Would we be arseholes if we got married, and didn't invite anyone?

(156 Posts)
Theicingontop Mon 01-Apr-13 19:01:08

We've finally decided to get married, but we don't want the fuss or expense that's associated with a wedding.

No party, no wedding dress, no suit hires... No guests.

We get the feeling that if we invited people who'd be really disappointed to have not been invited (like OH's dad and nana for instance), that we'd piss off everyone else. Kind of a, if you invite some you have to invite them all, situation.

And if you invite hordes of people they'll expect an actual wedding, won't they? And not us just popping into a building to sign some papers, which is what it will be. Anti-climactic and a waste of time, right?

So would we be selfish, unreasonable arseholes for not inviting anyone?

From what I've read on here I'll be doing the majority a massive favour by sparing them the faff of a wedding anyway <hopeful>

innermuddle Thu 04-Apr-13 10:40:07

I think that you should get married in the way that suits you.
when we got married we wanted a marriage not a wedding if that makes sense. I really hate being centre of attention, and am personally a bit horrified by the pressure & cost of weddings.
DH wanted to do it on our own & tell families after. I felt our families would be upset so persuaded him to a compromise, we had a small wedding with just immediate family (parents, siblings & children) and only told everyone a couple of weeks before the wedding. the extended family were upset by this, in-laws felt excluded from the planning & my family were so underwhelmed most didn't come (I have 5 siblings, only one came!).
the day itself was stressful, I felt self conscious, family were mostly in bad moods. in short my only good memory from that day is the end of it!
we plan to renew our vows with just our children for our tenth anniversary. I wish we had the private day we wanted rather than trying to please everyone.

SignoraStronza Thu 04-Apr-13 10:10:34

No, yanbu. I wanted to do just that (with our best mate and her husband as witnesses) as couldn't see the point in a big 'do'. DH's got a brief starter marriage under his belt and I had a dc already.

In the end we compromised and got hitched in a hotel filled by a nice meal with 20 adults and 3 children. For me it was more about 'being married' and I didn't give two hoots about a wedding as such.

Was quite a nice family catch up though, as his cousins were over from abroad and they all got to do some touristy things the day/morning before, as well as an impromptu bit of drinking the night before with dh. In fact, we're thinking of doing something similar every two years (without the marriage bit, obviously). The wedding just provided the reason for a getogether if you see what I mean.

MyDarlingClementine Thu 04-Apr-13 09:53:31

Havant read all but I think your being sensible, if you like and get on with your close family, Id invite them, I think their feelings trump those of wider circle.
My only regret is sweating over inviting the pils who did put downer on it but they only came to ceremony.

We had a small wedding, DIY, and it was fantastic. No sweating over favours, or place settings! It was unique and good fun.

2rebecca Thu 04-Apr-13 09:38:41

You could just book the reg office decide on the format of service and then phone and let immediate family and anyone you want to know know but make clear there is no wedding party just a simple ceremony, posh clothes, gifts etc not expected, and you understand if they don't want to travel to what isn't a lavish event. I wouldn't do the going to grans thing.
I don't see why the people who make the most fuss if things aren't done their way should be pandered to.

popcornpaws Wed 03-Apr-13 12:45:25

The whole point of doing it yourselves is not to feel you have to have a party or some sort of celebration to keep others happy, it's about you and your partner, not keeping others sweet incase they feel left out.

HappyDogRedDogToss Wed 03-Apr-13 10:31:20

I think MmeLindor has the answer - go to visit the ones that will complain the most grans for a weekend, do it there (as a surprise), take them out for lunch, job done.

RevoltingPeasant Wed 03-Apr-13 10:24:38

We did this - ran away to registry office, very quiet day, went back to work the day after, and told our parents/ PILs over the phone that night.

I think my mum was a bit quietly gutted but she was polite enough to simply say 'congrats' and everyone else was just pleased for us.

In our case, DM and DF are divorced and DM is now living with a woman. DF doesn't know this and I didn't want the first encounter to be at my wedding! Plus, it would have been v difficult for one of my sisters to get over (she lives abroad and doesn't have much money).

At the end of the day, for us, the wedding day was not a significant day, so we didn't want to put people out to attend it when for us, it was literally a 5-min ceremony and then going for a long walk by ourselves.

Two things, OP, though - one, you can't expect gifts if you do this. My mum got me a card, and DPILs and DF did actually give us totally unexpected cash gifts - but you can't expect anything, obviously. And two, if anyone is hurt, it might not be the people you think! DPILs are quite traditional and I expected they might be gutted; they weren't at all, but my hippyish, just-out-of-the-closet mum, who got married in a civil ceremony and wore black herself, was.

If my DC did this...? That's way in the future, but I imagine I would feel a bit left out, but then, if they hadn't invited anyone, I wouldn't take it as a personal slight.

Sheila Wed 03-Apr-13 09:49:12

One of my oldest friends got married in secret with 2 witnesses and told me about it in an email as a BTW a couple of months later. I was very hurt, and it has made me question how close we really are.

So if you're going to go down this route then I'd have a party at some point to celebrate and make sure everyone can feel included.

Another friend invited everyone to an engagement party, which was a really nice idea I thought, and provided an opportunity to explain what their plans were.

2rebecca Wed 03-Apr-13 09:31:26

If my daughter was pregnant I'd rather she got married before having the baby without me there than delayed getting married to have a party and then maybe never get round to getting married and not have the legal protection of being married. To me the being married is the important thing, not the wedding.
The trouble with inviting grannies over for just a form signing is that then various relatives may try and emotionally blackmail you into having some sort of do "because they have come all this way".
You would have to be clear to all concerned that you will not be attending a party (assuming you don't want to) and there will only be a basic wedding to attend, maybe book to go somewhere afterwards so no-one can try and force you to do other stuff.
Alternately just get married and tell people some time afterwards.
I don't understand why grandparents would be hurt at not being invited to a basic ceremony and why some older peaople behave in such an entitled way about other peoples weddings.

Stellarpunk Wed 03-Apr-13 09:15:39

That's sad merlin and perhaps a wise warning that we don't always know what's round the corner.

Stellarpunk Wed 03-Apr-13 09:14:26

izombie I think you can still respect your kids opinions but also still feel sad that you weren't there - the two aren't mutually exclusive.

merlincat Wed 03-Apr-13 01:00:49

We had a lovely and tiny ceremony in New York (our favourite city). Just us, the priest, organist and a witness. We did this because Dh is not close to his family (massive understatement) and I really hated the idea of a traditional 'do'. At the time no-one minded and all our friends accepted that it was our choice to make.

I really regret it now though. My mum died a year later (65, too young) and I'm an only child; it would have meant so much to her to see me get married. Of course it's your choice but do think about your parents, I wish I had.

babyphat Wed 03-Apr-13 00:21:27

Sorry not read whole thread but we did it and it was great! We told family afterwards but there were some friends we thought would be offended, so we just didn't tell them - for years actually! Could you just do it but not tell anybody, even afterwards??

LivingThings Tue 02-Apr-13 22:08:51

We did this. Only people at our wedding (other than us) were the minister, the photographer and the wedding planner. We had been together for ages so it was just a formality really, plus we did it abroad. Everyone was fine with it and we had a family party when we got back.

GypsyTart Tue 02-Apr-13 21:01:29

Congratulations! Hope you have a lovely day - low key as you like.
DH and I got married with DH's friend and gf as witnesses in our local registry office. It was short and sweet. (The cd player was chained and padlocked to the wall but that's a minor quibble). I didn't want to be looked at by a room full of relatives. My DF and DM hadn't had a pleasant word to say to each other for over 10 years. My StepM was pretty foul by then and my StepF had Alzheimers. Poor DH's family had to take a hit but it was just not possible to have the circus there too.
We invited them all for a slap up meal - just family - straight after in an attempt to show them we cared about them too. Then threw a monster party for friends and family in the evening in a local pub which is when I finally relaxed.
It was actually a very private and personal moment for me in the registry office. I didn't want to hurt family feelings but it was the right decision for DH and I. I have 2 DC and would wish to be at their weddings, but sort of understand why they might prefer to do it in private. We'll see!

DomesticCEO Tue 02-Apr-13 19:57:47

Imperial, no I appreciate it isn't one or the other but having done the "running away and getting married" thing myself it isn't that I chose not to have my parents there, it just became too complicated (sadly cos of my ILs but that's a whole other story).

I would respect my children's right to do what they want and if I was there that would be lovely and if I wasn't that would be ok. I just don't see it as such a big thing - I'm nurturing them to (hopefully) have a happy life/marriage etc, not to enjoy the piss up that starts it grin.

iZombie Tue 02-Apr-13 19:45:04

I honestly don't understand the posts along the lines of 'meee meee meeee, my baaaaaaybe got married/wants to get married/is getting married without meeeeeeee' which is what all the humphy posts are in essence. Dress it up any way you like, but at the end of it, you're putting your happiness above that of your child, which is not what celebrating marriage should be about. It should be about the two folk saying the vows. The only people they need are a couple of witnesses and an official.

ImperialBlether Tue 02-Apr-13 19:34:26

That doesn't have to be the alternative though, Domestic. I think small weddings are nicer than large ones, to be honest, and I hate the bridezilla attitude. It's just hard to think that your child that you've spent so much time nurturing would choose not to have you there on such a significant day.

DomesticCEO Tue 02-Apr-13 18:57:45

Neolara, I would be disappointed definitely but gutted? No.

I would be far more gutted if they were stupid enough to spend £20k on a wedding and spent weeks agonising about whether the seat backs matched the bridesmaids dresses tbh.

I'd feel I'd rather failed in giving them a sense of perspective on life.

hazeyjane Tue 02-Apr-13 18:50:16

If my children find people that they are really happy with and want to marry them, I honestly will be happy however they want to do it, because it isn't about me, it's about them.

neolara Tue 02-Apr-13 18:41:07

I'm pretty sure I would be absolutely gutted if any of my kids decided to get married without me. Although they are all under 10 at the moment, so I may change my mind over the next 20 years..... (Actually I can't really imagine I"ll change my mind on this one.)

MushroomSoup Tue 02-Apr-13 18:39:57

I did it. Told both sets of parents the night before - they all came except my dad who said it was 'too short notice' and 'if I'd really wanted him there, I'd have told him earlier'. The rest of the family just laughed. One bro said he was pleased for me but gutted not to have been there. But hey ho they all got over it!

Stellarpunk Tue 02-Apr-13 18:32:44

Just to add... It wasn't just the wedding that was the wedge.. But it was the final nail in the coffin.

Ho hum.

Stellarpunk Tue 02-Apr-13 18:29:05

Well I've just had this with my DSil.

I think that on the face of it, those that have said do it and tell later may seem like a good idea. But, said DSil did this and the reality was actually really hurtful.

I don't actually care if they wanted that type of ceremony. What did hurt massively was her announcing it everybody on Facebook. It felt like I was just an acquaintance, someone not worthy of even a heads up phone call. (They got married in NZ). I have known her for 16 years. Its drove a huge wedge between us.

So for me, it was the not telling... But you need to have the ceremony you want. Just be aware that you can't please everyone but family can get terribly hurt.

Oh and congratulations flowers

nkf Tue 02-Apr-13 18:08:35

If you read most of the wedding posts on here, you would get the impression that you'd be doing your friends and family a favour. I suspect they might grumble a bit but I expect they'd be secretly pleased.

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