Today was brutal.
You know, when people warned me about how stressful wedding planning can be, I never really listened. For some odd reason I figured I was exempt from that because I have basically been dreaming of my wedding for a lifetime and assumed it would be all perfect and happy and FUN.
Today Mark presented me with his guest list, and his mother's guest list. The total for his side is 80, which is about 30 more than we had originally figured. His mom was able to come up with people I had never heard of or met, but are significant enough to be considered guests for our "small wedding". I knew she would think of people to add to Mark's list, and am so glad I wasn't relying solely on Mark to make a list for his side because I KNEW that it was possible he was forgetting people, and he was. I'm glad his guest list is bigger now, it takes some guilt away from me and my list of 104 (that's only 4 friends people, the rest are family!).
Needless to say there are way more people than we expected (double, actually).
I love my family and want ALL of them to attend my wedding. It's important to me. It's also important for me to have their partners and children as well. But when my mother dropped the bomb on me today (the one where she says she doesn't have ANY money to give me)... suddenly this guest list became a very expensive reality.
No money... okay. First thing I needed to do was chop my list in half. So I did. I was all sobbing and could hardly read through my tears, but I took a pen to my guest list and stroke off 50 people. FAMILY MEMBERS. It hurt so much. Then I presented the list to my mother, who looked at it in horror.
"Well you have to invite these people, and you can't cut these people, and you ABSOLUTELY will NOT cut these people".
Okay. So you won't give me any money, but you expect me to invite the entire family.
But it gets worse. Not only was she so insulted at the hack job I did on the list, but she ALSO demanded that I put FOUR more people on it! People we aren't even related to! She then continues to tell me that she will PAY for their meals if I add them.
Huh? You won't pay for any one of our family members, but you'll give me money for 4 randoms? Excuse me, but any money I get from her is going to help seat FAMILY. So I'm supposed to somehow pay for all 96 of our family members, but she'll give me $200 bucks for me to add four people I am not blood related to? How does this make sense?
It's funny how her mind works. She assumes that Mark will pick up the bill for our family to attend, and that it would make absolutely no difference for me to add four people because SHE is paying for them. No way! If she donates any money, it will pay for her sister and brothers and their children and grandchildren. You can't donate such a small amount and specify that it's for a certain group of 4 people. I could understand if she was paying for ALL the other family members and wanted to add extra. But she isn't. She isn't paying for ANYONE and wants to add extra, but justifies it by saying she'll pay for the extra that she's adding. So we pay for 104, but if we add 4 more she'll give us $200. Where is our money coming from?
Mark and I are so far from having money. Quite the opposite, actually. We're paying off debt. We're so far in debt and we don't even have a home yet. We plan on living with our parents until we can afford a decent down payment, which could be years. So HOW are we going to do this wedding?
Such is the problem with having big families. I'm not stressed at all about Mark's guest list because his mother (so truly kind of her) is offering to foot the bill for those guests. Isn't that so incredibly sweet and generous? There's one list of guests that comes stree-free. If we did only what we could afford, we'd have a party with 80 of Mark's family and friends, and the four randoms that my mother wants to add. Because after all, those are the guests that WE ourselves don't have to pay for.
This makes me so depressed. I really REALLY want my family to attend, but I know we can't afford it. And the more we go into debt, the longer we have to stay with our parents, and that means waiting longer to add to our family... so how truly important is this party?
It actually is important to me. And because it's important to me, it's important to Mark. He is being so incredible. Unbelievably supportive and loving. I was crying and crying on the phone with him today, and he kept reassuring me and truly wants to protect me from all of this stress. He keeps telling me that he wants to make me happy, and that he will do ANYTHING to make me happy and I believe that. He said he would do whatever it takes to give me the wedding of my dreams, and he would.
I was actually thinking of having our reception on a boat, the sort that cruises on Lake Ontario through the little islands. We went on one last month for a Nikon thing (Mark works for Nikon), and it was really nice. We saw many boats that had wedding parties on them, and it seemed like a neat idea so he decided to look into it. He made some phone calls today and is in the midst of collecting all the details. He is so great. He knew that would make me happy, so he looked into it.
But if I told him that I wanted to have only 10 people in a local restaurant, he'd be happy to do that too.
I feel so selfish and undeserving and really wish we could do something that was affordable and makes everyone happy - but that just isn't possible.
Today I felt so bad when I told my mom that I had no problem with Mark's list because his mother was covering the bill for it. That was until she looked at me and said "so that's it - I don't have any money so I can't bring anyone to your wedding. If they have so much money, why don't THEY pay for the whole thing?". She said she felt like she was being punished for not having money. I told her she can't punish Mark's family because they do. She can be so unfair and unreasonable sometimes, and it pains me to argue with her.
My sister keeps telling me to elope. Or to plan a trip to Mexico and get married on a beach and anyone who wants to come can pay their own way.
And Mark keeps reminding me that this is simply a party. It is not indicative of our love and commitment, and it actually distracts us and puts a cloud over the TRUE meaning of the day.
Getting married in our church is important to me. Having my father walk me down the isle is very important to me. Having my family finally united by God is the most important to me.
I just wish that after party wasn't so darn important to me.
Thanks for reading.