Tuesday, February 16, 2010

hey ESB!

I have a huge problem... Ok so originally my boyfriend and I had planned on eloping. Boy, girl, maybe some pictures and a mini vacation. We thought it'd be fun to come back and surprise everyone... then have a totally fun party with everyone we love.

But we've been engaged 2 years now and over that time we have been worn down and by that I mean my family particularly my mom has gone into full-on guerrilla mom-of-the-bride-zilla attack. Using phrases like "you have to..." "but don't you want..." and making me feel shitty because 1. we have a non-existent budget that she thinks is going to pop into thin air 2. i'm a short red dress not poofy white and lame kind of girl 3. there's something wrong with me because i don't want a big show. i'm not a circus show freak on display i just want to get married (in the simple awesome fun and non traditional kind of way).

Well the problem is along with seriously i guess trying to make my mom and sisters happy i have put half the money i didn't have in the first place down on a space to hold this shindig. i've bought a white froo-froo dress that i'm not in love with. yea it's pretty but not what my heart was singing for you know?

And my bf and i were sitting down today bumming about the looming day in june. i'm not excited, not into the planning, even though i read wedding blogs and like to see what other people are doing for their big days i'm seriously ready to jump ship. i'm so sad, i have so much love for the boy, he's the most amazing guy and i feel like what we've planned so far is the opposite of who we are as a couple.

any suggestions? please help me (but be kind i beg you i'm already in the dumps)


I think you know what to do.

Elope, and soon. Find a dress that makes your heart sing and just make a run for it.

F*ck the deposit.


(Another photo by Michelle Pullman)


  1. I would have to agree with ESB but I know its pretty hard just to drop everything and go.

    You have to at least get rid of the white dress and go get that red dress of your heart's desire. Wearing a short (still white) dress at my wedding was what I wanted and there was a bit of a hmmm at the short from certain people, but in the end it was the best thing I did at my wedding- I LOVED feeling like me. Sell that white dress (or return it if you can) and get some money for it so you can get the dress you really want.

    As for the wedding...maybe you could elope now/soon and then when you come home use that space you've got a deposit on for a less formal wedding party that will include your mum and family and friends so then you feel you did what you wanted but still included them.

    Also, tell your mum again that you have no money- you can't pay for something you can't afford. Its not fair on you to have all that stress.

    But seriously, get the dress you want. I can't tell you how good it feels to stand up for what you want, even if it is only a dress.

    Good luck and don't get too stressed. Mothers will still love us even if we do things they don't like, no matter what they say;) xx

  2. best advice. i couldn't agree more.

  3. Yeah, I'm going to have to side with ESB on this one. You need to do what's best for you. Regardless of deposits, family opinions, pressure etc., it sounds like you already know that you need to call off the day in June that you're already dreading and elope. Your mom might be disappointed, but at the end of the day, she will still love you when you come back after the elopement. Family pressure is rough, but it's your marriage, not your families and if you're planning a wedding you don't love, it'll probably only make you more miserable. So I think you should do what feels the most right to you.

  4. agree with esb. you've wanted to elope from the beginning - for two years! what's stopping you? yes, it's hard to deal with all of the other opinions, but if it's making you miserable, it's not worth it, and hopefully the ppl that love you will understand.

    elope, then have a mellow party and let everyone celebrate you.

  5. Elope, immediately. This weekend. With a red dress and your boy. Cancel everything else once you get back, it will be so much easier to do it if you have "we're already married, we don't need X,Y or Z" as your reply to people's protestations.

    I don't say this thinking that it will be easy, I know it won't be but it really sounds like this wedding that is being planned around you is a terrible idea.

  6. You know what you could do... elope but then still have the formal wedding reception when you get back. Or, have a formal wedding ceremony with the white dress etc. and then change into a red dress for a rockin' reception. Or, combine elements of what you want and your family wants, and wear the dress of your choice for the ceremony&reception but still hold the reception where your mom would approve but then limit the number of guests to only people YOU want there. No show. Just you sharing your day with the people you love and the people who love you. You could even ask for people to contribute food, music, etc., in lieu of toasters and panini grills so you stay on budget.

  7. or even, run to city hall WITH mom and sister, cause it seems like they would like to be there (unless part of it is that you guys want to be solo, but mostly you mentioned the money, the stress, the big show, and the dress, not the solitude) then have a nice family dinner after to celebrate. i agree 100% with everyone else, do what you have wanted from the beginning, but maybe include your closest family? I know it's not a strict elopement then, but things don't have to be so black and white. There are a million alternatives between running to vegas and the big june wedding, and they can fit any budget and any dress and while your mom might be poopy at first maybe in the long run she will just be happy she got to be there? maybe you will be too? or if you don't give a rats ass then just elope. :)

  8. Sweetie, if it's making your miserable, just elope. IT. IS. YOUR. DAY!!!!

  9. jamie is so smart. that does make sense; there are so many alternatives. personally, i'm not one for sympathy, so i would just skip the family (after all, THEY ARE making you miserable). taking them along to your 'elopement' would be a way of having your cake and eating it too. but, if they're not a fan of that idea... well then, too bad so sad. it's YOUR life, YOUR relationship, YOUR wedding. they're not the ones coming home with you at the end of the night, so as far as i'm concerned, they don't really have a say.

  10. At middle age, I am wondering when we went from parents paying for their daughter's weddings to daughters paying for their own weddings while parents make demands.

    I hear this scenario all the time!

    Have a family-only wedding or elope. Don't waste another minute on a plan you don't want.

  11. elope. and enjoy it. xo.

  12. elope. of course. and then show us pictures.

    and as far as the cash- sell the dress on ebay, and maybe still use the hall to have a reception for the family? but only if you want to. not just to apease them. somehow, a big after-party doesn't have the same strings attached as a full-on reception.

  13. Go. Go ASAP. It's hard to imagine you'll ever regret it. We put down a deposit on a place and then changed our whole plan up. We chalk the lost money up to the cost of figuring out what our hearts wanted. If your mom and sisters want you to have that kind of wedding then they can pay for it after you've done what you feel in your heart. I actually know quite a few couples who secretly eloped and then did the regular traditional wedding later and their families didn't know for years and years and years afterward. In China, getting married and having a wedding are two separate things and it is not uncommon for people to have a wedding a couple of years after getting married when they have a baby on the way. Good luck whatever you decided!

  14. I'm totally with, um, everyone - if you have the big poofy dress wedding you'll obviously be dying inside a little and that would be so sad.

    Imho, sell/return the dress for a start (like everyone says!), then decide whether or not to invite your parents. You're going to get grief no matter what you do but they'll be more wounded if they aren't there at all... then have your day as you wish and maybe a party in the big hall at a later date. Or not, whatever's happy.

    Anyway, you're a grownup, you can do this. No-one can force you into the wedding you hate without your consent. Best of luck xx

  15. Agreed with ESB. go off and go do it your own way. come back and appease the others when you're back. have you seen the episode of the office where pam & jim get married? like that. just, like that. xoxo

  16. i agree with esb. it's better that you drop everything and elope like you want to, than spend more money on a wedding you don't want.

  17. Elope is the obvious answer, but there's still a bigger issue. I'm grateful that my family would never feel the need to pressure me like this, but I did have a moment in my early twenties where I sat my parents down and explained that as an adult I will be making all of my own choices, and while I respect them as people, they need to treat me as peer. It worked, and we have a great relationship now.

    Return the dress, find the one you like. Sit down and figure out what it is that IS "exactly who you are as a couple" & do it. Be polite but firm to your family. Cancel the venue ASAP so you can MAYBE get back some deposit.

    At least it's a huge life learning experience, right?

  18. Fuck yes.

    And then your mom can use the deposit to throw a party there her way to celebrate if she wants. Not a fake WEDDING mind you, but a reception. But you won't care, because you've already done your thing.

    You're creating a new family, it's time to guard that family and protect it the way it deserves.

  19. @Verhext
    EXACTLY! And what better point to have the "I'm an adult and now I will be making my own choices" conversation than at wedding time. I think Jamie may be right. You may need to sit them down, tell them that, and then tell them you're wearing a red dress to the courthouse this weekend, and they are welcome to come IF and only IF they want to share your JOY. All other details (like the deposit) will be discussed at a later date.

    I know. It makes me tremendously sad. I hear it over and over and over. And it's hard to learn that you have to start telling your parents "No!"

  20. I'm with ESB and everyone else on this. Eff that deposit. Sell the dress on oncewed or similar, and get thee to city hall. Stick to your guns, girl!

  21. I second everyone elses emotion!

    Sell that dress, use the deposit for your party, but first and foremost- GO GET MARRIED! Toss a polaroid of it at your mom during dinner one night. She loves you and will get over it, let her do the after-party planning! xo

  22. I am with everyone else. This is the point where you and your man formally become each other's family and it sounds like you need to make it clear to your mother that you have responsibilities to him and your relationship, not just your family of birth. It won't be a fun converstaion to have, but (speaking from 3 mo down the track) your family will surprise you. They will suck it up and they will be happy for you. And if they are not, do you really want to make yourself and your husband miserable for their sake?

  23. the problem here is that you should have just eloped as soon as you got engaged instead of having a two-year-long engagement, which gave your family way too much time to start brainwashing you. :) elope! elope! just do it. seriously, buy a hot red dress and run the f away! and then you can do what was suggested by the many smart ladies here and keep the venue for the party.

  24. elope. your mom and sisters will be happy because you will be singing, dancing, short dress elopement thrilled. and use the expensive downpaid place for your party with friends and family. and wear the dress you find again.

  25. First of all, congratulations!!!! I hope you are soon able to find peace of mind, and get back to enjoying this special time of life.

    Second of all, what Lila said.

    Third of all, I would only add that the party with friends and fam after you return from elopement is a very important peice of all this. Denying your family the chance to celebrate with you would not bode well for your relationship with them. They love you, and they want to be there with you during the most important day of your life. It's understandable, ya know?

  26. grab your boy and make a break for it! this should be a happy, exciting time for you...

    the money thing is hard to cope with... i was stressing about how much we were spending but i can promise you, three months after our wedding i don't even give it a second thought. in the end, it's only money. do what makes you happy!

  27. Your story completely breaks my heart! IF(!!!!!) you think your mom and sisters would be AT ALL responsive, could you show them your question to ESB and ALL the support that COMPLETE FUCKING STRANGERS have given you, and MAYBE could your flesh and blood be understanding and supportive of how you decide to publicly declare your commitment to the love of your life?

    Ugh, I'm normally the type to talk things out before I do anything that I think I will regret in the future, like ditch the fam completely, but you know your mom better than I do. If you think that being honest about how you are dreading the day won't do anything but breed more wedding discord, then fuck them and do what you want.

    It would be better to be happy without them than miserable with them.

  28. You already know what to do. Get the red dress and go! It may cause some upset but you will feel good for choosing your choice.

    P.S. Congratulations on your super imminent nuptials.

  29. Elope. Soon.

    Use the deposit towards that rad party when you get back, no? And where a short red dress both times!

  30. Heart sings! Heart sings! Heart sings! ESB's right. You know what to do. If you can't act on your heart's own song now what might you compromise later in life? Good luck.

  31. wow, just discovered your blog and am in love!

  32. Hey everyone! I'm the bride. Seriously thanks so much for all the support. And hell yea we are going for it and SOON. It feels like I have exposed a dirty little secret and now I feel so much better. You all had so many great ideas and I'm so grateful for all of your ♥.

    ESB you are totally right and THANK YOU! Verhext also hit it right on the nose - there is a much bigger issue here and actually years ago when I was still in college I had a "talk" with my mom where we discussed her inability to see me as an equal/adult. As you can see things haven't improved... And Giovanna has a good point also, we always wanted to run the f away and do the damn thing when we got engaged which is what we should have done but got sucked into "the right thing to do" which is bs anyway!

    Seriously thanks ladies! You all rock and a million thanks :)

  33. De-lurking here to say first of all, ESB, you're a badass; thanks for providing much-needed irreverence to the whole wedding world.

    Second of all, reading what Eliza finally decided literally made my heart grow ten times in size. I feel like the Grinch at the end, but less green and pointy-nosed. All of you internet strangers just made my week.

  34. agree with people who said elope. I am in this conundrum as well. I am pouring myself a glass of wine right now and toasting to you and your mother-of-the-bridezilla(the mom being the crazy zilla creature)..... WTF, why do they go beserk??

    Maybe grab some friends and do a guerilla style wedding on a beach or rooftop... have friends take photos. and whatever relative misbehaves, cut them off from wedding. hehe

    this is your day! I have to keep telling myself this too. Think about what you want to rememember... and what defines you. stay strong!

    good luck!

  35. Find a short snappy dress that makes your heart sing. Then...Elope.

    To minimize the bad feelings, why not throw a party when you get back? Wear that dress you don't love but already bought and put all the party details into the hands of someone else, like your soon to be husband or bf.

    It's about you and your soon to be husbands happiness first and your families second.

    Good luck!