Flaky wedding guests

I missed out on my dream wedding the first time — and now it looks like it’s about to happen again! Should I cancel?

Our elder suggests taking it down a notch.

Dear EWC

I’ve been married to my husband for about three years, and we decided to have a vow renewal this November. This has been planned for months, and I was very excited about it, but now the past seems to be repeating itself. I have a terrible relationship with my in laws: my mother in law is mentally ill, and is very… aggressive, and has done terrible things to me, and unfortunately my father in law is a drug addict who recently relapsed. We originally cancelled our wedding because my mother in law became, well, psycho, and tried everything she could to ruin the wedding and demanded we had it back in our home town, when we were across the country. So we eloped.

Now I just finished chemo and I’m in remission, and my husband promised to give me the wedding I deserved when I went into remission and that kept me busy and positive during chemo. But history is repeating itself and my mother and father in law are boycotting it, and a lot of the people we invited can’t make it. The most important person is my little sister, and she just found out she is being deployed and will be gone for almost two years. Here’s the other thing: my husband just graduated school, and got a job offer back in our old city and he took it and has been gone a week. I’m so proud of him and happy for him, and I miss him so much, and he planned on coming back for the wedding and a few days after, moving me and our dogs up there.

So not only am I wedding planning, I’m also packing up our home. I’m not stressed, but as the wedding gets closer, I’m finding I have to hunt down people we sent invitations to, and asking them if they are coming, (I clearly stated rsvp to an email address and not one person did!). Some don’t respond, and a lot are saying no they can’t make it. I’m hurt, but I understand. So it’s coming down from 50 people to 10, maybe 12. I am asking first if the for sure people have bought their flights yet, but I am starting to think this is becoming less and less important. I bought my dress, and that’s about it — since it was going to be in my mother’s backyard, I didn’t need much. So I was thinking about cooking an early Thanksgiving dinner, and sitting down with our close family members and then leaving two days later. I hate this. I wanted to walk down the aisle to my husband, but it’s starting not to feel so important and I feel embarrassed that no one is coming. Am I making the right choice? Moving just feels more important to me. My husband says he has no preference and would like to avoid his family as much as possible lol. Any suggestions would be lovely and thank you in advance!

Treefrog replies

I can certainly understand your frustration. Let me relate a personal story. In 2016 my wife and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. We have three grown children and months before our anniversary they communicated with each other about throwing a large party with as many relatives, friends and acquaintances they could find. We certainly respected their desire to “honor” us but asked if we could voice our opinion. Bottom line: my wife and I only wanted to get together with our closest family and celebrate. We wanted to celebrate only with those we love and who loved us. We didn’t much care for asking others to travel any distances, send cards or purchase gifts.

Given all the hassle, problems and questions you have run into my suggestion would be to aim at having only your closest, loving, dependable family and friends on hand to help you celebrate. Maybe just a nice quiet luncheon or dinner. You want those folks around that you hold near and dear to help share in the love you have for them and for each other. Save the big time event for that 10th, 15th or 25th anniversary.

I hope this advice helps and that you realize the most important thing is what happens between you and your soulmate 🙂 Take care!

Letter #: 411575
Category: Family

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