Just...Frustrated (long)

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Colelle Posts : 48 Registered: 6/21/09
Just...Frustrated (long)
Posted: Jan 2, 2010 1:35 AM

Okay, so there's been a lot of drama in my family about my fiance` and I getting married (I'm 21 and graduating with my 4 year degree in March, he's 26 and already graduated with 2 degrees). His family is fine with it and super excited...at first my family tried to convince me to wait and have a long engagement, but I made it clear I wanted to get married in July 2010.

They seem to have accepted it, but have been putting up a fight with me on other things. They -hate- my ideas. My fiance` and I were looking at a $4000 budget for the wedding and a $2000 budget for the honeymoon, I mean I'm going to be a recent graduate and he's still starting out in his career. Sooo a 4 course plated dinner for 200 people is out of our price range obviously. I've been planning a budget wedding, and my parents and sister have completely ripped apart all of my ideas, calling them 'tacky', 'tasteless', 'redneck' and 'not classy'. Why? Because I have no interest in having a catered wedding. Simply put, it is not plausible. We need to be saving up our money for after we get married, not to impress people. My mom went so far as to say that guests will not travel to see me get married and they only care about the after party and I need to 'make it worth it' for them to make the effort and give me gifts. For the record I don't care about the gifts, I would much rather have something personal and touching, like a nice card with some marriage tips. My mom said I'm naive and that the wedding is all about the gifts. UGH.

She admitted to being ashamed for attacking me after we had a huge fight after I suggested using an ipod with some speakers in place of a dj or band to save money. She won't stop though even though she knows she's being a momzilla.

Another example...went wedding dress shopping last week (found myself a gorgeous dress and won from one of their promotions to get $200 off the price!) with my mom, sister, and bff. It was sooo awkward. The consultants would ask me questions about my wedding, and my mom would contradict EVERYTHING.

Consultant: So how are you wearing your hair?
Me: I want it to be half-up and half-down! :D
Mom: No, it will be an updo.
Me: ...(annoyed)

Consulant: What type of wedding are you having?
Me: The ceremony will be outdoors--
Mom: No it won't. It will be indoors.

And my sister (2 years older) was also ridiculous. Her and my mom were totally ganging up on me and trying to interrogate me and tell me why my ideas are so horrible. My sister also tried to take control of my appointments. At my first one she interrupted me when I was telling the consultant what kind of dress I wanted, and began to tell the lady all about how 'we' wanted 'simple elegance' and started saying what I did and didn't want. I of course intervened and stated what I actually wanted. She keeps insisting I need to have a 'nice' wedding. Um, it WILL be nice. Thanks.

My parents keep saying they're contributing (I really didn't want them to because they're acting insane, but I have talked to them and it means so much to them to contribute and I dont feel like arguing about it anymore) but I -know- they don't have a lot to contribute, especially for what they keep suggesting. I asked if they could buy my dress and pay for the photographer but they're trying to insist on paying for the reception. My fh and I can pay for that on our own, at least the way we want it to be.

I think I've been very nice about their suggestions, but I do know what I want. Because I don't agree with them my sister has taken to telling my cousins and such that I'm a bridezilla. She even went so far as to demand how we're paying for our honeymoon (how about none of your business?).

I've been struggling to stand up for myself because it's just constant put-downs. Fh has told me to just not discuss the wedding with them and not get sucked into defending myself/arguing. It's realllly hard for me though because it feels like nobody is on my side.

My bff told me later that the dress shopping was super awkward for her because of the things they were saying. She's usually very neutral about everything but commented that she couldn't believe some of the things they said. Example: at lunch the guest list was mentioned, and I had said that fh had a list of 50, while my parents had 60 and climbing and we needed to reign it in. My mom waved a hand a me and announced that since 'they' were paying for the reception that they got to have more guests and that fh had to reduce his guest list and my sister agreed. Um. What? First of all, there has been no agreement on what my parents are contributing, and two I can't believe her. And they call ME a bridezilla? Um...how about the momzilla raging about?

Finally, fh wants a simple wedding, within our budget. He's been very active about helping the planning (and quite vocal about his opinions suprisingly lol). My parents have said that he's the groom and really has no say. Considering my fh is paying for almost everything, I'd say he has quite a bit to say about his own wedding.

I just feel so bullied. My sister lives out of town and was just visiting so I don't have to deal with her as intensely. I just...I was so happy to be engaged and my family has just put such a damper on everything. They keep telling me I better not 'embarass' them to everyone else with a tacky wedding. Ouch. I know there's other issues with them (me growing up, me being the youngest and thus the 'baby', how it's a shorter engagement of 8 months, etc.) but it's frustrating. I'm trying to be understanding though.

I guess I just needed to vent. My feelings have been very hurt the past few weeks. I would have been fine with a much simpler wedding, but I AM trying to compromise and it's not enough for them. I wanted my reception at my church (they have an event tent they'd let us use for free, very nice), but they told me that was unacceptable. I found a nice pretty lodge thats only 500 dollars to rent (including tables and chairs and a bunch of other stuff) instead, but it may not be 'nice' enough for them. I hate that word now. It's all about a 'nice' wedding. My wedding WILLL be NICE caterer or dj or not!

I'm presently dreading the next few months of planning. Although I'm super excited about my dress coming in March! So one thing to look forward to, that and graduating.

Anyone else going through something similar, or went through something similar? Advice? I'm at my wits end.

Edited by: Colelle on Jan 2, 2010 1:54 AM


PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Just...Frustrated (long)
Posted: Jan 2, 2010 2:10 AM Go to message in response to: Colelle

I would have been fine with a much simpler wedding, but I AM trying to compromise and it's not enough for them.

OK this is easier said than done, but HAVE your simpler wedding and cut them out of the planning.

If you can afford what you want, than make those plans and just inform your family when to show up.

Figure out how many you can afford to invite, split amongst you & FH, FH's family and your family. Tell your parents - THIS number. Tell them anyone over that number will not be invited.

Do not take them dress shopping with you anymore or to any other appointments. Your friend seems good, take her.

Plan your wedding without them - do not accept their $. Do what you and FH want.

You are getting ready to get married - you need to stand up to them and move on with your life. If you don't stand up to them now, when will you. When they start trying to run your marriage are you going to 'compromise'?

Good luck





Colelle Posts : 48 Registered: 6/21/09
Re: Just...Frustrated (long)
Posted: Jan 2, 2010 2:39 AM Go to message in response to: PharmToxGirl

You are getting ready to get married - you need to stand up to them and
move on with your life. If you don't stand up to them now, when will
you. When they start trying to run your marriage are you going to

My fh said something very similar. I completely agree--it's just taking some work getting there. I've always been super close with my family, I've always talked to them honestly about grades, my social life, drinking even. It's been a weird transition for me from being so open to having to cut myself off from certain conversations such as the wedding planning. My mom especially is going through a rough time adjusting to me 'growing up' I think, but I can only do so much.

I've stood up to them, but they attack me or make me feel guilty. I think I'm starting to get to the point where I'm okay with just zipping my lips and not discussing with them.

You're right though, I just need to not engage in these conversations and arguments. Now to actually walk the walk...


PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Just...Frustrated (long)
Posted: Jan 2, 2010 2:57 AM Go to message in response to: Colelle

You're right though, I just need to not engage in these conversations and arguments. Now to actually walk the walk...

And I'm not trying to tell you it will be easy - it won't. But you need to do it. So recognizing it is great. And also, their behavior is SOOO bad, they may actually help you in the end.

Stop discussing it at all and just make your plans with FH.

Good luck!





auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Just...Frustrated (long)
Posted: Jan 2, 2010 8:57 AM Go to message in response to: Colelle

Dear Colelle,

You know, already, what you need to do. You don't need permission from us.

Talk to FH, see what money the two of you have, in hand, for your wedding, then plan accordingly. Do not plan on money from your parents.

Once you have taken that liberating step, you will be able to plan without being bothered by any kind of compromise with people who are negative towards the entire project. Go shopping with people who are supportive of you and understand your tight budget.

You know what you need to do. Do it.


CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: Just...Frustrated (long)
Posted: Jan 2, 2010 9:38 AM Go to message in response to: Colelle

Hey Colelle:

You've gotten the advice, and you know you need to do it. The true question is HOW.

They will give you money, whether you want it or not. If they won't take the check back, do not cash it. They'll get the hint when they balance their checkbook and it keeps showing that you have not cashed it. Do NOT allow them to sign any contracts for your wedding; do not rely on them for payment of any of your vendor.

The golden wedding planning rule: She who has the gold makes the rules.

You can tell your mom she had the chance to plan her own wedding, now it is your turn. Chances are, her mother planned hers and she figures she gets to plan yours. Well THAT idea went out a while ago. Sucks for your mom, but that's her problem, not yours. You have given her plenty of opportunities to be involved. She's blown it. You and your FH both know it.

I have a fairly invasive mother. I didn't tell her all of my plans from the beginning. I kept the things that were most important to my DH and I out of any discussion (we did a handfasting ,and I didn't want to deal with a year of complaints/questions/arguments about it...and I would have). They complained about how I wanted to be escorted down the aisle. And we did COMPROMISE it slightly -- but only after a neutral third party raised the same concern about it that my parents did (DH wanted to give my parents a sword salute. My mom felt like he was stealing me from them with the sword, rather than them giving me away. Giving away was another bone of contention. However, the minister --without knowing what my parents said -- said that it sounded kinda like he was stealing me rather than me choosing to go.) I had initially told my mom that I'd take her concerns into account and that we'd TRY it at the rehearsal and discuss it. Because somethings do sound better in concept than action. However, once the minister said that, DH realized that this was something that a LOT of people would not recognize the action. So we cut it out. But that was OUR choice, not her requirement. We also never informed her the true symbolism of one of the elements of our ceremony (we put a very pagan element in...a Quarter Casting...but it was also very subtle, and the only people who would recognize it would be wiccan).

We paid for our own wedding completely (my parents didn't even offer).

I had a few times when I looked my mom in the eyes and said "I'm sorry, but this is what DH and I both want. This is not negotiable."

There were things I had in there FOR HER (unity candle) and she complained about how we wanted to do it. So we cut it, since I saw no reason to spend $40 on a stupid candle, and ceremony time on something that was not important to us. The way we wanted to do it mattered to us, and she fussed about how we wanted to do it (DH has siblings. We wanted his mom and his brothers to light his candle, since his father passed away 20 years ago. Mom insisted it was "only for the parents". To me, the unity candle symbolizes the family union, which includes siblings. So, we cut it.)

My mom felt completely left out of the planning -- and that was her own fault. She chose to shoot down a lot of what I was telling her that DH and I wanted (and my DH had a say in everything that happened in our wedding except my outfit) Everything was a discussion. Idea offered, built on, built on again. By the time each phase was completed, we had something that neither of us had envisioned in the first place but was a perfect melding of our ideas. The logo (see my ticker) was a combination of our ideas...DH designed it, but it was with verbal input from me. It was not how he initially saw it, but we combined our energy to make a true marriage of everything in our wedding.

YOU keep mentioning how hard this is on your mother. TOUGH on her. She's had plenty of time to accept that you were one day going to leave. She's had 22 years to plan for this eventuality. It's not like you're 17 and planning a wedding. You're 22. You're an adult. You're planning your wedding responsibly, so that you have a nice wedding and a nice honeymoon, but also don't go deep into hock and you can start your lives together responsibly.

A wedding is not about gifts (which YOU know). It is NOT about impressing the guests (which YOU also know). It is not just the BRIDE's day (which YOU know!) It is about celebrating the beginning of your life together. It is both of your day. That you have your FH to help you plan is wonderful.

My DH did. We looked at wedding sites together, did wedding crafts together. Went to bridal shows and vendors. We planned our entire event together. I didn't need my mom to help me, and thankfully neither do you. You've got your FH.

So, limit what you tell her. Tell her the decisions you've made. Do NOT invite your sister to be in the wedding party (if you've not already done so). Show her the BM dresses--after they've been ordered -- and ignore her when she says "those are too plain" or "those are ugly" or "god that looks cheap"

Your mom has lost the right to have you compromise with her. Have the wedding you want. Outdoors, using the church's tent. So, tell her...or don't talk about it. If she asks questions like 'What are you doing for X?" answer "We are really excited about that, but we want this to be a surprise for everyone." (Yes, she'll know what you're doing). She asks for specifics, "Wait and see. You'll love it." "Have you done X?" "Yes." Practice answering questions really vaguely (role play with your FH if you need.)

I'll be honest. Walmart catered our wedding (We were going to use Costco, but Walmart offered what we needed more precisely). And everyone loved the food. It looked beautiful and elegant.

We used a CD player for my dance music (I will give you THIS much advice....do not put all the same style of music together when planning your wedding music. Mix it up a little.) No one said we were cheap or had an issue with us not having a DJ. Yes, a DJ would have been better -- but a DJ would have cost a lot more and was not in the budget.

We made a lot of our stuff -- invitations, aisle decor, centerpieces.

A DIY wedding can be absolutely beautiful. And if your guests are too busy critiquing the event because they didn't get filet mignon and shrimp coctail, then they came to the wedding for the wrong reasons and truly deserved to be disappointed!



Heidibride30 Posts : 1,201 Registered: 4/16/08
Re: Just...Frustrated (long)
Posted: Jan 2, 2010 9:58 AM Go to message in response to: Colelle

I completely agree with everything that you have heard thus far. I will give you a glimmer of hope though. When DH and I first started planning our wedding, my mom was a complete momzilla. She didn't like that I let the BM's wear different dresses (but in the same color and length). She didn't like the flowers I wanted. We wanted to limit the guest list, she wanted to invite everyone she'd ever met, including her book club. We finally ended up in a screaming match on the way home from a bridal show when she said that a wedding was about the bride and her mother and all the groom had to do was show up. I came on here and vented and got a lot of the same type of advise that you have gotten. I started making my decisions and just holding my ground. And eventually my mom got on board. When she saw the flowers, she thought they were beautiful. When she saw the BM dresses, she thought all the girls looked great. And we chose a venue that could not accomodate more guests than we could afford, so we were able to keep a handle on the guest list that way. :) Good luck!!!!


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