Guest List Wedding Pains

SCENARIO

Your son or daughter has gotten engaged and you adore their choice in a future spouse. As you’ve always been invited to your friend’s children’s weddings, you’ve jumped the gun and told your closest friends to put aside that date. Then your son or daughter informs you that there is not enough room for you to invite your friends to the wedding. What do you do now?

CONSIDER THIS:

JILL:
One of the great things about being a little older is we are able to have the hindsight to be a wiser. So I am going to have you use your imagination for a minute and pretend it’s your son getting married.

It is May 2009 and you have sat down with a cup of tea to look at some photo albums from your son’s wedding. You come to the picture of you and your son. The two of you are standing side by side, he looks so handsome but he is a bit stiff and his smile is forced. You look a little tense but if you think back you feel that you were right, you told them everything that was bothering you and they let you invite your friends. Your son was caught in the middle, between his love for you and wanting to please his bride. It was a difficult time but they re-arranged things and you made your point.

Or………….

You come to the picture of your son and you. You are beaming and he has a happy grin on his face and his arm is lovingly around your shoulders. It had worked out alright in the long run; you had met quietly with the two of them. You didn’t make them feel guilty but instead asked if you could invite two friends to share the event with you. A month later you had invited your other friends over for wine and appetizers and bored them silly with the videos from the wedding; it had been a fun evening.

VICKI:
I have to admit that I am of two minds on this. I do believe that a parent being asked for their list would be the right thing to do, if it is affordable, However, I am aware that that is my idea of what’s right and no one else is obligated to live up to what I feel is right or wrong. On the other hand I also believe that it’s a mistake making an assumption and approaching friends as though they were invited. I’ve been in a different but similar situation and I was thoroughly embarrassed when I had to let my friends know that I erred.

This is a time to let right and wrong go. This is meant to a happy and joyous time. Don’t allow any idea of “shoulds” to ruin this. After all the groom or bride-to-be may be doing nothing more than carrying out her parent’s wishes or doing this the way they are traditionally done in his or her family. One thing is sure – that they are not doing anything with the intention of being hurtful.

In this situation sit down with your child and their fiancé and let them know how much your friends mean to you and that you would be very happy to pay them. Even if there will only be enough seating for two accept that and follow Jill’s advice in having your close friends over to your home for an evening. As the time draws nearer you may discover that there are enough people declining that there is room for all of your friends.

Advertisements

Two Religions, One Wedding Ceremony

SCENARIO

We received this as a question from a young bride-to-be. She and her fiancé are from two different religious backgrounds. Neither of their families want a blended religious ceremony, yet this young couple is paying for their own wedding and cannot afford two ceremonies. They would like to make this a happy occasion for both their families and wonder how they can do it.

What would you do in this situation? We’d love to hear your comments.

CONSIDER THIS

JILL:
Perhaps the parents are worried that a blended ceremony will disrespect the meaning and traditions of their faiths. Possibly by outlining for them how the two religions would be represented, this could change their minds. In today’s world interfaith ceremonies are done in a very respectful and tasteful manner. Do some research and speak to planner who specializes in these types of marriages. With the details on paper the bride, groom and both sets of parents should come together to discuss this style of ceremony.

If that doesn’t work look at having a civil, non-denominational or spiritual marriage. No one can afford two ceremonies and one of those choices may be the only way to keep both families happy. Write your own vows. Keep everything simple but meaningful. Taking religion out of a service no longer means that the event has to be cold or impersonal. Another option is a destination wedding and not necessarily to another country. It could be held in another state or province or a pretty little town that is only a few hours away. Afterwards the reception could be a blend of both family’s traditions and backgrounds.

It is important to remember that the very essence of a marriage is the joining of two people who love one another. If however the couple is feeling somewhat incomplete they can meet with religious person who has guided them each through the years and ask for their blessing on the union.

VICKI:
My first thought is what does the couple wish to do? I certainly understand that family pressure can be a huge issue and that we all wish to please the ones we love. However there comes a time where, no matter how challenging, everyone needs to put their family’s values behind them and live by their own value system.

If the couple wish to make the situation work all around then…in order to make this economical the only suggestion I have is to have the ceremony take place in a hall, etc. and literally have one religious ceremony after the other; without an official pronouncing this couple married until after the second ceremony.