Author Topic: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?  (Read 13210 times)

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Mammavan3

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2013, 05:11:12 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.

What an interesting assumption.

i have indeed explored the B&B options and spent several hours doing so. I even attempted to call the one I found most appealing and had the accommodations we need, only to find that the phone is disconnected and their on-line booking service inoperable.  When I asked for other suggestions and opinions, the B&G were not able to give us any.

There is no problem with flying across the country to attend the wedding; it's where they live and an area we have been looking forward to visiting.  It is the fact that they seem to be doing everything to make it difficult to attend. I know that his siblings and parents pointed out how difficult his choices were making it for them before the plans were finalized.

I don't think it's looking for offense to think that people who knowingly make it difficult for you to attend don't really care if you attend or prefer a smaller, low-key wedding.  I'm somewhat disappointed since we've always been close to him and spent a good deal of time together, even meeting up with us Europe when we were there for his DB's wedding, but I certainly would not be offended if he prefers a smaller, more intimate wedding. I just think that he feels that this is a better way to achieve that without insulting us by not extending an invitation at all.

And they did tell one aunt (the one who teaches at two universities) that they would never speak to her again if she didn't attend - jokingly, of course.

sweetonsno

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2013, 06:04:53 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.)

POD, especially to the bolded. Inivtees aren't the only one with schedule and budget constraints.

delabela

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2013, 06:08:05 PM »


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.



My assumption was based on what you told us in your original post, which did not indicated you had actually attempted to contact these places.  I appreciate the additional information clarifying that you are attempting to look into the available resources. 

I'm sorry you are hurt by the choices they have made for their wedding (I know tone is difficult to convey in writing - please know that I mean that sincerely).  For the future of the relationship, if I was in your shoes, I would assume there were reasons other than they didn't value my company.  A wedding is one day, the relationships are forever.

Cami

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2013, 06:23:25 PM »
I doubt anyone has gotten through a major social event like a wedding without making someone angry or feel unwelcome, even if one is trying their hardest and done as much research as possible.

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.
Given the bolded, I'm betting that this couple is assuming that since they are not asking people to fly to another continent -- big time and money expenditures -- they are being thoughtful and considerate in comparison. They don't sound like they know how to be the most efficient or hospitable hosts, but that doesn't make them bad, just ignorant.

If this guy were close to me, I'd probably call him up and ask him for advice. That would be a good way to let him know that guests are having trouble actually attending his wedding. Maybe you'll find out that he doesn't care and if so, then you can cheerfully send your regrets and stop spending time trying to make this event work. Or maybe you'll find out that he's been a bonehead and he's aghast at how he screwed up.

 
« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 06:27:50 PM by Cami »

*inviteseller

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2013, 06:33:17 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.

What an interesting assumption.

i have indeed explored the B&B options and spent several hours doing so. I even attempted to call the one I found most appealing and had the accommodations we need, only to find that the phone is disconnected and their on-line booking service inoperable.  When I asked for other suggestions and opinions, the B&G were not able to give us any.

There is no problem with flying across the country to attend the wedding; it's where they live and an area we have been looking forward to visiting.  It is the fact that they seem to be doing everything to make it difficult to attend. I know that his siblings and parents pointed out how difficult his choices were making it for them before the plans were finalized.

I don't think it's looking for offense to think that people who knowingly make it difficult for you to attend don't really care if you attend or prefer a smaller, low-key wedding. I'm somewhat disappointed since we've always been close to him and spent a good deal of time together, even meeting up with us Europe when we were there for his DB's wedding, but I certainly would not be offended if he prefers a smaller, more intimate wedding. I just think that he feels that this is a better way to achieve that without insulting us by not extending an invitation at all.

And they did tell one aunt (the one who teaches at two universities) that they would never speak to her again if she didn't attend - jokingly, of course.
[/quote
You are reading way too much into this by saying they knowingly made it too hard. Should they wait till the person in college is done?  Or find a place that may cost more to insure that the guests have accommodations that are up to the guests standards?  They may not have the time or money to do this any other way,  they may have a special attraction to this spot and this is the only time they could get it, or many of other millions of reasons that make sense to them.  Maybe they have agonized knowing that this may mean some family members may not make it, but they had to weigh the options and this is what worked best for them.  I have missed out of town weddings for some beloved relatives because I could not afford the travel and accommodations and not once did I get angry at the couple because of their choice.  The wedding is about the couple, period.  It is nice when you can have all your loved ones around to help celebrate, but sometimes, it just isn't to be.

Miss Tickle

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2013, 06:40:26 PM »
Your post makes me feel terrible all over again, because my MIL is a (Impolite word) who holds grudges and thinks of her #1 son first of all things.  She asked us to move our wedding because #1 Son had planned his vacation for the same time.  What I didn't realise at the time was she suggested we move it to a date her brother and sister in law (and their two kids) would be unable to attend. I hadn't met them, but there was some long standing feud. I guess my DH didn't want to cause any fuss, so he didn't say anything to me, but I could tell he was disappointed.

Now I wish I asked more questions or pushed more for what we wanted.  The family we cut out, and really that's what my MIL did, have turned out to be some of my closest "Family" for the last 10-15+ years. They were crushed we chose that time-frame as it made it impossible to attend, a fact MIL knew and didn't tell me. The sacred vacation for which we had to reschedule was BIL's fourth or fifth trip to Vegas that year, and he didn't know his mother asked us to move the wedding for him.

Had I known then what I know now I would have done things differently, but there's no way I can go back and fix it.

It sounds like the B&G are trying to limit the guests by putting constraints on the attendability of the venue, or they just really don't care and want to do things their way. I mean really, a place where people have to leave to go to the bathroom sounds self-limiting.   Is there anyone you can ask and see which way the wind blows?

artk2002

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2013, 07:38:30 PM »
I think that it does send a very clear message. Whether they intend it or not, the HC are making it clear that they value something, whether it's the location or the value or whatever, over the attendance of some of their invitees and the comfort of others. That is their choice and that, in and of itself, isn't rude. But it does tell the OP and others where they stand relative to other things in the HC's lives. The invitees are free to send a message back to the HC in a similar fashion: That their relationship with the HC is (or is not) worth the expense or discomfort. All of our interactions with each other send messages, all the time.

I will say that I hope that it is intended -- that the HC made the conscious decision that whatever factor(s) made this location and date appealing were more important than other factors, like the ability of friends and relatives to attend. Too often couples make this kind of decision without thought and to me that's worse. All they can think of is having that special place or date and don't even consider that it causes problems for others.

A host can have the kind of event that they want; a good host balances that with consideration for their guests.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Kaymar

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2013, 07:51:15 PM »
As someone who may be planning a wedding in the not-distant future, this thread is a bit frightening. While I know I'd never plan an event on a Thursday and definitely would not have anything resembling a cabin in the mix, it also wouldn't occur to me to plan a weekend of events. And what ideas I have had are no doubt inconvenient for someone in ways I may not anticipate. I would hate to think that my idea of a meaningful and fun celebration were taken by a relative or friend as a message that I don't care about their presence.

*inviteseller

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2013, 07:57:38 PM »
Why should the day that two people pledge their lives to each other be about the guests and what is most convenient to them?  Yes, their choice of date and location makes it difficult for some, but an invitation is not a summons, right?  I have gone to weddings that have raised my eyebrows up so far they were in the back of my head, but I would never say "this is not what I would do, this is not how I did my wedding so this isn't right."  I would just accept this is what the couple wanted/could afford.  If you love them, be happy for them that they are getting married instead of whispering among the family how they aren't doing it right.  I bet they do want you all there, but maybe this is the best they can/want to do and to judge their love for you based on their wedding plans that you find less than ideal is kind of rude on the guests part.   My  former
MIL tried to get me to change things to suit her tastes and her family members (many who we did not even know) so badly that we ended up giving up and eloped with just my BF, her husband and my sister because we decided our commitment wasn't about making everyone happy by catering to the guests wishes,  but it was about us. 

Allyson

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2013, 08:10:11 PM »
As someone who may be planning a wedding in the not-distant future, this thread is a bit frightening. While I know I'd never plan an event on a Thursday and definitely would not have anything resembling a cabin in the mix, it also wouldn't occur to me to plan a weekend of events. And what ideas I have had are no doubt inconvenient for someone in ways I may not anticipate. I would hate to think that my idea of a meaningful and fun celebration were taken by a relative or friend as a message that I don't care about their presence.

These threads always make me feel that way! The idea that every interaction, especially to do with a wedding, is sending a message is quite alarming, especially taking into consideration different social norms, different family traditions, and so on. It just seems so easy to accidentally say 'I don't care about you' to someone, when that wasn't the intent at all--and when someone does choose to have a small wedding, there is often that tone of 'well, if they *want* to choose their comfort/finance over their family, that's their choice...'.

Surianne

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2013, 08:11:50 PM »
I think that it does send a very clear message. Whether they intend it or not, the HC are making it clear that they value something, whether it's the location or the value or whatever, over the attendance of some of their invitees and the comfort of others. That is their choice and that, in and of itself, isn't rude. But it does tell the OP and others where they stand relative to other things in the HC's lives.

The bolded in particular really crystalized what I don't get about this thread: Why is a wedding the sum total of statements about the couple's relationships?

It's one day that is not exactly how you would prefer it.  The rest of your relationship with the couple over the years (past and future) doesn't disappear and isn't invalidated because it's difficult to attend their wedding and because it isn't as guest-focused as you might like. 

To some people, the wedding is about two people pledging their love for each other, in the manner that makes them happy and comfortable rather than about placating and including their entire extended family.  Perhaps nature is something that brought this couple together, and so celebrating at a state park is more true to their relationship than celebrating at a nice hotel would be.  That doesn't mean they don't love and value their family. 

As someone who may be planning a wedding in the not-distant future, this thread is a bit frightening. While I know I'd never plan an event on a Thursday and definitely would not have anything resembling a cabin in the mix, it also wouldn't occur to me to plan a weekend of events. And what ideas I have had are no doubt inconvenient for someone in ways I may not anticipate. I would hate to think that my idea of a meaningful and fun celebration were taken by a relative or friend as a message that I don't care about their presence.

These threads always make me feel that way! The idea that every interaction, especially to do with a wedding, is sending a message is quite alarming, especially taking into consideration different social norms, different family traditions, and so on. It just seems so easy to accidentally say 'I don't care about you' to someone, when that wasn't the intent at all--and when someone does choose to have a small wedding, there is often that tone of 'well, if they *want* to choose their comfort/finance over their family, that's their choice...'.

I agree.  I don't understand why, if you love your family members, it's so important to see out offence in everything they do

violinp

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #26 on: April 07, 2013, 08:13:47 PM »
As someone who may be planning a wedding in the not-distant future, this thread is a bit frightening. While I know I'd never plan an event on a Thursday and definitely would not have anything resembling a cabin in the mix, it also wouldn't occur to me to plan a weekend of events. And what ideas I have had are no doubt inconvenient for someone in ways I may not anticipate. I would hate to think that my idea of a meaningful and fun celebration were taken by a relative or friend as a message that I don't care about their presence.

Well, there's the rehearsal and subsequent dinner, the day of the wedding and, in some cases, a wedding breakfast the morning after the wedding. That's a pretty full weekend to me.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


artk2002

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #27 on: April 07, 2013, 08:50:48 PM »
I think that it does send a very clear message. Whether they intend it or not, the HC are making it clear that they value something, whether it's the location or the value or whatever, over the attendance of some of their invitees and the comfort of others. That is their choice and that, in and of itself, isn't rude. But it does tell the OP and others where they stand relative to other things in the HC's lives.

The bolded in particular really crystalized what I don't get about this thread: Why is a wedding the sum total of statements about the couple's relationships?

It's not about the sum total of the relationship. In this one context, some things are more important than others. That's all. Many people would be upset at arrangements like these in the OP because they feel that their relationship with the HC is a better one than what is being shown.

Let's take an extreme example. Let's say my sister loves to sky dive so she wants to get married while jumping out of a plane. I'm an acrophobe and won't do it, so she's chosen that activity over my attendance. That's her choice and she isn't being rude, but she is telling me where I fit in the scheme of things - the parachute is more important than my attendance. Now, if someone were to chide me for not attending, that would be rude. Just as someone chiding the OP or anyone else for not attending the subject wedding would be rude.

People make these choices all the time. Someone who wants an expensive wedding may have a limited guest list. The people not invited are less important to the HC than having the quality of wedding that they want. There's nothing wrong with that in etiquette, but it does have relationship implications. We get our knickers in a twist here all the time when people try to have both the quality and quantity, but have to turn to pot lucks and wedding-party labor to achieve that. The acceptable alternative is to prioritize -- quality or quantity -- which is more important? In fact, I find this thread to be quite ironic. We have a HC who has chosen to prioritize, but those of us who point out that that's what the HC did are meeting with quite a bit of resistance.

Quote
To some people, the wedding is about two people pledging their love for each other, in the manner that makes them happy and comfortable rather than about placating and including their entire extended family.  Perhaps nature is something that brought this couple together, and so celebrating at a state park is more true to their relationship than celebrating at a nice hotel would be.  That doesn't mean they don't love and value their family. 

Nobody is saying that it isn't about two people declaring their love in a way that makes them happy and comfortable. But if the way that makes them happy and comfortable excludes many people who would like to celebrate with them and they would like to celebrate with, then it's telling those people that this specific thing that makes the HC happy and comfortable is more important than the other people.

I'm sorry that this is making folks uncomfortable, but it's a fact of human relationships. If you exclude someone, deliberately or inadvertently, you're telling them where they stand in relationship to you. The fact that it's a wedding doesn't make everything ok.

What bugs me, and I think other people, is the fact that the circumstances around this particular wedding make it exceptionally difficult for many of the invitees. I'm happy to put up with some discomfort, if that's what makes the HC happy.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Kaymar

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2013, 09:25:12 PM »

Well, there's the rehearsal and subsequent dinner, the day of the wedding and, in some cases, a wedding breakfast the morning after the wedding. That's a pretty full weekend to me.

See, most of the weddings I've been to - including family weddings and friend weddings in which I was in the wedding party - did not have rehearsals, or rehearsal dinners.... so, this isn't something that I would do, and definitely not a mandatory wedding event to me.  Again, this goes to my point that there are many ways to celebrate and it would really make me sad to think that people I care about would feel slighted by choices my partner and I made or would take such choices as a reflection about how we feel about them.

Surianne

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2013, 09:36:31 PM »
I'm sorry that this is making folks uncomfortable, but it's a fact of human relationships. If you exclude someone, deliberately or inadvertently, you're telling them where they stand in relationship to you. The fact that it's a wedding doesn't make everything ok.

Oh, it's not making me uncomfortable.  I simply disagree with you.