Sunday, May 1, 2011

all of my bridesmaids suck and my mom hates me.

pre-apology: super long and some run on sentences, but i am really frustrated.

let me start with my mommy issues... i moved out of my parent's when i was 20, yes, it was abrupt and probably should have been handled better, but i felt the need to go, but this devastated both of my parents, but my mom is far more vocal about it (or not vocal, seeing as she wouldn't speak to me for 2 months). just a month after i left home and moved 1200 miles away, yeah, all at once, hopped on a bus and made my journey, i met my fiancée. due to financial issues, we moved in together 4 weeks after we started dating and were engaged one week later. i knew she would freak out, so i didn't tell them i was engaged right away, i waited about 2 more months, because we were still not getting along well so they had not come to visit me and had not met him. we decided we wanted to get married right away, we just clicked, soul mates and whatnot, so i basically just invited them to come see us get married, which was basically just an elopement. i will be the first to admit, that was probably not nice, but begrudgingly, they came and the day before the wedding, we all sat down and talked, and my fiancee and i decided to wait, seeing as how they, again, begrudgingly agreed to pay for a wedding, in exchange for us being a little more patient. we also talked one on one and agreed to start over, my mom would stop "punishing" me for moving out. things went ok for a couple months, but then she started doing it again, not talking to me, literally refusing to talk about the wedding, she actually told me i am "a horrible person with no morals" and that i would not have the wedding i imagined, insinuating that even if they could afford something, they would not do it, just to spite me.

well, here is the dilemma, though, i want to have a real wedding and it will be years before we could afford to have a wedding on our own, and i do not want to wait years to actually get married, but if we go to the courthouse, my family will never forgive me, and obnoxious as they are, i still love them. so, we have some paperwork to take care of, so we are having a hard time setting a date, but we know it will be this year, so i have chosen my bridesmaids and i am planning out all of the details and being as kind as i possibly can, i asked my bridesmaids to go to a website and pick their favorite style for their dress...twice now. no response, from any of them, most of whom are my relatives, they don't answer when i send them anything or ask any questions about the wedding, for their opinion, because i am doing this by myself from another state, where they live. i write a blog full of inspiration for my wedding, and i know for a fact they don't read, and the only one who ever shows any interest bitches about anything i choose because we are very opposite in terms of style and personality, but i love her, she is my cousin and i am one of the few people who will put up with shit.

so seriously, how the eff do i deal with all of them? if i anger them, then there is no wedding, and if there is no wedding, we will go to the courthouse, and then we will be screwed, because my mom will hate me and the rest of my family will follow.



Stop trying to plan a wedding and enjoy all the we-just-met-and-we're-madly-in-love stuff.

Srsly. Wedding planning is a total boner killer.

Photos by Fabio Bartelt for Marie Claire, Layout by DESIGNLOVEFEST via cevd


  1. i agree with esb, i understand it must be frustrating dealing with unsupportive peeps...but really enjoy the ride! it goes so fast! i dated my fiance for 10 YEARS before we got engaged. i realize this is the other extreme, but we've been engaged now for a year, and it's so fun!!! seriously i might just stay engaged for a few more years, just to enjoy this phase of my life, have something to look forward to (an actual wedding) and to simply relish the time... don't be in a hurry to rush life along! good luck!

  2. 1. The parents - there are plenty of parent/child relationships that are strained, and get even more so when the kiddo gets engaged. You might just have to accept that throwing wedding planning into an already tumultuous relationship is more likely to strain it further. Ask your parents one time how involved they want to be, and then stick to that. No back and forth, no negotiations, no nothing.

    2. The bridesmaids - Fuck this! Pick the people who are important to you AND you can muster up the excitement to help you plan a wedding. If you gals won't respond to your emails, then maybe they aren't made of stern enough to stuff to stand up with you.

    3. The speed. I'm totally pro the whirlwind love affair, and it sounds like y'all want to be together no matter what. Keep living together, but take the wedding planning off the table for at least a couple months. Take a trip together, see how he treats waitresses, and have a round of the flu together. The wedding will come at a time that's best for you and your husband, and you'll make it a celebration that reflects who you are and what your life priorities are.


  3. Honestly I sympathize with your parents. I think asking your parents to become instantly ok with you moving out of the house 1200 miles away, dating a new guy, moving in with him, getting engaged and start planning a wedding all in a span of FOUR months is a tall order. They need some time to wrap their heads around this.

    And if the majority of your bridesmaids are family members they probably feel uncomfortable since their aunt and uncle/whatever relation are obviously not 100% on board.

    Give it some time, the family will come around once they see you two together and happy for awhile. Go on a road trip together. Spend at least one major holiday with his family. Talk about money and religion and all those sticky subjects that never come up in the we-just-met-and-are-crazy-about-each-other phase.

  4. If it is "right" now then it doesn't have to be "right now." Ya read me?

    If you're really destined to be together then you'll stay together for the next two years or so , in which time hopefully your family will have come around to the idea AND you'll have saved up some money to contribute to the wedding.

    Put it on the backburner, be engaged for a while, be married in your hearts, just wait to make it legal until you are more settled in your relationship, no? ALSO pre-marital counseling, I think everyone should do it. If you can't afford it maybe check out a book (like this: and read it with your honey.

  5. Whoa! Slow down there, turbo. Take breath. Enjoy life. There's no rush.

  6. Everything about this screams child. You move out when you're 20 years old but you're punished for it. You meet a dude on a train, move in right away and decide to get married right away.

    Grow up. Seriously. Talk about it with your mother, apologize for not handling it correctly, and then assert your adulthood. 20 year olds shouldn't live with their parents. That's number one, number two is why the eff do you need to get married right away? You don't even know this person - that takes awhile. It takes a couple fights, it takes a couple hard times. It takes time to know their quirks and love them anyway - or decide you can't live with those quirks. And finally, three, you don't even really know yourself. YOU JUST MOVED OUT OF YOUR PARENT'S HOUSE. Give yourself some time. If it's real, he'll be there. Grow together, have fun and chill out. Life is long.

  7. lol... this is why I read the ESB. While reading the post I kept thinking - how long have you been together? How is ESB going to address this?

    And then she does it, says exactly what I'm thinking!

    Slow down, enjoy the love and romance and ya know what... after a few years of dating and living together your parents will come around.

  8. Your mom pushed you out of her vagina. Give your parents a break!

  9. Look I totallu agree with ESB, SLOOOOWWWWW DOOOOOWN. On the other hand though, if you're determinded to get married, just go do it. You are getting married to a dude you barely know at 20 years of age, it is what it is, allowing your parents to pay for it is NOT going to make them all right with it, ever.. like.. at all.

    So seriously, own the fact that you are going against all logic, reason and yes, own that you are defying and knowingly hurting your parents. I honestly think that if you insist on marrying him now, you must accept that you are breaking up with your parents. Realistically it might take 5 years of happy marriage, while growing into a woman/daughter they can be proud of, before they get on board with this.

  10. When I first met my BF (at 18!) we were madly in love and instantly wanted to be together fooorrrreverrr. Over seven years later? He's still my BF and we're still madly in love. But more importantly he knows I'm terrible at dishes and stupidly sensitive, and I know that he takes a ridiculously long time in the bathroom and can be moody.

    There's no romance lost in being bf+gf.

  11. If you are trying to assert your independence and prove that you are a grownup, pay for your own wedding.

  12. So while I trust this relationship to last about as long as my Walmart flats, why don't you just elope and not tell anybody? If the first priority is to get married, then just do it.

    Otherwise, stop rushing things. The more you insist on now, now, now, the more this looks like rebellion.

    Plus, at the expense of sounding like the old fart here, there's kind of more to getting married than being "soulmates and whatnot" and you guys haven't really had the time to hash that out yet.

  13. I know as listeners we're not supposed to say this, but I'm going to: I've been here, and I highly highly highly recommend waiting.

    My sitch was slightly diff, but I'll skip over most of the deets, except to say that I also decided to say to my mom Forget You and your request that I wait two years (for me to finish grad school) before we get married, and the fiance and I planned a speedy Vegas wedding in 2 months. 40 friends + fam came, but my mom (who had already stopped talking to me a year previously due to engagement) and my dad (who was trying his hardest to be supportive but my mom wears the pants in the family) did not come out. I hate that I robbed both them and myself of the opp for them to see me and my hubs tie the knot -- I know it was their decision, blah blah -- but man, if I could tell my immature self back then that waiting just a little bit longer (in the scale of, oh, eternity), it would be worth it. Our marriage is going 6 years strong and I'd never change my mind about marrying him -- just about when. And maybe my mom is loonier than most (so my friends assure me), but sharing the moment with your parents is something you can never recreate. Just something to think about.

  14. waiting will be so worth it when your family and friends are finally on board with your decision.

  15. um yes, i agree with esb. and @anon on the analogy, damn straight.

  16. Yes, ESB! You're totally right-on. Boner killer, ha! EXACTLY.

    All signs are pointing to - NOT setting a wedding date this year. This is simply too much to impose on a brand new relationship. Enjoy the new-ness of it without all of this drama! Take the pressure off of yourself and boyfriend. I hope everything works out naturally and in good time. Good luck. xo.

  17. ESB nailed this one. Mend things with your fam. before you start planning a wedding. Calling off the wedding and agreeing to just live with your boyfriend would a) give you tons of the benefits of being married (waking up next to each other every day, having someone to clean up after, etc etc) and b) will probably go a long way toward soothing your parents and relatives. Just chill for a little and get married when everyone (yourself included) knows your bf for the wonderful guy he is.

  18. If EVERYONE around you is distant is the problem YOU or EVERYONE ELSE??? Seriously, please stop and think about WHY you're mother is saying these things without getting defensive. Besides emailing your friends/family pictures of their bridesmaid dresses have you talked to them about your relationships, your feelings, their feelings??
    Did you move away to develop your independence of to run away from your parents? Do you actually love your fiance or are you still infatuation faze since things haven't had the opportunity to get rough yet? Do you know what its like to be alone? Can you honestly say you are where you want to be in life before you bring accept someone else? If you can't afford a wedding on your own can you afford the married life??? If you couldn't muster up the courage to tell you parents you're engaged will you be able to talk to your parents or husband about harder things that may arise?

  19. I totally get the urge to start planning the second you're engaged, BUT you're 20. There is absolutely NO need to rush into marriage right now. You two live together, you're engaged, and you're young. Live it up!

    But, most of all, I have to say I agree with Jessica. Most parents have a rough time dealing with their kids moving out and growing up. So cut them a little slack about that.
    Also you can't expect them to be super excited that you moved in with and got engaged to a guy you'd know for 4 and 5 weeks, respectively. Sorry, but that doesn't exactly scream mature.

    You may be right, this guy may be the love of your life and you may spend the rest of your lives together. But you also may be wrong. And rushing into a marriage isn't going to prove anything (good anyways).

  20. Oh dude. Look at those sentences! You are twisting yourself into knots. I know right where you are- you are at the frantic point of despair where you start to go, "and another thing, they don't like my shoes and she said that she hates bangs, and I HAVE BANGS!"- you know that part? Where every little single thing is a CLUE about how totally fucked up that person is? That is a bad point to be at.

    I'm not even going to touch the whole issue of you being married so soon. Life is short. Maybe this is a mistake, maybe it's exactly right and you will be so happy. I don't know. It's rare that people regret waiting on stuff like this, but it can also be very brave to just dive right in.

    Here's the thing though. You can't wave a magic wand and make your parents supportive (I assume this is why you fled cross country at age 20) or your bridesmaids interested in your blog. You have to work with the place they are at. If getting married with their blessing and their money is the most important thing, you need to work with them. If not, you need to grow some adult person balls and say, "so sorry you feel that way. We delayed once to try your way, and it's not working. So I hope you can come to our wedding, but this is what I'm going to be doing, with out without approval." You need to say to your bridesmaids, "Guys I'd really like you to show some enthusiasm and check out the blog. If you aren't up to it, I'd love for you to just be guests at the wedding."

    Being adult is finding a place to stand and holding that ground, regardless. I also strongly support counseling- particularly when it comes to your parents. It's pretty normal to be 20, in love, and have trouble with parents. Sorting out those feelings and behaviors will be something you can use the rest of your life. Maybe that's the best wedding present you can have?

  21. Your family is trying to tell you without telling you that they don't support your marriage. This isn't about the wedding itself (is it ever???)

    From this email, it sounds like you are having this wedding to prove you are a grownup.


    You have a wedding because you want to have a *marriage,* you don't have a wedding to prove anything, or to fix anything, or throw a big fancy party. Take a look at what you are really doing here. Give yourself some time.

  22. you have THE REST of your lives to be married. enjoy the engagement. enjoy DATING, actually, first. you'll love yourself for it, later.

  23. okay, i do see what all of you are saying here, but it has not been only 4 months now, it has now been a year and a half. i had already been doing an internship in the city where i am now living. i sat down with my parents many times and talked to them, explained why i wanted to move back here, and they refused to listen, but still acted shocked when i left. they are also mostly upset with us living together unmarried, because they are very strict christians, like the rest of my family, my grandfather is a minister, my uncle is ordained and most of the rest of them run departments of their respective churches. We did not "meet on a train", we met through mutual friends nearly 2 years ago and got to know each other before we decided to become more serious, then once we became serious, then everything moved way faster. we also never really had the dating thing, we really just clicked and knew what we wanted from each other. and i am not looking to have the wedding just for a party, i would be perfectly fine with just going to the courthouse, but the wedding was mostly for my parent's benefit, some of their main points were they wanted to be involved, for my dad to walk me down the aisle, to celebrate with my family. it is just frustrating because they are angry that i did the "worst thing" in their eyes, left home, and started my own life, my aunt and uncle still live in the same house as their parents, and always have, they raised 2 children there, who grew up, got married at 18 and 22 and now live in mobile homes on the same property as their parents/grandparents. i left home because i had lived out of the house for 6 months, then went home and my parents literally tried to lock me away from the world. they disconnected the cable, internet, and phone, and took the keys to the car to work with them, leaving me stranded in the house 3 miles from anything in the dead of winter in upstate new york.

  24. holy crap girl, have some understanding here! you just met this guy, just got engaged, and the first thing you are doing is asking your friends to buy dresses?!? you have to give them a little time. Let them buy their dresses when they are ready and more details are set in stone. And for craps sake, enjoy your engagement with your fiance! You sound like you are absolutely 100% rushing the wedding planning.

    You only have two options here: 1) If you really want a large wedding after all, wait awhile until you can afford to pay for it yourself. You shouldnt have to justify everything you want to your mother. or 2) go to the courthouse.

  25. also, i never realized until i moved out, but my parents kind of raised me to be reliant on them, they planned for me to live with them and wait until i am about 25 to get married and move out. they used to tell me, look at ____, she stayed home until she got married! she was 32. that seems to be the life they wanted me to live, and by the way, 20 is not too old to live at home still you don't have to leave right at 18, but 25-30 is too much.

  26. After reading your original letter, I was completely agreeing with ESB and all of the other comments. However, after reading your additional comments, your issues seem quite a bit more serious. People's religious beliefs can be huge, and your family sounds very fundamentalist; that may always pose problems for you, and they may always be resentful of the choices you've made. The bit about your parents stranding you at home is particularly worrisome. I think that you need to discuss some wedding ground rules with your parents. Remind them that you agreed to their plan for your wedding because you want to respect how important it is to them. However, they are not showing you any respect and are punishing you as if you were a child. Tell them that mutual respect is important to you, and that you will not get married "their way" without it.

    I still think that waiting might be a good idea. One and a half years is still often the lovey-dovey phase. This might give everyone (friends, family, you) a chance to get more comfortable with your relationship. You may also want to talk to a counselor (not religiously affiliated) about this; they may be able to set you and your family on the right path.

  27. You were still living with your parents at 20? And you moved in with this guy immediately after? Are red flags not waving all over the place here?

    There's some growing up that needs to be done here ... for you, for your mother. Take the time to do it right, or you won't have the support system you need when things go south with this guy that you've known for 2 seconds.

    What's the big rush anyway?

  28. thank you, anon, honestly, i was writing here because i am at my wit's end with everything, and i am trying not to just dump all of my family relationships, because it is not all about my fiancee, our issues started way before he and i even met. and alli, i am being understanding, i have not griped at them or anything, and it not about dresses, it is the fact that i had only met their fiancees only once or twice before the wedding and my entire family and i were on board, completely, they are wonderful men, as is my fiancee, they have no reason to dislike him, he has never done anything to hurt me, and has never said or done anything to offend them, so it is not like i am choosing to spend my life with someone who treats me badly, he is wonderful to me, and i have grown up and learned so much being with him, and he puts up with my crazy family, but he is getting frustrated with all of this too. and we have seen our "honeymoon phase" come and go, we never had a traditional dating relationship, or courtship, we immediately spent nearly every waking hour together, learned each others ins and outs, seen good, bad, and ugly, our year and a half long relationship is more like 3 years, and we began our whole relationship being totally honest with each other, no games. we have survived the fear and tension of us both being out of work and living in close quarters, having barely any food, and have worked hard together to make it as far as we have, in our own apartment, not constantly living in fear of losing our home, and i think if we can make it through a life like that, not having had it be all roses, but the hardest times of my life, we can make it through anything. i don't think i am being childish, i am trying to hold my ground and live my own life, but with respect to them as well, but i shouldn't be disrespected and shunned for that. and i took responsibility for what i did, i didn't go running home, or begging mommy and daddy for money when things got hard, i took care of myself.

  29. Shit, allie, my apologies.

    I guess all I can say is this: it seems like your parents will, unfortunately, always always always find a reason to not attend/support your wedding/marriage. My advice, even though it sucks and will be terribly, terribly difficult, is that you and your man band together and stand up for yourselves. If that means courthouse, so be it. You can only bend so much when it comes to family or anyone else. You two should not compromise who you are as a couple nor yourselves individually. The hard work with confrontation will pay off later in ways you can't fathom right now. One benefit will be that you and the husband are protecting your new family, which is the most important thing in the world.

    Ps-anon 4:43, 20 yrs old is not too old to be living at home. Don't be ridiculous. And don't be anonymous either. What is up with anonymous commenting? Stand and deliver, folks.

  30. Also, hugs. Family sucks sometimes. The shit hit the fan for my husband and I during both the wedding planning (his fam) and then after the actual wedding (my fam). Thankfully we drew our boundaries as a couple during our engagement, without which the first months of our marriage would not be going so relatively smoothly. Good luck and if you lived in south texas I would totally meet up with you right now and buy you a drink. :-)

  31. chesapeake, you just made me cry, haha, it is just frustrating beyond belief, this is supposed to be the happiest time of my life...not so much. and i know i opened myself up to criticism by writing in here, but i really needed an unbiased opinion, i.e. not my friends or family, and i had no idea the criticism i would receive, geez, it is really complicated to explain everything, haha. oh, funny side note, my mom was 19 and had known my dad for all of 9 months when they got married...27 years ago, still happily married!

  32. I disagree with the people telling you to wait. Maybe you guys are getting married too soon, maybe you're not. How the fuck do we know? Just because you're young and you're moving fast doesn't mean it's going to go south with this guy you've known for 2 seconds.' Condescending much?

    The comment that really resonates with me is Nat's. Although like I've said, the "slow down" stuff bugs me, she's right - own it. Own your life. There's no way your parents are ever going to be happy with this but you know what? Doing stuff that your parents aren't ok with (especially when your parents are crazypants) is part of growing up and asserting the fact that you are living YOUR life, not theirs. You can do that and still love them and still be grateful to them for raising and still respect that they have their feelings about this and that those feelings are valid but you're going to live your life the way that YOU choose to THANKYOUVERYMUCH and you're (genuinely) terribly sorry if that hurts them but you can't live your life for other people.

    I've been there, it sucks and sometimes there is not a whole lot of talking going on between parent and child for a few years but it's worth it. Asserting your independece isn't always a childish, teenage 'I'll pierce my nose if I goddamn want to and YOU can't stop me' thing to do, sometimes it's really bloody necissary to say 'I love you but this is my life and I won't let your feelings prevent me from living it the way that I need to for me and for the man that I have chosen to love.'

    Whatever you decide to do, good luck my dear. You're going to need it.

    And THAT my friends is the longest comment I've written in 6 months. Fucking insomnia.

  33. You don't owe your parents anything. They CHOSE to have you, clothe you, educate you, etc.

    The way this plays out in my life is that I make decisions for myself and myself only, in order to maximize happiness and personal growth while minimizing future regrets.

    I am lucky that my parents are extremely supportive, even if they think I'm a nutter (I'm definitely the black sheep of the family). You aren't so lucky, and that makes me sad. Because things will just be harder for you. (Duh, they already are.)

    In the context of your family, you've already proven yourself exceptional, as evidenced by your moving out, supporting yourself, and just generally breaking the mold your extended family is comfortable with. You've left them behind, and they're bound to feel alienated and perhaps resentful. But there are great advantages to your risk-taking. For example, discovering a new city, your internship, building an entirely new family with your fiance....

    The "mold" is not right for everyone. But it's hard work finding your own path.

    Allie, there is so much more going on here than wedding drama. Counseling is a great idea. If you're in school, universities increasingly offer mental health services for students. Otherwise, a google search should turn up affordable mental health centers.

    I wish you the best, I really do.

  34. ALSO your parents putting you into forced isolation when you moved back is a huge red flag. Not to say that they're bad people, but their reactions to your choices are off.

    I'm sure there are stickier details that you're leaving out. We all do it. And there's no reason to be completely candid with a group of internet know-it-alls. But please do yourself a favor and find a professional you trust who can help get you through this.

  35. Just so you know, being engaged is really not the "happiest time of your life". Having seen what all my friends have been through in their engagements, I think it looks more like living death. Piles and piles of expectations and weird family tensions and stress and money issues. I think if you think of your engagement as something to survive as best you can, you will take a lot of pressure off yourself in terms of expecting enthusiasm and a family that magically becomes far more supportive than they are capable of.

  36. it sounds like there is way more going on here with you and your parents than even you realize. i think you all need to sit in a room and talk it out. with a mediator. like, a professional.

  37. I agree with the others who suggested counselling. Parents mess us all up to some degree, but it sounds like your family situation has been hard and unhealthy for you. You need a space where you can let it all out and find some self-love.

    Also, boundaries and separation are a good thing at times, as well as expressing love to your family. You don't need to 'dump' them, you can create your new boundaries with respect and care for them - again something definitely to talk to a counsellor about.

    As for the marriage - when you're clear, do the thing that makes YOU happy, and not just your family - isn't that what this blog is always about?

    p.s. Don't worry about the criticism, your later comments changed the nature of your story as I'm sure we'd all agree.