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to have got married secretly with only 2 witnesses?

(493 Posts)
fivecandles Sun 11-Sep-11 08:50:14

Dp and I been together 13 odd years with ups and downs and 2 children. Decided to get married because really it's about time for all sorts of reasons BUT didn't want a big faff or the expense of a big wedding. Don't like to be the centre of attention, other financial commitments, it's dh's 2nd marriage, we're not religious etc, etc. DH has a very large family and if we'd invited his mum and dad we'd have had to invite his siblings and before you know it we would have had at least 30 people just with close family. So we had a quiet but lovely wedding in register office. DH had his best mate for his witness and I had mine and they brought their families. We then went for a lovely lunch in a nice restaurant and had a lovely day together.

Told our respective families the next day. Mine completely understood and very happy that we're finally respectable and legal. DH's horribly upset and accused us of being deceitful (because we didn't tell them beforehand) and so on. DH had long conversation with them which was very heated in places but reached a sort of resolution even if it was an agreement to differ sort of thing.

Now they've not spoken to me at all although they did send a card and a little bit of money a few weeks after the event. I sent them some photos and the only contact I've had with them directly is now a letter from MIL saying how happy we look in the photos and how upset this makes her!! She has been showing the photos to all her friends and they're also really upset apparently. She's told dh about how she's been crying for days and not sleeping and one of dh's siblings has written to say similar things.

Anway, having said nothing and hoped it would all blow over, I've felt moved to write back to MIL to remind them that a wedding is a happy occasion and ask them to put aside their negative views and be happy for us and respect our choices. AIBU???

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 11-Sep-11 08:54:40

YANBU... Your MIL has had a shock, that's all. I bet she was looking forward to being 'mother of the groom' at some point and feels left out. She'll get over it eventually but he'll have to go overboard with the TLC in the meantime. Don't write... you'll just look like the bad-guy.

bamboobutton Sun 11-Sep-11 08:58:41

hmmm, i think yabu.

i would be absolutley gutted if one of my dc got married secretly. if they then sent photos it would be like rubbing salt in the wound, especially if the friends and their families were in them, as if they were more important than parents and family.

i can understand why your mil is so upset, and i bet your mum is too but she is better at keeping a lid on her true feelings.

Runlolarun Sun 11-Sep-11 08:59:08

I think I would be equally upset with my own parents if they thought I was only 'respectable' if I was married.

AfternoonDelight Sun 11-Sep-11 09:02:50


I can understand you MIL being a bit miffed at missing out, but "crying for days and not sleeping" is a bit much!

Your wedding sounds just like the kind I'd love to have <wistful sigh>

Congratulations btw!

fivecandles Sun 11-Sep-11 09:06:30

You have to bear in mind that we are in our 40s and it's dh's 2nd marriage. My mum genuinely happy. My father not in good health and wouldn't have coped well. Neither of them would have appreciated the fuss or expense of a big wedding and they had a very small wedding themselves. Sending the photos was a dilemma because didn't want to offend them but on the other hand they have photos of their other children's weddings all over the house and now it's happened it seems ridiculous to pretend it hasn't.

ditavonteesed Sun 11-Sep-11 09:06:42

thats what me and dh did, only people there were 2 friends each, we did ask dh's sister but she was rally nasty and tried to ruin the whole thng by threatening to tell everybody.
Everybody seemed to be happy for us, tbh if we hadnt done it that way we wouldnt have done it at all.
i love thinking of my wedding, we went to registery office and then went for a chinese with said friends. dsil has just had the biggest wedding you could ever imagine and I am just so relieved, the waste of money was incredible, the stress levels the attention to detail.

Deesus Sun 11-Sep-11 09:06:43

YANBU. And congratulations by the way! smile

I wouldn't write back to her though - I think that would be to invite more over emotional histrionics. Don't engage more than you have already. Think the thing to do now is move forward.

fivecandles Sun 11-Sep-11 09:09:35

It's not that my parents thought we would only be respectable if we were married more that they were a bit worried about legal issues and the children and so on.

Thanks, Afternoon.

It seems to me that however someone gets married (even Kate Middleton) someone's nose is always put out of joint so all a couple can do is have t!he wedding that's right for them. Which is what we did.

TidyDancer Sun 11-Sep-11 09:13:28

I don't think you did the wrong thing, it's your choice of course, but how you've handled the 'aftermath' seems really quite insensitive if I'm honest.

You probably should have told them before, or not told them at all. You have to appreciate that this kind of occasion must mean such a lot to them, and to find out they have been deliberately excluded must have really hurt them. I'm not saying you should have invited them, but just that you should've showed some care and sensitivity towards their feelings, and I'm really sorry, but I don't think you've done this.

Congratulations on your wedding though.

lifechanger Sun 11-Sep-11 09:16:34

I totally see that you have a right to a small wedding with those ou choose to be there.

It might have been a bit kinder to have told them beforehand though.

WilsonFrickett Sun 11-Sep-11 09:16:35

YANBU but I think you do have to 'make the peace' a little bit with MIL. Is there something she'd like to do which would show you'd made an effort, maybe a celebratory meal or something? The thing is to move forward, I don't think writing a letter back is a great idea - they're obviously wallowing in it feeling left out and hurt so you need to make the first move unfortunately.

And congratulations on your wedding, sounds like you had a perfect day for you both, which is really all that matters smile

missmartha Sun 11-Sep-11 09:17:01

YANBU, I have been to so many bloody weddings lately which all seem to be in some competition for 'Most Money Spent in One Day'.

To be honest I can't see the point. I hope to some extent my off spring go off and tie the knot with their partners, with a few good mates in tow rather than have to spent years of their lives planning a day that Bride magazine recommends.

Not to mention the ££££££££ it all costs.

Congratulations btw.

fivecandles Sun 11-Sep-11 09:19:37

Hmm.. can't really imagine how the conversation would have gone if we'd told them before. Along the lines of 'We're getting married next week but you're not invited'. And if they hadn't understood which it looks they wouldn't then it would have spoiled our day.

I really can't think of any way in which we could have handled it differently unless we'd gone for a big wedding which we didn't want to do.

fivecandles Sun 11-Sep-11 09:21:13

I should say that we had said that though we had a small and private wedding we were planning to have a big party to celebrate next year where we would have invited everyone. However, we now don't want to have that if the in laws can't get over their bad feelings.

TidyDancer Sun 11-Sep-11 09:23:43

Could you really have hurt them more than you have now?

You have done something you knew would hurt them, and you seem surprised that they have expressed that. You need to make this situation better (the collective you, of you and DH).

If you "write back to MIL to remind them that a wedding is a happy occasion and ask them to put aside their negative views and be happy for us and respect our choices" then you will upset them further, and I honestly can't say I'd blame them.

elliepac Sun 11-Sep-11 09:23:53

I personally think YANBU in having such a low key ceremoney. Your wedding, your choice. However, I think it might have been kinder to tell close family before. DH's brother did this. Went away for the weekend, came back married. It caused all kinds of hurt and upset for his family, particularly MIL and his sister's, DH was more upset that his mum had been upset iyswim.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 11-Sep-11 09:24:39

They'll get over it. Your ILs love their son and their grandchildren and won't want to risk the relationship long-term. Treat them as normal and there will probably be residual huffiness but, if they've got any sense, they'll let it go eventually.

fatlazymummy Sun 11-Sep-11 09:24:51

YANBU. I have a grown up son and if he and his partner decide to do this it really wouldn't bother me at all. In fact I would probably be relieved that they had managed to save a lot of money and stress all round.
I remember my brother got married in this way years ago [his 2nd wedding too] and my Mum was perfectly matter of fact about it when she told me about it.
I agree though, you probably should have told them the next day though, rather than keeping it hidden. I also wouldn't have shown them photos with the witnesses families on. That does seem a bit odd, to invite your friends families rather than your own [unless there is a family feud].
On reflection that may be what is upsetting your MIL. Because it wasn't just yourselves and your 2 witnesses. It was yourselves, 2 witnesses and their family members. So MIL isn't being unreasonable to be upset by this, although she is overreacting IMO.

fivecandles Sun 11-Sep-11 09:25:35

Don't understand your POV Tidy. We expected that our family and friends would support us and be happy for us and respect our choice to marry in the way that we did. This IS exactly how our friends and my family did react.

As I say, I can't really see any way of handling the whole thing any differently since we didn't want a big wedding.

TidyDancer Sun 11-Sep-11 09:26:06

It's not about them getting over their bad feelings, fivecandles, it's about you realising why they have bad feelings and that you've, albeit unintentionally, caused them.

I'm sure they will be happy for you once things have settled down, but you really do need to make nice now, and stop thinking they are wrong to be upset with you.

TidyDancer Sun 11-Sep-11 09:26:39

What don't you understand about it? Tell me, and I'll explain it for you.

fivecandles Sun 11-Sep-11 09:26:44

I wouldn't begin to judge any couple for the sort of wedding they choose - whether they choose to run off to Gretna Green or have a huge do in Westminster Abbey. It's their choice. What's more important than the wedding is the marriage and I think people get far too hung up on the former.

fivecandles Sun 11-Sep-11 09:28:05

But DH and I have explained our reasons for getting married in the way we did and repeatedly said that we had not intended to cause upset and we're sorry the in laws are upset.

fivecandles Sun 11-Sep-11 09:29:46

I just know that if my own children got married in the way we did I would absolutley support them. I would put their happiness and the quality of the relationship far, far above the way in which they chose to express this or not.

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