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Etiquette

Advice about including the Groom's Family

I am having a really difficult time with our wedding planning and including my fiance's family.  My fiance's parents passed away some time ago.  He and his brother have since moved in with family friends.  This was the "family" I met when we began dating.  He considers this family his brothers, sister, ect.  In addition, he's very close with his mom's sister and her family.  Given his difficult situation, both families have been a huge support.  I love them both dearly and truly consider them all to be his "family" or in the immediate "family" role for wedding purposes. His cousins, and his "brothers and sisters" are all in our bridal party, for example.

The problem is - I feel like I keep offending someone when it comes to planning.  He's the oldest, so this is the first wedding for both families.  As a result, everyone is very excited and wants to be very involved (which I think is great!).  I am doing my best to include both families in everything, but I keep getting the feeling like I'm offending one family or another.  For example, I sent his aunt and the mom of the family friends pictures of my dress when I bought it in a group text, and feelings were hurt. 

Has anyone dealt with a situation like this (maybe divorced parents, step parents...) that has any advice.  It's getting very stressful worrying if I'm hurting someone's feelings anytime I try to make progress in our planning.  More than that, I want everyone to know how much they mean to both of us and want them to feel included.  

Re: Advice about including the Groom's Family

  • I think the advice that you really need is to not worry about this too much. Do your best to include everyone, but don't beat yourself up or jump through too many hoops to please everyone. You'll end up exhausted and cranky later when someone gets upset anyway or criticizes you- you'll think about how you just did so much to please everyone and STILL not everyone is happy- that's a recipe for an exploding bride. You're most likely to take this stress out on your fiance and you don't want that.
    Try to relax. I applaud you for caring so much about including everyone. You may want to say something directly to certain people about wanting everyone to feel like they were a part of the day and the planning, so please let me know if there's ever a time that I can do anything to make you feel more included because I get so excited sometimes I may not realize that I'm leaving someone out or hurting their feelings unintentionally. That's only if you'd like to.
    Other than that, here's more advice: resist texts! Wait until you talk to someone on the phone or in person to do any wedding talk. If they ask you for details or to see a photo, set that up with them. That actually helps more than you think, I speak from experience! Once someone has asked you a question you can answer it for them and then send that same info on to everyone else. 
    And take it one day at a time, one moment at a time. 
    "It's always better when we're together." -Jack Johnson
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    The more people involved in a wedding or anything else, the more likely it is that feelings are going to get hurt.

    In the end, you and your FI have to do what's right for you, even if feelings do get hurt.    If you were deliberately or otherwise rude, then their hurt feelings would be justified.  But if you follow etiquette, at least you have a kind of emotional safety net in that you weren't deliberately rude to anyone, and if they want to express their hurt feelings, you don't need to feel guilty because you didn't do anything to incur guilt.
  • Honestly, I think this is hard to avoid in ANY family situation.  My FI's parents are both still alive and together, but I keep getting feelings of guilt, too.  There are a lot of passive aggressive text messages from his mother and sister (I have come to hate texting) because they feel "left out".  It's really hard to make sure everyone is happy, but I do think it's worth it to try (to a point) since the day is not only about the two of you, but also the joining of your families. 
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  • I've found making time to have a tea and mini "check-in" on my progress with my mother, stepmother and FMIL separately has helped to make everyone feel included.

    Most of the big decisions have all been made by just my FI and I together, so I've had some hurt feelings.

     

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  • In Response to Re: Advice about including the Groom's Family:
    [QUOTE]Honestly, I think this is hard to avoid in ANY family situation.  My FI's parents are both still alive and together, but I keep getting feelings of guilt, too.  There are a lot of passive aggressive text messages from his mother and sister (I have come to hate texting) because they feel "left out".  It's really hard to make sure everyone is happy, but I do think it's worth it to try (to a point) since the day is not only about the two of you, but also the joining of your families. 
    Posted by julibug86[/QUOTE]

    I don't know. I mean, I have to disagree that it's definitely all inclusive. No one has had their feelers hurt because I decided to show someone a picture of a dress in my wedding planning, for example. I tend to think that if people are truly adults about it, things get done. My mom doesn't care that I ask my FMIL to do things, and vice versa. The whole planning stage has gone by really smoothly. But, maybe it's just a wedding miracle.

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