Author Topic: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?  (Read 12829 times)

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Mammavan3

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There were a few comments on the subject thread that echoed my feelings on choosing a date/location for a wedding, namely that the B & G are free to choose a time and place that is important to them but the guests can infer from those choices just how important their attendance is to the HC.

My situation. A first cousin once removed announced his engagement last spring. He told us at that time that they were going to try to schedule the wedding in August of this year. This is a person of whom we are very fond and who has visited us often.

The areas of concern:

The wedding will be on the opposite coast from a large percentage of his relatives, including us, and will entail at least a full day's travel. They scheduled the wedding for a Thursday this September. This makes attending difficult for several groups of people.  His aunt and SIL both teach in universities and my SIL teaches middle school, and the date is the second week of school, midway between the two Jewish holidays, which makes it difficult to find people to cover your classes. Additionally, at least two of his first cousins are in grad school, in research programs which frown on absences. His nieces and nephews are also in school.

The wedding will be at a state park on an island. There are cabins available, but I've been told that all seven of the cabins with bathrooms were booked before the save-the-date cards were sent out; the rest have "nearby" facilities. I've learned that there are some B&Bs on the island, but no one has given any information about which ones are close by or desirable.

The STD cards!  Ours was addressed to Moma and Pappa (wrong spelling of my name, no last name), at the wrong street number. These people are not kids; he's almost 40. If I hadn't bee outside when the mailman came so he could check with me, we probably wouldn't have gotten it.

When DD was married, we booked a block of rooms at a nearby hotel and provided a bus to and from the reception. We hired a baby-sitter (a friend of DD who worked in child care) for anyone who wanted one, provided lunch before the wedding as well as a brunch the morning after and a hospitality suite with refreshments as a place to gather and socialize if anyone wanted to do so. We did all this and more because we were so happy that these people had made the effort to attend the wedding and sharing this day with them was important to us.

The message I'm getting is that having their wedding at a special place was more important to the B&G than having us attend. It will cost us quite a good bit of money to fly across the country, rent a car, etc., and I wonder if the message they're sending is that they really don't care if we're there or not.

Am I misreading this?

Amara

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2013, 03:15:25 PM »
I don't think you are misreading it, but neither do I think that because you did all that for your wedding guests--and it was very generous of you--that anything less is impolite on their parts.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about any "message" they may or may not be sending and just think only about whether I could afford, and would want to, spend the time and money to attend.

*inviteseller

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2013, 03:31:41 PM »
I don't think there is a message.  The couple has decided for their own reasons this is how they want their wedding day.  The only thing I can see that would be rude or off putting is if they complained and whined when people RSVP 'no' due to it being on a weekday during the school year.  I think a couple should possibly take into consideration their parents/siblings schedules, but all and all, it is the HC's wedding and their choice to do it how they want, as it is your choice as to whether you can go or not. 

Poppea

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2013, 03:39:22 PM »
No you have read it correctly.  Having family attend the wedding is secondary to the location and date they desire.  If having family attend was a priority, they would have done more to accommodate relatives traveling across the country.

Surianne

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2013, 03:42:14 PM »
I don't think there's necessarily a message.  Maybe they didn't even expect people to want to fly across the country for their wedding in the first place -- particularly the relatives in grad school, even if it were in the summer they may not have had attending a wedding in their budget.

You chose to do your wedding differently, and it's great that you were able to accommodate people because that was important to you.  But that doesn't mean that your relatives are wrong or rude to want and plan for a smaller wedding than you did. 

If you want to attend and can afford the time and money, great -- go ahead.  If not, send them your congratulations. 

Mammavan3

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2013, 03:54:29 PM »
I certainly don't expect others to provide the same level of hospitality that we extended, but neither do I think that giving some thought to accommodating your guests is too much to expect. Those who stay in the cabins, both those with and without bath facilities, will need to provide their own sheets, blankets, pillows, towels, dishes, etc., which is obviously impossible if you are flying.

And they do have every reason to expect everyone will attend their wedding. A few years ago everyone flew to another continent for his brother's wedding, and we've all gone to his other brother and sister's weddings, which involved interstate travel, if not quite this distance. 

We can afford this trip and do have the time for it, but wonder making it difficult for your guests to attend is a way to keep peace in the family by inviting everyone when you don't want them there or care if they attend.

Surianne

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2013, 04:04:41 PM »
It seems to me as though they simply want a different type of wedding than you're used to.  That doesn't make them wrong or rude. 

If you won't enjoy going, then don't go.  Or if you want to go and don't want to sleep in a cabin, ask about the B&Bs you mentioned in your first post.   

They're not doing anything rude here unless the bride and groom get upset that family members turn down the invitation.  I'd be surprised if they did -- maybe they want a low-key, small wedding, but wanted to make sure that family members were included if they were the type to enjoy a wedding in a state park and accommodation in cabins or B&Bs.   (I know I'd enjoy this couple's plan more than staying in a hotel, personally.)

Mammavan3

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2013, 04:23:36 PM »
It seems to me as though they simply want a different type of wedding than you're used to.  That doesn't make them wrong or rude. 

If you won't enjoy going, then don't go.  Or if you want to go and don't want to sleep in a cabin, ask about the B&Bs you mentioned in your first post.   

They're not doing anything rude here unless the bride and groom get upset that family members turn down the invitation.  I'd be surprised if they did -- maybe they want a low-key, small wedding, but wanted to make sure that family members were included if they were the type to enjoy a wedding in a state park and accommodation in cabins or B&Bs.   (I know I'd enjoy this couple's plan more than staying in a hotel, personally.)

It's not really a question of "enjoying" this type of wedding, but more a question of logistics. If we were able to secure a cabin with bath facilities (those of us of a certain age make frequent visits to the facilities at night and wending one's way to a "nearby" facility, possibly in the rain, isn't really an option), we'd still be faced with the problem of using our limited luggage allotment for bedding, towels, dishes, etc., or purchasing these things there and then discarding them. (A possible wedding gift? ;))

I never said I think their plans are rude, nor do I think they are, but, as you have said, that they want a small, low-key wedding and would prefer that few guests attend. That was the message I got and wondered if others saw it that way too.

rigs32

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2013, 04:33:05 PM »
I also think it's not fair to say that there's a certain norm for the family and expect all members of that family to subscribe to that norm. 

As an example, my SO's family gets together very often.  They are often confused why we cannot attend every event, but we have lots of friends that we make plans with.  Much of the family only socializes with family.  We aren't going to change to their norm and they shouldn't expect us to.  The same with this wedding.  You may be disappointed it is inconvenient, but you get to decide whether to attend or not, on the terms of the invitation extended.

Allyson

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2013, 04:36:07 PM »
I think reading a message into it is..well, understandable, but maybe overall not helpful. to me, 'message' implies they deliberately thought 'We don't care about guests, we care about venue' and that probably wasn't the case. In my experience, people just don't think that way. It was more likely to be 'Oh, this sounds like a wonderful venue, we would love this type of wedding!'

If it's logistically bad for you to go, then the couple certainly can't offended when you don't. Maybe they do want a small, low-key wedding, or maybe they didn't put too much thought into it. It comes up frequently on this forum that different people see weddings very differently.

But, I personally just don't think looking for the message is likely to be useful for anyone, as the message directly sent to you was 'come to our wedding if you can' by inviting you. What would be the purpose of looking for anything else? Do you feel maybe perhaps they don't really want you there?

delabela

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2013, 04:42:09 PM »
Full disclosure - my wedding was where I and my SO lived at the time, a plane ride away for almost all family members on both sides.  This was not typical in my family, but for various reasons was what we chose.

I don't think there is any message being sent.  They've planned an event they will enjoy, and presumably think their guests will enjoy.  If you won't enjoy it, don't go.  From your first post, it sounds like you are making some assumptions about accommodations without checking out or inquiring about all of what's available - the B&Bs you mentioned.

It strikes me as looking for offense to take away that they don't value your company. 

Shoo

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2013, 04:43:40 PM »
I doubt they intended any kind of "message" but I do think their intent is clear.  They want what they want, and that's their priority.  As someone who got married later than most people tend to, I found myself not really caring how our plans affected anyone else.  If they were able to come, great!  If not, great!  Not really concerned one way or the other.  The important thing to us was that we were getting married, and doing it our way.  Maybe that's how your cousin feels? 

TootsNYC

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2013, 04:57:51 PM »
I really don't think they're sending a pointed message to you. I think that's actually a teeny bit conceited, to think that your NON-attendance matters so much that they'd deliberately make choices to make it hard for you.

I do think it's true that if they had to choose between
  1)  guaranteeing that you'll all be there by making it really easy for everyone to attend; and
  2) having their wedding at a place they really will enjoy;
that #2 is their pick.

That doesn't translate into a deliberate snub, or an insult, or a rejection of you.

Maybe having everyone at their wedding is just not that big a deal to them. And it's not a reflection of your importance in their lives; they can really value you and still think that it's not important to have you there on THAT day; they'll see you the next time it works out, and value/love you just as much (and expect that you will feel the same way about them). It may be more about how important the WEDDING is in their lives, or perhaps how important they thing THEIR wedding is (or ought to be) in YOUR life. It's *their* wedding, perhaps they think; you're just audience, so why would you care so much?

It may even be more about the idea that the wedding is for THEM, and not for all the other family members.

So, yes, the underlying truth is that having everyone at their wedding just doesn't matter that much. But that is NOT the same as "a message being sent to us."


(It is also true that many, many people will say, "we'll have a destination wedding and then we don't have to invite everyone, or we can invite them but they won't come bcs it's so far. That's how we'll keep the guest list down." People say that--in my old job, I used to hear from brides and grooms, and some of them said that. But that doesn't mean you would be accurate to decide that it's a deliberate snub.
   For one thing, the world is full of peripheral relatives who act as though their cousin's wedding should be all about them. A difficult-to-attend wedding means that the relative, will have to send a message TO THEM about how important *they* truly are to that relative. It sort of works out to be an informal test.)

Hmmmmm

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2013, 05:08:18 PM »
I think reading a message into it is..well, understandable, but maybe overall not helpful. to me, 'message' implies they deliberately thought 'We don't care about guests, we care about venue' and that probably wasn't the case. In my experience, people just don't think that way. It was more likely to be 'Oh, this sounds like a wonderful venue, we would love this type of wedding!'

If it's logistically bad for you to go, then the couple certainly can't offended when you don't. Maybe they do want a small, low-key wedding, or maybe they didn't put too much thought into it. It comes up frequently on this forum that different people see weddings very differently.

But, I personally just don't think looking for the message is likely to be useful for anyone, as the message directly sent to you was 'come to our wedding if you can' by inviting you. What would be the purpose of looking for anything else? Do you feel maybe perhaps they don't really want you there?

But at some point after thinking "this is a greats venue." They've would have thought "if cross country, less family can attend but I'm ok with that because we prefer small wedding."

I don't see where that is trying to send a message. But it's is clearly indicating what type of wedding they want. And it's not one with a large attendance of family and friends who live in the other side of the country.


LadyL

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2013, 05:10:10 PM »
A Thursday in the off season with campground cabins being the main accommodation screams "we are trying to do something personalized on a budget" to me. Having looked into that sort of option, I will say that Thursdays are usually the cheapest days for venues and parks or other public facilities tend to be a fraction of the cost of a private venue. The accommodations sound like they will be quite inexpensive, if there are shared bathrooms. It is also an event that sounds geared a bit towards younger people who are maybe okay forgoing some creature comforts.

It is not as if "having the whole family there" definitely isn't on their priority list - it might just be below "having a wedding that costs under X  thousand  dollars" and "having a more personalized venue than the local Elk's lodge."