Wedding Etiquette Forum

Mom Wants Hometown Wedding


I'm recently engaged and I've been trying to begin the process of planning my wedding.  My fiance is from Michigan and I am from Ohio, but we live together in Florida.

We were initially planning on having our wedding in Michigan for a variety of reasons. 
1. This is my second marriage, so on my side, I really want things to be simple and don't "want" much. He on the other hand has never been married and has certain specific things.  To me, I don't mind trying to get as much of what he wants as possible because I already had my "dream" wedding (side note: dream wedding does not equal dream marriage.)
2. We are planning a very small wedding (under 50 people) and the majority of them would be from Michigan.
3. We just WANT to have it there. It's where we met and we had a specific venue in mind that we were interested in before my mother started voicing her opinions.

So my mom wants us to have it in Ohio.  The location we were initially hoping for was just over a 3 hour drive for my parents so nothing crazy. She said that if it's in Michigan she won't go and she'll be upset. I asked if she would care if we eloped somewhere far away and she didn't get to go if she would care and she said no.  I really feel like this is more a control thing than anything else. I REALLY get along with my fiance's family and for some reason she feels really threatened by that.

Normally I would think that she's not paying for any of this wedding so she can suck it up and go but there is ONE detail that makes me wonder if I'm totally wrong.  She is handicapped.  Both of my parents are.  They are not incapable of leaving the house by any means. My dad still drives regularly. But she HATES leaving the house. The older she gets the more of a hermit she really becomes. It's an excuse that she is leveraging for why we can't have it in Michigan but one that I still don't feel is totally justified. My brother could easily drive them. I could put them up in a handicap accessible room.  This doesn't have to be difficult.  But I am wondering if I'm the one being unreasonable. 


Re: Mom Wants Hometown Wedding

  • I think having the wedding in FL would have been unreasonable, since all of your guests would otherwise be within a manageable driving distance!

    Not knowing your parent's disabilities, is a 3 hour drive too much for either of them to handle?  If the answer is no, then continue on with your plans.  Tell your mom that you really hope she changes her mind and attends, but otherwise she will be missed.

    Have you tried talking to your dad about this?  What does he say?

  • I'm with flantastic here.
    I can only go with what you've written, right, but you say that she hates leaving the house. The house. Short of having the wedding in her backyard, she's leaving the house for your wedding. Does it make a difference if it's a 10 minute drive (with her husband or your brother) or three hours? Maybe, maybe not. But it sounds like there are ways you can make her comfortable if the wedding is in Michigan, so. 

  • This is your and your FI wedding.  You need to do what is best for the both of you and what you both want.  From your list above it sounds like that means your wedding will take place in Michigan.

    Your Mom's unwillingness to leave her home is not your problem.  The fact that she will happily leave her home if you get married in Ohio but she won't come to a wedding in Michigan (which is not very far away from what you have said and knowing that they will have transportation and accommodations in place) tells me that she is  the one being unreasonable.

    With all that said, at the end of the day would you be okay with your Mom not being at your wedding?  Not saying that you should adjust your plans in the slightest, but you need to be prepared that she may decline the invite.
  • Unfortunately, there really isn't anything you can do if your mother chooses not to attend your wedding.

    I realize that it's inconvenient for her to have to leave her house and go to wherever you are getting married, but I do think it's unreasonable for her to give you an ultimatum about the wedding location. You're an adult and she's not hosting, and your willingness to accommodate her condition makes her look even less reasonable for being unwilling to compromise in any way.
  • Would she travel anywhere else? 

    I'm wondering if this is a line in the sand issue for your wedding or if your mom is suffering from some anxiety related to longer travel distances.   For many a longer car ride of 3 hours can be a big issue.

    That doesn't mean that you're wrong for thinking of a wedding in Michigan at all.   I think you just need to evaluate if this is a power play on your mom's part, if it's anxiety, if it's a legitimate concern about how to make a trip of that distance and how badly you want her there if there's no changing her mind about a trip. 
  • edited April 2018
    Are you up to date on your parents medical issues? It may be that a three hour ride and a hotel stay would be difficult or impossible  for one parent or the other due to declining health. When was the last time they travelled anywhere? If the workarounds you've offered aren't acceptable to them, you need to take them at their word that they will not be able to attend your wedding. 

    That said, it's your right to have your wedding wherever you want. It makes sense that you want to make it easier for the majority of your guests to attend. Could you travel to Ohio after the wedding to celebrate with your parents? 
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards