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Considering calling it off


My wedding is in 3 months time and I'm at my lowest point at the moment. 

As a quick background, my parents are paying roughly half of the wedding which is money they offered and insisted to contribute and for which we are very grateful.  And of course with what they are contributing towards, we have consulted them i.e. venue, food etc.  

My parents see this as them paying for an opinion on absolutely everything.  They want to be consulted on everything even down to the very small things.  This is both of them as well and not just my Mum.   

We essentially require their approval on every decision to be made and the impression we have is that this is their day for us - we just feature. 

Anyway, I ordered a sample wedding invitation, had spent hours on the style and the wording.  My parents insisted that the invite be in the traditional format of them inviting people, which isn't what we would have had but accepted and did it that way.  

Our invites don't have a space whereby you write in people's names - it's just a generic invite which we will send to people and our RSVP has a space for the guests to write their name when RSVPing.  This is because I personally don't like both handwritten and typed text and just personally preferred it that way.  

We also didn't want the invite to come across too formal and so, as a bit of light heartedness, added additional tick boxes on the RSVP e.g. "Resentfully attend", "enthusiastically decline" just as a bit of fun and a reflection of our humour.  

The invite was delivered and we were both very happy with it.  As a courtesy, I sent pictures to my parents to look at and said I'd be ordering soon and hoped they liked it. 

They replied saying as it's coming from them, they want it simple and formal and the guests names to be handwritten and it's coming from them and so they want it this way - even though we originally weren't going to have the invite coming from them.  I said that I would compromise and have the guests names included but I'll have them typed up but that everything else will be the same because we were really pleased.  I did say that I felt they were controlling every aspect they could and nothing we do is ever good enough for them. 

My dad then texts me to say that our RSVP wording is juvenile and belitting and something he'd expect from a teenager and said that's not what it's going to say on their invites and then went on to say that if that's what I want, then I can find someone else to walk me down the aisle. 

I burst into tears at this point and I haven't responded.  They clearly think I'm being a brat but all I want is for the day to be about my future hubby and I and for our personalities to be portrayed.  This isn't the first time my Dad particualry has said things like this.  a few months ago he said he wouldn't come if we invited a couple of people (whom he had no reason to oppose them coming at all - just made the numbers higher).  

We also are keeping our wedding cake a secret and he demanded i tell him what it is.  I told him I'm not and he questioned why it's a secret and said it clearly must be offensive if we're keeping it a surprise.  Why would we choose an offesnive cake for our wedding!?  I said no and that we just want an element of surprise.  He didn't accept that. 

Anyway, this is probably really waffly and not communicated correctly at all but I don't know what to do.  I feel like if I bow down, I'll be bowing down to everything.  I want to put my foot down but I can't respond to such a nasty text message.  

I'm seriously considering just calling the whole thing off.  W


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  • Wow. And I thought my Mum was bad. 

    Anyway, you say . that they're paying for half? That doesn't give them the right to dictate everything. 

    If it were me, and I was able to cover the cost I would take my own wedding back. I would sit down with them and say that while their input is appreciate and you're happy to compromise, this is your wedding and not theirs. You're grateful that they offered the money but feel that it isn't right to accept it when this situation is not making anyone happy. You and your h2b will be organising your own wedding with your own money. If they feel that means they cannot attend you are truly sorry but you don't want to look back on your wedding day with regret. 

    But that's just me. I really hope you can sort it out. :(

  • Karen62Karen62 Posts: 244

    Oh Loubelle you poor thing, my heart goes out to you this is a nightmare situation & it doesn't sound like your parents are being fair, and as for juvenile the "do it my way or I'm not coming" is plain childish & to do it by text is rude.

    I can appreciate the desire to elope & wouldn't blame you at all if you chose that route as suggested above if you haven't already done it to death then a sit down chat to specify ground rules & what you are willing to compromise on & what is non negotiable Is a good idea, however if you're beyond that then possibly a letter explaining that it's yours & h2bs wedding not theirs & while you appreciate their enthusiasm, are keen for them to be involved & are grateful for their generous contribution it doesn't give them control over your day. & if they don't feel they wish to be involved under those circumstances you'll be very sad but respect their right to choose. (I'm sure this would be very upsetting) 

    It doesn't sound like they've really accepted that you've grown up  & are in control of your own life & as Kitten says going forward are they going to try & control future events too? 

    you'll need to consider if you can afford to take your wedding back & I can understand that might not be possible, & would cause considerable upset.

    With only 3 months to go is there too much more that they can interfere with? & can you use the "surprise excuse" on other stuff, even if they don't like it, what they don't know they can't argue with!?! 

    I do hope you can sort things out & do what's best for you & h2b & we're always here to read/listen if you need a rant



  • bella2015bella2015 Posts: 1,903 New bride

    Blimey, what an awful position to be in! They have completed over reacted with the wedding invite wording - your dad is the one acting like a teenager, not you!

    I cant really offer any other advice than what the ladies above have said but I hope you manage to work things out - stand firm and make sure they know that you'll be making any further decisions from now on.

  • hi, iam sorry to hear what u are going through. My wedding situation sounds the same as yours. My parents are paying half too and they are being a pain in the butt to, everything has to be run past them with them having the final decision. It's driving me in sane. I fell out with my mum again over salmon!! Of all things. I really wish we eloped. im sorry I don't have much advice, the ladies above have some great advice. I wish you all the best. I just wanted to let you know your not alone in this situation. X 

  • Wow that sounds stressful. It is hard to give advice as you haven't said too much about what your relationship with your parents is normally like and whether this is out of character for your parents? I've had a few moments where my Mum has got a bit carried away and says to people 'but I'm mother of the bride' and I have to point out I'm the bride and its my day, but we have the close relationship where I can say that without it causing too many problems. 

    The other thing you don't go into much detail about is what your fiancé thinks about this. For me, it sounds like you are getting your marriage off on the wrong foot. My in-laws are paying for 75% of my wedding and whilst there is an expectation of what standard of day we should have they are very hands off. 

    My one bit of advice would be that your husband is the family you choose for yourself and you should weigh up this situation as the impact it is having on your relationship with your parents vs the impact it could have on your marriage. Don't feel ashamed to chose your husband to be. Your parents are being overbearing and manipulative. Your Dad saying he won't walk you down the aisle unless he gets his own way is blackmail. Do what is best for you and start your marked life on in whatever way will make you and H2B happy xx

  • RubyCatRubyCat Posts: 273 New bride

    Those who pay get the say. Going halves can only lead to arguments. The cake for example? A layer each? It's not gonna work.

    Pay for it yourself then you can have whatever you want.

    If the parents are paying the invites come from the parents e.g Mr and Mrs Smith invite you to the wedding of your daughter...

  • sooz84sooz84 Posts: 378

    Sorry you're having so many problems, it sounds like they are being really unfair. 

    Can you pay for the invites yourself and then you can have what you want? 

  • Sorry but I completely disagree with what others have said. A wedding is meant to be a family occasion.

    I worked with my parents (and yes they paid) so we both got what we wanted. There is give and take. And im sorry but I do slightly agree with your dad about the wording, sorry x


    Instead of working against them work with them, if they are being difficult then take a step back and try a different avenue.


    I don't mean this to come across as heartless and maybe your parents are being too pushy but its a big deal for them too remember, their little girl is getting married!


    Maybe take some time out, have a bit of a break and then look at things with a fresh pair of eyes. I really don't think its come to calling it off, focus on the most important bit: marrying your fiancé!!


    I know im going to get shot down for this but I did once feel like you did and then thought 'life is too short, all the matters is marrying my best friend'. x

  • TadpoleTadpole Posts: 2,134 New bride

    Although I can see where MrsB is coming from in that sometimes it is easy to get swept up in it all being about what you and your H2B want and forgetting that it is a family occasion and that this is a big deal for you parents – I still can’t really get away from the fact that every time you disagree on something – your Dad threatens to not attend and “find someone else to walk you down the aisle” – that’s just not acceptable and is designed to hurt.


    But I think it sounds like your parents are quite traditional so try to keep that in mind. I found that my parents hadn’t really been to a lot of weddings in a years and certainly hadn’t been involved in the planning of one so didn’t know how times had moved on. If you can put yourself in their shoes you will perhaps see where they are coming from on certain things.

    And try to pick your battles here – is it really that much of a big deal that the wording on the invites isn’t what you wanted? They will just end up in the bin anyway and although your friends will totally get your humour – other people won’t and will just think it’s a bit of a strange concept? It is the first impression that people will have of your big day and you don’t want them to take things the wrong way. Also think about a compromise – there has to be a place in the middle here – perhaps take out the RSVP wording but hold firm on the fact that you don’t want “writing” on the invites themselves?


    I think you need to sit down with your parents and make the point that you are extremely upset with all the turmoil that is going on – to the extent that you are considering cancelling the wedding. Highlight that you need to find better ways of communicating and compromising and let them know that you are grateful for their contribution but that typically these days the bride and groom have a lot more say in the organising and planning of the day so that it is reflective of them as a couple and that is sort of wedding you are going for.


    Good Luck



  • Toad- you have put it much better than me :) x

  • I don't agree with the concept that 'they pay, they get their way.' Maybe I've just been really lucky, but both sets of parents have contributed to ours (my fiancés far more than my parents as my FIL is a self made millionaire and my parents both work for the church, aka. No money!) But where money has been offered it has been so that we can have a great day, not so they can control it. Parents refusing to come unless they get their way is unacceptable! I would rather get married on our contribution to the wedding (6k at the moment) than be made to feel that way. I do agree you should pick your battles; the invites aren't the biggest part of the day but your parents need to behave like adults too and accept they are damaging your relationship

  • Hi

    Thanks for all the replies.

    My mum phoned me last night and we had a heart to heart.  I did compromise with her and said I will include the guest names on the invitations but we really liked the RSVP and the feedback I'd and on it from people at work was positive and we just wanted to include some humour that way.  In terms of people paying for things, I don't agree that whoever pays gets the say - they're also not paying for the invites, we are, but the invites are coming from them and not us.

    They are very traditional in what they want for the day but we are quite a quirky couple and we want our personalities to be portrayed even in the invite. 

    I have been very careful to pick my battles and I have compromised on many things during the planning.  My Mum said she knows it is our day but that they are very proud that we're getting married and want it to be special and it is partly their day as well.  I can understand that and I know she has our best intentions but I feel if I keep making compromises and bowing down that I will look back with regret that I didn't do things a certain way. I know it's only an invite and it's such a small thing to get this angry over but I think because I had spent so much time on them and was very excited when the sample arrived, that the thought of having to change it to something I wouldn't have had was really disheartening.  I originally wasn't going to have the invites coming from them but they insisted and said it's tradition so I did and then that still wasn't good enough.

    My Mum agreed to keep the RSVP wording and I apologised that I'd upset her but I felt that every little thing we do needed to be signed off by them and Dad particularly is being very dictatorial.

    I felt better after our conversation but half an hour later received a text from my Dad saying the invite shoudl say yes or no and he woudl like me to send him a redraft and also why aren't my brothers ushers and they should have been asked and at least they can then make the decision whether they want to be one or not.  Also that he feels marginalised not included.

    I didn't reply and my Mum later text to say that she told him not to text but you know how stubborn he can be and that he's very upset that he and I are at odds with one another and he's going about it the wrong way but he does care and want to be involved.

    The thing is, of course I will involve them but until we need to start making final decisions on things, there isn't really much to discuss and surely he can't expect me to keep him informed on every casual conversation I have about the wedding.

    Mum's suggseted Dad and I go for a drink this weekend but I'm worried he's just going to use the time to emotionally blackmail me.  The last time he threatened not to come, he came round int he evening to patch things up and it was a complete waste of time because he kept saying i wasn't thinking of him. 

    I'm upset that my parents are upset and that is the last thing I want but I don't feel like I should cave in just to keep them happy.  I apologised to my Mum for upsetting her and said i wanted us to be able ot work together, which we have done very well so far except for a few slip ups which is normal but that while I want them to enjoy the day and be happy with everythign we've arranged, we're concerned the day won't reflect us if we're not allowed to have some things that deviate from the "norm".


  • B23B23 Posts: 169

    Any chance you can just cut them out of planning?


    Don't consult them! They have lost the right to be consulted regardless of how generous it was of them to contribute, they shouldn't have contributed if it came with lots of caveats!.


    I feel very lucky, my parents seem very uninterested in our wedding regardless of how pleased they are its happening! They had a tiny registry office wedding so the big fuss is just washing over them.


  • If you do meet up with your Dad make sure your fiancé is there to have your back! You've got to do what is best for you and will make you happy. Now you have a better relationship with your Mum and have cleared the air get her to referee your Dad; tell her honestly that you don't want this to damage your re!ationship but there are only sok many times your Dad can throw his toys out his pram before he backs himself into a corner and can't come or says something unforgivable that will change your relationship.

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