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To not understand attitudes to weddings

(86 Posts)
Sarahschuster Mon 17-Feb-14 12:31:04

Family member currently planning wedding. She and her partner are fretting about:

Which friend takes on what role and whether this will cause resentment.
Who should pay for the tasteless matching outfits they are insisting people wear.
Seating pans for meal.
How to afford the 20 grand the whole thing is going to cost.
Arguments over who can/can't afford overnight accommodation out of their friends.
What they can get away with demanding in the wayof expensive gifts.
Already predicting which friends will not get them generous enough gifts.

From the evidence of numerous MN threads, this is pretty common. AIBU to wonder what on earth is wrong with people? If you want to make a public commitment together, great. What on earth do endless bridesmaids, groomsmen, hideous outfits, arguments, vast expense etc. have to do with genuine love and commitment? Why would you assume it's ok to put your friends to considerable expense to affirm your love and comittment? Why would you not have a simple ceremony, dinner down the pub and use the money for something real rather than one desperately attention seeking day that will cause you more stress than it does pleasure?

sooperdooper Mon 17-Feb-14 12:34:01

I completely agree, I don't know why people feel the need to spend more than they can afford on a 'wedding' when they can just get married on a budget they can afford

dashoflime Mon 17-Feb-14 12:37:02

I used to think this before I organised my wedding so I know where your coming from...

Its a big fancy party for all your friends and family
Probably a bigger party than you have ever organised before (unless you were some kinda rave organiser in the early 90's or something!)
And you only get to do it once
And you get viciously merchandised to and upsold to within an inch of your life
And, and... Its just a bit ^stressful" alright?!

So, you are being a little bit unreasonable.. sorry

WooWooOwl Mon 17-Feb-14 12:41:11

Seating plans and roles for your nearest and dearest who might be offended not to be included are legitimate things to fret over slightly when you're wedding planning.

The rest of the things on your list don't deserve any head space at all. Have the wedding you can afford, if you want to dictate what people wear then you pay for it, and thinking that much about gifts is just tasteless.

I wouldn't have wanted a simple do with dinner down the pub afterwards because we have close friends and family spread out all over the country who we wanted to invite, and I would have felt very rude asking them to come and then not hosting them properly. Our wedding wasn't just about affirming our love and commitment, it was also about celebrating and having a good time with people we care about, and it was a good excuse for a get together.

CailinDana Mon 17-Feb-14 12:42:21

Psychologically a wedding is incredibly stressful. Everyone has expectations and everyone is judging, just like you are now. I had mine abroad with a very small group of guests and a wedding planner doing all the major work for me and I still found it stressful. It should just be about the bride and groom and whatever makes the day special for them but it never is. It's like a showcase of all the family neuroses, resentments and fraught history with a good measure of dickheadery from friends thrown in. I enjoyed my day but it certainly wasn't the best day of my life.

Panzee Mon 17-Feb-14 12:47:01

You'll also see on Mumsnet all the people who get ridiculously offended if the bride and groom get any of it "wrong". What is "wrong" also changes depending on who is doing the thinking. So you can see why it is so stressful!

Nataleejah Mon 17-Feb-14 12:47:43

I never understood big and posh weddings where newlyweds seem to have more stress than fun.

pinkdelight Mon 17-Feb-14 12:49:51

YANBU. Thankfully no one in my family gives a monkeys about weddings, only about marriages. But lots of people are mad for weddings. I think it's people who can't think for themselves and have to do 'the done thing', which can spiral into doing it to impress people, which has been commercially exploited to the hilt. Nothing to do with a lasting marriage imo.

purplebaubles Mon 17-Feb-14 12:54:49

Agree with CailinDana totally.

We only had a small wedding (under £4k and 80 ppl) but we compromised on loads to keep (mainly) the in laws happy. The same inlaws who then tried to wreck the entire day (one way they did this was by going around telling as many guests as possible that the do was finishing early at 9pm and they needed to leave - hence leaving us with about 15 guests for the evening entertainment, and buffet). Haven't spoken to MIL since.

Really wish we'd just gone to a registry office with the people we know care about us (so not necessarily family) and had a quiet pub meal. This would have also stopped the stress of the 8 or so guests who cancelled on us last minute with crap excuses (we'd already paid the £50 a head for their meal and drinks) leaving us no time to ask other guests to attend.

I think weddings bring out the worst in people - and not necessarily the bride and groom!!!

CailinDana Mon 17-Feb-14 12:55:12

So say if pinkdelight was a good friends and you were aware of her view on weddings you would be stressing about her being a guest as you would worry about her judging you as not being able to think for yourself.

Pigletin Mon 17-Feb-14 12:56:15

Sorry but some of the points are perfectly reasonable questions to consider when planning a wedding...except forthe comments regarding the generous gifts. Don't know why you would find this unreasonable. Everyone is entitled to have s big wedding if they so choose.

Pigletin Mon 17-Feb-14 13:00:40

P.S. Don't attend uf you can't afford to or don't want to but I find it depressing that people would judge the type of wedding someone else chooses to have.

whatareyoueventalkingabout Mon 17-Feb-14 13:05:37

Purplebaubles why did they do that????

TwoJackRussellsandababy Mon 17-Feb-14 13:09:40

The best wedding I ever heard about was a pal of my brother who invited all his friends and family over for a BBQ and announced that they were also getting married that afternoon.

My father would have done his nut if we had tried to do the same. For the sake of keeping family happy we had a big do and had all these seating plan etc stress to deal with, but it saved lots more upset with people feeling slighted

Helltotheno Mon 17-Feb-14 13:11:21

Totally agree with your view on this OP, the only difference being that I think if people want to go through all that stuff and consider it good use of their time and reckon it'll pay off in the end, good luck with that.

What I completely don't get is people's expectations around weddings on both sides, ie, if you choose to have your wedding abroad, build into your plans that it won't suit everyone and you won't get everyone you want at the wedding.

Conversely, if you get a wedding invitation, it is actually an option to say 'no' if it doesn't suit. Why tie yourself in knots? No, as MN lovers are fond of saying, is a complete sentence.

Also, if your kids' names are not on invites, they're not invited so you either suck it up and go alone or don't go.
The other side of that coin is, if you choose to have a kid-free wedding, nowt wrong with that, just don't expect everyone to go.

... and so it goes on. All of that stuff I don't get and it's one of the reasons I CBA to go that route (and don't regret that in the slightest).
Don't get why people let themselves be pushed round so much by MILs and friends etc etc. Also don't get how people let themselves be pushed round by bridezilla types...

Not for me, any of it, but each to his/her own I guess.

Thurlow Mon 17-Feb-14 13:11:38

Some of the things people worry about with weddings... Personally I find it a little weird that a wedding is someone's "very special day" but apparently their "special day" generally is exactly like everyone else's "special day". From the weddings I've been to lately there's been a sort of lack of originality - I don't mean that in a nasty way, they've all been wonderful days - but I mean that they have been extremely similar. There is a template to most weddings I've been to recently - a hotel, a white dress, a sit down meal at 4pm, a disco at 7pm etc.

I was thinking about it the other day and trying to work out whether people have been convinced that this is how weddings are done, therefore that is how they want their wedding to be, because they genuinely want their special day to follow this 'template' (for lack of a better word), or whether they just think that this is how a wedding ought to be done... Then I got confused grin

They are NBU to be worried about these things. Sadly a lot of people judge weddings on this 'template' as opposed to just how much fun they had on the day. It's a bit a bit of a vicious circle really.

purplebaubles Mon 17-Feb-14 13:13:16

whatareyoueven I have no idea to this day sad. MIL in particular is a nasty piece of work, but I've never done anything other than try to be nice and include her. Not any more!

soverylucky Mon 17-Feb-14 13:14:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SweetPenelope Mon 17-Feb-14 13:15:38

I think it's about people pretending to be old-fashioned aristocrats for the day - morning suits, stately homes, limousines etc. I think it's sad when people get into debt to do that.

pinkdelight Mon 17-Feb-14 13:16:09

Funny thing is, callin, not a single one of my friends has gone down the conventional wedding route. Some colleagues have done the trad thing, which suited them, but not to stressful degrees. I've only had one not-close friend doing the stressy thing and yes, tbh, I do think she lost the ability to think for herself, fixating on having to have bags of sugared almonds because X had them and so forth. Genuinely can't comprehend why people take on this received notion of what constitutes a good time, when it causes them stress and often isn't their idea of a good time at all.

dashoflime Mon 17-Feb-14 13:18:31

purplebaubles That is horrible shock. I thought my Nana was the best wedding wrecker ever- but your MIL beats even her-

She organised everyone on her side of the family to turn up and Mum and Dad's wedding wearing black to symbolise their deep disappointment with the situation.

Apparently they were only getting married because Mum was pregnant and it would never last. That was 35 years ago and they're still together grin

Anyway- with that sort of nonsense going on at weddings its no wonder people find them stressfull

pussycatdoll Mon 17-Feb-14 13:18:53

Faints !!

Ours was family only at registry office
Family only at posh restaurant
Although there were 20 of us grin

Then disco / buffet with 80 people in evening

I guess it was about 4k but I can't really remember

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 17-Feb-14 13:23:03

I don't understand why those invited get their knickers in such a twist over the B&G's choices.confused.

I have only ever witnessed this on MN and the one thing it has taught me is that since they will not be able to please all of their guests, the B&G should just please themselves. They should have the wedding that they want and guests can decline their invitation if they can't/don't want to go. I read some of the wedding posts here and think the poster should decline the invitation because it is clear that she doesn't like the couple and is using their nuptials as a way to bitch about them on the Internet.

AMumInScotland Mon 17-Feb-14 13:25:48

Seating plans can be useful if you have to work out which parts of which family need to be kept separate from each other for as much of the day as possible...

And who gets which role, within families at least, can be an issue for years to come...

But I agree the rest of what you say sounds very entitled and grasping. If you are making your guests jump through hoops (specific clothes, difficult accommodation) then you ought to pay for it. Otherwise, let them do it their own way and be glad they've managed to make it at all.

shakinstevenslovechild Mon 17-Feb-14 13:25:56

I had mine in the registry office, we all went to the local for some pub grub, and partied there into the night with the resident dj/karaoke guy providing the entertainment. It cost less than £500 all in all and was so relaxed, and all the guests loved it, I could not have been bothered with the whole 18 months planning everything down to the wattage of the lightbulbs at the venue, but some people seem to like all that. We didn't have a wedding present list either, but everyone had a whip round and gave us enough money to have a couple of days away which was unexpected and lovely.

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