Author Topic: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?  (Read 13280 times)

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LadyL

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #105 on: April 10, 2013, 09:09:54 AM »

  It's just as wrong to have the viewpoint of "But it's Ourrrrr Daaaaay!!!" as it is to have the viewpoint of "You have to do it for the faaaaaamily!"  You make your choices, the same as anyone must.  And then you own them; you don't excoriate people whom they disappoint or hurt.


POD. I think the main question left is how the HC is handling declines - if they are graciously accepting that their date and locale mean a high decline rate, or if they are complaining or being passive aggressive about it.

bah12

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #106 on: April 10, 2013, 11:01:19 AM »
I'm frustrated by the all-or-nothing tone of many of the posts.  A wedding does not have to be "all about the guests, accommodating every possible desire and need" on the one hand or "all about he bride and groom and what is meaningful to them" on the other.

Nor does something need to be intended as a snub or or a personal rejection or a passive-aggressive statement of "I'm inviting you because I have to/want a gift, but I don't really want you to come, so I'm going to make it really difficult" in order to be a "message."  As several posters said, and as I believe the OP meant, a "message" doesn't only mean one deliberately intended to be sent by the hosts.  It can also be, as they pointed out, simply the inevitable result of making a choice.  The location and time were more important to them than the convenience, and likely attendance, of the guests.  That isn't "wrong."  There may be EXCELLENT, unselfish reasons for those preferences, as some posters have suggested, but the bottom line is still the same: time and place over guests.

And it doesn't mean it is wrong or rude, and I don't think anyone said it was.  And it doesn't mean that people get offended, even if they are disappointed.  (Nor did the OP say she was "offended," if memory serves.)

Conversely, the hosts are deluding themselves if they think that no one is going to see it that way.  They don't get to decide how others are allowed to feel about their choices.  It's just as wrong to have the viewpoint of "But it's Ourrrrr Daaaaay!!!" as it is to have the viewpoint of "You have to do it for the faaaaaamily!"  You make your choices, the same as anyone must.  And then you own them; you don't excoriate people whom they disappoint or hurt.

LadyL, I hear you.  While it is true that a wedding isn't the same as a dinner party, which is SOLELY about the guests' entertainment and comfort, it's still true that the hospitality obligations of hosts don't entirely fly out the window just because it is a wedding.  This kind of thing is an unfortunate byproduct of the trend for HCs to host their own weddings; it can be tricky to be both the guests of honor and the hosts.  My daughter has always dreamed of a winter wedding, but summer it will be, because that is the most convenient time for her fiance's parents to get time off work (they must come from overseas).  I am proud of her for making that considerate choice.

Now, of course it's true that it's virtually impossible to make plans that are the most convenient for everyone.  (For example, the schoolteachers and students in our family are going to be un-thrilled at another Labor Day weekend wedding.)  And we are talking about things like dates and venues, not something like agreeing to get married in an unacceptable religious tradition or having 500 people instead of 10 or waiting two extra years or something -- that is a different matter.  But I do think it's smart as well as considerate to try the best you can to accommodate your nearest and dearest -- such as giving up your preferred season in favor of the groom's parents' work vacation time and moving the festivities off the mountaintop so that Grandma can attend.

While I completely agree with your entire post, I do have to say that there is no evidence that this particular bride and groom aren't considering their nearest and dearest.  The OP is a cousin.  And as fond as she may be of her cousin and as much as they may have visited together through the years, the fact remains that it is very likely she wasn't on the top of the list of people to consider when planning this wedding.  Just like the teacher aunt or other cousins in graduate programs probably weren't the top considerations.  This is a destination wedding and in most cases, destination weddings tend to have a smaller attendance than a local one.  There is nothing wrong with that or with the bride and groom choosing this kind of wedding.  For all we know, they checked with parents, grandparents, and those in the bridal party for feasibility of this date/location (maybe they are the ones that have the cabins with bathrooms) and decided that they'd invite the rest of the family, understanding that they may not come, but if they did then bonus.    And even then, while I think it's nice to check with parents and immediate family, I still don't think a couple would be rude not to do so (some people aren't as close to their parents as others and that is ok). 

Also, the OP only mentions STD cards not actual invitations.  So maybe all the hotel information, blocking rooms, etc is coming with the invites (something I'm used to seeing) vs. the STD cards (which I've never seen). 

So, do I think that the HC is sending the OP a specific message that her attendance isn't important?....NO.  Do I think that they are sending the general message that the destination wedding is more important to them then an extended guest list?...YES.

lmyrs

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #107 on: April 10, 2013, 03:07:53 PM »
I'm another who sees no message in this. A couple of things:

1. People keep calling this a "destination wedding" but the OP only said it's across the country from most of the groom's family. She never said where the couple or the bride's family lived and I assumed that they lived where the wedding is. So, I don't think you can define this as destination.

2. This is exactly the kind of wedding that has happened multiple times in my extended family, so it is the norm and in my family, this invitation would mean, "Hey - I'm getting married; we'd like you to come."

3. Just because it's not the norm in the OP's family, doesn't mean it's not the norm for the bride's family. Maybe the bride's family would have a really hard time paying for a hotel room in a fancy hotel with an "appropriate" ballroom, etc.

4. I also saw the location and timing and immediately thought - budget saving. It's a way to invite a large number of people and stay within your budget rather than go into huge debt or cut the guest list. And what would the OP have thought if she hadn't been invited at all? Is that better or worse?

5. As a PP said, just because the time of year is incovenient to some aunts and cousins doesn't mean that it's not the absolute best time for closest friends, other family, etc. When I got married, I had several teachers invited and several farmers. Our wedding was during the school year even though some teachers couldn't make it. Air travel over school breaks is WAY more expensive than other times. And, it would have been literally impossible for me to acccomodate both teachers and farmers unless I was prepared to postpone my wedding for one to two years so that I could get one of the 3 or 4 weeks in July that meet both needs.


Mammavan3

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #108 on: April 10, 2013, 04:08:43 PM »
I have been busy helping DD, who is 8.5 months pregnant, with our DGS and the plans for his third bday and came back to find eight pages. I am amazed.

I've only read the first two pages and will attempt to clarify a few things as I read the rest.

The first thing is that I am not offended nor did I say that I was. Disappointed, yes. At least in my world, weddings serve as mini-reunions (so much better than those at funerals), and it would have been the first time all of the newest generation of cousins would have had a chance to meet since most were not born at his DS's wedding four years ago. I know I'd love to meet all the new little ones and that the parents would love to show them off. However, life is full of disappointments. I don't think being disappointed equates to being offended. And I do not feel singled out for some reason. We are retired and can easily spend the time and money to attend. (The accommodation story is another matter, but it also impacts most of the other guests.)  There are many teachers and professors in the family, as well as families with school-aged children, all of whom will have to travel a great distance and miss school shortly after it begins. However, that does not pertain to me directly, but it is one of the things that led me to think that they do not want a large wedding.

One of the people who will probably attend but will find it exceedingly difficult to do so is his DB, for whom he stood as best man at his wedding. It is this DB's wife who teaches at a university and who will have to take his children out of school to attend. So this is not a case of "extended" family not being able to attend. He is making it exceedingly difficult for his closest relatives too.

The choice of September is not a cost-cutting measure as this is the most desirable month for this location, which would, I assume, make it the most expensive. All of the weekend nights were already booked, more than the year in advance that they started planning, hence the Thursday night.

On their STD they included a link to their wedding web page, which, in turn, had the link to the B&Bs, so AFAICS, they have provided all of the information they intend to provde. Since this is the  high season, I would think that we should make our reservations soon.  They said that they planned to spend the week before at the camp and invited everyone to do the same. I think they will be disappointed at the number who do.

This is the fourth sibling to be married from this family. Additionally, he's attended weddings for other family members. All of the weddings have involved at least overnight travel. All of the other weddings were on a weekend. For all of the others the hosts either provided hotel information or blocked rooms or did both.  This is not a new concept for him.

I do know that there were no other factors like someone's chemo in choosing a Thursday in September because I spoke with his DM yesterday, who also told me his siblings were unhappy with the date.  There is no special significance to the date or venue, as it was one on a list of several they were considering.

The bride did not address the STD's. I know my nephew's handwriting. And even if she had, it is customary to include a last name to ensure delivery.  Neither DD or his DA's invitation had a last name, so it was not an inadvertent omission.

The cabins are not significantly less expensive than a moderate hotel room would be unless you squeeze several people in a room. Additionally, the DB's family is also from another state, and having the wedding at this location means that everyone must rent cars for several days and cannot use mass transit or taxis. Theirs is an urban lifestyle so they and most of their friends do not have a car, so they can't provide transportation for many people.

I never said that I viewed this as a slight or that I was offended. I never felt their plans were rude. My question was do all of these choices send the message that having many of their friends and relatives at the wedding was not a priority for them and that they would prefer to keep it small and intimate and it was better for family relationships to achieve that by making it difficult for many people to attend and so they will decline rather than not inviting them.

I apologize to those on this thread who felt that they were being criticized because the location/setting/timing of their wedding was more important to them than having family members there. It is/was your wedding, and there is nothing wrong in making that your priority.

sparksals

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #109 on: April 10, 2013, 04:45:54 PM »
Thanks for all your clarifications.  I wonder if this groom and bride may not want their wedding to serve as a mini reunion?  They may want something a bit more intimate, small.

Mammavan3

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #110 on: April 10, 2013, 04:49:56 PM »
Thanks for all your clarifications.  I wonder if this groom and bride may not want their wedding to serve as a mini reunion?  They may want something a bit more intimate, small.

That is exactly my thought and why I asked the question.

bah12

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #111 on: April 10, 2013, 04:59:48 PM »
My question was do all of these choices send the message that having many of their friends and relatives at the wedding was not a priority for them and that they would prefer to keep it small and intimate and it was better for family relationships to achieve that by making it difficult for many people to attend and so they will decline rather than not inviting them.


After your update, I still say that the choices say that this location was the most important to them (hence the willingness to get married on a weekday vs. a weekend somewhere else).  And this choice does mean that the wedding will undoubtably be smaller and more intimate had they made different choices.  But, it sounds like you are accusing them of not wanting you (and others) to come to their wedding at all and instead of just not inviting you, they are deliberately making choices to force you to decline.  I have a hard time seeing how/why someone would go through this much trouble (travel, pick a weekday, etc).  Is your family so intent that *everyone* be invited and get so insulted when they're not that this couple would feel the need to go through all this extra trouble?  It seems unlikely, though I guess, not impossible.

I get why you would be disappointed if you were thinking that this wedding would be an opportunity to meet/see the extended family and I even understand that this is the norm for your family.  But, I do think that it's an unrealistic expectation to put on this couple.  Surely, hosting everyone in the extended family (add friends, the brides whole extended family...to be fair..etc) can get expensive.  And it may just not be the atmosphere they are going for.   I think it's much kinder that unless given evidence otherwise, you assume that you were invited because they would like you to be there on their wedding day.  And the location was picked solely because it's the place where they want to be married.

As for the misspelling and no last names and the lack of information on the website, etc...I'll give it to you that maybe they are sloppy in their organization and their coordination of this wedding.   But, that just makes them poor planners/organizers, not people deliberately trying to keep you from attending their wedding.  The easiest way to do that would be to just not invite you.   

sparksals

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #112 on: April 10, 2013, 05:24:01 PM »
Thanks for all your clarifications.  I wonder if this groom and bride may not want their wedding to serve as a mini reunion?  They may want something a bit more intimate, small.

That is exactly my thought and why I asked the question.

I can say that I took your OP that you were offended that their plans didn't conform to how weddings are typically done in your family.  Maybe you didn't realize it, but it sounded like you thought they were sending a message intentionally that family wasn't as important as the location.  It sounds like they just want a smaller, more intimate wedding.  No message.   

ETA: Saw Bah's post after mine and agree with her as well. 

nuit93

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #113 on: April 10, 2013, 06:21:21 PM »

I apologize to those on this thread who felt that they were being criticized because the location/setting/timing of their wedding was more important to them than having family members there. It is/was your wedding, and there is nothing wrong in making that your priority.

I don't think this was your intent, but the wording comes across as passive-aggressive which I think is where a lot of people are taking issue.

Venus193

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #114 on: April 10, 2013, 07:11:40 PM »
This update makes me think of many past discussions we've had when brides wonder and worry whether their mothers (or other relatives) are looking to hijack their weddings into family reunions or "meet the baby" of their siblings or other relatives.  It sounds to me like a situation where "Family reunion time and -- BTW -- somebody's getting married."

I don't come from a big family and neither do most of my friends, but I can easily see someone getting fed up with this and deciding to cut this back so that their wedding ceremony and reception be the purpose for the occasion rather than an excuse for a different type of family event with a different atmosphere.

Nothing wrong with trying to buck the trend.  The bride and groom are adults, they're paying for the event, and they are entitled to the wedding they want.

delabela

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #115 on: April 10, 2013, 09:43:56 PM »
I absolutely agree with bah12.

OP, you stated that they are making it exceedingly difficult for people to attend.  I would offer that the goal is not to make it difficult for people to attend, but rather to have the wedding they want.  A side effect may be that fewer people can come, but to read a message in it is uncharitable. 

Mammavan3

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #116 on: April 10, 2013, 10:27:57 PM »
This update makes me think of many past discussions we've had when brides wonder and worry whether their mothers (or other relatives) are looking to hijack their weddings into family reunions or "meet the baby" of their siblings or other relatives.  It sounds to me like a situation where "Family reunion time and -- BTW -- somebody's getting married."

I don't come from a big family and neither do most of my friends, but I can easily see someone getting fed up with this and deciding to cut this back so that their wedding ceremony and reception be the purpose for the occasion rather than an excuse for a different type of family event with a different atmosphere.

Nothing wrong with trying to buck the trend.  The bride and groom are adults, they're paying for the event, and they are entitled to the wedding they want.

Wherever did you get the idea that they are paying for the entire wedding themselves?  I know that the groom's family is making a sizable contribution, equal to what they paid to host their DD's wedding.

Perhaps your wedding attendance experiences are different from mine, but while all of the attention during the ceremony and certain parts of the reception are on the HC, socializing during the reception with family members and friends has certainly been the norm. I have a hard time imagining a bride and groom so self-centered that they would expect their guests' attention to be focused on them at all times.  Spending SOME  time at a reception catching up with family members (which is the extent of the mini-reunions I've experienced) does not equate to taking the focus of attention away from the reason for the celebration but rather good hosting because you want your guests to enjoy themselves.

Do you not talk to and dance with the other guests at the weddings you've attended?

Mammavan3

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #117 on: April 10, 2013, 10:30:16 PM »
My question was do all of these choices send the message that having many of their friends and relatives at the wedding was not a priority for them and that they would prefer to keep it small and intimate and it was better for family relationships to achieve that by making it difficult for many people to attend and so they will decline rather than not inviting them.


After your update, I still say that the choices say that this location was the most important to them (hence the willingness to get married on a weekday vs. a weekend somewhere else).  And this choice does mean that the wedding will undoubtably be smaller and more intimate had they made different choices.  But, it sounds like you are accusing them of not wanting you (and others) to come to their wedding at all and instead of just not inviting you, they are deliberately making choices to force you to decline.  I have a hard time seeing how/why someone would go through this much trouble (travel, pick a weekday, etc).  Is your family so intent that *everyone* be invited and get so insulted when they're not that this couple would feel the need to go through all this extra trouble?  It seems unlikely, though I guess, not impossible.

I get why you would be disappointed if you were thinking that this wedding would be an opportunity to meet/see the extended family and I even understand that this is the norm for your family.  But, I do think that it's an unrealistic expectation to put on this couple.  Surely, hosting everyone in the extended family (add friends, the brides whole extended family...to be fair..etc) can get expensive.  And it may just not be the atmosphere they are going for.   I think it's much kinder that unless given evidence otherwise, you assume that you were invited because they would like you to be there on their wedding day.  And the location was picked solely because it's the place where they want to be married.

As for the misspelling and no last names and the lack of information on the website, etc...I'll give it to you that maybe they are sloppy in their organization and their coordination of this wedding.   But, that just makes them poor planners/organizers, not people deliberately trying to keep you from attending their wedding.  The easiest way to do that would be to just not invite you.

There's a bible verse that says, "Where your heart is, there your treasure will be," and IME this has proven to be true. If something is important to you, you take the time to do it correctly. If I want you to get a piece of mail, perhaps I make a mistake in the spelling of your name or your street number, but I will put your last name on it.  Unless I'm six and sending it to Grammy and Grandpa. I think omitting last names takes a little more than disorganization.

I do not think that the B and G deliberately set out to find a way to invite people but not have them attend, but when you select a date and your parents and siblings, with whom you are very close, tell you that your choice will mean that there will be several people who do not come and many others who will be very inconvenienced by doing so and you decide to do so anyway, what else is to be assumed other than that the location is more important than having those people attend?  And, once more, there is nothing wrong with that.

And as for it being easier just to not invite you, that's true, but that might also mean fewer wedding gifts. Their wedding web site pages are all blank - those meant to detail how they met, photos, the wedding party, details about accommodations in the area except for the C of C link to the list of B&Bs, and information about the ceremony and reception, but the registry pages are completely filled out, with details about the $200 Le Creuset pans and $200 coffee maker they'd like as well as their honeymoon fund.

sparksals

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #118 on: April 10, 2013, 10:36:29 PM »
This update makes me think of many past discussions we've had when brides wonder and worry whether their mothers (or other relatives) are looking to hijack their weddings into family reunions or "meet the baby" of their siblings or other relatives.  It sounds to me like a situation where "Family reunion time and -- BTW -- somebody's getting married."

I don't come from a big family and neither do most of my friends, but I can easily see someone getting fed up with this and deciding to cut this back so that their wedding ceremony and reception be the purpose for the occasion rather than an excuse for a different type of family event with a different atmosphere.

Nothing wrong with trying to buck the trend.  The bride and groom are adults, they're paying for the event, and they are entitled to the wedding they want.

Wherever did you get the idea that they are paying for the entire wedding themselves?  I know that the groom's family is making a sizable contribution, equal to what they paid to host their DD's wedding.

Perhaps your wedding attendance experiences are different from mine, but while all of the attention during the ceremony and certain parts of the reception are on the HC, socializing during the reception with family members and friends has certainly been the norm. I have a hard time imagining a bride and groom so self-centered that they would expect their guests' attention to be focused on them at all times.  Spending SOME  time at a reception catching up with family members (which is the extent of the mini-reunions I've experienced) does not equate to taking the focus of attention away from the reason for the celebration but rather good hosting because you want your guests to enjoy themselves.

Do you not talk to and dance with the other guests at the weddings you've attended?

Well you did say weddings in your family turn into mini reunions.  Maybe they don't want that for their wedding.

*inviteseller

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Re: S/O of The Postponing the Wedding thread - What's the message here?
« Reply #119 on: April 10, 2013, 11:28:46 PM »
Mammavan3, your updates do make it sound like you are upset and resentful.  They are having a wedding they want, which is so different from any wedding your family has ever seen.  That is ok.  Yeah, he screwed up on the STD cards, sounds like he has no clue how to address an envelope.  But you are taking every decision they make to heart...they don't have to tell people how they met on a wedding website, they can register for a chunk of heaven if they want, doesn't mean anyone HAS to get it for them, you are mad about the date, location, accommodations, and that it won't be a 3 day blowout family affair.  Maybe she has a small family and is intimidated by a large gathering, maybe they don't want children at their wedding.  Maybe you envision them to be closer to the family than they really are.  And just because the grooms family made a sizable contribution does NOT mean they have to do things the 'family' way.  They happened to be getting a sum of money  that the groom's brother received when he got married.  Maybe they are going to use it for their honeymoon or a down payment on a house.  Someone you love is getting married...be happy for them instead of trying to read between the lines.  They sent you a STD card, meaning you will get an invite...if there was a message, it would be no invite at all.