I thought 2020 couldn't get much worse but I have been proven wrong.
My fiancé and I have been venue hunting and after an extensive search and after many unsuccessful viewings, I came across the perfect venue that met 90% of our requirements. We were both so excited as this was the last venue we could see before the Coronavirus lockdown.
Upon arriving, my fiancé realised that it was the same venue that his younger brother married at 5 years prior. I was not around at the time so I had no idea. My fiancé did not think it would be a big issue but we thought it would be respectful to let him know before booking. The venue was affordable, flexible with our cultural caterers and was in a nearby location so guests wouldn't have to travel too far.
We spoke to his family first and they all thought it would be a lovely idea as it was such a beautiful venue which they would be excited to visit again. My fiancé called his younger brother to ask how he would feel about us using the same venue and his immediate reply was "NO! NO! Don't do that. That's my venue!" and ended the conversation.
The rest of his family were shocked and didn't understand what the issue was and my fiancé's father spoke for an hour expressing that no one can take ownership over a venue just because they had a special moment there. He urged us to do what was best for us and if that meant using the same venue then so be it. His Mother, though initially shocked at her younger son's reaction said that she was not getting in the middle.
After speaking to my own family and looking at other options, my fiancé and I came to the conclusion that we were happy to continue with the booking as it was a dream venue for us both. Furthermore, by the time we would marry there would be a 6-year gap. We had the blessing of his father and mine so we went ahead and secured the deposit.
A few days later, my fiancé's mother text me to ask if we had made a decision in which I explained we understand your sons position but there really should be no reason we are denied this venue just because he married there previously. We explained that we are a completely different couple with differing ideas, guest lists, colour schemes etc. and we hope that his younger brother can attend the day whilst also reminiscing on his own special day.
To my surprise, his Mother replied stating how disappointed she was in both of us going ahead with the venue and that we would be ruining the memory of his special day. She asked "Do you really want your day being compared to his? Your guest list may be slimmer than you think". I was quite speechless.
An hour or so later, I received a call from my fiancés brother who proceeded to berate me down the phone stating that we were no longer family and that he and his wife would not be attending the wedding. I told my fiancé the news and he called his father immediately in hopes that he would advocate for us. The following day, his father (who had previously given his full support) text my fiancé and told him the best thing to do is change the venue.
I spoke to my family about the situation and my father respectfully text my fiancé's father in hopes to resolve the issue. His texts and calls were ignored.
As expected, we are feeling quite low about this. We considered cancelling the venue however we would be charged a large chunk of the venue fee ($8,000). My fiancé contacted his family to explain this and said if they were willing to help with the cancellation costs then we would consider changing the venue. The request was also ignored and his family including his younger brothers maintain the position that we are in the wrong and that they are not sure if they will be attending the wedding next year.
I guess I am writing more so for reassurance and support more than anything else as the family reaction has completely thrown me. I am open to any opinions on the matter.