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To feel sad that my parents had to go through all this crap on what should have been one of the happiest days of their lives?

(52 Posts)
Timeforanamechangey Thu 05-Nov-15 12:16:35

I went to visit my parents recently, while I was there I happened to look through an album of their wedding photos and decided to ask a few questions I've not asked before about what the day was like etc.

Turns out the whole thing was really quite sad.

There was a big age gap between my parents (mum was 17 dad was 37), and consequently her mum basically disowned her and refused to come to the wedding. Because of the age gap a lot of her friends assumed she was pregnant (she wasn't) and also refused to come to the wedding.

My DM's dad was an alcoholic and on the morning of her wedding was too drunk to stand so she had no one to give her away.

DF's best man was a black man (Africa in the early 80's) so a lot of his/their friends refused to come to the wedding.

Aibu to feel really upset that because of other people my parents' special day was not as happy as it could have or should have been? I've talked to DM about it and she is also quite sad about it, I know one of her greatest wishes is to renew her vows to DF, I so wish I had the money to arrange this for them as they are still together almost 35 years later despite everyone's doubts smile

TheHouseOnTheLane Thu 05-Nov-15 12:19:49

YABU. It's gone now. Many weddings aren't picture perfect. As for the wedding day being "the happiest day of someone's life" I can never handle the idea of the amount of pressure that causes. It's silly. A wedding might be nice it might not. All kinds of things can go wrong and all that matters is that the relationship works out.

yeOldeTrout Thu 05-Nov-15 12:21:55

But also wow, can't you admire your parents enormously for having such courage of their conviction, going ahead against such stiff opposition. Well done them.

summerainbow Thu 05-Nov-15 12:24:07

If your mum want to renew her vows she can do where and she likes . Does not need to anywhere posh . But at the end of day it is up to her and your dad. Don't go paying for show day .

yeOldeTrout Thu 05-Nov-15 12:24:45

Mind, sadly, if any MNer posted that their 17yo was getting married to a 37yo there'd be a pretty mass hysterical reaction.

Booyaka Thu 05-Nov-15 12:29:05

YANBU, and it would be really nice if you could organise something for them to renew their vows. It doesn't have to be expensive or fancy but with their family there and people happy for them.

YA a bit U about your Gran though. I can understand her reservations, especially as it sounds like she'd been through a bad marriage herself. And, tbf, 9 times out of ten with that age gap the man would be a bit of a wrong 'un.

JeffsanArsehole Thu 05-Nov-15 12:30:39

Cue hysterical reaction

I have a 17 year old and I would do everything I could to prevent a 37 year old marrying her. I would take a very dim view of one of my dh's friends leching after dd - sorry, 'falling in love' hmm

I appreciate that you feel it's different for you as its your dad

LuciaInFurs Thu 05-Nov-15 12:31:19

YANBU. I had some of the issues you listed above to deal with on my wedding (racists, age gap and shit parents) and it hurts to think about our wedding day.

But the best revenge is living a happy life and it sounds like your parents have done that. Well done to them on 35 years of marriage.

gabsdot Thu 05-Nov-15 12:37:55

My mum's sister eloped a few days before my parents wedding and on the day she still hadn't been found. My grandparent were frantic and they didn't enjoy the wedding much at all.
When their daughter finally turned up a couple of days later she was a hippy, long hair, barefoot etc. It was a terrible shock for them, She was a good Catholic girl!!!!
Also my dad's brother, the best man argued with his girlfriend for the entire day.
Weddings often bring out the worst in people.

Timeforanamechangey Thu 05-Nov-15 12:47:08

Definately Lucia smile

Obviously their relationship has worked out great and that's the important thing but it just makes me sad that my parents memories of that day are sad and it would be nice for them to have some really good memories by having a renewal. Their wedding was very small and frugal, DM made her own wedding dress because she had no help from anyone and DF was a single dad.

I know that MN generally has a mass hysteria reaction to age gap relationships but my DM, having had an abusive childhood, had been living alone since age 15 and was very mature for her age. DM and DGM did not have a typical mother-daughter relationship at all and parts of it were truly terrible. If her childhood had happened to me I would have gone NC long ago and I don't say that lightly at all. The least she could have done was supported her marrying the man she loved! But that's just my opinion I guess.

miaowmix Thu 05-Nov-15 12:53:41

I think a. you are being too sensitive about the past, and b. I would probably do everything in my power to prevent my 17 year old daughter from marrying a much too old man too.

Pootles2010 Thu 05-Nov-15 13:00:19

Would that be in Scotland, OP? Don't think that would be legal in England, would it?

I must agree with others that I don't think a 17 year old should be getting married to anyone, and it doesn't hurt them to wait - but so glad your parents are happy OP, especially after everything your mum went through.

runlulurun Thu 05-Nov-15 13:05:53

wtf is it with people criticising the age gap!!

I wouldn't worry too much about their wedding day, a happy marriage is worth so much more than a happy wedding day.

If they have had a good 35 years together, then they are very, very fortunate people and the wedding day itself doesn't matter a jot.

Blodss Thu 05-Nov-15 13:06:44

My wedding day was a bit of a nightmare and not the day I wanted at all but it was my Wedding and the day I married my lovely man. Been together 31 years. I don't remember black people been thought of that badly though in 1980. I am surprised at that.

HortonWho Thu 05-Nov-15 13:10:40

Why would you be sad that your DM's abusive parents couldn't ruin her wedding day? Do you really think they would transform into different people and make the day all about the daughter they loved?

wannaBe Thu 05-Nov-15 13:15:59

But it was just a day. Surely the fact that the marriage lasted and they are presumably happy now is what counts? You could have a lavish wedding which cost thousands, the bride/groom could consider it to be the happiest day of their lives and they may go through all manner of awful things for the rest of their marriage.

If a crap wedding day is the only thing they've had to contend with during their marriage then I'd say they've done well.

And while some of the reservations were petty e.g. refusing to go because of a black best man etc, I would say that reservations over a seventeen year old girl marrying a 37 year old man are not unfounded. If my ds wanted to marry a 17 year old when he was 37 I would not be greeting the news with joy either. (or if he wanted to marry a 37 year old)

specialsubject Thu 05-Nov-15 13:27:54

even in the happiest circumstances, wanting your wedding day to be the 'best day of your life' is a) ridiculous and b) depressing because it will be all downhill from there!

Stompylongnose Thu 05-Nov-15 13:31:53

What specialsubject said,

I hope that your parents have had many "Best days in their life".

Poppyblossom Thu 05-Nov-15 13:32:37

It sounds to me like your mother was searching for a father figure and found that in her much elder husband, someone to escape to to create a stable family life of her own.

chicaguapa Thu 05-Nov-15 13:35:22

But also wow, can't you admire your parents enormously for having such courage of their conviction, going ahead against such stiff opposition. Well done them.

^^ This. Believing they were doing the right thing was what was important to them then.

TwoTwoOneBravo Thu 05-Nov-15 13:35:53

Well, the whole day sounds quite stressful which was unfortunate. But I think a long, happy marriage more than cancels that out. I had a really lovely wedding day. Just brilliant. Didn't stop the marriage being shit though.

ivykaty44 Thu 05-Nov-15 13:39:52

I worked for a chsp once who, when hid CD got !married his wife died in the congregation....

I never asked what happened next but always felt really sad for his DD and him losing someone on the day.

The ceremony did take place do their anniversary was the memorial of their mothers death

Bunbaker Thu 05-Nov-15 13:40:15

"DF's best man was a black man (Africa in the early 80's) so a lot of his/their friends refused to come to the wedding."

I find that quite shocking. I grew up in Croydon, which was pretty much a mixture of people from all over the place. I got married in 1981 and my best friend, who happened to be black, came to the wedding. No-one slighted her because of her colour.

I thought that by the 1980s people were less racist, well they certainly were in my circle.

JugglingFromHereToThere Thu 05-Nov-15 13:40:16

I think it's a really nice idea to support your DM in her idea of renewing their vows. You could all have a really lovely day together with much more happiness all round than on the original day. What a nice idea!
I do agree though that anyone's wedding day may or may not be amongst the happiest ones though - depending who you're marrying, the support and behaviour of your guests, whether the sun shines, and what sort of days you like best. We had a nice day but I've preferred others - even with labour I quite liked the days DD and DS were born. But probably tops is a nice relaxed day with DC at the seaside smile

Helenluvsrob Thu 05-Nov-15 13:44:57

I suspect the rose tinted specs of " it should all have been wonderful for them" need removing....

Dressing anything up as the " best day of your life" sets it up for disappointment and all down hill from now on!

Agree as a parent I'd be mighty suspect of a 37yr old wanting to marry my 17yr old. That's definitely material for AIBU on here!

That apart I'm not sure anyone's wedding is perfect is it? Mine wasn't - I had to administer serious first aid to Dsis utter tit of a boyf and the salmon mousse melted. yeah minor stuff.... it was a bloody lovely day but not " perfect". Nice start to 26yrs and counting though!

My parents wedding- his mum didn't attend as she didn't like my mum and " It'd never last" ... it was 1950, clothing was still on ration so mums wedding dress is a yellow day dress that I still have, and the cake tiers were cardboard and plaster except the one they ate. It lasted.... 64yrs till she died in Feb.

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