Elopement and DFIL terminal illness

(29 Posts)
Londonlassy Fri 01-Jul-16 04:09:44

DP and I have told everyone we would never have a wedding rather we would pop down to our registry office get married and tell everyone afterwards.

We have booked a tropical holiday for few months time and secretly organised a celebrant to marry us whilst away. We have organised and paid for everything

three weeks ago we found out DFIL has a terminal illness and it's not good at all. We went and visited in-laws and Because of DFIL's prognosis DP told them of the marriage plans. The in-laws said at the time said they were really happy for us.

However DMIL rang DP this week and said it would be good for DFIL to see his last child get married

I know my DFIL and I don't think he wants to attend another wedding he is not at all sentimental. Mother in law however would love to see us get married and I think she thinks a 'proper wedding' is the right thing to do now.

I find organising events and being the centre of attention awful. I have always wanted to get married but never a wedding. I am so shattered with everything

mortgagefreesoon5 Fri 01-Jul-16 04:40:53

I hear you. I am the same,I dont like being the centre of attention and organising a wedding.....( shudders). Hence 18years together and two children later and not married yet. We might do the same as you though.
Speak to your FIL and see what his feelings are.
You might decide you want both set of parents, register office and a meal for 6 in a local restaurant. And then the holiday/wedding of course
Or can you move holiday/wedding forward?
Or could/would you want parents on holiday with you so it can double up as a family hol?
Sorry if I am complicating things any further, too early in the morning, hope other posts come to the rescue soon.

WhatWouldLeslieKnopeDo Fri 01-Jul-16 04:47:20

Hm. A tricky one. Firstly, I'm really sorry about your FIL's prognosis flowers

How does DP feel? Could he talk to FIL and see if this is coming from him? If your MIL has always wanted a big wedding then she may be trying to take advantage of the situation a little, but it's difficult to begrudge her that, poor woman. Maybe she's trying to bring something good out of it all.

It's your wedding so at the end of the day you should do what will make you both happy and comfortable.

If you decide that you'd like FIL to be able to attend, perhaps there's a middle ground. You could have a small registry office wedding then a party at home or the pub. Anything, really. It doesn't have to be a big, white affair if that's not your style.

Londonlassy Fri 01-Jul-16 05:01:13

DP is torn and wants to make everyone happy. He has never wanted a wedding either. I have spent hours finding the right resort, celebrant getting daughter 's passport etc. I would now have to organise everything again.

whatever we do now someone is going to be unhappy.

Jenny70 Fri 01-Jul-16 05:06:51

I'm sorry for FIL's news, but ultimately it is YOUR wedding - and I'd be worried that your MIL could make the event into a "living wake" for your FIL - invite the family, last get together of everyone, etc etc.

Is it likely that FIL might die/be extremely ill before your holiday/wedding plans? If the holiday is a few months away and he's been told he's got 1-2yrs, then maybe a marriage celebration when you get back is better. Then that gives something positive for FIL and MIL to celebrate, they can invite family etc, but focus won't be 100% on you, it will be also about a family celebration for FIL. You could decide no speeches, in case it crosses the line from family celebration of your wedding into "living wake".

MidnightRunner87 Fri 01-Jul-16 05:09:23

It's tricky I can see why you feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. Could you arrange a blessing before or after your wedding abroad that just both sets of parents can attend? No need for a party at all you could maybe just pop for a nice lunch together afterwards.

JoandMax Fri 01-Jul-16 05:16:47

That's a tricky one, I'm sorry about your FIL

I would get DH to speak honestly to his dad, just the two of them, and find out what he really wants. If it is an important wish for him then I would try and accommodate it.

We hated the thought of a big wedding, the very idea made me shudder! We went to a small hotel near my parents house with just them, ILs and siblings and got married at 5pm then had a lovely dinner and that was that. It didn't take much organising at all and was a lovely way to do it.

Could you maybe do something like that just with parents there? Then go off on your holiday as a honeymoon/blessing?

Londonlassy Fri 01-Jul-16 05:18:50

jenny70 a living wake is what I have been fearing but have been unable express

Penfold007 Fri 01-Jul-16 05:23:17

Tricky situation, it's a shame DP divulged your plans but I can understand how it happened. Realistically is FIL likely to be fit to fly or be able to get travel insurance?

WhenYouGottaGo Fri 01-Jul-16 05:40:15

I agree with pp - talk to your FIL and see if this is really what he wants. But only do this if you are happy to change your plans if he does want to be at your wedding.

If he does want to be there would you be happy to get married in a tiny registry office ceremony with just parents and your DC, and then go on holiday and have the wedding you have planned as a blessing?

I think if your MIL is expecting any more than this from you (ie if she wants to turn this into a big wedding) then she is being unreasonable and unfair.

This also may sound heartless but... as someone in the middle of planning a similar style wedding to you, we are acutely aware that our parents would prefer to be there and as all our siblings are married (and parents attended) we will be denying our parents their last chance to attend their child's wedding. Like you we both hate all the fuss and being the centre of attention - to the point where it would make both of us dread our wedding day if we had a big (or even small) traditional wedding and decided that as much as our parents might be disappointed, we need to do what is right for us. You must have known this too when you made your plans? And (this is the heartless bit - sorry!) that situation hasn't changed. It was always going to be the case that your DFIL would die without seeing his last DC get married and it was always going to be the case that your DMIL would have preferred a bigger wedding. Nothing has actually changed - it's all just more imminent than you previously thought it was.

WhenYouGottaGo Fri 01-Jul-16 05:45:50

I would also add (again sounding heartless) what sort of prognosis does your DFIL have? If he is likely to only have a few weeks left then this is probably a moot point as you are not going to be able to arrange a traditional wedding anyway in that time. You may not even be able to arrange a registry office ceremony for just yourselves and parents in that time. It is also worth considering that if you did arrange a larger wedding to please your DMIL, that your DFIL still might not make it, and there would be a completely different atmosphere at a wedding that had been organised for DFIL, if he either died first or was too ill to attend.

Might also be worth thinking about whether DFIL's ill-health might cause you to cancel your planned holiday and wedding - ie is there a chance you might be needed at home?

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Fri 01-Jul-16 06:15:35

I would keep your plans exactly as they are.
To be blunt, FIL was always going to die without 'seeing his son get married', and has long known that will be the case. Although he is sadly dying much sooner than you expected, he wouldn't have reasonably expected to see your wedding if he had lived to 100.
All that has changed has been your MIL putting unfair pressure on you and DH (understandable that she is acting unreasonably given circumstances).
I would suggest that your DH speak to FIL directly about how he would like to spend his remaining time, is there anything special he would like to do with DH or your family?
Leave your wedding plans unchanged.

Londonlassy Fri 01-Jul-16 06:36:03

Thanks everyone. The prognosis is 12- 18 months and there is no possibility of in-laws traveling. We live several hours away from my family and DP family who live in different distant towns. Organising a small registry wedding wouldn't be simple as most people would need overnight accomodation. Plus as my family rarely meet DP family due to distance I foresee any wedding at home as a very sad awkward affair. Not how I imagined my day at all

selsigfach Fri 01-Jul-16 06:55:20

Elope as planned and have a family meal with parents and siblings when you return, close to ILs for FIL's sake and share photos of the day. Would your parents travel that far? Alternatively, have two meals. MIL needs to get take a step back. When is the wedding booked for?

Mrswinkler Fri 01-Jul-16 06:57:36

What a position to be in. I would stand by your original plan however. It's your wedding, not your in laws. You will only ever have this one chance to get married to your fella, do you really want it tainted with the thought that it was compromised?

The fact your FIL is ill should have no bearing on your plans. Don't feel guilty and plan something else special with your in laws that is to do with them, not your wedding.

selsigfach Fri 01-Jul-16 06:57:39

Sorry, I see the wedding is a few months away. At least you're not planning it two years down the line - you'll still be able to tell fil about it and show him photos.

CPtart Fri 01-Jul-16 07:04:18

I would stand by your original plan too, simply to set a precedent. This sounds heartless and I don't know what your MIL is like, but if you listen to the guilt tripping and start dancing to her tune now, how much worse will it be when FIL passes and she is alone?

blackteaplease Fri 01-Jul-16 07:18:23

Oh that is really hard. In theory In would stick with the original plan. But it is hard to know what I would actually do. Dealing with a terminal illness is hard for everyone but I wouldn't want my wedding hijacked into a family do.

Laiste Fri 01-Jul-16 07:43:45

I'd stick with your plans.

''I know my DFIL and I don't think he wants to attend another wedding he is not at all sentimental.''

So any change of plan would be for MIL.

I'd get married abroad and have a 'blessing' style party planned for just after our return, with special emphasis on the immediate family.

OvariesBeforeBrovaries Fri 01-Jul-16 07:49:39

Stand by your original plan. Arrange to get together for a nice meal/afternoon tea when you get back?

Katymac Fri 01-Jul-16 07:49:44

DD's 18th turning into my Dad's 'last party' for us that wasn't necessarily a bad thing & none of us were upset by the way it turned out; however Pops was much closer to the end than your FIL appears

I really wouldn't do it - have a nice meal before you go with your plans/cuttings etc & after you come back with your photos and the certificate

That's fine imo

RubbleBubble00 Fri 01-Jul-16 08:15:12

Stick with your plans. Then perhaps a blessing and a meal out when you come back

Lweji Fri 01-Jul-16 08:21:03

To start with, whatever you do it will still be a wedding.

I would probably book a local registry office and arrange things so that parents, and only them, go but they don't know until the last minute.
Then go abroad and still have a nice ceremony and holiday.
It may even make the legal side easier.

ilovechocolate07 Fri 01-Jul-16 10:08:21

What a tough situation. We had a quiet register office marriage. Partly because we only just had the money to cover that and partly because my mum suffers with mental illness and I couldn't manage it with others and not her.

If something like this had happened when we were planning ours I think I would have postponed but we weren't going away. It is a lot to ask for you to completely change your plans and I might be wrong but I sense a hint of it being your mil who wants to attend more that fil and that's emotional blackmail.

Good luck in your decision x

juneau Fri 01-Jul-16 10:43:18

I'm sorry for your FIL's diagnosis, but it really doesn't change anything. You were going to get married without his presence anyway, so why would he suddenly need to witness your marriage when he was never going to? If you had planned a big do that he was due to participate in and were wondering about bringing it forward so he'd be able to attend, that would be one thing. But you're not. You've always wanted something quiet, small and just the two (or three) of you. So do that. Its still your wedding, whatever else is going on. And, as you say, your FIL probably isn't bothered either way. It sounds more like your MIL wants to be included and she's using FIL's illness as a pretext for that.

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