Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “My Mom Wants to Wear White on my Wedding Day”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

I am to be married in July next year to the best man in the world. However, my mom and dad — who are paying almost all of the wedding — are very bitterly divorced. I have not had my mother in my life since I was 15 and it was not until a few years ago that I made up with her and built some boundaries so I could forgive her for leaving me. She is a slight wine-acholic — always been one — and can be very selfish at times. She has a very “when I feel like it and only when it dose not interfere with my lifestyle” thing about her. My dad, on the other hand, is trying to be as willing and helpful as he can and trying not to say what he feels about my mother. He is all about going to the venues to look at them with me, but when it gets to girly he gets bored — lol, I think that’s a dad thing.

So, how should I deal with my mother without flipping out on her because she only sees things her way? She wants to wear white on my wedding day and I’m trying to tell her that’s not OK she also dose not want to do the wedding some place near where I and most of my fiance’s family lives, which will make it hard on his 87-year-old grandparents and his mother who needs o2 to help her breathe. What should I say to make it clear to her that this is a problem? I feel like I don’t know what to do and I am all alone in the planning. Well, not really — my fiance helps with some stuff, and my friends help me whenever they are not working or in school (we girls like to talk a lot about it and we have all gone on diets so we will look good on my big day!). But still, how should I word it out to my mother and what should I do if she gets wasted at my wedding? If my mom’s stressing me out this early is it even worth her share of the money she plans to chip in for the wedding? My dad would take a third mortgage on the house if it meant my day was awesome. — Stressed out Bride

192 comments… add one
  • JK

    JK July 4, 2012, 9:13 am

    OK. I´ll try to be as nice as possible.

    LW you want to make all the decisions about the wedding? What about postponing it, saving money and paying for it by yourself? You would make your father take out a 3rd mortgage to pay for your wedding? WTF?

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    • JK

      JK July 4, 2012, 9:16 am

      Also: to get married you´re supposed to be an adult. Adults communicate.
      And quit it with the “my day”.

      Why do these wedding letters bring out the bitch in me?

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      • avatar

        Clare July 4, 2012, 9:20 am

        Because people are crazy! If you can’t afford to have a big wedding, don’t have one! And if you have the maturity level of a 14 year old, maybe you should wait to get married.

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      • JK

        JK July 4, 2012, 9:21 am

        Thanks Clare! I never know if it´s just me. 🙂

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      • avatar

        Clare July 4, 2012, 9:24 am

        Definitely not. The more I think about big, expensive, elaborate weddings, the less I want one. I’d rather just have family and close friends… even if that means I get fewer gifts!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray July 4, 2012, 11:54 am

        Wait, this is CB the I, right? I get confused. There are a lot of CBs on DW.

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      • avatar

        Clare July 4, 2012, 11:55 am

        CB2. Not the intern.

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      • JK

        JK July 4, 2012, 11:58 am

        Love how you´ve embraced your nickname. 🙂

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    • avatar

      Flake July 4, 2012, 9:22 am

      ”My dad would take a third mortgage on the house if it meant my day was awesome”

      You would really do this to your loving and devoted father???

      Get a life, a job, and when you have enough money to pay for ”your awesome day”, then feel free to do whatever you like.

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      • avatar

        MissDre July 4, 2012, 10:02 am

        I just have to stand up for the LW a little bit… I’m sure she didn’t mean that she wants him to do that. I think she’s just trying to express how much her father cares about her and that she feels he’d do anything to make her happy.

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      • avatar

        oldie July 4, 2012, 10:19 am

        If she doesn’t want him to do that, then she doesn’t take his money, knowing that he will have to put a 3rd mortgage on his house to give her the money. Tons of people are losing homes in this economy with this sort of behavior. If she is marriage age, her Dad is of an age where he needs to consider providing for his retirement. A third mortgage is a horrific idea, yet LW seems to view it as her entitlement. I think she is emotionally blackmailing her parents and punishing them for divorcing. If she finds her mother’s behavior and demands so unreasonable, then don’t take her money. Have a wedding of the scale that she can afford. The world will not end if her mother wears white.

        This letter reads like LW does not want her mother at the wedding, cringes at how she might behave, but is trying to maneuver for the least of her mother’s desires/behavior that she can get away with and still get her money.

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      • avatar

        Flake July 4, 2012, 11:04 am

        That could be an exaggeration.. But something tells me that if her mother suddenly pulled her money out, scaling the wedding back would not be her first choice. And as someone has already mentioned, ‘third mortgage’ implies that there already is a second mortgage, which is not exactly a sign that the father can afford her ‘awesome’ day as is.

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      • avatar

        MissDre July 4, 2012, 12:49 pm

        I guess I’m the only person who thought it was just a figure of speech.

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      • avatar

        Visharoo July 5, 2012, 11:36 am

        I agree MissDre… I think she was using it as a figure of speech to show the difference in how she perceives her parents’ devotion/emotions towards her.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow July 4, 2012, 2:19 pm

        omg did you guys see the Say Yes to the Dress where the bride’s father was going to sell his Harley so he could pay for his daughter’s ridiculously expensive gown? His Harley was like his baby! AND SHE WAS GOING TO LET HIM DO IT. I was almost in tears.

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      • avatar

        Christy July 5, 2012, 8:58 am

        OMG no, how did it turn out?

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow July 5, 2012, 9:28 am

        He paid for her ridiculously priced gown that she wanted, but managed to do it without selling his Harley.

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      • avatar

        camille905 July 5, 2012, 9:32 am

        I DIDI see that episode! It was totally crazy! To be fair (if I remember correctly) the bride didn’t WANT her father to do that and was going to not get the dress because she felt it was too expensive. But her father really wanted to.

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      • katie

        katie July 5, 2012, 9:33 am

        i absolutely cannot believe the prices for those gowns on that show… like, i die a little bit each time i’ve seen it at how much people ACTUALLY pay for a dress…

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      • theattack

        theattack July 5, 2012, 1:09 pm

        I’ve only seen the show once, but the dress I saw in the episode was more expensive than my entire wedding budget. I almost had a heart attack.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow July 5, 2012, 9:57 am

        Yeah, he really wanted to… but she was still going to let him.

        Truth be told, I would feel slightly insulted if my family was THAT excited about my wedding. I don’t know how to word this correctly because that came out wrong. But I don’t like the idea that a wedding, for a woman, is like THE culmination of her life, or THE most important day/event in a woman’s life. And like someone said above, no one really cares about the groom. It’s the bride’s day. It’s her day to be a princess or a queen or live out a fairy tale or some other bullshit like that. Just because you found a man who wants to marry you? I’m happy for you, sure. I’m OK with celebrating others’ romantic relationships. But weddings are becoming something else entirely. Oh AND they make people crazy, as evidenced by all the letters and comments we’ve seen lately.

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      • avatar

        Riefer July 6, 2012, 11:22 am

        This is the same reason I’m not crazy about bridal showers and baby showers. They started as a way to celebrate the woman “succeeding” in what was essentially her only job, to get married and have babies. The sad thing is that once you did those two things, there were no more successes to look forward to. I mean, of course there are your own little personal successes, but nothing that gets celebrated on a big scale. Your 50th wedding anniversay I guess, if you get there.

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      • avatar

        Nadine July 6, 2012, 11:25 am

        I totally agree. I would hope my parents would be more excited about personal achievements, rather than, you know, finding someone who could stand to be around me for years and years.

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    • avatar

      jlyfsh July 4, 2012, 9:22 am

      you’re not the only one. the things people think about weddings makes me crazy.

      she definitely does need to either learn to communicate with her Mother about this or accept that fact that taking money from relatives often means having to listen to their opinions. If you don’t want to, don’t take money from them.

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    • avatar

      diamore July 4, 2012, 9:42 am

      Yeah… I think that if you’re expecting/asking relatives to chip in for the wedding, they do get a say. That’s why it’s best just to pay for it yourself, LW.

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      • avatar

        kali July 4, 2012, 2:18 pm

        Seems like even if Mom doesn’t pony up any cash, she still might want to wear white and get blotto.

        LW needs to tell Mom in no uncertain terms, ‘no white’ and assign someone to escort her away from the party (possibly to a quiet room where she can sober up) if she overindulges.

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      • avatar

        Riefer July 6, 2012, 11:26 am

        But what difference does it make if she wears white? One of my friends wore white at my wedding. I’m pretty sure people still realized I was the bride.

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    • avatar

      Amanda July 4, 2012, 10:38 am

      LW, by the tone of your letter you sound way too immature to get married. Would you really allow your father to take out a third mortgage on his home to pay for your wedding? Are you fucking serious? That is disgusting to say the least.

      As someone about to be married (and paying for the wedding without parental help), it’s important to keep in mind why you are having a wedding, i.e. to get married to your mate. That’s it. If you are more concerned with throwing a party than starting a marriage, I would urge you to postpone the wedding. Also, if you postpone, you and your fiance could save money and pay for the wedding youselves. If you are paying, you have control. Control will allow you to tell your mother that she can come to your wedding in the location that you want to have it and wearing a color dress that you designate.

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      • JK

        JK July 4, 2012, 11:29 am

        What? You mean it´s possible to be a future bride and keep your sanity? I´m shocked!

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      • avatar

        Amanda July 4, 2012, 1:53 pm

        Thanks JK! I’m really trying. One month to go and I can’t wait until it’s over!

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      • JK

        JK July 4, 2012, 1:58 pm

        I´m sure you´ll have a great day (and more importantly, marriage), it certainly sounds like you have the right attitude!

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    • avatar

      Caris July 4, 2012, 11:41 am

      This letters make me quite mad too. Not just you JK. 😀

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark July 4, 2012, 12:31 pm

      Yeah, that last line about a third mortgage set me off, too. The sense of entitlement is hilarious… If your THAT insecure that you think your mom’s going to upstage you by wearing white, well, I don’t really know what to say…

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      • avatar

        Tracey July 4, 2012, 12:41 pm

        I think you said it all…I don’t understand this letter, or the mindset of the people involved, at all. SMH….

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      • avatar

        GTR July 4, 2012, 11:06 pm

        For me the dealbreaker was the fact that LW’s first complaint about her mother wasn’t the issue with the care of the elderly, or the possibility of public drunkenness, or the financial burden on dad, but… drumroll… her audacity to consider wearing white to her daughter’s wedding!

        Honey, have you considered the possibility that the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree? In not letting this go and being the bigger, more considerate person, you are being just like her!

        Harsh, I know. But here’s a lighter aspect that may calm your fears: white is a very unforgiving colour. You’ll look great, thanks to your youth, your diet and what’s likely to be the most expensive dress in the building. She, by contrast, will look like a middle-aged woman crammed into a tube sock. Sometimes giving people enough rope to hang themselves is the most elegant solution.

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      • avatar

        Riefer July 6, 2012, 11:28 am

        Literally lol’d at the tube sock comment.

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      • avatar

        MsMisery July 5, 2012, 1:14 pm

        PEOPLE MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO TELL WHO IS WHO!!! WHAT IF THE PRIEST ACCIDENTALLY MARRIES MY MOTHER AND MY FIANCEE!!11! THE HORROR.

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  • avatar

    Clare July 4, 2012, 9:16 am

    Yikes. I don’t think you should take any money from your mother to help out with your wedding — it sounds like you don’t even want her to be there. As for wearing white, you can explain why you don’t want her to but when it comes down to it, you can’t actually stop her (unless you ban her from even coming). Focus on having the wedding and reception that works best for you and your fiancé. As for planning the wedding, your fiancé should help you! It sounds like you’ve got a good support system with him, your friends, and your dad, so just stay calm and focus on planning the kind of wedding you and your fiancé want. But, please don’t make your dad take out a third mortgage! Stay within a reasonable budget of what you can afford without your mom’s support.

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  • FireStar

    FireStar July 4, 2012, 9:24 am

    A third mortgage? For a party? That is insane. How about you scale back a little instead of driving your dad into debt? The goal for the day is to get married and start a life with your partner. Releasing doves (or whatever you think justifies the thought of a THIRD mortgage) doesn’t make you any more married. Seriously. All a wedding reception is is a party.
    As for your mom – set boundaries. If her ‘input’ isn’t worth her contribution then tell her no thanks. The venue will be where my fiancé and I decide and we’d love it if you can make it. As for the white dress – that’s tacky on her part – and that is exactly how it will look to everyone else. So tell her you would rather she didn’t as it is considered bad manners but just leave it after that. Her choice of dress is a commentary on her … not you.

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    • avatar

      Lindsay July 4, 2012, 9:43 am

      I agree. Besides, to be honest, a lot of wedding guests are not as thrilled as brides are about attending weddings. So, really, all that money is often wasted because all the guests want is to see somebody get married and then eat some food and dance. They aren’t that picky. And a third mortgage implies a second mortgage, which implies that they already may be trying to tighten their purse strings.

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    • avatar

      ele4phant July 4, 2012, 12:16 pm

      Pretty sure the whole third mortgage thing was just an allegory about how loving and willing to help her father is, that he WOULD be willing to do this, not that he necessarily has.

      I don’t think he is literally taking out a third mortgage for this wedding.

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      • avatar

        MissDre July 4, 2012, 12:51 pm

        Yeah, that’s what I thought. I’m actually quite baffled that people are taking her so literally.

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh July 4, 2012, 9:32 am

    As much as it sucks when you accept money from people you also accept their opinions. If her opinions are too much for you and you can’t find a way to communicate with her in a better way, I’d say it’s better not to take the money. And as much as you may want to control what your Mother wears, you may not be able to. She’s not the first person I’ve seen wear white to a wedding, do other people make comments about it, maybe, but does it really matter? You need to ask yourself if that battle is worth fighting.

    As far as her drinking I’m not sure because I don’t have any experience dealing with a parent like that. I would enlist the help of other people to keep an eye on her. Whether that be a friend, your Dad or another relative.

    And as much as it’s hard to do you often have to change your expectations based on your budget. Figure your budget out first, without your Father going to crazy lengths, and then make the wedding fit the budget.

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  • avatar

    diamore July 4, 2012, 9:37 am

    So…you haven’t talked your mother since you were 15, made up with her but not the point where you could trust her, and now she has to pay for your wedding? When parents pay for weddings they feel entitled to get what they want – cos they’re paying for it. First off, pay for your own damn wedding! Especially if you don’t want your mother telling you where to hold it, and if you don’t want her wearing white you’ll have to tell her.(Personally, I don’t think it’s a big deal since she’s your mother). Especially if it makes your dad take out a THIRD MORTGAGE on his house.

    If you’re insisting they pay for it, then you will probably have to compromise with your mother’s and father’s wishes. I would suggest the compromise be on the colour of dress and not the venue since your fiance’s mum and grandparents have difficulties traveling and want it close to home.

    Final question: Why isn’t your fiance/his parents helping to pay for the wedding (since you/yours are)? – it’s his “big day” too!

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    • avatar

      Wendy (not Wendy) July 4, 2012, 9:42 am

      That isn’t fair–this is the way it is in the US and most Western countries, the bride’s family pays for the wedding. Some couples work out other arrangements, sure, but there’s nothing weird or unfair about the bride’s family paying, except that it could be considered unfair on a societal level. Usually the groom/groom’s family pays for certain aspects of the weekend and the process.

      I get the feeling from the poster that her dad is the kind who would be hurt if he didn’t pay for his daughter’s wedding. I’m hoping the “third mortgage”‘ comment was just hyperbole, an illustration of how much her dad adores her–lucky her!

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      • avatar

        MMcG July 4, 2012, 9:57 am

        Concur on the hyperbole. I am paying for half my wedding, parents half and then his parents the rehearsal dinner (somewhat traditional split in the US) but there is no way my dad wouldn’t be putting money out… My mom and I have to control him, but I’m his only child and it’s something you can tell he’s looked forward to forever and since it’s expected as a tradition it would probably kill him if he wasn’t on the invite and taking care of things.

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      • avatar

        diamore July 4, 2012, 10:19 am

        I don’t understand why it matters if it’s tradition. My parents would laugh if I told them I expected them to pay for my wedding, and I’m very near and dear to their hearts. And I never said it was weird or unfair.

        What I was trying to say is that if she’s paying as well as her parents, why can’t her fiance chip in and help with the expenses, especially since everyone expects to have a say in this wedding. I think that’s only fair. If the LW pays for it entirely on her own, then she makes all the decisions, but since she’s not she has to deal with all this drama of her mother – who she doesn’t even want at the reception.

        That’s fine if her dad wants to pay for some of it, but the LW has to be aware that she must consider her father’s wishes for the wedding too (which it seems she does). And how does him paying for some of her wedding demonstrate that he adores her? It’s just money.

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      • avatar

        MMcG July 4, 2012, 10:55 am

        When tradition matters to your parents, it matters. I’m not saying I’m foisting something on them to feel or do – they offered because it is 100% completely normal and expected among our friends/family/region to do so – to the point where if I had done it all on my own (unless there were special circumstances like a deployment or something) they would have felt embarrassed and insulted.

        This father could be the same way… there’s just so much hate upthread for this LW when she never said anyone took a mortgage out to pay for anything! Her parents might not even have mortgages!! It was an extreme statement to make a point, that her Dad would do anything for her while her Mom left her (sidenote: I think she could use some counseling to deal with mother leaving issues as well which I think are coming into play here…)

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      • Lady_Red

        Red_Lady July 9, 2012, 1:49 am

        My parents are the same way – they insisted on paying for the wedding, even though my fiance & I could have done it on our own (we even tried to talk them out of paying for it, or letting us pay half). It meant a lot to them to pay for their daughter’s wedding, and luckily they didn’t have too many ideas that clashed w/ what my husband and I wanted, or it might have gotten awkward. But it ended up being an absolutely perfect day, and it was so wonderful to see how happy my parents were. So just because your parents want to pay for your wedding doesn’t mean you’re a spoiled brat.

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      • avatar

        painted_lady July 4, 2012, 11:57 am

        Ha! I one told my mom (jokingly), “You know, it’s traditional for the bride’s family to foot the bill.” My mom responded, “It’s also traditional for the mother of the bride to have a major say in all the decision-making. And you know how much I love pink.” This has been a “fight” between us for years, I hate pink, she loves it. I was all, “Right, so I’m paying for my own damn wedding.”

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      • avatar

        Flake July 4, 2012, 11:44 am

        What I don’t understand is, how is this different from traditional dowry? What is the

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    • Imsostartled

      Imsostartled July 4, 2012, 3:41 pm

      I think it’s been recommended on here before, but for anyone planning a wedding I would recommend apracticalwedding.com and the book that Meg wrote (A Practical Wedding). I just got married 2 weeks ago and that website saved me so much stress. It basically says fuck whatever the wedding industry is telling you and do your own thing and don’t worry about all the crap you “think” you need for a wedding, because you really don’t. It’s so easy to get sucked into everything.

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  • avatar

    Lindsay July 4, 2012, 9:40 am

    I’ve never really understood the concept of parents paying for weddings in the 21st century. If you want to be able to make your own decisions about the wedding, then you need to pay for it yourself. In an ideal world, maybe parents would chip in for their children’s weddings and then graciously let the bride and groom make their own choices. But that’s not always how it works. Regardless, you can express to your mother that you’d prefer she not wear white, but you can’t really control that. As for her drinking too much at the wedding, is there someone who can keep an eye on her and make her take a break at some point, if needed?

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    • avatar

      MMcG July 4, 2012, 10:01 am

      Sometimes parents have looked forward for decades for the moment when they can give their little girl away… if I had told my father he wasn’t contributing to my wedding it would have crushed our really good relationship. As you say, sometimes you luck out and get uber functional parents…I’ve got them but given most advice columns I’d wager that the line between independent parent and independent adult child these days is also blurred… which is made worse by a wedding.

      Also, weddings these days are out of control but I think it’s as much keeping up with the Joneses on the parental front than bridezillas… it’s like an arms race out there in blush and bashful!

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      • avatar

        painted_lady July 4, 2012, 11:59 am

        Her colors are pink and pink.

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    • niki

      niki July 4, 2012, 10:06 am

      My mother’s generation has had it so easy when it comes to planning weddings! When she got married in the late 70’s it was still customary for the parents to pay for the wedding. Now that me and my siblings are getting married it is customary to pay for your own wedding. Therefore, there is a whole generation who has no idea what it is like to pay for an event of this magnitude! I’m obviously speaking in generalizations but I point this out to my mother all the time when she comments on the weddings of other people and the choices they made. She cannot judge because she’s never had to pay for a wedding!

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        MMcG July 4, 2012, 10:18 am

        Second you on the generational differences… and “helpful” suggestions… I would love to do that mom – if only it still cost $1.50 like it did in 1969 when you got married… but it costs $1,500 now so probably not. And the inflation was only a slight exaggeration, I had friends get married a decade ago (in the 2000s people!! not even the 90s) that are completely boggled by not just the costs but the multiple events and all the wedding websites and boards – they are jealous because they didn’t have all that fun stuff to look over, and I had to explain that after a while those websites become a place of stress where you realize that you don’t have enough time to make your own color coded, hand embossed, thematic menus… and then you remember you weren’t having menus, repeat.

        I blame the internet on the wedding industrial arms race… now that everyone can share regional differences in how to celebrate it doesn’t become pick and choose – but all – which is kinda crazy.

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      diamore July 4, 2012, 10:22 am

      OMG! Yes, Lindsay, this is EXACTLY how I feel! Not all parents have the money to pay for a lavish wedding, and if they do they expect some say in the decisions.

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    • avatar

      Riefer July 6, 2012, 11:36 am

      My parents gave me a giant cheque as a wedding gift which paid for half the wedding. My fiance’s dad did the same, and then my grandfather told me he’d cover the “tip” at the reception dinner, but he basically covered the whole thing. We didn’t know any of that was coming. It was actually a beautiful way to do it, because my fiance and I had planned a reasonable wedding that we could afford, and none of the parents were pushy about anything, and we didn’t feel like they had to be included in all the decision-making because they weren’t paying. There was so little stress this way, and I think that’s why they did it. It makes me tear up just thinking about it.

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  • avatar

    demoiselle July 4, 2012, 9:41 am

    It seems like your mom wearing white for your wedding is the smallest problem here. Let her wear what she wants if she comes. I doubt that the color dress she wears will distract from you at all.

    Other people above have dealt with the many other issues in your letter re: your wedding. If you want control, you have to pay for most of the wedding yourself. That may mean scaling back. And that may not be a bad thing if you find yourself stuck with most of the planning.

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  • avatar

    Guy Friday July 4, 2012, 9:45 am

    Ok, folks, chill the hell out on the “third mortgage” thing. The LW didn’t say she was going to make her father pay; she said he’d do it if he needed to, which is the kind of hyperbolic statement people make when they’re trying to illustrate a particular characteristic about a person. In this case, the LW is trying to contrast the attitudes of her parents. So how about you put the knives down for a minute?

    Look, LW, just make the call on wedding stuff if you’re going to make the call. Don’t get all Hamlet about it. When I got married, my wife’s parents insisted on paying, and we were lucky enough that they didn’t make too many demands of us; mostly, it was requesting that certain appetizers be available and that we invite their list of friends, which they were paying for anyway. And, honestly, there’s nothing wrong with deferring to them on certain details out of respect for their contributions. But there were a couple of things that we disagreed on, and when we felt strongly about what we wanted (for example, when we decided on the wedding colors), we simply said to them respectfully “We appreciate your input, but this is what we’re going to do.” So don’t waffle; just do that. One of two things is going to happen:

    1.) She’ll grumble but accept your choice
    2.) She’ll threaten/refuse to pay

    If it’s 1, you got what you want. If it’s 2, then your choice becomes paying for it yourself or changing your choice of whatever it is. But this isn’t complicated; you either do what she wants or you don’t, and it comes down to which option is more palatable to you.

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    • avatar

      MissDre July 4, 2012, 10:05 am

      Yeah, your first paragraph is what I thought. In no way did I think she was saying she’d actually ask her father to do that. She’s just trying to express that he would do anything to make her happy.

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      • Leroy

        Leroy July 4, 2012, 11:24 am

        That’s how I took it as well, as a figure of speech.

        In the LW’s defense, if she has a strained relationship with her mother – who had abandoned her, and seems like a real piece of work – there are likely other dynamics at play that may make it difficult for her to see things clearly. So I wouldn’t be too hard on her.

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    • theattack

      theattack July 4, 2012, 6:05 pm

      Yeah, You can’t expect the people of DW to resist a chance to rip apart a bride. But your advice is perfect, and it’s so simple.

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      • avatar

        Guy Friday July 5, 2012, 10:21 am

        Well, thank you for that 🙂 But am I the only one who finds it a little roll-my-eyes funny that the people who are agreeing with you about how awful the DW community is to brides are the same people ripping apart the brides in the first place? What ever happened to people trying to empathize with the LWs instead of simply assuming their logic must be better?

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  • avatar

    Kath July 4, 2012, 9:50 am

    And why on earth does the color of your mother’s dress matter? Or anyone’s dress?

    Be an adult. Pay for your own wedding. Then plan the wedding you can afford. You’ll be less stressed out, and your guests will be grateful that they’re not stuck at yet another ridiculously overdone wedding.

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  • avatar

    demoiselle July 4, 2012, 9:51 am

    Nothing to do with the letter itself, but I must say I am getting tired of the floods of wedding letters that hit all the advice columns I read. I imagine the columnists are getting tired of them, too.

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      MMcG July 4, 2012, 9:54 am

      I’m getting tired of planning my own wedding… I never really liked them to begin with and now I get to have fun arguments about centerpieces and bouquets that involve me saying “Do you remember what color the tablecloth was at XX’s wedding? NO – then not important:)”

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        Desiree July 4, 2012, 11:36 am

        I hear you on this one. I was really tempted to elope, but my fiance’s huge Catholic family (and probably my own mother as well) would have killed me for it. My dad actually tried to bribe me to elope so he wouldn’t have to deal with all the wedding fuss. Weddings are kinda crazy these days.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow July 4, 2012, 2:32 pm

      Yeah, but look at the traffic it draws for Wendy! There are almost 400 comments on the potluck wedding thread, and last Friday in Shortcuts, the wedding letter got the bulk of the attention even though there were also 2 trainwrecky relationship letters.

      People get CRAZY about weddings!!

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      • avatar

        demoiselle July 4, 2012, 3:07 pm

        That’s true. And traffic is good for Wendy. But I may end up passing over the wedding letters in the future (which is of course every reader’s choice).

        I hope the increased traffic leads to an influx of letters on other topics–and not to more on weddings!

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      • theattack

        theattack July 4, 2012, 6:08 pm

        Same here. After yesterday, I’m going to have to either skip wedding posts or just leave DW altogether. People get crazy, mean, and judgmental about weddings, and they take it out on everyone who disagrees with them too.

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        lets_be_honest July 4, 2012, 7:30 pm

        Agreed. I think everyone feels defensive about their own weddings or plan for their wedding, which isn’t the case when the LW writes about something people have opinions but no experience in. Once again got so aggravated reading today, I didn’t even want to comment. Fwiw I was glad someone saw things the way I did. You and JK.

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      • theattack

        theattack July 4, 2012, 7:50 pm

        I was really glad about you guys agreeing too. Honestly, yesterday completely shocked me. People are getting so judgmental about what brides want, and they tend to think that if someone is doing something differently from what they did/think they would do, then they’re selfish, need a reality check, and might even be too immature to get married.

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        lets_be_honest July 4, 2012, 7:54 pm

        It’s weird because the first wedding thread this year everyone was saying if you are the bride or groom you get to make the decisions and no one should dictate “your big day”. I think you nailed it though, all is ok so long as its how the commenter had their wedding.
        Although I do think there is a hell of a lot of greed, unspoken or not, in weddings these days. It’s a shame.

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      • JK

        JK July 4, 2012, 7:57 pm

        Yep. It´s the greed and entitlement in so many of these letters that bug me so much.

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      • theattack

        theattack July 4, 2012, 8:05 pm

        You’re exactly right! I thought there was a change in the DW attitude too. And I definitely agree that there’s a lot of greed with weddings, and it does disgust me. Either way, I won’t be bringing any of my wedding issues here. Wendy’s great, but the community can be like sharks. I feel like if I told people I’m saving money by not having wedding favors, I would be selfish by denying my guests the opportunity to throw something away as soon as they got home.

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      • JK

        JK July 4, 2012, 8:10 pm

        I´ve never seen the point in party favors, anyway. And seriously? If someone criticizes you for trying to save money on your wedding, just know that you have your priorities straight.

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      • JK

        JK July 4, 2012, 8:11 pm

        And I just saw what you wrote above, don´t leave DW! I´ve always enjoyed or at least appreciated your comments, even though we haven´t always agreed.

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      • theattack

        theattack July 4, 2012, 8:36 pm

        Thanks, JK! That really does make me feel better. I enjoy commenting here so much, but I can’t handle it emotionally if people continue to accuse me of being a horrible person, or if people continue to say it’s acceptable to personally attack me. We’ll just have to see.

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        lets_be_honest July 4, 2012, 8:12 pm

        It’s so true, you really can’t win no matter what you, the actual bride, chooses. When i mentioned saying I would say presence instead of presents, people said that might be construed as saying I’m too good for your gifts or something.
        Oh and the kicker was that I was “taking it personally”. I’ve never even been freaking engaged! Good luck with yours although it doesn’t sound like you’ll need it! The one bonus for these letters is a huge reminder that I don’t want a wedding.

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      • theattack

        theattack July 4, 2012, 8:25 pm

        I thought your “presence” idea was SO cute! I would so do that, except that I really actually would appreciate any help in starting our new household together. (Read: This doesn’t mean I expect presents, but that if anyone wants to bring us a gift, it would actually really help us a lot since we don’t have much.)

        I don’t know why you were accused of taking it personally. I was certainly taking it personally, but not you. And thanks for the faith too! You are totally welcome at our wedding. You can be my reminder that I can just mentally give the finger to anything I don’t want.

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        jlyfsh July 4, 2012, 9:09 pm

        that’s why you elope lbh and create a cute postcard to send to everyone. you’ll still get flack for that too, but since the wedding it already over it’s less stressful 😉

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      • katie

        Katie July 4, 2012, 10:17 pm

        here is my theory on why weddings are so weirdly attacked:

        a wedding is a weird party where the bride is the center of attention. no attention is really paid to the groom, sad but true. the center of attention stuff is way, way more pronounced in a wedding because not only are you the center of attention because people are there to celebrate you, you are physically the center of attention pretty much all the time… walk down the aisle, ceremony, first dance, father daughter dance (mother son dances are recent things, as far as i know), cutting the cake.. i mean, its endless. atleast at a birthday party the only physical center of attention you get is the singing part, and what does that last, 2 minutes? so its this weird situation where you are literally treated like a queen… and then there is also the point that weddings started out as a show of wealth, a show of what caliber of family your family was marrying into, ect.. is always been a kind of circus.

        so, because people are treated like a queen, they start acting like one, and ordering people around. i really think that is the root of it. because of all the physicality of being the center of attention, they are able to order the people in their lives around and somehow feel ok about this. and, in my opinion atleast, that is what makes a bridezilla or a tacky bride or whatever. the kind of bride who orders everyone around for the day to do their bidding.

        so if you would look at it a little differently, the whole doing what you would like to do is evident in each letter. each bride and groom should be able to have a wedding they like (that doesnt mean they get to order people around, though, you know?)- so you should not expect gifts from guests, because that is a form of ordering people around (you better get me a gift! ect). you also should not assign people a dish to bring to a wedding potluck, because that is also ordering your guests around like you are a queen….

        so thats what i think. i think that the tacky/miss manners part of everything will always be debatable… should a bride on her third marriage still throw a big party? i dunno, debatable. should a bride have a potluck for a wedding reception? i dunno, debatable. should a brides mom wear white? again, debatable. should a bride order around her guests, including dictating dress color and assigning dishes to people who might not be into the potluck thing? no, i dont think so. thats too much of a queen-y kind of control… and its a kind of control that stems right from one person, and so i think thats why i get really angry about it.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson July 4, 2012, 10:35 pm

        Katie – I think you hit so many nails on the head. No one likes to be told what to do – and traditionally as a guest you are told to show up and celebrate – not show up with a specific gift and a specific food item – it’s weird. I mean I’ll say it again – I don’t think there is anything wrong with a potluck wedding – but ordering your guests around too much becomes offensive – I mean we are still guests right? And you’re the host? Don’t host a party and then make me pay for it.

        It’s a fine line – and I get that it’s nearly impossible to please everyone – so I just hope people use their common sense and don’t act like entitled high maintenance brats. I have bridezillas. Like calm down. Who cares what other people wear.

        I had a super small wedding and the things you think are going to be awkward – like wasted relatives – end up being the best stories to tell later. The most disasters that happen the more great war stories you have from the day. I just think people need to relax a little more and quit being so “GIRL – don’t even TELL me that bitch is wearing white? Who does she think she is? Coming to MY WEDDING trying to upstage me. HMMPH”

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        6napkinburger July 5, 2012, 12:21 pm

        If that was me who jumped on you, I didn’t mean it to come out like that at all!!!

        I think it comes down to the fact that I actually like “traditional” wedding stuff and hate when everyone rips it apart, especially when calling it selfish, materialistic and immature. It’s like hating disneyworld. It’s overpriced and stressful and there isn’t actually any point to it. But it usually makes people happy, it isn’t an everyday thing and it’s an experience you never forget.

        And so.

        Wedding Rules According to 6napkinburger:
        -I think it’s ridiculous of someone not explicitly asked by the bride to wear white, and I don’t think it’s self-centered to have an issue with it.
        -I think it’s ok to expect presents and I don’t think registries are tacky. (though that doesn’t mean I think that they are mandatory — presents or registries). I think it’s also ok to be excited about presents. You’d be excited if you bought it for yourself; it’s ok if you’re excited that someone else is buying it for you.
        – I think that brides have a right to tell their bridesmaids what to wear and if bridesmaids don’t want to wear it, they should bow out. I think that brides should only tell their bridesmaids to wear things they would ever wear again.
        – I think its ok for parents to pitch in and I don’t think that you need to be old enough/settled enough to pay for a wedding fully by yourself in order to get married. I think waiting until you can afford the wedding to get married instead of taking money from people who want to give it to you out of love is sad.
        – I think that couples should be mindful of their guests enjoyment but should also be mindful of their own enjoyment and they should balance the two when they conflict. I think guests should do the same, deferring to the couple’s happiness when they conflict.
        -I think wedding favors are usually stupid but harmless. I think if they make you happy, you should do them.
        -I think that everyone thinks their wedding food is amazing and it usually is not. I think people should consider this when choosing their price point for food.
        – I think that actively trying to make your wedding memorable for your guests is a waste of time — it won’t be. I think making it memborable for yourself is not.
        -I think that you have your whole life to celebrate your marriage and there’s nothing wrong with spending one day to celebrate your wedding and this doesn’t mean you’ve “missed the point.”

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson July 4, 2012, 10:28 pm

        It’s funny theattack that you’re complaining about people getting defensive – when from what I’ve seen you are the one getting defensive and taking everything REALLY personally. And I know you’re planning a wedding so it might feel personal, but I mean we don’t know you and from what you’ve disclosed your wedding situation is a lot different from a 55 year old on their 3rd wedding.

        Don’t get mad at me LBH and the attack for saying this! I love you both! It’s just a strange topic to get heated and I think you might be taking it personally because you are planning a wedding right now. Don’t get me wrong some people on DW told me that I was selfish for having a destination wedding – but I laughed it off – because I know it was selfish so who cares? My mom is super classy and would never let me do anything to embarrass her – so why should I care? I just think it’s weird how personally you’re taking things when it’s not like you’ve listed everything you’re doing for your wedding and people have told you you’re a terrible person. You’ve commented on an LW and other readers have too. How is that personal?

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      • theattack

        theattack July 4, 2012, 11:12 pm

        I am most certainly taking everything personally, and part of it is unreasonable, yes, but not all of it is. It was personal because yesterday’s situation sounded quite normal for me because it’s the sort of culture I grew up in. I felt like it was an insult to me and my family because people used such strong language about that bride, and they basically called her a horrible person. So when I defended something saying it wasn’t the worst thing in the world, and someone else says that anyone who could possibly do that is just horrible, then by extension, they’re saying I’m a horrible person too.

        Then someone had the nerve to insinuate that they loved their family and friends more than I love mine. That was personal. But everyone used very strong language toward that bride, which seemed disproportionate for what she was doing. It’s totally expected to disagree with something and think their behavior is a little out of line, but that’s no reason to attack someone’s character.

        And then later martha said that I deserved to be personally attacked because I was doing that to sarobelle in the other thread, when I never even commented on that. And six people liked that comment, despite the fact that I stated it was incorrect. It just made me feel very hated, which isn’t really that different from how I usually feel here anyway.

        I didn’t even mean to say that other people are getting defensive. I think they’re being somewhat offensive and mean.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson July 4, 2012, 11:20 pm

        Aw sad. I’m sorry everything came off that way. From my point of view this is the way I see it – you’re young, and on your first marriage. If you have a potluck it’s cute and fun. If you’re 55 and this isn’t your first (or second) rodeo – it’s weird. I just feel that way. So I think you interpreted people saying that bride sucked and therefore you suck – well your situations is COMPLETELY different. Don’t have hurt feelings, that makes me sad, you’re a great part of this community. And don’t worry you’re not the only one that gets ripped a new one – there was a threat about destination weddings being selfish and I was told by someone (can’t remember who now) that I was selfish. But I guess I just have super thick skin and didn’t care. But don’t take anything (too) personally and don’t leave!

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        Vathena July 5, 2012, 12:50 pm

        theattack, if you see this, I was one of the commenters who strongly disagreed with the 55-year-old bride’s demands of her guests in Tuesday’s post, and I’m sorry if I made you feel bad. I completely agree with you that a potluck wedding can be a GREAT idea and fun for everyone involved, under the right circumstances. (I’m from the Midwest where we called such events a “pitch-in” — no one outside my hometown has ever heard of this term, though! I’m always on the hunt for validation on that!)

        I think, for me, the line between “have the day you want” and “that’s so tacky” is when guests are burdened with an explicit price of admission to the event. So, things like your bridesmaids or lack thereof, the centerpieces, your shoes, are trivial and do not affect your guests’ wallets or comfort at your wedding. It’s ridiculous for people to pass judgment on things like that. The destination wedding thing is also silly to argue over – unless you are putting undue pressure on people to spend their money, have the wedding where you want and let the chips fall where they may. Anymore, people are so scattered that most weddings are “destination”, whether the destination is Nebraska or the Bahamas. Pitch-in wedding? Go for it! But don’t dictate the specific dishes AND also demand gifts, and let people off the hook if they express discomfort with cooking macaroni salad for 20, or whatever. A marrying couple should not be ordering people around, or demanding that their guests will in fact host *them*. The line, to me, is crossed when the guests are stressed and uncomfortable about duties and costs they unwittingly assumed when they accepted the invitation to the wedding.

        That was a very long-winded way to try and explain my position – whew! I agree with iwannatalktosampson, I hope you didn’t feel ganged up on. I appreciated your point of view and it made me really think about why I felt the way I did, and hopefully articulate it more clearly and in a respectful way. Good luck with everything you are planning right now (oh and it does sound like that professor of yours is a colossal sleaze, and I hope you reconsider reporting his behavior! He deserves a smackdown) 🙂

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        Temperance July 5, 2012, 6:11 pm

        Most people, myself included, clarified many times that the issues were that it was a third wedding for a well-off 55-year old woman with 100 guests at a manor estate, and that some people already expressed reservations about being expected to bring their assigned item, and she responded by affirming that she was expecting every guest to bring the assigned item. It wasn’t a slam on potlucks, appropriate potluck weddings, or the cultures where it’s acceptable, it was a slam on a woman who came across as rude and demanding, particularly because she was having a blowout for a third wedding and expecting those close to her to furnish it.

        I don’t know you, but I can tell from your photo that you are not like her, and I’m sorry that you were hurt yesterday. The bride in the letter made me absolutely angry because I saw her as selfish and greedy, partially because of how I was raised (you get ONE wedding, unless you are widowed or one party has not been married before and the other has only been married once prior; you only ever get one bridal shower or baby shower, barring extenuating baby shower circumstances).

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        Martha July 5, 2012, 6:23 pm

        I asked why you were complaining. I did not say you deserved to be attacked.

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        GatorGirl July 5, 2012, 12:59 pm

        Don’t leave! And don’t abandon the wedding stuff! You’re my wedding buddy! People do get a little harsh sometimes, but it’s easy to when you’re online. I appreciate your comments and the different point of veiw that you (and all DW commentors) bring!

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    MMcG July 4, 2012, 9:52 am

    What your mother wears is not the problem, the world will judge her for that and not think any less of you (especially if they know the backstory). Seriously, let that one go… gives your guests something to comment on:)

    On the paying for things angle – I didn’t read the LW as saying that the Dad was going to take out a mortgage (agreed – that would be ridiculous) I read that as a hyperbolic comment to reinforce DAD = YEAH! MOM = boo:( So my comments come from there… However, whatI don’t understand how 2 people who went through such a bitter divorce are paying for something together!?! I completely agree that people who are paying should have input (within some reason) so surely if they are both paying there are things that can be carved out for each to make it easier because otherwise you could have the situation of trying to please 2 different masters on the money front?? They can’t actually be splitting each vendor 50/50 so try and figure out what mom is paying for (if you can manage it to be the thing you care the least about – even better!) and what dad is contributing for and at least you know who to work with.

    On the location front – that’s where reasonableness comes in and “ability for groom’s mom and grandmom to attend because of health issues” is kinda a trump card. Anything beyond that is ridiculous (and trust me, I’ve got less than 90 days to go till my wedding and it gets more ridiculous)so I would stick to my guns there, and try to make sure your dad is the one paying for the venue!!!

    On the drinking front – I’ve heard of assigning someone to shadow to person to getting into cahoots with the bartenders and ensuring she gets watered down/mini servings and they run out of her favorite bottle… another reason for dad to handle reception;-) Something like above that you won’t be judged for, but can impact other people’s ability to have a good time (unlike a dress) so you are good to be thinking ahead!!

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  • niki

    niki July 4, 2012, 10:01 am

    LW- How do you make it clear that these issues are all problems? You tell her! Ex: “We are planning to be married at X because traveling is difficult for fiancee’s grandmother.” Or, “I understand that I can’t dictate what you wear the day of the wedding, but I would really appreciate it if you do not wear white.” If she throws a hissy fit, then explain again, calmly. If she threatens to take away the money she was giving you for the wedding tell her that you understand and you will find a way to pay for the wedding yourself.

    If you are old enough to be married, you are old enough to create some boundaries. You are obviously not alone in the planning, you have your fiancee and your friends. I know girls dream of having their mothers there while going through this process, but life doesn’t always work out the way we would like. And if your mom gets drunk at the wedding, make sure someone is designated beforehand to take her home.

    Ok, that’s my practical advice. Now I understand that I don’t know you and I certainly don’t want to make assumptions (but I’m about to…..), LW, you sound reallllllly young. (Me and my friends love to talk about the wedding and are going diets to look super cute yay!) Obviously, I could be way wrong. But the tone of the letter reads young. I’m not saying that getting married young won’t work. I’m sure at least 50 people would be more than happy to comment that they got married young and are happy with 6 kids and yada yada yada. However, I only think getting married young will work when the parties involved are mature and responsible. If you are, you should have no trouble setting boundaries with your mother and taking on the financial burden of paying for your own wedding. But, I’m just not getting the sense that you are capable of either. Again, I could be waaaaay off. But if I’m right, then maybe you should consider waiting to get married.

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    • JK

      JK July 4, 2012, 10:04 am

      I totally agree with your last paragraph. The lol was a dead give away.

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        MMcG July 4, 2012, 10:23 am

        Seconded – marriage is starting your own independent, adult household – and it seems like this girl, and many sadly, just are not ready. If you aren’t at a point where you COULD do it on your own, and have some boundary conversations with respect and civility without temper tantrums or whatever, well then maybe you should settle in for a long engagement… read some books (Seven Principles book is a fave of mine) see a premarital counselor… and in this case maybe an individual counselor because I wonder if this isn’t a case of wishing your mom was a different mom who would be there for you and support you on your wedding day.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B July 4, 2012, 10:38 am

        Yep, she does sound young.

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      painted_lady July 4, 2012, 12:15 pm

      Walter and I were having a conversation the other night about people who get married young. In the south/Bible belt they do it partly because it’s normalized here, partly because you’re either marrying so that you can have sex or marrying the first person you had sex with (no offense to the waiting-till-marriage ladies here – I’m just saying the bulk of people I know).

      Trouble is, most people start having sex in their mid to late teens, with some holdouts into early twenties. Not a bad thing, IMO, people are horny! But your brain doesn’t completely finish forming until 25ish…so people are making decisions with an incomplete brain. And then at 25 or so,they’re like, “Oh god, this shit was for *life,* man! What have I done!”

      Moral of the story: don’t make any major life decisions till your brain stops growing.

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        jlyfsh July 4, 2012, 1:45 pm

        yes and then a lot of those same people who got married at 25 or younger (which is like half my high school graduating class) are now going through bitter divorces or on their second marriage.

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        painted_lady July 4, 2012, 2:09 pm

        Walter’s high school girlfriend is one of these people. She spent three years not sleeping with him and then dumped him for a dude she promptly started doing the deed with. The only person she told was a girl who was also a good friend of mine. She told me several years later that Walter’s ex had followed up the story with, “And now I have to marry him.” And she married him at 22, and promptly divorced him shortly after their 3rd anniversary…and is now marrying the next guy she slept with. I’m not sure why marrying every person you have sex with is a better plan than just having sex and moving on…

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      • KKZ

        KKZ July 5, 2012, 12:26 pm

        Moral of the story: don’t make any major life decisions till your brain stops growing.

        Thumbs up to this – and, tongue-in-cheek I add, but we’re expected to have our college majors and careers all picked out by 18! That’s always seemed kinda crazy to me, that 18-year-old have any idea right out the bubble of high school what they want to do with the rest of their lives. No wonder so many college students switch majors at least once (thereby increasing the amount of time they spend pursuing the degree, thereby increasing how much that degree costs, thereby increasing the university’s revenue from you). I wish there were more chances to explore career options and interests BEFORE committing to college.

        (I know this isn’t on weddings but your comment definitely triggered that thought about making decisions when you’re too young to know what you want long-term. Besides, haven’t we had enough wedding talk?)

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      GatorGirl July 5, 2012, 1:08 pm

      I’m sure I’m just reading into your remark too much but I wanted to throw it out there that there is nothing wrong with helping financial help from your family for a wedding IF they offer it. I do not beleive that funding a wedding is a prerequist of being mature enough to get married. My fiance and I are graciously accepting help from both of our families for out up coming wedding but that doesn’t effect our maturity or commitment to getting married. (The money was offered btw, not asked for) We would be getting married party or no party and we originally had planned on financing the even on our own.

      Like I said, I’m probably reading too much into your comment but I wanted to say all that.

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      • MELH

        MELH July 5, 2012, 3:01 pm

        I agree. I’ve seen it alot of people on here saying grow up and pay for your own wedding. My parents paid for mine, it was their offer and they have always let me know that. It doesn’t make me less of an adult because I accepted their generous help.

        I think its a valid point that it shouldn’t be expected and if your parents are contributing they probably will want some kind of say, and that you have to either put up with that or do it on your own. But I dislike the generalization of if your parents are paying, grow up.

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      • niki

        niki July 5, 2012, 5:47 pm

        Thank you though for pointing out how my statement about maturity and accepting help for a wedding came across. 🙂 I probably didn’t say it as artfully as I could have. I don’t see anything wrong with people offering to help pay for a wedding. But, I do think that part of being a mature adult is being willing to take on that burden if necessary and planning the wedding you can afford. If that means a backyard bbq, so be it. Also, you need to be mature enough to have a discussion with the people offering to help about what that help means. Do they expect to have a say in the planning of the wedding? If you can’t have that conversation, accept that taking the help may mean making compromises. I don’t think accepting other people’s generosity makes a person immature. I think accepting other people’s generosity if they cannot afford it is immature. I think accepting people’s generosity aware that there are strings attached and then complaining about it is immature. I think not being able to either have an adult conversation about what the terms of the generosity are, and being willing to sacrifice that generosity if necessary, is immature. And like I said, I could be way off about the LW. I hope this makes more sense. Sometimes it is hard to get your point across in a format like this. That’s why I try not to jump on the LW’s too hard.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B July 4, 2012, 10:36 am

    I also don’t think she is saying her dad is actually taking out a third mortgage, but that he would if he had to in order to pay for her wedding. I really, really, hope she won’t ask him to, it’s not right. No one should be driven into debt to pay for a wedding. I like what some friends of mine did. They made all the arrangements and paid for everything themselves, and didn’t tell a living soul they were getting married until the invitations went out. Sure enough, the parents (mothers) flipped and wanted all kinds of input, to which they were told, “It’s all taken care of, Mom, just come and that’s enough.” (Both sets of parents did offer to offest some of the expense and they agreed to some of that – after the fact. Parents really do like weddings.) The wedding was small, intimate, and perfect for them. Best wedding I ever went to.

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    • JK

      JK July 4, 2012, 10:38 am

      Your friends sound amazing.

      And I´m starting to hope that everyone saying the 3rd mortgage thing was just hyperbole is right. The whole letter pissed me off so much that by the time I reached that line I would´ve believed anythign from the LW.

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      MMcG July 4, 2012, 10:58 am

      That does sound amazing, but my mom would have been crushed not to be involved… like once (we hope) in a lifetime, missed opportunity, crushed.

      Awesome that it came off so well for your friend though, !!

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B July 5, 2012, 2:55 am

        They did it because they knew that both mothers would want to run the show and they wanted to avoid all the drama. They also managed to keep the kids separate from the rest of the wedding by giving them their own play area complete with toys they could take home. Some kid-friendly friends acted as chaperones so the parents (and the kid-less guests) could enjoy the wedding sans kids, and the chaperones worked in shifts so everyone got a chance to eat, dance or whatever. There were no attendants, no color scheme and no drama. I can’t say enough about how amazing these people are.

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    Leah July 4, 2012, 10:44 am

    For starters, you need to take a step back from her behavior. The bottom line is, you can’t control what your mother does. But you also don’t need to feel like it reflects upon you or your fiance. I went to the wedding of some friends and the bride’s mother, who frankly was more than a little trashy, wore what was basically a prom dress. She looked ridiculous, but it didn’t reflect on the bride or groom or any other part of the wedding. The bottom line is, if your mother wears something inappropriate or gets drunk (and it sounds like there’s a good chance she will) SHE will look silly, not you. And if that happens, just step back and think about the fact that it was you who rekindled this relationship because, despite her issues, you think it’s important to have your mother in your life. This is a really great thing! Lot’s of people have family members, including parents, who leave a lot to be desired and finding a way to accept their limitations and have them in your life anyway is a testament to what a good person YOU are.

    As for the money, you should consider scaling down your wedding so you don’t have to accept any money from your mother. Handing over money equals handing over control, and if you can’t get your mother to listen to what you want you really will be stuck doing things her way. It’s her money and even though it would be great if all parents were on their kid’s sides about how it should be spent, that’s not your situation. Another option would be that, instead of receiving blank checks from both your parents, have them each pay for specific things. If there’s something that you care a lot about, have Dad pay for it. If it’s something you care less about or are simply more willing to compromise on, have Mom pay for it. This may mean compromising on more things than you wanted to but it may make the whole planning process, which is stressful enough, a little easier.

    And for feeling all alone in the planning? A lot of women plan their weddings by themselves without any help from Mom! Reach out more to your fiance, any female friends you have and your Dad. They may not care as much about the details as you do, but they’ll listen and be supportive. And there’s always online communities! The Offbeat Bride Tribe is a very non-judgmental, heavily moderated forum if you want some advice/support. Good luck!

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  • landygirl

    landygirl July 4, 2012, 11:00 am

    What is with all the wedding themed letters lately?

    People worry too much about the wedding as if one day out of your entire life is more important than the rest. It’s a wedding, not a coronation and you won’t be ruling a small kingdom afterwards so in the grand scheme of things, who cares if you don’t have all the bells and whistles at your wedding, all you need are the people who love you.

    LW, your Mom can only control you if you allow her to. You aren’t getting married for 1 year, start saving up your own money if you’re so concerned that she’ll pout and throw a fit and deny you cash because she doesn’t get her way.

    Just because she is your Mom doesn’t mean she should be in your life. Blood isn’t nearly as important as people perceive. They think they need to maintain a relationship because of social morals. If someone is a negative influence on your life, you let them go.

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray July 4, 2012, 11:21 am

    E L O P E – that’s my first reaction to your letter.

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      Addie Pray July 4, 2012, 11:26 am

      Second reaction is – Pippa wore white to her sister’s wedding and it turned out really, really well. For Pippa, especially. … Are you really worried about her dress? My guess is you see your mom as a loose cannon and you’re more worried that your mother might get drunk and embarrass you. She might but hopefully lots of others will get drunk too and she’ll blend. But I’d set your mother down and tell her firmly that you’ve decided to do x, y, and z and, if she doesn’t like that, she can … stop paying for your wedding and you’ll pay for it.

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    • JK

      JK July 4, 2012, 11:53 am

      Don´t be silly, AP. If she elopes how can she get all the gifts she is probably expecting?

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      • katie

        katie July 4, 2012, 1:55 pm

        New rule: any time we have a wedding themed letter, JK has to change her name to bitter_bridal_jk. Alright?

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      • JK

        JK July 4, 2012, 2:03 pm

        😀

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    Anna July 4, 2012, 11:36 am

    I really don’t get the big deal with someone else wearing white to your wedding. There was some comedienne who did a bit about that, I think it was Chelsea Handler but I could be wrong. She said “What are you worried about? That your fiance will get confused and accidentally marry her instead of you? Get over it!” or something like that.

    I’m so glad that when I get married someday I just want a small backyard BBQ wedding with only family and close friends. It will be a fun party either way, and saving as much money as possible on it equals having more money to put towards a good marriage. Much more important IMO!

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      GatorGirl July 4, 2012, 9:47 pm

      I was about to write the same thing. Who care what someone else wears to your wedding??? They came and are supporting you right? LW if your concerned about your mom getting drunk, ask a family member to babysit. If you accept money from anyone they get a say in the planning. Otherwise figure out how to pay for it your self and do what makes you and your fiancé happy- disregarding everyone else.

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      • theattack

        theattack July 4, 2012, 9:49 pm

        What if it would make her happy if she was the only woman wearing white? Because it seems like that’s the case.

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        Anna July 5, 2012, 5:54 am

        If it’s really that huge a deal, she could politely ask her mother to wear a different color. “Mom, I’m so happy you’ll be there to celebrate with me on my wedding day and it would really mean a lot to me if I was the only one wearing a white dress. Why don’t we go shopping together and find a great mother-of-the-bride dress that we can both agree on?” I can’t imagine any mother saying no to that.

        But seriously, it still makes me think of a snotty popular girl in high school telling all her friends that Tuesday is pink shirt day for her and none of them are allowed to wear pink shirts on Tuesday because they’re not as cool as her.

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        GatorGirl July 5, 2012, 8:30 am

        I mean I guess it could “really” mean that much to her to be the only one in white- but in the long run is it really that important? I personally have enough stress about my wedding, I’ll just be happy people come and celebrate with us! I would, if I was the LW, be more concerned about mom getting a little tipsy and making an ass out of herself in from of the in laws.

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    Bossy Italian Wife July 4, 2012, 11:40 am

    I think it’s fine to let your parents pay for your wedding–both of my parents chipped in for my wedding what they wanted to give, but of course, we never did ASK for any money from them at all. However, about 10 months away from the wedding my mother and I (who have an otherwise great relationship) had a pretty huge fight. Long story short, my mother was being unreasonable about some unrelated matters and carried it over the wedding money issue saying that she was giving me all this money, which she was…. but then she was holding it over my head.

    At that point, I told my mother that while I was so thankful for her contribution to my wedding that if it was putting her out, or making her feel resentful, that it wasn’t worth it to me. She never brought that up again and felt bad about using it against me. We made up after a month and things went back to normal.

    For you, you don’t have a great relationship with your mother to begin with. My honest opinion is to take the money your dad is offering and tell your mom that you don’t need hers because you feel like it is coming with strings attached and you just have to do your wedding a certain way. Then let her decide what to do. Be the bigger person.

    It is, after all, your wedding. Of course, when your parents are paying, you have to make certain concessions regarding the wedding within reason, (or at least I feel that is the proper thing to do) But you also ARE NOT required to take the money.

    One more thing: a lot of people have these decadent weddings their parents pay for that they couldn’t otherwise afford and that’s bogus. Your wedding should be a reflection of who you are ON THAT DAY. Even if my parents hadn’t chipped in for my wedding, I wouldn’t have done anything differently–we had a wedding we could afford. It’s about love, not money.

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  • rainbow

    rainbow July 4, 2012, 11:47 am

    Take a bottle of ketchup with you and if she shows up in white squirt-attack her with it screaming “IT’S POLLOCK DAY!”.

    Also, don’t get married. You’re clearly not ready.

    :::::

    HI EVERYONE!!! I miss you guys =( Just wanted to let you know that I’ve been working my ass off, taking care of my family after my uncle died suddenly, and am now in a mountain town where I have access to the internet 4 hours a day (on a holiday, it’s cool!) so that’s why I’m not around anymore. But I’ll be back. Take care!!

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    • Cara

      Cara July 4, 2012, 11:54 am

      mwahaha, love it!

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow July 4, 2012, 2:36 pm

      I’ve been wondering where you went!!

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    • Moneypenny

      Moneypenny July 4, 2012, 2:49 pm

      ahahaha! This is hilarious!

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  • iwannatalktosampson

    iwannatalktosampson July 4, 2012, 12:39 pm

    I’ve never understood all the anger at someone else wearing white to your wedding. That is one tradition I could care less about. White is an awesome color! Especially in the summer. It’s a huge trend right now to have bridesmaids wearing white or close to white – and I think it’s awesome! I’m wearing a cream colored dress for a wedding I’m in in September – and I think it’s going to look great.

    I guess I just have to say – pick your battles. Is your mom wearing white really that big of a deal? The venue probably really is a big deal so compromise. And you seem really bent out of shape about your mom – and I’m sure you have valid reasons – but it seems like your general dislike for your mom is clouding your judgment here. Who doesn’t get drunk at weddings? And if she does get like embarrassingly drunk at your wedding – well that’s on her. Hopefully you’re more preoccupied with having an awesome time and hanging out with the relatives/friends that you do like that you don’t even notice – or you spend 10 seconds locking her in a closet somewhere. I just really think you’re blowing this all out of proportion. Calm down. Smoke a doobie.

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    • avatar

      jlyfsh July 4, 2012, 1:47 pm

      i feel the same way. some things are worth fighting over, some are not worth losing sleep over. you have to decide what the most important things are or you will drive yourself crazy trying to make everything perfect.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest July 4, 2012, 7:59 pm

      great comment. Chill pill anyone?

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  • avatar

    ele4phant July 4, 2012, 12:49 pm

    Why are you upset that she wants to wear white? Are you legitmately concerned someone will confuse her for the bride? Or is this another one of those dumb wedding traditions that don’t actually matter that people let themselves get all bent out of shape about?

    Look, as a general rule of thumb, if someone is giving you money for something (a loan for a house, a loan for school, your wedding), they get to have some say. If you don’t want their input, decline the money. If you can no longer afford the wedding with a smaller budget, perhaps you don’t need that big a wedding.

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  • avatar

    painted_lady July 4, 2012, 12:56 pm

    LW,

    I realize it takes many, many years of practice to get good at “handling” your parents. I got good at handling my father about three years ago, and I just recently figured out how to handle my mother. But your mom’s behavior isn’t the end of the world. You need to figure out how all of this ties together: mom’s behavior+mom’s money = completely infuriating opinions on the wedding. You can’t control her behavior, but you sure as hell can control whether or not she’s helping to pay. Do what Bossy Italian Wife did, and explain it’s not worth starting conflict between the two of you and between the families (a venue that his MOM AND GRANDPARENTS have trouble getting to, for Chrissakes!), so you would much rather not have her money and avoid the conflict. That may mean you have to scale back on how lavish the ceremony is – it may not be lavish, but considering how much you own up to talking about the wedding, I kind of intuit that we’re not going for simple and low-key – but I think if she’s not budging on something as major as a locale that his family can access, you should stand your ground.

    Another word on lavish weddings. I realize you are in the throes of wedding fever, so it’s hard to see this, but IT’S ONE DAY. One day that not everyone is as thrilled about as you are. There are a whole bunch of people who have opinions about your marriage, your wedding, and you, with varying degrees of accuracy. No matter how amazing your wedding is, there will be people who think it’s tacky. No matter how understated or low-key it is, there will be people who will not give one shit because they got to see you get married. And I guaran-fucking-tee that at least one of your bridesmaids is royally pissed that it was implied that she needed to lose weight, or is being made to feel that she needs to go along with the group and lose weight, or at the very least resents the shit out of the fact that the reason she is finally dropping those twenty pounds is not for her but for you and your wedding. DO NOT ask people to be in your wedding and then telegraph the message that they are anything but wonderful just as they are. It’s not a good way to keep friends after your wedding.

    My cousin was one of these brides a few years ago. She wasn’t terrible, but dear god, that girl was specific about what she wanted. Her bridesmaids all went on diets together, along with her. She picked out her mother’s dress and was supervising her hair and makeup. Her decorations were all based around limes and something else that was dark brown, for the life of me I don’t remember what. And you know what? She’s getting divorced. All of that specificity and micromanaging and perfection, and her life still fell apart. I feel terribly for her because this year has been like the worst year of her life – deaths in the family, major health problems for her, job struggles – and her marriage fell apart as the final blow. And no one remembers a thing about her limes or her skinny bridesmaids, they remember that it ended in divorce. If her marriage had been wonderful and withstood this year, no one would remember that stuff either – everyone would remember how they stuck together, not the color of her bridesmaids’ dresses.

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    • niki

      niki July 4, 2012, 1:23 pm

      The comment about the diets with her bridesmaids annoyed me too. I relly hope each and every one of her bridesmaids are dieting because they want to not because the bride has made them feel like they need to look good for her “big day.” Also, LW, your friends are working and in school so they are probably poor as dirt. Please don’t expect them to spend a zillion dollars on your wedding. Pick an inexpensive dress. Let them wear their own shoes. Either pay to get their hair done for them as a gift from you, or let them choose where or if they get their hair done. Don’t expect them to shell out a ton of money for travel and transportation, throw you a lavish shower, throw you a lavish bachelorette party and then tell them that they may not bring their boyfriend of 3 yrs or whatever. Don’t expect them to also give you a wedding gift. For the love of all things bridal, STOP THE INSANITY! Ok, vent over. I’ve been in far too many weddings. Sigh.

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      • JK

        JK July 4, 2012, 1:27 pm

        Or, since she´s saving a bundle by having mommy and daddy pay, she could buy the dresses!

        Speaking of gifts, since apparently the gifts are to recoup the money spent on the wedding by the couple, in this case do the gifts go to LW´s parents? 🙂

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        lets_be_honest July 4, 2012, 7:46 pm

        I love you JK. Great comment.

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      • JK

        JK July 4, 2012, 7:48 pm

        I love you too, lbh. Let´s hope AP doesn´t get jealous again. 🙂

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 4, 2012, 7:49 pm

        Haha. Saw that last night. I’m a ladies lady AP, what can I say 😉

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 4, 2012, 7:48 pm

        The only thing you didnt hit on was the 3rd mortgage. If she meant it as a joke, isn’t the joke (or example of how she takes advantage of daddy) a SECOND mortgage?

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        lets_be_honest July 4, 2012, 7:51 pm

        Its kind of shocking how many people need the spotlight on them. I’d rather stay a wallflower than force everyone to spend $ on me while staring at me walk down the aisle.

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      • theattack

        theattack July 4, 2012, 8:16 pm

        This is so an issue with my wedding right now. I feel so awkward about everyone staring at me, and my fiance keeps telling me that he wants certain things where the attention would be one me. Like for example, I suggested that we both walk in at the same time from opposite directions and meet at the altar, and he understandably doesn’t want to do that, which means that I have to be the center of attention and have the big bride moment I wanted to avoid. Then my mom last night says that we HAVE to have the wedding party sit on the stage at our reception so we can be the center of attention, and I’m weird about people seeing me eat. Soo awkward.

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      • JK

        JK July 4, 2012, 8:20 pm

        Aww, your idea of walking in together sounds so sweet!
        About the meal don´t worry too much, I´ve always heard that the bride and groom never get to eat, anyway (I think I´ve heard advice before that itps a good idea to have a meal ready in the hotel room for afterwards).

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        jlyfsh July 4, 2012, 9:12 pm

        i like the idea and i’ve seen it happen. it ends up being really sweet, especially in pictures! and even thought you feel like people will be staring at you trust me, you’ll hardly have time to sit there beyond the time that the speeches are happening and usually you don’t have time to eat until later. one tip i have is two of my friends who have gotten married have requested that two plates be set aside for them so that at the end of the night if they didn’t get a chance to eat the food they still got to taste it! 🙂

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      • theattack

        theattack July 4, 2012, 10:11 pm

        That’s really smart! I will definitely have to remember that!

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        painted_lady July 5, 2012, 2:08 am

        Ugh, Walter is really fixated on our first dance. I’m willing to be accommodating, but that also means being watched while showing emotion in public, and that makes me SO uncomfortable. He really wanted a song that, as a dance, totally wouldn’t work (Live’s “I Wanna Dance With You”) and is also a little sappy for public. We compromised the other day on Ray LaMontagne’s “I Wanna Hold You in my Arms,” which is both gorgeous and also a waltz, which I can do in my sleep.

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        GatorGirl July 5, 2012, 8:38 am

        My fiance and i will be walking into the ceremony together. We see it as the two of us entering into the marraige together, and the old tradition of the bride’s family giving her to be married doesn’t make sense for us.

        If you’re having appetizers you should request your banquet hall bring a selection over to the bridal party during pictures.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow July 5, 2012, 10:23 am

        I’m nowhere near getting married, but I already know that I do NOT want to be “given away”. I’ll either walk in alone or with my groom, or like theattack said, we’ll walk at the same time and meet in the middle.

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      • katie

        katie July 5, 2012, 10:27 am

        yea- the “giving away” just makes my skin crawl….

        i already made my boyfriend promise that if we got to that point he would walk down with me…. its super important to me, and for the same reasons gatorgirl said. the symbolic walking together towards your future and everything… it makes a lot of sense to me. so my grand plan is to have both of our families walk in before us, like a wedding party (we probably wont have a wedding party either). so the family will still be there, my dad will still walk down the aisle, but me and him will be walking hand in hand.

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        lets_be_honest July 5, 2012, 10:32 am

        I always thought it would be cute that if Peter and I got married, we would have some sort of a family-arriage, rather than a marriage, since I have a daughter. Like have her totally included in every aspect, even all three of us standing together. Unfortunately, I don’t really want a wedding at all.

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      • katie

        katie July 5, 2012, 10:35 am

        offbeatbride did a post about those kinds of ceremonies.. you might find one you like!

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow July 5, 2012, 10:36 am

        Yeah, I would want to involve the family somehow, so my dad doesn’t feel left out or something. But I don’t think he really likes having attention on him either.

        Oddly enough, I know more about what I DON’T want in my future-hypothetical wedding than what I do want.

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        lets_be_honest July 5, 2012, 10:36 am

        Oh cool, I’ll have to check it out. Thanks.

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      • katie

        katie July 5, 2012, 10:38 am

        haha, cats, that really might make it easier…

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow July 5, 2012, 10:55 am

        WAIT, confession time. I will admit this: I want a really grand entrance into the reception. Like, over-the-top extravagant. And then I want to go straight into the first dance, and I want it to be choreographed, and I want the song to be sung live. And I might have back-up dancers (either the wedding party or dancers that I know). Now, this only works at a specific venue I’m picturing. Yep. I guess the performer/dancer in me would come out there. It’s the main thing I would want to stand out about my future-hypothetical wedding.

        But this of course would only be if I marry my current boo. If I marry someone else, I’ll have to chuck the plans and go with something that better suits me and my other hypothetical groom.

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      • theattack

        theattack July 5, 2012, 11:00 am

        I wanted to do that too, GatorGirl, but again, the fiance just doesn’t want to. He says he’s always wanted to see me come in down the aisle and crap, which I have to admit is kind of sweet, even if I so don’t like that. Oh well. If he has an opinion about something and has “always wanted” something, I can’t deny him that when it probably means much less to me.

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      • JK

        JK July 4, 2012, 8:18 pm

        I know! I don´t even like people singing happy birthday to me. Or get me birthday presents.

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      • theattack

        theattack July 4, 2012, 8:29 pm

        Omg, it is so awkward having everyone sing Happy Birthday to you. Who are you supposed to look at? Are you supposed to look around? look at the cake? Grin like an idiot?

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      • JK

        JK July 4, 2012, 8:30 pm

        I know, it´s the worst! At least when you walk down the aisle you can walk looking at your future husband. 🙂

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        painted_lady July 5, 2012, 2:01 am

        Yes! My mom and my boyfriend fortunately get that when I say “Please don’t sing,” I REALLY mean it, so they avoid telling any and all restaurant waitstaff to sing Happy Birthday, but my grandmother was a big fan of ignoring that. My mom does have a really funny picture of me at a Mexican restaurant on my 15th birthday wearing a massive sombrero and holding maracas, standing on a chair and looking royally pissed. It’s kind of hilarious.

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        lets_be_honest July 5, 2012, 9:46 am

        You look at your kid while they sing! It wasn’t until I could do that that I ever felt comfortable during the birthday song. So hurry up and go get yourself a kid!

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      • theattack

        theattack July 5, 2012, 11:01 am

        hahaha, Oh Lord. The world is so not ready for that. How about you just let me borrow your kid for a few hours, and in exchange, you get some free cake and babysitting?

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        lets_be_honest July 5, 2012, 11:04 am

        deal!

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  • avatar

    sarolabelle July 4, 2012, 1:17 pm

    Have your wedding where ever you want it. It is up to you not your mother. If she refuses to give you money because things aren’t going her way then oh well…find another way to pay for it.

    Also this is how you say it isn’t okay for your mom to wear white. “mom, only the bride is going to wear white on this day. My colors are….so if you could please where one of those colors. Wear any color but white, okay?”

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  • avatar

    Muffy July 4, 2012, 1:34 pm

    People care waaay too much about their weddings. LW you’d be surprised how uninterested your guests are in your “Big day”. Your mom will not outshine you in white don’t worry – she’s your mother – no one will mistake her for the bride.

    A friend of mine is getting married and she said that she was “honouring” us by letting us be a bridesmaid – yeah I feel real honoured. Personally I’d rather not be a bridesmaid because I really don’t give a crap if someone’s wedding is the BEST WEDDING EVER.

    So basically – calm down LW. Plan your wedding and don’t make it into something so huge. It will just lead to disappointment after the “most special day of your life ever” is over

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      painted_lady July 4, 2012, 2:01 pm

      Yeah, I haven’t been to a wedding that was anything other than just a wedding. My emotions leading up to all weddings are somewhere between “This better be good,” and “It’ll be nice to see everybody.” I have never anticipated nor experienced anything particularly life-changing or even especially memorable besides, “Yup, that was a wedding.” Not bad, necessarily, but most of what I remember are the people I hung out with and whether or not the food was good. All those personalized touches? No memory of them whatsoever.

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      • avatar

        demoiselle July 4, 2012, 3:10 pm

        My thoughts are usually along the lines of “If it’s outside, I hope there’s shade” and “gosh, I hope the food will be edible.”

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark July 4, 2012, 1:37 pm

    My parents paid for a VERY lavish wedding for my sister. But as trade off, they undoubtedly had great input with the guest list and what not, which was fine with my sister. (More gifts! I kid, I kid.) Initially, my mom thought she’d have to do much of the planning…. We all did, actually. See,my sister is so NOT girlie and so not one who had been just dreaming of the perfect wedding all her life… And yet, once my sister got going — mom simply ended up really backing off as my sister had so many great and classy ideas, mom soon realized all she had to do was show up and offer opinions on the cake samples, catering menu options, and of course — the dress. In an odd twist of fate, they even liked the same exact dress… Which, to me AND my father, was rather shocking… As they so don’t usually have the same taste — in anything! But yeah, it was a killer dress.

    The only thing my mom balked at was the change of venue. My sister wanted to get married at this beautiful chapel… in a cemetery.

    Momma was like: “Say what?” But then she toured the space and instantly saw why my sister was so adamant about getting married there. It was gorgeous. Here it is…

    http://www.lakewoodcemetery.com/history_chapel.html

    Anyway, yeah. So, it turned out to be the classiest wedding ever. And a good time was had by all. It was the last time my extended family was all together and healthy. (Only nine days later, my dad’s kid sister felt dizzy. Went to the Doctor. Learned she had an inoperable brain tumor. And was dead in four months…) What is the point of this post? Oh, yeah. I guess to say, I am NOT completely opposed to parents paying for weddings if they have the means. And mine sure did. It was a pretty grand party. One my parents friends STILL talk about it…. As does my family, it was such a great LAST party. A LAST hurrah… From now on, it’ll probably be nothing but reunions at funerals… And I don’t think my sister was a diva bitch about anything really, she just has classy ideas — as does my mother, which is why she was so easily able to sit back and let her daughter fully take the reins, I guess…

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      painted_lady July 4, 2012, 1:53 pm

      That’s gorgeous! And what a wonderful story. I don’t have any issues with parents paying for weddings, if they want. But often it’s used as leverage to have a wedding *they* want – or that the mother wants – and so if your sister and mom had butted heads over that chapel, the only leverage your mother would have had would have been to refuse to pay for it. So in that sense, I guess it’s irritating to hear BTBs complain about “Oh my god! Mumsy should just fork over the checkbook and keep her mouth shut!”

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    • Moneypenny

      Moneypenny July 4, 2012, 2:56 pm

      Wow, that’s a beautiful chapel! As the line says, “Celebrating Life…”- a wedding does fit that description! Sounds like it was a lovely wedding!

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      Iwannatalktosampson July 4, 2012, 10:08 pm

      Wow Mark that’s an awesome story. I think it’s always important to see the big picture in life. It’s funny I got married 1.5 years ago in Costa Rica – shockingly all of my Dad’s remaining 6 siblings made an appearance. He is the youngest of 8 and one of his older brothers already passed away from cancer a few years earlier. And I know Costa Rica sounds ridiculous – and I was shocked everyone could come because my Dad’s side of the family is definitely working class. But my Mom told me later they all considered it really important that they put all family drama and bullshit aside and have an awesome family vacation together. And it was a fucking blast. Mostly older people attended my wedding – there wasn’t the usual crowd of drunk rowdy groomsman (although my brother in law couldn’t tie his shoes before we took pictures – but that’s a story for another day).

      Well within the last 6 months two of my Dad’s sisters have been diagnosed with inoperable cancer. Like chemo will do nothing but make their remaining time hell. The sister that was diagnosed in December was given 4-6 months – and she’s survived that so far. But next weekend they’re having an early birthday party for her – and my other aunt that was diagnosed with cancer two months ago is going – and ironically she was given 2-4 months. It’s crazy how they just start dropping like flies. I have a huge Irish catholic family (my Dad is the only non-practicing) and it’s really hard for me to see my Dad lose all his siblings. Anyway I also don’t know where I’m going with this – I guess my message is don’t be a bitch – and love your family and treat them with respect while they’re around – you will never regret the things you didn’t throw a fit about.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark July 5, 2012, 5:05 am

        It is eerie. Shortly after my aunt died, my dad’s kid brother was struck down by yet another rare and deadly form of cancer… It was all very disconcerting. Especially since these were my youngest aunt and uncle. The healthiest, too. (BY FAR!) Neither smoked or even drank. Both were very fit and then BAM! Just like that. Dead. And well before turning 65. It’s been more than a little disconcerting… Previously, we had all these GOOD genes on that side of the family as my grandparents lived into their 90s…

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    • landygirl

      landygirl July 5, 2012, 9:11 am

      That brings a whole new meaning to “Till Death do us part”.

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  • avatar

    redessa July 4, 2012, 1:43 pm

    Unless your mom shows up in a wedding gown, I don’t get the big deal about her wearing white. True, it’s probably not the most tasteful choice but that’s on her and really not something worth getting in a tizzy over.

    As for the money, tell you would extremely greatful for any money she would like to contribute to your wedding but if can’t suppprt your choices (like the venue) then you respect that and will find a way to pay for it yourself. If you can do that without resentment, it will be a huge step in your personal growth and maturity. Oh, and in finding another source of funding, look at your own bank account and not your dad’s.

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  • avatar

    redessa July 4, 2012, 1:44 pm

    *tell her, not tell you
    (wish you could edit posts)

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    • avatar

      Christy July 5, 2012, 9:12 am

      You can?

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  • avatar

    Meredith July 4, 2012, 2:06 pm

    Just try concentrating more on the idea of marriage itself and less on the wedding day. You have to face it, no one is going to care half as much about your wedding as you will, so choose your battles wisely. Let your mom wear white, it will reflect poorly on her, not you. Oh, and id venture to say a lot of moms get drunk on their kids wedding day. My mom did, it wasn’t huge deal. Delegate someone ahead of time, your fiancé, a brother etc, to “take care” of Mom if she enbibes a little too much. That way you don’t have to worry about it. Tell your mom you’re going to hold the wedding and reception close to disabled family members so they are able to come. If she wants to throw a tantrum and threaten to pull her money off the table, don’t buy into her drama. Just end the conversation quickly and tell her if she doesn’t want to contribute money that’s fine, that you are not changing your venue. Then scale the wedding back to what you can afford. And whatever you do, don’t let your dad go broke trying to afford your wedding. He sounds like a great dad to you so be grateful for his help but don’t take any additional money from him if you don’t think he can really afford it. As some have already said, you do sound super young to get married, but regardless, practice maturity and patience with every “issue” that comes up and really ask yourself, “Is this actually a big deal or am I being a bit of a drama queen/ bridezilla?” Your friends will probably not tell you the truth so you need to keep yourself in check throughout this process. Remember, the marriage itself is so much more important than your wedding day, and marriage is ten million times harder than plan a wedding so save your energy on being an awesome fiancé and wife to the man you love.

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  • avatar

    kali July 4, 2012, 2:25 pm

    Every time I read these letters and see the attendant controversy, I am so very happy I eloped. I never had all those princess wedding fantasies as a child and didn’t attend many weddings before I wed. The two family weddings I did go to both had some incident that made the bride insanely upset (one had the completely wrong flowers as well as some missing flowers and I don’t even recall what it was at the other wedding) and I did not want to be that crazy woman in the big dress.

    So I wasn’t. And I didn’t miss it at all.

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  • Chaotonic

    Chaotonic July 4, 2012, 4:24 pm

    Okay story time:

    My step mother wore a white Marilyn Monroe gown / dress to my wedding. She looked damned good in it and do you know how many fucks were given by me that day? Ready for it? None. I didn’t care at all that she showed up to the wedding in a white dress. Its not a big deal. Other people cared and when she came up to me in tears and told me how she didn’t realize that she had committed a faux-pas and was willing to go back to her hotel and change into something else, all I did was hug her and say “Their opinions don’t matter, I think you look great.” She was in family photos next to me in her white dress, she didn’t outshine me or the groom or anyone else at the wedding, she fit in with us and if I ever find out who it was that made a big stink about her wearing white I would have told them in no uncertain terms to go fuck themselves. Its a wedding for crying out loud, its supposed to be fun and joyful and full of love and friendship not a bitter rivalry over who can only wear white or ivory or champagne.

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    • theattack

      theattack July 4, 2012, 6:22 pm

      But you know what? That’s because YOU didn’t care about it. If this LW does care about it, that’s completely okay.

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    • avatar

      Temperance July 5, 2012, 5:57 pm

      You are a far better person than I am. I would have really been so angry with her for that … she really had to know what she was doing. I’m glad that it didn’t hurt you.

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    • avatar

      Rachelgrace53 July 5, 2012, 8:58 pm

      Yay story time!

      THIS!!!:
      She looked damned good in it and do you know how many fucks were given by me that day? Ready for it? None.

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  • avatar

    Laura Hope July 4, 2012, 6:09 pm

    I think the comments are so angry because the LW comes across as a “poor me” and is coming off as passive- aggressive. Oh, my mom is self-centered and has never been there for me. Oh, my mom wants to have the wedding in an inconvenient location for the other guests. Oh, my mom is going to ruin my day by drinking and wearing white. Woe is me! Whatever should I do?! I think you know what to do.

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  • theattack

    theattack July 4, 2012, 6:20 pm

    LW, You don’t have to have a backyard BBQ just because someone else suggested you do it to save money. You don’t have to compromise what you want just because someone thinks you’re a brat for wanting your mother to respect that you’re the bride by not wearing white. That’s a pretty standard courtesy, and if your mom has heard of it before, it is so not unreasonable for you to want her to avoid that color. You are not being crazy, and your requests are not too much.
    Figure out if you want your mother involved at all, and figure out how much money you have right now (ie: without your dad doing something drastic). Budget within that money. You’ll have to make up the difference yourself for anything over your budget.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest July 4, 2012, 7:32 pm

      It’s just a little frightening that someone who is bout to get married can’t figure this out. Maybe we should coin the term bride brain, like pregnant brain 🙂

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  • avatar

    RhyanShae July 4, 2012, 11:03 pm

    My advice: The best way to deal with people like your mother is to flatter them. If she wants to wear white, but you think she might be convinced, try complementing her in another color. Tell her she looks awesome in mauve or something. Instead of framing it in the negative, try approaching her in the positive, and make it believable. Bonus points if she does actually look good in a color that complements those that your wedding is in.

    2nd part: The drunk part. Well, I think most people have the drunk relative they’re embarrassed by. My case is not a drunk relative, but a nosy, tell-you-how-to-live-grandmother (she’s worse than most in that category). You get “handlers.” It sounds horrible, but it helps. Does she have siblings that she gets along with? Is there a friend of hers you can invite that can help contain her urge to get drunk and run her mouth? It’s stressful that as you’re trying to put a wedding together you have to put together the “How to deal with mom” plan, but if you can, try it. Best part of my family, besides the fact that we’re amazingly hilarious, is that we all can notice the discomfort of another, and deflect the problem. This is especially true at big events like weddings. If you have others to help you, accept their help.

    But, I can assure you, of all the wedding dramas I’ve been exposed to (and some of them are amazing), none of those I remember concern what people wore. People are there for you. They’ll be looking at you. If you can’t persuade her off the white, it won’t be the end of the world. I promise. Your wedding will be amazing even if that’s the case.

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  • Kristina

    Kristina July 5, 2012, 2:14 am

    I know I’m really late to this, but I think people are being a little harsh on the LW. I know from personal experience it’s not easy to invite your mom to something, let alone your wedding, when she has abandoned you when you’re a teenager. Add in the fact that the LW has an alcoholic mom, and it is definitely a concern as to how the mother will act on the wedding day. I know I will end up paying for a wedding myself. If my parents offered (which they say they will not) to help pay, I won’t accept the money. That’s the trade off you have to make when you deal with delicate situations like this. I can sense in the LW’s letter that it’s really not so much about the mom wanting to wear white, or whether she should let her parents pay for it and still take the reins on major decisions–it’s about the LW wanting to have some control on the situation, and the mom not wanting to deal with the boundaries the LW has put in place. So my advice is for the LW to step back and not let her parents pay (I mean, it is the 21st century. Mommy and daddy shouldn’t be paying for that anyways, in my opinion). It looks like there is a lot of mother-daughter tension that is not going to be resolved anytime soon. A wedding will only make that worse. I know for me, if I invite my mom to my wedding, she will know very little about any plans until the last minute. If you want to include your mom, you have to be prepared to for there to be a bit of tension, but you also have to stand your ground and not let what she wants you to do to alter your perceptions. It’s about giving and taking. And compromise. Sometimes that works with people, sometimes not (I know it doesn’t work with my mom because she is mentally ill and doesn’t reason well like that). And relax, because it’s just one small day out of many days in the rest of your life.

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    • theattack

      theattack July 5, 2012, 2:20 am

      Did you get a new picture, Kristina? I’m trying to decide if you’re the person I think you are, or if I combined two different people in my head

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      • Kristina

        Kristina July 5, 2012, 2:23 am

        Hah, I did get a new one, so I’m probably who you’re thinking of.

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  • fast eddie

    fast eddie July 5, 2012, 8:36 am

    Lots of couples are eloping these days with a very few best friends then having a small ceremonial wedding later to give their families an anchor buoy. It saves a lot of stress and money that can otherwise be invested in a home.

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    • avatar

      Sue Jones July 5, 2012, 1:57 pm

      Like Like Like and Agree Agree Agree! Too many “Dream Weddings”marriages end up in divorce anyway (though thank you for inviting me to your party! I had a blast!). I say get a house, work on the marriage, and conserve your resources for what really matters.

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  • lurkerliz

    Medie711 July 5, 2012, 9:38 am

    My mom wore a long white dress to my wedding. Got slightly botched plastic surgery on her eyes and my two sisters were like the evil stepsisters from Cinderella. It was interesting to say the least. Made for some odd pictures too. Did I say anything? Nope… My parents were footing the bill for my dream day. I kept my mouth shut and smiled and am happily married almost 5 years later. I just don’t display those pictures in my home!

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    • avatar

      bethany July 5, 2012, 10:34 am

      My friend’s mother in law wore a white skirt/suit jacket thing to her wedding. She also wore the same outfit to her daughter’s wedding 8 years prior. She was told in no uncertain terms not to wear that outfit again, but she did it anyway.
      The bride was PISSED when she saw her wearing it, as she should have been. But after 10 minutes it was all forgotten, because my friend was so happy and excited to be getting married, that it didn’t matter.

      If the LW’s mother wears white, yeah it’ll be annoying, but it’s not the end of the world.
      Get over it.

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  • avatar

    Vathena July 5, 2012, 2:06 pm

    Don’t take the money from your mom if she’s going to use it to push you around, and don’t bankrupt your dad. One of my best friends gave me this advice before I got married: you can’t control other people, you can only be in charge of you. Relax and enjoy the day knowing not everything will be “perfect”. After it is over, you’ll have a dress, some pictures, and your memories – and a husband! The day goes by so fast – don’t waste time worrying over things that are out of your control, because all that really matters is the joy of pledging your lives to each other (and then hopefully getting away from everyone to go on a honeymoon!)

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  • avatar

    Temperance July 5, 2012, 5:52 pm

    Your mother sounds like a royal ass. She is old enough to know that wearing white to a wedding makes her look like a bitch (or, you know … makes her a bitch), and she’s doing it anyway.

    I think everyone is being too harsh on LW. It’s her wedding, I don’t think she’s unreasonable for requesting that her mother follow one of the most basic and reasonable forms of wedding etiquette, which is that only the bride should wear white. It sounds like her mother is one of those people who needs to upstage, upstage, upstage … hence already claiming that she’s going to wear white.

    (And before anyone even tries to get in my face about being so anti-bride in the potluck manor post, that wasn’t about being opposed to a bride hosting the wedding that she wanted, it was about being opposed to a middle-aged woman on her third wedding with money to spare forcing the guests to care her manor estate affair. NOT THE SAME.)

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