Wedding Etiquette Forum

Need some etiquette help with this mess...

My HTB and I originally planned for a wedding at the end of this year. We booked the venue and all the vendors. We did NOT send out STDs, but we did have a wedding website (which we have now taken down) that had information regarding the venue/date on it. Family and friends were also aware from casual discussions and word of mouth.

Now I find out we are expecting and due mere weeks after the planned wedding. We are happy about the new addition, we just thought we would wait a year after the wedding (we were careful, my BC failed when I was sick). We have to move into a house (also, something we planned on doing a year in), as our current place is barely big enough for us AND includes roommates. Due to the move and the cost of a baby we can no longer afford the wedding we planned. We cancelled the venue and lost most of our deposits, but it's a drop in the bucket in the long run. HTB wants to be married prior to the arrival of the baby and we are fine doing something just us, or including only our siblings and parents. But if we do that, that's all I want. Everyone keeps saying we can do something later on down the road but I don't want to be anywhere near PPD territory, and I hate being the center of attention anyway.

My problem is that I don't want to hurt any feelings of friends/family that won't be there that assumed they would be. Obviously, after we move and settle in and the baby is born, we are planning on having everyone over to see the house/baby/celebrate all that we were blessed with this year. It wouldn't be a wedding/housewarming/baby shower... it would be a celebration and a thank you to everyone for supporting us and being in our lives. Would people still be hurt/offended?

Also, my HTB's side of the family planned a lovely shower that included most of their family/friends and a handful of my family/friends (that they knew of). The shower was beautiful and I was touched that they planned that for me - it's my understanding they are all aware of the situation and the intent to make the wedding a more intimate affair. How do I handle this now that it's after the fact? Obviously, if it had been prior I would have respectfully asked them to revise it from a 'shower' to a 'celebration' with no gifts, but as it stands, gifts were given. Does it sound ungrateful to offer the gifts back? I'm trying to be as polite as possible given the circumstances and how badly I feel about excluding loved ones from the wedding. How can I phrase an announcement as to our intentions? Combine it with a baby announcement? Give everyone a STD time frame for a celebratory BBQ rather than wedding?

If we had the ability to save the money we need to move, host a wedding, and purchase supplies for the baby we would, but fact of the matter is, only two of those things can realistically happen and I don't want to have a tacky 'fake wedding' down the road.

Re: Need some etiquette help with this mess...

  • My HTB and I originally planned for a wedding at the end of this year. We booked the venue and all the vendors. We did NOT send out STDs, but we did have a wedding website (which we have now taken down) that had information regarding the venue/date on it. Family and friends were also aware from casual discussions and word of mouth.

    Now I find out we are expecting and due mere weeks after the planned wedding. We are happy about the new addition, we just thought we would wait a year after the wedding (we were careful, my BC failed when I was sick). We have to move into a house (also, something we planned on doing a year in), as our current place is barely big enough for us AND includes roommates. Due to the move and the cost of a baby we can no longer afford the wedding we planned. We cancelled the venue and lost most of our deposits, but it's a drop in the bucket in the long run. HTB wants to be married prior to the arrival of the baby and we are fine doing something just us, or including only our siblings and parents. But if we do that, that's all I want. Everyone keeps saying we can do something later on down the road but I don't want to be anywhere near PPD territory, and I hate being the center of attention anyway.

    My problem is that I don't want to hurt any feelings of friends/family that won't be there that assumed they would be. Obviously, after we move and settle in and the baby is born, we are planning on having everyone over to see the house/baby/celebrate all that we were blessed with this year. It wouldn't be a wedding/housewarming/baby shower... it would be a celebration and a thank you to everyone for supporting us and being in our lives. Would people still be hurt/offended?

    Also, my HTB's side of the family planned a lovely shower that included most of their family/friends and a handful of my family/friends (that they knew of). The shower was beautiful and I was touched that they planned that for me - it's my understanding they are all aware of the situation and the intent to make the wedding a more intimate affair. How do I handle this now that it's after the fact? Obviously, if it had been prior I would have respectfully asked them to revise it from a 'shower' to a 'celebration' with no gifts, but as it stands, gifts were given. Does it sound ungrateful to offer the gifts back? I'm trying to be as polite as possible given the circumstances and how badly I feel about excluding loved ones from the wedding. How can I phrase an announcement as to our intentions? Combine it with a baby announcement? Give everyone a STD time frame for a celebratory BBQ rather than wedding?

    If we had the ability to save the money we need to move, host a wedding, and purchase supplies for the baby we would, but fact of the matter is, only two of those things can realistically happen and I don't want to have a tacky 'fake wedding' down the road.

    Congrats!  It sounds like you have quite a year ahead of you!

    I think, if I were you and already had a shower hosted for me, I would host a small wedding.  Thirty people in the party room of a local restaurant at lunchtime sounds reasonable and like a rocking good time.  Do it at the end of June.  That gives you almost two months to prepare to buy chicken wraps and fries and burger sliders and Diet Coke for your very closest friends.  They can celebrate your wedding, and you can be married prior to the Baby!!!
  • lovegood90lovegood90 Ontario member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper

    Congrats!

    I think having a non-wedding, casual get together a year or so down the road is fine. As you said, you wouldn't be relating it to your wedding at all.

    I disagree with the above advice that you should still have a wedding just because you've already had a shower- that's silly, life happens. I would politely return the gifts and call it a day.

    Formerly martha1818

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  • Congrats on the new addition! It sounds like you are doing everything right. If I had this happen to a friend or family member I might be sad that I will miss the wedding but I would understand that you now have new priorities (providing for your baby and NOT one day of your life). I would actually applaud you for this choice. I was uninvited (only a verbal invitation was given NOT a written one) to my cousin's wedding  because she realized that she couldn't host the big wedding that she wanted. She is now having a small affair. I didn't mind at all. Although she did state that she is planning "a big wedding for next year" .... sigh...
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    I agree with PPs. If I were you, I would move the wedding up and host a short informal park wedding with snacks and cake. Then everyone gets to celebrate and there isn't the awkwardness of returning gifts (for you and for them. Like PPs, I'd want you to keep the gift if I were a guest of yours). 

    Also, to lurkers, if at all possible, please don't have showers so early. Shit comes up. 
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  • littlepeplittlepep South Carolina member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer

    Thanks all! I like the idea of including everyone in a simple park/backyard ceremony. My childhood home has a big back yard and a huge parking lot across the street, so that could be a definite possibility. If we do a morning ceremony with a brunch/coffee/tea/mimosas to follow, that would be acceptable? Very simple and casual so everybody can be comfortable - including myself since I'm always falling over tired ;)

    and I agree - If I had been in charge of that decision the shower would have been WAY LATER. I think they were trying to get it in before other family commitments got hectic but now it just puts me in a really awkward position, especially because 75% of people at the shower I had never met before (MIL-to be's friends).

    That sounds beautiful and perfect!
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    charcoalandblush[Deleted User]LondonLisa
  • Yes, a backyard brunch would be lovely. Just make sure you have shelter and seats for everyone. And bathrooms.

    That's really the reason I suggested a park - because it's often about $100 to rent a pavilion and it comes with tables/"chairs" (picnic tables), trash recepticals, and has bathrooms available. Renting a tent, tables, chairs, trash cans, etc. can get really expensive very quickly.
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    charcoalandblushSP29
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Congratulations!

    I don't think anyone who has been verbally invited would be upset that that you are changing the wedding because you are expecting a baby and have, you know, priorities. However I love the ideas from other Knotties to have an earlier simpler reception at a park. A cake and punch reception at a non-meal time would be easy to pull off and just lovely.

    If you do not have a wedding with the original guest/ shower guest list, you should return the gifts. 
  • Congrats! A similar thing happened to my cousin. He ended up just verbally inviting a small guest list of family and a few friends to the courthouse where he and his pregnant fiancee got married, and then had everyone over for a casual lunch. I think only 20 or so people attended since it was a mid-day weekday event due to the courthouse's scheduling. 

    Everyone who was there said it was very sweet, and 10 years later he and his wife are very happy, and no one was even slightly bothered by the small event since everyone understands babies change plans :) 
  • fyrchkfyrchk member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    Congratulations! I agree with PP's regarding a small $1,000 or less wedding. Hell, I'd be willing to chip in if you were in my family!

    From personal experience, I had a wedding shower and then our wedding was called off due to ex's inability to keep his "best friend" in his pants. I called everyone who had come to the shower and asked them when I could get with them to return their gift or mail it, etc. Not a single person accepted my request and all made me keep my gifts stating that I would need the stuff whether I was with him or not. I know this isn't about the gifts, but you may find that people will still want you to have the gifts they gave you.
    lachattefatale
  • That is a sticky situation. Regardless of the choice you make/made where the wedding is concerned, someone is going to be dissatisfied with it so try not to worry so much about and just do what you feel is right for you, your spouse, and your baby. Everyone else will have to get over it. As for offering the gifts back, I'd keep them, throw a cookout for the gift givers who can attend, and explain to them the situation and the dilemma  you have on your hands. Also, to avoid the fake wedding, maybe you could have a scaled back wedding before the baby is born. Check with your friends/ relatives/ co-workers about less expensive options. Some state parks offer wedding options that cost less than traditional venues. 
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
  • @nicolemarie1985 - that sounds like a perfect and a fun wedding! Congrats!
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  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    @nicolemarie1985 That sounds just perfect! I am honestly so happy for you! As a guest I would think this the sweetest thing and enjoy myself just fine. If anyone is not pleased (how could they not?), then they are jerks. 
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its

    All of you ladies are amazing, thank you so much! I honestly never considered the scaled back wedding in the park.

    We are going to keep our original guest list and doing it in the fall so it's not too hot for the older guests (or giant, preggo me). We found a beautiful state park with a pavilion and picnic table area (and bathrooms!) that costs $300 for the day. Parking is $5/car which we will cover for the guests. We are planning on a 10am ceremony and brunch to follow (bagels, spreads, salads, quiche, cakes, pies) and tea/coffee/lemonade/punch. Two of our family members are photographers and will snap some pictures for us. We will set up some speakers in the background to give us a running playlist of light music. We are ordering runners for the picnic tables and using flowers and pumpkins as centerpieces.

    I can't thank you all enough! Hopefully everybody is pleased with the celebration. I'm just happy that we are able to include everybody who cares about us, even if it isn't the "dream wedding" we had planned, I'm so happy to be marrying my best friend and having a family.

    This sounds absolutely perfect. Congratulations on the wedding, the baby, the good decisions. I'm really happy for you. :) 
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    [Deleted User]
  • And who says you can't plan a perfectly amazing wedding on a budget in a short amount of time?! 
    ShesSoColdWegl13SP29BostonLilly12
  • anjemonanjemon Minnie and Paul (MN) member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    @nicolemarie1985 That just made me tear up a little. I'm so happy you get to have something you are happy with and marry the guy you love. It sounds like a lovely wedding and I'm sure your family and friends will be so happy to celebrate with you.
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    [Deleted User]momofbride530
  • sophhabobophasophhabobopha The Midwestern tundra member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Congrats, OP!
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  • fyrchkfyrchk member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    Congratulations! I'm so happy it all worked out for you!
  • Wow, you have a lot to celebrate!  Congrats on the baby, and I think your plan sounds great!  It'll be a lovely wedding!

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