Wedding 911

Forced elopement and family’s reaction

edited August 2021 in Wedding 911
I’m hoping for some others opinions/advice as I’m struggling a bit and less than 2 weeks out from the big day. My FH and I were due to be married in Oct 2020, but along came covid and we postponed. 

Soon after we relocated to another state for work. We have no family or friends here but things were looking better (covid wise) so we planned another wedding date but one in which all our family and friends would travel to, a destination wedding for everyone. 

Sadly, Covid has once again made it not possible and nearly our entire guest list cannot travel here, so we made the call to cancel 3 weeks out. But we also decided that we would still get married on the day, and throw a “happily ever after party” when we could to celebrate with our nearest and dearest. So this is now sort of a forced elopement, but we want to make the best of a crappy situation.

We both have parents who have separated and remarried, so 4 sets to deal with. My side could have still come but my FH’s couldn’t, so we decided to treat everyone equally and say that the day would just be the two of us. My FH and I explained that it would be too hard and heartbreaking for us to have some but not all there. All of them were saddened that they wouldn’t be there on the day, but also wished us all the happiness and love for our special day. All except my mom who changed her mind yesterday (or now voiced her true feelings after saying it was okay). She and my step dad have tried to “compromise” with our decision, suggest they still come and we don’t have to tell anyone. They’ve said that her and my relationship is more special than anyone else’s. They’ve said that as my mom she deserves to be there. She gave birth to me so she basically outranks everyone and I won’t understand this because I’m not a parent. She is completely dismissing my FH’s family in this. She’s even gone as far to suggest her and my step dad are old and won’t be around forever (my mom is 62 so this a stretch…).

We are standing our ground, but it is really taking its toll. Because we love all our family (and even some of our friends) equally. My mom just doesn’t seem to listen (or care) about this or my FH’s feelings in that not having any of his family there would be too difficult for him. His family would also forever know they didn’t get to be there. We have promised we’ll throw the after party and definitely will, and said that it’ll be like we eloped and will throw a wedding reception after (but just delayed by a yet to be determined number of days).

Does anyone think we’re being unreasonable? Should I let my mom and step dad be there knowing it will hurt my FH, his family and even others in my family. I feel like letting her come now would actually ruin the day because the invitation wouldn’t be given freely, it’ll be given from guilt and pressure.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Re: Forced elopement and family’s reaction

  • I don't like how your mom is behaving in this but I can also imagine being super hurt at being uninvited from my child's wedding. 

    The year has been tough and I think emotions are at an all time high.

    Would a change of date make your FI's parents any likelier to attend?  I'm no fan of having her as the only guests but if the answer is that no date would work then keep what you have.  

    You need to figure out with your FI which is the bigger thing that you can survive: your FI not having his parents present (assuming changing the date isn't an option) or irritating your mom and likely hearing a never-ending guilt trip. 
  • Another potential compromise is for your FI to talk his parents and see if they would be okay with just your parents coming and you all will have someone zoom the ceremony live for them.  I think zooming the ceremony would be nice anyway and you all can send the link to all the guests who had been invited.

    But the bottom line is, if they would not be okay with that or if you all don't even want to ask them and stand firm, that's perfectly reasonable also.

    I understand why your mom is disappointed, but no one is entitled to a wedding invite.  Not even parents.

    Acknowledge and be understanding about your mom's disappointment, but then point out to her that this has already been bitterly disappointing for yourself and your FI and it's upsetting to keep having this same conversation.  That this is what you all have decided to do, to make the best of an already bad situation.  And the subject is closed.  Don't keep explaining yourself.  Keep shutting the conversation down.  And if that means you need to cut a visit or phone call short, then do that.
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  • ei34ei34 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    It wouldn't be an elopement, it'd be a private wedding.

    Why can't the guests who are able to come, come?  I couldn't imagine missing one of my kids' weddings, and I also couldn't have imagined getting married without my mom.  

    If you and your FI want a private wedding, have one, own it.  I love the extra caution due to Covid (I'm sorry you got postponed last year and are now dealing with this!) but unless there's a state mandate on guests, and eight aren't permitted, I do think I'd lean towards inviting the parents and stepparents and just letting each couple decide if they can attend.
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