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smashlers
01-26-2014, 10:35 AM
Let me just jump right in. I am looking for a creative solution to by problem.

We are getting married in September. Last October my dad died suddenly, he had a heart attack. It was awful. My family is still all confused and in shock and just torn up. And I've got all sorts of things swimming around in my mind, so let me just get it out there.

Every time I start thinking about all this planning and events and blah blah blah, I just, somehow, arrive at "It's going to be sad. Its not going to be how I would want it. I want my dad to walk me down the aisle. Everyone is going to ask me about him. I am going to cry. So what is the point?"

And then, from there I go into "Well lets do something different. Lets have a courthouse wedding or a small ceremony and skip the awkward bride-brother combo and just have a bigger reception." or "lets have a dinner wedding and a very intimate ceremony with less than 40 people." But I don't want to leave so many people out.

We're not crazy party people. I couldn't really care less about dancing and bouquets and bridesmaids. But what I do want is to be able to invite everyone we love and feed them a meal and maybe hear some toasts. I do want a bridal shower. I want some of the to-do with out the obvious gaping whole of my dad being highlighted so much.

I thought maybe a brunch wedding would be nice. I don't know. I just wish someone would do it for me (but that is expensive and we have a $5k budget). My Mom works for a municipal government and can get us a great deal at a golf course, but it's... stuffy. There are about 100 people I would like to invite. Some from out of town. I feel like having the event on a Sunday might help us to avoid the drunk people.

Help me work this out in my crazy brain.


seaurchin
01-26-2014, 11:25 AM
First, I'm sorry for your loss. My father died in September 2000 and I eloped with my fiance (and close family members) the following August. My oldest brother 'gave me away'. We had a brother/sister dance instead. At the toasting, he acknolwedged my father and we had a small silent moment to remember the good times and bring his 'presense' into the celebration. Needless to say, the experience was bitter sweet. As we each grieve differently, I hope you find a way to balance the sense of loss with your joyous occassion. Congratulations on your pending nuptials!

smashlers
01-26-2014, 11:33 AM
Seaurchin Thanks. It sounds like our timing was similar. I am worried that I am still going to be sick in 9 months about it and feel selfish for going through a big thing. Or even worse, worried that I will regret not doing more to celebrate our union later in life...

I guess I just don't know.


bargoo
01-26-2014, 11:41 AM
Why not do it in memory of your father? I once was at a wedding where the grooms mother died shortly before the wedding. The pastor announced it like this,I.d llike to welcome all who came today especially the grooms mother who has the best seat in the house.

EasySpirit
01-26-2014, 12:03 PM
So sorry for your loss; my father died after fighting pneumonia for about ten weeks, but it was somehow still a shock to us all. I agree you should do something to honor your father, and I can understand how you would feel uncomfortable with a huge party atmosphere. On the other hand, life goes on, and joyous occasions must be celebrated. (Jackie Kennedy had a birthday party for her kids the night of her husband's funeral.)

$5K is going to be tight for 100 people unless you have a brunch or small buffet. I was at a wedding once where it was announced that all the flowers in the church had been donated in memory of the groom's grandmother, who had passed earlier in the year, which I thought was a nice touch.

Whatever you do, remember that your father would have wanted you to be happy on your wedding day, and would not want you to be sad on his account.

divinechaos
01-26-2014, 12:20 PM
My dad passed away when I was 18, and all I could think was how he was supposed to be there to see me graduate, he was supposed to walk me down the aisle, he was supposed to be an awesome grandpa. I didn't want to walk at graduation, but I did and I'm glad I did because my mom and brother were still there and happy to see the event.

As for my wedding... I've talked to friends whose fathers have passed, and they plan on having their brothers walk them down the aisle. I'm getting married in October, and I've juggled with having my brother walk me down, having my grandpa walk me down... etc., etc. I finally decided I'm going to walk down on my own. No one can replace my dad. And based on my spiritual beliefs, I know my dad will be there with me, walking me down the aisle. It'll be very sad, but I think I'll wear something that reminds me of him during the ceremony.
You don't want to allow the biggest, happiest events of your life to be shadowed and dragged down by sadness. You'll regret it later, and I'm sure your dad would be upset if him passing away took any happiness from what is supposed to be one of the best moments of your life.

Good luck, and do what you think is best for you.

Skittlez
01-26-2014, 12:29 PM
My dad died when I was very young. When I got married, I had my mother walk me down the aisle. It's not very traditional, but I figured since she basically raised me she could give me away. It went well, and I'm very happy in the choice I made. Grief is a hard thing to overcome, but if your dad was around I'm sure he would want to see you have fun on your wedding day.

patns
01-26-2014, 12:34 PM
I am wondering if your idea to have a small private ceremony first and then a bigger reception later would work. Might be the best way emotionally for you.

smashlers
01-26-2014, 12:44 PM
Bargoo I like that.

EasySpirt Yeah, my mom keeps saying that. "He would want you to have a wedding." But even just thinking about it like that makes me a wreck. I am just so so sad still.. I can't think rationally.

divinechaos That is a great way to think about it. I am feeling some pressure to have to fill this hole in the tradition and it just feels like I am reaching. That one aspect, Dad giving away daughter, has got my whole day and feelings mixed up. I just keep trying to remember that the people taht are there love me and know me and aren't thinking "wait? where is her dad? this isn't how it should be.

all4meh
01-26-2014, 01:06 PM
A friend of mine recently got married. A few months before her wedding her Grandmother who she was extremely close to passed. They had a special spot set up for her in remembrance. It had pictures of her and a note that said everything from the money tree was going to be donated to a charity that her grandmother was involved in. She said it made her feel like her grandmother was still a part of that very special day.

IdealProteinNewbie
01-26-2014, 01:29 PM
My friend had a small locket with her grandpa's pictures attached to her bouquet so he, essentially, walked down the aisle with her!

Wannabeskinny
01-26-2014, 06:29 PM
Every time I start thinking about all this planning and events and blah blah blah, I just, somehow, arrive at "It's going to be sad. Its not going to be how I would want it. I want my dad to walk me down the aisle. Everyone is going to ask me about him. I am going to cry. So what is the point?"



I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, my condolences. It's very difficult planning a wedding without your Dad.

Firstly, please remember that this wedding is about you and your fiance. Just make sure his wishes and needs aren't being overlooked. This is a celebration about the two of you so always keep that in mind moving forward.

Believe me, NOBODY is going to hurt you on your wedding day. Nobody wants to make the bride cry and everyone will be very sensitive. Please don't be dissuaded to have a wedding because of fear. And remember that you may cry and that's ok! Emotion is not a bad thing, happiness and sadness always go hand in hand. So cry, be emotional, would you rather you were stout and indifferent?

I paid tribute to a lost loved one in the program at my wedding. I devoted the last page In Memorium. There are many things you can do to honor a loved one at a wedding, here's the google hit I found for you. https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+include+lost+loved+ones+in+wedding&oq=how+to+include+a+loved+one&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0.6198j0j8&sourceid=chrome&espv=210&es_sm=93&ie=UTF-8

Arctic Mama
01-26-2014, 07:01 PM
I think adding a video memorial to begin the service, dedicating it to your dad and fond memories of him, is a good way of remembering him and letting him 'be there' to pass the torch and give you away. It's simple and cheap.

Mad Donnelly
01-26-2014, 07:42 PM
Okay, I've been married a long time. We had toyed with the idea of eloping but I couldn't do it since my dad did live to walk me. I never even thought what I would do if he hadn't. No brothers, my mother wouldn't have wanted to and I wouldn't have asked, and I wouldn't have asked a BIL or an uncle because it was only important to me that it be my DAD. So I probably would have eloped. At that point, I don't think I would have regretted not getting married in church. My reception was in my sister's backyard.

My nephew got married in a formal wedding at a national park but with only 25 guests. I imagine it was tough to whittle it down but they did it. It was still probably not cheap, but just an example that you can go "formal" with just family and close friends and have all the attendant festivities that go along with that (bach/lorette parties, showers). The room was small so there was no room for the announced dances (so no father-daughter dance) so they just had background music and the best man took care of announcements for their entrance after pictures and then toasts and cake cutting.

If you decide to elope with just a few of you and "announce" it, people will still want to throw you showers and celebrate with you. I think you might regret not having a little shindig later, but I don't think you'd ever regret not inviting 100 people to be there at THAT moment. It can be you two and your immediate family, a close friend if you think you'd regret that, and just all go down to the courthouse or even have a small ceremony with just those people in church or however especially when you know that'll be your most emotional and you know you'll only be surrounded by people who are feeling EXACTLY as you are and not people who feel the need to say something and be well meaning but ultimately may overwhelm you.

shcirerf
01-26-2014, 11:41 PM
My father died in a farm accident, 2 months to the day, before I got married.

That was not supposed to happen. *deep sigh* That was 35 years ago.

I called on my Fathers brother, who also happened to be a favorite uncle to walk me down the aisle and give me away, with the blessing of my mother.

The last wedding I attended was for my DIL's sister, and while he was alive for my DIL, he was not for Krista.

Her uncle had the honor, along with her mother.

Weddings have changed so much. Walk down by yourself, or with the flower girl, or uncle, brother, sister or Mother or best friend, it's your choice.

As far as the budget!

LOL. Both of my sons had awesome weddings for less than $5k.

Small town, local hall, for reception, was only like $75 for the night. Food, was not catered, family and church ladies and community contributed. Pulled pork, salads, etc.

Yes we had "beer", and local DJ, dancing, cake, the works. Photographer was a friend.

Heck the younger son, had a wagon and 2 draft horses that hauled the wedding party from the church to the reception hall, a whole 2 blocks.:dizzy:

But we did a lot of the flower stuff, (old flower shop person here).

The thing is, unless you want some over the wall million dollar party, you can have a very nice ceremony, and awesome reception, on your budget, and be mindful of the sentiment!:hug:

alaskanlaughter
01-26-2014, 11:55 PM
my first wedding was at our church and both our families were there...my dad walked me down the aisle :)

my second wedding was at home with just our closest friend and his wife/kids in attendance...my teenager "stood up" with my husband and our younger son stood by me in front of our rock wall/fireplace at home....no other family was there and with the cost of travel in Alaska, prohibitively expensive anyhow....we said we'd have a big reception during the summer but we never did and no one ever mentioned it again :)

if my father (who is still alive) had passed away, I would memorialize him like someone above said by carrying something to remember him by as I walked down the aisle or however we arranged that....my dad and I have a lot of silly childhood songs, Czech songs and other inside family "traditions" that I would also incorporate in some way

smashlers
01-27-2014, 07:05 AM
shcirerf, thanks for sharing. I am sure that was really really hard for you to do. A friend of mines Mother passed away, very suddenly, right before her wedding last year, and she went on with it. I am stressing about 11 months and thinking I wont be ready and she did it after two, just like you. Thanks for the money saving ideas. Being that the wedding is going to be in the Chicago burbs, I need to work on meeting someone who has a big backyard. I would love that!

Mad Donnelly I have wondered about the logistics of eloping and getting the parties associated with a bigger wedding. I would love a bridal shower with mimosas.

Wannabeskinny I don't know what I am afraid of. I know they are all there to support me, but it still gives me a giant lump in my throat.

novangel
01-27-2014, 10:28 AM
I'm getting married (for the 2nd time) in November. The only person besides my son that I really care about being there is my Mother who unfortunately won't be there... So we're making this about us and what we want, and that is eloping in the Caribbean. It's way cheaper than having a local traditional wedding ($80-$100 per plate is robbery) and we'll also be on vacation. Can't beat that.

Maybe consider something like that and then having a very small brunch/dinner when you get back for immediate family.

Lunula
01-27-2014, 05:31 PM
So sorry for your loss. I lost my dad very suddenly in 2005 when he was only 62, I still miss him terribly.

I had a friend who did an out of town wedding in Vegas - didn't elope - it was all planned out. She invited lots of people, but she was only there for the weekend, just the wedding (no reception in Vegas) and a few people showed up - she really only cared about close family and friends being there for the ceremony. I think she had about a dozen people there to witness.

But, we had a shower for her a month beforehand and they had a party/reception (it was a big BBQ out in a local park) 2 weeks later and we had a blast. They easily had 100+ people show up, we had lots of food, music and games.

LovesToTravel
01-27-2014, 08:04 PM
I'm sorry for your loss, smashlers. I've seen weddings with little tables set up with photos of the deceased and I love the idea of doing or wearing something that connects the person with their loved one, but I think you should ultimately do whatever makes you comfortable and happy. Be it a memorial video, donations made to a significant charity, big or small gathering, eloping, whatever. I wish you as little stress as possible while you plan and much joy on the big day! :hug:

Mad Donnelly
01-27-2014, 08:56 PM
I have wondered about the logistics of eloping and getting the parties associated with a bigger wedding. I would love a bridal shower with mimosas
It's just a different timetable, if I'm understanding what you're saying. You could elope and then come back and have your planned party afterwards having sent out invitations for the reception that explain what your plans are for the actual ceremony so everyone knows. That puts everyone on notice, Hey, we have to throw Ashley a kickass mimosa bridal shower before they elope!

Honestly, weddings these days are getting to be 3- and 4-day affairs (pre-wedding picnic, rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, wedding and reception, post-wedding barbecue, etc) that are sometimes a bit much. It's nice to have things planned for out of towners, people you wouldn't otherwise get to see, etc. But, to be honest, you can't be and do for everybody around this time even when it's 4 days. There's too many people and details and emotions, etc.

Now, none of this helps with how you deal with your grief. It will be almost a year and you'll maybe have it sorted out a little better in your head how to deal. But, problem is, you have to plan now. Like I said, for me, not being able to get it exactly as I wanted, I probably would have changed it up at that point since it couldn't be. You can still get everything else that's important to you and still honor your dad and know that he'll be there. You know no matter what, it's still going to be tough. But you should still go for what you want to honor the new union of you and your husband. That's what it's really about after all.

jerah
01-28-2014, 10:33 AM
Oh I'm really sorry to hear that, it sounds really difficult! Have you thought about postponing the wedding for a while? It really might help get your thoughts straight but then again, I'm sure you still really want to get married as it will be the happiest day in your life.

Amy8888
02-03-2014, 04:04 PM
I'm so sorry for your sudden loss and I know it is still so raw for you. I agree that at your wedding, no one is going to want to try to make you feel bad, but I also understand that even the best-intentioned people can say something that throws everything off. My dad died when I was young and I remember the first Christmas after he died, people who knew him would come up to me at a party and say "wow, your dad really would have loved this" or something, and I did not want to hear it. If I happened to be in a moment where I wasn't thinking about losing him, the last thing I wanted was a reminder he wasn't here anymore. So yeah, I get how something like that could bring in the bad feelings.

Anyway, I really don't have many suggestions because people will say what they are gonna say. But I can tell you that I had a Sunday morning wedding followed by brunch and I loved it. I'd been to so many of the Saturday night, really expensive weddings and found them to be not so memorable. Our ceremony and reception were in the same location so it was like wedding at 11, brunch at noon, everyone out by 3. Short and sweet. We did the traditional dances (I danced with my stepdad while my husband danced with his mom; first dance for the married couple, etc.) but the music was laid back stuff instead of loud party hits. And you know, you don't have to do all those dances. I bet if you talk to a dj or band, they might even have suggestions based on what others have done in your situation.

Good luck, I hope you still get the wedding you want.

BettyBooty
02-04-2014, 08:45 AM
I was fortunate enough to have my dad walk me down th eaisle, but if he had passed away before I got married, I have no brother or close male relative I would have wanted to have in his place. I am not sure what I would have done. I may have asked my mother to escort me down the aisle, but I think I probably would have eloped and had a reception for all of our family and friends when we returned.

Good luck with whatever you decide. Don't let anyone make you feel badlly for your choice, either!

doingmybest
02-05-2014, 01:38 AM
I am terribly sorry for your loss. My brother passed away suddenly many years ago. I found that grief counseling really helped me a lot. It may be beneficial in helping you to sort everything out.

When my brother's daughter got married, her mother and brother walked her down the aisle.
During the service, the minister acknowledged the members of both families that had passed. It was a very brief, touching moment to pay respect, but the rest of the celebration focused on the newlyweds.

They were married on a beautiful summer evening in an apple orchard overlooking vineyards in Northern California's wine country. It was a sweet and casual event. Instead of a lot of expensive flowers, the aisle was bordered with large tubs of apples. The food was served family style; instead of a traditional wedding cake, they served apple pie. The favors were jars of homemade applesauce that the mother of the bride prepared. There was soft music piped in, not a band or DJ. Everyone was wearing nice summer casual clothes; some women wore slacks and some wore dresses. It was a modest, charming and memorable event - much nicer than some expensive weddings I have attended.

There are many ways to create a wedding that is just right for you. I wish you and your fiancÚ great happiness.

AwShucks
02-08-2014, 04:35 PM
My father passed away 20 years ago, and I'm still single. Were I to get married, I'd go down the aisle solo, maybe following a flower girl or bridesmaid. I don't remember every talking to my dad about my future wedding plans - I guess I never imagined him walking me down the aisle...

I'm the only girl, and my brothers each have their own daughters to walk down the aisle. Actually, I think it's kind of an old fashioned notion of "giving" a bride away. And, I am usually sentimental and old fashioned to a fault. However, I find it kind of charming that a bride would walk toward her groom on her own. Do whatever makes YOU happy. It's YOUR wedding.

So sorry for your loss.

DrivenByAmbition
02-08-2014, 06:18 PM
The first time I got married, *ugh*, I had my ex husband's uncle walk me down the aisle. Before that at the very beginning, one of the groomsmen put roses where my parents would have sat.

I am getting married in May, again <3 I have decided to walk myself down the aisle, maybe carrying my Daddy's Rose and having someone put it in his place.

IAmTheGlue
02-10-2014, 12:04 AM
smashlers, I am so very sorry for your loss. My father passed away over 20 months ago after a decade long battle with Congestive Heart Failure so his loss was not as unexpected as yours. Two days ago, I said to my oldestson "My Dad always..." and didn't cry at the end of it telling someone about my memories of him for the very first time. It has taken that long to stop crying if I even talk about him. I still go to his grave and talk to him and I cry all the way home every single time. There is nothing in this world that is going to make the pain of losing your dad disappear. You are going to think of him on your wedding regardless of if you have it in a church, a beautiful park or a courthouse. Your Dad will be there is spirit wherever you tie that knot. :) Honor his memory. Find a way to include him that is meaningful to you wherever you decide to get married because he is going to be on your mind anyway.

I really am sorry for your loss and I completely understand where you are coming from.