Wedding 911

Advice please!

My fiance and I just got engaged 3 weeks ago, and we've been trying to being planning the wedding, but we're faced with a slight dilemma. My fiance is Scottish, I'm American (from California) and we live near London. We would love to have a wedding with both families there in full, but that seems unlikely. We mulled over the idea of having a tiny wedding somewhere abroad with just immediate families, and then more relaxed parties in each location afterwards to celebrate (my fiance wants a ceilidh for sure!) but both sets of parents felt we should just have it in the US or Scotland and not worry about who can't come. Our immediate families would for sure make the trip, but we aren't sure how many if any of the extended families would be able to make the trip across the Atlantic. My parents are very generously footing the bill, which makes an American wedding seem more practical (certainly financially) but my mom made the point that since we live in the UK, she thinks it probably makes most sense to have it there. We have no idea what to do to - we want to include everyone (and we're not particularly fussed about having an expensive reception, so we'd definitely take more guests over a particular venue or fancy menu). My fiance thought the best option would be to still have a small, immediate family wedding only in one of the locations followed by a reception for everyone, and then have a small party after the wedding in the other location, but since many of my family don't live in California, that would only be an option in Scotland. Has anyone been in this situation (or similar)? What did you do? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Advice please!

  • My fiance and I just got engaged 3 weeks ago, and we've been trying to being planning the wedding, but we're faced with a slight dilemma. My fiance is Scottish, I'm American (from California) and we live near London. We would love to have a wedding with both families there in full, but that seems unlikely. We mulled over the idea of having a tiny wedding somewhere abroad with just immediate families, and then more relaxed parties in each location afterwards to celebrate (my fiance wants a ceilidh for sure!) but both sets of parents felt we should just have it in the US or Scotland and not worry about who can't come. Our immediate families would for sure make the trip, but we aren't sure how many if any of the extended families would be able to make the trip across the Atlantic. My parents are very generously footing the bill, which makes an American wedding seem more practical (certainly financially) but my mom made the point that since we live in the UK, she thinks it probably makes most sense to have it there. We have no idea what to do to - we want to include everyone (and we're not particularly fussed about having an expensive reception, so we'd definitely take more guests over a particular venue or fancy menu). My fiance thought the best option would be to still have a small, immediate family wedding only in one of the locations followed by a reception for everyone, and then have a small party after the wedding in the other location, but since many of my family don't live in California, that would only be an option in Scotland. Has anyone been in this situation (or similar)? What did you do? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    I agree with your Mom.  Have a wedding near where you live.  Plan it according to UK etiquette.  People will attend who can.  Don't worry about the others.  Maybe when you are visiting your FILS, your FMIL can have a tea for you to introduce you to their friends.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    PrettyGirlLostKnottie37373131adk19
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    I also agree with your mom. 

    adk19
  • Thanks for the advice, both of you. I'm really lucky, actually, my fiance and I have been together since university, so I know his family and his family's friends quite well. Mom thinks that some of our relatives would make the trip, and Scottish wedding traditions are quite lovely. My fiance is pulling for California, though, as his immediate family is larger than mine, so he thinks that he'll end up having more family there than if we do it in Scotland and only my parents and sister come (and he said his main worry is he doesn't want me to be sad that my relatives couldn't make it).
  • Thanks for the advice, both of you. I'm really lucky, actually, my fiance and I have been together since university, so I know his family and his family's friends quite well. Mom thinks that some of our relatives would make the trip, and Scottish wedding traditions are quite lovely. My fiance is pulling for California, though, as his immediate family is larger than mine, so he thinks that he'll end up having more family there than if we do it in Scotland and only my parents and sister come (and he said his main worry is he doesn't want me to be sad that my relatives couldn't make it).
    I agree with your mom that having the wedding in the UK is much more practical - and you'll probably make some American friends jealous ;)

    FWIW most of my family is in India, so very few made it to our wedding. It bummed me out for a while leading up to the wedding, but on my actual wedding day, I was just excited to spend time with my friends and family who were there to help us celebrate (and you know, excited to get married). 

    It's your decision though, so thank your FI for his help, but remind him that if you make the call, you've made the call. 

    image
    PrettyGirlLost
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    member
    Agree with CMG.  My entire extended family lives in England so when my sister got married (her now-hubby's family all live in the Midwest) they struggled with this too. They wanted to get married in England but then it excluded the groom's side.  It was a no-win. They made a trip to England for their 1-year anniversary and we had a family reunion. It turned out great. 

    Now that it's my turn, we just planned the wedding here in the Midwest where most of FI's family lives.  We have one Aunt and Uncle making the trip 'cross the pond and hopefully we, too, can take organize another family reunion in a year or two. 
    ________________________________


  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    member

    Our families are all in US, but scattered across the country.  We live in AZ.  His parents & sister live in AZ.  My parents & most extended family live in MI.  My sister lives in AL.  My brother lives in FL. He has extended family in FL, TN, & OR.  There was no good option that worked for everyone.

    We thought about having the wedding in MI, where I'm from, since I have more family then he does.  And we thought about doing it in AZ, because it would be much easier to plan close to home.  In the end, we decided that we actually wanted a smaller wedding and would be okay if only our immediate families came.  So we got married in New Orleans (2 months ago), right in the middle of everyone and everyone had to travel to get there.  None of my extended family was able to make it. We did have a few of our close friends come and all our immediate family was there. So, we were happy with the outcome.

    We were planning to do BBQ parties in MI & AZ after the wedding.  But, my sister got engaged and planned her wedding for same time we were thinking about MI party, so we decided to skip that one.  We will see all the extended family at her wedding anyway. We do still plan to have a BBQ in AZ this fall.  It won't officially be wedding related, just a casual backyard BBQ to hang out with the newlyweds.  But, we are inviting all our local friends & family that couldn't come to the wedding to hang out with us and we will have the wedding photos available to look at.  So, it still gives all of them a chance to see us and congratulate us, I guess. 

    There is no real right or wrong here. You just need to figure out what works best. And as long as your VIP's are there (must have people, like parents, siblings, best friends), you can still have a great wedding.  We had a few people attend that we thought for sure wouldn't be able to make it. If having the most possible people come is a priority, then have it where its most convenient for largest number of people. Having a wedding at home in London is definitely easier than planning a destination wedding.  And you probably have friends there that you would like to have attend also.  And London is still somewhat convenient for his Scottish family.  And you may have more people come than you would expect, regardless of location.  Many people will use it as an excuse to take that big vacation that they've dreamt of, and as long as you give them time to save & plan for it, there's a good chance people will make the trip.

    image 

  • You and FI should think about who are the people that you couldn't imagine NOT being at your wedding. Ask these people their opinions on the different locations and go from there. And I will also say I agree with your mom. Planning would be easier in same area you live.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • We got married in London and DH's entire family flew out, as did many friends from both the east and west coasts - you'll probably be surprised at how many people are willing to travel if you give them notice (we sent out STD's a year in advance so that people could plan/save).
  • Thank you all for your advice.  In the end, we decided to go with California, told my parents and my FILs and it turns out that my fiance's brother, a cop, will be unable to take any time off in 2015 at all.  Therefore, the wedding will be in Scotland after all!  I appreciate the advice, though.  
  • Your mom seems like a nice, logical lady.  
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards