Challenging "normal" wedding planning when I lost my mother while engaged

I considered myself to be an "ordinary bride," that is until my mother died, and then I discovered that the definition of normalcy is what you deem appropriate, especially when it comes to wedding planning.

For the first few months after she died, it was only natural that my upcoming nuptials were the furthest thing from my mind. Then, as the year of my wedding date began to approach, suddenly friends and family became concerned that I wasn't living up to being a "traditional bride." It begs the question: what's traditional?

1.6k

Do I need to invite someone's adult daughter to my intimate wedding?

My sister wants us to invite her boyfriend's adult daughter to our wedding, even though we've never met her. Her family already accounts for five invitations for her household already.

We have worked so hard to keep our wedding small and intimate and quite frankly don't want a stranger there. Are we being selfish?

How do we communicate that we sincerely want no wedding gifts?

When it comes to gift-giving, the general consensus among my peers is that you give what you can, if you wish. As far as we're concerned, your presence is present enough — especially considering that we are a bunch of broke Millennials.

My extended family, however, hardcore-believes in tangible gifts. Some of them are sticklers for the traditional (and comfortably middle-class) notion of extensive and expensive gifts at shower, hen party, and wedding. It's generous, but also uncomfortable, at odds with our values, and not always string-free. How can I discourage gifts at my wedding?

1.1k

Should we invite our high-drama family to our at-home elopement?

So here's my dilemma: if we invite my parents to our ceremony, they'll gripe and stress us both out with their negativity. There are times when my fiance wants to invite his sister and her family (husband and two kids), but if you invite them, you have to invite my parents, too. It could all be avoided if our celebration was just with the two of us. However, since we're eloping in our backyard, they'll definitely be angry about not being invited when they see the photos. How do we handle this?