We are planning the wedding and my bride-to-be has decided on a “white wedding”, which to start with is completely against my family’s religious beliefs, as all of them expect me to get married in someone’s back yard for $200 or so. My family has refused to help with organizing or any costs or anything. The costs are about $30,000 all up. And we are budgeting for up to 100 guests. That is how many we get. My bride-to-be’s parents are forking out a fair amount of the bill, more than half, and I pay just for my own guests and my own expenses. So I was encouraged to invite as few people as possible so as to keep my costs down. They are inviting 60 so I can invite a maximum of 40 more or else the venue is full. But I have to invite at least 10 or else we don’t meet our minimum costs. And I can only afford 30.
I have 5 sisters and my parents are divorced, with my dad remarrying. So that is 8 right there. All of my grandparents are dead but my step mother’s mother is still alive. So that makes 9. 2 of my 5 sisters have partners, so I am up to 11. With me it makes 12. So I can have a maximum of 18 others. I invited 3 groomsmen, plus 2 other guys and 1 female co-worker, so we are up to 18 – 12 to go. All 3 of my groomsmen have partners so 9 to go. Phew. So that is 4 each side of my family and then that’s it. But I decided, what the heck, I’ll invite 5. It seems like a nice even number.
So I asked each of my parents who the 5 should be, in their opinion, out of my distant relatives – my aunts, uncles, cousins and such.
My mum answered almost immediately and suggested one aunt, 2 cousins, 1 husband of a cousin, and 1 child of a cousin. That’s it. That’s 5 right there.
My dad answered by saying “everyone”. Everyone, on his side, is about 30 people – and I don’t have the cash for that. He said it’d be rude if I just invited a few. But he didn’t want me to invite his younger brother, who he had an issue with. But his younger brother twice saved my life and helped to get me a place when I moved, when nobody else cared. My dad wants me to invite his older brother instead – the guy that pushed me into the lake and I nearly died, the guy who refused to help me to move even though he had 2 spare bedrooms, the guy who has made fun of me for my entire life. And my dad’s older brother is hated by virtually everyone on my mum’s side (including my mum) and half the people on my dad’s side – not to mention me – and my fiancee. He only met her once but he was just so nasty to her. Why on earth would I want her to come?
So to start with I was negotiating how this uncle could come and not disrupt anyone. But my dad said to me that I had to get rid of his younger brother – the one who had always been there for me. I simply could not invite him, or his son, who had acted like my older brother all my life. I could not invite anyone at all who he hated – or he would be offended.
So I said to my dad it is simpler if I just don’t invite his older brother. My dad then was hysterical. He was saying that then it was so rude, because, after all, he was the only member of my family to go to our engagement party. But only because my 2 cousins told me they weren’t allowed to go unless their dad went, then he banned them from going – and because all of my other relatives refused to go because he was there. And he just spent the whole night making fun of everyone – including me and my fiancee. Very nasty stuff. But he at least went. Sure, but he was a jerk. I do not want that at my wedding.
My dad just won’t leave this alone. His two sisters, who I invited, but was never really all that excited about them coming, both decided that they wouldn’t come, and my dad insisted that it was because I was not inviting his older brother. Really? Or is it because one of them lives in another country and barely knows me, while the other one is interstate and doesn’t have enough money to fly over? And the one who is interstate hates her older brother, so why would she refuse to come because I didn’t invite him?
My dad keeps saying that he will destroy the wedding if I don’t invite his brother. He says that he won’t come. I have half a mind to ask my dad not to bother to come. He has never been like this before. But I know what he is like with his older brother. They like to sit around making fun of everyone. That is what they are like together. My dad doesn’t do it with anyone else – just with his older brother. That’s why he wants him there. So they can sit in a corner and terrorize everyone. My dad doesn’t see anything wrong with doing that. It is just a bit of a laugh.
I can just see how it would start. They’d sit together, just the two of them, and they’d start by saying how extravagant it is, and how I am against our religion by doing this. Then they will say that she is meant to be catholic but we are going non-denominational so we can’t even get that right. Then they will comment that nobody in the room besides them has a PhD, and they bet that they don’t even have university degrees – or even proper jobs. Then there will be comments about them being illegal immigrants – even though they aren’t – they are sponsored immigrants. Then they will be making fun of my fiancee for her speech impedement, then making fun of me. Then the cruel stuff begins.
My dad I can put up with because he is my dad. And because, except when he is with my older brother, he is fine. He just badmouths people behind their back. But my dad is just not showing very good etiquette here. And he insists that I am destroying the family over this and ruining my own wedding. No – he is the one trying his best to ruin it, and I am trying to stop him.
Not sure if this is a story or needs comment. I am pretty sure I am doing the right thing here. I am not going to budge on this. 0409-14
I’m staunchly of the opinion that the bride and groom get to determine the kind of wedding they want and they have first priority in choosing wedding guests. Sorry, Mom and Dad, but you had your wedding and now is not the time to live vicariously through your kid’s wedding.
If your Dad were paying for the wedding, I would say that he had a right to decide to invite his older brother but since you are paying for it, you get to veto any proposed guests that you do not feel would be an edifying addition to the guest list. Stick to your guns and call Dad’s bluff about threatening to not come to the wedding. “Oh, sorry to hear that, Dad. Well, we’ll miss you!”
It’s a shame that family morph into petty tyrants during a wedding but if people won’t come because they cannot put aside their preferences for a few hours, then you really won’t miss them.