Wedding 911

Murphy's Law

When my fiancé and I got engaged I was overjoyed. I was nearly done with my associates degree, he had a good job, we weren't well off but we were able to put money into savings every paycheck and still get to spoil ourselves with dinner and the movies every once in a while. Everything seemed perfect. We wanted a largeish wedding, to invite all of our friends and family, but nothing fancy. I wanted a pretty dress, he wanted a traditional catholic wedding. It seemed achievable if we were careful. Then, my fiancé injured his back. After several doctors visits they couldn't find the problem and because he couldn't work, he had to leave his job. My father was laid off in the same month. Then my mom quit her job due to stress (which is a whole different rant.) My parents were unemployed, we were unemployed, my fiancé still in pain. Then the worse news dropped. My fiancé's grandmother had terminal cancer. We couldn't even make it out to visit her because we couldn't even eat. She passed away without his getting to say goodbye. Most of his family and old friends are in Northern California and we are finding out many are unable to come to the wedding. We had originally been planning on putting aside a little money to help people pay for flights or anything, but again, our savings were gone, we were on food stamps and still no one was giving interviews. We tried selling our stuff but apparently no one was buying. My mom and grandmother are fighting every step we try to take, my grandmother being the only one in the family with any money, who is kindly offering to help pay for some of the wedding. She bought me the most beautiful wedding dress, which on sale was still more expensive than I had been hoping, and paid for the deposit of our venue. Beyond that, it is all fighting. My generous grandmother loudly announced I should go on a diet while I tried on wedding dresses, pinching my sides and asking if I ever thought about exercising or just not eating. My mom screams and yells at my grandmother for saying things like that, while yelling at me that I am selfish for even still wanting to get married, even though she and my dad were the ones who constantly kept telling me to keep planning and they would figure it out and not to worry, and now it is way too late to cancel because we would lose deposits and such! Not to mention a huge amount of our closest friends are in theater with me in school. This fall we were planning on doing a revival of a play we had previously workshopped and we were all asked to deprive our roles. Three members of the wedding party, one usher, and two people doing readings, plus me, were in the play in some way or another. They just released the 2015-16 theater schedule and the play is occurring on the weekend of my wedding, with a performance just hours after the wedding. Even though I had asked and asked if my wedding date would be a problem and if I should move it and being assured it was fine, this means not only can I certainly not do the play, but a good portion of guests will need to get through the wedding, rush through pictures, try to eat something and then rush to make call and be ready to perform. So much for celebrating. Oh also, as of yet we have no food, no booze, no music, no photographer and no flowers. My fiancé also had to wait for 6 months of being strung along by our priest to try to get baptized before the wedding so he can be catholic and have the catholic wedding he wants. Not to mention, one of my mother's friends is kindly donating her cake making skills for our wedding, asking only for the cost of baking supplies. We are soooooo lucky and I am so happy about it, but I really have zero say in what it looks like. Now two more of the fiancé's family have been diagnosed with cancer, his best friend/ best man says he can't come, and his aunt and uncle who he is very close with just told us they couldn't come but we have no idea why. It is turning into a disaster and thanks to the stress, my already fragile health has gone batshit and I have spent the past week in pain passing kidney stones. So... Yea. I need a nap. (Ps- good news, my mom got a crappy job about three months ago, I got a really well paying, but only two day a week job about four months ago, and both dad and fiancé got hired at poor paying, but full time jobs last week. So it is a start. It is something.)

Re: Murphy's Law

  • ^^Ditto this. I was going to say the same thing before I even got to the bottom. You don't need a big wedding to get married. Do you want one? Sure. But it doesn't seem plausible at all for you right now. Elope.
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  • NowIamMrsKleinNowIamMrsKlein Cold Canadian North (British Columbia) member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Second the Eloping. Either that or postpone.

    You are obviously not in a position healthwise or financially to have this big wedding you envisioned. I would suck up the lost deposits and either postpone the wedding until you are back on your feet or if you dont want to wait to be married then go to the courthouse and get married. It can still be just as special as a 'big wedding'
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    kimmiinthemittenInLoveInQueens
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I too am a little confused as to why a non-Catholic would want a huge Catholic wedding.  If it's for the pomp and circumstance of how it looks, that's pretty offensive.  

    Also, no one is required to pay for you wedding except you and your Fi.  You sound like prime candidates for an elopement.  


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    InLoveInQueens
  • Hahaha I am soooo not offended about the catholic thing. It is pretty funny actually, I was raised suuuuuper catholic and an very much a non-organized religion person. My fiancé and I had been friends for years before we started dating and I remember him telling me he was wanting to convert to Catholicism and my response was "eww I am sorry, why?!" (Ironically pretty much my mom's response when she heard too!) but he had done all the research, had attended classes in several different cities and now states and still wants to be catholic. He doesn't pressure me, I don't pressure him, it works. However, he did feel strongly about wanting a catholic wedding, my grandmother very much wanted to have us get married in the church my great grandfather helped build and named. The church isn't such an issue because it is very affordable and really doesn't need any decorations because it is so pretty. I get the thought of eloping but family (no matter how crazy) is one of the most important things to us. We both have lost so many people we had always dreamed of being there, we want as many of those we still have around us as we can. Both families have been pretty overwhelmed by death, illness and trauma and are looking forward to something with joy and life. I want to be able to honor my grandmother as well (again, crazy though she may be,) because she has worked so hard to take care of us and has dealt with soooo much loss. She is so excited about the first and probably only wedding of her grandchild. She had hoped for many grandkids from her three kids, instead she got me and my anti relationship brother and that is it. She isn't getting any younger or saner either. Also, I am pretty sure my MIL would never recover, as her other two children eloped as well. This isn't exactly a deciding factor, but hey, this will suck for a year, a pouty MIL is forever. :P Another reason we don't postpone it is that I am not getting any younger and since we will be adopting, most of the regulations require we be married for so many years, I don't want to keep pushing that back further. Also, dang it, I wanna freaking marry him already!!! Lol.
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    Hahaha I am soooo not offended about the catholic thing. It is pretty funny actually, I was raised suuuuuper catholic and an very much a non-organized religion person. My fiancé and I had been friends for years before we started dating and I remember him telling me he was wanting to convert to Catholicism and my response was "eww I am sorry, why?!" (Ironically pretty much my mom's response when she heard too!) but he had done all the research, had attended classes in several different cities and now states and still wants to be catholic. He doesn't pressure me, I don't pressure him, it works. However, he did feel strongly about wanting a catholic wedding, my grandmother very much wanted to have us get married in the church my great grandfather helped build and named. The church isn't such an issue because it is very affordable and really doesn't need any decorations because it is so pretty. I get the thought of eloping but family (no matter how crazy) is one of the most important things to us. We both have lost so many people we had always dreamed of being there, we want as many of those we still have around us as we can. Both families have been pretty overwhelmed by death, illness and trauma and are looking forward to something with joy and life. I want to be able to honor my grandmother as well (again, crazy though she may be,) because she has worked so hard to take care of us and has dealt with soooo much loss. She is so excited about the first and probably only wedding of her grandchild. She had hoped for many grandkids from her three kids, instead she got me and my anti relationship brother and that is it. She isn't getting any younger or saner either. Also, I am pretty sure my MIL would never recover, as her other two children eloped as well. This isn't exactly a deciding factor, but hey, this will suck for a year, a pouty MIL is forever. :P Another reason we don't postpone it is that I am not getting any younger and since we will be adopting, most of the regulations require we be married for so many years, I don't want to keep pushing that back further. Also, dang it, I wanna freaking marry him already!!! Lol.
    So what, exactly was your point in posting here?
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    [Deleted User]mollybarker11InLoveInQueens
  • Mostly to rant, though also hoping there was a possibility of any other suggestions aside from elope or postpone.
  • Mostly to rant, though also hoping there was a possibility of any other suggestions aside from elope or postpone.
    What other suggestions were you hoping for?
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  • Agree with PPs. I understand that there's a lot of vent in your OP, but it seems like your only options if you absolutely want to get married now are to elope or to have a drastic and dramatically scaled back event.  For example, it might be possible to arrange a small, immediate family only wedding at the courthouse followed by a lovely but low key lunch or dinner at your home or a restaurant.  Postponing, OTOH, gives you time to rethink your budget, your guest list, and guest availability.  You might be able to get more of what you originally wanted - including the presence of your theater friends and church, but the cost to you is the time.

    I'd also try to keep in mind that very few weddings are ever 100% want the couple originally wanted.  Compromises, changed plans, revised "visions" are all part of managing budgets and expectations.  It sounds like you have a lot of competing priorities in your list, and it may be that you are going to be need to be honest with each other and with your families about what is truly most important and what you can manage based on your financial, academic, and emotional situation.  Wedding planning should not be making you sick. 
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    Anniversary


  • You've had some rough luck but PP are right and it really looks like you can't afford your dream wedding. I think you can still have a very nice wedding with immediate family at the courthouse or maybe check with the church and see if they'll do a small ceremony for you and your immediate family cheaply (I'm not catholic so I don't know if they do that or not but it can't hurt to ask) and then have everyone go back to your place for dinner and cake. It won't be your dream wedding but most people don't get their dream weddings so focus on the fact that you're finally getting to marry the person you love and your family is there supporting you. 


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    Knottie46055820
  • I agree that while it sucks, it does seem strange to be throwing a big wedding while receiving public assistance AND planning to ask someone to give you a human being to care for. Those aren't cheap, and I fear that it will not look great on the "priorities" or "responsibility " scales should the adoption folks dig into your finances.
    [Deleted User]InLoveInQueens
  • mollybarker11mollybarker11 member
    500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments Name Dropper
    edited August 2015
    Mostly to rant, though also hoping there was a possibility of any other suggestions aside from elope or postpone.
    If you will not change the date or size of your wedding, my suggestion is to change the time to the morning or early afternoon. That way your friends won't have to rush to make it to the play, and maybe the others who've already mentioned declining would be able to make it? If it's not over a mealtime you don't have to serve a full meal, just "cake & punch" (light refreshments). And I agree about declining the offer of your mother's baker friend, or at least get a hard estimate of the cost and only accept if it's less than a grocery store sheet-cake.

    And this advice applies to any wedding regardless of the time of day or night:
    - You don't need booze.
    - You don't need music, but an inexpensive option is a playlist you & your FI put together on an mp3 player or laptop. Hook it up to the speakers at your venue, or if there are none then maybe borrow or rent speakers.
    - You don't need a photographer, but an inexpensive option is to hire a photography student as they would charge less than a professional.
    - You don't need flowers and I don't know much about flowers but I'm sure others have inexpensive suggestions for decor as well.

    A traditional Catholic wedding does NOT mean a big fancy wedding. I suggest sharing these concerns with your priest next time you meet for Pre-Cana. He should be able to offer guidance for coping with the grief & stress your families are going through, as well as put the important factors of your wedding into perspective. :)

    [Deleted User]Knottie46055820InLoveInQueens
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited August 2015
    "My fiancé also had to wait for 6 months of being strung along by our priest to try to get baptized before the wedding so he can be catholic and have the catholic wedding he wants."

    Your FI does not need to convert to Catholicism for you to be married in the Catholic Church if you are a Catholic in good standing.  He could convert later and receive the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony at that time, privately.

    I have known of at least two weddings that were cancelled less than two days before the ceremony.  I really can't feel sorry for you.
    A Catholic wedding requires a bride and groom, at least one of whom is a Catholic, a priest, a license and legal witnesses.  You must both attend pre-cana classes.  That is all.
    Many members of my family have been married privately, both in courthouses and in churches.  They have had very happy marriages without the wedding dress, the music, the reception, the open bar, the dancing, etc. 
    If you are going to spend money on a fancy wedding while accepting food stamps (which MY taxes are paying for) then I have no respect for you.
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    Sherbie25IwantSomeKnotStuff
  • CN: 
    Bride wants big wedding.
    Fiance wants Catholic wedding.
    Fiance hurt his back and quit work.
    Parents were unemployed, and cannot help with wedding costs.
    Grandma bought expensive wedding dress, but it critical of bride.
    Bride is theater student, and schedule conflicts with wedding plans.
    Couple is on government assistance (food stamps).
    Many family members cannot afford to travel to attend the wedding.

    Bride still feels entitled to big wedding.
          
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    InLoveInQueens
  • julieanne912julieanne912 member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited August 2015
    Just wanted to say my BFF just adopted a baby.  It cost them about $60,000 and they also went through EXTENSIVE background checks and home visits etc.  So yeah, if you are relying on the government to feed you, you should a) not being having a huge wedding  b) not be considering having/adopting a baby right now.
    Married 9.12.15
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    [Deleted User]InLoveInQueens
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Catholics don't really have the option of "going down to the courthouse" to elope. That just opens a can of worms for later when they want to be sacramentally married. That being said, you could cancel the wedding-as-currently-planned, get married at church with just the family, and cake and punch party. Period.
    I think some people were saying "courthouse" wedding as essentially shorthand for very small ceremony (not an elopement) and cake and punch reception. I recognise Catholics also have to do pre-canna, but I feel like it would be fairly easy for them to discuss with their priest about having a small 8-10 person Catholic wedding ceremony instead of the huge full Catholic mass with 100+ guests.
  • Just a wee update for you all. So far we are all doing better. My parents were able to find work and while my mom still hates her job, I am proud of her for sticking with it until she finds something new. My fiancé found a job and then found another even better job. Our family and friends have been amazing by rallying around us and helping us figure things out. One of my best friends even designed our wedding invitations beautifully. It is a little chaotic now since about a month ago we found out I had been feeling extra sick lately due to large masses growing in my ovaries. I will be having surgery to remove and biopsy them exactly a month before the wedding. Scary, yes, but everyone is being awesome about it and willing to pitch in and help. Thankfully we don't want flashy decorations or frilly flowers. We were more focused on the people and being able to house and feed them all. Thanks to the support of our loved ones, that is being accomplished and I couldn't be happier. Ways we saved money/de-stressed everyone: -My dress is gorgeous, no need for jewelry and wearing shoes I already have. One of my friends is doing my hair and another friend is doing makeup. -a friend is a florist, is bringing me a bouquet, that's all we want. -a friend volunteered to do the cake at cost, I am making her really nice earrings and a necklace. -hired a newer photographer who is still starting out so is cheaper (still beautiful photos) and opted for much less time, knowing our friends are shutterbugs and we will have lots of great pics from both. -the marriage license is cheaper if you go to a marriage prep course, and one is required for Catholic weddings so win! -thanks to theater I already own spanx and a boustier, undergarments done! -we told our family from Cali and Canada that next year we will come out for the family reunion and those who couldn't come in can celebrate with us then. They seemed very excited about that. -we subscribed to virgin and southwest mailing lists and gave updates for friends and family about ticket prices, some were able to get half price tickets! -another family friend amazingly is donating her time, expertise and equipment by catering, providing food, plates (exc.) servers, beer and wine, and making sure everything is perfect by the time guests arrive. We cover costs and I help her in her bar when she needs it. I was beyond floored and sobbing when she offered this to us. -playlist, no dj, and several friends from musical theater are gifting us songs. I will take that over a blender any day! ^_^ For those concerned. We were on food stamps and it was scary and awful. It was also sad and scary to see how the system worked and makes me very concerned for others in need. We only received a small amount of money and only for three months, thankfully we were able to make it work. I wasn't approved at all because I was technically still in school. I am concerned how other people can support their families with so little and am beyond grateful we didn't have to worry about going hungry like many others do. As someone who has always religiously donated to food banks and supported these programs, I am actually glad for this experience on "the other side" and it has reaffirmed my passion for these programs. In January we donated a large amount to our local food bank as per usual, by March we had to use it, a humbling experience let me tell you. Last month I was able to drop at least a small bag by again and I nearly cried. Soon I will be back in school. I have about two more years on my degree. Then we will be trying to get a teaching position overseas in Korea preferably. After that, we will then be hoping to work on adoption. Most places require their adopters to be married for a certain amount of time, so we have worked on a three year plan. While I hear constantly you will never be fully ready for children, I don't want to even think about it until I know we can care for them both emotionally and financially. I think particularly when adopting, they have been through enough turmoil in life without adding to it. Just a couple of things: -at least in our church, the size of the wedding does not affect cost of marriage. Reception, yes, church, no. -our church was very affordable, helpful and supportive both of him and me even though I am really a snarky lapsed Catholic that isn't much a fan of organized religion. -being recognized as Catholic for the wedding is important to fiancé, not me, though it becomes so because I know how much it means to him. Our priest is back on his game and fingers crossed it should work out. Thank you all for your concern and sobering advice, particularly Mollybarker11, and Jacques27, great advice and very well said. Thank you.
    MesmrEweInLoveInQueensryanandjoe4
  • @Knottie46055820 I'm glad things are looking up and I wish you a speedy recovery from your surgery.

    Knottie46055820
  • congradulations, don't let the hard times get you down, sounds like you and FH will do fine if you can make it through all that and still want to plan a wedding!
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