Just Engaged and Proposals

Any other young brides out there?

Hey guys,

We got engaged in January and have three years left in undergrad. When we get married, I will be 21 and he will be 22 with a semester left. The initial response to the engagement from my mother was not good at all. She still wants me to be her baby and I understand that, but it really hurt not having her full support. Over the past six months, she has gotten a lot better and more supportive, but I still don't feel comfortable discussing wedding planning around her or other family members. I don't feel like anyone around us thinks our engagement is legitimate. Our close friends are thrilled, but family... it's taking them a while to warm up to the idea.

We have been together for over five years, so it was no surprise to them that it was happening, just that it was happening "so soon" and "so young." I have been a mother figure to my brother because my mom was and still is single, and I had to help out. I am currently paying for all of my college and living expenses on my own. People have said some of the rudest things months before we got engaged. "When you go off to college, you're going to find someone you like more." "Don't set your heart on this one because you may find someone better." Excuse me? I didn't realize that was how relationships worked.

He was a pallbearer at my grandfather's funeral. I went and stayed with him and his grandparents multiple times when my father and brother got into physical fights and scared the hell out of me. A good eight months (total) of our relationship was spent long distance. He lived in Germany during the summers to see his mother and step father (who was in the Air Force and has since retired and moved back to the states). We now have an apartment together and are enjoying our internships and college experiences, together. I couldn't be happier. When someone asks when we are planning on getting married and a family member is around, they freeze up and say "let's not talk about that just yet." On one hand I am thinking "who cares, our opinions are the only ones that matter" and have gained a lot more self confidence over the past year, but on the other a part of me wants to feel like my family is excited for me. It is putting a wrench in our planning because I want them to be a part of it, but they aren't willing to be serious. I shouldn't have to feel silly or fake when someone refers to me as a bride, which is what I am.

Is that too much to ask?

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Re: Any other young brides out there?

  • Age and length of time together does not indicate a good marriage or the potential for one. In saying that, sometime people change a lot in their late teens/twenties but growing together is just as likely as growing apart.

    I think you need to be prepared to deal with comments, but that doesn't mean you need to be sidetracked by them. I would answer with something like "we are young but have been lucky/blessed/fortunate to have found each other earlier than others find their mate". Only you and your FI can gauge how your relationship is and when is the right time to get married. As long as you are the legal age where you are going to get married, you are free to do as you please.

    Surround yourself with people that support you and be tactful when dealing with those that have concerns. Usually concerns are well intentioned but poorly delivered.

    As PPs have mentioned, no one will ever be as excited as you are about your wedding, but feel free to gush on these boards as you will find a group of people that love weddings.  

  • My high school bff met her husband the first week of college, and married him one year after she graduated, at 21 & 22 years old and after being together for 5 years. They're still madly in love at 31 & 32 and have two great kids and many of the things they've always wanted in life.

    It works for some people, not for others. You have to know yourselves, and be comfortable that you communicate and support each other enough to grow together, certainly. But that's a call for you and your FI to make, not for your family to try to make for you.

    Good luck!
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited June 2016
    One of my young adult cousins got married to her H a month shy of her 20th birthday. I think he's a year or so older, so they're now 21 and 22. My cousin has always been incredibly mature for her age, so I wasn't too surprised. They've both finished college and are working. Kids are not on the table yet; my cousin (her mother) has said she's not in a hurry to be a grandmother. I have no doubt they'll have as healthy a marriage as her parents do.   :)
  • You're both wholly financially and physically independent of your parents and obviously have goals for your future together. IMO - people who want to complain about your age need to get over it. Both of you have taken on adult responsibilities so people need to stop being surprised that you're doing adult things, like getting married. It's not like you're both living with your parents with no jobs and no plans for your future. 

    Don't feel fake or silly for being referred to as a bride - you are one. Others will either come around or they won't. Don't let them get you down either way. 
  • Thanks so much everyone, I needed to hear that.

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  • You are 100% a bride and allowed to act like one, you're independent and planning for your future that shows so much maturity in both of you! We're also 21 & 22 and been dating since school, we've also had those comments and people joking that were doing it because we're pregnant. We just rose above and laughed it off and a year later we're now viewed as an independent couple and people are happy for us, it gets better after the initial shock wears off I think!

    -Happy story- FI's cousins started dating around 16/17 I think and twenty years later are happily in love, own a house, run a successful business together and have three beautiful children!
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    My sister and her H met at 13, started dating at 18 and married around 24-25.    They are celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary this year and their 16th together, this time with a one year old in tow.  While I'm glad I'm not marrying my HS sweetheart, as a bride getting married just short of 37, I do sometimes wonder what life would have been like had I met FI sooner.

    I agree with PP, but with one caveat.  You say you don't feel comfortable discussing the wedding or plans in front of your family.  Have you tried having a sit down (even if it's the second or third) and addressing it?  Tell your parents you know they're hesitant to support your wedding because of your age, and while you appreciate their concern and their support that you are an adult who is capable of making your own life decisions.  If you haven't had the adult conversations that come with marriage, you can't complain that you aren't being treated like one.  

    Good luck with your planning and stick around!
  • MCmeowMCmeow member
    500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper
    My parents got married at 29 and had kids at 30. In the 80's that was a late age to get married. Their marriage was horrible. They hated each other and got divorced after 15 unhappy years. The aftermath is still going on 10 years later.

    My aunt and uncle got married in their early 20's like you and your fiance, they are the best example of a happy marriage that I know of. They understand each other, support each other, love each other. They are perfect together. Age means nothing.
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  • @CraftyG We have dealt with those comments more than once, and it's sad that people think the only reason young couples get married is because they're having a baby. I don't want kids until my late 20s!

    @kimmiinthemitten My mother and I have had multiple discussions the past 6 months about her warming up to the idea. Each one has been better than the last and is usually filled with some tears, but I still can't help feeling that she's completely ready to "let me go" even though I've been on my own for a while now. Our relationship will only get better with the years. Just because I want to promise my life to the man I love doesn't mean my relationship with my mother will suffer. I guess now it's on her end to realize that.

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  • Maybe no one wants to talk about your wedding plans bc you aren't getting married for three years? If I read this correctly, you said 

    "BrideToBe26 said:
    Hey guys,

    We got engaged in January and have three years left in undergrad. When we get married, I will be 21 and he will be 22 with a semester left. 

    So you have have three-ish years left before you get married? No one cares about a wedding that far away! i wouldn't even start to seriously plan things that far away! Unless you need to know exactly how much money you'll need to save over the next three years... Get a ballpark figure and start saving. 

    Get a pinterest board or hang out here for another year and a half before you start talking to people about actual wedding plans.

    (if your wedding is much closer than 3 years, disregard this!)
  • @redwoodoriginal We are planning on early fall 2018, so it's almost two years away. I'm a very Type A person who tries to plan everything way in advance and in too much detail. Yay for anxiety driven personalities! Anyway, I guess I've done all I can for now and will start talking to our families closer to the year and a half mark.

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  • @BrideToBe26 don't worry I'm the same, I'd much rather plan over a long period of time than have a stressed rush! Why don't you and FI plan between yourself, pinterest things, start making crafts if that's your thing, even find vendors and print out all the details so it's all in the same place then you can come back o it as you need to and compare. If your families ask and you feel comfortable tell them, if not don't bring it up until closer to the date, once things start getting booked they might start getting excited!
  • I'm sorry you're feeling this way, and that your family isn't being as supportive or as congratulatory as you'd like. 
    My sister is your age, and got engaged this past October, and I'm 25 and got engaged in January, so I've seen both sides of the coin. 
    You are an adult, and it sounds like you've taken on a lot of responsibilities already that a lot of women your age have yet to do. But I would have an open and honest discussion with your family about your intentions (2 years is a long time, you're definitely not rushing). Maybe they have other thoughts that they haven't expressed to you? If it's simply age, then I would explain (not justify, because it's your life! You don't need permission!) why you two feel you're ready, and leave the ball in their court. Then I agree with PP to just quietly plan yourself and see how they feel a bit closer to the date. Growing up isn't just hard for us, it's hard for our parents too. As long as they know you're happy, I'm sure they will be too :) 
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