What Do You Do When Your Family Boycotts Your Wedding?
One of the pieces of advice I gave to a girlfriend of mine who is getting married this year, based on my own experiences planning my nuptials last year, was to make time time for the things that help her combat stress. Take a break from planning when it becomes draining. Go on date nights with the future hubby. Lean on family. But how does one get through this process when it’s family who brings the most stress?
After seemingly being able to get through these last few months without too many bumps in the road, my friend ran into a major roadblock on her planning journey. It was her mother. Because my friend is the first child in her family to get married, her mother wanted to pull out all the stops and try to have around 200 guests. But my friend, who has already put down a deposit for her venue, obtained a space that could only take 150 people at the very most. It shouldn’t be a big deal, right? Well, her mother is livid. She believes that she should be able to bring all of the people she wants to, without limits. She’s the mom. It’s something that my friend and her mom have argued about as of late. And while it’s one thing to be upset about not getting your way, it’s another to boycott your child’s nuptials.
That’s exactly what’s happening. My friend text me to update me on things, and as it turns out, her mother said that if she can’t have things the way she wants, she won’t go to the wedding. To make matters worse, she’s also tried to discourage other relatives from attending in an effort to drive the point home that she wants things her way. It’s something my friend has said that she’s cried about. A lot.
I had never heard of such antics, particularly from the bride’s mother of all people. But making a fuss about wedding invites, so much so that a relative decides not to attend because they can’t get their way, isn’t new. Within the last month, I’ve seen the turmoil such decisions can cause a family on multiple reality shows. There was Michael Conrad Braxton Sr., the patriarch of the Braxton family, who decided not to attend Trina’s wedding because of the fact that he couldn’t bring his second wife. This is the woman he had a long relationship with during his marriage to Ms. Evelyn. All five daughters assumed that it was their father’s wife who kept him from attending Trina’s wedding, but in reality, it was a decision he made to make a statement. The statement was that his children were not going to tell him who he could bring around and what he could do. Despite trying to put his foot down, he didn’t make it known years ago. Instead, he allowed his family to assume it was his wife who encouraged him not to come around, letting her take the fall. The women were shaken, particularly Trina and Tamar.
And on the current season of Married at First Sight, Sheila Downs (who is married to Nate Duhon) has been quarreling with her sister, whom we haven’t seen on the show. Her sister didn’t attend the wedding because out of the 25 people Downs could invite to the ceremony, she didn’t have enough room to invite her sister’s long-time boyfriend. As she put it, she’s only had a few conversations with her sister’s boyfriend over the years, and out of all of her favorite people she wanted present when she married a man she was meeting for the first time, he wasn’t one of them. Her sister, angered at the move, made it clear that if her man could be present, she wouldn’t be either. It created a rift in their relationship (her sister allegedly said some pretty harsh things), so much so that their parents tried to get involved.
In all of these cases, I couldn’t imagine having a wedding without my sister, my father or my mother present. However, there was a sensible reason in every case, why these people couldn’t bring the guests they wanted. Sheila Downs wanted the people in the room with her on her big day to be those she’s closest to. Trina Braxton didn’t want the woman her father cheated and caused their mother a lot of pain with to be there, with Ms. Evelyn present as well, on her wedding day. And my friend, well, she couldn’t afford to rent a space for her reception that could fit 200 people. In each situation, certain decisions were made because that is what the bride and groom desired. Considering that the entire day is about them and about creating positive memories and not going broke, you would hope that your family, of all people, would understand and not try and throw a wrench into things, making it about them instead.
But with all that being said, what happens when they don’t understand? Must the show go on or is it important to try and meet them halfway?