_lfrances_l member
    10 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I wish family would realize that it’s YOUR day that YOU are paying for and leave you alone about the details.
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  • ernursejernursej member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    frances_l said:
    I wish family would realize that it’s YOUR day that YOU are paying for and leave you alone about the details.


    This thread stopped having comments in February. Best to start a new thread.

    A wedding is absolutely about the two people getting married, but as soon as you invite guests you do have to think about hosting properly and considering their needs.

    InLoveInQueens
  • frances_lfrances_l member
    10 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    My bad, I'm new here! Thanks
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    ernursejshort+sassy
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