The first time I went wedding dress shopping my friend Annie said two things that really stuck with me 1) Life is not like the movies and 2) No one will be as excited about your engagement as you are.
When Travis and I got engaged my family’s reaction wasn’t what I had expected. Actually, it was downright disappointing.
It went something like this:
When I called my parents to tell them that Travis had proposed, my dad said, “Are you going to have a prenup?”
Uhh, yeah, that was the first thing that my dad said to me after I announced that I was going to spend the rest of my life with the wonderful man that is Travis. And for the record, no pre-nup. I’ll blog about that at a later date.
My brother said, “Did he get you a ring?”
By the time I talked to my mom I was sitting in a Popeyes in Auburn, CA. She wanted to know if he had gotten me a ring too. First question at our engagement party, “Is your ring bigger than mine?” Well, geez Joan Crawford, this plot seems an awful lot like Mommy Dearest.
The thing about getting engaged is that you expect your family to act like it’s the best thing ever. Because to you it is. You expect your mother to fawn over dresses and reception ideas. You expect that they will feel your joy and help you celebrate. You think that your fiance will be accepted as a part of the family immediately.
Don’t get me wrong – Travis’s family, my girlfriends and plenty of other people were overjoyed. There was crying, shrieking, sheer excitement and joy.
It was when we started planning the wedding that we ran into issues. My mother was dead set against a destination wedding. Dead set. To the point where she tried to give Travis and I a lump sum if we wouldn’t have a wedding. Sooooo…that was an awesome conversation.
It seems with my family that every decision has to be a major family drama.
Setting a wedding date? Changed that five times.
Having a destination wedding? Two months of discussions, emotional phone calls and emails, Excel spreadsheets, testimonials from wedding planners, and an attempt from my mom to compromise by having a destination wedding in Alaska. I’m being completely serious right now. ALASKA, for Christ sakes. Because she had never been there…
Reception? Dad wanted a pig roast. Mom wanted a slide show. We wanted neither.
Guest list? We had pictured it small and intimate. Mom pictured it as the biggest family reunion ever. Guest list tripled within one month.
Invitations? Parents thought they cost too much even though they came in $300 under the original budget.
Budget? A year into the wedding planning my Dad suggests that we elope and cancel all travel plans. Awesome!
I’m not trying to sound ungrateful here. I love my parents and am thankful for the monetary help they are giving us with the wedding. I’m also thankful that there are so many people in the world who love us and want to celebrate this event.
I guess I’m just hoping to share an important lesson about wedding planning for the brides-to-be out there. Don’t compare yourself to other families. Have realistic expectations about your parents and how they will handle your wedding. Getting married is a right of passage and sometimes you forget that you are not the only one going through it.
Don’t let the joy of this sacred event be taken away by petty family drama. Try and stay above it. Consider eloping.
Hey, maybe consider Alaska? I hear the weather’s manageable in August.