Ask the Wedding Planner – Overcoming Family Differences

Dear Wedding Planner, My boyfriend asked me to marry him and I was delighted to say “yes” and we were both so happy… for about two weeks. Now, we are barely speaking. He wants the wedding to be in Boston, planned by HIS family who are rigid and conservative (…and are NOT crazy about me!). I want to get married on Maui, barefoot on the beach at sunset, The Wedding Planner with our friends and MY family (…who DO like me).

Until now, I didn’t think he was very close to his family. Does this problem indicate our incompatibility? I really love him. Maybe we should call off the marriage and just keep dating. – Engaged in Tears.

Dear “Tears,” First of all, I wouldn’t want to advise you to call off the marriage, if you truly love each other. Love is more important than wedding locations, usefulinfodaily misunderstandings and differences in background. The disagreement you are having is normal and can be a wonderful learning experience, if you can resolve it graciously and lovingly, you will then have gained confidence in your ability to solve problems, as a couple. There will be many more issues to negotiate, as you travel life together.

You could spend the next forty years dating different men to find someone compatible, but I’ll save you time and tell you now; he doesn’t exist! Males and females are NOT compatible! Many books have been written about this problem and I won’t go into it now. I will just say that though the two sexes differ from each other greatly, and have a very hard time understanding each other, few of us want to live without the opposite sex. Fortunately there is great growth and joy in learning to create a lifelong truce with one of the opposite sex.

You didn’t mention your wedding date, but you might want to set it ahead to give yourselves more time to agree on wedding plans agreeable to both of you. Don’t worry about pleasing your families and friends too much. They had their chance to plan a wedding. This is you and your fiancé’s wedding day and it should reflect the union of your lives, tastes and creativity.

Of course, marriage also includes family and friends. Marriage is the melding of two families. People often reconcile or become closer to their parents, when they decide to marry, which is a good thing. You could see it as a positive sign that your fiancé wishes to involve his family in your wedding. It shows that he values family and seeks unity and forgiveness; good attributes for a successful marriage partner. It appears that you and your fiancé’s taste differ greatly from his parents. You and he need to discuss these differences, thoughtfully and lovingly. Also, acknowledge values that all of you share. There HAS to be something! Even if it’s nobody wants elephants in the house. I want to offer a possible solution that some couples have employed in similar situations – Have TWO weddings! Don’t faint, hear me out… First, have your barefoot sunset beach wedding on Maui with your friends. Enjoy a blissful honeymoon. For more info visit here:-

Meanwhile, let your fiancé’s family plan the Boston wedding, complete with tuxedos, veils and stuffed snails. You will already feel bonded and happy from experiencing your dream wedding.

Enjoy the formal wedding as much as possible while getting to know your new in-laws. Hopefully, they will grow on you. If they’re your worst nightmare, in living color, just be thankful that you live in Hawaii and they, in Boston. Return home quickly for another honeymoon, to prevent a hasty annulment.


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