Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Traditions fiasco(s).

Please throw as much advice at me as possible.

My wonderful FI is Filipino, like he originally lived there but now lives here. His mother has been ADAMANT about including every Filipino tradition imaginable, including ones she hadn't heard about or seen, but found online. Etc. She even gave me a transcript of the Filipino wedding ceremony. We have been politely trying to explain, how I am American, that my family doesn't know any of these traditions and would have a hard time filling the role of sponsors, etc.

My family, on the other hand, is fifth-generation American but originally polish. They are getting very frustrated (read: jealous) with his side trying to dominate the ceremony, and have now insisted that I incorporate Polish traditions in the wedding as well. (Although they are at least trying to use ones that are meaningful, like my mom and grandma giving me one of my great-great grandmothers aprons, but seriously.)

The one thing that our families are UNITED on, is that they hate anything we are doing that is breaking with tradition, i.e. not getting married in a church (we haven't even mentioned it isn't specifically Christian), not singling out honor attendants (my best friends are twins, you can't pick only one to be MOH.) and not having the bridesmaids dresses match exactly, and not having a flower girl because we simply don't KNOW any girls the right age but having two ring bearers because he can't choose between his two nephews.

We have probably said bordering a hundred times that this is OUR wedding, that everything we are doing is meaningful to us even if it isn't tradition, we have our reasons for doing things our way, etc. and so forth. Does anyone have a better way to talk to our families?

And just to throw a more frequent question: the money dance. My FI sadly informed me that people are going to dollar-dance me/ run up and pin money on me whether I like it or not, and announce it or not, and apparently this is supposed to happen during the first dance. If people ruin my dress later on, whatever. It happens. But not during the first dance, that's supposed to be special and beautiful, and I would like to remain photogenic for as long as possible. Any suggestions on how to postpone that until later?

Re: Traditions fiasco(s).

  • are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    The first question people will ask is , "who's paying?"  Usually the people paying get a much larger say.

    That being said, I think the trick will be to give everyone a little sumpin' sumpin'.  If it were me, I would get everyone in the same room at the same time.  You and your FH stand together and say something like this:

    "We are so blessed to have both families so excited about our wedding...and we love you all and want everyone to feel honored and included.  So, the only way to do that is to have each side pick one (or two) traditions from your culture to be a part of our day.  We will incorporate those traditions gladly, and still have room to do things that are important to us as a couple as we start our lives together.  Thank you all for being so understanding, and we can't wait to have a day that is all about the blending of our two families."

    The trick is having them all in the room at once.  No one wants to look bad right in front of the other side.  Have a discussion about which ones, say thank you, and then refuse to discuss it again.  If either side brings it up you remind them that they already have a plan, smile sweetly, and change the subject.

    As for the dollar thing...I'm not sure that you can do anything about other people.  Your FH should be telling his side that he is concerned that they will scare you.  They are his people...he should deal with them.  Unfortunately, people will be crazy, and guests rarely follow a script!

    I hope any of this helps!  Good luck!

    My baby girl is a married woman...and now my baby girl HAS a baby girl. Time unfolds in such an amazing way. I've been blessed!
  • PP had great advice. I would go with exactly what she said. Each family gets to pick one or two of their favorite traditions [give them a specific number of how many- whatever number you feel you have room to incorporate into your ceremony] and then that's it. No more discussion. No more whining. They will just have to deal. And refuse to discuss it with them further.

    Hopefully your FI can convince his family to at least leave you alone for the first dance. If you just go ahead and schedule a dollar dance as one of their traditions, maybe they will wait until the "appropriate" time?
  • I agree with Muffin's Mom.  As much as it sucks, the person who is paying gets the larger pull in how how wedding goes. 

    That being said, I think it is fair to sit one mom from each side down at dinner one day, with you and your fiance and say something like "look, we want our ceremony to be half an hour.  Let's see how we can include 2 traditions from BOTH sides in that amount of time" and go from there.

    About the money dance:  If there's really nothing you can do, there's nothing you can do.  If his family sees this as an important wedding tradition, that's all there is to it.  Yes while many see it as rude, if they are expecting and looking forward to this, it would be just as rude on your part to refuse their monetary gifts during what they consider to be an important custom.  Just don't announce it, and if it happens, fine, deal with it as it comes.

    In terms of your dress being ruined, I wouldn't worry about it.  No one is going to make huge snags in your dress, and I bet teeny-tiny holes wouldn't even show in photos
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards