My Big Fat ______ Wedding

One of the big problems with writing about weddings for a living is that when your own wedding rolls around, no one wants to help you plan it. All right, maybe family and friends might want to help you plan your wedding, but they assume that you know exactly what you want and how to get it and therefor don’t need any wedding planning help. Or, worse, they are afraid to offer suggestions or lend a hand because they think you’ll get po’ed. Needless to say, I did not have a big fat German/Russian/Scottish/French/Whatever wedding.


I can see the same thing happening to professed wedding enthusiasts, which I know many of our readers are. Your loved ones may assume that you don’t need or want any help putting together your ceremony and reception because, well, you obviously know all there is to know about weddings. Then again, maybe you’re drowning under a sea of well-intentioned busybodies who are insisting that you simply must hire their hairdresser’s niece to create your wedding cake, since she just completed a cake decorating course at adult extension. The grass is always greener, right?

Today we’re curious to know about your wedding planning experience? Did your family let you know what their expectations were? Did your friends make not-so-subtle suggestions where the food, drink, or dresses were concerned? Or was your wedding planning experience more like my own, where you found yourself waiting for help that never materialized? Vote in the poll and then elaborate in the comments!

Image via Sandie Bertrand Photography

9 Responses to “My Big Fat ______ Wedding”

  1. KESW says:

    My mom was involved but very sensitive to make sure that she didn’t get OVER-involved. She was also 2000 miles away from where we were getting married, so couldn’t do a whole lot in person. She did put together all of our personal flowers, as we used silk. Both my parents were underemployed at the time of my wedding, but they also offered money towards expenses that we ended up not taking because we didn’t want to burden them.
    My MIL, though I love her, was super-uninvolved. There was no offer of assistance, either monetary or practical, from them. They gave us a lot of their excess furniture to set up our house with, which was a huge blessing, but I would have appreciated some interest or emotional support at the least. They gave us an unreturnable gift that essentially duplicated something we registered for elsewhere, and apparently both my MIL and FIL laughed over my mom’s email to her talking about what dress she (my mom) was going to wear, because they thought it was stupid and presumptive of my mom to think that what she was going to wear had anything to do with what my MIL was going to wear??? And they are culturally white-bread American as far back as the Mayflower! I still don’t know what was up with that.

  2. Twistie says:

    I actually knew what I wanted. Almost nobody offered up much in the way of advice, but that was okay because I was pretty certain of my plans. On the other hand, nearly everyone was willing to pitch in and lend a hand in the actual work, so I was fine there.

    The single biggest frustration, though, was the fact that I could not via any power I possessed convince Mr. Twistie that I wanted and needed his input so the day would reflect both of us. In spite of himself, he managed to give me the idea for the fruit tarts instead of cake that were such a hit. And he didn’t stop apologizing for wickedly preventing me from having cake for at least another three years.

    If I’d wanted the cake so much, I would have had it. I loved the tarts, and they meant there was something about the wedding that was about him, so there!

  3. dr nic says:

    My parents paid for everything in the wedding and were involved in nearly all the decision making process. They never forced their opinions down our throats, but were there when we couldn’t decide between two cake favors. And they never used the fact they were paying for everything against us (actually not once did they ever actually say they were footing the bill – unless it was to say not to worry about the cost of something we wanted).

  4. Melissa B. says:

    None of these quite fit for us — our parents have all been great. They all had a few things they wanted (my mom cared a lot about the chairs, for some reason), but overall they’ve helped when we asked, offered opinions only when they were solicited, and generally been very awesome and supportive. We’re lucky!

  5. I said “too much” because I really wanted to elope but had a wedding to keep my husband’s parents happy. (My mom had reluctantly agreed to an elopement as long as we had a religious ceremony in her presence. Outlaws are atheists so didn’t care about the religious part.)

    We planned this whole thing and then two weeks before the wedding, outlaws got mad at something I wrote in my blog and told my husband not only were they not coming to the wedding but he shouldn’t marry me.

    We should have gone with the elopement. 🙂

  6. Paula says:

    Both parents paid for the costs and did not try to influence us. But we were happy to hear advices from them and our friends.

  7. Toni says:

    I had both too much involvement, and yet too little. My in-laws were pretty AWOL except to say “tell us when to show up,” and that was pretty much ok by me. My grandfather was seriously ill during most of the process, and actually passed away a month before the wedding. Obviously, that diverted a lot of my mom’s attention since she was practically living at hospice. Not that I begrudge her for that in any way, but I sometimes regret that the timing didn’t work out where she could be more free to be unconditionally excited. (My grandfather had been ill for years, but didn’t become deathly so until after we started planning, otherwise I might have waited.)

    That said, likely in an attempt to be “involved” my mom became super picky about certain details, like having silk flowers instead of fresh, and certain other things. None of these were major issues, I just wish we could have relaxed and enjoyed the process more.

  8. La BellaDonna says:

    I got no help and not a lot of interest from my family – and certainly no money. There was a family dinner the night before, a sort of rehearsal dinner, I suppose, that I hadn’t expected, wasn’t given time to get myself together for, and threw up afterwards. They were totally cooperative about dressing up in 17th century gear for the wedding itself, but they didn’t participate at any time during the 10 months before in any of it. I don’t know why, actually, and it’s too late to ask them.

  9. Johanna says:

    My mother has offered to pay for some of it but has not made any demands, only that she wished I wouldn’t wear black. She’s been there when I have been ranting about this and that about weddings and her sister has taken some interest in the planning and offered to read a poem, but there’s been no fussing or expectations as my family knows I’m going to do things my way and untraditionally anyway. And that’s all very nice. 🙂

    My future husband’s family is substantially larger and lives closer to us. They have had to listen to our planning process as well, but I’m not sure if they like it or not. Granny can’t seem to acknowledge that we’re having a civil ceremony.. I’m not sure of what his family expects and I don’t know them that well. I’m a little bit uneasy and afraid that they are planning something of their own and not telling me. I try to include the parents as much as I can and my future FIL has agreed to organize music for our first dance (they are very musical). They try to insist a little that we should have the reception at their house but we always say “we’ll see” and probably won’t. In the end, everyone who is involved knows that we’re a bit freaky/weird and not going to stress about this party and probably that’s why I get to plan and do everything myself. And that’s great!