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Need help from my Steptalk friends re wedding!!!

CandyLou's picture

Hi everyone - so...partner and I have been discussing getting married for the past 6 months or so. We have been together now for 6 years. Problem is, everytime it comes up, we can't decide on how we would actually do it due to the dynamics in our family. I have 2 kids who have been very supportive of our relationship, however as mentioned, we have had many issues with his adult kids. I have no family here as I moved to another country for my first marriage. Regardless of the issues, if we had a smallish wedding, they would probably all come along, although it would feel awkward.

We are deciding between a very small wedding (probably family only) or eloping. If family only, it would either be our 4 kids (plus his kids' partners) or also include his 2 brothers and their wives (who also haven't been that supportive). In the last scenario, I would be outnumbered.

Or, we were thinking of a destination wedding/honeymoon, perhaps in Tahiti. Just the two of us. We are leaning towards this idea, but worry that my kids may feel hurt about not being invited. It is a hard decision but we also don't want any drama inviting his kids if they aren't going to be supportive. We don't want any tears on the day, unless they are tears of joy!

So, a few questions:
1. Can a small wedding with family who aren't exactly supportive work?
2. Has anyone eloped and if yes, do you recommend it?
3. If you could do it again, what would you do differently? (and please don't say choose another partner, LOL!)

Appreciate your help!!'s picture

I eloped and got married on the beach. If I chose to marry again, I'd do the same thing again. Traditional weddings are a waste of money!

stepinafrica's picture

YES!!! Smile

steppedonstep's picture

If his kids don't even want to celebrate their father's birthday with you, it doesn't bode well for them to be present at your wedding. Follow your instincts - do what will make you both happy.

CandyLou's picture

Beach wedding sounds nice! Hey stepped on, thanks for remembering my situation, and you are right. I think part of what I am struggling with is that I would want my own kids there but not his kids (nor would his kids want to be there). But of course you can't invite one set of kids and not the other. That's why eloping sounds good...

And mykidmom, I agree traditional weddings are a waste of money!! Been there, done that...

jennaspace's picture

I had a 4 day notice wedding, in a new state, with hardly anyone except DHs kids. I loved my little wedding but not inviting some of my family still has had repercussions to this day (lots of hurt). I did not because of complicated family dynamics. I now wish I had just had my sister period. I recommend elopement because when you do small you end up hurting everyone who didn't come.

I hardly knew my DHs family. If I had known them well (some of them) I never would have had them at the wedding. I would not consider having people, esp at a small wedding, who give you grief. Their presence is felt exponentially at a small wedding.

I think you'll be much happier eloping. I recommend not telling anyone. My inviting only a few people has caused some estrangement to this day. Where do you cut it off at a small wedding? Someone will get hurt. Elopement is much easier.

emotionaly beat up's picture

Why can you not invite one set of kids and not the other.

Let's be honest if let's say there are fore eg: 2 kids on his side and 2 on hers. So 4 kids all up.

Now, lets call these 4 kids, 4 friends. 2 of the friends are very supportive of your relationship and would be thrilled to be at your wedding. The other 2 are are not thrilled at all, and would prefer it didn't happen at all. They just tolerate your relationship because they feel they are getting something from one of the partners in it. (DAD).

Would there be any question about inviting the two friends that supported the wedding and not asking the others. I'm not say rub it in their faces, but a quiet wedding, where only people who support you attend shouldn't be a problem. I have a problem with your kids being left out beause his kids don't like it, and to be honest, is this is how it's starting where does it end. Everytime you want to celebrate something with your kids that his don't like, yours miss out. This is punishing good behaviour and rewarding bad. Won't happen, but it is what I feel should happen. Bending over to accomodate SK's who are never going to accept this, and tying yourself in knows or compromsising over what should be a special day, is not on. let's face it, it's been 6 years and you still have this problem, so your going to have it in 60 years. They clearly aren't too worried about you or their dad's feelings are they.

CandyLou's picture

Oh Jenna I'm sorry about what happened in your situation. If you don't mind me asking, who got hurt? I understand if you prefer not to say. These are the kind of stories I want to learn from. EBU, as much as I would like to invite only my kids, I know it would start a war. Perhaps invite all 4 kids with the hopes that his say no? They might ask me not to come!! LOL!!!

I feel sad that a supposed happy day has to have these dynamics...

jennaspace's picture

I hurt a couple of people who were like siblings to me. I had strategically only asked a two couples to my wedding who had unusual positions in my life (one couple included a pastor who could marry us and the other a sibling who was the closest in age to me). Unfortunately, the first couple couldn't come, so, despite my warnings the woman called her kids and told them to rush to our wedding. They did. I had to tell them to stop on the way to the town after driving for hours. To this day, the son has not talked to me.

There was a very good reason I limited the guests, which I will not go in to. With my parents divorce and family dynamics, there were some people who would have been very hurt if others had come etc...

Also, I have helped at a number of weddings. One thing I have consistently observed is the bride and groom wishing they had eloped when it was all said and done. Lots of money, lots of work for one stressful day. I was determined not to be that bride.

If I had it to do all over again I would invite only two people because that's the number of legal witness I would need. I did invite the perfect number (2 couples) for me, it's just one person invited others despite my instructions not to. My DH invited his family to (at my insistence so they not be left out, he didn't seem to care much). I'm disengaged to most of the people he had (4). In the end, I wish I had invited only my sibling and her husband and emphasized that they were legal witnesses.

Most states require two legal witnesses to a wedding document. You could probably get away with inviting one person each (or couple) to witness your nuptials and emphasize they came to act as witnesses your marriage since it is probably required.

emotionaly beat up's picture

I'm with StepAside on this, but then I said that before. I guess with years of experience under our belts, and trust me, I am only an apprentice compared to StepAside, but I think we know the inevitable.

You can try to do the right thing sure, but there is NO right thing when it comes to stepkids who have this attitude to begin with.

I hesitate to say this, but I will, and I will apologise beforehand if I make things worse for you, because I wish you every happiness I truly do. But, this is my concern. If DH's kids are like this now, it usually follows that for some bizare reason, they up the anti once you marry. I don't know why tht is, you'd think they'd go flat out and exhaust themselves breaking up the relationship, much easier to do before a marriage takes place, but no, they seem to wait until the realty of "YOU" being the wife hits, and then they get really mad. Guess it's a she's going to get what is rightfully hours inheritance thing" It is sure as hell not borne out of love for daddy.

So, when I stand on top of this mountain now, which took me 8 years to climb. If I looked back down the mountain all I would see would be a pile of vile shit, anger and hatred. It would actually be very much I imagine like looking into the fires of hell and seeing demons, headed by Satin himself in his human form of SD. I stand here on top proud as punch I made it, and I look on down that mountain to see green grass, soft flowing hills, streams and rainbows. I am 60. While I am thrilled and happy to be here on TOP of the mountain with nothing but peace ahead of me. Had I listened to my gut, I would have found this place long, long ago. Go with your gut.

If DH really is on the same page as you, and you do have to be on the same page for this to stand a snowballs chance in hell. Then, talk to him, he would not have, well should not have, a problem with inviting the kids who care to your wedding, and leaving out the ones who don't.

For the record we had a quiet wedding ceremony at home. My children were there, his were not. Now he was estranged from them at the time, and didn't want to call them up for the wedding. Now, I see that he knew all along what his kids were like, even then. He more than likely knew if he had called them then, they would have stopped it, and he knew he was weak enough to let them, still another story.

Have you even talked to FDH about not inviting his kids. Whatever you do decide it has to be something both of you can live with. Can you live with not inviting yours, can he live with not inviting his, can either of you live with inviting his.

What do you see as the best compromise, because at the end of the day this will be a compromise.

I guess you have the option of telling your kids you are eloping to Tahiti and if they turn up to surprise you that'd be nice. Or, here's a good one. Tell all the kids they are invited, it is in Tahiti and anyone who wants to travel to Tahiti is welcome. However, you cannot afford to pay anyone's fares, so you will understand if they cannot make it. I'm guessing unless dad pays, steps arent' coming.

jennaspace's picture

It still blows my mind that she could get away with this! I've never heard of college tuition being the right of an adult child. Esp private college?!

I'm sorry you had to experience this after your wedding, that's just awful to come home to.

Orange County Ca's picture

Have you suggested to your fiance that his kids not be invited? He might agree especially if only your kids were present and kept their mouths shut so your steps didn't hear of it.

Then try inviting all of them and see if they accept. You can always call off the planned wedding and elope.

If you 'elope' invite all the kids and slip your kids the airfare and hotel making sure they keep their mouths shut as to the source of their funding. Hopefully his kids won't spring for such expense just to see such a hated ceremony. Las Vegas is a lot cheaper than Tahiti which can be your honeymoon destination after the wedding.

stormabruin's picture

Your day is for you & your husband. I'm guessing if your kids were there, he would want his there as well. Given that, I would opt to elope. I would hope that if your kids are supportive, they would understand that you want your day to be relaxed & enjoyable. I can understand them wanting to be there, but I would hope they'd be understanding & be supportive enough to be happy for you & wish you well regardless of how you choose to marry.

We did invite my DH's kids to our wedding & they chose not to come. DH & I were both relieved by it. I'd hate to think I'd have had to spend my few hours of celebration worried about what they would say to our other guests or having to deal with attitudes & disgusted faces.

Give yourselves the gift of your wedding without the drama. Don't invite it.

HarleyQuinn's picture

my husband and I eloped, we got engaged in sept, booked a 2 week holiday to NYC (we live in London)for his 30th birthday and then after many discussions about money and when we would actually be able to afford a decent wedding for our small family all be it still expensive, we decided to just elope whist we were on holiday. We both love NYC and got a license, took the dress and suit over, hired a photographer and we have the most amazing weddding pictures ever and memories of a very fun and special day. No drama other than us arriving late oops, but no drama of the skids being good, both mums in tears, uncles drunk etc! we had a little gathering at our house when we got back and it was perfect. Yes both parents were upset we were doing it that way as its both our first marriage but it was OUR day and no emotional manipulation was going to chane our plans. It hurt that people tried to do it but hey thats life!!
its your day, do what you want to do!

HarleyQuinn's picture

it was amazing!! and we both will always remember it. walking around central park in our wedding outfits was out of this world!
I love my family more than anything and his but we wanted it to be about us and not making ourselves broke for a 'party'. luckily my skids are young and we are a happy family the 4 of us (as my SD says!) so it wasnt a matter about them but just its our day and we done what we wanted.I will never regret it

kathc's picture

Plan your dream honeymoon and elope! Get married there! Have a beautiful honeymoon that nobody knows about and then come home and announce your marriage. That way, skids can't ruin your wedding/honeymoon! Smile

sandye21's picture

If your adult kids knew ahead of time that you were going to elope (and why) would they understand? From what you write about them, I'm sure they would. When you get back you could have two small separate 'celebrations', one with your family, one (possibly) with his.

My ex and I eloped. It was a nice ceremony but when we arrived home several of our relatives were hurt. In retrospect, it would have been wise for us to tell them of our plans ahead of time. When I married DH we had a small wedding and and dinner afteward. I would never do this again. Negative family dynamics seem to intensify at weddings and funerals. My Mother was clearly angry with my Father because he did not do what she thought was proper at a wedding. SD pouted and acted as if she were at a funeral. It took something away from what was supposed to be a happy occassion.

Candylou, As others have written, go with your gut. I wish the very best for you but you will never be able to please everyone. This is YOUR day. It is about you and DH.

oldone's picture

Marriage is between TWO people. period.

Those two people are the only ones who count. Now each of those two people may really want others there. It is something to discuss and often compromise on.

When we decided to marry we told NO ONE. Not one person. We got married in a state that requires no witnesses. Just went to the courthouse (tiny town), filled out some forms and we were married. It was so easy. No fuss, no muss. The only things we had to bring were our driver's licenses.

We did not have a photographer, cake, special clothes, etc. We are just as married as the people who have 500 guests and months of planning.

Talk about what is REALLY important to each of you. Not what would be "nice" or "required".

oldone's picture

I wish I had a dime for every time I've heard someone say "We can't afford to get married." Really??? - it cost us less than $100 for the marriage license and fees.

What they really mean is they can't afford to throw a big party.

CandyLou's picture

THANK YOU so much to everyone here who took the time to write about my dilemma, I was overwhelmed by your thoughtful response! What came to mind was a few things. I felt SO grateful and happy to have you share your stories and what has/hasn't worked for you. I also felt sad that for some of you, it brought back negative memories and for this I do apologize. I think the nature of this forum is that whilst we are here to support others, our stories do bring up issues we have been through that have not been pleasant and well, downright horrible. In saying that, I find for me that if sharing my story with others helps in any way to avoid some of the pain I have been through, then it has been worthwhile and healing.

I LOVED hearing the stories of those of you who eloped! So we have made up our minds, we want to elope. SO and I discussed in detail last night and we just want it to be the two of us there together. He was hesitating at one point and I asked him what was on his mind and he said that he wanted to plan the honeymoon and eloping might get in the way of that. Let me back up... even though I was married once, I never went on a honeymoon. My ex and I were married quickly due to immigration rejecting my application to remain in the country. So it was rushed, I had no family there, and I will never forget right after the ceremony looking out and not recognizing most of the people there. was a Sunday and I was back to work on the Monday. No honeymoon... That is a story I have carried for years and SO wants to plan a very special honeymoon for us. So I think he started to worry last night that if we elope, it might ruin the surprise. Apparently it isn't even in Tahiti, LOL!

So...good discussion and once again thank you for your wonderful support on here. When I come onto this site I am reminded of a saying, "Friends are the family we choose for ourselves" and that's how I feel here. If it were up to me, I would have you all at our wedding! LOL!!

PS - quick question, when you elope, do you bother to announce an engagement and do you tell anyone what you are doing? The reason I ask is because if you get engaged, it gives SK's time to give negative comments, so for me, I would rather avoid this by just getting married with no engagement and then let them deal with their feelings after the event. Thoughts here???

sandye21's picture

You sound so happy with your decision. And I am very happy for you too. I agree with you - no need to announce and engagement to skids. Their past behavior does not warrant that much thought.

LotsOkids's picture

DH and I decided to go to the courthouse. I could not logically invest the time, money, hassle, etc on creating a large event given that we have 4 kids between us.

Yes my SS12 cried at my wedding and drug his feet the entire day. Oh well. That was his choice and we expected it.

We waited till the day of to invite our family and some could make it and some could not - which was understood and expected.

Yes my children smiled and clapped and had a great time.

Yes my family asked me if I was sure I wanted to do this.

Yes, my husband's X thought my MIL must not have approved since she did not attend (when in fact my husband failed to invite her since he invited his father and the two can not be in the same room together).

Yes, I absolutely would not have done it any other way.

Towanda's picture

All our kids came to the wedding. His girls were 18 and 21. They sulked in every picture.
The cool part was when we were leaving that evening, his 18 year old ran up to the window of the car and kept knocking until we rolled down the window. She just said. "my stomach hurts!"
Anyway, about 6 months later we learned that she had announced to the world the day before that she was pregnant. My hubby's siblings had a family meeting at breakfast before our wedding as they had heard her announcement and took a vote . They voted not to tell my DH and I and ruin our wedding. They figured she was bluffing anyway and just wanted to spoil everything. They were right. She wasn't pregnant. She kept lying to lots of boys that she was pregnant and finally, she got it right and got pregnant. It took her 1 1/2 years and many internet boyfriends.

emotionaly beat up's picture

I actually think eloping is a great idea and I have no problems with it if that is what people WANT to do. However when you are planning an elopement BECAUSE of spoilt SKs that dad should be TELLING how its going to be. That bothers me

Now not only have they been running. Dad around by the nose, they get to dictate to you what type if wedding you should have.

But for SKs. You would not even consider eloping. You want your kids there. So now SKS are running your kids life too.

Feeding the monster is not the answer.

Candy Lou. I would not even consider getting married under these circumstances. If your FDH'S cannot sort this out with his kids BEFORE you marry. He WILL NOT sort it out after.

These situations only get worse. Once that ring is on your finger. They will up the anti. You think it's bad now elope without giving them a chance to talk dad out if it. To make him see how THEY feel, and that will just give them another excuse to hate you.

See candylou. No matter what you do, you will never please these people. Well, unless you leave their father and his wallet. That might help.