Etiquette

Divorced parents vs. Married parents?

akduffieldakduffield
First Comment
member
edited February 2017 in Etiquette
 Our wedding is December 2nd, 2017 and my parent's anniversary is on december 21st. They will have be married for 43 years but my fiancé's parents got divorced over 7 years ago. I saw a video online of a couple honoring both parents at their wedding with a surprise vowel renewal and it just broke my heart. I'd love to do something like this for my parents but I don't want to offend or hurt his parents, namely his Mom. (She made comments this weekend during planning that his Dad "better not bring his girlfriend to this personal family affair".) So, I know she's already bracing for the uncomfortable moments. Do you guys have any idea of how I can honor all the parents, or at least honor our parents in different ways (like mine being married for that long, I'd love to surprise them with a vow renewal) so as to not offend his parents or hurt anyone's feelings? Thank you so much!
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Re: Divorced parents vs. Married parents?

  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    I'd find it really weird to attend someone's wedding and then being forced to watch the bride's parents renew their vows. 

    Also is VOW. Not vowel. 

    Heffalumpsparklepants41InLoveInQueensPrettyGirlLost
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    It's not your place to surprise your parents with a vow renewal. This is your wedding. That's enough for one event. 


    image
    SP29
  • Thanks everyone! Didn't realize this was such a hot topic. I appreciate your concerns and thoughts. My ONLY reason for doing this is to honor my parents, your thoughts and concerns are valid however, you don't know my parents. Full stop.

    Secondly, I DO NOT want to create strife or uncomfortableness in my future-MIL's heart THEREFORE... the question was asked... (again)... what CAN I do to honor BOTH sets of parents?

    Anyone have any ideas without being harsh? Also, excuse me for me "vowel" renewal faux pas. Didn't realize I was posting in a spelling and grammar board.

    :)
  • Heffalump said:
    To be blunt, it's really not your place to renew someone else's vows.  Trust me, if your parents want to do something like that at some point, they will.  And if they do, it will likely be for a milestone anniversary, not their 43rd.  (Which, TBH, seems pretty random.)  This event is about you marrying your FI, full stop.

    Also, if I were a guest on your FI's side, I would have zero interest in witnessing some random couple's vow renewal.  Not what I signed on for.

    As for your FMIL, that is one more good reason not to do this.  Have you and your FI discussed how to address her comments about your FFIL and his girlfriend?  Because if they are together when your invitations go out, the GF needs to be invited--you can't split up social units.  Even those that your FMIL doesn't approve of.  In which case, it sounds like your FMIL may need a dose of real talk from your FI, with a side of healthy boundaries.

    And, in closing:

    banana468 said:

    vowels are letters. 
    So much this. 

    Image result for buy a vowel
    So much what? A spelling and grammar mistake? Who would have thought a message board that's supposed to help people would become a place where you get made fun of for a spelling mistake. How about you answer the question I asked instead of being rude?
  • Thanks, ya'll!
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member
    edited February 2017
    Limit your wedding to your wedding. If you want to honor anyone, do so individually and don't make a big deal of their relationship status. In other words, invite their SOs and seat them together but leave it at that.
  • Also, maybe this was a dumb question to ask but quite frankly, I'm new to the whole wedding planning thing. I thought that this would be a safe space to come and ask some questions. I do appreciate the suggestions from some of you. However, how about next time -- try to be a little more kind in your responses? I didn't bold anything, so we're splitting hairs here. I appreciate the people who took the time to give me some ideas about what to do to honor both parents.

    Yes, I understand that highlighting someone else on MY day isn't popular, but I'm not above honoring people who raised me and my future husband. Even if it's in private, I'll consider those options you gave as well. Like I said in the beginning, I'd love ideas to honor ALL the parents even though his parents are not together. And to the point about his Mom being upset about his Dad's GF, that will be my future husband's conversation to have. We have given both his parents an opportunity to bring guests but his Mother does not want to and she expects his Dad not to either, even though they've been divorced for over 8 years now and he has been dating this woman for over 3. Again, not my conversation to have, not my parents, and I'm not going to put myself in the middle of that.

    However --- I agree that if you were at your friend's wedding and their parents had their vows (vowels ;)) renewed, would be weird, probably. That's why I asked! I figured other people could have insight or at least another point of view.

    The video I saw was beautiful and just made me realize I'd like to honor our family as I don't have any grandparents left and he only has his Grandmother, I don't want the day to go by without making them feel special either. Especially since they are all equally as excited and wanting to be involved in the day in whatever way they can.

    I appreciate the feedback, again, however I wasn't prepared for the backlash of strangers making me feel like my intentions weren't in the right place. That's where my annoyance came from and nitpicking at the spelling of one word, when I asked an (important to me) question.

    Thanks.
  • You cannot make a big public thing of honoring your parents' relationship without hurting your MIL. Full stop. So drop it, or accept that you're likely choosing to hurt her.

    I wrote my parents and my FI's parents letter and gave them to them that morning. You can do something private and heartfelt like that.
    This is a great idea. Honoring people doesn't always have to be a big huge public display, as sometimes the honorees are uncomfortable with that. As a guest, I may also feel a little bit icked out to witness something personal for a couple I don't know. You could write each parent a letter separately to let them know how much they mean to you.

    Also, I do love the anniversary dances at weddings! I know that won't honor your FILs, but it could make your parents feel special. We're also going to play the songs our parents danced to at their weddings, so you could possibly play your parents' song?
    OurWildKingdomernursej
  • Your wedding day is supposed to be about your marriage, not somebody else's. Please don't do the vow renewal. I don't think you should count on your parents appreciating such a surprise. Even if they want to do a vow renewal, who are you to decide when and where it should be? Obviously, of course, doing this at the wedding would also be terribly awkward for your FI's parents, especially his mom from what you're saying.

    If you want to honor your parents and thank them for supporting you to this point in your lives, get each of them a thoughtful, meaningful gift. Anything you do for your parents should be to honor them as parents, not because they've been married a certain number of years.
    image
    OurWildKingdomSTARMOON44ILoveBeachMusicPrettyGirlLost
  • akduffieldakduffield
    First Comment
    member
    edited February 2017
    I think what I was most shocked about was the responses that were basically shooting down my idea. Which, I suppose I should have been more prepared for on a public forum (whoever said that above, is correct. It's a shock initially for people who don't know you to pull apart what you've said.) I now understand how this works so I appreciate everyone's feedback. Like I said.... I agree that a vow renewal ceremony would be weird... so any other ideas would be appreciated.

    My parents had their vows renewed when I was in 8th grade. It was a surprise to my mom and she cried, laughed, loved everything about it. They've been through a LOT since then, all of their parents have died, sickness, you name it.... So my initial reason for even SUGGESTING this idea was because I want them to feel included on my day. I agree now that this was a weird idea, but what I don't get is the questioning of my heart. "Who am I to say when they should renew their vows? You shouldn't count on your parents for liking that idea. Other people will be grossed out". Those are the comments that I felt, personally, were not warranted.

    All that could have been said was -- hey, that's a kind of weird idea. Maybe try this...

    But, to each his own in their communication style. Which I have now learned, thanks to this thread. Guess I need a "thicker skin" when it comes to public forums.
  • Something my friends did that you might like, is the rose ceremony. The bride gives a rose to the groom's family, and the groom gives a rose to the bride's family.

    Otherwise, I agree with writing a heartfelt note, mention in your program, the anniversary dance, or photos of your parents set up at the reception.
    OurWildKingdomshort+sassy

  • SP29 said:
    Something my friends did that you might like, is the rose ceremony. The bride gives a rose to the groom's family, and the groom gives a rose to the bride's family.

    Otherwise, I agree with writing a heartfelt note, mention in your program, the anniversary dance, or photos of your parents set up at the reception.
    I love these ideas. Thank you!
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    edited February 2017
    I think what I was most shocked about was the responses that were basically shooting down my idea. Which, I suppose I should have been more prepared for on a public forum (whoever said that above, is correct. It's a shock initially for people who don't know you to pull apart what you've said.) I now understand how this works so I appreciate everyone's feedback. Like I said.... I agree that a vow renewal ceremony would be weird... so any other ideas would be appreciated.

    My parents had their vows renewed when I was in 8th grade. It was a surprise to my mom and she cried, laughed, loved everything about it. They've been through a LOT since then, all of their parents have died, sickness, you name it.... So my initial reason for even SUGGESTING this idea was because I want them to feel included on my day. I agree now that this was a weird idea, but what I don't get is the questioning of my heart. "Who am I to say when they should renew their vows? You shouldn't count on your parents for liking that idea. Other people will be grossed out". Those are the comments that I felt, personally, were not warranted.

    All that could have been said was -- hey, that's a kind of weird idea. Maybe try this...

    But, to each his own in their communication style. Which I have now learned, thanks to this thread. Guess I need a "thicker skin" when it comes to public forums.
    Do you routinely walk around telling people how they should phrase their thoughts and ideas? If you think you need a thicker skin for this thread, I'm baffled at how you make it through life on a daily basis. If you manager told you that you didn't make you metrics for last quarter, would you fly off the handle and tell her that she should have phrased it gently?

    No one ripped you apart. You asked for opinions on an admittedly bad idea. People gave you their opinions, and explained them. No one said you are a bad person or bad daughter for wanting to do this. I don't understand where you get off saying that people were rude to you and telling people how they should respond. No one "questioned your heart."

    You are seeing something that just isn't there. 
    Exactly. No one said or even implied you were somehow trying to dishonor or disrespect them.

    What was said was just that this should be their decision and not yours, and that your wedding is not the appropriate time and place (since the guests are yours, not theirs, and came to see your wedding ceremony only), and that all this would apply no matter how nice you think the idea is, or how much you think your parents deserve to have a vow renewal or public honor. Sometimes people don't think about that sort of thing in their excitement. That's okay, as long as you're willing to see those problems when they're pointed out, which it sounds like you are.

    Anniversary

    STARMOON44OurWildKingdomdowntondivaSP29
  • I think what I was most shocked about was the responses that were basically shooting down my idea. Which, I suppose I should have been more prepared for on a public forum (whoever said that above, is correct. It's a shock initially for people who don't know you to pull apart what you've said.) I now understand how this works so I appreciate everyone's feedback. Like I said.... I agree that a vow renewal ceremony would be weird... so any other ideas would be appreciated.

    My parents had their vows renewed when I was in 8th grade. It was a surprise to my mom and she cried, laughed, loved everything about it. They've been through a LOT since then, all of their parents have died, sickness, you name it.... So my initial reason for even SUGGESTING this idea was because I want them to feel included on my day. I agree now that this was a weird idea, but what I don't get is the questioning of my heart. "Who am I to say when they should renew their vows? You shouldn't count on your parents for liking that idea. Other people will be grossed out". Those are the comments that I felt, personally, were not warranted.

    All that could have been said was -- hey, that's a kind of weird idea. Maybe try this...

    But, to each his own in their communication style. Which I have now learned, thanks to this thread. Guess I need a "thicker skin" when it comes to public forums.
    To the first bolded, what about just writing them a letter about how inspiring their relationship has been? It's heartfelt and it's private, so won't insult or make anyone else feel bad. 

    To the second bolded, yes. What's really nice about these forums is that no one will dance around bad ideas with a ribbon dancer throwing glitter in the air. Even though the delivery can be blunt and, yes, sometimes rude, I personally find the honesty refreshing. Planning a wedding means everyone just smiles at you and tells you how wonderful all your ideas are even if they suck. It's nice to have someone bring things into perspective. That's me though.
    *********************************************************************************

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    sparklepants41SP29eileenrobOurWildKingdom
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