Wedding Planning – Dealing with an awkward fiance during the process
Wedding Planning: My fiance is driving me crazy. We decided on a small wedding (about 50 people) so I planned an elegant reception at a winery, complete with rose gardens, lots of fountains and vines. Everything was smooth until his family (all 47 of them including small children) said they would all come.
He now wants me to:
Cut the number of our college friends so that only family will be at the elegant reception. Only 4 people from my family will be able to be there.
Have a keg party for our friends on that night (the wedding is in the morning). Our friends deserve more than that!
He doesn’t want the food (chicken and steak prepared in wine sauce) because the kids won’t like it. He also doesn’t want wine or alcohol, only sodas!
He is not usually like this. Besides we are marrying only once and I won’t see these friends for a long time (we were all in grad school). Give me your opinion and some advice in trying to change his mind without sounding bossy. I already asked if we could go to Vegas and get it over with but he didn’t like the idea. Help me before I cancel the wedding and run and hide.
It seems as if the best solution to your problem would be a compromise of some sort. The wedding day is the day that both of you commit yourselves to one another. Doesn’t it make sense then for both of you to have a part in the wedding planning?
An area in which you could compromise would be the number of guests. It would depend upon how many guests your site would hold…but an “adult only” affair would take care of most of the problems you are facing. You wouldn’t have to worry about the food or drinks served, and he’d be able to have more guests than were originally planned on.
If your site is able to hold 97 people…you really should consider a reception for all of them at the winery. At $15.00 per person…with 97 people the cost would come to $1,455.00 truly a bargain when you consider that the price covers the site, a full meal and decorating. If you’re concerned about what the children will eat…you can always ask the winery if they offer special meals for children. Some sites do, and they often charge less (either for a child-size portion or a less expensive alternative to the adult meals). Take all of this into consideration when doing your Wedding Planning.
If you go this route, another question (concerning drinks) that would be wise to ask is if you would be able to provide drinks for the children at your own (minimal) expense. This would allow you to get a few bottles of soda (or other beverages) to satisfy the thirst of the children.
If you decide that you both want the reception at the winery…it would seem a bit odd if you had no wine or alcohol at all. In order to save on costs (if alcohol is a seperate expense) though, alcohol and wine could be limited.
Another option would be to make the guest list a little larger. Instead of 50 guests, you could enlarge the list to 70 (or whatever number you both agree on) which would still keep the reception small and intimate, but also give him a chance to invite some of the family members most important to him. Some couples also decide on a small wedding ceremony…and then have a larger reception.
You mentioned that he had originally wanted a casual reception. It’s possible that he’s feeling uncomfortable with the elegant reception…and feels left out of the wedding planning. This day is just as important to him as it is to you, and you both need to sit down and discuss the problems you’re running into calmly and rationally. Nobody is at fault in this situation. It seems as if you just envision something different for the reception than your partner.
If you can’t seem to come to an agreement…it might be a good idea to “split” the guest list down the middle with you inviting 25 people of your choice…and him doing the same. If you do this though…you’ll have to accept that one (or more) of his choices include people you may not like…and he’ll have to accept your choices as well.
Concerning the keg party idea…it really depends on whether your friends will feel as comfortable with this choice as your partner does. There’s nothing wrong with having two different receptions…and nothing wrong with having a formal one and an informal one. The formal (elegant) reception would represent your tastes…and the informal one would represent his tastes. While it may not be “exactly” what you want or “exactly” what he wants…it would be a compromise that would allow you to have your elegant reception…and allow him to have his casual one. What better way to celebrate the joining of two people with two distinct personalities and tastes?
My expertise is in the area of wedding budgeting ideas and solutions…which is why I can’t in good conscience advise you on communication skills. I will however, direct you to a few pages that may help in that area. Some of them are aimed at couples who are already married, but the advice applies to all couples.
The first is Marriage Builders which will give you a better understanding of your relationship…and also highlights common problems between couples (such as communicating). They also have a Question and Answer section…in which Dr. Harley covers numerous subjects relating specifically to relationships.
Here’s a general site, Communication Skills which focuses on other (work, etc) situations, but you may find that it contains information which will allow you to be more effective in communicating with your partner as well.
Listening Skills is a site that explains strategies for communication.
Finally, Conversation Skills 101 is a series of lessons to improve your communication/conversational skills. Perhaps you’ll find one or more of these pages helpful when speaking to your partner about your reception.
Don’t give up quite yet…with a little bit of work, both you and your partner can be happy with the wedding planning choices. Communication skills tend to start out a bit “bumpy”, but after both of you get used to it…you may find that it makes your relationship stronger. I hope the advice has been helpful and that you’ll both feel comfortable with the wedding reception.
Congratulations and Good Luck with your Wedding Planning!