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Weddings, family and upset!

Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
edited August 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
(Holy Crap, this is longer than I expected it to be. Skip to the TLDR at the bottom!)

I don't know if I'm putting this out here for Help and Advice, or just to get it off my chest, but if anyone has any suggestion's please fire them at me!

There's quite a lot of back-story to this so I'll try and sum it up as quickly as possible.

The facts are these:

My Mam and Dad were together for 25 years.
They broke up (Dad's 'fault').
They got back together but my Dad felt it wasn't right.
They broke up, my Mam initially had no confidence but after staying with me for a week she was confident she'd be able to live on her own.
During this time my mam's Sister-in-Law, let's call her Beryl, was trying to help my Mam through it, albeit quite badly.
My Dad realised how much he missed my Mam and essentially begged for her back.
After much umm'ing and ahh'ing they decided to give it another go, but taking it back to basics with him living away from home and just coming round to visit.
They are now back together and things are apparently better now than they have been in years.
Beryl was unhappy, very unhappy, with my Mam giving my Dad another chance. She now takes the opportunity, frequently, to bad mouth him when-ever possible.
My Dad works the same place as her husband but in a much more senior capacity (he isn't his manager though), she frequently sends text messages to my Mam about how badly her husband is treated and how none of them like my Dad.

So that brings us almost up to date, the above is very much rushed but I believe I have seperated the incidental from the vital. Oh, one other fact, myself and my fiancé are getting married in June next year. I live about 3 hours away from the rest of my family so anyone coming to the wedding will have to travel and stop (or do the journey there and back in a day).

Now on to the problem:

Beryl's daughter, my cousin is invited too. Let's call her Sheryl (no idea where these names are coming from). Sheryl had a little girl a while back and my Mam is the God Mother. We thought it'd be nice if this little girl could be a flower girl at our wedding. All was well. However my Mam has recently received text messages from Beryl saying that she and her husband can't afford to come and stop and that neither can Sheryl, her husband and the little girl.

This upset my Mam a bit, and my gf, so we hunted around the local area to find some cheap accomodation, somewhere cheaper than the hotel we're having the reception in (which is a bit pricey). We found a number of fairly reasonable places to stop and presented them as options. A few days later another text came through saying they still couldn't afford it.

At this point my Mam contacted Sheryl and suggested they just drive through for the day. Sheryl said she'd be happy to do it but isn't the most confident of drivers. My Mam said that if she liked the next time they came through to visit me they'd take Sheryl with them, so she can see the roads. All was well, Sheryl was happy and my Mam was happy.

This morning my Mam receives the following text message from Beryl:

"Stop hassling Sheryl. She can't afford to come. None of us are coming to the wedding. Stop bothering her."

This upset my Mam quite a lot, she's very close with her brother (Beryl's husband) and he's been suspiciously quiet during all of this. My gf is quite upset as she was looking forward to the little girl being a flower maid and I'm...well, I'm indifferent because other than a few close members of my family I can't say I'm overly fond of them, largely because of things like this.

So I'm going to phone Beryl tonight, I'd prefer to call round in person but the 3 hour drive negates that. I'm sick of her using text messages to contact my Mam, not the most personal of methods of communication (in fact an easy one to hide behind).

It's what I'm going to say that's the problem. I don't give two craps about upsetting her, especially after she's upset my Mam but I don't want to make matters worse. I'm going to suggest that there are really two situations:

1) That they can't afford to come and stay. In which case they could potentially drive up in the morning and go back in the evening. It's nothing they haven't done before (they came to visit me so I could fix their computer) and the drive isn't expensive.

2) That they don't really want to come, for whatever reason. In which case I don't care but they should really let us know so we're informed about the flower girl situation.

I also really want to say something about upsetting my Mam and not to bother contacting her by text anymore because clearly she has nothing nice to say, but I don't know if I want to go down that path.

So H&A, help me with my awkward family situation!


TLDR: My Auntie appears to have a chip on her shoulder about something and is putting off her portion of the family from coming to my wedding, citing money as a reason. She's upset my Mam with how she's gone about things and there are alternatives if they can't afford to stop but she doesn't appear to listen.

(Humorous suggestions/advice also welcome)

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    badpoetbadpoet Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Honestly, I wouldn't get too involved. They (or at least your Aunt) don't want to come. Your Aunt obvious dislikes the fact your father and mother reconciled and that's probably not going to change. Your mother should stop dealing with the Aunt and simply talk to her brother. I'm going to make an educated guess, however, that he's an easily bullied/cowed person and mostly under the control of his wife, so he's unlikely to do anything that will upset her.

    Basically, it is incredibly likely they won't be at your wedding and you family and fiancee should just learn to accept that.

    Aren't there any other friends or family with suitable age kids to act as ring bearer/flower girl?

    If it actually turns out its an issue of money (which I don't believe it really is), you could offer to put them up for the night in two hotel rooms. Yes, its an added expense for you, but if that will fix the situation, its probably worth it.

    badpoet on
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    MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    People like using weddings and funerals as pissing contests, particularly with family relations. I always like Ask Amy's advice (shut-up) that you should invite everyone who you'd like to come, and if they have a problem, it's not your problem. That is, if someone wants to miss out on that day to try to prove some point, that's their loss, not yours.

    MichaelLC on
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    The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    MichaelLC wrote: »
    That is, if someone wants to miss out on that day to try to prove some point, that's their loss, not yours.

    Unfortunately, that's the way it is.

    Getting involved isn't going to make the situation better, and it seems to already be making things worse. Either 1) forget about it and move on, or 2) have an honest conversation centered around "if you don't want to come, don't come. It won't hurt our feelings, but being dishonest and making this a big deal is hurting us." Or something more tactful, if you need closure.

    The Crowing One on
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    GrennGrenn Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    There is absolutely no-one in this world more childish than families.

    1) it sounds like you've gone way beyond the call of duty with Beryl; make your offers and then leave it up to them. She's acting inappropriately in the way she contacts your Mother -- tell your mother she needs to say as much to Beryl. Don't do it for her.

    2) I hear about so many friends and families weddings where the bride & groom rush around to accomodate everyone, doing there utmost to not step on toes, and make sure everyone feels happy and involved -- who are these people marrying? Each other, or every member of each other's family?

    Do what you can to include people, if that is your wish, but don't make the focus of the event to accomodate and pander to childish family whims. Make sure it's your day. If they care, they will put aside their petty shit to be involved.

    When I got married, my wife and I were not willing to deal with the stress and family politics of marriage on ANY LEVEL. So we booked the day, went away and got married, and told everyone after the event. Best day ever. :mrgreen:

    Grenn on
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    ShawnaseeShawnasee Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    In all your family there isn't another little girl that can be the flower girl?

    To be honest, Beryl is your Mom's business and it doesn't sound like your Aunt is intelligent enough to listen to anything you have to say rationally. So I would say why bother.

    But if you have to say something say this:

    "Hey Auntie...I was just calling to tell you that my Mom is really confused and upset about your text concerning Sheryl driving up. Would you mind at all ringing her up and clarifying what you said?

    You know, as well as I do, that something said in print sometimes doesn't translate and can be interpreted differently. Obviously Mom is confused about it and she want to clear things up.

    She loves you very much and she wants to work this out but the wording has hurt her feelings and I know you; you weren't trying to be mean, right?

    Ok, then, I love you. Sorry all of you can't come up, it won't be the same without you."

    Basically kill them with kindness.

    Your Aunt is holding a grudge because your Mom didn't take her advice to stay away from your Dad. I don't see anything you say getting through to her but good luck.

    Shawnasee on
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    Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    badpoet wrote: »
    Basically, it is incredibly likely they won't be at your wedding and you family and fiancee should just learn to accept that.

    Personally I'm happy with that, don't really like her anyway (the rest are ok but she's a pain).
    Aren't there any other friends or family with suitable age kids to act as ring bearer/flower girl?

    It was more that my Mam's her God Mother, if she doesn't come we probably won't bother with a flower girl, we've got enough Bridesmaid's as it is!

    General consensus from the rest of you guys is don't get involved. My Mam's speaking to her brother about it all right now but if nothing's sorted then I'm just going to send out invitations to them regardless, if they're not coming they can let me know then. We probably won't be sorting out the dress for the flowergirl before then anyway.

    Personally I'm laid back about this, whatever they decide is fine, it's just my other half and my Mam that are getting upset about it so I felt I should step in. I'll see how it goes though.

    Mr_Grinch on
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    DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    2) That they don't really want to come, for whatever reason. In which case I don't care but they should really let us know so we're informed about the flower girl situation.

    Fuck 'em imo. Im not the sentimental type, but weddings are an important life event and an invitation is an honor, not a burden. Most people have driven 3 hours round trip to go to a concert / sporting event / amusement park on a day that can't even remember and didnt take photos. If they're bailing on your wedding fuck them.

    Deebaser on
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    mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    honestly you did all that you really need to do in this situation. its not their wedding, its yours. no one has to have a good time except you. if your aunt wants to play stupid games thats her perogitive. anything beyond that and they need to jog off.

    mts on
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    Bryse EayoBryse Eayo Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    So what's stopping Sheryl from coming besides her mom? It seems to me that your cousin would still enjoy being at the wedding, why not take your aunt out of the picture and just deal with Sheryl?

    Bryse Eayo on
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    StormCrow420StormCrow420 Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Grenn wrote: »

    Do what you can to include people, if that is your wish, but don't make the focus of the event to accomodate and pander to childish family whims. Make sure it's your day. If they care, they will put aside their petty shit to be involved.

    This. I'm going through something similar, my cousins getting married, but her father won't invite his sister (our aunt) to the wedding over an insult that happened at his Father-In-Laws funeral 30 years ago. Pisses me off cause I love and respect my aunt and don't want to spend anytime at a place she isn't welcome. I wish my cousin would step up and tell her father off, but ultimately, it's her wedding, it's her needs that are important here, and if she doesn't want to have it out over her father about this now then the discussion is over.

    You have done your part, you have invited these people to the wedding, and you have identified that it's your aunt that's the problem. Just don't blame the people she is preventing from coming, like your cousin, for their no show. They have as much control here as you do. Plan your wedding the best you can, understand that not everything is going to go right, and don't let people with to much time on their hands ruin your celebration.

    oh and Congratz!

    StormCrow420 on
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    FirstComradeStalinFirstComradeStalin Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Consider yourself lucky--weddings have a way of bringing up family drama, and I've seen significantly more damaging things happen as a result. Deep-seated racism, jealousies, financial drama, etc, and in many cases it's someone closer to you than an aunt.

    Be happy, get married, and move on.

    FirstComradeStalin on
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    SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2009
    I wouldn't get too worked up over it. If they're petty enough about it then screw em. Can't please everyone, and if the reason they are mad is because of some one elses relationship, then you probably don't need a rubbernecker like that around anyway.

    Sounds harsh, but the last people that should ditch you over crap like that is family.

    Sheep on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I would probably call Beryl and say something along the lines of "listen, my mom and I really wanted Sheryl to be there, so we'd appreciate it if you'd either just drive up for the day, or stop being such a passive-aggressive bitch and tell us the reason you don't want to come. Also, the next time you upset my mom by bitching about my dad, I'm going to call your daughter and start telling her what a fucking cunt you are. Knock it the fuck off."

    I'm not saying you should do that, I'm just saying that's probably what I would do, and it would probably make things worse. What you should probably do is what everyone else says: let her continue being a passive-aggressive bitch, and stay out of it so that you don't upset your mom.

    Thanatos on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Actually, thinking through this, there's one other vector you could try: call your uncle. He's actually related to you by blood, and if you haven't talked to him yet, he may not even have a clue that any of this is going on. You should figure out a diplomatic way to ask "what the fuck is up with that bitch you married?" Mention that you, your mom, and your fiancée all really want him and his daughter at the wedding, and that you're disappointed they can't make it up even for the day.

    Thanatos on
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    StormCrow420StormCrow420 Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Thanatos wrote: »
    I would probably call Beryl and say something along the lines of "listen, my mom and I really wanted Sheryl to be there, so we'd appreciate it if you'd either just drive up for the day, or stop being such a passive-aggressive bitch and tell us the reason you don't want to come. Also, the next time you upset my mom by bitching about my dad, I'm going to call your daughter and start telling her what a fucking cunt you are. Knock it the fuck off."

    I'm not saying you should do that, I'm just saying that's probably what I would do, and it would probably make things worse.

    Yup. You know that is just what Aunt Beryl wants. My stepmother is the same fucking way, but I know the day I break down and tell her where to go, I play right into her hands.

    You can't win with these people, and they always try their best to ruin occasions that have nothing to do with them. In fact, the amount of time you've spent to this point worrying about this foolish person is just playing her silly little game.

    Life = To Short.
    Thanatos wrote: »
    What you should probably do is what everyone else says: let her continue being a passive-aggressive bitch, and stay out of it so that you don't upset your mom.

    Who are you that is so wise in the way of bitches?

    StormCrow420 on
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    VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Mr_Grinch wrote: »
    badpoet wrote: »
    Basically, it is incredibly likely they won't be at your wedding and you family and fiancee should just learn to accept that.

    Personally I'm happy with that, don't really like her anyway (the rest are ok but she's a pain).
    Aren't there any other friends or family with suitable age kids to act as ring bearer/flower girl?

    It was more that my Mam's her God Mother, if she doesn't come we probably won't bother with a flower girl, we've got enough Bridesmaid's as it is!

    General consensus from the rest of you guys is don't get involved. My Mam's speaking to her brother about it all right now but if nothing's sorted then I'm just going to send out invitations to them regardless, if they're not coming they can let me know then. We probably won't be sorting out the dress for the flowergirl before then anyway.

    Personally I'm laid back about this, whatever they decide is fine, it's just my other half and my Mam that are getting upset about it so I felt I should step in. I'll see how it goes though.

    This is the perfect way to handle the situation and it sounds like your Mam and fiance need to take a page out of your book. If your other half needs a place to vent/find other gal opinions I suggest here. It's my go to for wedding issues of pretty much every kind. They've seen it all.

    VisionOfClarity on
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    ihmmyihmmy Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Leave it be - if they don't want to be there, trying to force them to be there will only create yet more drama.
    Also, read The Offbeat Bride http://www.amazon.com/Offbeat-Bride-Taffeta-Free-Alternatives-Independent/dp/1580051804/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1249431359&sr=8-1 is super good so far (I'm only halfway through it, putzing slowly) on how to do what you want, not what's expected

    ihmmy on
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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited August 2009
    Do this:

    Write them a nice note saying simply that you're sorry to hear they can't make it, and you hope to get together in the future.

    That's all you need to do. Sheryl may come around. She may not. Who cares if Beryl does. I can promise you you'll be so busy you won't have time for it to ruin your day. Have a beautiful wedding and be happy, and the loss will not be yours.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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    oncelingonceling Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    You're creating more drama by involving yourself in this. Your fiancee doesn't need more drama, it's going to be bad enough as-is. They're just creating huge drama-bombs and you're playing right into it.

    I side with ceres, just play their game and say you're sorry that they can't make it and LEAVE IT WELL ALONE. Otherwise you'll end up with them calling the morning of the wedding to say Cheryl won't be there and then its too late for you to make other arrangements.

    It's not really that they don't want to come, it's that they will use this as an excuse to make as much fuss over them as they possibly can, at your expense and your fiancee's expense just to get back at your mom.

    onceling on
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    LewieP's MummyLewieP's Mummy Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Its your wedding, your day. If your auntie wants to act like a petulant 5 year old, you can't change that, don't waste your breath, energy or money on it. We took far to much notice of what other people wanted on our wedding day, and ended up with just 4 friends coming, the rest were great uncles and great aunties that we didn't even know. At our re-wedding (after 25 years) we invited who we wanted to, and didn't invite people we didn't want to. it was great, we just had the people there who loved us.

    She's being a witch to your mum. Your mum and dad deserve credit and support for trying again; marriage can be hard, and trying to work things out together can be much harder than walking away. She needs support, not undermining. Your auntie is just using your wedding as an excuse to try to undermine your mum further, its sad. don't let it spoil things for any of you. if her daughter is being sucked in to her mean-ness, that's her choice. Little girls can be a pain at weddings anyway!!

    xoxoxoxoxxo

    LewieP's Mummy on
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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited August 2009
    Little girls can be a pain at weddings anyway!!.

    To illustrate the point, I present to you my flower girl story.



    When I was five, my mother's cousin got married, and they wanted me to be the flower girl. I didn't really know what it meant because I was five, only that I was special and got to wear a pretty dress. It really was a pretty dress.

    When the day came, I was so excited because I was the flower girl! It was a very large Jewish wedding. When it came time for me to walk down the isle, I realized that there were approximate three hojillion people out there expecting me to do something, and I didn't know what that was (looking back, it probably had something to do with the basket I was carrying), so I wouldn't go. No one could make me go. I was terrified. I cried. People came over and tried to talk to me about it. I, being five at the time, didn't really know what they were talking about, only that nothing but terror lay at the other end of that aisle and I wouldn't go. I was inconsolable.

    Finally my grandfather came over and sat with me for a while. He offered to go with me, so I wouldn't be scared. He carried me up and down the aisle a few times to show me that it wasn't scary, and then we started the procession and he carried me and stood with me while the ceremony went on.

    Then at the reception everyone at the very large Jewish wedding got up to dance. That looked boring to me, so instead I polished off every champagne glass I could find, which was a lot because it was a very large Jewish wedding. I climbed up onto the stage with the band and drunkenly sang the Sesame Street song into the microphone, which I'm told was adorable. After that I had some trouble standing, so my mother literally dragged me to the bathroom because every time she stood me up on the way there I would immediately fall back down giggling. And once I got there? Peeing was the most hilarious thing ever, and so was the fact that everyone was looking at us the whole way there and back.

    Then I went back out to the party and stood on my grandfather's feet while he danced us around the room.

    The End.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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