A second wedding....

Hi all. I would really appreciate feedback on this.

I found out this week that my mum has a terminal illness. This is a little out of the blue as we thought she was in remission. As you can imagine, I am beyond devastated. The situation is made even worse by the fact we are not sure about time frames at all at this point.

My wedding is booked for 11th August 2012. There are around 50 families and friends invited and it is my perfect wedding. My mum has been heavily involved in planning and we have chosen everything together. Now I am coming to terms with the fact that she may not be there. My dad also passed away a few years ago. I'm now dreading the wedding. I think I will feel incredibly lonely on the day if she is not there.

My HTB to amazing and suggested that we should bring the wedding forward so that mum could be there. After discussion, we decided that rather than bring the original wedding forward, we would have an entirely different ceremony. That way, we wouldn't be pre-empting the fact that mum won't be there. We would be making sure she still had the August ceremony to aim for. In the last 5 days, I have arranged a ceremony for January 7th. I have a dress, all the bouquets etc and booked everything for myself, MOH, HTB, mum, MILTB and stepfather.This will be a very small ceremony in a local registry office.

I had thought that this would be the legal ceremony and that we would change the August one to a vow renewal/commitment ceremony. This would mean that mum would be there to legally see me getting married.

Now I am starting to have doubts about this and I dont really know why. I think I am being incredibly selfish. In my head, I have always imagined the wedding I have planned for August. I want to get married in front of all my friends and family in a beautiful ceremony - the ceremony I have planned with my mum. I never pictured it in a registry office after a week of planning. Now I am wondering whether I should have a commitement ceremony in January and save the legal ceremony until August. But that's just silly right? The legal ceremony is just the piece of paper and it's unimportant. So it doesn't matter whether the legal ceremony is in January or August. Right?

I just don't know. I don't know how long mum will be with us. I don't know what I really want. I don't know what she wants either as I havent spoken to her about it at all. She is so ill that I don't think I want to burden her and at the same time, I don't want her to think that I am having the ceremony in January because I am expecting her to die soon. January 7th is her birthday so I am going to say that it is a a birthday treat.

Also, she is not married to her current partner. We have tentatively discussed the possibility of her and her partner also having a commitement ceremony at the same time as ours.

At the same time as thinking all this, I am also having to come to terms with the fact that she may not be around in January if things take a downwards turn.

I am a mass ball of confusion and would really welcome the opinions of a few people who are not emotionally connected to the situation.



  • Oh you poor thing I can't begin to imagine how you must feel. I am so close to my mum and her birthday is on Jan 7th too! I just had to reply even if I don't really have much advice. I can understand the way you feel about your "real" wedding though, ideally that will be your wedding day and your mum will be there, but I think you should ask yourself "what is the most important thing for mum to not miss?" if it's the legal ceremony then I think you should do that in Jan, you'll kick yourself otherwise. If its not the legal bit then I'm not sure what the best thing is to do, but maybe not sacrifice your dream.

    I hope that remotely makes sense.

    Huge hugs and I'm sending you lots of virtual strength and support xx
  • Thanks very much image It's just too much to think about at once. A week ago I was the happiest have ever been... Things can change so fast. We should never forget how precious time is...
  • I'm so sorry to hear about your situation, I cant imagine how you must be feeling but Im sending you hugs.

    I am very close to my Mom but I don't think anyone can appreciate the pain of the situation unless they are in it.

    Personally, and I don't mean to be insensitive, I wouldn't do anything until you knew more about the situation. Your post is so emotional and you sound confused (perfectly understandable!) but at the same time you don't know what you are dealing with yet. How would you feel if you got legally married in january but your Mom was still alive to come to the wedding you planned together in August? I think for me, having the wedding you planned is a better tribute to your relationship with your Mom than rushing it so she can see it.

    I am sorry if I am being very personal here, this is purely my opinion and I completely understand if this is not right for you. My husband lost his Dad to cancer when he was 19 and he spent so long striving to be what he thought his Dad wanted him to be and to 'remember' his Dad. One of the things I feel most strongly about is that his Dad is part of him, the love Nick felt for his Dad is still in Nick and the love his Dad had for him shaped his as a person so it's there in every single thing he does.

    Will having the wedding you and your Mom planned be enough, even if she isn't there to see it?

  • I'm so sorry to hear that you're going through this and can't begin to imagine what it must feel like. I just wanted to say that you're not being in the slightest bit selfish, your Mum would completely understand your confusion and the fact that you've been planning your August wedding for a long time, so you have nothing to feel selfish about.

    I think I personally would do both (and of course, everyone is completely different) and treat them very differently. The January ceremony is the legal bit where you'll be celebrating with your Mum. The August bit is the big wedding that you've been able to plan with your lovely Mum. I think in years to come I would also celebrate each bit differently too - the January date as a celebration of your Mum's birthday and the August as your wedding anniversary, but obviously this depends on whether this is what you want to do, as only you know how comfortable you'll feel in this situation.

    I wish you lots of time with your Mum and a lovely wedding(s) next year, whatever you decide to do. My thoughts are with you at this difficult time xxx
  • MaylanMaylan Posts: 9,604
    I'm so sorry about this image must be terrible, sending you hugs.

    In the grand scheme of things, what's important to you is having your mum when you get married, right? Regardless of where it is. The point is having her there.

    If I were you I'd get legally married in January, like you've planned. What does it matter that it was planned in a week? What does it matter it's not the big wedding you've always dreamed of? Your mum will be there (I dearly hope so), so that will make the day that much more special.

    Like you, I had to have two weddings. Fortunately, it wasn't because of family issues, but paperwork ones. We had planned the August wedding, booked the reception, bought my dress, found a priest and everything. And then, in December, I was told I could not legally marry in France (where the hubs is from) because of paperwork. So we had to go through hell and back to get the paperwork sorted to get married in the UK.

    We had a small civil (registry office) wedding in June, just a few people and tea afterwards at a friend's house. Nothing fancy, all very personal. My wedding dress wasn't ready, so I wore a purple bridesmaid dress with black shoes. I did my on hair and make up. I went to buy my centrepieces the morning of the wedding, and we had cake from Waitrose.

    We did have the planned religious wedding in August, and it was lovely. I wore my dress, we had 60 people, and a great time.

    But if the August wedding hadn't taken place, let me tell you, I would have been perfectly happy with it. I know our situations are VERY different, but my point is, a dream wedding is not a deal breaker. You can have a perfectly lovely smaller wedding and have it mean the world to you. By the time the commitment ceremony rolls on for you, it will be like a continuation of your marriage.

    As fate would have it, my sis flew in for the June wedding, but for the August wedding she was 9 months pregnant, so there was absolutely no flying for her. She didn't get to see me in my white dress, she didn't get to do a reading, she didn't get to do anything but see pictures. But I do have a really lovely pic of the three of us (I have two sisters) with the hubs and his sister from the June wedding.

    I apologise if this is long. My point is, priorities, my dear. In this case, it's your mum, and you may come to find that having her there will be worth every little detail of your August ceremony.

    Hugs to you, and all my best wishes go to your mum!
  • RedVelvetRedVelvet Posts: 1,297 New bride
    I am so sorry for you.

    I'm not in your situation, so I have no idea what you're going through. On the other hand, I lost my mum 7 years ago, and I would've given anything in the whole wide world to have her there for when I get married. When H2B proposed, I was first over the moon (obviously), but it really did hit me hard the moment I realised I'd be getting married, and my mum wouldn't be there to see it, and it broke my heart.

    If chances are she really won't be here for your August wedding, I wouldn't even hesitate. If I had the choice, I know I'd want my mum there, even if it was only for the legal bit with a nice meal after.

    I do realise it's hard, though. I would think that one thing that makes you not want to have the January wedding is the fact that you have to admit that there is a real possibility that she won't be here in 8 months to celebrate your "real" wedding with you. My guess is that that is a big reason behind your wobbles. But like Maylan said, it's your mum, and having the January wedding with her won't change your August wedding at all. Apart from maybe some words here and there. But I'm sure that's a sacrifice worth making?

    Only you will know what is right for you. Only you can decide. But do think about what you really want.
  • How awful for you, love and hugs to you and your family.

    i agree with the other girls on here that your January wedding should still go ahead as this way it guarentees your mum can be there - which from your post sounds like the most important thing to you and also she will be well enough to enjoy it and still have your august wedding to plan for. Would you feel differently if your January wedding is not in a registry office? If you booked a small church wedding or got married at a nice hotel where you could decorate a little would this make you feel differently? I know this is extra expense however i thought i could put it out there as an idea as a friend of mine was in the same position and had an earlier service in her local church. She couldn't afford anything fancy but she got married with just 7 of us there surrounded with loads of t lights as she couldn't afford the flowers nd it was beautiful. Xx
  • nats2013nats2013 Posts: 6,253
    i've just cried my way through your situation, i'm so sorry you are having to deal with all of this.

    how about a humanist ceremony where you commit yourselves to each other in january, you can still find a nice setting to do this without having to spend a fortune and go out for a meal with your mum and oh's parents. perhaps ask your mum what is most important to her, you might find she has strong feelings about wanting to be there for the legal ceremony or not.

    i can't begin to imagine how you are coping but know there is a mass of support flooding your way from everyone on here xx
  • I'm so sorry you're going through this.

    My situation, although nowhere near the same has some similarities.

    Hubby is currently in Afghan and we originally planned to get married in jun 2012, after he's due back.

    I then decided I wanted to be married before he went and because of the timescales I had to arrange a small wedding with 4 guests - no family. we now plan to renew our vows in June with the full in wedding dress, reception, friends, family etc

    Rather than be p**sed offthat June isn't the wedding itself and feel short changed by a registry office do I can genuinely say that no day has ever or will ever come close to being as special as when I became mrs a. The fact that it was a tiny ceremony with nothing to stress about just a couple of friends, me and him made it so intimate... It allowed us to really focus on the important parts of the day. It was amazing.

    Perhaps that should be how you view a small ceremony (with the 2 most important people in your life) and a bigger celebration after?

    However, all that being said... No one can tell you what to do in this situation. You just need to follow your heart.
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