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What to do when FIL throw a wrench in things...

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piccolascimmia

Shiny_Rock
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I''m curious...when y''all picked a location for the wedding, how easy was it to decide in what city it would be in? My family is in CA, his family is in PA and we live in GA...which means that its not possible for us to have this in a location where nobody needs to travel. Is it more often where the bride/groom''s family is located...or where the couple lives?

We''re in a quandry...we picked a location, and then found out that his family can''t/won''t travel to that location due to fear of traveling beyond where they''ve been before and some treatable health issues. Fiancee is figuring out how much he wants to have his family there...and I''m fighting the urge to say that if they cared, they''d try to make it work.

I''m trying to stay calm...even though I don''t share their beliefs, they''re as valid as mine. I feel like their refusal is due to them not even trying to rise above their fears. Do other folks who''ve had similar situations usually cave in and have the wedding where the family wants it?

Sorry for the vent/ramble!
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 3, 2006
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It's traditional in the UK to get married in the bride's home town.

I wouldn't move it just because his family were being somewhat pathetic I'm afraid. I mean, what if your family felt the same. It's not like you're asking them to go to Peru or anything. It's still in the same country. If they really want to they'll be there. Sorry, that sounds a bit blunt - but really!
 

ephemery1

Brilliant_Rock
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Hmmm.... most weddings I've attended have been held in the bride's hometown, but I would imagine that's largely because the bride's parents were paying. We've been to a few where the couple covered all costs, and those weddings were usually located somewhere near their current home.

It just makes sense to me that whoever is paying for the wedding would be considered the host... and "hosting" sort of implicitly suggests having it where that person lives... right?

Which means unless they're paying for the wedding, it sounds like your in-laws are being a bit unfair.
 

laine

Brilliant_Rock
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696
I would agree that its traditional to get married in the brides hometown, but also quite reasonable to get married where the couple lives. In that case, you aren''t "choosing" one family over the other, and its probably much easier on you to plan it there. Also, if you''ve been on your own a while, you may have many more ties to where you live than to your own hometown.

On the other hand, if its a case of his parents won''t come if its out of their state, and your parents will travel anywhere, I might consider having it in his hometown. More extended family, I''d probably be less accommodating.
 

piccolascimmia

Shiny_Rock
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Thank you Pandora...that''s pretty much how I feel. But to FI, he has always said he wants them there...so I feel powerless to do anything about this w/o being the heartless one saying his family is lame and we should do what we want without them. Blunt...and hard for him to hear since he hasn''t yet imagined a ceremony/reception w/o them.

Its so hard to imagine not ever traveling (literally or figuratively) outside my comfort zone, but I guess there are lots of folks who don''t!
 

neatfreak

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14,167
We have the same situation. My boyfriend''s family is in CA, mine is in MA, and we live in the midwest! I think that we are going to have the wedding in my hometown, but that is simply because my father is friends with someone who owns a fantastic rental company. They always do my parent''s parties at a significantly reduced rate, meaning I can get nice stuff for my itsy bitsy budget.

If it weren''t for that we probably would have chosen someplace random...or maybe CA since it''s nicer there year round. I say do what you want- if you think it''s silly that your FI''s family won''t travel-leave it up to them. I would think they would end up traveling anyway if you go through with your original plan.

Good luck!
 

piccolascimmia

Shiny_Rock
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Ephemery1 - we're paying for the wedding...and we picked the location because we loved it there and didn't feel right about having it in our current hometown.

Laine - I'm afraid your last point is the only way FI will get to have his family there. Part of me wants to dig my heels in and have it where we want because I think they're being unfair, but the reality is that my family (and likely our close friends) will travel wherever we have it (within reason).

Neatfreak - I'm of your opinion too...I'm tempted to just proceed and let them realize later that they can travel if its important enough to them.
 

janinegirly

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i concur that it is brides hometown. but if that is inconvenient, i would think where bride and groom are located is the next most rational choice. his family should try to make the effort. but if they are digging their heels and this is v. important to FI, then you''ll have to hash out how important this is in the big picture and whether to cater the event more to his family. welcome to weddding planning and in-laws!
 

San Diego Bride

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Apr 9, 2006
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392
boy oh boy, do i feel your pain.

my family lives on the east coast, my husband''s lives in the south. when we got engaged we lived on the west coast (san diego), but knew that we''d soon be moving and didn''t know where. to further complicate matters, my parents moved after i left the house so i don''t really consider where they live my "home town".

we (read I) started planning a wedding in a central location = chicago. while everyone would have to travel, we thought it would be easy for people to get there. and everyone would have to travel the same distance. his family thought it was a great idea since chicago is a fun city and we enjoy going there. my family was not as supportive. suffice it to say that they didn''t go for this...AT ALL. they wanted the wedding they wanted... where they lived, in their church, with all of their guests in attendance. our feelings as a couple didn''t really matter so much. they threw a fit (OK, several fits) and went as far as to refuse to come to the wedding. the weeks that followed were not exactly good times. there were a lot of nasty phone calls and many tears.

in the end my now-husband and i decided to not worry about anyone else and have the wedding that we wanted. coming from a culture where your parents wishes traditionally trump your own throughout your life, this was HUGE for me to stand up for myself and my husband. i planned a (gasp!) outdoor wedding in san diego in a small garden overlooking the water. i gave my parents the information and invited them to either participate in the process fully or not be involved at all. then i sort of held my breath. you know what? they chose to be involved and decided to back me completely. my mom even made my dress. and, in the end, they think it was the most beautiful wedding they''ve attended.

that was probably more than you wanted to know, but i would strongly suggest that you have the wedding whereever you want. it''s your day. people may complain initially (possibly even really loudly), but, in the end, i really believe that the people that matter really will come around. especially if you address their concerns and explain why this is important to you.

good luck!
 

FireGoddess

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It''s not their wedding, and that''s the bottom line. I had the wedding where I lived at the time, because I was paying for the whole thing and I made all the plans. In the end, if there''s no medical reason they can''t travel, they either need to suck it up and come, or decide not to.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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40,198
I could have written your post.

My family lives in CA his in NJ.

My grandfather is 90... motorized wheelchair gets him around.

FI's grandfather is 99... he walks about.

FI's family is also afraid of flying .. about 80% of them.

My family doesn't have a fear of flying, but were resentful when we talked about a NJ wedding because it was 'blatant' favoritism.

The first wedding we planned was in SF, CA... boy was there a stink on his family's side. I had asked his nieces to be my attendants, but the parents were afraid to fly so they wouldn't let thieir kids come out.

We tried to plan one in NJ... gave up because of my family's complaints about the fact that NJ is expensive and ugly (there are parts that are nice... but let's face it, NJ is not San Fran and NY was out of the budget).

We decided that we would either elope or have a wedding in DC.

That way, BOTH families have to travel. It's nuetral. And in the case of DC... withing driving distance for his family and since mine doesn't mind flying... it's fine with them. Plus DC is where we met and lived for the first three years were were together so it's special. Both were happy with this location.

Is there any 'neutral' territory for you guys?

Honestly... DC would be pretty good for you guys too. It's not to far from Atlanta. It's a nice metro area to visit... there's the whole tourism National Capitol thing to counter 'comfort zone' and it's got nice major airports for your family from CA... plus its a lovely place to visit.

Wanna get married in DC?
 

TravelingGal

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17,193
I live in CA. He''s from Australia.

He moved here for me. I felt like the least I could do was having the wedding in Oz.

He said it was tradition to do it in the bride''s hometown. End of story for him. I was touched.

His entire family, including his 81 year old grandmother made the 18hour trip over (including layovers). The irony? My father who lives 2 miles from our wedding site could not make it. The reason? He is sick and could not walk without a walker (actually now he doesn''t walk at all). I thought we would be able to somehow seat him and carry him onto the sand, but he refused. I guess he had too much pride to see many of my family members (and my new family) for the first time in a long time in that condition. So my father did not come to my wedding.

Do it where you want, and enjoy each other. The people that truly want to make it will come.
 

indecisive

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1,240
I think you should keep it in New Orleans!! You don''t want to think back about your wedding and regret not having it somewhere special to you. Plus it is such a gorgeous city and I want to see pics after you have it there



Gypsy- Are you still having the wedding out this way? Do you have a location yet?
 

ladykemma

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 2, 2006
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2,194
bottom line is -- who is paying for it and who is making the arrangements?
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I don''t know Indecisive. I just want to run away to Mexico and get it over with. He still wants a DC wedding. I''ll probably give in to him, but just can''t deal right now with the planning. I have no time to get out there... and have not found a venue... maybe this summer IF I take sometime off and we make it out to DC we''ll have time to look around. But right now... no wedding. Just a gown (gave my Christos gown away), shoes, hatboxes, and a bunch of plans for vendors. And I''ve gained about 10 pounds and can''t fit into my gown... so I''m sort of ignoring the whole thing.

I would like to get FI to agree to getting married here: www.grandvelas.com (which is where I want to honeymoon as well).
 

ladykemma

Ideal_Rock
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2,194
i would tell the family, if they won't fly -- to hire a driver or even charter a van or bus, if there's a herd of people.

hire a car and driver or even one of those small busses for a few days and make a road trip out of it. find a way! there's safety in numbers and 2 experienced drivers to share the driving to new orleans.
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
11,242
Same situation here. FI''s family is in Seattle, mine''s in IL & NY, we live in LA. We ended up choosing LA because: (A) It''s easier to plan locally, and (B) The people who wouldn''t be able to travel for the wedding (our friends) are here, our families will be there no matter what. We also included one of my cousins'' flight costs in our wedding budget, because it''s important to me to have her there (and the only obstacle for her would be the cost of the trip).

If it hadn''t worked out that easily, it probably would have been quite a process... we''d have to figure out who was most important to us to be there and make the location decision based on that.


P.S. RE Gypsy''s post about blatant favoritism--my mom told me I should plan our wedding in Seattle (where FI''s family lives) because she likes to visit there!! Can I just say I was shocked?
Parents are so unpredictable sometimes.
 

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
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11,071
Who is paying for it? If the bride''s family is paying for it it is absolutely ridiculous to think it would be back east. If the groom''s family is paying for it ditto on the west coast. If the bride and groom are footing the bill then have it wherever you want to hve it!! And don''t budge! If they insist on not traveling to your wedding, tell them you''ll be happy to show up back east at a reception paid for on their dime after the honeymoon.
 

piccolascimmia

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
342
Thanks so much everyone, you've made me feel like its not just me! And I think I feel a bit more confident that we'll find a way to figure this out...and for me to be a bit more patient to let FI figure out his stance on either hardlining it, or trying to accommodate them a bit more. And...depending on how this all works out, it could come back to my original desire, which was to have it in the carribean with less fanfare!

Janinegirly - yeah, the catering to the Future In Laws is something that I'd *like* do to but don't *want* to do (i don't want to feed the monster?)! And I thought that since I was relatively laissez faire about the whole thing that meant we'd be able to skip some of this drama :)

Novia - thanks for sharing your story...it definitely struck quite a few chords. I do wonder if his parents would come through once they realize its what we want, and that its not any relflection on them. I also think that his family can be a bit dramatic, so perhaps some cooling off time is in order...

FG, Indecisive- this is what I said before any of this came up! Now I am so conflicted...I want to help my FI get what he wants and I want to have the wedding that WE want. I do wonder if we give them time, explain why we want them there and to try to overcome their fears, that the will save up the $$ and courage to travel.

Gypsy - N.O. is kinda neutral territory, really. But if I interpret neutral as being closer that his family could travel to...then that means Philadelphia, DC, Baltimore or (ugh) Atlantic City. And I just can't seem to get excited at all about any of those places. Plus...if it moves to the NE, then it means that his large italian family will de facto be invited which more than doubles our invite list. N.O. helps us keep that in check.

LadyKemma - FI and I will be paying for it entirely (I will not take any $$ from my parents should they offer, and he hasn't mentioned if his parents have offered). I was trying to keep it small and reasonably priced ~10K, which we could do in New Orleans. They generally don't mind driving, but basically its 12 hours from PA to GA, then ~7 hours from here to NO. Which I agree is daunting, but if it were only about flying, then its a totally doable option. FI had joked aroudn that someone from the family would have volunteered to rent a bus and drive...but after the way the parents reacted, we're not sure that any of the other family would go so far...

Musey - the financial part of this does involve us offering to subsidizing some of their travel expenses. Its harder dealing with their stubbornness and fear.

Cehrabehra - yeah, with reviewing all the options, I have mentioned that if his parents want to throw some kind of party in PA after its all said and done, that would be very kind. They could do all the typical things they do at weddings and I wouldnt feel like I caved in since we still had the wedding where we wanted. But I guess there's also a shadow of familial rejection if we do what we want...perhaps they wouldnt want to celebrate after we went against them. Who knows, but I know I dont want to fork out this hard earned cash to do something that someone else wants!

Again, thanks all for the gut check and encouragement to do what will make us happy. Hopefully within the next week we'll finally be able to move foward!
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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17,758
I sort of hate to even re-live this, but I will tell you my story anyway as a form of opinion.

I was from a small southern IN town, he from Chicago. I was living in Indy post-college when I met him, and then moved to Chicago to be with him. When we got engaged, our original intentions were to have a very small DW somewhere just to avoid this very subject because we both knew either side of our family would have certain issues as far as location. In the end, both of our sets of parents pressured us to have a larger wedding, complete with reception, although they both wanted it on their "turf." Our reasoning for what we chose in the end went sort of like this:

My hometown''s closest airport is 1.5 hrs. away, meaning car rental expenses, less time spent with family, etc.

I had fewer guests who would be attending from OOT on my side if we did it in Chicago.

Chicago was halfway between where most of my family live, north or south, whereas his family was either in Chicago or far western states.

If I were going to have a big wedding, I wanted it to be Chicago vs. my little podunk (but still loved) hometown.

It was easier to find vendors, meet with them, and organize things the way I wanted them in Chicago.

We paid for approximately 1/3rd of wedding expenses, plus photography afterwards (as far as wedding album, prints, family albums, etc.) so we felt like we at least had 50% of say in which city the wedding was held in.

After the fact, my family all had a wonderful time and there were no regrets. In the beginning there were honestly some minor battles, but everything really came together after we found the ceremony/reception venue and my mother fell in love with it. From that point on, she took it upon herself to convince my father that it was the best idea for all involved, lol.

Good luck!
 

San Diego Bride

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
Messages
392
i wish you luck and courage as you make your decision. at the risk of stirring the proverbial pot i think you should look at this as your first big decision (you and fiancee) as a family. if you somehow feel forced to give in on this decision, do you think it will happen for others? each couple obviously needs to do what is right for them, but i would warn you against setting a precedent that gives one family "control" over your decision. after all the stress and the drama it''s all about you and him.
 

piccolascimmia

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
342
Monarch64 - thanks for sharing your story...I do wonder what will end up happening on this and if it will turn out like your story...it does seem like such a indicator of things to come.

Novia - thanks for the luck and courage...I agree that I don''t want this to set a prescedent. But when I look at any past interactions with his family, they really don''t try to interfere or get too deeply involved. I just think that this one seems like a real hot button topic just due to their wedding traditions, FI bucking that trend, as well as the $, fear, travel and health excuses/reasons.

I''m giving FI til this weekend with no questions/reminders from me so that he can figure out if he''ll regret not trying to accommodate his family. Then we''ll figure out what to do. Thanks for the feedback...it made me feel better!
 

eks6426

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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This is your chance as a couple to be independent. If you guys are paying for the wedding entirely have it wherever you want. You can''t please everyone, so just please yourselves. If you cave to what this family member or that wants now you set yourself up for future battles. Stay firm now: it''ll make your life easier down the road AND you get the wedding you want.
 

piccolascimmia

Shiny_Rock
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342
I totally agree with you...but what do I do about reconciling what I think is right vs respecting FI''s wishes to cater to his family? He''s definitely more tied to his family than I am mine, and this is the first time they''ve tried to butt into any of our big decisions. And yes, I think its a slippery slope...cave on this and I wonder what the next thing will be that they want us to cave on.

If it were up to me and the roles were reversed, I''d let my family stew and do what I wanted and hope they''d come around. But...my dynamic with my family is like that, and he''s opposite.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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40,198
I think that you should talk to Fi, about your slippery slope fears and about the wedding in general again. The slippery slope may not even be a real concern... its their son''s wedding, they want to attend, and they have travel restictions. It probably won''t come up again honestly... it''s probably a one time exception.

I would do the wedding in Atlanta, since you live there... and since its closer to the if the N.O. thing really gets to be too complicated.

I do think you should try to accomodate your FI''s feelings re:his family. If the roles were reversed... I''d be pretty frustrated if my SO didn''t understand, and added to, the pressure I was under from my family.

One thing that was very different about my situation, is we both acknowlege and respect the other person''s feelings toward their family... and within reason try to accomodate that. It helps that we keep our communication very open and share our frustrations and concerns. Of course... since we are both accomodating everyone else... we aren''t accomodating ourselves. But to date, we''ve been dealing with that together, and it helps. Even the bad is good togther.
 

cara

Ideal_Rock
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Mar 21, 2006
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I think that if its your FIs honest straightforward wish to have it in a closer to his family then you should accommodate HIM (not his family) in some capacity, especially as your current plan requires your family to travel anyway. But he needs to state his preference plainly and you two should jointly discuss how to have a wedding that makes you both happy - including the complications about if you have it too close to his family then everyone comes and its superexpensive, etc. It doesn't sound like he's asking you to just have it in his hometown right? Is he also concerned about the cost if all his extended family come? Does he have a location in mind that is the right combination of close to his family, nice, and reasonably easy to plan for?

The drive from NE to NO is FAR!

But what I think you're getting at is that culturally or whatever much of your FIs family on principle doesn't want to travel. And you don't want to accommodate them because their principles are silly.

I sympathsize. My story is no where near as bad, as some of my relatives ARE traveling far for my wedding, but I was really really concerned about the expensive lodging costs near our venue cause my family culturally just doesn't stay in hotels. They go "camping" in big RVs, but we are getting married too far from them to do RV travel. So before we booked the wedding venue we searched and searched for reasonably priced hotels in the area. I just didn't see my family paying anything over $60 per night for lodging, which is completely ridiculous in an area where most hotels start at $200 a night. My FI thought it was ridiculous to try to hold the whole wedding location hostage to finding my relatives someplace absurdly inexpensive to stay. We finally found some options near $100 per night and booked the venue and sent the information out... and... my instincts were right. Most of my extended family is staying in cabins at campground an hour and a half away cause they just aren't going to spend $ on a hotel or sleep on the ground at the local campground. Even if they woln't be as able to enjoy the area or meet the other guests or whatever. So I stressed (a lot), my instincts were right, but in the end they have found a solution that suits them even if it wouldn't have been my solution.
 

piccolascimmia

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
342
Thanks again all for the empathy and good advice. To update, his parents said they wouldn''t go to New Orleans, so FI considered keeping it there and waiting them out, or other options. As it turns out, we started talking about having the wedding in Atlanta (where we live), he talked to his parents about that, and they have said they will come. YAY, now we get to finally make progress and find a date/site. I have about 3 places I''m intersted in, so hopefully it won''t be tough to pick one and settle on a date.

Thanks again for your good wishes!
 

Scooba

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 10, 2006
Messages
431
FI is from one state, I''m from another, we live in another, the other logical thing for us was a DW, the people who really want to be there will be there no matter what
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
Family is important on a wedding day, BUT they should try to be a bit more accomodating if they can. Since I do not know why they have these fears, it is hard for me to say, but I would say that they should try to understand your position and do their utmost to be supportive and get there if possible. I am sorry you are dealing with this...
 

Finding_Neverland

Shiny_Rock
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Jan 10, 2007
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My In Laws were not at our wedding. They "couldn''t make it" either.

But then I learned, they didn''t attend ball games, Graduations, or anything the whole time their kids were growing up. If it was something Church related, maybe they were there. Otherwise, nope. No PTA meetings, no class parties, nothing. They didn''t go to Hubby''s brother''s wedding, and it was right there in town, where they live.

Hubby was in the hospital with a kidney stone when our oldest was just a tot. The kidney stone was stuck. The doctor hospitalized him for pain control until they could do lithotypsy. Hubby''s folks didn''t come to see him. Right around the same time, MIL''s sister gets sick with a cold and they ran to visit her. Go figure.

That''s the way they''ve always been. They want us to come see them, but they hardly ever come to see us. I can count on 1 hand the number of times in nearly 30 years my In Laws have been in my home.

This may be the way they are. The type of folks that are not adventuresome. Won''t leave home regardless of what they miss out on.
 
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