East Coast Meets West Coast Receptions

by admin on January 7, 2013

My sister Beth is engaged to a lovely guy named Tom. Beth, like all of our family, was born and raised around Los Angeles. She went on holidays to the east coast and met Tom through a mutual friend. They hit it off and after a year of long distance dating Tom moved to LA and they got engaged.

They decided to elope to Hawaii and announced they would invite fifteen close friends only to witness their nuptials. Both mothers were upset at this news so Beth and Tom changed their plans so the guest list would include the fifteen close friends, parents, siblings and partners of siblings.

To enable the rest of their friends to join their celebrations they are holding two receptions upon their return (yes, they are calling them receptions). One reception will be held in Los Angeles and the other will be in Tom’s hometown. Each reception will have 150-200 invited guests.

Unfortunately, due to work commitments, I will be unable to attend the ceremony in Hawaii. Indeed, Beth only informed me of the official, now confirmed, date only a few weeks ago. My mother is taking my non-attendance as a personal insult which is another story entirely. Beth told me that she hasn’t yet gotten around to organizing save the date notices for the Hawaii ceremony but said that I am to expect one. The ceremony is just four months away.

Imagine my surprise when I received a save the date notice yesterday for the LA reception and the east coast reception. I queried this with Beth and she told me that she and Tom would love for the immediate family to attend the ceremony in Hawaii, the ceremony in LA and then go to the east coast reception as well to meet the rest of Tom’s family and friends. Tom’s immediate family are also expected to fly to the LA reception.

I am wrong to be a bit taken aback by this? I feel that expecting some people to attend three functions, two of which involve travel, is a bit much.  0106-13

First, the initial intention to “elope” with just 15 of their closest friends invited is a slap in the face, punch to the gut and knee to the groin of both families.   Elopement has traditionally been viewed as a spur of the moment decision that might include a friend or two to be witnesses.   The first plan sounds a lot more organized than an elopement.   To not invite parents or even siblings, assuming both families are not toxic messes, is imprudent in that it creates confusion (“Why? Have we offended them somehow?”) and hurt feelings that can  take a Herculean effort to overcome.   Not the best way to start off a new marriage with the groom’s and bride’s families nursing offenses against them.

I suppose if both families are wealthy jet setters who can traipse around the globe on a whim then the couple’s rather selfish expectation that their nuclear families should attend 3 different wedding related events thousands of miles and weeks apart is feasible.   But I doubt this is the situation.   Your sister Beth has morphed into a Bridezilla and Tom a Groomonster because they believe the world should revolve around their wedding and that family, to show their devotion and loyalty to them, must jump through the hoop of Beth and Tom’s “desire” that they be in attendance at all wedding events, regardless of the location or how that affects family travel and vacation plans, family budgets, work schedules, etc.   It doesn’t seem to occur to them that had they carried through with their initial plan to “elope” with 15 of their friends and no family to Hawaii, that neither family would have witnessed the ceremony nor met each other.

But then, maybe Beth and Tom do realize that and this demand is nothing more than an artificial barrier, or even punishment, to put the families through.   It’s a complete 180 degree turn from the original elopement plan, i.e. no family invited at all to the Hawaii elopement to a total reversal that all the family must attend all wedding events.  Beth and Tom can “love” for their families to travel to all three events but reality is going to disappoint them.

Your mother probably knows intuitively that she and the family are being manipulated by Beth and rather than further rock the boat between her and Beth, you have become the boogieman that she takes her angst out on.    I would just ignore it and it will pass.    Weddings make people temporarily cuckoo.

While it is traditional for the groom’s family to contact the bride’s family to make the introductions, I would not hold to tradition but rather encourage your mother and father to make contact with Tom’s parents.  If you are technologically savvy, offer to arrange a Skype session for them.   While Beth and Tom appear willing to create hurdles for their families, don’t you be one.  That means be gracious in getting to know Tom’s family because someday you might share a niece or nephew with Tom’s siblings.   That does not mean you must attend every wedding function.   RSVP to the Los Angeles reception and be the perfect guest.  Introduce yourself to any of Tom’s family to chooses to attend from the East Coast.

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Jared Bascomb January 7, 2013 at 10:52 am

Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but my interpretation of Beth’s comment that she would love for the immediate family to attend all three events is more open than an expectation that they MUST attend all three. I read it as an unspoken/unwritten/inferred “You’re invited to all three, but you’re welcome to attend any or all of them that you can.” in other words, she’s giving them options. Maybe I’m being generous and YMMV.

And I’m saying this as someone who really disapproves of destination weddings, but can understand why the couple are having three events to accommodate their bi-coastal families.

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Sarah Jane January 7, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Ditto this for me! I’m not crazy about all the B&G’s actions here, but it doesn’t sound like all the family members are EXPECTED to attend every event.

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clairedelune January 8, 2013 at 10:17 am

Agreed. It’s starting to sound like no matter what this couple does, their families are going to find a reason to be offended. Which may be why they initially wanted to get married without their families present.

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WildIrishRose January 8, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Good points.

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JH January 7, 2013 at 10:55 am

There does seem to be a monstrosity at work here. Why not hold the wedding in Hawaii, then have the “honeymoon” be the happy couple going to the West Coast, then the East Coast, to meet with family? As for not inviting family members to Hawaii … IMO, if a family member is having a “destination wedding,” I would think family members would be happy to be off the hook for attending such a thing.

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Tracy January 7, 2013 at 11:22 am

Jared, I hope you’re right, and “we’d love you to do this” doesn’t mean “we expect you to do this.” But after speaking to her personally, it seems the OP had the impression that Beth did, in fact, mean more than “you are welcome to join us.”

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VM January 7, 2013 at 11:58 am

I wonder if this bicoastal couple actually strove to seem they weren’t favoring one family over the other, and messed up both attempts.

Their first attempt: wed at a neutral third spot. But since said spot is still far closer to one of the family hubs and easier for that side to attend…”elope” and don’t invite family. Result: both families equally peeved. Oops!

Second: overcompensate. You’re all invited, and we’re holding events everywhere, and you’re invited to EVERYTHING. Nobody can claim we’re leaving them out, or strategically keeping them separated from each other. Result: looking like Bridezilla making a cross-country tour with her groupies. Ouch!

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admin January 7, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Good point.

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Redblues January 8, 2013 at 12:01 pm

But they didn’t elope, they planned a destination wedding to which they did not invite either family. There are plenty of places in the US which are an easy flight from both coasts, such as Chicago, or any city with a big air hub. If it’s about being fair to both families, then you don’t choose a third destination that is outrageously expensive for both of them, you choose a third destination that is as convenient as possible to both families. If it’s about a fancy vacation with your friends, then by all means go to Hawaii. Your family will be hurt or offended, because you put them last. Most of them will probably not give you a gift for an event from which they have been excluded. That is the result of B&Gs self-centeredness. Part of being an adult is accepting the consequences of your actions or else changing the actions which will produce unacceptable consequences. B&G want to eat their cake and have it too. Welcome to the real world.

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Cora January 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm

If mom takes the sister’s non-attendance, on almost non notice, THAT personally, I have to wonder if Bride and Groom are trying to avoid having a wedding that Mom would meddle with like crazy. You know? Ultimately, it is selfish to have three different parties — what the hell is an elopement with fifteen friends? — but I wonder if this is the couple’s way of having the wedding they want and still please a whole lot of family expectations. As in, they want a hassle-free quiet wedding in Hawaii with people who actually know them, but don’t want to endure Mom and Aunt Mildred’s whining for the next thirty years that they didn’t get to see their widdle Boo-Boo in a meringue dress.

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Redblues January 8, 2013 at 10:11 am

If you’re not old enough yet to say ‘no’ to mommy, you are not old enough to get married either. And if you really don’t want mom to meddle you don’t give her advance notice of an opportunity to meddle. So I think B&G really do want all the attention. If you want to elope you do it quietly with a couple of people, not 15 invited guests. This is not ‘eloping’; it is a destination wedding from which the entire family has been pointedly excluded. Apparently B&G belatedly woke up to the fact that they would not be getting wedding presents from anyone not invited and have now gone overboard compensating.

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viki January 12, 2013 at 12:53 pm

From what I’ve seen on here, and other sites, you can never be too old to have parents throw a fit about why the wedding is not going exactly as they want it

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GleanerGirl January 13, 2013 at 12:46 am

Sure you can. If you’re old enough that all your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles are already dead before you, then you’re old enough to avoid the drama of preceding generations.

Of course, then you have to deal with the drama of the younger generations.

I’m all for elopements. REAL elopements, where you happen to be somewhere nice for a wedding, and say, “Let’s do it!” Or else you’re at home, say “Let’s do it” and you pack your bags, rush to the airport, and look for a wedding chapel as soon as the plane lands.

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AMC January 7, 2013 at 12:34 pm

I have to wonder if there’s more to the story than we’re getting. It seems odd that people with healthy, loving familial relationships would choose to exclude their immediate family from attending their wedding. So maybe they don’t have healthy, loving relationships with their family. Maybe they were hoping to avoid the drama that sometimes comes along with family and weddings. (The moms pressured Beth and Tom to change their original plans, and now OP’s mother is giving her a hard time about not being able to attend.) So that makes me wonder whose idea it was to have the other two “receptions”, Tom and Beth or their parents.
Anyway, I would think the whole point of having celebrations on both coasts would be to accomodate those who could not travel. Thus, Beth’s family would attend the LA party, and Tom’s would attend the east coast party. Expecting everyone to attend both defeats the purpose of having two parties and makes the couple seem self-indulgent and greedy.
Of course, the two receptions idea sounds like something my sister would do. She ‘s a good person and not at all a gimme pig. But she sometimes lives in her own universe where she gets these grand ideas but doesn’t consider the logistical details or costs. Perhaps once Beth and Tom see the bills for all these parties and start receiving declined invites, they will rethink their plans.

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Redblues January 7, 2013 at 3:30 pm

It may be that people are already declining to attend any event in such high numbers that mom is losing her cool and trying to bully OP into attending for fear that nobody else will come. ~Three~ receptions? All three of them thousands of miles apart? In expensive locations? B&G sound like a pair of blatant Gimme Pigs. Perhaps the intended ‘guests’ feel the same way. B&G really didn’t want family involved, but they did want to make sure that family knew they were ‘eloping’, which is piteful and childish of them. The whole family dynamic sounds at least odd, if not dysfunctional and demanding. Nothing wrong with eloping to escape family insanity, but don’t pointedly exclude that family by telling them in advance that they are not invited but 15 of friends are. Go ahead and have a big party later, but don’t call it a wedding or ~demand~ that people attend. If the idea is to meet the families, take a wedding trip together to meet the family, rather than expecting thst family to dress up and buy you a gift and pretend that you wanted their company at your wedding, when clearly you did not. And finally, I think that if you ‘love’ for something to happen, you find a way to pay for that thing to happen, otherwise it isn’t that important to you after all. B&G could pay for the whole family to fly out to Hawaii for the wedding for a lot less than it costs to throw three receptions. Of course, then only the family would be buying gifts for B&G.

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Lola January 7, 2013 at 12:54 pm

How do you go from 15 to 400? Sounds like Mom has completely bent Beth to her will, since it’s quite the quantum leap from a quasi-elopement to not one, but two blow-out receptions on both coasts. Sounds positively grueling for the bride and the wedding party — I can’t imagine Beth voluntarily choosing this option if her initial inclination was a super-small destination wedding. Also, whether LW chooses to attend Beth’s wedding is none of Mom’s business. Perhaps a bit harsh, but they’re all adults. So it seems less a case of Bridezilla and Groomonster but more of Beth being a pushover to Mommie Dearest’s will of steel. Perhaps the initial impulse to exclude the families completely was a pre-emtive measure meant to protect from her in particular.

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GleanerGirl January 13, 2013 at 12:50 am

I think the original plan would have gone over alright, if the B&G had just kept their mouths shut. Make all the preparations, on what would otherwise be just a friends’ trip to Hawaii, and then make it all look spur-of-the-moment. Secrecy can be a good thing.

Also, I know this is nit-picky, but “quantum” is sub-atomic in size. It’s quite a large leap, though. I agree with you on that. I think Beth was pushed by Mommy Dearest, and probably MIL is competing for over-the-top.

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Library Diva January 7, 2013 at 1:09 pm

I can’t get past the insanity of planning all this. What they’re doing seems to me the equivalent of first deciding to run a marathon held in summer, then choosing to walk several miles to the event in high heels and a wool suit. Why, why, WHY would you want to put yourself through organizing all of this?

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GleanerGirl January 13, 2013 at 12:51 am

I love this description!

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Cat January 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Yes, to the reception closest to you; no, to the other functions you cannot attend; and a gift you can well afford. Best wishes, many blessings, all my love…

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B.M. January 7, 2013 at 1:56 pm

This sounds a lot like what my brother did several years ago. They planned a destination wedding somewhere in the Caribbean (without consulting anyone in the family as to whether they could afford to go). They were then were disappointed that the only people from my side of the family who went were my parents. I declined, as I was out of work at the time and simply could not afford a $4,000 trip. They then invited everyone to another reception 3 months later! This one was held approx. 2 hours from where I had grown up. My parents traveled to this one as well, but none of the rest of my family attended. I no longer live near that area and was not able to attend either. The kicker is we later found out that they had been secretly married a couple of weeks before the Caribbean wedding and did not invite anyone in my family to that ceremony. I sent a very nice gift and received no thanks of any kind. A few years later and 3 wedding celebrations later, they are now in the midst of a divorce.

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GleanerGirl January 13, 2013 at 12:55 am

I blame television. It used to be that people focused on the marriage, and not on the show. But since television started having “reality” shows, and “it could happen to you” types of things, with ordinary people involved in extraordinary productions, more and more people feel entitled to be the star of their own personal “show.” “It’s MY day.”

They were already married, but they still had to have the dream-show production wedding, at the beautiful tropical location, so they pretended they weren’t married, so they could “get married,” in style.

Practical me just shakes her head. Give me a trip to the county clerk’s office, and some punch and cake afterwards with my nearest and dearest. Anything larger than 50 guests and my head would explode! I want to save all my energy for the marriage, not the wedding.

Then again, I was in drama in high school and college, and have taken part in my share of productions. Yes, it’s fun, but it’s also a lot of hard work, and stressful. Having experienced it from a performer’s point of view, I find it much easier to turn my back on it, and focus on the relationships, instead.

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AS January 7, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Not knowing either Beth or Tom, I am inclided to agree with what Jared and VM said. I could be that Beth and Tom had wanted a destination wedding, or a neutral location which is near or far for both the families. Given that they live in LA, Beth’s family would have an unfair advantage. Hence, instead of choosing a random mid-point like, say Lincon, Nebraska, they decide to have a destination wedding at Hawaii, with some friends (who probably can afford).

Then parents say that they (justifiably) want to witness the wedding, and hence Beth and Tom change the plans and have a the wedding ceremony at Hawaii which is still a “neutral” place, followed by the reception at LA and East coast. They invite everyone so that everyone gets to choose which place suits them the best. Beth’s reply that she and Tom would love for immediate family to attend all the three events has does not sound like a demand. When we got married, we told many of our relatives that we’d love it if they attend our wedding, but that doesn’t meant we are demanding that they attend (I am from a different country, and our wedding was in USA where DH’s family is from, and we currently reside). I don’t see any good reason to cast Tom and Beth on e-hell just based on this. Of course, we might be missing a lot more information that the OP could not pen down in his/her post. I might also be feeling too generous today. But I feel that it might be more productive of everyone criticizing (or not criticizing) to actually come up with a better alternative so that the couple can treat both the families equally. I really can’t think of anything.

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hannahere January 7, 2013 at 3:03 pm

When I read it, my first thought was why can’t the bride and groom do as they choose? Why can’t they do a destination wedding with their own selected people? Isn’t that what most everyone says here–that the bride and groom get to make their own choices and decide their own guest list?

Ok, beyond that, I think the bride and groom SHOULD invite all family members to all things and they can choose and pick and decide themselves what they want to do.

Next, why can’t the sister go to a wedding that’s over 4 months away? Is she really trying all that hard? If she has no problem saying she can’t go to the actual wedding, why is she going cukoo over invites to the other places as well? Just pick one and let them know which one you can attend.

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Redblues January 8, 2013 at 10:20 am

Four months is not a lot of time to save up thousands of dollars in plane fare and hotel rooms, not to mention booking off work or making childcare arrangements or whatever else is necessary. Hawaii is a five hour flight ~after~ you make it out to LA. There are no cheap hotels in Hawaii. Then there are two more ‘receptions’ to attend, on opposite coasts. The people who would spend the least are the ones who live in LA, and they’d still be expected to fly to the other side of the country for gift-grab number three and five hours out to Hawaii for gift-grab number one.

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Jan January 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm

@hannahere – my place of work requires a year’s advance notice for vacation days. I am the only person with this position and cannot have a co-worker cover for me. So no, four months is not enough advance notice for a trip to Hawaii.

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Kate January 8, 2013 at 8:14 pm

@hannahere, she may have already used her vacation days or other employees may be taking leave during that time. I know there are certain times of year when I *cannot* go on leave because everyone else has already booked it. Plus, plane fares get more expensive the closer you get to the date. This is why save-the-dates for destination weddings are usually sent well in advance.

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GleanerGirl January 13, 2013 at 12:58 am

At my last job, there were two months out of the year where vacations were simply not allowed. No matter how much notice you had, you were not allowed to take vacation during those times. IF an emergency came up, you could take emergency leave, but that usually meant someone was dying, or you were being called up for the Army reserve and going to war.

We don’t know why the OP can’t get the time from work, but she said she can’t, and I believe her. Apparently, her mother doesn’t.

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My sister January 7, 2013 at 5:25 pm

I’m the OP of this story and just wanted to clarify that my sister fully expects immediate family to attend all three wedding celebrations. The first anyone in the family knew about the Hawaii plans was after the ceremony had already been booked and Beth and Tom announced that their friends were attending. Both mothers were shocked as this was the first they had heard about a destination wedding.

Personally I felt that it was their wedding and therefore their choice so had no issues with them originally only wanting friends at their ceremony. Beth and Tom seemed surprised that both mothers would be so upset at not having been included.

When they changed their plans I explained that I simply could not get time off work to travel to Hawaii. Beth was put out to say the least saying that I HAD to come. I emphasised that I would be unable to do so and she remarked that “well I guess since you’ll be at the LA reception and the east coast one you’ll still get to see most of Tom’s family.” I queried her as to whether the family attending the Hawaii ceremony (on our side our parents and possibly a sibling) is expected to travel to the east coast reception too and she said yes. Her reasoning is that in all probability only Tom’s parents and one of his siblings would be able to make it to Hawaii so this way we can all meet (possibly twice if any of them were planning on coming to the LA reception).

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GleanerGirl January 13, 2013 at 1:00 am

Beth is young, isn’t she? Reality has not yet taught her the hard lessons of life.

Good luck dealing with the drama, OP!

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Bint January 8, 2013 at 5:01 am

I could not work this out at all with it all being in in the US, so have scouted about from a European perspective.

This is the equivalent of me being married in London, then flying to Baghdad for a reception, then flying on to Nepal for the other one!!!

Beth and Tom do not sound very gifted with logistics, to put it as kindly as I can.

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Redblues January 8, 2013 at 12:06 pm

They sure are gifted with ideas for spending other people’s time and money though aren’t they?

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Yasuragi January 8, 2013 at 5:31 am

Did the word “elope” take on a new meaning recently?
OP, did your sister and her fiance say they were eloping? Or was that your word?
If they said they were eloping to Hawaii in four months and here’s the guest list etc….then they need a visit from Inigo Montoya.

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Bint January 8, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Inconceivable!

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GleanerGirl January 13, 2013 at 1:01 am

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means!”

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delislice January 8, 2013 at 8:00 am

OK, there’s a big clue here in the OP’s recent follow-up post: “Beth and Tom were surprised that both mothers would be so upset at not having been included.”

That tells me that something is seriously amiss. Either the bride and groom both have mothers so outrageously controlling or otherwise unmanageable that they had to sneak off and get married, but wanted their friends present …

…Or, we have a full-fledged Bridezilla and Groomonster here. I’m guessing that’s the case.

You HAVE to fly to Hawaii for this destination wedding, even though you weren’t invited at first.
You HAVE to attend a reception in LA (the only one you can reasonably travel to)
You HAVE to attend another reception in New York (another flight)
And I’ll pitch a fit and fall in it if you don’t!

If you plan a wedding and you don’t want Mom there, something is seriously wrong somewhere along the line.

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Jared Bascomb January 8, 2013 at 7:45 pm

I have to rescind my first post in light of the OP’s additional comment that yes, these WERE expectations to attend all three events.

But I still say that two receptions to accommodate family and friends on both coasts with no expectations that everyone is required to attend both (AND the wedding) is OK.

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Redblues January 8, 2013 at 10:29 am

OP if B&G want the family to meet, it is up to them to make that happen with the least amount of effort for those families. They’re taking offense at the fact that they can’t force other people to spend their own time and money on a vacation or three of B&Gs choice. As I have already said, if you want something enough, you pay for it to happen. You don’t demand that other people pay to make your wishes come true. If family presence was important, they would not have excluded the entire family from the original plans. I think it’s family ~presents~ that motivate them. If they have money for three separate receptions, then they have the money to pay for one family destination wedding/vacation instead.

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GleanerGirl January 13, 2013 at 1:04 am

If it’s so important for them to have both families meet then perhaps they should start planning to host Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, Easter, Independence Day and other holiday parties, where they can invite as many of the various families as possible. What you miss on one holiday, you get on another. And spread it out over a few years.

They need to make themselves the hub for the joining of these two families, and make it as easy as possible on their relatives, to get them to meet.

Also, in this day and age, it’s not too hard or expensive to arrange for phone and/or video conferencing. Just sayin’. If that’s the real motive, then you make it as easy as possible for the people you want to meet to actually meet. They’re not making it easy, at all.

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WildIrishRose January 8, 2013 at 1:02 pm

First of all, I have trouble getting my head around the concept of NOT inviting one’s parents to one’s wedding. Which is funny because if I’d had my way, my mother probably wouldn’t have attended mine–but she’s a candidate for dozens of other e-hell stories, so she doesn’t really count here. If you’re so estranged from your parents that you don’t invite them to your wedding, then why would you even tell them you were having one? As for expecting people to attend even TWO of these separate events, that’s just a bit much. Surely this couple know the financial and time limitations of their own families, at least to the extent of understanding why their relatives can’t/won’t attend every event.

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Kate January 8, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Maybe the mum found out about it through the family grapevine? My fiance is not inviting his father to our wedding (years of back story there) and we are hoping nobody fills him in the fact that there is a wedding taking place, but you never know. Some of his siblings are still in contact with the father because they were not mistreated in the way my fiance was.

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Kate January 8, 2013 at 8:09 pm

I’m sensing a bit of Mumzilla here.
Bride and Groom do seem to have mixed up their definition of ‘eloping’. However, I can’t help but wonder why the mother is taking OP’s non-attendance as an insult, and seems to have convinced Bride and Groom to change their plans at least once already?
OP, if it is not possible for you to attend all three celebrations, then don’t do it. Do not allow *anyone* to make you feel ashamed of your financial or work circumstances that may prevent you from attending. I was raised to believe that it is extremely poor manners to question someone when they say that they will be unable to attend an event for financial reasons.

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Tracy January 9, 2013 at 9:51 am

I agree with delislice – obviously SOMETHING is very wrong here.

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Hanna January 9, 2013 at 5:10 pm

I would not call a wedding wherein 15 people are invited via invitations and save the dates, an actual elopement. This was just a destination wedding that the bride and groom, for whatever reason, decided not to invite their families to.

My husband and I eloped 2000 miles away and a) didn’t invite anyone and b) we didn’t tell anyone beforehand. We had been engaged for 3 months and everyone pretty much knew our plans were to elope, but no one knew for sure, and no one knew when. We did this because we wanted a hassle-free wedding (AND IT WAS LOVELY). His parents are divorced, so they don’t get along and he did not want any of their drama at his wedding. His parents in general (step-mom included) are very much in your face, meddler-types. And ain’t nobody got time for that!

Unfortunately, his dad/step-mom and my parents never got to meet before we got married. This was due to the fact that both our parents run their own businesses, they live about an hour away from each other, there was no real incentive to meet while we were dating, etc. After we got back from our honeymoon, we all went out for a nice dinner where our parents met and a couple months later we had a reception.

They, are not planning an elopement.

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GleanerGirl January 13, 2013 at 1:06 am

Hanna, I’d say you did things right. Congrats!

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Angel January 12, 2013 at 10:58 am

This is so messed up. Maybe after all this stuff is over and the smoke clears your sister will wake up and realize how unreasonable she is being. Attend what you can attend and screw the rest of it. 3 wedding/receptions is absolutely insane. And if she really wants her immediate family to attend the reception out of town, SHE should pay for it. That’s JMO.

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GleanerGirl January 13, 2013 at 1:08 am

Agreed. Also, if you really want your attendants to wear that ridiculous dress, YOU pay for it.

There are few things as bad as being coerced by “love” or “friendship” to pay for the “privilege” of wearing/doing/suffering through something you hate. If you’re not making the wedding lovely for your bridal party, then you ought to at least pay all their expenses for it.

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GleanerGirl January 13, 2013 at 12:43 am

I’d feel better about the bi-coastal receptions if they canceled the wedding in Hawaii. They planned to elope (elopements are not planned – they’re spontaneous and usually involve forgetting your toothbrush), then when the families were hurt, they changed it from “elopement” to “destination wedding,” and added two separate receptions.

If they MUST be married in Hawaii, then how about a centrally located reception in Dallas (DFW is a hub airport) or maybe Denver? That way, both families are equally put out, and they still get the tropical wedding.

OR, if you want to plan to elope on a trip to Hawaii with only friends, you can do it without causing such a fuss. Simply elope, for real. That is, plan your “friends” trip to Hawaii, and say nothing of a wedding. Then, once you are there, say, “Oh, wow, this place is so romantic, it makes me want to get married RIGHT NOW!” Make some quick arrangements right then and there, and get married, then call your folks with the “Guess what we crazy kids went and did” news. Yes, they’ll probably be hurt that they missed it, but they’ll be less hurt than the original plan, which was to knowingly exclude them.

And invitations are invitations, not command performances. If your mother is in a huff because you have to work, then just tell her she can pay all your living expenses so that you can obey her command.

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