Wedding Family Matters

Weddings are usually joyous occasions but they can also cause pain.

The other day a good but frustrated friend told me about her cousin’s upcoming wedding. She was frustrated because her cousin (who I gathered is in her mid to late 30s) didn’t invite my friend or her immediate family to her wedding. My friend explained that most of her frustration came from seeing her mother (the cousin’s aunt) hurt – her mom had been very close to said cousin. She explained how her mother frequently and happily allowed this same cousin to stop by during her college days for a home cooked meal and to do laundry when she didn’t have the time or resources to travel home. My friend’s mom also advised this cousin on matters of the heart when she didn’t feel comfortable confiding in her own mother.

“I’m over not getting invited,” quipped my friend. “But I can’t let go just yet because knowing that my mother is hurt over this makes me hurt,” she explained.

I immediately suggested maybe her cousin chose to have a very intimate ceremony as a way to cut costs and reminded her that no one should feel obligated to go in debt for one day. “Money is not an issue for her!” she fired back. As we discussed the matter more, she agreed with that as hurt as she might be, her cousin had every right to have the type of wedding she and her fiance want. Then she added, “…and my mother has every right not to extend her home to her anymore as she has always done and does not need to be her convenient therapist.”

Ouch.

Please know that I’m aware there are three sides to every story (your side, my side and the truth). Even with this in mind, I’m torn. Although my friend claims finances are not an issue for her cousin, we all know that money matters are relative. Perhaps her cousin and her fiance mutually agreed to have a wedding that only cost a certain (low) amount and it prevented them from inviting folks they wish they could have. Or money might not have been as much of a factor as style. The idea of having more than 25 guests at her wedding might have freaked this cousin out. Believe it or not, lots of folks don’t care for large weddings. However, it seems at the very least, all of this would have been thoughtfully explained to loved ones who didn’t receive an invitation with a face-to-face conversation, personal phone call or even a handwritten note.

This conversation with my friend is just the most recent reminder for me that weddings are much bigger than the romantic joining of two individuals. As Tie the Knot Tuesday demonstrates, weddings are celebratory affairs that offer the opportunity to honor deceased loved ones, blend families, create new memories, reminisce over old ones and even honor cultural traditions and preserve a legacy. As one of my wise commentators, Ronda A. in Houston pointed out in this post last summer about City Hall weddings,

“You absolutely should mind your budget and stay true to your own spirits, but please don’t exclude the people who love and support you. While we don’t want you to feel pressured or go broke over this affair, your friends and family do want to celebrate your love and honor you as you step into a new phase of life…and maybe enjoy a sip of champagne , too.”

Point taken, Ronda. So it seems creating a wedding guest list is just one of those situations when enviably someone’s feelings will probably get hurt. Yet, I think in my friend’s cousin’s situation an informal barbeque (or dinner party) after her nuptials could be nice to allow those who weren’t invited to the wedding to officially meet her husband and allow his folks to officially meet her, view wedding pics and videos, etc. That could be a win-win if executed well, no?

What do you think? I’m really anxious to know your thoughts on this Triple B fam! Sound off in the comments below.

[Image courtesy of africanamericanblackgifts.com.]

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    Comments

    1. anomymous says:

      The bride-to-be really don’t owe the cousin’s mom anything. I can see her being disappointed that she’s not invited but, if she’s a christian and did what she did from her heart, she should not be angry.

    2. Perhaps I am too old school, but a wedding should include relatives (unless there is a potential for a knock down confrontation between the guests), especially an aunt. Unless I am missing something this would be the one of the bride’s parent’s sibling, right? Where is her mother? Even if the bride and groom are paying for their own wedding there is no excuse for such bad manners.

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