My fiance [28M] and I [27F] can’t agree on wedding plans

My fiance and I have been dating for 5 years and recently got engaged. We are going through the motions of planning for our big day but are having major disagreements about how it should go.

I don’t care for weddings. I never really grew up dreaming about a wedding or wearing the white dress, etc. My parents were poor and didn’t have a wedding really and are unable to offer any advice on planning things. Until recently, I had never been to a wedding, but it does seem that women typically do all the work/planning, which is something I am not willing to waste my time on. I don’t have many close friends due to moving around a lot as a kid so I don’t have many people to invite. I’m not religious. So I would be perfectly fine just going down to City Hall to get some papers.

My fiance wants a big ritualistic ceremony/party. My fiance’s family is very Catholic and wants the wedding to be in a Church. His grandma also recently went to his cousin’s wedding and can’t stop remarking on how wonderful their wedding was. Apparently the bride organized everything and even had traditional Russian dancing and songs to entertain the guests. Grandma keeps emphasizing to my fiance that “The wedding is not for you. It’s to bring the families together.” My fiance also wants a bigger wedding since he has more friends to invite and is more outgoing/social than I am.

But I honestly wouldn’t even know where to begin to put together a big wedding…or any kind of religious wedding ceremony. I don’t really know how to go about finding a wedding planner if that’s something we need…but we’re not that well off and I would rather put all that money into something more practical like a house downpayment. In general, this whole wedding planning thing stresses me out and I would rather not deal with it. I feel like a bad fiancee for feeling like I don’t want to organize my own wedding and not feeling excited to throw a big party for everyone. What can I do to keep my sanity but not piss everyone off?

**tl;dr:** I want a small wedding because I hate planning and he wants a big show but doesn’t want to plan it.

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73 thoughts on “My fiance [28M] and I [27F] can’t agree on wedding plans

  1. kanniew February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    I’d say let him plan a wedding as he’s the one with set expectations. Or hire a wedding planner.

  2. xahzee February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    You shouldn’t worry about others being pissed off, this is your and your fiancee’s day. If he wants something that takes work politely tell him he should be the one to put in the work than and stress to him your feelings on the financial situation. Not much else you can do i’m afraid other than give in and waste all that money for everyone else’s happiness at the cost of your own.

  3. baffled_soap February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Everyone here is addressing the obvious issue of deciding how to handle the wedding itself. And some people are also addressing the issue of your fiancé wanting something that’s a lot of work without wanting to do that work. Those are both separate issues that you need to address together.

    But I also want to talk about the issue of family expectations. It sounds like there are some strong opinions (especially from Grandma) on how this important life event should go. And it sounds like your fiancé wants to honor what Grandma wants. So now is a good time to also discuss how to handle those family expectations going forward. If your fiancé either agrees with Grandma or if he would rather do what Grandma wants than have to disappoint her, then you need to discuss this before getting married. It absolutely won’t be the only time Grandma has an opinion on your life as a married couple. And if your fiance’s family is a different culture / religion , there will definitely be other times that cultural differences arise. You want a partner that will be able to discuss important decisions with you, make the right decision for you both as a couple, then defend that choice to his family (instead of backing down & doing what they want). If your fiancé isn’t able to do this now, he won’t be able to do it when you’re married, either.

  4. zappergun-girl February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Slap him with the cold, hard reality of what a big traditional wedding would cost, especially these days. The days of $1000 weddings is over for something like that. Catering, drinks (even just beer and wine), and space for a large guest list can easily take up half your budget, whatever that may be. It’s never as simple as people like to think it is. Yes, it’s possible to cut corners and trim out the extras, but then grandma might complain that it doesn’t feel like a ‘wedding’. If a big wedding is what grandma and his family wants, are they paying? Otherwise, it’s completely up to you and your husband. I think your husband may come around to your side if you show him some numbers.

    All that said, I have nothing against big weddings, I love them. My own wedding was large, traditional, and yeah, expensive. But my husband and I were really fortunate that we had assistance from both sets of parents and had some of our own money saved. If we were starting from scratch like a lot of couples are, we would have had to have almost a three-year engagement, a very intimate 30-person micro-wedding, or just said ‘sorry everyone, we eloped’, which is getting more and more popular these days. Always remember your marriage is about you and your husband, you can’t always worry about what makes other people happy.

  5. pamsabear February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    There are usually restrictions on who is able to get married inside a Catholic Church. Are you willing to convert, take instruction and counseling from a priest?

    Also, for strict Catholics you won’t be considered truly married unless the marriage takes place in a Catholic church. Will your children be raised Catholic? That’s often another requirement.

    Please discuss all of these issues before you marry.

  6. TorchedBlack February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    I’m not down with the whole big wedding thing either, but I’ve been planning mine with my fiance and the realities of cost even for a modest wedding are pretty crazy.

    Venue: 4500$ (open bar included)

    Catering: 2000$

    Flowers: 800$

    Cakes: 300$

    Photographer: 2500$

    This is for a wedding of 80ish people, we’ve splurged in some places like the venue, but the catering is a local grocery store and one of the cheaper options for our area. This is not even including cost of the dress, suit for the groom, and some decoration costs that haven’t been tallied yet.

    Personally I feel that planning a wedding is the first hurdle of married life. It’s a ton of small and big problems that need to be figured out and it can add a lot of stress. Being on the same page is essential here. Sit down with him, go over the realities of your situation, both financially and your trepidation about planning. Try finding a compromise, maybe you don’t do the court house wedding, but you don’t need to go full white wedding at the biggest cathedral in town either.

  7. SlouchyGuy February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Just let him organize it (himself or through hiring a wedding planner, it doesn’t matter). Take no responsibility.

    It’s often groom’s role to just agree with bride on all decisions and veto some things, and do nothing. Just switch roles- let him plan and organize everything if he wants a wedding like this. All you have to do is choose your dress, say “I don’t want this” and have fun at the reception

  8. Floricita February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    >feel like a bad fiancee for feeling like I don’t want to organize my own wedding and not feeling excited to throw a big party for everyone.

    Tell your fiancé that starting off your married life from that kind of place isn’t at all a good idea. Hiring a wedding planner wouldn’t change your underlying feeling about this…it’s just more money down a big hole and you will resent it every step of the way. Don’t let anyone talk you into spending time and money on something that you really do not want. If you don’t want a big wedding, don’t have one.

    You can have a religious ceremony without a big fancy wedding party. My priest does at about 6 weddings a month and most are simple affairs with cake and punch in the parish hall afterwards. If that’s not good enough for his grandmother, that’s on her.

  9. Haceldama February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    If he wants the big wedding he needs to be the one to plan it, all of it. That includes working out the budget beforehand. Once he meets with a few vendors and then sits down to crunch numbers he may feel differently. One caveat though- do not let him just hand the work off to his mother. He needs to be the one doing the work.

  10. throwaway03249328023 February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    If he is willing to plan and pay for the big wedding, then have a big wedding. Usually people come back to planet earth after they figure out how much everything cost.

  11. kevin_k February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    > Grandma keeps emphasizing to my fiance that “The wedding is not for you. It’s to bring the families together.”

    Grandma’s wrong. It’s your + fiance’s day and your celebration should be whatever you both agree on.

    There’s two different issues here: if your fiance wants a different wedding than you do, you’ll need to come to some kind of compromise. But if it’s not for him, but to kowtow to his family – that’s not okay. Decide what you both want and present a united front when explaining to family what that is and that it’s not a family decision but you and fiance’s.

    Tell grandma she should have a family reunion.

  12. rmric0 February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    1) Consider dropping over to r/weddingplanning

    2) Consider your emotional triage – this is probably one of those times where you’re not going to make everyone happy so figure out the people you want to make happy and figure out how to get through this witht hem in mind (number one of that list should probably be you, followed by FH). I mean it’s really sweet that your FH wants his grandmother to be happy – but if he’s not willing to put in the effort to make that happen then don’t worry so much about it.

    3) Be super honest and open with your future husband, big fancy weddings take a lot of effort and cost a lot of money You don’t have the latter and you’re not much inclined to the former, so he needs to come up with solutions. Maybe the reality of the task will get him better on side.

  13. phelgmdounuts February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Maybe a compromise? A city hall ceremony with a big party afterwards which is within your budget. Also just because women traditionally do all the planning, doesn’t mean this has to be the case for your own wedding.

    Let your husband know that it’s not your responsibility to do all the work. You need to do it together. If he wants a massive over-the-top party then he can plan it himself.

  14. LeBronzeFlamez February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    You dont say, so I assume you guys will be paying yourself. The only reason why I would be willing to change a wedding plan is if someone say they will pay. If they no pay, no say.

    Agree on budget first, then it will be easier to keep the list shorter.

    Best of luck

  15. Traffic_Spiral February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    It’s a pretty big flag that he wants the wedding but doesn’t want to put in the work. That’s gonna crop up again and again in your married life: wants a house, but doesn’t want to work on the yard and maintenance; wants kids/pets, but doesn’t want to help take care of them; wants a vacation but wants you to do all the planning; etc.

  16. micro-morticia February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    >I want a small wedding because I hate planning and he wants a big show but doesn’t want to plan it.

    Are you sure you want to marry someone who would force you to do something laborious, boring, difficult and stressful out of SEXISM? This is a much bigger issue than the immediate question. Please, please tell me you have talked with him about how sexist this is. Feeling forced to do something you don’t want for an outcome you don’t want that will stress you out SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU ARE THE WOMAN — Is that a really great way to start a marriage? Does this give you high hopes for what raising children with him will be like, if you are planning on kids?

    In the short-term, put your foot down. “Look, just because I’m the woman doesn’t mean I love wedding planning. The idea actually sounds so stressful to me, I would not enjoy it and I do not want to do it, which I’m sure you know about me already. Also, I don’t want to spend incredible amounts of money on it. If you really want a big wedding, you are going to have to plan it yourself and I will only help out with things you specifically ask my opinion on. We have to agree on a budget maximum first.” **Resist all urge to take over or clean up decisions and planning. Just step back and actually for real let him do it.** If you can’t actually trust him to pull his own weight, or to stick to a budget you agree on etc, then again I ask if you’re sure this is a great way to start married life because to me it’s a red flag.

    In the long-term, don’t actually marry him until you have thoroughly discussed what GENDER ROLES mean to you and what he’s expecting from you as a wife. If (because you are The Woman) you’re going to be making all kinds of other sacrifices you don’t want – for example, being a stay-at-home-mom, or sacrificing your career goals, or being the primary caregiver while he just occasionally “babysits”, or doing more of the housework while he just mows the lawn in the summer – you need to find that out NOW.

    BTW I am planning a very small, simple, not terribly pretty wedding with twenty-five guests at a secular, non-traditional venue and it’s going to cost me approx $5000 US without my dress (which was like $800 US before alterations, and expecting about that much again for his suit). A big **traditional** wedding is going to cost you minimum $25,000-30,000 if you’re frugal about it assuming you need to rent a venue and don’t get free catering and free photography or something.

  17. drzoidburger February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    My best friend is in the same situation, and she ended up caving in and agreeing to having a wedding. It seems that every time this happens, it’s easier for the person who doesn’t want the wedding to cave rather than the person who wants the wedding, likely due to all the family pressure and expectations that come with getting married. It’s hard to stand strong on not having a wedding when everyone around you is shocked and appalled by the very idea. My best friend has reluctantly planned most of it, since we live in a society that expects brides to do everything and grooms to just show up on the big day. Unless your fiancé really does love to plan and organize things, know that the task will fall squarely on your shoulders.

    I’m also planning a wedding right now, and ngl, it’s been a ton of work, even for someone who wanted a wedding. It’s also insanely expensive. I feel like unless someone has gotten married within the past 10 years, it’s really tough for them to understand just how inflated all the prices have gotten. I’m looking at spending about $17k for a wedding with 80 guests right now, and I’ve cut corners a lot (hiring the cheapest caterer and DJ I could find, using fake flowers, buying a dress on sale, etc). Even hiring a wedding planner is super expensive. I’m only going to have a day-of coordinator (essentially a wedding planner who only comes in for the last few weeks), and the quotes I got ranged from $1000-3000. I can only imagine what it would cost to have a planner do the entire thing.

    So first off, you two need to figure out who is going to pay for this big traditional wedding. If it’s family, that’s great, but know that you will have less say in all the decisions. If it’s you and your fiancé, you need to sit down and come up with a budget. Keep in mind that almost every wedding I’ve gone to has gone over-budget by at least a few thousand dollars. Does your fiancé understand that future plans would have to be pushed back if he has the big wedding he’s dreamed of? More time before you can afford to buy a house, a new car, etc?

    If he still wants to go forward with this and you can’t afford a planner, choose your bridesmaids carefully. You’ll need all the support you can get. Some of my bridesmaids were more than happy to help me choose vendors because they are crazy about weddings. One of my bridesmaids just got married last year and has been a wealth of information, since she has done all the research already.

    Whether or not you have this kind of support, I encourage you to stop by /r/weddingplanning. People are very helpful and supportive there, and you’ll find you’re not the only bride who didn’t want a wedding. I’d also be more than happy to help you research things! I love to plan and I’ve booked all my vendors already so I have a bit of time on my hands now 🙂

    Finally, no matter what happens, no matter how stressful wedding planning gets, keep in mind that you and your fiancé are a team. A wedding is one day, but a marriage is forever. Don’t plant the seeds of resentment now and go into the marriage already mad at each other. You will fight over stupid wedding shit, but at the end of the day, you’re getting married for a reason. Please don’t lose sight of that. Hope this wall of text actually helped!

  18. everyoneis_gay February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    If he wants something – if **he** wants something, not his family – he needs to make it happen. If he wants a religious ceremony, for example, he’s the one who should be planning it. You can talk it out and see if you can meet him halfway on some things but a) this day is about you and him, so it should be about what you and him want, and b) if what that is turns out to be bigger than what you’d ideally want then the burden of planning needs to be shared.

  19. Vendevende February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    “Fiance, this whole topic has been incredibly unpleasant, stressful, and has made me question if we are even compatible for marriage. You know, yet disregard, how I feel and still expect me to plan this? Now I worry how you’ll act in other major life situations, and if my opinion really matters.

    For the time being the wedding and related events are postponed, as evidently we still have more to learn about the other and their priorities. We just can’t start this chapter of our life together like this.”

  20. noblestromana February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    If he wants a big spectacle kindly tell him he is free to plan it himself. It’s easy to have the fantasy when he is not really sat down and done all the work or realized the expenses that come with it.

  21. moosetopenguin February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Few questions you should answer first…

    * Is your fiancé aware of how much weddings cost these days, especially big weddings? I am currently in the midst of planning my own wedding (with my fiancé’s help) and let me tell you, even if you *want* it to be inexpensive, it still will cost a lot of money.
    * Does your fiancé take your wants and needs into account? Is he aware that *you* are not comfortable with a having a wedding at all? If your fiancé just plows through and does not care if you are uncomfortable, then you have bigger problems than what kind of wedding would be a reasonable compromise.
    * Does your fiancé’s family treat you fairly? Does your fiancé make you a priority above his family? Remember this is *your* (you and fiancé) day. Not his mom’s. Not his grandmother’s. YOUR day. Make sure you remember that and if fiancé prioritizes his family’s happiness over yours, then I would recommend marital counseling *before* planning the wedding.

  22. MeBrudder February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    You could also have a small wedding in the church, and then a party afterwards with only the closest family.

    An idea could also be to have a reception for everyone who comes to the church, and then a small party afterwards…

  23. anyanka_eg February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Go to city hall and get married there (or the two of you go off and do it in Vegas or Hawaii or Cancun or where ever you want and can afford) and then have a big celebratory party when you get back. That way all the people you want can come to the party and no one is comparing it to other weddings they’ve been to. If your fiance wants a church bit then ask the family priest to the party and ask if he can say a simple blessing for you and all your guests.

    Most people will be happier with this as they don’t have to be all day at a wedding, worry about keeping the kids entertained, buying expensive new dresses and suits, etc. Find a local band (ceilidh band or a folk band or whatever you fancy) who can do a couple of sets and get people singing and dancing, and then just create a playlist on Spotify or on the phone for the rest of the music.

  24. TBoguS301 February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Hi! First, congrats on your engagement!

    Here’s what I’m concerned about. You say your fiance’s family is “very Catholic and wants the wedding to be in a Church.” You also say that you’re “not religious.” What about him? Is religion important to him? If it is, discuss the importance of getting married in a church. Nail down if it’s something **he** wants, not what **his family wants**.

    His grandmother’s assertion that “The wedding is not for you. It’s to bring the families together” is *partially* true. Yes, bringing families together is an important aspect, provided that y’all’s families are important to each other. **HOWEVER**, a wedding is first and foremost about you and him and your bond and the start of your life together. If Day 1 of your married life is tainted by the two of you not being a united front against overbearing forces, shit’s going to be tough.

    So first thing’s first: ascertain whether or not the church aspect is important to him and to him alone. That’s what matters. My family is also uber-Catholic, to the point where I’m stealing a Jim Gaffigan joke and calling my mom a Shiite-Catholic. Religion isn’t important to me and certainly not to my fiance. Trust and believe my mom put up a fight when we told them flatly that our wedding will not be happening in a church. We both stood up for our beliefs and needs and my mom backed down about the church thing. This worked because we’re both on the same page about the church aspect.

    If a church wedding is important to him, then solve the wedding planning problem (to which I say follow everyone’s advice and make him bear the brunt of the work but offer to pitch in when he asks). If it’s not important to him and it’s not important to you, before y’all nail down a date/venue/playlist, decide if not getting married in a church is a battle y’all are willing to wage. If it is, schedule time to meet with his parents and draw the line in the sand.

  25. stpauler February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    You sound a bit like me. I’m an atheist, my husband is a Catholic. I wanted a destination wedding with just us two and an officiant. He wanted the high mass, loads of friends and family, reception, flowers, etc. It was going to be expensive and it wasn’t my cup of tea in the slightest. But it was important to him and this is a person I am going to spend the rest of my life with.
    That said, he also makes 3x more than I do so he could afford it. I paid for the rings which ended up being about 10% of the cost of the wedding and he paid for the rest.
    We both pretty much got what we wanted while compromising on the stuff we didn’t. Was it my dream wedding? Hell no. There are lots of other things I would rather have spent the money on. But I still loved it because I was able to make it important for him. And he does things for me all the time that are important for me. That’s a big part of being married and if you’re not willing to do things to make each other happy, why would you want to be married to the other?
    The best bit of advice I can give is to going through the wedding classes. Most Catholic weddings in the church require this (and in my US state, we got a discount off of the license too).

  26. Babbit_B February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Well, this one’s easy. If he wants a big, elaborate wedding, he needs to be the one to plan it, including how to pay for it.

  27. stereoearkid February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    You’re getting a lot of good advice about having him plan it and how to talk about what family wants vs what you two want, but I wanted to add that it’s totally okay for you to decide that you actively don’t want to *have* a wedding, not just that you don’t want to plan it. My parents are both very shy, wanted to elope, had a small but traditional wedding to make their parents happy, and regretted it. My dad has said that getting married to my mom was the best decision he ever made, but that their wedding day was one of the worst days of his life.

    Before you talk to your fiance, do some thinking about whether having him do the lion’s share of the planning will actually be a compromise you’re okay with. If you go that route, at a minimum you will still have to think a little about your vows, choose a dress or other wedding clothes, decide who (if anyone) is in your bridal party, give him thumbs up or down on hundreds of little decisions, listen to him talk about wedding stuff for a couple months, keep reminding vendors that he is in charge of planning, say your vows in front of a group of people, and enjoy or pretend to enjoy the party that follows. If that sounds doable, then great! Send him the links to r/weddingplanning and A Practical Wedding, set a budget together, and then let him take over. Otherwise, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and say that you really don’t want a wedding.

  28. Berlinesq February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    If the catholic ceremony is important to your fiancé and you don’t object to the religious aspect, I’d suggest the counter compromise that most people suggest. How about doing the religious ceremony that’s important to him/his family and then have a small reception afterwards. Most catholic ceremonies are in the morning/afternoon. So you could go to a nice restaurant afterwards for lunch, eat, drink, be merry but not the pressure and expense of a traditional reception. Plus the restaurant already has everything you need! No need to hire a caterer, hire the bartender, rent linen, work with a florist, add centerpieces and decor, hire a Dj, etc. restaurant is already decorated, full of food and drink, and you can work with them to create a menu in your budget.

  29. tfresca February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Tell him you want to elope but you’ll go along with this party. Have him or his family hire a wedding planner because you don’t want to plan this.


  30. catlady_intraining February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    If he wants a big wedding, then he can plan a big wedding. He might delegate a few tasks to you (choosing your dress, organizing bridal party, guest list for your side of the family etc.), but the overall planning should fall on him if he’s the only one who wants it. You’re right- people do assume the woman will do most/all of the planning. People also don’t realize how much time goes into planning a big wedding- and the only way to put in less planning time is to put in more money so other people do the work for you.

    To not piss people off: you can’t want things to be a certain way and not be willing to do the work. If there are any things you definitely do want to be a certain way, you might have to pick up the planning for those things. The more you allow him to make the choices, the more you can leave the work to him. Maybe this applies to inlaws as well- the more you let his mother make the choices, the more you can leave the work to her. If you have any things you absolutely do not want (ex. you hate garter tosses, you won’t do a religious service, you don’t want a father-daughter dance, whatever) you should communicate that right at the beginning.

    You two need to agree on a budget, though, because your financial futures are tied together. The precise amount that you guys can afford to spend should be set before he starts planning; he can plan what works best within that budget. If the inlaws want a bigger wedding than you guys can afford, they can contribute the cash for it. Of course, the more they pay for the more say they get in the wedding. Don’t let them say they will pay you back later if they are contributing.

  31. warpus February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    > “The wedding is not for you. It’s to bring the families together.”

    I mean you can do what you want, but if I was getting married to the person I love, it would be *all about us*

  32. ficklefoxen February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    1. Go find and read the book “A Practical Wedding.” Make your fiance read it, too. It will help you start figuring out what is and isn’t important to you and how to navigate a lot of the wedding stuff.

    2. Your fiance needs to be driving the planning train if he wants the big wedding.

    3. Pre-marriage counseling sounds like it would be really beneficial to you, especially based on your fiance caving to his family’s expectations.

    4. “No” is a complete sentence and it’s one you’re going to have to learn to use a lot with wedding planning. Start practicing and get comfortable with it. Planning a wedding is – for many couples – the first time adults start setting hard boundaries with family and friends. It can be tough but you can do it, and it’s a good life skill.

    5. There is a wedding planning sup on reddit. They are excellent and very helpful without the snottiness of the forms on weddingwire/theknot/weddingbee. Take advantage of them!

  33. WraithTwelve February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Grandma is selfish and dead wrong. Your wedding should be for you and your fiance. No one else. If they care that much let him and his family plan it or pay for a wedding planner.

  34. Pechugapechuga February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Not a great way to start a life together. You should really sit down and decide what works for both of you. Then he can tell his family to eat it, and be happy for him.

  35. IAmDotorg February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Having just done this, the only way to piss off everyone equally is to just go do it, by yourself, at city hall. Tell everyone once its done, in order of familial closeness.

    Literally anything beyond that is going to piss someone off for some reason. Too many people, too few people, someone will be bad that some cousin or another didn’t get invited, people who didn’t will be pissed about people who did. You’ll have the wrong food, or a dress isn’t white enough, or something is not religious enough, or is too religious. You’ll be stressed out for months leading up to it, stressed out on the day, you won’t remember any of it as a result, and people will still be pissed.

    We just got married in secret, called family afterwards, and told everyone we’d celebrate it with everyone separately in the ways appropriate to those relationships. Maybe a dinner, maybe just a raised toast, maybe just a slew of congrats on Facebook.

    What it was, though, was a zero-stress, $150 day that was about my wife and me, and no one else.

    And, the real kicker? We *know* most people were happy they didn’t have to travel, get dressed up, eat shitty food, ignore drunk guests, etc… and slews of people commented after the fact that they wished they’d done what we did.

  36. cmcg1227 February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    I would tell your fiance that you’re not really a wedding-person, and that while you might be willing to have a big wedding if its super important to him, that you most certainly won’t be planning one.

    Suggest to him that he look into the costs (monetarily and time) of planning a large wedding, including potentially hiring a wedding planner, and THEN you guys will go over everything and decide if a big wedding is really in the cards for you guys.

    My guess is once your fiance starts to realize what this will cost and how much work it will be, that he will be far less eager to fund and plan such a big, extravagant event. You guys still might not end up with your ideal city hall wedding, but perhaps a <50 person wedding with the reception at a decent restaurant or something similar.

  37. youreadeck12 February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Budget for a planner. Switch priorities around so that you can afford to hire one (go with a cheaper baker/hairstylist etc) because wedding planning can be overwhelming when you’re excited, and I’m sure a chore if you aren’t!

  38. mrntoomany February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Are you both Catholic? You can’t get a Catholic mass wedding without both of you being Catholic.

    My father was baptized Baptist, my mom Catholic. She was pregnant at the time of their wedding and they were denied a Catholic ceremony.

  39. shit_banana February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    First of all, ignore what his parents, his grandparents, or anyone else says (especially if they are not financially contributing to the wedding in a significant way). The wedding is about the two of you, and it is ‘bringing the two families together’ in whichever way you decide is the best for you two.

    If your fiance is the one that wants the bigger wedding, then 100% he should be the one that does the majority of the planning. It’s not your job as the bride-to-be; it usually falls on the bride-to-be because she is traditionally the one that cares more about things like colors, flowers, dress, themes, etc… But, since you really don’t care, let him take over the planning and help where you can.

    Set a hard budget for the wedding too, and task your fiance with doing some initial research to price out what the wedding that he wants would cost. Including everything like the hall, food, drinks, tuxes and dress, church, transportation, photographer, dj, table and chair coverings, dish/glass rentals, cleanup, groomsman and bridesmaid gifts, cake, etc…. being that you two are not in a great financial position, he may soon realize that what he wants to do is way out of the question. If you live in a major metropolitan area, you’re probably looking at $50K plus for a ‘traditional’ wedding, smaller city or town you can probably do it for $25-$30K, but it’s still a significant cost.

    If that is out of the question (and he can agree that it is), start coming up with alternatives. Could you do a backyard wedding at a friend’s place? My sister did that this summer and really only had to rent some tents, chairs, tables, and have some food delivered/made beforehand. They spend less than $5K. Or you could do a wedding brunch, significantly lower cost and instead of renting a hall you just have it at a restaurant that will let you take over the whole restaurant (or a certain room). No hall needed, less booze, no dj or any of that stuff, and you can buy a fun white dress that doesn’t have to be a long white ball gown look. Destination weddings can also be good, they are cheaper for the bride and groom (you usually just pay for your own trip), but keep in mind they can piss families off if not everyone can easily afford to go or take the time off.

  40. bookwormsister1 February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Have you talked to your fiance about what you want? Have you tried to find a compromise? Also, I say this semi lightly because I love grandma’s but screw his, the wedding is not for the people who go it is for you guys. If you just don’t want to plan it are you okay with your fiance doing it all? And having his way? Or do you actually want a smaller simpler wedding? If you want something smaller you have to talk to him because he has to be the one who wrangles up his family on that or just so you guys can compromise, I’m sure he doesn’t want you to look back on the day of your wedding with dislike. You could also hire a Franck (the wedding planner, father of the bride, great movie should totally watch it if you haven’t, I like kinda want one that’s half Franck for myself lol) and just let them do all the work, with a planner all you two would have to do is pick things out.

  41. Sleep_adict February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    A compromise is to do a couple of events… we did it that way and it worked well:

    – small ceremony with family, followed by a formal receptions… just family keeps the costs down and forces everyone to mingle and get to know each other. We even rented a large house and had everyone stay there for a couple of days…
    -large “celebration” with friends… take away the “wedding” label and prices drop… rent a venue on a random night, have a buffet or get a local restaurant to cater… open bar… all friends can have fun..

  42. DamnItDinkles February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    A wedding is for you and your spouse. Not the family. Family can be involved if YOU want. This was recently a big fight me and my fiance had because his family was pressuring him into a huge ass church wedding and I’m very much the “can we just elope and be done with it” type.

    I thought he genuinely wanted this big wedding and decided if he wanted it I would do it to make him happy. The chaos of trying to fight with his parents and figure out what we wanted resulted in my having multiple anxiety attacks to the point of crying.

    When fiance realized how stressed I was over it, he explained he didn’t even want it, his family was guilting him into it. We have since decided to say fuck you to everyone else and elope. We’re going to throw a huge party/ceremony for our 1st anniversary and say our vows there.

    My advice? Sit down and ask him what he wants. No what his family wants. Will this make him happy? If yes, then make compromise because that’s what relationships are about. If he gets X you get Y. Compromise and do what you want because it’s both of yours wedding.

  43. MJJean February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    IS your fiance religious? You mention his family is Catholic, but is he? I ask because, as a Baptized Catholic, he is obligated to marry in the Church or receive Dispensation from the Church to marry elsewhere. Any marriage he enters into outside of the Church without Dispensation is religiously invalid. So, if he is a practicing Catholic or if you think he may return to the Church, might as well have a wedding involving vows exchanged before a priest.

    Here, folks on a budget will have their wedding during Mass. The wedding during Mass means that they don’t have to rent the Church and can get married for a small gift to the priest. Of course, friends and family are invited and sit with the parishioners. After Mass, they’ll have a small reception at a nearby rented hall or restaurant. Proper Catholic wedding on a budget without much muss and fuss.

  44. shinyhairedzomby February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    There are tons of compromises that can be made here, but they all depend on you and your fiancee.

    Have you two actually properly sat down and discussed expectations and guest lists and budgets? How big of a wedding does he want? How nice of a wedding does he want? Who is going to be paying for it? *Is* he willing to do all of the planning or hire a wedding planner? If he wants to hand off the planning to his mother or grandmother, would you be okay with that?

    If his family is Russian and anything like the Russians in my family and my SO’s family y’all ain’t really going to be able to have a shoestring budget wedding *and* make family happy. My uncle refuses to say how much he paid for my cousin’s wedding; the only thing he admits to is that it was over 30k. My SO’s cousin’s wedding had 300 or 400 people and cost 100k (and 100k didn’t even get them the whole venue for the day).

    My SO and I are currently considering either eloping or having a destination wedding because a minimum in our city for the sorts of weddings our families have is going to be $200 per guest (and we’re going to need to invite 100-150 people if we stay local and don’t want to offend anyone), The venue we would *want* would be $500 per guest, not including taxes, fees and tips. None of this includes clothes and hair and makeup and photographers or any other miscellaneous expenses.

    Personally, if I was living in a vacuum I’d be totally cool with having a giant lavish wedding…but IRL I would rather have the down payment for a bigger apartment than a one day party. If somebody else pays for and plans your elaborate wedding, are you going to be happy having one?

  45. asymmetrical_sally February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    My thoughts are that if it really matters to one partner, and the other partner doesn’t really care, then go ahead and do it. That’s love, man, doing what makes someone else happy sometimes.

    However, if he wants it, he can plan it. Or hire someone to. The wedding industry has exploded in the last decade, there’s no shortage of businesses that specialize in just that.

  46. annarchy8 February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Sorry to say, but his grandmother is wrong. The wedding, like the marriage, is for those people getting married. As the bride, it’s even more about you than it is the groom.

    Have you talked to your fiancé about how all of this makes you feel? Because he should be more concerned with your feelings than he is with his family’s about the wedding. Making you do tons of work just so you can have a shitty and uncomfortable day on your wedding day is not a good idea.

  47. theguyfromthattime February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Is Grandma paying for the wedding? If not, she should no input.

  48. kaitou1011 February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Everyone got advice, so some scripts to go with it:

    “Fiance, this wedding is for you and your family’s sake. I love you and I’m willing to participate in the wedding you want over the one I want, but if you want this you have to do most of the planning.”

    (should he ask for your help with something you don’t know how to do well) “Fiance, I have no idea how to do that nor does anyone I can ask. Your family loves big weddings, though, I’m sure some of them might have advice for you.”

    (should he push for more involvement than you’re willing to offer) “Fiance, we’ve discussed this already. If you don’t want to do this bit, are you okay with cutting it from the wedding instead?”

    (should he be unsure about cutting something he doesn’t want for his family’s sake) “Fiance, you don’t want this and I don’t want this. It’s our right to make our own decisions about our ceremony that we’re paying for. Let’s stand together, okay?”

    I will say that you should probably help with *some* things if he decides he’s going to plan it, but you have to be able to draw a boundary. A good way to do it is only help with things he needs extra manpower on to do quicker and only with instructions of how you will proceed. He’s collecting venue prices, for example? You can sit together and call multiple places to collect price if he tells you what to ask them. If he’s looking for a caterer, you can go taste the food with him and help him decide which one you prefer, but let him organize getting that far, ect. Seating plan? Yeah, he’s doing that for his relatives but you can do it for yours. Putting together your own centerpieces? You can do that together if he gets all the stuff he wants for it first and shows you what he’s going for. Things like that. The key is to be able to draw a line and not let him foist the entire planning on you. Only working on it when you’re doing it together is a good way to help keep that line because you can see that he’s currently working on the same thing while you’re doing it.

  49. UnwellHiC February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    If you don’t care and money is the only real obstacle – just tell your fiance’s family to pay for it and organize it. Just have them tell you when to show up.

  50. ocicataco February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    If he wants the wedding, he should be the one to do the majority of the planning.

  51. JamPlanet February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    This is the exact kind of thing that premarital counseling will help you figure out. Your fiance seems to be a family yes mam, and unwilling to stand up to his family pressures. That is a huge red flag and you shouldn’t do any wedding planning at ALL until you get that all talked through in counseling, because it won’t stop with the wedding…Catholic ceremony? Does that mean you have to convert? Will he want your kids to be baptised? Catecism? Attending church? Anything grandma demands?

  52. newpinecones February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    >Grandma keeps emphasizing to my fiance that “The wedding is not for you. It’s to bring the families together.”

    Then let her throw the party.

    Quite honestly, I think you are being set up here. If you go the big wedding route, you will be constantly compared to the cousin and encouraged to go even further. There is no way that you would be happy with the result because either yours wasn’t as good or you’ll resent all the effort made to be as good or better.

    If your fiancé wants a big fancy party, tell him you’ll shop for your dress and he can do *everything* else.

  53. boogi3woogie February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    If your fiance wants a big wedding, he can find a wedding planner to organize the event. You can just show up to the meetings and say yea or nay.

  54. happytimelogan February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    In my mind a wedding is 100% about you and your husband… then it’s about the people you want to share it with, to budget for my wedding we had a small one with only the closest of friends and family, that way we could have nice things; food, drinks and location because we weren’t catering for hundreds of people, my wife and I both did the planning and had a shared budget through google sheets app so we knew exactly what we were spending, based on our budget we said, what’s “the dream” vs what’s “the reality” of what we can do… that also included not having to eat ramen noodles for months after the ceremony simply to appease over demanding family members… cough cough… as you said you are simple (as was I), you don’t mind too much about the big day… at the end of the day it should just be about walking down an isle and promising to spend the rest of your life with someone you love, I would recommend just doing what makes you happy and don’t worry about the outside influences.. I promise you that for every wedding no matter how big or expensive, someone will not have a good time… that’s their problem… your only obligation is making sure that person is not you!

  55. darthrobyn February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    My husband and I were in a similar situation- I’m from the other side of the country with a small family, not many friends locally, never dreamt of marriage/weddings, and would’ve preferred an elopement or court house wedding, where my husband’s family is a huge Catholic family, he was born and raised here, and said we had to have the ceremony because I’d quickly be widowed if we didn’t, haha.

    So, although I reminded him along the way that eloping would be awesome, we had a “big wedding.” I didn’t have an opinion on much because I legitimately didn’t care about dresses or flowers or tablecloths. So, we planned together, I put in my opinions on what i deemed fun things like cake and food and music, and definitely knew when i *didn’t* like something. It all came together in the end, and although i felt like i threw an expensive-ass party just to be stressed for other people’s fun, I’m glad we did go through with it because I have a lot of happy memories from that night of people who I care most about.

    FWIW, we paid for our wedding ourselves, and we had a 2 year engagement so we had plenty of time to save/ book/ pay for the ceremony.

  56. Stinky_Eastwood February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    I think you have 2 separate issues. A church wedding, especially a Catholic wedding, may be a big deal according to his beliefs/traditions, but is probably a bigger deal to his family. Fortunately, that’s not really a cost issue and unless you have a really hardass local Diocese, you should be able to arranged to get married in the church without a huge amount of pre-work.

    As for the reception, I would suggest that you and your fiance first agree on a budget you both are comfortable with, and then set him free to plan whatever he wants as long as he stays within budget. That way you’re free to not put in any more work than you want, and he can have the party he wants in a way that is responsible.

    The real solution is compromise. Neither of you should expect/demand to get 100% of what you want, and neither of you should tolerate getting 0%.

  57. BluuSnek February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    OP, I was raised Catholic and it’s more than just the traditional wedding preparations if you’re fiance wants a Catholic wedding. You’ll need to be baptized, go through first communion, and confirmation before any Catholic priest will do the ceremony. Also depending in the priest, more things may be required.

    If your bf is super serious about a Catholic wedding then that would explain his wishes for a huge wedding and belief about it being done to unite the two families. It’s super traditional and honestly one of the largest religions out there for a reason, it’s heavily pushed on SOs and children. I’d know, I was forced to go through baptism, communion, and confirmation by my mother and she believes she can do the same to my boyfriend if we get engaged because a Catholic wedding is “required” for marriage…Not every Catholic is like this but unfortunately many are.

  58. thestreetiliveon February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Lord, how I wanted to run to city hall and get married quickly. I never dreamt about my wedding either and thought it was a foolish way to spend money. BUT my boyfriend wanted a big wedding and his family is super religious. So we met halfway. He did all the planning, I went and got the necessary poofy white dress (shopped by myself, picked the first one I tried on). Sure, he had more to do than I did, but it was what he wanted. I just showed up.

  59. macimom February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Who is paying for the wedding and whats the budget-decide this with your fiance (not with his parents) and take it from there. You won’t be able to have a large wedding if you dont have a large budget.

    Go over to r/weddingplanning and see what they say

  60. lschmeiser February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    I’d worry less about the logistics of planning a wedding and more about whether you and your intended are on the same page about three things:

    1. How you prioritize money, what your shared financial goals are, and how to get to those goals.

    2. How much weight your extended families’ opinions and values get in how you choose to conduct your family life.

    3. How you’ll spend your time – and who spends their time on what.

    The fact that your fiance wants the big wedding but doesn’t want to do the legwork speaks to him having some expectations about who’s “supposed” to do the social and emotional labor in the relationship. I’d look closely at that.

  61. RogueKitteh February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Ugh I feel you. I just got married this past November and didn’t really care for weddings, just the marriage. So we essentially eloped, had a small yet lovely wedding with like 7 people there. Have you looked into elopement packages? There are really some lovely and diverse options if that’s what you’d rather. If you’re ready to marry him and are sure he’s your person, the one to spend your life with, then you are ready to share your concerns with him. Tell him how you feel, communication is key. There really isn’t anything else. Then hopefully you two can come up with a mutually satisfying solution. Remember, it’s your guys wedding, not anyone else’s. You got this.

  62. time_keepsonslipping February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Wait, you say your fiance wants a big wedding, but the rest of your post is about how his family wants a big wedding and how you don’t want to plan it. Where is your fiance in all this? If he’s not willing to put in the work of planning, then he clearly doesn’t want a big wedding as badly as you think.

    As far as tradition goes, sure, it’s traditional for the bride to plan the wedding. But traditionally, she plans it primarily with her own family, right? And your family doesn’t have the big Catholic wedding tradition. So I wouldn’t worry about that part. If your fiance and his family want a big Catholic wedding, he can do the planning with his family and that’s as close an approximation of tradition as they’re going to get. You shouldn’t feel like it’s your job to singlehandedly carry on his family’s traditions. That’s his job and if he’s not willing to do it, then the traditions don’t mean as much to him as he thinks.

    All that said, are you comfortable having a big wedding if he does the bulk of the planning? If not, think about your specific reservations (obviously money is an issue for you, but are you comfortable with the religious aspect?) and then talk with him. If you don’t want a big wedding at all, then you two need to figure out a compromise.

  63. erosandmagick February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    This is a sign you two might not be compatible or ready to get married. I didn’t see it as a red flag that my ex spouse wanted a huge expensive wedding when we were broke, and expected me to do a lot of the work. I wish I had. Get counseling and see if you two can get on the same page, because right now the burden on you is super unfair.

  64. LoneStarTwinkie February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    I don’t see anything wrong with throwing a bone to your in laws if this is a big deal to them but I’d be telling fiancé to find himself a wedding planner who can show him how much all of this will cost and figure out how it’ll get paid for without going into debt. I feel like if the guy was wanting a city hall wedding and the woman wanted something more traditional she’d be being encouraged to stand up for how she wants her special day to look. I completely understand not wanting an expensive spectacle, but maybe once he sees how much work and expense is involved he will be in a better place to compromise. Like maybe a destination wedding at an all inclusive which gives you all the glitz with VERY little planning as long as the guest list is reasonable.

  65. Bonobosaurus February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    He should plan it or pay a planner.

  66. temp7542355 February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Hire a wedding planner!! I made the mistake of not hiring one. Or consider a cruise wedding, everyone is invited they book their own rooms. And cruises are great at events. And you have built in size control.

    The wedding is about bringing the family together and for some that is very important. So I would take this seriously as they are going to be your family.

    Also if you don’t really care about the details you might be able to get his mother to help you with things. Just realize that by asking for family help you also lose some control.

    Also it’s not a competition. Most churches also have a party space so it could be a one venue thing. Weddings earlier in the day are less formal so make the rest your own.

  67. RangerKotka February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    My husband wanted a wedding. I wanted to be married.

    He planned the wedding, and it was lovely….So I’m sure your FH can figure it out and have the wedding he wants. Just make sure your input is considered for anything you think is important. For me, that was venue & cake.

  68. katrinaevening February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    I was in the SAME boat as you! My dream wedding was to elope to vegas! My husband, on the other hand, is super Catholic and wanted the big church wedding. From what I learned from the priest that married us, it’s important to “allow the church to welcome you two into it’s fold via the ceremony”

    I told him my husband, in no uncertain terms, that if he wanted the big wedding him and his mom could plan it and I would show up. We had the big wedding, but kept the reception small and simple (local rec center and his parents paid for catering because they didn’t like our budget catering of hot wings and pizza).

    Good luck!!

  69. chikat February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    A lot of people have great advice already. Planning a wedding takes a lot of effort – I’m about three months out from mine, and I’ve done a lot of work over the last year. Fortunately, I (mostly) enjoy doing it…that being said, I can’t imagine doing all the research, calling, visiting, trials, etc. if I didn’t enjoy it.

    I’m going to guess your fiance has no idea how much big weddings cost. My fiance had no idea. He thought it wouldn’t cost over $10,000 total for our 125 person wedding – this can be done, but it is very difficult and he realized we wouldn’t get the venue/food/photographer/etc we wanted for that cost. Our wedding is going to cost about 3x that. Fortunately for us, our parents are both helping with a majority of the cost. If they weren’t we would NOT be having a wedding like this as we just bought a house a few months ago and used a lot of cash for the down payment on our house. I’d recommend you have your fiance make a list of all the things he wants and then look up prices of local vendors – he’ll quickly realize how weddings can be really, really expensive really, really fast.

    Is his family paying for the wedding? If so, they should have SOME say. If they are not paying for the wedding you and your fiance need to setup the rule “no pay, no say.” It is YOUR wedding. If you’re paying for it, you get to choose what you want. End of story.

    If it’s important to your fiance to have a big traditional wedding, then he should be helping in the planning process and not leaving it all to you. If the price is not prohibitive for you, you also can hire a wedding planner – my friend who had zero interest in planning did this and she basically just said yay/nay to whatever the wedding planner presented to her. It was a mostly stress-free process for her because of this.

  70. Criticalfluffs February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    If you and the fiancé and planning a life together, you need to be on the same page. I get he wants to appease grandma and all, but you and your soon to be hubby are the star of this show.

    It’s a big milestone and damn it all if you don’t get to enjoy it too! As lots of folks say, maybe find a wedding planner and ABSOLUTELY bring the fiancé into it so he gets a taste of what he’s asking of you.

    You need to BOTH be heard and hopefully come to a happy compromise. Or elope in a lovely location with a small intimate ceremony, in an exotic location with all the money you won’t be wasting on a big fancy wedding, now THAT sounds amazing to me. I hope it goes well. :3

  71. im_in_hiding February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Usual /r/relationships advice summary:

    * Groom doesn’t want to plan wedding/isn’t interested: Guy MUST compromise and be involved, unfair to throw all this on bride.

    * Bride doesn’t want to plan wedding/isn’t interested: Response: “So then don’t do it, tell him to plan everything if it’s so important.”

    Here’s how I view it. It’s a matter of compromise. Tell him you’ll help with things, but you want things to be more low key. That’s meeting in the middle on things. If he wants a big wedding to appease his family then that’s a pretty big indicator of how things will be for years. He should be on your side, and work together as a team, but at the same time you can’t just run from this. If a wedding is important to him, then you have to accept that… but at the same time, it doesn’t have to be a MASSIVE blowout or anything and he needs to be able to see that side of things too.

  72. shezabel February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    I think you should elope.

  73. napbro317 February 12, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Hey, I’m going through a similar situation. Message me, and we can chat.

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