Last month, I introduced a new feature to the blog, Ask Burgh Brides. Have a question about wedding planning, need some advice, or just want to bounce an idea off of someone? I'm all ears! Fill out the form at the link above and I'll answer a few each month or so right here.
First up? A question from Maddie, who is getting married this September. Maddie writes…
“My fiance and I are having an intimate, very ‘us' wedding this September. We're not getting married in a church, and we're only inviting parents/siblings/surviving grandparents. Neither of us have ever wanted a traditional or big wedding, and we don't have the money to throw a party for 200 people anyway. We're having a cookout with our friends the day after to celebrate with them, and the day after that, my fiance's parents are hosting a big party for us with his extended family.
There are some people who already have hurt feelings over our wedding plans (cousins who wanted their daughter to be the flower girl, a grandma who can't believe we're not inviting her other son). There are also some who will definitely have hurt feelings because they wanted to attend, but won't be invited.
I've explained to these family members as delicately and lovingly as I can where we are coming from, and yet some people just don't get it. How can I address these people in a respectful way that also shows that I'm not going to change my mind about our plans? Some people are pressuring us to change our plans to accommodate them and it's really starting to become hurtful. Also, how can I announce to extended family members that we got married in a loving, respectful way? I know that some people send out wedding announcements after the fact but it seems like that might reopen hurt feelings.”
Wow, Maddie, you are making me start this series with a tough one! It's a shame that family members are pressuring you to change your wedding plans or are making you feel guilty about them. I suppose they mean well and are just upset because they were hoping to share your special day with you. However, that doesn't change the fact that you want what you want – a small, intimate affair for close family members. I hate to say this because it sounds brattier than I intend for it to but – it's your wedding. Don't feel the need to apologize for your wishes and desires, or worse yet, change your plans. By explaining things in a respectful and loving way, you're doing all you can. Unfortunately, there will always be some people who will never understand why you're doing what you're doing. But that's ok because it's not their wedding (see a few sentences ago). It's a tough situation but my best advice to remain your sweet, polite self, explaining your wishes in a respectful way, but to try and not to let them rain on your wedding day parade! If your parents are supportive of your plans, it could help to have them in your corner, explaining things to hurt family members and trying to smooth things over with them.
As far as announcements go, they certainly aren't mandatory. If you feel that they may pour salt on some people's wounds, then don't feel obligated to send them. But for those guests who took the lack of an invitation in stride, wedding announcements are a nice idea. Hopefully receiving an announcement will remind the former folks just how in love and happy you are, making them forget about their hurt feelings.
Readers, what advice would you offer to Maddie? Comment below and help a fellow Burgh Bride out!