Where is the Line?

Sorry for the little hiatus. I’ve been really busy burning the candle at both ends lately between work, supplemental wedding $ work, wedding planning work, working on my weight loss and having a life. Ok, to be fair I haven’t had too much of a life lately either. Irregardless (Mean Girls, anyone?) I have been thinking about what to write about.

We recently showed Mama M the reception venue. This was, we thought, a necessity because although we would love to have tons of M’s Brazilian family come to the wedding, we are only able to accommodate 90 people in our space, a concept that just didn’t seem to sit well with her. As is, I am already terrified that it will be crowded and would feel much better if we could eliminate a table of 6 and keep it to 84. We thought if she saw it she would understand where we’re coming from and leave the guest list to us. What happened was a little less idyllic. Though her words were carefully selected and a transcript of the conversation would have read positively, her demeanor and tone of voice told a very different story. Instead of focusing on the guest list, she had views of the restaurant. As she was speaking to us about the space, I quickly recalled noticing the same mismatch in language and overtone when we went to her suggested flower vendor. The bottom line was that she didn’t like it.

I went to a wedding a few days after the venue incident. It was held at an event center, one of those places where they give you food on top of food with a side of food. My calorie count from that weekend was insane. Anyway, it was the first wedding I’ve attended since I have been engaged and I felt like I looked at everything with a really different view. Though there is NOTHING WRONG with that style of wedding, it just wasn’t the vibe that M and I have been working toward.

It occurred to me that I think this event center wedding was more of what Mama M wanted for us. I was really sad when I considered that she may not like our wedding at all. Her comments about the venue, about the atmosphere, about the very things we loved about our space hurt my feelings a lot.  I know we are not getting married for her, and pleasing her is not my responsibility, especially since she is not holding our purse strings. But I am still left with this feeling that our wedding, which I’ve spent countless hours putting blood, sweat and tears into so that it would be a beautiful reflection of our tastes and most importantly our relationship, is nothing more than a party that she will attend out of duty and when asked about will respond politely, but will not actually enjoy.

I’m not going to say I’m crushed, but I think I’m disappointed because I have been working so hard to foster a good relationship with Mama M. My family is not close by and I genuinely hoped that she would have a relationship with me where we could do things like go to lunch or bake cakes together and not have a weird air of politeness between us. She certainly doesn’t have to love everything I do, but I can’t see us going very far if she doesn’t want to be close enough to be comfortable with telling me when she thinks a decision I may be making isn’t the right one. And for that matter, I would hope that after defending my choices she would appreciate and respect the decision. I wanted to have a genuine relationship with her, and now I fear that it may just an exercise in polite appearances.

I’m not sure how to proceed, but my experiences with M and his mom have thus far told me that they would prefer the “sweep it under the rug” approach, which is a bit contrary to what I’m used to. My family operates on a “let’s get this out in the open and clear the air” frequency, and I tend to gravitate more toward this resolution. Help me understand: where can I draw a line and let her know that I’m affected by her obvious disapproval on something I’ve dedicated so much to? Or should I at all? For now, I’m still trying to play by the rules instead of making them my own, but I remain leery of telling her about anything else as I fear that she won’t like it. Here’s hoping we can mend this tear in our family quilt.

Thanks for reading. – A

August 10, 2011. Tags: , , , , . 2011. 2 comments.

Yours, Mine & Ours: How Do We Handle the Guest List?

M and I have had a guest list since before we got engaged. We knew we wanted to start saving for our big day, so we made a rough draft of the list ahead of time to give us guestimates of how many people we’d be hosting with a rough idea of cost/head. Since then, the guest numbers have gone up and down but we are trying hard to stay firm at a specific number so that we can reserve an area of our uniquely-shaped reception space for dancing, something I see as an essential piece of our wedding.

Given that we have financial and physical space constraints there will have to be some sacrifices, but where do we make the cut? Family is generally a no-no, but we’ve been trying to stick to the “Have I seen them in the past year?” rule. Same thing with friends. We’ve decided to just say no to co-workers because that’s a whole other can of worms and politics that neither of us has the patience for right now.

After working with the list I can say that concessions have been by both of us, but there’s still one potential guest who is like a thorn in my side. This person is a friend of M’s who has not always been nice to me, or him for that matter, but is friends with others who are must-have invites. M says it will be okay to cut this person from the list but I feel that if they are not there it will be the final nail in the coffin for their friendship, something M has not yet been ready to let go of. Recently things sort of came to a head with M and this person and it is still in an unfortunate and ambiguous grey area. I feel as though I’m between a rock and a hard place with whatever I say in regard to the situation, and especially in regard to the invitation. If I have this person at my wedding just the sight of them will remind me of how they have acted toward us and the difficulty it caused in our relationship. But if we don’t invite them it will surely be the end of a friendship and I will feel to blame for not insisting that we have them, something I think part of him will always want. I’ve never been the type of woman to want a man to stop seeing any of his friends, and this is no exception, though I wish this person would step up and truly make amends for how they’ve acted – and I almost feel like we’ll always be in this grey area until that happens.

So instead of giving advice, I am asking for it: What should I do? What have you done in a similar situation? Did not inviting someone to your wedding permanently affect a friendship?

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to your comments. – A

January 7, 2011. Tags: , , . 2011. 3 comments.