Happy Monday my dahlinks! Dear TKB column comin’ atcha today… here we go LET’S DO THIS!!!
With four months to go, I need help deciding if my long time love and I should elope or go on with our fall wedding. And I apologize that this is a bit of a long one…. I should start by saying, I have always wanted to elope as I’m not comfortable being the center of attention – and I find eloping very romantic. My fiance has always wanted some sort of wedding – partly for him, partly for the sake of our families. When we got engaged, we knew that we needed to have a large-ish wedding (invited 230), mostly because we both have very large families. We embraced that, though it wasn’t how we saw our wedding, and began planning.
We started out with an uneven bridal party of 7 on his side, and 4 on mine (plus flower girl and ring bearer). Unfortunately one of my fiance’s best friends can no longer be in the wedding because of circumstances beyond his control. My side has lost one as well – but for an entirely different reason. My best friend of almost 20 years is no longer in our wedding. My family is amazed we have been friends for this long, given her past behavior, and the fact that she doesn’t seem to support the almost decade long relationship I’ve had with my fiance. So, we expected she’d cause a few bumps, but nothing major. Then we hit a bump that turned out to be something much bigger… I thought it was just a money issue, but when I finally got her to let me help pay for her dress (2 months after the deadline, and after she had lied 5 times about ordering it), and thanked her for being in our wedding because it meant a lot to me, she simply said ‘welcome’. No ‘thank you,’ nothing. Oh, by the way, that whole conversation was through text, since she refused to call me. And when I got out my credit card to buy her the dress, I couldn’t do it. I knew that even if I bought it, I’d be there on my wedding day wondering if she was going to show up.
But. She was one of my best and oldest friends. Her daughter was our flower girl (she had repeatedly told me we needed to wait to get married until her daughter was old enough to walk in our wedding). She was there when I found my wedding dress. And, the uneven bridal party thing suddenly bothered me a ton when the numbers became 3 and 6. However, I had the full support and encouragement of my family when I decided she was no longer in the wedding. That decision also means it’s end of our almost 20 year friendship, which is extremely hard to wrap my head around. But I know it was the right thing to do (for so many more reasons than I can say here). But it hurts like hell. So, the current situation is that our bridal party is down to 3 and 6. I know we could do lots of cute things with sides this uneven; it just bothers me. I feel like it makes me look like I have no friends (no, not really interested in asking other friends to step in), and it’s hard to not notice where my friend was supposed to stand. Or where her daughter was supposed to walk down the aisle in her little flower headdress. And it’s hard to think of putting on the dress she helped me pick out. It’s hard to think that this friendship is ending, and part of it is because of my wedding. I feel like the focus is no longer on the love my fiance and I have for each other, and now more than ever I want to elope.
I feel like it’s so much more romantic, so much more about us and celebrating our history and relationship… and I’ve always known exactly where it would be. My fiance is willing to do whatever, though he still leans towards having a big wedding. Friends and family say we should go on with the wedding and to not let her ruin the day, etc. I totally get where they’re coming from, but it’s not that easy for me and the big wedding has never been the most comfortable thing for me. It’s not that it would ‘ruin’ it – I’m still marrying my best friend – but I know I will notice her absence and always think about how our friendship ended during this time. The money we will lose if we decide to cancel the wedding soon isn’t huge. As for how our families feel, they would be more upset about not being at our elopement than us not having a large wedding. It’s clear I want to elope, but I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings – especially my fiance. Do I need to suck it up for my fiance (and our families, but mostly him) and do the big wedding thing, or do I do what I really want to do and elope? Any advice would be much appreciated!
Lost and confused
Dear Lost and Confused (will call you L&C),
Weddings are both beautiful and wonderful. Two people in love choosing to formally join their lives together and having that mutual commitment witnessed and celebrated by their loving families and friends. A day of smiles, kisses, hugs, laughter and dancing into the night. All surrounded by exquisite flowers and sumptuous gourmet food. Not to mention the months of problem-free planning leading up to the event. There is a total absence of any worries, conflicts or disappointments. There is nothing but joyous, joy filled, joy.
Oh, that it would always be this way, my dear L&C. But before we leave the above fantasy, lets re-read it. Because, if the above were possible, I would freely and generously donate to the entity that could deliver it to everyone I know or will ever know. Slowly floating back down to reality let me state some observations;
Each of us cannot always deliver a happy result that we may want for ourselves, even when we are the only person involved in trying to do it.
Now consider adding to that, the number of people involved in your wedding, whose behavior, (over which you have no control), you are depending on to make your day wonderful. See where I’m going?
Therefore, may I suggest that you rethink your desires and self-imposed obligations?
If you truly want to elope because of the romance of the idea and that special location, then elope.
If it is to avoid the discomfort of your former best friend, then first allow yourself some time to mourn the loss of that friend, (which is completely normal), then let it go and continue to plan your big wedding. Keep your priorities in their proper order; you and your fiancé first, family second, friends third.
If you can honestly say that your choice of eloping is not to avoid the absence of your fiancé’s best friend or having to notice what your “best friend” does or doesn’t do, then elope.
Do it, and include if possible, your immediate family members. Wear your wedding dress or what ever else you want and take lots of wonderful photos to be able to look back on the day you both swore your love to each other.
Then, only if it pleases you, plan a big party a short time after, (a week or a month maybe), celebrating you and your husband. You are now the happily married hosts. All you have to do is say; “Welcome. We’re so glad you came.”
Best of luck :)
Ok friendlies, I’m turning it over to you guys now in the hopes that you might be willing and able to offer Lost and Confused [L&C] any of your suggestions/thoughts/reactions. Thanks on L&C’s behalf!
xoxo! - Alison
Label(s): "DEAR TKB..." Advice Column