I'm Getting Married soon....need Advice.

Updated on December 13, 2009
C.H. asks from Lincoln, NE
13 answers

I'm not sure how to explain this all. So please bare w/ me.

* How do you go about telling your family (esp. my dad, step mom and step bro) that I've met someone and we're engaged?

I'm the baby of the familiy. I'm trying to spread my wings and grow a lil more. But my dad esp. I think might have a hard time w/ this. (For now) my fiance and I will be staying in Lincoln. My fiance's family is excited for us. But I'm not so sure about my family. One of my sisters has encouraged me to find a boyfriend and get married.

* How do I tell my dad that my fiance wants to move in w/ me?

I currently live in my dad's rental property. My fiance and I had thought about offering my dad, that IF we fixed up the house and paid the utilities. To see IF he'd let us live in here rent free. and possibly tossed in a couple hundred $$ every so often. Right now my fiance is a trucker. He's gone usually for a week and home on w/e. He plans on trucking till he can find a diff job. Since he's wanting to settle down to raise a family and etc. My fiance is such a great guy.

* How do you decide to invite to a wedding?

My fiance and I had thought about a wedding. But I'm not sure I want one IF it's going to cause problems. The problems would be on my side of the family. My parents are divorced. I luv my mom and step dad. But my mom doesn't get along w/ my dad. So I can't have them in the same rm. PLUS I'm not sure who to invite from my side of the family. Cause my fiance and I can't afford a big wedding. Plus we'd prefer a sm wedding. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. He already knows who he'd invite from his side of the family to the wedding. IF we have one. BUT....we've also debated on just going to the justice of the peace and getting married. To avoid any problems w/ my famly. And having a some what of a large reception. We'd prob have 2 - 3 receptions. We'd have the 1 here. 1 from where my fiance is from. And have some what of a reception w/ my mom and step dad.

********* Anyhow, there's a lot more to this story. IF you have any questions. Please let me know. ********

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So What Happened?

Decided to break off the engagement for various reasons. Thank God we werent' further along in the weddin planin. I guess I will be movin on. Which is a shame. Cause I really liked him.

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B.J.

answers from Rochester on

My husband does not get a long with his family at all. So one day he took me a long to a family event and was like hey here is my girlfireind and by the way we are getting married. LOL Everyone was mad and in shock. I am an only child and just could not tell my dad. I had moved in with my then boyfriend and my dad was very angry about this. He was hopping it would not work out between the two of us and I would come back home. So I wrote him a note!! VERY BAD IDEA!!! I would agree with the other poster. Do not live togeather until you are married. If I had to do it all over again I would have waited. Have a family get to geater and introduce him as a boyfriend. Be honest about how long you have been togeather. Then wt a month or so and call them up all excited and tell them he proposed. Good luck!!!

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S.T.

answers from Des Moines on

my in-laws are divorced too, but they're civil with each other. tell them if they're going to come, they need to at least be civilized with each other and not ruin your big day. most parents will realize that they need to be nice to each other for the sake of their kids on a day as special as that.

we told my mother-in-law by going down for a visit and saying "we have good news". when she asked what, we showed her the ring. as for who to invited, we invited about 200 and maybe 100 showed up (ours was a winter wedding too though). so keep in mind that generally only half the people you invited will show up. if you want to keep it small, just invite those closest to you who will want to share in the special day. and a tip for keeping it cheap - my mom did a lot of the food herself. she bought a decent sized ham, and small turkey, and a decent sized beef loin roast thing, and cooked them all the night before. she did most of the sides too, but we only had spaghetti corn (delicious by the way) and mashed potatoes, but everyone loved it. we also had homemade cream cheese mints, which are fabulous as well.

if you want some cheap stuff like that, let me know. I run my own bakery/goodies shop in Central Iowa. I'd be willing to negotiate the prices with you (which are fairly cheap to start with), because i know how it can be when money is tight. my husband and i went for the cheapest possible wedding too. my email address is [email protected]____.com

EDIT: accidentally posted before getting my website on there for you. www.cookiesforfamilies.host22.com

A note to other moms out there: Cookies for Families, my business, will be having a christmas/holiday sale shortly, so please check the website's news section on its home page over the next few days. i will post a news item as soon as the sale begins, that will tell all about the sale!

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R.K.

answers from Appleton on

Hi C.:
You have several issues going on I will offer you some advice:
1) the rental property-- the property belongs to your dad, so you have a business relationship as well as a family relationship with him. Talk to him as you would any landlord, he is responsible to fix things or pay to have them fixed. Do you have a lease or rental aggeement? Does it state that you can not have anyone live with you? If not you are not in violation if you and your S/O live together.
2) the wedding--why won't your family get along long enough to share your special day with you? Invite who you wish to invite and if they decide not to come because they can't stand each other--they lose not you. Plan your wedding to be what you have always wanted your wedding to be. Work from that guideline. If you have always wanted a big wedding and can't afford it, talk to your parents about helping to pay for the wedding. Or adjust the idea a little. Instead of having a big wedding in a hotel ballroom, rent a park pavillion with a kitchen and have a catered meal or have a potluck. I would book the music through a reputable booking agent and read the contract over very well before signing. Some agents will substitute the musicians you book for someone else if the orginal band gets a better paying gig. You can do your cermony and reception at the park. I am a minister and would be happy to be a part of your wedding and charge what you can afford to pay me.
3)Why is there an issue with telling your family that you met someone and want to get married? You are an adult, you live independly and have a full time job. You can invite them over, again one party. If your Dad, Mom and Step-dad can't get along long enough to visit you and your child in your home to meet your boyfriend, they lose. Plan a simple dinner, introduce your boyfriend and say, "we are engaged"! Then discuss your plans over dinner, don't ask for permission. You don't need anyone's permission to get married or be in love. Explain that you will need help paying for the wedding and see if they will help.
If I can offer any more advice let me know.

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R.V.

answers from Minneapolis on

I don;t have a solution about telling your family. My question is why haven't you told them you were dating someone? If there is something keeping you from telling them you are dating then I think you have other issues to deal with before the announcement. My advice is DO NOT embellish or alter your history to try to make your family understand.
About the party... My parents are divorced and have been for a long time. They were NOT friendly to each other at all. I had to have 2 birthday parties, 2 graduation parties, etc. After the graduation paarty I told them that I didn't want to hear any bad mouthing and that I was not ever having 2 parties to accommodate their attitudes. They were both my parents, I loved them equally and if they couldn't accept that then I was not going to see them. I did have to interupt and remind them a couple times when they got really mad but they did learn and we have never had 2 parties again.
We went to Vegas to get married and had ONE reception here. They did a very good job. They worked together and I didn't hear one bad word. When they were all here for my son's 1st birthday they even cooked a meal together.
This has taken some time but it had to happen for my sanity.
I strongly recommend you have this talk with your family even if you don't do the announcement. It may even help with the big announcement.

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J.F.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi C.,

You have a lot going on and it's hard for us "seasoned" women not to tell you what we'd do in your situation because we've learned from our mistakes. We hate seeing other young women making similar choices, some of them mistakes.

I do agree with lots of what others have said in their posts. Have only one wedding and one reception if possible. Part of growing up is doing things we don't want to do (that includes your parents).

I would be very careful not to ask your parents for too much, especially your dad and the rental property at this moment. It could really backfire on you.

Your relationship sounds very new. I encourage you to take your time and take it slowly. It takes many months to really get to know someone and if they are truly compatible with you and YOUR SON. If you do wish to move forward with a wedding, schedule it for at least a year out so you can properly pay for it, organize it, and have time to think about it. Even if a date is set and a dress is bought, if it doesn't feel right at the time of the wedding, CANCEL it. Don't go through with something just because you're afraid of a little humiliation. It is better than a bad marriage and an expensive divorce.

Introduce your new guy as soon as you can and the engagement if you feel it would go over well. But, tell them the wedding isn't scheduled for a year. That will help them come to terms.

If you don't tell them or the longer it takes to tell them, it will hurt them more. And, you have to do it all at once. You can't let some family know and not others; they will find out that you waited or they were the last to know. In person is best and then by phone if necessary. Do not send a letter, email or text!!!

GOOD LUCK!

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J.J.

answers from Omaha on

You have a lot to consider, but the person you need to consider first is your child and how all this will affect him and maybe that is why your dad will be concerned as well.

Why not wait to have your fiance moved in AFTER he's your husband? What's the rush??? From all these questions you ask, it honestly doesn't sound like to me that you're emotionally ready to get married. Marriage is VERY hard and LOVE is a CHOICE, not a feeling, which is something you will learn in a few years after you're married!!!

I'm not sure why you're so afraid of your father, unless he thinks you make poor decisions for you and your son and he's worried for you. That is the job of the parent. I don't really know, maybe your dad is just a jerk and if that is the case then why do you care so much about what he thinks. If you and your fiance are paying for your wedding then you invite both your mom and dad - you act mature about it as it is YOUR wedding, not theirs. You tell your mom if she doesn't want to attend, then that is her decision and she will have to live with that decision! You should only have ONE reception and ONE wedding. This is stupid to consider otherwise and I would tell both your parents this.

So....if you think you're ready to get married then plan it and do it and if your fiance is such a great guy then he'll wait to move in with you until he's your husband. The divorce rate for couples who live together first is much higher than those who wait until they're married. This is a plain fact and you can ignore it or think that maybe there's something to this.

Also, I would have a real wedding. You will regret it later in life if you just make it cheap and run to the justice of the court. To make it real doesn't mean you have to make it expensive. It can be very small and special.

I think you have a lot to think about and I wish you luck. I don't mean to sound mean at all, only experienced! I've been married for 15 years and been with my husband for 20 yrs. I've wanted to run a lot and I've felt like I didn't LOVE him many times - but I grew up and chose to love him and stay even when the going gets tough!

Good Luck!

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M.L.

answers from Minneapolis on

A couple of questions...
How old are you? Why didn't you tell your family about your 'boyfriend' before he became your 'fiance'? How long have the 2 of you been together?

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M.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

I might go off in some tangents, so I apologize, and please bear with me. It seems as if you may have some issues with your father, whether he's overprotective or super strict, I cant' tell - so I can't really give you anything there. BUT - I can clue you in with divorced parents. If you are going to have any sort of wedding/ reception with people - hold only one. It is not your responsibility to accommodate a couple who couldn't keep their promise to one another, and now can't stand the site of each other. How do you do birthday parties for you child? Do you hold 2? It will take a lot of bravery on your part, (I had to do this too), but after you tell everyone however you tell them, get your parents, step parents, step siblings together in one place and tell them that this is your wedding. You will not tolerate any bad mouthing, jabs in the back, back talking, etc... from any of them from now through the wedding, or they will not be invited. No warnings, they are adults, they need to watch their tongues. This wedding is not about them, and if they love you, they will step up and try to get along. Put it on them saying something like "If any of you feel that you are not able to keep this promise to me, then tell me now and we will discuss nothing of this wedding until it is over with you Because I will not have negativity around us during this happy time, nor will I be surrounded by fear that none of you will keep your promises" You can not please everyone, nor do you have to try. Put it on them to prove to you that they can be responsible adults, acting in a responsible manner or they can't come to the wedding.

If your fiance's family lives really (!) far away, and can not afford to travel, them maybe do 2 parties, but if they can travel, think about holding only 1. There may be less of a turnout, but it will save you money.

Both me and my husband have divorced parents, and we had to do this too, because neither set really wanted be around the other. That set the stage for parties, knowing that we will only hold one birhtday party for future children, for ourselves, if we hosted holidays, etc... Now 10 years later, we know that if a parent doesn't feel comfortable, it's upon them to leave, not us to appease them.

Good luck!

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A.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

It seems odd to me that you haven't told your family that you're dating someone special. It makes me think that you haven't known this guy very long. That coupled with the fact that he's gone for long stretches makes me wonder if you guys have really spent enough time together to make that extremely important decision to get married. People usually say, "Life is Short!" but when you're talking about marriage, life is long! You don't want to live a long life with someone if you're not sure, or not completely compatible. I'd give it some time. What's the rush?

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A.W.

answers from Sioux Falls on

This is a hard situation. :) Good luck.

It's hard to be true to yourself and selfless at the same time. While it is you getting married, you want to be considerate of your family, I understand that. It was very similar for me, when I got married. I did what I wanted, for the most part, and had a lovely wedding. But, it was one of the hardest parts of my life.

Your future husband is going to have to be before your husband, I'm sure you know that already. :) I kind of used the wedding as a prep course for telling my dad no, and honoring my husband.

I agree that you should wait to move in together. The divorce rate of couples who live together is much higher than those who don't. It is a pretty special moment when you pull up to your new house as husband and wife, and begin to set up your house and your life together. I know someone who did it the other way around, and she wasn't that excited to get married. She wondered what was really going to change. Acting like a married couple before getting married robs you of something really dear, that you can never get back.

Dr. Laura would say to invite whoever you want to your wedding, and they can sort out their own problems. You shouldn't have to organize around two grown people. I'm sure that they can be in the same room together. I know they say they can't, and they surely act like they can't. But trust me, their heart will continue beating if they share four walls. Tell them both that they are both invited, and you hope they can both come.

Good luck. :) Congrats on getting engaged, it is an awesome time in your life. Enjoy it.

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E.H.

answers from Madison on

I can't possably imagine your parents being able to be civil twards eachother on one of the most important days of your life. I think you need to invite BOTH of them. Not only is it one of your most important days... but it will also be one of their most important days, I think anyone can set their diffrences aside.

For a small wedding Just invite your imidiate family, Mom's dad's, sis, bro, (aunts and uncles if you don't have a million) Just make sure it is consistant. You can't invite your husbands aunts and uncles and not yours or vise versa.
Good Luck.

By the way.. I went to an awesome low key wedding once. They had it at a State Park, they rented out the a shelter there for the afternoon and did a pot luck style recption. I really liked it and your close friends and family wont mind bringing something to the party...

sorry, I keep having to add to my response... but I read what others write and then i need to say something.
I BELIEVE IN LIVING TOGETHER BEFORE GETTING MARRIED!!!!! Living with someone is such a drastic change, it could change your opintion about them! Maybe his house is messy now... doesnt bother you, but it will when you share a house and you have to clean up his mess. I lived with my husband before we were engaged (I was 19 he was 20, had dated 3 prior & got engaged 4 years after), we have been together 10 YEARS NOW!! Also both of our parents lived with eachother prior to marrage and are now going on 25+ years!!!

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J.M.

answers from Madison on

I recently married a wonderful man. We dated and lived together for 10 years before being married. Both of us have divorced parents, we were young at first, and I think we both wanted to be really sure. I advocate living with your partner beforehand, especially if you are already sure that you both want to get married in the future. There have been a lot of research studies on this topic, but most of them have concluded that living together with the intention of marriage is just as successful as not living together beforehand. It is the couples who drift into living together and then marriage without making a firm choice that have problems. I think living with someone helps you get to know them in a different way. However since you are also a mother, I hope you are being careful in how your fiance and your child interact. Also, to respond to several other poster's, marriage is not something to be 'survived', it is a joining of two people in partnership.

My parents do not get along well, however my wedding and another family issue with my sister happening at the same time helped them be able to tolerate each other's presence again. They have even spoken on the phone a few times, just to try and address a family issue. I never said that they had better behave, they already know that because I stopped talking to my mom for several months after she couldn't stop bad mouthing my dad, even though she left him.
My advice, stand up for yourself. Be your own person. Decide what you want and go for it. Don't bend over backwards to accommodate everyone else. This is your life and your wedding. The only major accommodation we made in our wedding was having it at a hall instead of the beach because of elderly grandparents, and we made that choice because we wanted them there. Take back your life. Just be fair on both sides. WE decided we were inviting everyone, but had a lot of help financially. If we hadn't we would have cut it down significantly. But be fair, because even though there are people you want and those you don't, you can't decide like that or it will cause huge problems later.
I would announce the engagement first to everyone, and talk about living together at a later time with your father. If he won't 'allow' it, then it is time to think about moving out, or wait until your fiance can support you better, or get a job (I don't know if you have one already). If you both can't afford to live together, that will be a MAJOR issue. Better to figure it out now while there are options.

Congratulations and enjoy!

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S.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

C.,

If a wedding doesn't work out, I think you are right to get a Justice of the Peace or elope. My in laws did that when they got married six weeks before my husband and I and just had a party to celebrate almost a year later when they were ready.

As far as moving in together first, statistically people who do that have a higher rate of divorce. The best chance at a surviving marriage is to wait until you are married to live together.

As far as living rent free, I don't think I would ask that. Your dad has to pay home owner's insurance and property tax and possibly a mortgage or home owner's association dues regardless of who lives there, so maybe you could ask for a discounted rent instead - enough to cover his expenses but not turn a profiit on your rent.

Good luck,
S.

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