This is a LONG post.
I need advice on what to do.
Last December Chris and I decided to get married. We finally settled on a date and location in May 2009.
That date/location is May 29th, 2010 Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Since we live in Pennsylvania we decided to throw a party/reception back home in PA.
My mother WANTS to pay for everything, she's traditionalist that way, she wants it to be her responsibility. In January of 2009 my dad was laid off from his very well paid job and has since (with the exception of a 4 month contract position) been unemployed. He's decided to go back to school this coming January. My brother is in college in Georgia, he goes to a private university and my parents pay for his tuition entirely by themselves (god forbid the boy work).
When we picked a place for the wedding back in May my mother put down a deposit so we have a place to get married. As of today (with just under 6 months to go) we have NOTHING ELSE.
I have no dress, flowers, invitations, cake, caterer, photographer, reception hall, nothing!
Chris and I are penciled in for a reception hall in PA for June 19th 2010 so in addition to worrying about getting our acts together in Tennessee we are worried about being left with nothing because we have 5 months to plan a June reception.
When we decided to go with Tennessee we kept our guest list small, which means a traditional reception would be awkward and a waste of money. I'm not paying to have a DJ and huge buffet for 35 people.
We decided it would be more practical to go with a restaurant. I wanted to go with the Hard Rock Cafe. It was expensive, but we had a private room on a holiday weekend and the package included a cake, our drinks, champagne and dinner for up to 75 people. Plus there was also the ambiance of the place. They need a 50% deposit.
My mother said "okay, no problem, I'll have the money for you in September" (this was July). September comes and goes and when I ask her she says "well, find out when exactly they need the money."
I tell her they need it when we book it. If I call them and ask them when do you need the deposit on my memorial day weekend reception they will say "now".
So she makes a face and tells me she was hoping I wouldn't need it until after Christmas. So now she wants to wait until January 2010 for me to book this place. I temporarily gave up and tried to find another reception/dinner venue for our guests.
(list has grown to about 45 thanks to my mother who can't utter the word "no" to anyone but me it seems)
Every place I find that isn't BBQ and wings can only accommodate 30 people, or they're booked, or they can't do any parties on Saturdays.
So I have a ceremony venue and no reception to speak of.
Last night she had a fit over the price of invitations because she's only "a one income family" and the invitations were going to cost her $200 because god forbid I don't want to go to Wal-Mart and buy the horrible print your own invites for $10.
Then she freaked out over the possibility of having to pay an exchange fee for my dress which is being made in China.
"I am NOT paying any conversion rate fee for your dress."
Which leads me to believe she'd rather I wear some dress I hate then pay the ($50?) on the $375 dress of my dreams. Thanks Mom!
All this is going on and again, we have nothing done for the reception in PA. This is in part because every time the wedding comes up in conversation my mother needs more time, or is telling me that something is too expensive. She has had a year of notice that there would be a wedding (during which she told me she was putting money aside).
Chris' mother is signing over checks to us to use for the reception in PA from wells recently put on her farm. (because my mother decided a couple months ago that she was only fronting the tennessee part of the bill)We can't use them though because everything in Tennessee is in limbo. We're worried that if we book a caterer in PA, TN plans may go belly up and we'd need the money for that.
Unfortunately last March Chris was laid off, then he found a job in July only to be laid off again in October and on Monday he just started a new job. We don't have the money to pay for both events which is what is seems is going to happen.
I don't know what to do because if I say anything to my mom about it, she'll tell me she has everything under control and not to worry about it. She won't admit she can't afford it (which is fine by us, we just want her to tell us the truth so we can do something about it). Her biggest wedding worry at the moment is that we don't have a picture of the best man on our website!
To top it all off the weekend we chose to get married is memorial day weekend/ gospel singer weekend so pigeon forge and Gatlinburg and all surrounding areas will be packed full to the brim. We need to make a decision on what to do so our guests can try to find a hotel! But I don't want to make them do that if we don't even have a reception place.
I know it seems stupid but We have family traveling a great distance to be there and I want to give them something more than a 15 minute ceremony.
Chris is getting angry and I'm no longer motivated to plan anything. I don't care anymore because every time we take 2 steps forward, we take 1 backward. We can't make plans for PA without worrying if we might need that money for TN.
All these plans were made back in May with the assurance from my mother that I wouldn't have to worry about a thing, she'd take care of it all. Now all I do is worry about the damn thing to the point where I don't want to get married anymore. I wanted the big dress and all the wedding stuff but it's a mess and now I could care less.
Chris said for all this aggravation we should just elope, and we could except that my mother (and only her) would freak out!
She's so sensitive about being able to go to the wedding. She also wants to make sure all my grandparents can get there...and while we're at it all my aunts and uncles..which means cousins as well and of course they have to bring their kids. She turns it into a snowball effect of all this stuff she can't handle because she has to keep up appearances and worry about not hurting anyones feelings. (she has been like this always. so afraid of what others will think she'll lie and create an illusion of perfection).
HELP! I need to figure out a way of confronting her about this without upsetting her. Am I being a total @$$