I'm in the middle of a dilemma. My BF and I are in the early, early stages of planning (we've both said yes and are looking at rings). We've been dating for almost four years now and are madly in love with each other. Although we're a bit young, we've already been through some tough patches and have come out on the other side even closer than before.
My dad abruptly left my mom this week. Took all the money, lawyer-ed up, and left. The (seemingly) strong family of mine is suddenly in pieces and we have yet to see how everything plays out. My emotions on the subject are...complicated. Logically, I tell myself that it is their relationship, their problems, and my role is to be as supportive as possible while trying to remain neutral (not pick sides between the two of them). The emotional part of me is all over the place; part of me wants to bury my head in a pillow and the other part wants to scream and shout and lock them in a room till they figure it out. Obviously, I recognize that the logical choice is the best.
This situation has shaken me a bit, as it would anyone I think. It's kind of scary to see two people who were in love for twenty-odd years break up. I have faith in my relationship with my BF and I know that he is still the one I want to marry. In fact, the only thing I can think about doing is start the planning from scratch and run away in a few months and elope. Just the two of us somewhere beautiful with a witness each (our best friends), a photographer, an officiant, and a bottle of champagne. I'm afraid this is an idea that has sprung up only from my desire to escape from the reality that is my family. On the other hand, I've always been a practical person and this isn't the first time I've thought of eloping.
Do I exclude both of our families to have the simple wedding for just the BF and myself? I couldn't imagine trying to get my parents to even be in the same room as each other until well after the divorce is official. But I also don't want to exclude his family just because I am ambivalent about celebrating our union with anyone but us. And perhaps this is just all a reaction to my parents' marriage failing? I was hoping you might have an opinion on eloping and how to deal with the potentially upset family members, not just because they weren't invited, but also because we might be celebrating our union too soon after the dissolution of another.
I'm sorry. That sucks big time. I was a baby when my parents split, which I sometimes think was a lucky break because I was too young to know what was going on.
First, I'd say take a little time to breathe. Don't rush off and get married without inviting anyone if there's any part of you that will regret it. I didn't think I wanted a "real wedding." For months I kept telling H that we should just drive to Vegas, not because I was avoiding family but because I was avoiding wedding planning.* But I'm so glad we had a wedding. There's something incredible about having your family and friends gather not only to celebrate with you but also to serve as collective witnesses to the marriage. (It sounds new age-y, but it's true.) I don't know how bad it is with your parents, but I'm guessing neither of them would want to miss your wedding, even if it meant they had to be in the same room together.
ON THE OTHER HAND, maybe it's reallyreally bad. Maybe you want to get the fuck out of dodge, have a simple wedding like you said, and just be married already. I don't see anything wrong with that, as long as it's a decision you and your BF are making together. So what if people get upset? They'll get over it. It's your wedding. It's your life. I mean, right?
Plus (and I hate to bring this up) if you were counting on your parents to pay for, or even contribute to, the wedding, things might get pretty complicated. There's nothing worse than the back-and-forth about money between two divorced (or soon-to-be-divorced) people who are not speaking to each other. And guess who has to be the go-between?
Godspeed and pls keep us posted.
(Magdalena Frackowiak in Viktor & Rolf, styled by Katie Shillingford and shot by Josh Olins for Dazed & Confused, via Refinery29)