Wedding 911


Hi all, I’m really hoping I can find help here….

I am having a very difficult time figuring out what to do and how to be happy and excited about it. First-I come from a divorced family (as does my fiancé) and have had a terrified/horrible opinion on marriage since my parent’s nasty divorce. I also don’t have a great relationship with my father-I have desperately wanted one since I can remember, but he traveled a lot, was never around, then treated this tom girl as a girly girl who just couldn’t hang. He is now remarried and has a new family that he insists on being there (even people I have never met). I also have just one close friend. ONE. It is hard to think of such a joyous day when you should be surrounded with friends and family and it just seems miserable to me… magnifying the fact that I have very few people that are close to me – not for lack of effort.

Next-there is a band we LOVE that we tried to get for the reception thinking it would be the greatest thing ever. After 5 months of working with the agent they flat out said no-why couldn’t they have told us that instead of leading us on and telling us they will work it out!?! I have looked into local wedding bands that play covers and they actually cost more than we were going to pay for a band that has all original music with a couple covers by our request-and I just don’t see how that is good money spent.

I have had a hard time because spending this amount of money (we will be paying for the majority ourselves) on a party with subpar food, playing music off a phone and having no one there for me seems like a horrible day. I’d rather run away and get married with the person I love-but save the dates have been sent and plane tickets have been purchased.

I’m looking for advice - on how to adjust my thoughts to remember that it will be an amazing day no matter what AND what in heaven’s name to do in place of the band.

I appreciate the thoughts and am open to all sorts of ideas!



  • I agree with everything that @lyndausvi said. 

    Take a deep breath. 

    First, if you have such a strong, negative opinion on marriage I think you and your FI could benefit from some pre-marital counseling. It will help you deal with your past and give you tools to prevent that from affecting your future and your relationship. 

    Second, a wedding is not going to suddenly change your relationships with people, including parents. It sucks your dad was never around for you, and that you don't have a picture-perfect relationship. I know because I have the same thing. But getting married doesn't change people so the sooner you come to terms with who he is and what he's done, the sooner you can move on and not let it affect your happiness. 

    Finally, consider eloping. If the only thing that is holding you back is that STDs have gone out; send out a postcard saying the wedding will not take place as originally planned, if people bought plane tickets call them and tell them directly. If you did, see if you can change them, get a refund or credit for a future flight. 

    If you're this unhappy now take a break for planning, talk with your FI about what kind of wedding the two of you really want and go from there. 
  • This is a good time to bring in a marriage prep counselor of some sort - it's money well spent to plan the MARRIAGE and "Rules of Engagement" you could say because planning the marriage is money well spent and will save you tons in the end in stress and heartache especially for the times that aren't sunshine and rainbows.  We did this through our church though they offer the class/prep to those that aren't of the faith as it helps promote success (and in our state it qualifies a couple for a discount on the cost of the marriage license).. 

    Next - you were going to hire a band, but I fail to see where the disconnect is between a band or DJ and you going straight to music off your phone.  Use the band money to hire a DJ to work the crowd and make sure things go smoothly!  Trust me when I say from working with entertainers, with the band/agent you were dealing with -if they're like that now, consider it a dodged bullet for how much of a PITA they'd be come your wedding!  Yes, the ones who do weddings regularly are more, but you're also getting more along with experience and the ability to adjust to their audience. 

    Sub par food - that can be fixed - change the menu to something that actually TASTES good!  That doesn't mean spending more money, it's insisting the food be up to par!  Figure out what the missing element is and fix it.  Does the food need salt, does the chef over-spice and it needs to be toned down, do they not cook the pasta long enough, does the sandwich simply not have enough meat on it?  What makes it sub-par - and get it fixed!  Most caterers will work with you on this stuff if you ask/request!

    As for "One good friend and you'd rather elope" factor - Have you talked this over with your FI?  Have you opened those lines of communication up?  Eloping may be the way for you two to go if it's that stressful. 

    Focus on what you can change to make it more enjoyable.  Avoid making it complicated, in a sense, look at your wedding like a business transaction, you want something out of the vendors you're hiring, you want it done right, surround yourself with those vendors who will make that vision so.  If a vendor is a PITA or doesn't do their job correctly - fire them!  Take back your wedding by focusing on how to get to where you want to be and communicate that better with everyone involved.  Yes, it's a lot of money being spent, but there are only three things you need to get married - 1) Someone to marry you, 2) A license, and 3) Someone to witness/officiate..  Everything else is window dressing and gravy - host your guests properly and remember that no one else there will be dwelling on many of those details that are overwhelming you right now.  If you had your wedding to plan for this Saturday, what would you do and how would you do it to enjoy the day with your guests - start there!  Be firm, delegate to your vendors, and communicate!

  • flantasticflantastic member
    Tenth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited July 2016
    It seems you've got two issues.

    1) Your worries about marriage in general. That would be best worked through with a pre-marital or individual counselor. If you can see your own marriage in a positive light, unrelated to your parents' marriages, then proceed with getting married.

    2) Your vision of what a wedding with guests has to be in order for it to be "worth it." You definitely don't have to do anything more than elope to City Hall if you're excited about marriage with your fiance, but should you choose to have your wedding with guests (yes, that can still be changed with a small mailing that says "The wedding of X&Y will not take place as planned" and people will figure out what to do with their travel arrangements):
    • I have never been to a wedding with a live band, and I have had great fun with both DJs and iPods.
    • Food should be a priority if you're going to invite guests, just because everyone cares about food, and your reception is the thanks to your guests for taking the time to come witness your marriage. This food does not have to be fancy, but you should attempt to have it taste good. Cake and punch alone is fine if your wedding reception isn't over a normal mealtime. Brunch is awesome.
    • People have different families, friends, and relationships. I'm not sure what you mean about it being meant to be "surrounded by friends and family." You have friends and family, and they'll plan to be there. Quality over quantity. But no one changes personalities for your wedding, including you - if you have one friend, that's fine. That's why you need to focus on what you get out of the wedding - the marriage. Do you want to be married? Will you be married at the end of the day? Success.
  • Other folks have great answers to the bigger parts of your post, so I'm going to zoom in on the band. As a PP said, you've budgeted for it; why not use another band? Because frankly, if I'm going to a wedding that has a band playing, I want them to be playing covers. There is no way I will dance to a band's original music I have never heard before. I want songs I know.
    I have to agree with this. The way to get people onto the dance floor is to play songs they know and like. Your wedding is not supposed to be a concert for the band you hired to show off their own work. Overall, though, I believe you really need to rethink your budget for the wedding - having a band and then serving crappy food to your guests is not the answer. 

    As for your fears about marriage due to your parents' divorce: I think almost every child of divorce goes through some of that. I know I did. However, if your concerns are getting in the way of your feeling excited about getting married or making you this pessimistic about your future, I think you need to see a counselor as soon as possible. It is not fair to you or your FI to let your negative feelings about marriage get you off to an unhappy start. 
  • Before you start inviting your Dads new family (excluding his wife) realize that bending on this won't make your relationship good. He has shown his true colors and a wedding won't change anything. Is it too late to change the venue? With a smaller guest list you could have a reception in a restarunt. Those usally already have nice sound systems in place too.

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