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“Our Parents Want To Throw Us a Wedding, But I REALLY Don’t Want One”

Home Forums Get Advice, Give Advice “Our Parents Want To Throw Us a Wedding, But I REALLY Don’t Want One”

This topic contains 25 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by avatar Leslie Joan 3 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #696210 Reply
    Dear Wendy
    Dear Wendy

    From a LW:

    My partner and I will celebrate our 8th anniversary this fall. We are domestically partnered in the State of Oregon, which we did prior to gay marriage being legalized. Marriage obviously provides more legal rights and safeguards, and further, it’s my educated belief that domestic partnership benefits will start being rescinded now that there’s the option of marriage. For those reasons, my partner and I have agreed that at some point we should probably get officially married.

    The problem is… I’m nearly 40 years old and I grew up gay in a culture where marriage wasn’t an option at all. I’ve never expected to get married and, honestly, I really don’t want a wedding. I once said I’d rather break up and live alone in a cabin for the rest of my life than have a wedding, and I meant it! My partner is almost a decade younger than me and doesn’t have the same “oh hell no” reaction to a wedding, though she’s not exactly enthused about it either.

    Both of our moms want to fund a big celebration for us. Nice, right?! No one here is being excluded from family… my mom considers my partner her daughter, and vice versa. There’s no concern about drama, rudeness, or closet homophobes casting dispersions. Our families – those who have met – get along well.

    My question is this: I pretty much have to suck it up and accept that we’re going to have some variation on a wedding, don’t I? My partner says “we’ll just let my mom throw a party”, and I’m not going to argue with that… their support means the world to us and I would never want to tarnish relationships over this issue. That said, I REALLY REALLY don’t want a wedding! For the record, my reasons are 1) unnecessary cost; 2) I’m incredibly introverted and hate crowds; and 3) planning details of events drives me crazy, and not in a good way.

    #696212 Reply

    I really don’t think you have to suck it up and have a wedding. I think you can just explain that you’re really not into having a wedding. You love that she offered, that’s so sweet, but no, thank you. If there’s a kind of *party* you’d be comfortable with having, provided your mom and wife and her mom could do most of the planning, you could agree to that.

    #696213 Reply

    My husband and I didn’t really want a wedding. We wanted to go to the courthouse with our parents and surviving grandparent, and then we wanted to take everyone to dinner.

    That’s all we wanted, that was the amount we were willing to spend.

    My mother, usually a pretty lax lady, wanted more of a celebration. I was her only daughter, and it turns out, family is pretty excited about these things.

    We went back and forth a few times, and eventually I told her, we’ll do more of a big deal, invite more family, but my fiance and I are only willing to spend this amount. If you’re willing to spend more for us to do more, you are welcome to do that.

    And then she did. And I just relinquished a lot of control and let her make decisions. And it was fine. It wasn’t my dream day, but then again, I never had a dream wedding. I was kind of mad about it for a while, but a few years later, I realize it was for my family anyways, so it’s fine. Wedding for family, marriage was just for us.

    So, I’d kind of agree with your partner. Let your mom do what she wants *if* she’s willing to foot the bill. If she isn’t, too bad, you won’t be bullied into spending money you don’t have (or aren’t willing to part with). And if she agrees, just sit back and go with it. It’s just one day, and it is coming from a place of love.

    #696215 Reply

    Like Kate, I don’t think that you just have to “suck it up” and have a wedding. You have your wishes and desires and this is regarding YOU so, you can kindly explain to your mom that you don’t want a wedding for the reasons that you mentioned before. It’s great to have support from both your families but that doesn’t mean that you have to do something that you’re not comfortable with.
    IF there is some kind of celebration that you’d be willing to have, do think about that. Or if you really want to please them, then don’t think of this as a wedding but more like a party, and let your mom be in the spotlight.

    #696217 Reply
    Dear Wendy
    Dear Wendy

    I’d say that the fact that you’re incredibly introverted, hate crowds, and planning details drive you crazy are all good reasons not to have a big wedding. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have and wouldn’t enjoy a celebration. I don’t know what that looks like exactly, but if you have parents who are willing to pay for it, that gives you a budget to play around with. Maybe you have a courthouse wedding followed by a wonderful dinner in a rented-out restaurant (or room in a restaurant) with, like, 20-30 (or whatever you’re comfortable with) of your closest family and friends. Maybe you get married in a beautiful setting and have a catered affair — again for a manageable number of guests. Is that something that everyone could agree on pretty quickly (a small wedding, I mean)? Is a small wedding something you feel comfortable with? Could you agree to leave the details to the ones paying for it and just make a few stipulations about the things that are most important to you (like size, guest list, and whatever other few details matter to you)?

    If even this level of planning makes you anxious, I absolutely don’t think you have to suck it up and have a wedding at all. You and your partner can elope and let loved ones know about it later. Of course, you’ll have to deal with their disappointment over not being included, but maybe that’s a small price to pay to avoid wedding-planning drama?

    #696218 Reply

    Hey, I’m the LW — so, our families both have money. We don’t… we live in Portland and are doing that dumb thing where we’re trying to follow our dreams. So yeah, our moms can both afford to throw any kind of festivity we (or they) would like. My mom is way more chill… a party thrown by her would be much more fun, but it’s really my partner’s mom who wants to do it. My partner’s sister may not marry, at least not soon (she’s a musician dedicated to her band for the moment). I have a hetero brother who’s married with kids, so my family has already had their wedding expense and drama quota filled.

    Anyway… my partner is from San Clemente in Orange County, so I really do like visiting. It’s basically like a most-expenses-paid vacation to paradise with some family dinners thrown into the mix. It looks like the forum consensus for now is to be cool with a party and just be hands off about the planning, which sounds great to me.

    I know that I’m lucky. There are tons of gay couples who have very few family members who support them, while my partner and I don’t have a single family member between us who is unsupportive (at this point… I was kicked out of my house for being gay, but that was like 20 years ago now). Because I’ve witnessed how far both of our families have come in terms of acceptance and love, I think it would be a pretty shitty maneuver to distance them from us now. My partner’s mom was very sad that we got domestically partnered without telling anyone except my mom, and that was just because she watched our dog while we were away from the weekend.

    So anyway. I’m glad to know that letting the moms plan a party without my input is fine, because I’m definitely good with that scenario as well.

    #696219 Reply

    You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to, but if it means a lot to them to celebrate your wedding publicly, maybe you could meet them halfway. Something smaller than they would prefer but larger than you’d want ideally?

    #696226 Reply

    As an introvert who hates crowds, do you know what I would do? I would elope, sooner rather than later, and then tell your Moms, guess what! We’re married!

    They’ll be happy that you’re married, and you’ll be able to duck all wedding questions with a “Thanks Mom(s), but we’re already married”. They can throw a congratulations party for you, but you won’t have to be involved in the planning. Just show up and smile and hug your friends and family. I think that will take all the pressure off.

    You’re not obliged to go through a big wedding for your parents, and if they’re anything like my parents, being married means a lot to their generation. If they talk to me about weddings, they’re really hinting that they hope I get married, no matter how, because to them marriage is really important and has a lot of meaning.

    #696227 Reply

    I was a little confused because it sounds like you’re OK with a party and not a wedding, but then you also sort of sound like you’re not OK with a party either. I think it’s important to determine exactly what you’re willing to compromise on and what you’re not willing to. If you are fine with a party, then let them do it. If you’re not, then let them know.

    #696229 Reply

    Honestly? You owe it to the MIILLIONS of gay people NOT as fortunate as you that suffer instead from their own families’ alienation and rejection to have this wedding. It also sounds like your partner kinda sorta wants this wedding. Just. Fucking. Do. It.

    #696241 Reply

    If you can embrace the absurdity of a wedding when you’re already essentially married go for it. Keep it to family and close friends and celebrate your love with good food, music, booze, and cake. I was pretty much terrified of having a wedding and it was honestly amazing. Having almost every single person I love in one place all wishing us well was overwhelming and just incredible. It only happens once (hopefully) and it’s over in a matter of hours. If someone is willing to handle the annoying crap like invites and centerpieces you have hit the jackpot and can just relax and have fun. Life is short have a party. (Unless you realllllly don’t want to in which case elope).

    #696242 Reply

    Mark, no, I don’t owe it to other gay people. You misunderstand. I’m thankful for having what a lot of people don’t have. I think that love and acceptance should be met with love and acceptance. Most parents, things like weddings are just assumed for their kids. That is not true for most parents of gay kids. My mom used to be very anti gay marriage. Now she’s not. If she wants to throw a party, I’m not going to fight too hard about it. As you’re well aware, if straight people don’t want a wedding, then they’re modern or liberal or quirky or whatever. When a gay person refuses their family’s offer, it’s going to be interpreted completely differently. Like we’re rejecting their traditions, like we’re afraid of them or don’t trust them, that we think we’re better or more enlightened than them. I don’t see the point in fighting it.

    It’s like when people say they’ll pray for me if I’m sick or whatnot. I’m not religious, but this world is full of negativity… I’m not about to start fights and hard feelings over what’s intended to be kind. For me, that’s not a sensible calculation.

    And yeah, what I really don’t want is a wedding, but I’m not particularly into a party either. That said, if I can avoid most of the planning, I’m cool with that. I’d really rather not do any of it, but minimizing my role will make it manageable.

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