Monday, July 19, 2010

Wedding Woes

Does everyone else go through this crap? Please, I need to know I'm not alone in this!

This weekend Andrew confessed to me that he got a phone call from his mother. She had some concerns. Concerns about the food. Here we go! I brace myself. She's concerned that the food won't be enough. Ladies and gentlemen, let me just give you a rundown of the food for the weekend wedding:
  • Friday night, is a "family dinner" (essentially a rehearsal dinner, however the rehearsal is not on Friday). It's at an Italian restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara. I'm compromising with this. I want a french restaurant. But my dad and Andrew's mom gag at the thought even though they don't really know what constitutes French food. Food choices will be something like chicken piccata, NY Steak or Vegetarian ravioli.
  • Saturday morning, I'm offering a continental breakfast for everyone. Fruit and bread and oatmeal, that kind of thing. If I can't get a room to have this in (or if it doesn't make sense logistically while we're doing the rehearsal), I'm giving everyone gift baskets when they arrive and putting fruit & pre-wrapped goodies in there for breakfast.
  • Saturday afternoon, everyone's on their own for lunch.
  • Saturday night is a reception just as an evening wedding reception would be (although we're not getting married until Sunday morning). Food will be in "stations" of various cuisines: a stir-fry station, a fajita station, a pasta station, a carving station with a baked potato bar, and a dessert extravaganza.
  • Sunday morning will be the ceremony with some beverages and mini-muffins, etc. on the beach followed by a brunch reception including made-to-order omelets.
So, I'm trying really hard to be generous and feed everyone and be respectful of the fact that they're traveling for my wedding and that can be expensive. I'm thinking I'm being successful in that. And then I get mom-crap.

Andrew's mom is concerned that the food on Saturday and Sunday won't be enough. Her comment was, "Where is the hunk of meat?" I guess she actually said that to Andrew (or something similar). The reply back was, "The carving station!" She remarked that there was only 1 choice of meat (beef) and then had a concern about what cut of beef it is. Because I said that it would be a "roast beef" of some kind, she thought I meant that it would be the same kind of meat used to make deli roast beef sandwiches. My first question - does she think I'm a fucking retard? (I say that in the "brain-dead idiot" kind of way because even someone inflicted with mental retardation would STILL know that is not an appropriate cut of meat for a carving station at dinner.) Next question, what hotel would serve that? We assured her that was not the kind of meat we would serve and her next question was, "Well, can we spring for prime rib?" That is a valid question and the answer is yes, "we" can (even though "we" is Andrew & I - we are paying for Saturday night... we're paying for 50% of this wedding and our parents are picking up about 25% each... which is fair in my book).

Her, "But where is the hunk of meat?" concern applies to the other food stations. The primary problem here is, she doesn't eat stir fry or fajitas so she can't imagine that anyone else would want to eat that for dinner. It's a lesser-food to her. She actually commented that those (along with the pasta) were just "side dishes." Now, she might go to a restaurant and order chicken alfredo (an option that will be at the pasta station) but her comment regarding that was that she "wants it to be nice." The same thing my mom said about the flowers. If I hear that one more time, I'm going to make them wait another year on top of what they will already wait for a grandchild. Maybe two. What they are essentially saying is that my choices do not constitute a nice wedding.

What our parent's don't understand is that I do not want my wedding to look like every other (no offense to you married-folk out there). What is there at every wedding? A choice of steak or chicken or fish for a served dinner, and silver trays filled with a sad army of dry chicken or overdone sliced beef soldiers lined up at a buffet. Every plate basically looks the same. I do not want that. I feel our food choices represent the kind of atmosphere we want to have. Fun, relaxed, easy going. Not to mention the food fits with travel theme (each table named after a destination city for our honeymoon). Andrew's mom doesn't just have the problem of not thinking outside the box, she can't even think herself to the edges of her box! I find it hard to communicate with this type of thinking. And sometimes I'm stumbling over my own frustration as though someone has tied my shoelaces together. I'm working on untying them. But they're really tight, so give me a minute, okay?

This is why I did not want to get married! All of this bullshit! Andrew and I would be just fine having never gotten married. I understand Andrew's mom's thoughts that people remember the food at a wedding. Well, maybe some will. But I'm doing some other things that will leave an impression besides just the food. The DJ is amazing, the officiant is inspiring, the photographer is impressive, I'm hand-making so many things, and we're having an entire weekend of activities! And those folks who don't find that enough... will just have to deal with it. I mean what's the worst that could happen? So what if they expected "more" with the food? What are they gonna do? Andrew's family will never talk to his mom again out of utter disdain? They'll kick us in the shins as they leave for the weekend? Throw raw eggs at me as I walk down the aisle? Give our moms swirlies? I don't think so.

Did anyone else go through all this? Or worse? I know I just need to ignore it and forget it and they'll get over it and all of this won't matter, etc., etc. However that advice doesn't make my feelings any less hurt. I can't just eliminate my emotions so easily, or the value I place on our parents. I know that this is important to them to. But I also know it's OUR wedding. Hence the emotions... balancing making them happy and making us happy. I can act like it all doesn't matter (and I will), but the reality of it not bothering me will be very slow to come.


  1. Totally, freaking totally. I had to experience some of this, though not as bad as you. Mostly, since we were paying for 100% of everything, I didn't gove a crap what other people thought. Although I did have family members who won't eat this or that (changing completely what I wanted for the rehearsal dinner), vegetarian people, and siblings who were totally pissed about where they were sitting. The fun times were the father-in-law and my brother having a big fight at the reception because they're both bull-headed and insensitive.

    I did my best to minimize all this with forethought though, but there are some things that are just unavoidable. Crap's just going to go down. I did have lots of very supportive people though that protected me from the bulk of it on the day of and even told off the church wedding coordinator when she got too pushy. Sometimes, you just have to do the best you can and tell the bossy people to suck it up, it is your day. If they can't be happy after all you've done to meet them halfway, then they just aren't going to be no matter what you do.

  2. OMG Yoy... that's terrible. A blow up AT the wedding, I would not be happy about! The only person I could see doing that is Andrew's mom. She gets emotional and shouts and storms out. I've seen it before. My parents wouldn't ever cause a scene and I don't think anyone else is invested enough to get so upset over something. I'm so sorry, Yoy! And to think that could happen to a person as pleasant and even-keeled as you are! Crazy!

    And you're right. Some people won't be happy no matter what. I HAVE to remind myself of that. THANK YOU!

  3. The best thing is that it didn't happen in front of me, I only heard about it afterwards, and by then they had kissed and made up. Dad-in-law took something that bro said out of context (bro has a big mouth) and it just escalated. You know, it really wasn't that bad! I guess it just sounds worse than it was. I had a lovely day, really! I just have some fun stories. :)

    It just goes to show that at the end of the day, the things that really are unimportant just don't matter if you have a good time. That's one thing I was focused on, not worrying about the little things and having a good time. I got to eat my whole meal, which was delicious, and talk to everyone. When it was all over, I was exhausted, but my wedding was everything I wanted it to be. I hope yours is everything you want it to be too!

  4. Oh, and I'm going to tell everyone you say I'm "pleasant and even-keeled!" :D

  5. You said it's YOUR day! Not Andrew's Mom, or your parent's. YOU & ANDREW! And if they don't like it, TOUGH!! In all honesty, who really remembers what food was served at what wedding? I for one, don't! Everything you described sounds wonderfully amazing to me! I can't believe she's actually having this much of a fit about FOOD?! Shouldn't she be more worried about the things that matter the most at a wedding?? The Bride and Groom!?! YOUR day should be about what you want for your guests and that YOUR day is everything you've ever dreamed of...end of discussion!! :)


  6. Christina just just have to stand your ground. Let your parents know that you and Andrew appericate the $$ help and there concerns are very much valid and you are working with staff that handle these events everyday and you will not disappoint. It is your's and Andrew's wedding. Yes what they say can hurt and be fursting but when the wedding is over and everyone had a blast that allowed themselves to you can say I told you! It all sounds beautiful and fun and I believe people will like the change of pace. We all get tired of the same 3 choices at every wedding. And you are paying for the wedding for the most part so you get last say. Time to worry about your dream wedding and not the parent's dream wedding. To answer your question above YES ANYONE WHO GETS MARRIED GOES THOUGH THIS. LOL

  7. We didn't go though that but, in all fairness, this was my 2nd marriage and my philosophy was this a celebration of US. If any family members didn't like it they could through their own celebration. (Well it was a little more strongly worded than that but this is a nice blog and all and I don't want to muddy it up with my sailor mouth)

    My 1st wedding.... all I can say about that one was I hope my mom enjoyed it because clearly it was for her.

  8. Throw NOT through... sorry up all night with a sick Grey.

  9. I'm not married so I sure can't offer that insight, but I can tell you how awesome I think your wedding is going to be this fall. As a matter of fact, I have shown your website to a few friends (you met Kristen in Vegas) and co-workers, and they all think it looks like a FABULOUS wedding! They were quite stunned at the weekend that you had put together for everyone...including all the food you are offering. Perhaps we are all hicks out here in Oklahoma, but the consensus (pre-blog ptwo cost) was that my friends out west throw some amazing weddings! They are so impressed that everyone wants to come as my date!

    The last of my two cents...I am super excited for you and Andrew! And, I think your wedding weekend extravaganza looks like something from a Hallmark movie (that is a compliment in my book)!! Just remember that in the end you will be married to Andrew :)

  10. Amanda, those are my thoughts exactly. And I'll borrow some of your no-nonsense bravery when I need it next!

    Cheryl, I will certainly look forward to the "I told you so" and thank you for the reassurance. It's good to know I'm not alone!

    Joi, I think your sailor mouth and my sailor mouth are a match made in heaven! No offense would be taken here! And maybe I'll save my 2nd marriage to do exactly what my mom wants! ;)

    Amber, thanks for the encouragement! It's good to know someone, somewhere appreciates it!

  11. Christina...I think everyone goes through it. I know your Mom and Dad only want what’s best, and Andrew is a nice guy, so I'm sure his Mom only wants what is best too. What NO parent really gets is that what is best (or pretty/proper/right) is not always what IS best (pretty/proper/right) for you. We wanted 50 people at our wedding, and settled for 150. My Mom wanted us to get married at the Temple (but they would spring for the Shrine side), insisted on an open bar, and huffed at my food choices (which, by the way, is what I get complemented on. Not "Oh! What a great wedding!"-I get "great food!"). I got criticized on everything from my flower choice ( favorite since I was little) to the wedding party (we couldn’t choose between our friends, so did family only. Billy made a GREAT Made-of-Honor. He even learned how to fix my bustle), to where to have it. Ryan’s mom insisted on inviting all her friends from work (don’t worry, Ryan has “known” them since he was little…never mind the fact that most of them were not OUR friends, or the fact that she didn’t pay for ANYTHING). But in the end…it was amazing. And your wedding will be too, if for no other reason than because it is your wedding (your amazingly creative taste is just a bonus). Fight for what is important. Let everything else go (which, I know, is a lot more difficult than it sound…and I am too uptight to have anything be less than perfect). At the end of the day, you will be married to the man you love. Hang on to that, because that is what matters. And then you can get ready for the next set of blog material…How does it feel to be married/when are you having kids/are you pregnant because you got married after all these year? Congratulations, I wish you and Andrew the best.

  12. Wowza, Christina! What a fun experience for everyone involved! I honestly read your menu and thought "oh man. thats some thoughtful stuff. Breakfast baskets? Awesomely thoughtful. Fajitas? really awesomely thoughtful." I would love to go to a wedding and remember the food. But I dont. I remember the way they look at each other. And her dress, I'll admit it.
    If I were to ever decide "a wedding" was a good idea for me, I would go camping and invite everyone to come along. Bring a tent and a dish for the pot-luck reception. Why? To avoid this stuff. Dear parents- this wedding is actually not about you nor is it a reflection on you. If anything you could all bask in the glory of the children you have raised- people that can actually remain thoughtful and true to their Self at the same time.
    Weddings and funerals make people crazy.

  13. Athena, that's so crazy to criticize daisies! Who doesn't love to have daisies around??? And since it's your favorite flower, it had meaning! And I love that you had Billy there in your wedding. Now THAT'S meaningful, rather than just following a pattern of what everyone else has done.

    Thanks, Dani. I think a camping wedding sounds awesome!

  14. Awww...I heart you Christina. I'm sure everything will work out. If you ever need anything, let me know! And, you can always elope! Do it your way, and then have the "wedding". And believe it or not, after its over, all the stress will actually seem worth it!