VENT: feeling sad & disinterested in wedding planning.

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Sep 28, 2008
Ugh. I love my FI & I can't wait to marry him but I can't help but totally dig in my heels when it comes to all of our wedding planning. Before we got engaged, I was so excited for it all to happen. Now things aren't exactly what I would have hoped for & I don't know how to deal.

When we talked about getting married, both of us immediately talked about having a beautiful, intimate Napa Valley wedding. Neither of us want the Chicago thing & that's that. Destination wedding it is, but Napa is the only place that "seems right" for us. There are so many problems with this plan though. We will probably only invite around 50 people & with the economy being what it is, we will probably have far less than that actually attend. The venue that we think we're interested in (we're going to check it out next weekend) has a food & beverage minimum of $9500...well, that's obviously a lot to spend if we have 20 people show up in the end.

At the same time, though, I don't want us to give up the wedding of our dreams just to have more people attend. Neither of us is particularly close to our extended family & part of me thinks we will end up spending the same budget if not more if we ended up in Chicago. I just can't justify spending $30,000+ for a wedding with 20 people...

All of that is secondary though. The real problem is with my mother. My mom suffers from horrible depression &, over the years, I've seen her get worse & worse. She & I have never been close because she can't see or admit she has a problem. I am the only family member to point out her illness & she resents me for it. Frankly, she is an angry person & very difficult to be around. She doesn't know me, my FI, pr our relationship because she's so caught up in her own drama. She hasn't been involved at ALL since our engagement. I knew this would be the case but it is so painful now that it's reality. She called me yesterday & reamed me out saying she thinks we're stupid for spending money on our wedding when we should be spending it on a house or saving it for a life together but she will help out "a little bit". She isn't happy at ALL for me (I think she's too ill to know how to be) & there's wasn't a single positive comment from her. FI's family can't contribute so we will be paying for almost everything just the two of us which also makes me wince when I think of how much this thing could cost...

I feel like everything is sort of crashing down on me. I found the man I want to spend my life with but our celebration won't be what we want from a wedding. Do we spend an excessive amount of money when most of our family won't make it? When my mom will probably try to ruin the day by making mean negative comments? Do we concede & have a wedding in Chicago which will probably cost the same amount of money but somehow seem justified because of a larger guest list?

I don't feel excited about the planning at all because all of the "pictures" of what I would like my wedding to be like just can't happen. I have even considered eloping- just going somewhere insanely gorgeous with FI for an extra long honeymoon & getting married just the two of us. FI is very close to his mom & siblings though so I know it's not what he really wants & really it's not what I want....but with my mom getting more & more sick & less & less herself, I know I just can't have what I want. All I do is think about those moms who want to be involved, who call their daughters & talk about dress shopping & want to visit venues & who are so happy & proud & kills me not to have that & to witness my mom fall deeper into her depression & watch the rest of family remain silent.

Sorry to be negative- I just really need some unbiased advice. How do you have the wedding of your dreams when so many factors are less than ideal? How can I come to terms with all of this? Thanks for your help, ladies.


Jan 13, 2008
Hi Mrs. Google,

I am so sorry you are feeling down about everything. Maybe you are just having a bad day... I think you should plan a wedding you are excited about, so if that means eloping, having a 20 person wedding, or a 200 person wedding, you should be happy and excited. If you aren't, then maybe you should think about doing something different, maybe something more intimate - like a destination wedding or a small restaurant wedding. The people that matter the most will show up - so don't even worry about numbers.

As for your mother - I am sorry to hear that she is being negative. Sometimes when people are depressed they litterally can't see the light - she isn't doing on purpose to upset you (although it's totally understandeable that it is), she has a mental illness and there is nothing much anyone can do until she is ready to get better. I am sure she would be able to pull it together for 1 day and be there for you on your wedding day. I suggest you sit down and talk to her about your concerns, and if you really think she might ruin you special day that she should consider not coming.

At the end of the day NOBODY's life is perfect. We all have baggage and things that are less than ideal... Some people worry about family feuds, family relationships, crazy in-laws, looking fat on their wedding day, spending too much money, vendors messing up etc... But at the end of the day - your wedding day is about you and your FI - nobody else. Try to surround yourself and invite people to your wedding that really matter to you - and on the day of your wedding - don't even stress. Everyone will be so happy to see you guys together. If they can't put their crap aside for a few hours- then ignore them and go on enjoying your special day with your FI. You will probably be so busy and preoccupied that day you won't eve notice the drama...


Dec 16, 2007
Okay, take a deep breath...

I don't know any bride that hasn't faced planning her wedding without sticker shock, and some sort of disappointment. Weddings are incredibly expensive...and there is no real way to plan for it.

I would really evaluate whats important to you, and follow that. If Napa Valley is where you need to be married, then you need to find a way to simply understand that with that dreams comes a certain price tag. You may only have 20 guests, but they will be attending an incredibly lavish wedding. If you can not swallow the price tag, then prehaps you need to find another happy medium for your wedding to take place. It's okay to compromise, but, it's also okay to go balls to wall...everyday brides do either/or.

As far as your Mom is concerned...I'm very sorry you're going through this...and it's casting a nasty shadow on your happiness. But, you also need to "consider the source" ... depression is a disease, she is fighting a losing battle sadly. If you've never suffered depression, you couldn't understand...being on the outside of it is hard, but it's nothing like being on the inside of it. She may be totally incapable of happiness because of her she truthfully clinically depressed, she's not able to be joyful...her life is lived under a rain cloud...if she cannot find happiness in her life for her own sake, she'll never find it for yours. Understanding that is the first step towards acceptance. It's hard, and I'm sorry for you...but you have to let go of the "expectations" that are only hurting you, and accept reality...don't let her unhappiness cause you unhappiness.

((big hugs))


Jan 11, 2006
Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your mom. That must be extremely disappointing! I wish some other family member would approach her about getting help. I''ll tell you honestly, though, $30,000 for 20 people is WAY over the top. I''d try to find some other venue in the same area. I do think with the economy the way it is, it might be a lot to expect people to go to a destination wedding, though. I wouldn''t settle for an expensive wedding in Chicago when that is not really what you want either. If you can''t find a venue for your 20 people for a lot less than the $9500 minimum, then I''d consider a small wedding with the closest friends and family somewhere closer to where you live and then still go on the fabulous honeymoon. As a mom, I would also not recommend my kids spend $30,000 on a wedding if they did not yet have a house.


Jan 26, 2008
Hey there Mrs. Goggles!!!!

I hear you, on all fronts!!!! My wedding will be in my hometown, where FI and I currently live....but unfortunately, our hometown also happens to be a wildly popular and insanely overpriced travel destination! I have issues with family as well: my cousin''s husband, a man beloved by our whole family, is suffering from stage 4 stomach cancer, and his prognosis is not good. Another cousin is expecting his first child the week of our wedding, and I think that his mom, brothers, and sister will skip our wedding (understandably) to be with him and his wife for the baby''s arrival. My friends are spread out all over the place (everyone moved away from here long ago, except for me) and due to the insane expense of this city, it would probably be a financial hardship for my **ideal** guest list to make it out here...

My mom isn''t very excited about planning either. She has MS, and her energy level is pretty low, plus her medication affects her moods.

it''s a bummer for sure, but ou know what? Our wedding is for fiance and myself. I''m hoping for my "George Bailey" moment (you know, like the end of "It''s a Wonderful Life'' when everyone shows up and comes through for him...) and I''m forging ahead and building my dream wedding. It doesn''t matter if 50 people or 20 people show up; our vows will be every bit as meaningful, our love every bit as strong, our photos every bit as lovely. It''s disappointing, sure, but, hey...mrs. Goggles...guess what: WE''RE GETTING MARRIED!!!!!!!! It will be exciting, it will be fun, it will be meaningful and memorable...the party is just gravy! It''s about standing together with him, and taking the vows which will change and enrich your lives forever. I dare any situation to wipe the huge grin off your face that day!!!!!! It will be AMAZING, it will be magic...I just know that!!!!!


May 18, 2008
I agree with Mediterranean that your mom could still come around. I assume that, due to her illness, she is seeing problems in the wedding. To be fair, though, you seem to be, too. I obviously cannot tell from your post how you are interacting with her, but if you are expecting her to be a burden during the process, my guess is that you are not being terribly positive in your interactions with her. I would think that the more you are completely excited and thankful for her to be a part of your wedding, it will rub off much more than if you think she is going to "ruin" it. Also, I know this isn''t completely a "grass is greener" situation because of your mom''s health, but there are plenty posters who are frustrated with their moms for being too involved and too invested.

As for the cost, I also feel that $30K is a LOT to spend for a 20 person wedding--unless you are covering everyone''s travel expenses fully (which it doesn''t seem like you are). Honestly, if I were going to a DW, I would be irritated to know that the couple shelled out that much money, but didn''t contribute to my travel. If you and your FI are in the situation that you can afford to spend $30K on one day and not be impacted by it, then I would proceed. But, if I would try to find another venue. I don''t think you have to give up Napa by any means, but it seems like your dream was to go to Napa, not a particular venue, so keep that as your focus instead of the venue.


Feb 8, 2009
I totally understand. Everyone says "Enjoy this special time!" What''s so special about it?!
You have to plan a big event & spend a ton of money. Plus, you have this idea of what you want & get slapped in the face by a price tag or other people''s expectations or family issues. Sometimes I feel like I''m going to have a nice day, but that not one thing about it is going to be what I really want. The truth is that it''s stressful & expensive, but I keep trying to remind myself to be grateful for what I have & to remember that the important thing is that FI & I walk out married--everything else is icing on that cake. When all is said & done, he & I will officially be a family. Remember that your fiance is the family and the future you choose.

I''m really sorry about your mom. It must break your heart. Every girl wants her mom to be around for this & nothing anyone can say will change how you feel about it. Like you said, it''s not her--who she really is--that you''re dealing with when someone who struggles with mental illness, but when everything they say or do comes out of that same person''s body, it''s hard to separate. I wish I could do something for you to make it easier.

In your shoes, I might see if you can find another venue, or "elope" with a couple of your closest friends to have the small, intimate, supportive wedding you want & come back home for a party with family & friends. That way everyone who wants to celebrate you can do it even if they''re financially strapped (and your mom can be lost in a crowd).


Dec 31, 2008
Ms.Goggles... I understand your frustration, and I also understand your feelings. I think all brides go through a mild version of the wedding overwhelmed feelings. Your mother drama is unfortunate, but as you said, she is sick.

You can still have the wedding of your dreams. I have heard of people that can get a small ceremony performed, but can cut costs in other ways. It sounds to me, the only person you really want there, is your FH. You could chose to have a destination wedding, and honeymoon of just yourselves. There are a lot of options. If you don't want to spend $30K for 20 people, don't. But don't spend $30K in Chicago because you'd be able to entertain more guests that you didn't care if they were there in the first place.

My girlfriend is getting married in Mexico (her Fh's family is from mexico) they are staying at an allinclusive resort. Since all their guests are paying for their own food, (all inclusive) rooms etc. They just had to cough up $5000 for the wedding package (minister, a bouquet, a photographer). They then are using the difference to apply to a downpayment on their home. She wanted an outdoor wedding, and now she gets one in a beach or in a chapel. They didn't have to worry about anyone or anything. And she has been stress free.

ETA: oh that $5K is for both of them, for room, board, and airfare.

Pandora II

Aug 3, 2006
I''m sorry you are feeling this way, but it is rare that everything goes to plan with weddings IMO.

My mother has MS and depression and was so ill for the 18 months before my wedding that she couldn''t come dress shopping, to wedding shows or anything. She had major surgery and was on huge amounts of diamorphine (heroin) for the 6 weeks before the wedding that she could barely hold a conversation with anyone and was away with the fairies most of the time. She was also in a wheelchair and refused to be in any of the wedding photos because of it.

I would make a decision based on the memories I wanted to have of my wedding day - is it DH and I and amazing scenery, or is it DH and I and the ghastly realities that ALL families are?


Nov 28, 2008
What about the possibility of taking DF, his mom and whoever else is key to your happiness on the wedding day to a Sandals resort (or equiv.) somewhere warm, eloping with the key people, and have a wonderful honeymoon with no drama?
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