Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's My Wedding, Damn It!

Dear ESB,

So, my
fiancé and I are in a bit of a conundrum. We want an awesome and beautiful Puerto Rican beach wedding, but the parents that are paying said no. They said no because grams can't come. That's it! While I would love to have my grandma come, I want a beach wedding damn it and to be honest, her health is diminishing more and more every day and I really don't think she will make it another year and a half which is the date we have set. Since I can remember I have dreamed of a beach wedding, on white sand, with a beautiful blue ocean in front of me. Sounds perfect, right? Now, ever since we got engaged in Puerto Rico all my fiancé talks about is a beach wedding there too. I mean come on! How awesome is that!? So I'm thinking, why waste all this money on deposits and stuff if she won't even be able to make it anyway? I'm just being real here. I love grams to death but I'm just trying to put things into black and white.

So my question is, do I just say flat out, I don't want whatever crap you are planning in my home town because I will be unhappy with it and pay for it myself? Or should I just deal with it and be sad and not care about my wedding? Because at this point, I'm really starting to not give a sh*t about where or how we get married since it will be in my craphole of a town! Let me mention that the only reason we can't have a destination wedding is because of my parents, his parents are all for it! Total B.S.!

fiancé says screw them, let's elope in Puerto Rico and come back and tell them the news and beg for them to throw us a party. I'm all for it, but my mother would probably be pretty upset with me. Is it worth it? I mean it is MY WEDDING!

Angry Beach Bride


Dear Angry,

Why don't you ask your parents to throw you a big engagement party in your hometown? Soon, while Grams is still able to attend.

Then you can throw yourself the beach wedding of your dreams. (I.E. You had better not expect them to pay for it. Brat.)


Image shot in Oahu (with a HOMEMADE LENS. I die.) by One Love Photo


  1. Yow. Brat indeed. Yeah, of course it's your wedding, but that's cold.

  2. HOLY. MOLY.

    You want YOUR WEDDING!!!, you pay for YOUR WEDDING!!!!!

    And I hope your grandmother has enough sense to leave you nothing after she dies.

  3. You are being super selfish or are you being super selfish?

  4. ESB, the level of constraint you've shown here is amazing. Are you even human? Am I reading a botblog?

    Somebody get this kid an after school special stat.

  5. brat or not, it is silly to arrange an entire wedding around one person who is probably not even able to enjoy it fully due to health issues, age, etc. seems more like her parents just want to be able to say "grams was there". i wonder what grams thinks?

  6. Holy enchilada, you sound so incredibly self-obsessed! ESB's (incredibly restrained) advice is spot-on -- pay for your own damn wedding. It is YOUR wedding, after all.

    Also, go hug your grandmother right now.

  7. Wow. Selfish much? I mean, I get that you have this dream and all ... but really?

    So, yeah. Engagement party. Then take your own happy asses there and do what you want on your dime. And don't expect people to pay or be there. Obv. you don't really care if they are, anyway.

  8. Blerg - restraint, not constraint.

  9. Yeah... this was super harsh (the bride not the ESB). I hope you're just all wound up.

    As for the grams thing... I really like the ESB's idea. Because ya know what, if you get your way and your grams isn't there you're going to look back and wish she'd been able to be part of your special day.

    Try and think about what's going to be important to you in the long term... like when you're looking back on your wedding day in years to come.

  10. was the letter for real ?

    you know what, ABB? when your grandma dies, you're going to feel like a real asshole.

  11. That photo is GORGEOUS.

    And that's all I can say because the actual letter has made me so sad and angry. At least you HAVE a grandma.

  12. Also, did it ever cross your mind that maybe it matters to your *grandmother* that she be there at your wedding? And isn't in fact just some scheme cooked up by your parents to ruin your life?

  13. I did a double take when I opened this in my reader because that's me in the photo. One Love Photo is genius. Best money I spent.

  14. @Kristy: 100% agree. This letter angers and saddens me, too.

    @Angry Bitch Bride: I live in a place where you have respect for your hometown and your family, you know, your roots, where you came from. You don't refer to your hometown as a "craphole town," and you don't plan a wedding with the mindset of "grams" is gonna die soon so let's just do what we want. You are one of those bridezilla fucks who can't see beyond The Dream Wedding in the White Sand.

    Do the small family wedding in your hometown (generously paid for by your parents). Then honeymoon in PR for as long as your little heart desires.

    In fact, this is EXACTLY what my husband and I did in October: small wedding + honeymoon in San Juan. Except for the fact that we did so with gratitude and love in our hearts for EVERYTHING our family did to make sure we had a beautiful wedding followed by a long, luxurious honeymoon.

    My grandmother, Mimi, who is losing her battle with cancer as we speak was feeling like shit the day I got married; she was weak and shaky and nauseous all day long. You could see it on her face that she was in pain. She will never meet my (future) children, but she was there to see me marry my sweetheart, and that makes me very happy. Good luck to you. Good luck to your fiance, too.

    @ESB: spin-off to My Maid-of-Honor is a Cunt: This Silly Fucking Bride is a Cunt. Just an idea. Sorry for the rage & curse words. It's not typically my style; you know this. xo.

  15. ABB: Are you a three-year-old? Still throwing tantrums if you can't get your way?! You keep saying it's YOUR wedding, so you just pay up and then please shut up.

    Yeah, your parents will be upset if you elope ... upset that they raised such a selfish, spoiled brat.

    Grow up. It's not about the wedding, it's about the MARRIAGE. And shame on you for trashing your grams. What goes around comes around, you know. ... which is poetic justice in this case.

  16. It's one thing knowing your "grams" will be there and another knowing she will not make it another year and a half. Personally I'd hate to plan a wedding expecting her to be there and then she dies. Now the wedding day is a sad day because you expected her to be there.

    And to the person above, I wouldn't have expected my grandmother to be at my wedding feeling like shit, that's selfish in its self.

  17. .... but you only get married once right?

  18. Hmmm...or start slippin' grams some extra meds each day to speed up the process.


    Seriously, halfway through this email I thought it might end with "that act would be justified, right?" I'm telling myself this email isn't real so I can sleep tonight. Who's with me?

  19. I think ya'll are being a little too hard on ABB. Family, weddings, place and marriage mean different things to all of us. We all make selfish decisions now and again based on our values. Just because ABB's values don't line up with yours doesn't mean you get to make her feel guilty. Besides, doesn't everyone go a little crazy when their wedding doesn't go their way? Or was that just me?

    ESB's advice was spot on. Take it.

  20. Ps @nicole- I would totally support a t.s.f.b.i.a.c site. Great idea.

  21. omg! i actually said that out loud when i read this. i'm not really sure what sort of repsonse you were hoping to get from this email? i agree, ESB was VERY restrained with her reply.

    what you have basically said is 'my grandma is going to die soon so why should i have to plan it around her?'

  22. what a selfish little bitch!

  23. Last summer, I had the strangest feeling that my grandma (age 94) was going to die before our wedding this summer. I was so panicked about this that we tried to plan something within 2-3 months so she could be there. My parents (and she!) nixed the idea, saying I was being crazy, and that she was health as a horse, and that it was way too short of notice and no one could afford it. So we waited.

    Turns out my "strange feeling" was misdirected but somehow eerily accurate - my best friend and maid of honor, who relapsed from a cancerous brain tumor the month after my panic attack, died three months later. I am heart broken over it.

    Point being, when someone you love ACTUALLY dies, you will experience a grief so overwhelming that something as minor as where your wedding is held simply won't matter to you anymore. It will matter that the people you cherished won't be there to share what should be a special day.

    Oh, unless you're completely self-absorbed. In which case, if you're reading this, your cheeks might be burning with shame.

  24. haha you're a spoiled selfish bitch.

  25. Agreed... in the end it has nothing to do with WHERE... It has everything to do with the fact that you are getting married to the person you love and you can do that just the two of you... at a courthouse even.. but if you have the opportunity to exchange those vows in the presence of most of(grams included) the people who support and love you, it will be a million times better... I can't even begin to tell you how AMAZING it felt, on my wedding day, to be surrounded by and cheered by and loved by friends and family. We kept it small, we kept it inexpensive, but those things did not matter. The hugs you get and the love you receive does. Hands down.

  26. 1) I agree w/ ESB's advice but

    2) think everyone's being a little harsh. maybe she *is* just being realistic.
    a) I get that you wouldn't want to have a wedding somewhere you don't want in order to accommodate someone who's unlikely to be there.
    b) not everyone's that close to their grandparents (which doesn't mean you should ignore them, especially at your wedding)
    c) some towns *are* crapholes and being born there doesn't necessarily change that

    3) you should do something to celebrate with gramma before she does die.

  27. oops, and
    d) you can't expect your parent to pay for it!!!!

  28. This post just makes me really, really sad. I will console myself by spending the next 10 minutes looking at the framed picture of my Nana and me that sits on my desk, wishing that she hadn't all but lost the ability to speak so that I could have a phone call with her and tell her how much I love her.*

    Go spend some time with your Grams and take a deep breath. Your desire for a beach wedding is not inherently selfish, but the tone of this letter (maybe you were trying to be funny?) shows a heartbreaking misalignment of what-is-important.

    *My Nana & Mother are Catholic. My ability to guilt trip is hereditary.

  29. Ignoring the brides attitude for the moment.

    Why don't you just wait a year to start planning? Then you will have a better idea of whether grams will be able to attend if the wedding is in your hometown. It does not need to take a year and a half to plan a wedding. We did it in under 6 mo.
    If you are so worried about losing your deposits etc. Don't make em'.

  30. Okay, okay, okay.

    Here's how WE did it: We had a mini-wedding with the grandparents FIRST.

    The time: April
    Us: Getting maried in Canada in August
    Grandparents: Ailing in Oregon, less-and-less mobile... my grandfather passed away in June, in fact

    So we had a ceremony at their retirement home . No lie. I wore my grandmother's wedding dress, he wore a tux, the retirement home minister provided over the "commitment ceremony"(what with it not being legal at all).

    To my great delight, the uber-conservative minister chose the Ruth and Naomi story (running off to a strange land with the person you love, where you go I go, etc.)... perenial lesbian wedding favourite.

    My grandparents invited all their friends at the retirement centre to attend... the little chapel was packed. We had a reception of tea and cookies in the cafeteria afterward.

    And let me tell you... that little wedding with just us, my parents and my grandparents there was SO. MUCH. BETTER. than our grand Canadian wedding in August.

    Also, fuck the white sand beach wedding if you can't pay for it your damned selves.

  31. Dude, I feel like it's the commentators that are being bitchy. You don't know what kind of relationship this woman has with her grandmother. My grandma is a bitch that made my mothers life a living hell the entire time she was married to my dad. When my mother told her she was pregnant with me (on purpose, after two years of marriage) my (Catholic!)grandma told her she should have an abortion. So. This blind grandmother worship is bullshit. Some people could give a shit if their grandma is at their wedding.

  32. ABB, please come back and tell us we've all just been punked and this is a big joke.

  33. "Your desire for a beach wedding is not inherently selfish, but the tone of this letter (maybe you were trying to be funny?) shows a heartbreaking misalignment of what-is-important."


    Wanting the wedding you want doesn't make you evil, neither does admiting that planning a wedding you don't want around someone who MIGHT not be there doesn't make an awful lot of sense. But DEAR GOD the tone of this letter is callous. Not to mention selfish, spoilt and embarassing.

    You need to decide how important to YOU it is that your Grandma is there and if it's not then accept it, grow up and pay for the wedding that YOU want. If that's what's important to you. But don't, ffs, beg for them to throw you a party. Throw your own damn party, and make it a good one because you're going to have some very raw wounds to heal (theirs, not yours.)

  34. I agree with everything that Peonies and Polaroids said above. Your tone is very callous.

    But I do get why you don't want to plan your entire wedding around your grandmother. My grandma is on her third round of cancer and I honestly think she may not be at my wedding in fourteen months. A shorter engagement just isn't feasible, given the fact that I'm in grad school, am super busy, and need more than a few months to save $$. But of course, I am hoping she'll be there, and I'm certainly not going to make it more difficult for her to attend my wedding.

    Anyways, if you want a beach wedding, then have one and pay for it yourself. Stop throwing fits about how your parents won't pay for it. They do NOT owe you a wedding, whether it's on a beach in Puerto Rico or in your home town. It's their money, and they can do whatever the hell they want with it. And like someone else said, don't beg them to throw you a reception at home. Be an adult and throw your own reception.

  35. those commenters who are calling her a bitch, that's really mean, i'm pretty sure she just wanted to come off in the same snarky tone as all the rest of the ESB readers do, so there's no reason she's a horrible selfish person who hates her gramma.

    Anyways,from a practical standpoint...a lot of people like to have destination weddings, and a lot of resorts offer packages whereby the groom and bride can have a priest or local religious someone or other officiate a ceremony with some local flavour.

    These brides and grooms have usually already gone through the whole family expected stuff at home with their family and friends and are looking for something more personal and romantic. Most brides and grooms I know who've opted to go this way are (usually) happy with the result and the memories. Maybe something ABB should consider?

  36. I've got to be the only person who is dumbfounded by the number of people who expect or have their parents pay for their weddings. Really? But I'm old school and actually paid my way through college, working full time and going to school full time. I think this delayed childhood thing (parents still paying for most everything even when you're in your 20s) is kinda disturbing

  37. We planned our wedding around letting all of our family be there, especially my Grandmother – that's a huge part of why we got married when we did. She's in the early stages of Alzheimer's, and I didn't just want her there with me, but wanted her to be able to enjoy it. Honestly, it made her so amazingly happy to be there with us. She still likes to reminisce about the wedding too, and loved every minute of it.

    For us, having our family there was huge. If you don't want your family to be there, then that's fine. Talk to your grandmother about it though, not just your parents. She might have her own thoughts on whether she feels she has to be there to see you get married.

  38. There are two basic types of weddings. One is the old school, "parents give away daughter to man." That kind is paid for by the bride's parents, as a dowry sort of deal. It is also held in the bride's hometown and the parents get to have most of the say.

    The other kind is where the bride and groom are entering into adulthood together. In this one, the couple usually pays for a significant portion, if not all of the wedding. This enables them to get a lot more say over how things are done, because it is a team wedding with at least two main deciders and possibly up to 6 or more people with rights of input.

    Sounds like you are confused. You want the finance part of the first kind, an the choice and freedom of the second part. So it is probably necessary for you to think about what you really want here. You can have some, but not all of it. Money but not location, location but not money. And I think if you stop thinking of it as a situation where you lose or win, you might have more space to be flexible.

    Lastly, I am in love with an amazing man. When/if, we are lucky enough to marry each other, my only worry will be how we get our two fabulous grams with health issues into the same state to be there with us. If there is a total craphole halfway between them, I would be overjoyed to use it. Because they mean the world to us. If either one dies (god forbid), before then, it will of course be easier to pick a venue in a good location, at a loss to us both. Getting married to me is about saying you want your love to officially be part of the bigger communities you already belong to- your family is his family,
    his is yours, etc. If you don't care about your family at all, in the pursuit of YOUR perfect day, why invite them at all? Just elope, and everyone will feel equally left out.

  39. I would not elope, they are coming from old school and they just do not get it. Be diplomatic and express to them that this is your day, your wedding and you should be making all the decisions with their experienced help and a large part of a wedding is sharing the experience with family and friends and explain how wonderful it will be for everyone to be in a "special" and neutral space. And you will need all their emotional (financial too) help to make the day perfect

    Good luck!!

  40. I don't think there is anything wrong with someone's parents paying for their wedding. My parents are paying for my our wedding in October, but I see it as a gift, and am very very thankful for that, and respectful of the fact that that is something that they are doing for us, and have included them in every part of the planning, and have taken all of their desires, and concerns into consideration. My parents are amazing, mind you, and we have very similar ideas about what the wedding should be. Also, it is true, that some people do not have close, or even positive relationships with their grandparents. I do not have much of a relationship with my one living grandmother, and she will not be attending my wedding which is across the country from where she lives. That being said, I do think that the tone of this email was crass, rude, and childish.

  41. @Emily Greene, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with someone's parents paying for your wedding. But I do think it's wrong twenty- or thirty-something adults act like they have a god given right to wedding paid for by their parents. There's nothing wrong with it if your parents happily agree to GIVE you a wedding, but they certainly don't OWE you one.

  42. wow. this bride should be ashamed of herself.

    and aside from the unique addition of the "waiting for grams to die" spin, the advice is, of course, as always, PAY FOR YOUR OWN WEDDING. selfish brat.

  43. @KC - I've always thought this was a gorgeous photo of you :)