Vent

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Elizabeth40245 Posts : 59 Registered: 5/11/09
Vent
Posted: Jun 1, 2009 12:34 PM

I always wanted a wedding with only the people who I am close to, are actually a part of my life, and that I know care about me. However, it seems like all these people I never even thought of are shocked and appalled that they did not receive an invite. I just found out that my mom's best friend's sister and mother were absolutely shocked. I don't even know their names! So are some old friends of my parents. My parents just attended a wedding of their old friend's daughter (which was 5-6 times more expensive than mine) and several of their old friends in attendance (who I haven't seen in about 15 years) were also shocked that they aren't invited. My brother says that it looks awful that they won't be invited.


I just don't get it. Why do people want to go to weddings of people they wouldn't recognize on the street?!? I feel like they just want to gawk at me or something...compare me to their kids. Ugh. If they want to see my parents, why don't they go to dinner or something or otherwise make an effort to do so? My mom is feeling bad about this and even told her friend that her sister and mom could come! There isn't much I can do since she is paying for the food, liquor, and decor. I just hate that people are making my super sweet mom feel guilty and totally changing my vision for the wedding. Plus, if all these randoms are suddenly coming, I feel bad that I didn't let my FMIL invite more friends. :(

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RACR Posts : 52 Registered: 3/18/08
Re: Vent
Posted: Jun 1, 2009 1:21 PM Go to message in response to: Elizabeth40245

Here's the thing - you can't make everyone happy and this is your wedding. I would just continue to combat this with "we only invited family and close friends". I am in this boat too and it's awful but you can't feel bad and keep adding people to the list, you'll drive yourself nuts just to spend extra money on people you are only inviting for sake of their feelings. My dad called a month ago saying my grandma was really upset because her nieces and nephews (my dad's cousins) hadn't been invited...and I haven't seen these people in about ten years! I felt bad for my dad and the position he was in but had to stand my ground and continue to argue that we can't invite everybody. Sadly not everyone is understanding of this but I guess you could look at it as if you never see these people anyway you won't have to face them in an awkward situation after the wedding.

Good luck fellow June 26th bride!!

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Elizabeth40245 Posts : 59 Registered: 5/11/09
Re: Vent
Posted: Jun 1, 2009 1:28 PM Go to message in response to: RACR

Thank you. We are getting married this month! Yay. It is really my mom who is adding people to the list because it is her (inconsiderate) "friends" and family members of her friends who are doing this. But you are right. I will keep telling her that we have to draw the line somewhere!

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HappyGirl13 Posts : 1,298 Registered: 4/21/08
Re: Vent
Posted: Jun 1, 2009 1:33 PM Go to message in response to: Elizabeth40245

I absolutely know where you're coming from and don't know if I will never understand it either. I wanted a small wedding but had a large one instead. Still wish I'd stuck with the small one. I chalk it up to three possible reasons: 1) I think people in the generation older than us may feel closer to us than we to them since they've seen us be born and grow up, even if only vicariously, 2) level of personal gregariousness and 3) some people just like attending weddings.

My parents have a large social circle. Most of them aren't close friends, but I think they'd consider them "close acquaintances." And even if they're just close acquaintances, my mom actually cares about them. She sends b'day cards and gifts to way more people than I do, for example, and she's not doing it for show. She and my dad end up being invited to (and attend) lots of social events/weddings as a result, and she wanted to invite a lot of people to my wedding (and she did). And a lot of them CAME! My feeling was and still is the same as yours: why in the world would they want to bother? I didn't care if they were there, so why would they want to come?!

But it may be that they're like my mom and more on the outgoing side, so they care about a lot more people than I do. There are few people in my life whose weddings I would actually be excited about attending, and they are only the people I feel close to. The rest, for me, would be out of a feeling of social obligation, e.g. those of distant cousins, and I would probably try to find a way not to go. But then there are also those people that just like to attend weddings no matter whose wedding it is. Guess I'm not one of them.

So there you go. I hear ya.

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simplebride2 Posts : 33 Registered: 4/17/09
Re: Vent
Posted: Jun 1, 2009 2:27 PM Go to message in response to: Elizabeth40245

I totally agree with you! I have been saying the same thing all along - why would you even want to go to the weding of someone you aren't close to or don't know at all?!

I personally think it is our choice as the marrying couple and our parents can go ahead and use us as scapegoats. They can just tell their friends that we are adults, it is our wedding and they aren't in charge of the guest list. If anyone actually then asks you about an invitation, you can just say you are keeping the guest list small but thank-you for your good wishes.

Even if your parents are helping with the finances, no one else needs to know that. If they genuinely want someone on the guest list it's up to both of you. If they are only doing it out of guilt or obligation tell them to just forget it and blame it on you.

I know, easier said than done. But good luck! Many of us are in the same boat.

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myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Vent
Posted: Jun 1, 2009 2:45 PM Go to message in response to: Elizabeth40245

Notice that in most of these posts, it's the parents and their circle of friends who are taking up the bulk of the guest list, not the couple. If the parents are financing this extravaganza (and the bridal couple agree), then, fine, it's a wonderful celebration of a special time, even if the couple doesn't know everyone who's there to celebrate.

BUT, if it's the couple who's paying and the couple who wants a smaller wedding, then it's really rude of the parents to use this party as a way to entertain their social circle. I agree, if the parents want to have a party, let them have their own. As for those people who are "insulted," they're way out of line. Ignore them.
myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

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ChelsRae85 Posts : 371 Registered: 5/16/09
Re: Vent
Posted: Jun 1, 2009 3:38 PM Go to message in response to: myra

Seriously, everything myra just said.

I am two years out, don't even have a ring (although I AM engaged), and people have already said, "Oh I can't wait to come!"

Uhm, I'm not having 500 guests, ppl! My/FH's family alone is 200, thanks. My problem is that I live in a town where EVERYONE knows my Dad. I have people come up to me ALL the time, who I don't know, and say, "Wow you look like your dad!". Uh, hi, do I know you?

I just ignore it. Whoever we want to come is who we will invite.
My Planning Blog

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Vent
Posted: Jun 1, 2009 6:01 PM Go to message in response to: Elizabeth40245

Ladies,

I'll try to answer lots of questions in one message. I am a Mom, with grown-up kids.

First and foremost: The party hosts are the people who determine the guest list. If parents are paying for the party, they have the right to determine the guest list. They should do so in consultation with the party honorees, but in the end "he who has the gold makes the rules".

Why would friends of your parents be even interested in going?

Because they have heard about you since you were born. They remember, like yesterday, when their friend found out she was pregnant, and have received Christmas Cards year after year with notes like "Can you believe little Susie is in sixth grade already?".

Yes, they want to gawk at you and tell your parents "Oh, she's such a beautiful bride" or "What a handsome groom." Your parents want to be able to say, with no false modesty, "Oh, yes, we think she's gorgeous" or "He's the greatest." It makes up for the many times friends have dropped by your parents' house only to find Junior slumped on the couch, slack-jawed, in cargo shorts and a torn dirty t-shirt paying Nintendo, or Sis in 14-year old hooker attire with enough makeup to sink a battleship.

Why can't your parents just see the friends at some other social occasion?

Because your parents have gone, in the past, to a gazillion weddings and have schelpped a gazillion gifts. It's payback time. They want to see their beloved child surrounded by the largesse of their generous, middle-class, middle-aged friends.

On a snarkier vein, they want to see what kinds of gifts they can get away with in the future. If Rich Uncle Ernie gives a cheap-o present, then Ernie's kids won't be getting exactly top-of-the-line stuff from your parents in the future.

Why must the parents make this into a big family reunion?

Because weddings are excellent times for the family to get together. If you try for a family reunion without a wedding, it's difficult to find a time that everyone likes. With a wedding, you can just say "Here is the date; we hope you can come" and hope they come. People don't fuss around with "If it were a week later, I could make it" crap.

How can I make my parents only invite the people I want to invite?

"Mom, Dad, we have given it careful consideration and have decided to pay for the wedding ourselves. That way we will have total control over everything, including the guest list."

***

Having said all that, I'll tell that in the past couple of years I have attended two weddings where I literally laid eyes on the couple (both of them) for the first time. I was friends with the parents, and the parents were eager to show off their grown-up Little Darlings. In one case, the bride was my cousin's daughter and the wedding was a family reunion. In the other case, my husband and I volunteered our classic convertible car to transport the bride and bride's father to the outdoor wedding, then give the newlyweds a ride around the block "homecoming queen" style. The parents had quotes of $500 to $1000 for the rental of a classic car, and we volunteered ours at no charge, just because the parents are old friends and cool people.

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BBGF Posts : 66 Registered: 5/5/09
Re: Vent
Posted: Jun 1, 2009 11:37 PM Go to message in response to: Elizabeth40245

While I will agree that both set of parents should be allowed to invite some guest notice I said some guest esp. if they are paying I do not believe that they should go over board. You and your FH need to sit down with both sets of parents and explain to them that this is the total amt of people that will be invited to the wedding and this is the total amt. of people that each of them can invite to the wedding. Now if they meet their amt. and want to invite some one else they have to delete someone that they previously invited. I bet you that they wont. Look at this way they want to show you and your FH off to the world and it is a big social event. In the end it is after all your wedding however you wouldn't be here to have a wedding if it wasn't for them having you, so be respectful when you talk to them. I'm really big on that.

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Vent
Posted: Jun 2, 2009 12:38 AM Go to message in response to: BBGF

Dear BBGF,

"You and your FH need to sit down with both sets of parents and explain to them that this is the total amt of people that will be invited to the wedding and this is the total amt. of people that each of them can invite to the wedding."

You cannot dictate terms to someone who is footing the bill, unless you are prepared to have their funding diminished or entirely withdrawn. If you want to sit down with the parents and explain to them "this is the way it is", then don't be surprised if they respond back to you "no, THIS is the way it is, so long as we are paying the bill".

It never ceases to amaze me how often people who are old enough to get married, think they are still entitled to their parents' money.

Want to be in charge? Pay for it yourself.

(Remember, I'm a Mom with children near the quarter-century mark.)

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myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Vent
Posted: Jun 2, 2009 3:15 AM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Aunt, I agree up to a point. but, financing their kids' weddings does not give the parents free reign to turn into dictators. I would hope that, even if they are100% financing the wedding, that parents do the planning with their children and are considerate of the couple's desires for their own wedding. In my own case as a MOB, my husband and I handed our daughter a check and said,"This is our contribution to the wedding. You plan what you want." His parents also contributed in the same manner--"Here's the money. Plan what you want." That does not mean that I was not involved every step of the way--but that's because the kids wanted it that way. We have that kind of relationship. Most of the friends that I have whose kids have married have helped to finance the weddings and have been involved in the planning. In most cases, these relationships went smoothly and there was mutual agreement. I realize that we are lucky and that parent/child planning does not always go smoothly. I agree that parents have many more rights when they are paying. But they do not have the right to just ignore the bridal couple's wishes.
myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

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BBGF Posts : 66 Registered: 5/5/09
Re: Vent
Posted: Jun 2, 2009 4:00 AM Go to message in response to: Elizabeth40245

Dear auntofthe bride,

on a lot of your posting that you do I agree on, however with this one I have to say that I do not. This is the couple's wedding and not the parents. While I don't believe that anyone is entitled to anybody else's money no did I say that, this is their children and if they decide to help them financially this is still their children's day. So I do believe that the guest that gets invited should be of the couples picking with both sets of parents being able to invite a few of their freinds esp. if paying for the wedding and that is why before invitations go out at the start of your planning you sit down with both sets of parents to discuss this so this issue doesn't come back up to bite you in the rear. I do agree with Myra that it dose not give the parents the right to have a dictatorship attitude over the children. When I did my parents 50th Anniversary for 200 people in August of 2006( my parents had a double wedding when they got married 53yrs ago) my mother wanted a black tie affair and had asked if we could give her one. No its not a wedding but I bet you that I put out more money than a lot of weddings into that party. I did not invited one soul to this lavish event, because I respected that this was not my day but theirs. I gave the money because it was something I wanted to do for them and I did the planning for them with their approval on everything except for the surprises that I had with the stretch limo hummer, opera singer, ny niece doing a song, violinist and saxophonist also wanted to do something for them and to be able to remember them by. There is nothing that I could ever do to repay them for what they have given to me (life and love) and thats why I'm big on respect as I stated before. Yes I could have argued that I'm footing the bill so who I wanted to invited comes. Anyone who asked if they could come (friends that I have been knowing for close to 40yrs, family and business acquaintances) I simply said I would love to but its my parents day and they are the ones who have control over who gets to share their day. But it is their celebration and their day. Now in my religion it is up to the couple and not the parents to pay for their own wedding, however parents may help out the couple if so desired.

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kennysoldwife Posts : 3,859 Registered: 4/28/07
Re: Vent
Posted: Jun 2, 2009 8:17 AM Go to message in response to: BBGF

If I were hosting an event for my parents I am sure the guest list would be different than if I were hosting an event for my children.

Since I will be footing the bill for two weddings and contributing to a third. I am not footing the entire cost of my son's wedding. I think that I have a say in who will be getting invited also. I have decided that we will each get a third of the guest list. I will not dictate the guest list but I do know that we will end up with people on the list that my children may not have met or don't remember. Why because of some of the reasons AOTB just gave. While it is my child's day and she will have the people she wants. It is also a day for me to celebrate with my friends and family too.





Kenny and me perfect together, 10 years and counting

Sucks to be you, So glad I am me

Proud Member of P.O.O.P, People Offended by Offended People

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MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Vent
Posted: Jun 2, 2009 8:39 AM Go to message in response to: myra

Myra said pretty much what I was thinking regarding AOTB's post.

OP, I think you were more venting rather than asking for advice, but to the extent that your mother wishes to invite more people than you are comfortable with, I would let her know your feelings. Tell her that this can be explained to others by saying it's a small intimate wedding. Also, your concern about your in-laws invitees is perfectly valid, and there's no harm in explaining to your mom that if you invite more people, it will be problematic if your inlaws are not also allowed to invite more.

Personally, when my parents handed me a check, I understood that it would come with their own guests lists, which I accomodated. The ones that felt "iffy" to me were frequently people that my father always invited to his parties, and not inviting them would lead to some social discomfort for my father and stepmom. I understood that and (while I certainly grumbled a bit about it in private) since it didn't cause a financial problem for me, I just kind of rolled with it.

As AOTB put it, weddings are often the biggest way for a family to get together, and even though the bride might not have seen these people in years, not inviting them can send a message that you have no desire to see them at all, which is something your mother might want to avoid. It's understandable -- but, frankly, so are your feelings. Just try and keep the relationship between you and your mom understanding and respectful -- the rest of the family will deal.

__________________________________________

"I'd hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, or insanity, but they've always worked for me." Hunter S. Thompson

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Elizabeth40245 Posts : 59 Registered: 5/11/09
Re: Vent
Posted: Jun 2, 2009 10:07 AM Go to message in response to: MsDenuninani

Thank you everyone. I am blessed and grateful to have the most wonderful parents in the world. Even though they are footing most of the bill for my wedding (because they offered,) they have not in any way tried to dictate a guest list. They know that it is my wedding and respect that. They are giving me a gift without strings attached. They are just not like that, thank God. Perhaps because my grandfather IS, and they have come to stop taking gifts from him (and advising me to do that same) for this very reason. Of course, I had no problem inviting their best friends....the ones who were there when my mom had cancer, congratulated me on getting my Master's, and otherwise have been sweet and supportive to our family (and vice versa) in my adult life.

My parents were thrilled that I wanted to keep the guests to VIPs, which meant that the wedding would cost us all less $. My mom doesn't necessarily WANT to invite these people, she is just feeling guilty for all of the reasons AOTB said.....they think they deserve the right to gawk at me and my family and want to see if I've grown out of the awkward phase I was in at age 10, when they last saw me. Frankly, I resent the fact that anyone thinks they should be allowed to gawk at me just because they WANTED and could afford for my parents to gawk at their kids. Don't they have lives? Ugh.

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