Weddings, people, managing expectations

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  • Weddings, people, managing expectations
  • Premier Icon NZCol

    Long story but we’re pulling our wedding forward 8 months and making it in the UK and not NZ as planned due to my dad being v ill. Anyhoo, plan was to do it , small, no fuss really just have a nice small day. However now we’re copping a bit of flack from a few quarters for “Not inviting your great Aunty Mable who you saw 23 years ago” – FFS, we just want direct family (parents + siblings) + a best man + a best bird. Seems like theres a bit of emotional warfare going on and I can’t be bothered dealing with it and seeing my missus in tears as her mum is banging on about who we aren;t inviting. Its stressful enough with my dad and trying to organise a wedding in 6 weeks time without all this. D’ya think we’re entitled to sick to our guns or are we being a bit selfish by wanting it our way ?


    It’s your wedding, do what you want. We invited immediate family only – parents, brothers/sisters plus other halves. Had 14 at the wedding, including us. Still married many, many years later.

    Funny thing is my niece has just done the same thing after hearing about what we did. We were’nt invited; we’ve got over it.

    Premier Icon stevomcd

    Do it however you want it mate. I will say though that mrsstevo and I had a huge wedding (not expensive, just lots of people!) and it was, without doubt, the best day of my life. Everyone I knew was there and we felt like superstars for the day.

    You (hopefully!) only do it once so you might as well do it in style!


    Ah mate ’twas ever thus’ and you have my (and I am sure the STW massive’s) real sympathies.

    Here is the only thing you need to remember


    Stick to your guns and don’t cave/ Give your wife to be a hug and say you’re 100% behind what she wants.

    crispy bacon


    Spot on – enough said

    Premier Icon NZCol

    Well we’ve kind of got to have sort of two now anyway – we’ve organised a prety cool party here in NZ which will have about 70 people – this is where we live (i’ve been here 12 years, her 4 years) so for us that will be just a celebration. This bit we have to do obviously but want to keep it small. I guess i’d just expect people to think a bit more before they start blabbing and trying to make us feel bad. So 20 people it is. And anyway – paying for it in pounds from NZ dollars YEOUCH. And paying twice YEOUCH YEOUCH 😉



    i third that!!!!!!!!!!!

    i enjoyed my wedding day but by christ it was stressful until i was sat in the bar after the food and speeches with my mates… who to me were far moer important than aunties and uncles i only see once every 5 years.

    the worst part was the fekin table layout!

    “oh you cant have so and so seating by aunty val”

    “oh you cant have uncle albert sat by mary”

    in the end we just mixed everyone up and it was great!

    best bit of advice is to make sure you and your new wife bugger off for 5 minutes away from the main madness for a chill to take it all in, it flies by and you’ll wake up the next day thinking “did that really happne yesterday”

    Premier Icon NZCol

    “did that really happne yesterday”

    Yes because it was ‘instead’ of another bike – now pay up ! 😀

    Right – advice heeded – i’ll go and wake the missus up for a ‘cuddle’ 😉


    First time, I did the whole gig. Lots of relatives, friends, the lot. A big day which was partially spoil by all the photo taking. By the time we’d had our photos taken with every possible permutation of relatives, we had to dash into the reception and found all the guests were, by now, pished on the champagne.

    Second time, there was just 4 of us. We spent a stupid amount of money on a really top-notch hotel and had a great time. We just told the families that was what we wanted and stuck to our guns.

    I recommend the latter.


    Do it your way for sure.

    Mrs smd’s father was not coming to ours 2 days before the day ‘cos he didn’t like our plans. He got over it. We are still (very) happily married, and have great memories of the day.


    I’m getting Married in April and our venue has a 50 person Capacity. We’re in the BVI so we have our closest friends from here coming and our closest friends from the UK. The only people we’re having trouble with is the family. We’ve had to put our foot down. We’re paying for everything so they can deal with it…


    Just while we’re on the subject, a few years ago I was over at Glyncorryg. It was a lovely summer evening and some one was having their wedding reception at the drop off cafe. All the guests were camping (in tents, not mincing around :wink:), there was a huge BBQ going on on the balcony, the eagles were soaring over head and there were rumours of a large organised bike ride the next day.

    It was **** awesome!

    Premier Icon igm

    You will disappoint someone because you can’t please everyone.

    Just make sure it’s not the bride or the groom.

    We mainly invited friends. Parents and some close family but no grandparents for example.


    If you are paying for it yourselves, its your choice. Don’t get guilt tripped by others selfishness or thier ‘show off’ egos. See them for what they are.


    NZcol – we had to arrange our wedding in 9 weeks for the exact same circumstances. The only way to do it is to ignore everyone apart from your future wife and get on with organising YOUR wedding.

    You are well within your rights to tell everyone else to **** right off.


    We had a big do planned but the wife’s father died a few months before. We ended up cancelling which was a nightmare, people had booked hotel rooms, bought gifts etc, we pissed a lot of people off which just made a bad situation worse.
    So we had a little do, hired a country house hotel in the Lakes and invited parents and siblings only – 17 guests. It was by far the best wedding I’ve ever been to and everyone enjoyed it. Saved a heap of money too, I blew some of it on a surprise helicopter to take us from the church in our village up to the Lakes complete with an aerial tour of all my favourite rides!
    Bottom line, you’ve got a lot on your plate with your old man, don’t let anyone make it worse for you. It’s your day and your closest family are most important. The priority is that they get to see you married and happy no matter what. End of.

    Good luck


    Best of luck to you both, sounds like you need it

    At the end of the day it will be your day, hopefully one of the best days of your lives so do whatever you two want to do and dont let anyone tell you what you should/shouldn’t do.

    If they respect you enough they will know why you have/havent done certain things/invited certain people, if they dont, well you know where you stand with them.

    Premier Icon Onzadog

    As above, you can’t please everyone so make damn sure you please yourselves. We’re just about to jet off to Whistler for two weeks snowboarding and to get married. Only two people are bothering to come with us. They’ll be a bit of a reception when we get home but the wedding is for us.


    I did it with two witnesses and no one else to get round this issue, not even my parents came.

    Didn’t fancy buying 45 people a roast dinner either

    Premier Icon StirlingCrispin

    It’s your day!

    Another option is 1) small ceremony, 2) small dinner 3) massive ceilidh with everyone invited (ceilidhs are way more fun than discos!).

    Show some photos from the ceremony at the entrance to the ceilidh and everyone is happy.

    We did this and everyone was happy (wifey’s family hogged almost all the spaces at 1 and 2, but then they had flown in from Canada.)


    You’re clear about when you are doing it and why. You’re are getting married for your own reasons and the time and place is about your dad, so really its his party too. State that and things should settle.

    You’re only planning to get married once but you don’t need to have one party. My brother had a wedding with two receptions – months apart and in different cities. His wife’s parents have split up and it wasn’t possible to have a do where both of them would come, so her mum was at the wedding and her dad at the second party.

    The second party was also held further south as the Bride and Groom live in Glasgow but a lot of the extended family are from the south coast, and the older the relatives the further they had to travel, so the second do was planned for easier and shorter travel times for those folks.

    One thing they did to deflect any concerns over marked absences was they didn’t have any of the traditional roles, her dad couldn’t be there to give the bride away so there we’re non of those roles – no best man, no bridesmaids. If there were jobs to done they were given to people who could do them well, so my dad was ‘Speech Man’ because he’s a one-man public address system.

    I think if you’re relatives are anxious about people who are not invited its probably more about their own worries about drifting apart from their wider family. Some people only meet their family at weddings and funerals so they’re a big deal. At my friends wedding recently there was a bit of an emotional moment when he realised that he was in the same room as his two brothers and ‘nobody had died’.

    If thats their worry maybe as a family you need to conspire to get together more often. Every now and then my folks throw a party that for all the world looks like a wedding reception – generations of friends and family, meals, free bar, a good band the whole shebang. For no reason or occasion other than to get everyone in one room.


    ‘Happiest day of YOUR lives’

    The wife & I married in Whistler bike park last year, even the witnesses were just other bikers in the park that stopped to watch.

    Don’t let family spoil YOUR day ;D

    your day, your rules.

    we suffered from my mother saying ‘your got to have this and that’ and ‘invite so and so’

    we paired the list down to about 20 people for the service and a few more for the evening. did away with any speeches and table plans having a garden party, with home cooked food, and pleanty of wine and beer laid on. It worked for us.

    as said – do what you want, how you want to. someone will always be disappointed and think you should have done it their way.

    Premier Icon NZCol

    Yep thanks for the advice chaps. Basically we’ve explained why we want it like this – my dad is really looking forward to it, the whole family will be back together so it will be a great day. 4pm quick legal ceremony thing, some champers, nice dinner, few wines – low key. Just family. We’ve already primed those that ‘expected’ to be invited that this is the case on they mostly get it. A couple said they would want to come anyway – so we just made it clear that its family only. Fook me. Its supposed to be fun ! Quite demanding though, some of them forget we live halfway round the world and actually have jobs etc – we’ve had 5 sets basically demand we go and see them – so we organised a meal at the wife to be’s parents and told them we’ll be there for one night only. Jeeeesus. And we won;t get a honeymoon now to fit these baaaastards in. Ho hum, we’ll get one when the roof of the house is of cos we’re rebuilding it !!!!


    yep, agree with the above.

    YOUR wedding, not your auntie Mabel’s. YOUR rules, not anybody else’s. If they don’t like it then they know what they can do.

    In common with a few of the above posts, me & MrsH had a small do: me, her, her parents & sister/BIL; my mum & stepdad, dad & his new family; and a select few others.

    No stoopid party. No speeches unless somebody wanted to make one.

    Oh, and a 14th century castle 😉 because we could afford to by not inviting a million people we haven’t seen since we were children


    I didnt know half the people at my wedding-no wonder it didnt last!
    Best weddings Ive been to have been small “do’s”, or informal affairs.
    Look after your dad, and good luck!


    remind everyone that only 2 people *have* to be there and beyond that everyone else ae welcome guests. anyone you or your better half has never met is not required.


    Well yes it’s your day, but weddings and christenings are also family occasions.

    We mainly invited friends. Parents and some close family but no grandparents for example.

    Isn’t that a bit extreme? Don’t complain when their money goes to the RSPCA.


    I largely agree with many of the posts above in terms of it is your day and you need to ensure you enjoy it and not be overly influenced by other (sometimes overbearing) family members.
    However they are family and in my experience if you upset them needlessly you simply cause avoidable upset and sow seeds of discontent for later.
    Work to find a middle ground and dont listen to some of the extremes above.

    Premier Icon Onzadog

    end of the day, if these people who are getting the hump, don’t realise it’s your day and can’t just accept the facts, they I say let them get the hump. If they then decide not to talk to you for a while then you’re probably better off without them.

    Someone once said to me, “the people in life that are worth crying about, will not be the ones to make you cry; the people who make you cry are the ones who are not worth crying over”

    Premier Icon chakaping

    Isn’t that a bit extreme? Don’t complain when their money goes to the RSPCA.

    Haha, couldn’t have put it better.

    It’s often the case that the parents of those getting married have closer ties to the rest of the family than the bride and groom – so you have to be very diplomatic.

    If you do decide to have a bigger bash, the best tip I can offer is not to use any specific wedding suppliers.

    Just book a venue, hire caterers to do a buffet, don’t have a seating plan (too much hassle), and hire a cheesy mobile disco DJ.

    You’ll save thousands and people will tell you how relaxed and fun it is.

    Premier Icon BoardinBob

    Ah weddings, what a joy. I feel your pain.

    When we told people we were getting married, I expected them to say “oh that’s wonderful”. Instead they say “Oh that’s wonderful, you have to do X, Y & Z”. Everyone’s got an opinion and their opinion is the only one that counts as far as they’re concerned.

    We were getting pushed towards a big extravegant wedding that neither of us wanted so 6 months before we decided stuff everyone else, we informed our parents we were getting married in 4 weeks, they were invited as were brothers and sisters and a few friends. 14 people in total. It was to be a total secret and no other friends and family were to be told until it was done.

    Turned out to be a fantastic day with the people there that we really wanted to be there and everybody enjoyed it far more than some big fiasco with 200 people that you hardly know.


    IT’S YOUR DAY!!!

    mate, with the cost of weddings these days there’s an easy way to sort this out. If your paying just tell the people making the fuss that as having to travel from NZ you’re skint but as long as they pay they can invite anyone they like! I bet things go quite after that.

    Dunno if your london based but there is a JDW you can hire for private functions. Why not throw a wedding party for everyone after the small familly do?? Doesnt have to be that week, sometinme in the future.
    The Knights Templar is a pretty spectacular place in High Holburn . Keeps everyone happy, yes it will cost abit, but nowhere near as much as you think. Its available at weekends as i dont think its open to the public as its normally full of lawyers .

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