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Close family only weddings

(16 Posts)
thecapitalsunited Wed 02-Apr-14 15:11:53

My fiance's family is massive and trying to cut down the guest list to fit in our budget will likely cause a massive problem with his family. My fiance thinks we should get elope and get married without telling anyone. If we do this then we can get married at least a year earlier and won't feel under pressure to have some sort of huge do that we don't want. I don't really want to do that. We've sort of met in the middle with the suggestion that do register office then a meal and we only invite parents, siblings and my remaining grandparent. We would have a party after we came back from our honeymoon. Since parties are cheaper than wedding receptions, we would save a lot of cash doing it this way.

On one hand getting married earlier and not spending tonnes of cash on a reception would be nice but I also don't want to start my marriage by upsetting my future inlaws.

Anyone else done this? Did it cause massive arguments? Did you regret it afterwards?

Lottiedoubtie Wed 02-Apr-14 15:21:41

I think you have to accept you can't please everyone. Think only in terms of what you would prefer.

If that is to elope do that.

If that would upset you and you really want close family there do that.

If it would make you happier to wait a year and do the whole thing, do that!

Personally I had what I considered to be a big wedding (150 guests) and still upset my MIL who couldn't understand why anyone would have less than 250-300 people, she even snuck a few extras in. (About six). I'd have had heart failure if I'd have known what she was planning... But actually on the day it all worked out and the venue were very accommodating!! (To the point that I didn't realise she'd done it until after the wedding breakfast!).

satintaupe Wed 02-Apr-14 15:35:51

We only invited parents, siblings and grandparents and we had a lovely wedding. We put the money into buying a house instead. We have no regrets, we definitely made the right choice for us. I'm sure some family members were upset (close aunties for example), but you have to do what is right for you. To me, the marriage is the most important thing (and to be honest I've never enjoyed 'typical' wedding days - one of those would have been my worst nightmare!).

ToAvoidConversation Wed 02-Apr-14 15:49:56

Someone in our family did this, someone we thought were really close to. They didn't understand why we weren't over the moon (bit more of a back story) but we ended up pretty much losing contact.sad

thecapitalsunited Wed 02-Apr-14 16:16:31

satin, I'm feeling pretty much as you describe. I don't want a typical wedding day anyway and I want to spend the money buying a house together. I don't really know my DF's cousins and I don't want to spend our wedding day watching them literally eating our house deposit.

toavoid, this is what I'm worried about. I don't want to upset the inlaws. I'm not close with my cousins but DF says he considers them to be almost as close as siblings and they all sent cards when we got engaged. I guess I might just have to see what MIL thinks about it.

ToAvoidConversation Wed 02-Apr-14 16:20:30

For us it was strange and really unexpected. Was on DH's side and is family is tiny. Whole family regularly meets up and can all fit in one house but we weren't special enough..despite being a huge part of our wedding.

thecapitalsunited Wed 02-Apr-14 16:34:47

I think we would be telling everyone a long time beforehand and why. I don't want to pick some cousins so its all or nothing really. Maybe I should just get on with it and let DF deal with the flak. He wanted to elope which is surely worse!

expatinscotland Wed 02-Apr-14 16:45:31

I would elope as you probably have relatives like ToAvoid.

crazykat Wed 02-Apr-14 16:49:05

Friends of ours are getting married at the register office with close family as its restricted to 30 guests, then extended family and friends are invited to the reception at the pub with a buffet and dj. Could you do something like this? In effect having the big party after the family meal, or even dropping the meal and just having the big party.

Getting married at a registry office usually cuts down the amount of guests to the whole day due to restricted space.

crazykat Wed 02-Apr-14 16:53:35

Just tell your family that much as you'd like to invite everyone you don't have the budget so you're having a close family wedding with a big party for everyone after. If they don't like it tell them to either help pay for it or get over it. May be a bit blunt but I don't get why people expect you to spend thousands that you don't have. If you want a big wedding and want to save up for a few years then fair enough, your choice, but if you don't want that then don't.

Mummytobe25 Wed 02-Apr-14 17:01:45

We got married in a very small venue, where we could only physically fit 12 guests.
Then we all went to somewhere else after and had a finger buffet type thing and disco and invited everyone we wanted. Didn't cost a lot at all and we got what we wanted.

thecapitalsunited Wed 02-Apr-14 17:13:21

We were going to have the party a few weeks later after the honeymoon so that we could have it somewhere closer to most of the guests. There will be a lot of small children so we thought it was better that they could go to their own beds that night. The register office would be close to where my parents live then we'd have the party in the same town his family live. I suppose we could think about having the party the same day if it looks like everyone will get offended.

Or I could just tell them that this is how its going to be, take it or leave it.

Mummytobe25 Wed 02-Apr-14 18:13:56

We said that to our family & guests also. Certain family members wanted other family members there, and we had to say in the end that it was our wedding, we're doing what we want, end of. They soon stayed quiet. Just don't give in to anything you don't want, we made sure we didn't. We had exactly who we wanted, where we wanted them etc.

crazykat Wed 02-Apr-14 21:44:57

As distance is an issue and you're actually planning the party to be easier for guests to attend I'd stick with your original plan. You're being very thoughtful in having the party closer to most of the guests when most wouldn't.

Maybe explain it like that or just let your fiancé do it as its his family. Tbh though its yours and your fiancé's day so do what makes you happy and if others don't like it tough.

Unfortunately when it comes to weddings you can't please everyone as someone will always find fault with something.

alita7 Thu 03-Apr-14 15:21:32

were loosely planning to get married in the summer we want something really small and super cheap, but as we have a friend who owns a perfect reception venue were hoping she'll let us have a reception with everyone we want (about 150- 200 people to that) she's very generous but we're not assuming just hoping.

now I have a similar problem with the actual wedding. DP has 3 kids but is an only child, his father is estranged from his family, and he has one aunt and uncle (married) and one cousin who has no children, and his grandparents are deceased.

I on the other hand only have 1 brother but my mum has 7 siblings and I have many cousins and grandparents who my dad says I really should invite to the ceremony... plus we have close friends we want to go... but it will be so unbalanced I don't know what to do.

thecapitalsunited Thu 03-Apr-14 16:28:11

We were planning to tell people that we had booked a room that only fit 10 people to cut down on the 'oh but you can't not invite auntie so and so's.

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