I have a big question. I recently got engaged and, while we haven't done much in terms of planning or having an in depth conversation about planning, I immediately shared my idea of eloping to France and then having a reception party here in the states. My fiancé seems to dismiss the elopement idea because he doesn't understand why we would want to be alone and he wants his grandfather to witness the event. I have social anxiety and the thought of really anyone being present during the ceremony causes me a lot of anxiety. I also have the issue of both of my parents having medical issues and thus lots of debt so they aren't really able to travel for a wedding; we would probably have to have the wedding in my home state which neither of us want (my family is in Michigan and his family is in NYC). I want this to be a 50/50 planning effort and yet the bridezilla in me wants to make the dream elopement I've been planning for 10 years a reality. Am I being a spoiled brat? How can we compromise?
Are you willing to do a small ceremony (such as, immediate family only), and then do the larger reception later? That way, your fiance can include his grandfather, and you can keep the group size small.
You’ve been planning on eloping for 10 years, but have you ever actually had a conversation with your FH about that desire before getting engaged? You could compromise by having a small, family only wedding.
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My anxieties about having a small ceremony are where to have it given our families' locations and how to accomodate our differing families' preferences. His family are Russian immigrants and are used to a NY lifestyle. My parents are very low-key Michiganders who hate anything ostentatious. I just see the day being full of stress and anxiety for me. I fon't know. Luckily we just got engaged so we have plenty of time to discuss it all.
Do your parents medical issues make it unsafe for them to travel, or is it just the debt they've incurred as a result of them? If they can travel safely, but they just can't afford to, maybe you could pay for them to travel to France. You can still elope if your parents and your fiancé's parents are there and then have a reception in New York with other people in the future, with or without another ceremony.
I think what everyone is missing in these replies is that her fiance actually wants his family there. It is in fact his wedding, too. Wanting at least your immediate family to be there when you get married is a pretty basic request.
OP, it's not fair for you to steamroll him into having a two-peraon French elopement if that isn't what he wants. The wedding is about both of you (not your parents or his parents, btw) and it seems pretty rigid to insist that *nobody* be there. If I were you, I would find somewhere in the States to have a small wedding with both of your parents/siblings/grandparents and maybe a few best friends. You get the small wedding, he gets his VIPs. Have the larger reception later if you want to as well.
It takes two people to get married, so it takes two people to plan a wedding.
If you steamroll him, you will have a fantastic time all by yourself, and end up with a resentful husband... and that's a terrible way to start (and keep) a marriage.
One of your options should be seeking out counseling to help with your social anxiety. (Btw, having a big reception will still put you in the center of attention. You'll be the couple being celebrated.)
Livestreaming is perhaps a better option for *your* family, given medical issues, while you could easily elope here in NY.
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Thank you everyone for your feedback. We had a long chat about it yesterday and I *think* we've found a solution. We might go to the courthouse to sign the papers (no ceremony), have a reception with close family and friends (about 30 ppl) in California, then go on our honeymoon to France where we will have a symbolic ceremony and exchange vows. That way, our families and his California friends can celebrate with us and I can have my private, romantic vow exchange in France. It's an unconventional wedding for sure but something we both agreed would make us happy. We haven't begun planning anything and I will need to find a cheaper venue in Sonoma county to offset the costs of flights and accomodations but I think we could do it. Thank you all again. I absolutely do not want to steamroll him, I want him to have an equal part in planning this wedding (even thought he HATES planning! 😆)
When all is said and done what you’ll remember most is the people who were there and the emotions of your wedding day. If it’s important to your fiancé to have family there to witness, please strive to accommodate that. It’s one thing to wish you’d had a different flavor of cake, it’s completely different to wish your parents were there the day you were married.
I think you’re on track with the symbolic ceremony in France and I hope the courthouse ceremony includes an invitation to closest family. I’m not sure the significance of California, will family in NY and MI be able and willing to travel for that or is this an additional reception? From what I’ve read on WW, I believe Sonoma (and CA and NY generally) is rather expensive for weddings. At any rate, sounds like you two are on the right track to finding a way that makes you both happy.
I would be so annoyed, too. I think the France elopement would be magical! And who is his grandfather...? lol the day is about the two of you... I don’t get that at all. But my husband and I always agreed the day was about us and not other people. Best wishes 🤍
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Thank you. California is significant because we recently lived there and all of his former coworkers/friends are there. Things might change a bit but I think we've at least compromised to have family present to celebrate at a reception and a symbolic vow exchange in France.