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My DD's wedding

(26 Posts)
rubylady Tue 24-Jun-14 06:34:12

I was told about my DD's wedding by her on a recent visit, it being Sept '15. On further discussions I have been told that she want to walk into the ceremony herself, no-one "giving her away", and at the casual, no seating plan reception there is to be no speeches neither.

Her fiance is an orphan and I am divorced, my DD's father having had no contact for some 14 years now. I have been the only one involved with my DD, bringing her up, supporting her through Uni, supporting emotionally and financially when they had my two GS's, aged 3 and 1 years old now. They have both picked and asked friends already to be bridesmaids and two best men. I will obviously be the only parent and have not been asked to perform any task or role in this wedding at all. I am in bad health, waiting for an open heart operation and I try to go to their home, over 60 miles away to visit as regular as I can as they don't come to see me often.

After saying that I was upset that I hadn't been included in their plans, my DD got very heated and told me not to go at all.

Am I being unreasonable in wanting to take my place as her mother? I feel like I should skulk around at the back and hide myself. My DS, her DB has not been asked to take any part either even though it was the three of us after I split from their abusive violent father and they were really close before she left for University.

She is forever after money off me, but being ill and unable to work, my money is tight. She tries emotionally blackmailing me saying the children need things and then I find boxes of wine and beer in their home. She lies too, to gain attention, has done for years so the trust is already shaky between us.

I keep trying to bridge the gap between us but I have come to the end of my tether and now it is time to either go our separate ways or to tell her that enough is enough, my health is suffering and to stop her games if she wants us to continue to see each other. She is 27 years old. Am I right to feel aggrieved after bringing her up on my own and not being involved in their special day when they have wanted me and my money so much in the past? Btw, I am not paying for the wedding, they are. Maybe if I were, I could have a part in it? (sad)

nightowl Tue 24-Jun-14 08:21:15

I understand your feelings ruby as I went through a minor version of the same thing when my daughter and her partner told us they were getting married. I had always had visions of DD and I planning the wedding and it came as a shock when I realised they wanted to do it all themselves. I think that's quite normal nowadays and I had to shed my expectations which had been based on how my mum and I had planned my wedding. As time has gone by (wedding is at the end of August) I have found a role for myself, helping DD to find her dress and accessories, talking to bridesmaid about the hen do (but definitely not arranging it) and other bits and bobs. I would have liked my sons to be more involved but traditionally that's up to the groom.

I would say, don't let this come between you. Try to 'go with the flow', be happy for them, and enjoy being mother of the bride. But as for the other tensions between you and your daughter, maybe it's time to be a bit tougher without falling out over it? Just say no a bit more often. Hard I know.

nightowl Tue 24-Jun-14 08:24:14

I've just remembered another important role you and your son will have at the wedding - looking after your grandchildren! The bride and groom will be otherwise occupied and who better to do it? You will enjoy the day for that alone smile

ninathenana Tue 24-Jun-14 08:48:30

I feel for you rubylady I think you deserve a place in the wedding party rather than being just another guest. I hope you are given special place in the photos.
nightowl is right you will probably be needed to look after the little ones. I'm struggling to think of a special role you could suggest for yourself at the casual affair they are planning. I don't know if it's a church wedding or not but could you read a poem or bible reading at the ceremony.

hildajenniJ Tue 24-Jun-14 08:54:49

I didn't get to go to my DD's wedding at all. We had planned everything and bought the most gorgeous dress, then she became pregnant with my beautiful GD. She then arranged a wedding for her fiance and herself in Elgin as she wanted to be married before the baby was born. No-one could attend, her Grandma was a bit upset about it but having a great grandaughter was a compensation. She still hasn't been able to wear the dress, and now has four children. She wants to have a blessing in church but we have no idea if it will ever happen.

Soutra Tue 24-Jun-14 09:07:43

I am hearing 2 different issues here. The wedding and its format is entirely their affair. These things are not set in stone and while it might have been a lovely gesture to include you after all you have done, my advice woud be to let this go and smile albeit through gritted teeth. Perhaps we all hope that our daughter's wedding will involve us as MOB and all that goes with the role, but that way sadness lies. When I married my mum was in her element and it was very much "her" day rather than mine!The other issue seems to be that your DD is too demanding and even grasping which really saddens me. You have to harden your heart but again with a sympathetic smile if possible. Try to enjoy the day for what it is and do not let this come between you.

Tegan Tue 24-Jun-14 09:36:19

I didn't even realise that 'mother of the bride' was a 'role' at weddings until long after my daughter got married. She described her wedding as 'a wedding for people who don't like weddings'. She wouldn't let her father give her away and his new partner wasn't invited to the wedding. There were speeches but the wedding consisted mostly of playing cricket on the beach and having sausages and mash for the meal. I think your daughters attitiude to the wedding is due to the fact that her husband has no parents at all and she doesn't want him to have that made obvious at the wedding; she wants it to be a level playing field. Having just been to a wedding myself [son of an old uni friend] where we hardly knew anyone at the wedding and didn't really know how formal/informal it was going to be can I say how relieved we were to find the whole thing very casual and relaxed with just a smidgen of formality; everyone finds wedding stressful, even people that just receive invitations [what should I wear etc]. You say you're not in the best of health; maybe your daughter doesn't want you to be tired out by giving you jobs to do. When I married my ex we just turned up at Christmas telling the family we'd got married at a Registry Office the day before; we couldn't afford a wedding [and didn't really want one] and my mum and dad were very poor. My friends daughter got married abroad without telling her family [now they were upset] and that caused a few fireworks. Weddings are a stressful minefield; just enjoy and relax. I think it sounds as if it's going to be a really happy, fun day. As Soutra says, there are two issues here an the way your daughter treats you is another one and I really feel for you about that, being myself the parent who was the one who put my children first for many years [well, still do] and stayed in an unhappy marriage for a long time as I didn't want them to grow up without a father. Try not to let that ruin your day when it comes to the wedding. I'm afraid that one of the things that youth involves is selfishness. A hug and flowers to you; keep us informed and air your grievances on here [believe me gransnet is the best place to let off steam ever, and has prevented many a family rift over the past couple of years]. Wedding days are the worst days when it comes to the complications of family life, especially when there are family estrangements [we moved my daughters wedding to a venue 300 miles away to be away from my husbands new partner!].

kittylester Tue 24-Jun-14 09:41:28

I would agree completely with everything everyone else has said!

Soutra, you made me think - my Mum organised my wedding (more or less) and the DDs have organised their own (more or less). I seem to have missed out along the way! sad

KatyK Tue 24-Jun-14 10:06:54

I helped my DD organise her wedding. It was a very small affair 12 years ago. I feel lucky that I was involved as we don't get on so well these days and I think things would be different now. She has since said that she believes weddings should be just what the bride and groom want and nobody else's business. Perhaps that's the modern way of thinking. Hurtful to families though.

glammanana Tue 24-Jun-14 10:21:30

It seems so sad that you think you are not involved as much as you would like to be ruby but there is a while to go yet with the arrangements and your DD I think by that time have discussed with you what part she wants you to play in her big day,I know how you feel we look forward for years to this day with our DDs and hope we will be involved but sadly this doesn't always happen I think it is right that your future SIL not having any family present may be the cause of the ceremony being casual,at my DSs wedding last year whilst I had a roll to play with flowers/place settings/bridesmaids I had no other input,I would however expect her to invite you and you DS to sit front row at the ceremony but just see how things go and please don't upset yourself she is young at 27 and probably doesn't realise how important this day is to you. flowers

MiniMouse Tue 24-Jun-14 10:25:50

Weddings are so different these days. Mine was completely and utterly taken over by my DM, even the choice of my dress!!

When my two DCs got married they paid for and arranged their own weddings and I had no 'official' role, beyond looking after my aged DM at one and my DGD at the other! On a positive (selfish!!) note, it means that you have very little responsibility and can enjoy yourself. So, try and do just that - enjoy the day smile

On the other matters, it's so difficult to take a stand, but it looks as though that's what you will have to do. Perhaps that will be the wake-up call that your DD needs to make her take responsibility for herself and her finances.

Soutra Tue 24-Jun-14 10:27:49

We do ( not surprisingly) invest these occasions with such emotional baggage and it would be too easy to take offence at any of 100 things. Bridesmaids, guest lists, hen nights, choosing the dress, hymns and which wedding march (Mendelssohn or Wagner) readings and photos ! Trust me the only way forward is to expect nothing and be grateful for anything over and above that!

KatyK Tue 24-Jun-14 10:29:49

That made me smile Soutra - Mendelssohn or Wagner. My DD had Led Zeppelin !

kittylester Tue 24-Jun-14 10:42:43

DS1, who married in Japan where things are slightly different, was allowed to choose the music for their entrance to the reception - The Theme to Star Wars! grin

KatyK Tue 24-Jun-14 10:45:15

kitty grin

glammanana Tue 24-Jun-14 10:46:27

kitty I know that would be the choice of my DS1 also,or the theme from Close Encounters. grin

Soutra Tue 24-Jun-14 11:04:52

DD3 went out to "Wichita Linesman" in Stoke Newington Register Office! Readings were from the Ladybird book of horses and ponies and curiously apposite! DD1 had a church wedding and came in to Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring - each to their own! But one thing I do agree on, if all the planning and choices are up to the couple, you enoy the day much more without worrying about the caterers or the flowers and all that!

Tegan Tue 24-Jun-14 11:12:27

I've only just realised that I sat with everyone else sad but it could be that my daughter realised that I like to blend in with the crowd and also it might have been awkward with my partner and ex husband [her dad] being there. Her husband had lost both his parents also so that would have affected what was said when it came to speeches [they did have speeches]. Thinking back, though, I don't think I had a mention; neither did my partner who pretty much arranged the wedding for them sad. I've realised over many many years that the parents who do the least for their children seem to be appreciated more than those who do, but perhaps I'm just a tad over sensitive.

KatyK Tue 24-Jun-14 11:48:37

I agree with your last sentence Tegan. I know someone who left her 4 children (the youngest was 6) with her supposedly violent husband and went off with another man. She never bothered with them much after that and they seem to think the world of her now, taking her on holiday and fussing around her. I can't imagine my DD every going on holiday with me or 'fussing round me'. It does make me wonder sometimes sad

sparkygran Tue 24-Jun-14 17:10:28

Rubylady things are so different now I have just celebrated my 50th Wedding Anniversary and my DM arranged it all I have known for years this was how it was and it was quite a big wedding (120 guests) and my husband and myself were allowed 3 friends each. The wedding dress was nice but my DM was always in a hurry so it had to be bought on the first day out but in case you all think me a wimp I did hold out for the full length veil and no flowers for me as the bride but a white Bible (where did all my religious fervor go).

Try to go with the flow graciously and learn to say the "no" word regarding money that to me is more of a worry. flowers wine

Mishap Tue 24-Jun-14 17:59:40

It's a casual wedding by choice by the sound of things. Please don't fall out with her over it - you will make yourself ill and jeopardise you relationship with your dear GC. Casual weddings are the thing for some - just go with the flow! It is not aimed at you as an insult - it is just how they want to do things. Go along and enjoy yourself and don't think about how you would have preferred it to be - just be glad she is doing it her way and is happy with it.

rubylady Tue 24-Jun-14 21:05:29

Thank you for all your lovely messages. I was worried you would think of me as being selfish for wanting a part in their day and I don't want to organise it at all, just be put in the position of her mother. I don't know anyone who will be there apart from her bridesmaids who she grew up with but everyone else will be new to me and me to them so they won't know who I am. I appreciate that things are done differently now, but surely not to take other people's feelings into consideration on such a special occasion isn't thinking much of that person in the first place.

Tegan - It's not really fair for them to want no parent to be involved when I am the only one and like I mentioned before, they were quick off the mark when telling me about forthcoming babies and what they wanted me to buy for them. I have tried my very best to make up for the fact that there are no other parents/grandparents around and so this cuts very deep with both of them really. To me it smacks of it being about money. Because I am not able to put my hand in my pocket and pay for anything (or so they thought, I was going to save and work something out for them), then I can be dropped like a hot potato. I've also watched youtube videos of patents giving speeches where other parents were dead and they mention them and toast their absence. This might have been too much for my soon to be SIL so that would have been ok.

They are not religious and so are getting married with a civil ceremony but it would have been lovely to have walked her in. I do think that she has the attitude that she has got to where she is through all her own doing and no-one else's. Hence walking in on her own.

When she was living with me (what we used to call "at home") my ex paid money for her and my son. She would call him all the names under the sun, even did this when we were still married (we divorced when she was 14). To his face if she ever saw him she was all sweetness and light. And with regard to the money she said that he could do whatever he wanted as long as he kept paying. If she could treat him that way, what's to say she doesn't feel that way towards me too and is just trying to get what she can out of me without giving me anything back in return?

I have had countless arguments with her about her showing me affection. From being young she would run to her friends, hug them, kiss them, spend time with them etc. but when it came to me she showed no affection and even now to try to hug her is like hugging a brick wall. That is probably why I have been putting my hand in my pocket over the years, to try to buy her affection and it still does not work, obviously. The top and the bottom is is that I really do not know what I mean to her. And I'm getting past trying to figure it out to be honest.

When I was taken in hospital for suspected heart problems, her and her fiance came to look after my son who was only 13 then. On the way home my son overheard her say to her fiance "We don't get paid for doing this".
Not very nice when I'm laid up to monitors and my son is worrying what will happen to his mum.

I've had abuse off my own mother for over 40 years, she is an alcoholic and so now that I am a month off my 50th birthday, it is time for me to live my live surrounded by people who genuinely care and love me. To have your own mother act like and yell that she hates you is bad enough (and my daughter knows all about this) but to take hurt off my daughter continuously too is too much for me to bear now.

Sorry for going on, but I probably needed to broaden out the circumstances a little. Oh, as for looking after the GC on the big day, I don't think that would happen neither. I see them very rarely. I try to get there maybe once every four months so that's four times a year and she brings them to see me once every 18 months. So they wouldn't go to me as they really don't know me well enough and I wouldn't force them too as that isn't fair on them when all they have known is their parents who have never left them with anyone else at all.

It seems a very closed shop from where I am standing and I come in when they want something and tolerated the rest of the time.

Thank you again for your kind words, they mean a lot to me. It helps to know that you are there for me to vent to. (My son shouldn't really keep hearing this and my dog, although very gorgeous, doesn't seem to have an opinion.)

Coolgran65 Fri 27-Jun-14 18:26:43

I feel so much for you. As others have said... I would treat the situation as two separate issues. I'd play it by ear, with regard to the wedding, take it as it comes and make the most of the day, it may well be better than you anticipate. And say nothing about affection/lack of affection/money etc. Say nothing that could be construed as negative... before the wedding. So that you cannot be accused of throwing a dark cloud over the festivities.

Once the wedding is over - then ... if it was me... big changes with daughter. You are only coming 50 and have many years ahead in which to have happy times for yourself and your son. Find interests, go do things that are enjoy, and perhaps your daughter will realise that mum isn't sitting at home feeling desperate for her company and willing to put her hand in her pocket to ensure a crumb. Perhaps she thinks you will put up with whatever she throws at you... poor behaviour etc.

Maybe she needs to learn a lesson.... no need for a big fall out. Just gently, try not to show 'needy' for her companionship/affection because it isn't working anyway, and spend what money you have on yourself !!

Sorry if I have spoken a bit too directly... I mean well smile

Mishap Fri 27-Jun-14 18:48:43

It does sound as if there is an underlying hiccough in your relationship with your DD which is not going to vanish before the wedding. The best way forward for you is to stand back and let her get married in her own way on her own terms. Back her up in all her ideas - say how much you are looking forward to it and what a lovely day it will be. Please try not to let your resentments show - if you make her feel guilty about her big day, then the chances of mending future fences with her are very very small indeed.

I am sure that you know very well that you cannot "buy her affection" - and it really is not wise to have discussions with her about not showing you affection. She will only do that when she really feels it - and that will only happen if you play it carefully, not asking anything of her, just supporting her (not financially) in all she does, letting her know that you love her and will always be there for her.

It is hard to give affection when nothing is coming back - but that is all you can do at present - you cannot force her hand. Do not try and hug her if she finds this hard. Children of broken marriages deal with this in their own different ways - some sail through unscathed, some have "issues" which go on for many years as an adult.

I do feel for you - but all you can do is to be the grown-up here. And doing that often means all giving and little taking (and definitely not demanding!!). Develop other areas of your life and let her see that you are not dependent on her showing you affection - that gives her a bit of breathing space.

Enjoy the wedding - it may not be what you would have planned, but then it is not your wedding, it is hers. Just because you would have done it differently does not mean you cannot enjoy it. Deep breath - onwards and upwards!

Grannyknot Fri 27-Jun-14 19:28:28

My daughter is getting married in 2 weeks' time. Her dad is giving her away, his mom is giving him away, I'm the ring bearer, her best friend is male, so he is her "bridesman". Her and her husband will be making a joint wedding speech confused. There is no seating plan, it's a case of grab a seat and enjoy your grub.

Until I was told that I'm handing the ring to her fiance, I didn't expect to have a role at all, (and was quite looking forward to that).

I understand why you feel hurt ruby but I really think the best advice is to '"go with the flow". Make a conscious decision to enjoy the event. Flick your happy switch!