I've changed my status for this post. Sadly my darling Dad passed away a couple of weeks ago, after a short illness. My wedding is in 8 weeks time. Before he passed he asked that I go ahead with the wedding and so I must respect his wishes, but my heart just isnt in it. I dont know how I am going to have a happy smiley face on and dancing in just a few weeks.
Now that I know the wedding is going ahead I must plow ahead and make decisions, these include what to do with the ceremony. My decision was that I would keep the ceremony for family only - extended family included as my own family is now just me and mum and OH has a big family and I feel thats just too lonely to have just me and her. The extended family and bridal party would mean that half of the guests would be at the ceremony and the other half would arrive about an hour later for the drinks reception. I was happy with this decision but now OH has been advised that this is a bad move as the day will have no momentum and also that I will have a long afternoon of meeting people which may be upsetting. There will be a LOT of people at this wedding who have not seen me since my father died. I think I dont want 200 people watching me during the ceremony, it suddenly feels like a really personal thing and I dont want everyone watching my grief - thats what funerals are for! He thinks we should acknowledge the advise we have been given by people who work in the field that it will be easier for me if I meet them all at once and the day has momentum. OH seems to feel very strongly that everyone go - am I being unreasonable or not thinking it through saying I dont want everyone there until after the sad part. I had hoped that a new group of people coming in would lift the mood of the party.
Anyone with any advice please , my head is wrecked trying to think this through, Im really not in the right frame of mind.
I've no advice for you but couldn't read and not reply. I'm so sorry to read about your dad.
Follow your gut. No matter what you do really it will be an emotional day for you and your mam.
Hope you can enjoy your day xx
Oh Wow, you poor thing. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my own father a few months before my wedding. He was one of my best friends, and I miss him every day still, nearly 4 years on.
It does bring sadness to what should otherwise be a joyful day. I won't lie to you, I found parts of the day quite hard, and did have to disappear once or twice for a quick cry. In fact, apart from the funeral itself, in some ways it was one of the most challenging days of my life, as well as one of the happiest.
I think whatever you do - everyone at church, or small group then everyone arriving - you will find it hard. Personally, I think that I'd prefer to ...rip the plaster off quickly, for want of a better expression, and get the stress of seeing everyone out of the way as soon as possible, rather than have it hanging over my head for the whole of the service, and the photos, and then have the drinks reception taken up with meeting people for the first time that day. Personally, I think strethcing it out would be more exhausing.
I think if you meet the situation head on, head held high, you will be able to get through what will be a very bittersweet hour (and day), surrounded by your friends and family, who will be 100% behind you all the way. People will be very, very aware of how sad the day will be for you you, and while I know one wants to grieve in public (and I know what you mean about that being for a funeral), I think you may be suprised with the level of support you'll receive from everyone. They want to be there for you, to help you through the day. Let them buoy you up - it's what friends and famility are *for*. And I really think you'll suprise yourself with your own strength.
At the end of the day, everyone is different, everyone grieves differently, everyone deals with different situations differently. You aren't being unreasonable in the way you feel, and fair play to you for coming on here to seek other opinions before making your decision. Whatever you do decide, I hope it all works out for you.
BrideyD2011 - I understand what you are talking about and going through at the moment. How about you do the receiving line at the drinks reception when you get there or as people are going into the reception room for the meal? After we had photo's etc taken we didn't have too much time before the meal to mingle with people and certainly everyone would not have been able to spend a few mins with us at that point in the day.
Oh BrideyD2011 I feel for you so much. I can't imagine what it's like trying to plan and be excited for the biggest day of your life so close to your Dad passing away.
To be honest if I felt how you did I'd have to sit down again with H2B and really stress how much you don't want a massive crowd at your ceremony. Explain to him that you will feel uncomfortable with this and that after eveything that's happened you really want to make the most of the day and feel that a smaller ceremony would suit better.
I wouldn't imagaine that everyone will go into big chats with you about your Dad when greeting you at the drinks reception as they would realise it could upset you on your special day.
To be honsest I would feel the same as you so best of luck with it and I hope you manage to reach a compromise with H2B.
Honestly if it were me i'd want the wedding to go ahead as close to a "normal" wedding as possible. If the church was half empty it would be a constant reminder to everyone that your poor dad passed away and I think it would make you and other people feel guilty for having a few moments of happiness. I think if there's a big crowd it will be a distraction for you and your mum and keep you a bit more busy which does help. I truly believe that your dad would want you to have the day that you planned-with no changes or concessions because he passed away. It will be nicer for your guests also to have a "normal" day-otherwise they might feel inappropriate laughing, drinking and dancing. And your OH's family will want to celebrate even though , of course, the day is going to be so bittersweet for your family.
I can't imagine how you are feeling about all of this - this is such a difficult and emotional time for you and your family and I can understand your concerns about meeting everyone for the first time after your dad's passing at your wedding.
In a way, I think your H2B's advice is sound in terms of you not having to greet everyone over the course of the afternoon, and of course people will want to support you and say how proud your dad no doubt is - but, this will be very tiring and emotional for you even if people only mean well.
This day will be bittersweet for you whatever you decide to do - you will be exhausted afterwards from all the emotion. I hope you make the right decision for you...
I am so sorry for your loss.
As I've never been in this situation, I can only give my opinion. I would tend to agree with your OH. People who have not seen you since your father died may feel the need to speak to you about it, give their condolences and let you know that they are thinking of you. For me, this would be extremely upsetting over an extended (1/2 hour) period of time when you are at the hotel. I think having them at the church will mean that it will be less upsetting, at least for me. Anyone you have invited to the wedding will be there to support you, they won't be there to judge you or watch your grief.
The only thing I can even remotely compare it to is the following. My closest friend lost her dad around Christmas and is a primary school teacher. She was concerned about returning to work and having to deal with parents, children and the staff coming up to her on a continuous basis to give their condolences. What she decided in the end was to come back a week earlier for lunch break and saw all the staff at once, all the kids etc... She found it easier that everyone was there at the same time and that it was dealt with en masse, so to speak, rather than a stream of individuals.
It's an unbelievably difficult time for you and I am truly sorry you're in the situation you're in. At the end of the day, it's whatever you yourself feel comfortable with.
Thinking of you
You poor poor thing.
Thanks girlies for all your advice, greatly appreciated. I should add that the ceremony and reception are on in the same place (not a church).
Also I feel that people should have made the effort to offer their condolences in some way before my wedding. I dont want this to be another funeral, its my wedding even if it doesnt feel like it, and its not an appropriate time to offer sympathies. But I guess I will have to accept that is what some people will do. God its going to be hard.
Thanks for all your advice wollies.
I dont see how it will spoil the momentum at all if they are both in the same location.. Surely ye can find a compromise to this. All you need is family and close friends at the ceremony and then let everyone else join.... Lets be honest as a person who is having a big wedding some people are definitely not necessary for the ceremony. You are definitely not being unreasonable here. Im not trying to judge here but after what you have been through I think your h2b is being a wee bit selfish about this. Men dont get this emotional side of things and are crap at dealing with it. Have you explained how you feel in this detail to him.. Often men need to be spelt out what your feeling as they arent the best at reading between the lines...
Whatever you decide, dont let this add too much to the stress you are already feeling... Youre so brave for even going ahead with it and your dad will be with you in your hearts.