Second Weddings

My parents think we shouldn't have a wedding

I got married when I was 19 years old. My parents didn't entirely approve, but they were supportive and helped pay for and plan the wedding along with my ex-husband's family. By 21 I was divorced (my decision, it was a huge mistake).

Now I'm 28 and engaged to get married this September. This will be my fiance's first marriage. My family loves my fiance, have been wanting us to get married for a long time, and already consider him family. Yet when I annouced we were engaged they were surprised that we wanted to have a wedding. In their view, we should just go to the courthouse and get it done. Keep in mind that my family is from small town, rural south Alabama where nearly everyone has a small, simple church wedding. My fiance's family, on the other hand, is from a rich community in south Florida where the expectations are totally different.

In my opinion, the wedding we have planned is very intimate and modest. We're having the ceremony in a park (for free!) and we're paying for the reception venue, catering, and photography ourselves. We've cut costs as much as possible but we still need help. I finally asked my parents tonight if they could contribute anything, and suggested smaller things like flowers or help with getting decorations. My stepmom said she thought we were paying for it all ourselves and handed the phone to my Dad, who said "you know we're not big on big weddings" but he'd talk it over and get back to me.

Am I in the wrong here? I'm so upset that they feel this way and like I'm being made to feel guilty because my first marriage didn't work out. This is the man I love and want to spend my life with, I think we deserve to have the experience of actually getting married in front of all the people we care about and celebrating with them. It means so much to me, and this whole thing just makes me feel sick to my stomach. This whole time they've acted like they want nothing to do with the wedding other than show up. I'm not asking for a lot here, I just feel like they should be excited for me and want to be involved. It's not like they're struggling, they make good money so I know that isn't the issue. Any advice?

Re: My parents think we shouldn't have a wedding

  • My advice is to do what you and your fiance want (and can afford).  Leave your parents out of the equation.  Invite them to the wedding (whether it's in a Church, courthouse or corn field ... when you get married, it IS a wedding) of your dreams.  Really, do you care what they think?  They've had their wedding.  It's your turn now.

  • Like Lisa said, have the wedding you and your FI can afford.  You can't force your parents to help you foot the bill. 
  • I totally understand where you are coming from!  (except I didn't ask for money.  I agree with PP that you pay for what you can afford and work with that.  Don't ask for money).  I bickered back and forth with my parents, who also adore my FI, and I finally gave up the battle.  We are going to Vegas and eloping.  It was easier than listening to my parents over and over about what a waste of money my 2nd wedding was.

  • I don't want to force them and it's not about money. Just the idea that they don't think we deserve a wedding is what upsets me. I don't understand it.
  • There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a wedding to celebrate marrying the man you love, but as PP's have mentioned it really should be you and your FI who pays for it.   I just got remarried this past June.  I'm sure a few folks raised their eyebrows when they heard that not only were we having the full formal wedding and reception...but I also wore a 'regular' white wedding gown! *gasp*   The way I look at it, this is the man who I love and adore... the man I intend to spend the rest of my life with, so our union deserved as big a celebration as we could afford :) (and yes, we paid $100 of the costs)
    84image 73image 11image Wedding date: June 11, 2011 :)
  • blush64blush64 member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited February 2012
    You shouldn't have asked for help. At any age it is the responsibility of the bride and groom to pay for their own wedding.

    It's not wrong to want your family to be excited for you and get involved but it might be unrealistic. I would have loved my mom to be excited for me and want to help out but that was never going to happen and it didn't. I just went ahead and planned it on my own and if anyone wanted to help I assumed they would ask.

    Plan the wedding you and your FI want and can afford. Don't expect anything from anyone. You are 28 and should be well used to taking care of yourself so this shouldn't be so bad.

    EDIT I want to add I agree with other PP, they are wrong to tell you a wedding is inappropriate. It's awful to hear stuff like that and can really bring you down so try not to listen and surround yourself with more positive people. don't talk about the wedding with anyone who feels negative towards it, if they bring it up, walk away.
  • edited February 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_second-weddings_my-parents-think-we-shouldnt-have-a-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:35Discussion:e95cab77-901d-4cb7-ac1f-ba25efb66235Post:57e049b8-f0a2-4415-9986-7cd8fde6597d">My parents think we shouldn't have a wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE] Am I in the wrong here? I'm so upset that they feel this way and like I'm being made to feel guilty because my first marriage didn't work out. This is the man I love and want to spend my life with, <strong>I think we deserve to have the experience of actually getting married in front of all the people we care about and celebrating with them</strong>. It means so much to me, and this whole thing just makes me feel sick to my stomach. <strong>This whole time they've acted like they want nothing to do with the wedding other than show up</strong>. I'm not asking for a lot here, I just feel like they should be excited for me and want to be involved.<strong> It's not like they're struggling, they make good money so I know that isn't the issue</strong>. Any advice?
    Posted by shonatom[/QUOTE]

    The last two bolded lines belie your response that you really care about their support of your holding a wedding, versus your desire to have them give you money. They are truly <u>only</u> obligated to show up. You are 28 years old, you are an adult, and between you and your Fi, this is your party to throw and to pay for. 

    Having your father say they are not big on big weddings is not being unsupportive,
    nor does it mean that they think you shouldn't have one. In the context of the conversation you described, it sounds like it means that they are not interested in paying for one. 

    Finally, your parents' money is their own, and how they choose to spend it, and how they choose NOT to spend it is frankly none of your business.  If they have plenty of it, it may be because they are cautious with how they spend it, and choose wisely.  Choosing to not pay for things you want is their right. 

    Have the wedding you want to host, pay for it yourself.  If you can't afford to pay for the experience you "deserve", you two have two choices, postpone the event until you can pay for it, or scale it down to what you can afford. Thinking that you can spin this so that your parents feel obligated to pay is not the path you should take. ~Donna
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_second-weddings_my-parents-think-we-shouldnt-have-a-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:35Discussion:e95cab77-901d-4cb7-ac1f-ba25efb66235Post:57e049b8-f0a2-4415-9986-7cd8fde6597d">My parents think we shouldn't have a wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE] my<strong> Dad, who said "you know we're not big on big weddings"</strong> but he'd talk it over and get back to me. Am I in the wrong here? I'm so upset that they feel this way and like <strong>I'm being made to feel guilty </strong>because my first marriage didn't work out. This is the man I love and want to spend my life with, <strong>I think we deserve to have the experience</strong> of actually getting married in front of all the people we care about and celebrating with them. It means so much to me, and this whole thing just makes me feel sick to my stomach. <strong>This whole time they've acted like they want nothing to do with the wedding other than show up.</strong> I'm not asking for a lot here, I just feel like they should be excited for me and want to be involved. <strong>It's not like they're struggling, they make good money so I know that isn't the issue.</strong> Any advice?
    Posted by shonatom[/QUOTE]

    Your parents did not say that they think you shouldn't have a wedding, they said, <em>in response to a request for them to provide money</em> that they aren't big on big weddings.  I think it is perfectly reasonable for them to decline to pay for something that is not what they believe in.  You said yourself that what you are planning is quite different than the culture of the community.  They are not making you fell guilty, you may be feeling it, but that is your own doing, not theirs.

    Your parents have no obligation to pay for anything for you.  You are a 28 year old adult, and if you and your Fi want to have a wedding, then it is your prerogative.  It is also your party to host. 

    Whether or not your parents have enough money to give you is absolutely not relevant to this discussion.  It is their money, and they get to decide how to spend it, not you.  Perhaps they <strong>have</strong> money because they have chosen not to indulge their children's every whim. 

    Have the wedding you and your Fi want to host and that you two can afford to pay for.    If you cannot afford the "experience" that you think you deserve, then you have two choices.  You can have the wedding as you can afford it now, or you can postpone it until you can afford what you want. Trying to spin this to get your parents to contribute to an event that is not of their choosing is not a legitimate path to pursue. ~Donna
  •  This is the man I love and want to spend my life with - Shonatom

     The way I look at it, this is the man who I love and adore... the man I intend to spend the rest of my life with - Vexie

    Did the two of you not feel that way about your first marriages?  I think sometimes this is exactly why people raise their eyebrows about second, and third, and fourth, marriages. 
  • Being widowed is a completely different story.  Nobody chooses that.

    Really, have you never rolled your eyes at a celebrity claiming for the third time that they're marrying their latest 'soulmate'?

    Yes, life happens.  People change.  But when your family hears over and over, "This is the man I intend to spend my life with", can you blame them for being less than excited?
  • AA - I get what you are saying.  It's rather irksome when people say that......and by saying it, you (the general you) show a lack of respect for the first marriage.
  • edited February 2012
    Jeez - I spent half an hour getting one post to appear, I come back later and there's three.  WOnky Knot. 

    And I don't think that what away again is saying is so horrible.  Each of us at one point believed our first spouse was "the ONE", our soulmate, or the man we would be with forever.  We each pledged some sort of vow to that effect.  The whole "til death do us part" thing.  I think what she is saying is that using "oh wait, THIS is the one I will be with forever, so now I want you to...$$$" as justification for something just doesn't fly.

    I wholeheartedly support holding a celebration with whomever you wish to share it with (Including no one but the two of you) when you enter into a second or twenty second wedding.    Facing the fact that you once before declared forever, and are a bit scared about how well that promise holds up is a fact of encore weddings.  Other people have the same ability to be skeptical of it, as well.  Why do you think I am always harping on therapy?  I think unless you have worked through how you ended up in the boat you were in the first time, you are likely to make the same mistakes all over again. 

    Bottom line, no one owes your entitled little butt anything.  Not the first time, not any time after. Withholding money is not withholding support. ~Donna

    ETA- I deleted the one that was word for word duplicate
  • Shonatom - My sister got married for the first time in 2009 - she and her DH lived together prior to her marrying him (bought a house even) and were 28 and 27.  They did not receive any assistance for their wedding.  My mom loves her son-in-law and adores my baby sister - but since my parents did not pay for my first wedding it was decided that they would not pay for hers either (there are two sisters between us that my parents did help - very long story)

    My DH and I are older than you but we planned and paid for the ceremony and reception we wanted and could afford.  We did receive some help from my MIL, she and my departed FIL planned and set aside monies to pay for part of the hosted cocktail hour and the rehearsal dinne (before he passed). We did not ask, and it was a nice surprise. 

    Long story short - just because your parents aren't throwing coins at your feet doesn't mean they don't love and support you and your FI.  Our families love and stand with both my sister and me and love our spouses - they didn't feel obligated to pay for our weddings and my Dad was born in the South. 
  • Wow, didn't expect such responses. I have been taking care of myself and my FI and I have already paid at least 75% of the wedding expenses. I don't think asking for a little help is the equivalent of asking for them to "pay for our wedding". I just hoped they might want to be involved as my mother, stepfather, and my FI's parents are all contributing in smaller ways as well. I don't expect that they owe me anything as they're done raising me. I was just honestly surprised by their response.

    By the way Donna, my little butt is not entitled. I think a few of you need to check your drama level.
  • Actually Shonatom, that commentary wasn't directed at you, although I can see how you could misconstrue it that way.  It was more of a general comment about children who expect parents to fork out money for their weddings,  If you scroll back to the previous page, you can see that I have made commentary about entitlement long before you arrived.  No drama, darling, just my humble opinion. 

    However, the comment about withholding money is not withholding support IS directed at you, as that is the perception you seem to have.  Your Dad told you isn't big on big weddings.  That's his belief system.  Just because you want his contribution doesn't mean he has to give it to you, even if you have been able to get contributions from others. And, by the way, just showing up is "being involved".  ~Donna
  • I feel a DD coming on. OP: yes, have the wedding you can afford. It is inappropriate to ask for money. And seriously, have you SEEN your parents bank statements, etc.? I know plenty of people who have lost a TON ofmoney for their retirement accounts. I am one of those. I'm 4 years away from minimum retirement and until the economic downturn I would have been able to retire then. Now it will probably be at least 10. As far as away again's response, I get it. Retread, I read your comment as more argumentative and with a "holier than thou" tone that I resent. AA's was just more of a "here's your past behavior and your parents remember that." Plus, I think that while certainly people in their late 20s certainly are more mature than those in their teens, they still have a lot to learn. Even those of us in our 50s, like myself, have tons to learn but it seems that we only discover that as we age. So, OP, live and learn. And given yor question on any other board you would have flamed. Lurk and you will find that out about money for wedding and reception questions.
    image Don't mess with the old dogs; age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill! BS and brilliance only come with age and experience.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_second-weddings_my-parents-think-we-shouldnt-have-a-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:35Discussion:e95cab77-901d-4cb7-ac1f-ba25efb66235Post:47ab805d-8e1d-40d0-859b-4b2250c88428">Re: My parents think we shouldn't have a wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]I don't want to force them and it's not about money. <strong><font color="#0000ff">Just the idea that they don't think we deserve a wedding is what upsets me. I don't understand it.
    </font></strong>Posted by shonatom[/QUOTE]

    Okay, here's a lesson I learned the hard way.  I'll share it with you. We can never fully understand what motivates someone to act in a certain way, say this or that, or draw conclusions that seem contrary to common (or our) logic.  *sigh* 

    I completely understand your parents' decision bothers you.  At the end of the day, it is <u>their</u> decision.  You will just give yourself migraines and wrinkles trying to understand it.  You cannot change their minds.  You are wasting your time and energy. Accept it and move on.

    If you can find a way to keep your focus on getting married -- remind yourself that no matter how you conduct the ceremony, it IS a wedding -- you may come to the understanding that you are not being cheated by your parents. You CAN change your own mind.

    How about this perspective??? You are being given a chance at a new marriage. Be happy!
  • Lisa the problem I see with the line you highlighted is the equation that if her parents (or actually just one parent, since she wrote that her mother is "supporting" her by pulling out her checkbook) thought she deserved a wedding, he would pay something toward it.  And since his opinion about how a wedding should be held differs from hers, she is "being made to feel guilty". 

    Which comes down to your advice-- you are so correct, this is about her own mind, and she does have the power to change that mindset.   Isn't that what we all struggle with somewhat on this board?  Our own mindset?  It is only when we own that the issue is ours that we really can move toward real happiness.   It is easier for some than others, of course.  But I think that once we stop feeling we need to defend our right to be happy (back to awayagain's point), our right to have the wedding we want, and to move to the rest of our lives that we get around to enjoying this amazing chapter. 
  • Dear OP,

    I understand how you feel. I was previously married and divorced. My fiance, however, has never been married. When we became engaged, my parents said, "are you sure you want this to be a big thing?", and it hurt. I had not asked them for anything except their love and support of the marriage--not help with the wedding.

    I explained it to them thusly:

    "Mom, Dad- I know that this isn't my first wedding. But it is his first wedding. It may not be my first wedding, but it is my last wedding. That said, we choose to celebrate it for the miraculous day it will be- the day we vow to stick together forever. You may not feel it deserves all the bells and whistles of a traditionally "first" marriage, but you aren't the only family involved. His family joins ours. It may not be "special" to you, but it is special to them and their son. I hope you can let go of your reservations regarding the style and magnitude of our day, and just be happy and celebrate it with us when the time comes."

    I hope you're able to have a similar conversation and help them understand that its not the number that counts, but the sentiment and commitment behind it.
    image
    Ovarian cyst lapro: '01, '04, '09 Conal biopsy: '01- results negative Dilation: '03 for cervical scarring Pcos test: '05, FSH and LH normal Mirena removed July '12 My Ovulation Chart
  • "I have been taking care of myself and my FI and I have already paid at least 75% of the wedding expenses."

    OP...This is your sentence correct?  Why are you taking care of yourself and your FI?  Is that why you're asking for money to help pay for the wedding?
  • I am widowed and, awayagain, I meant it the first time.  I will mean it this time too.  It doesn't stop the raised eyebrows and people (including parents) from thinking you shouldn't have a wedding with all the bells and whistles of a first wedding simply because it is a second wedding. 

    I agree with the others that all you can do is pay for the wedding you want and can afford on your own.  I didn't hear your father say that he didn't think you should have a wedding, just that he wasn't big on "big weddings".  Be thankful for that, go forward with what you can afford and enjoy your big day.  Best of luck to you!
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