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Getting married and kinda sad.

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Old 01-26-2014, 10:35 AM   #1
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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.
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Old 01-26-2014, 11:25 AM   #2
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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!
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Old 01-26-2014, 11:33 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 01-26-2014, 11:41 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:03 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:20 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:29 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:34 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:44 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:06 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:29 PM   #11
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My friend had a small locket with her grandpa's pictures attached to her bouquet so he, essentially, walked down the aisle with her!
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smashlers View Post

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+...=93&ie=UT F-8
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:01 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:42 PM   #14
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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.

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Old 01-26-2014, 11:41 PM   #15
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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.

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!
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