Carolyn Hax: Mom makes the transition to marriage. The couple decides to cancel.


Adapted from online discussion.

Dear Carolyn, When my fiancé and I decided to get married, we wanted to keep things very casual and small. This is our style and we are not interested in a big wedding. It seemed like everyone was in favor of it, but our moms talked us into having a small party and inviting about 30 people in total.

The initial plan looked good, but as we went along, things kind of doubled down, including all kinds of things we didn’t want to do at first, like having bridesmaids in matching outfits and florals and a big cake and other la-di stuff yes. I said no to a minister friend of my mom’s who did the ceremony and she got uncharacteristically upset and rude about it.

This whole thing made us take a step back and rethink what we want. We decided what we want is an intimate ceremony with meaning, just the two of us and our two best friends.

So we’re calling off the wedding. I’m afraid to tell my mum, because I think she’ll take the decision in response, after the big blast about the minister. How do I tell her without it seeming like she’s the main reason for us to cancel and go back to our original plans?

Snowballs: All you can do is tell the truth as kindly as you can and as fully as you need to. It is not in your power to govern how people will receive it.

Be loving and patient with your mom and let this be proof that you are not angry with her or blaming her for anything. Again, he may not get the information that way, at least at first, and timing won’t help, because he’ll likely associate the explosion with the cancellation — but be consistent in your affection and let that consistency speak for itself. you.

It sounds like you intend to exclude your parents from the new/old version of marriage. That’s your prerogative, and understandably so, given how hard it seems moms have pushed to get what they want out of it for themselves, regardless of your and your fiance’s preferences.

However, if you can stay true to your vision of “an intimate, meaningful ceremony” and include parents, then at least consider it an obvious way to “tell her without it seeming like she’s the main reason for the cancellation and get back to normal.” our initial plans”.

If you feel like you can’t do this because experience tells you that you can’t trust moms to respect your boundaries, then so be it. This is because of them, not you, who sow such distrust with their past behavior. But you might not regret offering them some grace.

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Re: Wedding: I don’t think it’s unreasonable to tell your mom that the many additions to the wedding are exactly what you didn’t want in the first place!

My husband and I went ahead with our wedding and it basically turned into one big man-pleasing ceremony. The other day I asked him, “What do you think about how our marriage went?” and he said, “Ugh.” My feelings exactly. You!

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