Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I don't want to be selfish but....


Dear ESB,

I want to "elope" (everyone will know, they just aren't invited) to NYC and get married this September. We are about to move, the fiance is getting a new job, and while our parents have offered to pay for everything, we fear their inevitable psychosis once we actually get down to planning... For example, my mother was a little upset I didn't include my gynecologist on the preliminary guest list. 

More Hitches:

1) My fiance's parents might be (will be) a little perturbed should we elope, and while I don't particularly care, I feel like he will? I know he will do it for me but I feel bad asking. I honestly don't get people's hangups about actually seeing couples get married. Watching people BE married is so much more fun and dramatic. 

2) Will I regret it? There is a 50% chance this will be the only time I get married/have a wedding and I would just hate to have any regrets. Then again, if I had lots of cash I would just let someone else plan it, show up, and probably have the time of my life. So maybe I'm just being lazy. 

Basically, I'm not super excited about planning my wedding. I thought I might be, but I'm not. I think I was more excited about BEING married and got a little confused. I don't want to be selfish but I also don't want to compromise my needs. 

I hope you tell me that the day is all about me and to do what I want. 

P.S. I am meeting with my dressmaker soon for something simple, short, and on the inexpensive side. So at least I'll be stylish while I piss everyone off. 

- (Cant)elope

*****

IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU.

What about your fiance?

Does he want a wedding?

Being too lazy to plan the damn thing is not a compelling reason to elope.

Suzie Bird by Armin Morbach for Tush #27 via Fashion Copius

50 comments:

  1. ESB is bang on with this one. Ask your fiance what he wants and decide together. It is not an elopement vs big wedding choice. There are plenty of options in between...

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    1. totally. you can invite JUST your folks, for example. SO MANY CHOICES.

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  2. If your parents have offered to pay, and your mother obviously wants to plan it, then just let her do it. Let your mom plan everything, you can still just show up, have the time of your life, and then you and your new hubby live happily ever after.

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  3. Why is there only a 50% chance that this is your only wedding/marriage?! I mean...no one can ever be certain but I like to think most people going into a "life-long" commitment with a higher confidence than 50%.

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    1. EXACTLY, if you are not 100% (or at least 95%) sure that this is going to be your only wedding/marriage then there should be no wedding/elopement. This grrly is off her rocker.

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    2. Yup, if you're going into this feeling like there is a 50% chance that it won't work out, I would say DON'T DO IT. Maybe thats why you feel somewhat ambivalent? If you aren't sure it is what you want and what is right for you, I can understand not wanting to make a big production of it. But I think it is not whether to elope or whether to have a big wedding that is the issue you really need to be looking at here

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    3. Totally agree. How can you go into a commitment like this figuring 1) it's all about me 2) There's a 50/50 chance this will work out and 3) Not knowing what your fiance wants?? EmJ is dead on. Marriage is hard enough without brining such low expectations into it.... yup, I just quoted sleepless in seattle. Good luck!

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    4. I think she's referring to the divorce statistics, tongue in cheek.

      But to be fair, it isn't a 50/50 rate across the board, because it varies a lot with demographics.

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    5. Dudes, that was a JOKE. *rolls eyes*

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    6. I was about to tell this girl about my amazing elopement story and the surprising warm reaction we received from our loved ones whom we plan on having a reception for in a couple of months because I am fully aware a wedding celebration is NOT all about us ... then I saw that 50% comment! I think she needs to take a step back, evaluate everything and really communicate to her partner. Whether the 50% comment was a joke or not I think the couple should really have a honest discussion between themselves and that should make things clearer. Sometimes we ask other people for advice to validate how we are already feeling. This is something the couple should decide together then if they make a decision some are upset about they know they were true to themselves.

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  4. being too lazy to plan the damn thing was EXACTLY the reason we eloped. well, that and i didn't want a big wedding in the first place. so i guess i was too lazy to plan the wedding that EVERYONE ELSE wanted.

    my mom was pretty upset about the whole thing. i called her in the evening after our special day, and she had clearly been 'medicating' with manhattans and wine since the early afternoon. i felt bad. but we got past it in a matter of weeks.

    eloping in NYC is so fucking magical. DO IT.

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    1. Totally agree. And really, "too lazy" might as well be code words for "I have a finite amount of free time and energy and x, y, z are more important than planning a big party."

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    2. that's the truth of the matter. finite amount of time, interest, and MONEY ! not to mention complicated inter/intra-family drama.

      there have been MOMENTS (and only moments) when i've wished we did a blow-out though ...

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  5. the best part of this: "I don't want to be selfish but I also don't want to compromise my needs." Honestly, you sound like a whiny brat. As Marie said above --there are many shades of grey between giant wedding and city hall elopement. Talk to your gent and come up with a plan that will make you both happy. If you're just not willing to compromise then I fear you're right about the 50% chance it won't work out.

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  6. Elope to city hall but invite a few key family members. Probably invite your parents + anyone you want there (not whoever will throw the biggest fit if they aren't invited). Go out for a nice dinner somewhere together after. Hire a fabulous photographer. Let your family throw you a party later if they want to. You get a no-planning require "elopement" in NYC. Your fam gets to throw a party and share the ceremony with you. You don't have to do any more planning than you would have anyway. There will still be people with their panties in a twist with this option, but there are twisted panties no matter what you decided to do. Don't let that stop you.

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  7. I agree with ESB. While I wanted to elope, it was very, very important to my husband that his extended family be there (and they're a big family). You should talk to your fiance and take his feelings into consideration. I didn't want to plan anything either, but a wedding is about two people, yes? We were ridiculously low-key about everything, and it turned out better than I expected.

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    1. oh god this makes me feel better.

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    2. I agree Anon.

      I wanted to elope. My husband at least wanted his parents and sisters there.

      We invited 30 people and had a lovely simple ceremony in a park. Went out for dinner after in a private room at our favourite place and had a jazz duo play (the best bit).

      We hardly planned a thing. It was awesome.

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  8. You haven't even talked to your FH about this???? I find that unbelievable. Um, doesn't he get a vote? So totally agree with ESB .... NOT all about you!!! Compromise your needs? Are you serious?

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    1. yeah last I heard, marriage is kind of ALL ABOUT COMPROMISING YOUR NEEDS

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  9. A wedding is more than your union with your partner. It's an opportunity to honor all the people in your lives who have been there for you and supported you in childhood and in singledom.

    Your family and friends want and deserve the chance to experience this momentous moment with you, because they love you and they had a hand in getting you to this point. If you elope, you're excluding everyone from celebrating with you, and yes, there may be some hard feelings from family and close friends because of it.

    If you're both very private people and you feel that a room full of people watching you get hitched would ultimately be uncomfortable and distracting, then by all means go off and elope. Your family will have seen it coming anyway, because they know you're shy/not into big parties/not particularly social.

    But if your only reason for eloping is that you don't feel like planning a party for everyone............people will most likely be confused and let-down.

    My advice is to keep it simple. Don't get overwhelmed by what the wedding blogs are telling you. Don't go DIY. Pick a few things that are important to you and your fiance (like the guest-list) and don't compromise on them. And then let your excited parents figure out the rest! Keep it small, keep it simple, and enjoy it!!

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  10. Hmm, this is tough. Will your fiance contribute to the planning? Will he pull his weight? Because while I don't think it's fair not to include him in the decision, I also think that if he wants a big wedding, he needs to play a big role in making that happen. My best girlfriend got married recently and her guy both wanted a huge wedding AND wanted to leave it all up to her. Not fair. Sit down with him, try to lay everything out (my partner definitely didn't realize how time consuming wedding planning is until we got into it) and see if it's still important to him.

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  11. No one should feel coerced or guilted into having a wedding they don't want just because "think of your mom/great aunt Sally/your friends/the blogs" BUT you do have to have some kind of wedding if your fiance wants one. Welcome to marriage.

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  12. I think the whole notion that weddings are entirely about what the bride wants is EXACTLY what fuels the wedding industrial complex / craziness in the first place. Weddings are about families coming together (much as they drive us nuts at times); they are about our friends and the role they play in supporting our relationships; they are about honoring all the people who have brought us to the moment where we are able, despite all the odds, to say 'I do.' Don't get me wrong--there are some great, legitimate reasons out there for eloping. But if you elope because of laziness, it sends a pretty clear message to your friends and family that you don't think they're very important, or valued, in your life. Don't be surprised if they're too busy, "lazy" or concerned with their own lives to help you when that 50% chance you're giving your marriage (!!) takes a turn for the worse.

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  13. @Hillary you took the words out of my mouth! ESB no comment on this? "there is a 50% chance this will be my only wedding" um.... Definitely don't throw the big wedding for your family and friends to take part in.... And don't elope, either. You referred to this event throughout your entire letter as "MY" wedding. You mean "OUR" wedding, "OUR" needs, "OUR" families wishes and the day being all about "US"... Or you should just move/start your new jobs and wait until it is.

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  14. I took the %50 comment as a nod to the stat that only %50 of marriages in the US stay together, not necessarily a reflection of how she feels about her fiance.

    Definitely talk to fiance, come to a compromise, take a deep breath, and enjoy it.

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  15. I don't want to be selfish but I also don't want to compromise my needs.

    From this post, it's not completely clear what your needs are (unless you need your family to be far away from you on your wedding day just in case they become annoying). People's hang-ups about seeing people get married is that they love you.

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  16. "(everyone will know, they just aren't invited)"
    That's... special.

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  17. This comment is disturbing too:

    "My fiance's parents might be (will be) a little perturbed should we elope, and while I don't particularly care, I feel like he he will."

    These people are your family now! It's really sad to be so dismissive and uncaring about them.

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  18. I get it, you want to just be married already with out having to deal with all the shit. We've all been there but like the lady said, your wedding is not all about you. I don't know if anyone's told you, but being a grown-up with a life long partner generally includes compromise. If that partner has family that is important to them, that includes more compromise. Failing to do so creates resentment and often times a shit storm.

    Why can't you guys give the immediate family (or whatever qualifier works for you guys) a date and time to meet in Central Park and have one of your officiant friends (everyone's got one now, right?) marry you and then go to your favorite bar/restaurant/pizzeria to celebrate? I know so so so many couples, esp New York couples who have done some version of this thing. They're happy, family's happy, no one broke the bank or had to throw a bouquet.

    And before you go all "I don't want to do what all these other couples have done," blah blah blah. They do it because IT WORKS!

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  19. Can we please make an "ask your partner before you ask the blogs" rule? Or at least strong suggestion? Please?

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  20. I understand how you feel but do you really want to deal with family and friends being passive-aggressive with you over this issue for years to come?? I wanted to elope because I hate being the center of attention, while he (and his mother) wanted a big wedding. So, we kind of compromised and are having an immediate-family-only ceremony in the morning followed by a 150 guest reception/dinner/party in the evening. Some guests seem pissed that they won't be able to watch the ceremony, so I can't even imagine how irate they would be if we eloped.

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  21. Get married in Mexico, everyone is afraid to go Mexico so they won't come and it will be just like eloping. Have the parents throw money at a resort that does everything for you so all you have to do is show up.

    Then throw a taco-truck party for all your friends when you get back.

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    Replies
    1. This is genius. I love it. I wish I had done this. Dawn, you rock.

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  22. 1. Being too lazy to plan a (big, probably expensive) party (while managing a lot of other people's expectations about what's acceptable for a wedding) is an awesome reason to elope. As long as your partner also feels that way. This goes double because people seem to expect that the bride will do all the work, so unless you have a major explicit commitment from someone else (partner, parents) you risk getting stuck with it. Your partner and parents want a wedding so bad? They can do the work for it.

    2. Think about what you'd want out of the wedding. I want to throw a big community-oriented kind of gathering. Other people want things to be pretty or to have quiet moments with their partners or to get a religious blessing or to take part in a meaningful cultural ritual. Whatever. That's how you'll know if you're going to regret eloping. Is eloping compatible with the thing you want? Your partner should think about the same things. If you have incompatible needs, COMPROMISE.

    3. I wouldn't have wanted to make it an immediate family only deal, mostly because if I'm going to have 2 people there I probably wouldn't choose my parents. OUCH. Seriously, I love them, they're important to me, but I'm not inviting them and skipping some of my closest friends. I.e., no elopements here.

    4. It is true that your wedding is not all about you (remember your Feyoncé) but you don't owe anyone a wedding, except possibly said Feyoncé.

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    1. Feyoncé... YES! That is amazing. This is my new preferred spelling.

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    2. All credit to 30 Rock, even though I wish I could keep it for my own.

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  23. i did not read all of the above comments so i apologize if this has been said. i agree you should talk to your fiance. but in that conversation you should make clear that you do not want to plan a big wedding by yourself. last summer i told my fiance that i was not sure i wanted to have a wedding because i knew the planning would drive me crazy. he said that having a big party with everyone we know was important to him. now, we are having that big party, i am planning everything, and, as predicted, i have been driven crazy.

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    1. Ha ha ha!

      Sorry to laugh at your misery but...

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  24. First of all: starting by saying "I dont WANT to be selfish..." is not true. The issue is you in fact DO WANT to be selfish and you are feeling guilty.
    I too thought of eloping, and I believe I have a 100% chance of being with this person forever.... so I will endure a small amount of planning and pain (I RUN a restaurant, a f-ing busy one, and work 13 hour days...) so that we can share this ONCE IN A LIFETIME RITUAL with our nearest and dearest.
    You, my dear woman, should look DEEP into yourself and your relationship... Just what are you hoping will be so different when you are married? The fiancé period is to show you guys how it feels to WORK TOGETHER. Just go plan a dinner party at your fave restaurant and invite your damn parents -and his too... and then wait for your 50% marriage to prove itself... OR NOT.
    BTW this is what wrong with the wedding industry... its created selfish monsters out of us all.

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  25. i think when she said 50% chance, she might have meant that she knows she's not going to leave him ever and she's only 50% of that equation. so he has to answer for the other 50%. it's just phrased weirdly. everyone is so hard on this girl. just seems like she's being fussy, not that she needs to rethink her whole relationship.

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    1. great point, math wizard. i love that everyone else is acting like it's total sacrilege to even admit that it's possible a marriage could end.

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  26. Like other readers said, there is a third option. Pay for it yourself, and have a small your-kind-of-thing shindig with the essential family members and your besties. Keep it small, keep it affordable, and for goodness sake, don't invite the gyn unless you have some REALLY amazing conversations over your vagina.
    -Caroline

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  27. Compromise with your mother: you & your fiance will elope, but you'll invite your gynecologist to city hall to be your witness. Win-win!

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