Not Engaged Yet

Ahhh help!

My boyfriend and I are not engaged yet, but we've begun planning our wedding because we want to make sure we get a place with the date we've chosen (August 10, 2014). His mom is totally on board with the wedding planning and has been a lot of help to me over the past couple months. The issue is my mother. She is a single parent and while she has done her best financially, she just doesn't have the expendable income to help pay for as much of this wedding as she would like to. My future mother in law is being difficult to my mother because she has a certain level of expectation given that this is an Orthodox Jewish wedding. My mother who is fairly non religious, has no idea what she's doing and is asking a lot of questions about pricing and traditions. She doesn't like that I'm choosing to have a traditional ceremony because she won't really get to be as much a part of it as she would like. My boyfriend and I have basically been the go betweens for our mothers - I speak to my mother, then to my boyfriend, and then he speaks with his mother. When the two mothers spoke to each other it was a disaster. 
In fact, this whole thing has been a disaster. I'm really forgetting why I want to have a wedding in the first place. Am I wrong to be angry at both my mother and my future mother in law? I'm also feeling an Us vs. Them attitude going on and I am not having it. My boyfriend is on his mom's side for everything, and my mother is yelling at me about whatever is bothering her that day, and I'm feeling caught in the middle. 
What do I do? 

Re: Ahhh help!

  • CASK85CASK85 member
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    edited November 2013
    My best friend from high school converted to Orthodox Judaism and got married this past summer. She and her (Christian Protestant) mother had some serious knockdown drag out fights about stuff that her mother did not understand why they were necessary or why they cost so much. It got really messy.

    Being angry won't help you solve any of the problems. So yes, you're wrong to be angry at anyone. You need to communicate with your mother in an open way and help her understand why certain things are important. Especially if it is outside her realm of normalcy - she's going to need a lot of patience and understanding from you, and in the end she will need to come to terms with things. If she is paying for anything you owe it to her to take the time to help her understand why you've chosen these things. 

    Also you're going to get a lot of flack here for planning  a wedding before you're engaged, but I'm given to understand it is relatively common among Orthodox Jews, whose Rabbis prefer very short engagements. 
  • SwazzleSwazzle New Jersey member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Why are you planning a wedding when you're not engaged?



  • We have a ring, we're planning on getting engaged in the next 2 weeks. He just wants to surprise me/have it be romantic 
  • ksyvarth said:
    We have a ring, we're planning on getting engaged in the next 2 weeks. He just wants to surprise me/have it be romantic 


    OMG YOU GUYS DOES THIS MEAN I CAN START PLANNING SHIT?

    No, it doesn't

    Pump your brakes, girlfriend, enjoy this time as BF and GF because you'll never get it back, then deal with this malarkey when you're engaged.

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  • A ring does not make an engagement; an agreement to get married does.  
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  •  @suzie211 Exactly, and we made this agreement going on three months ago. The ring is just a formality for us. He also wanted me to pick out the one I want rather than him picking out something I would invariably dislike. 
  • @ksyvarth -- did you even read what I wrote? Why do I waste my time?
  • suzie211 said:
    A ring does not make an engagement; an agreement to get married does.  
    I kind of agree. I think the OP is pretty much engaged at this point, whether she considers herself to be or not.  The ring and all are just formalities at this point, especially if BF/FI is a part of the planning.  I would say pay for everything yourselves and give information on a need to know basis.

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  • @CASK I did read what you wrote, and I thank you for your insight. It is extremely helpful. I will try and be more patient with my mother and figure out a way for us all to work together. 
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
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    @CASK85 Yeah, I saw your post and was like, "Hey, this is great advice/info!" And then no one said anything :(
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  • Thanks, @phira :)  I feel like a leaned a lot from being part of my friend's wedding. But she and her mother were scary. 
  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
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    I know with my BF and I - we're just planning to pay for the wedding ourselves.

    The wedding is about the commitment you and your partner are making to each other - I say step back and figure out what you guys want and leave your parents out of it as much as possible.


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  • @CASK85 I can only imagine that it must be worse for a girl whose mother isn't her religion at all.
  • Blackbird230Blackbird230 Connecticut member
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    @ksyvarth, just a side question. How old are you? Are you ready to take on the financial side of a wedding and marriage?

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  • Kait said:
    @ksyvarth, just a side question. How old are you? Are you ready to take on the financial side of a wedding and marriage?
    Blanket statements about the financial burdens of a wedding bug me.  You can get married at a court house for under $100. Anything else is frill.  
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  • You are engaged, you just don't have a ring yet. So carry on planning! That said, I think you and your fiance should sit down and decide what you want together. If his mom doesn't want to pay for that, then you should pay for it yourselves (you may have to scale back your plans). 

    Getting married is a big transition because it means that your main family becomes you and your partner. It's hard to separate from your parents and put this newer relationship first, but it's essential that you both start establishing some clear boundaries now. Good luck!
  • Blackbird230Blackbird230 Connecticut member
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    @suzie211, I wasn't considering court weddings in there. If she's getting married in the Orthodox Jewish religion and has to plan this early to book the venue she wants, it's going to be bigger than just a court wedding. That's all I was saying.

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  • ksyvarth said:
     @suzie211 Exactly, and we made this agreement going on three months ago. The ring is just a formality for us. He also wanted me to pick out the one I want rather than him picking out something I would invariably dislike. 
    Congratulations, you're already engaged. You have an agreement to get married, a date, and it sounds like a venue. Someone should have told you years ago that a ring and a big over-the-top proposal wasn't necessary,.

    Also, part of being an adult in a relationship is navigating family issues. You should explain to your MIL that what your mother contributes to the wedding is none of her business. You and your fiance should set boundaries.

    Congratulations on your engagement!
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  • suzie211 said:
    A ring does not make an engagement; an agreement to get married does.  
    Agreed. It sounds to me like OP is already engaged.

    Your mom doesn't have to contribute a single dollar to this wedding. Either your BF/FI/whatever explains this to his mom, or you two just pay for your own wedding. Personally, I recommend the latter.
  • If you have an agreement to get married and a wedding date, you are engaged.

    DH proposed Dec. 21. We started planning and chose a date, booked a venue, etc. He gave me a ring in March. We weren't any less engaged when I didn't have the ring than we were more engaged when I did.

    You are engaged, so congrats! And in re the religion, I am Catholic, and DH converted to Catholicism prior to our wedding. Our decision to have a full Catholic nuptial Mass upset some of his family members, and caused lots of consternation and questioning, especially from his grandmother, who is Lutheran and very old and set in her ways.

    She asked us -- repeatedly -- why we were having a Catholic Mass and why she couldn't take communion and why we were having so many Bible readings and so on. We tried (patiently) to explain the religious differences, with little to no success, and finally just said, "Because we are, that's why." 

    @CASK85 has really, really good advice. You need to explain to your mother what's going on and why and why you have to/want to do it that way.
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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • Stories like the ones @CASK85 mentioned make me very, very, very glad my family and H's family stood down and let us do our own thing for the wedding as H and I are different religions and from very different cultures.  The reason they did that though was because they know we wouldn't tolerate interference with the balance H and I have struck on religion/culture issues.  I just recommend, like others, that you tell both mothers that you are planning this wedding as you intend to plan the rest of your decisions in life together...as a team (a two player team...not a football team which includes them, though certainly take their considerations into mind if you like).
  • @kait I'm 23 - I just graduated from college and, while I do have a full time job, I can't afford to take on the financial burden of planning a wedding. I know I may sound young, but in my circles, there is a huge amount of people who get married at this age. I know 9-10 couples who are my age who are getting married in the next year. As a culture, living together before marriage is a HUGE no no, so that pushes up when people choose to get married. 

    Thank you all for all the advice, I really do appreciate it. I have no idea what I'm doing, and I am so grateful that people are willing to help me out. 
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