June 12, 2011
My daughter and her fiance have planned a destination wedding in the Carribean this fall. This week, they find out that the future groom's mother refuses to fly to the wedding..meaning she (and the father) will not be attending. Of course, this is hurtful to her son and has made my daughter extremely upset to see her fiance so hurt. I am at a loss...I would walk through a pit of poisonous snakes to get to my daughters wedding so I don't understand how a mother can do this to her only son. What can I do/say to bring this wedding back to the joyous event that it should be? I am afraid that if she doesn't attend this wedding it will cause a break in any type of future relationship between the soon to be married couple and his family.
Perhaps the soon-to-be-married couple should be more empathic about the mother-in-law's feelings. Some people have a deep fear of flying. If this is the case, then the Carribean was a very poor choice on the part of the happy couple, and they (intentionally or otherwise) excluded his parents from attending. That was wrong.
June 12, 2011
The wedding was planned/booked in January. She was aware of the destination and did not say a word about not attending. No mention until this week. That is what has made it so hurtful to her son.
When planning a destination wedding, you need to be aware that some people will not attend. These kids should plan a secondary Reception in their local area, designing the guest-list and entertainment / announcement program to make it seem natural. The Reception can be any convenient or appropriate weekend after the Wedding. You can also work this out so that you can show photo or film of the Wedding day, and anyone who cannot attend the reception can make a pre-recorded audio dedication to be played during the first dance. These are 10 - 15 second audio clips the DJ will play during your special song, at the instrumental parts. Have your DJ call me at 574-339-9844 and I'll tell him how to do it. Your loved ones can send in an audio clip of any quality, it doesn't need to be the highest quality audio to be effective. www.SouthBend.dj Or you can hire a destination DJ (like us) who can entertain BOTH events!
Have a renewal of vows at the reception immediately after you play the video of the wedding ceremony in the Caribbean, there won't be a dry eye in the place!
If the groom's mother is balking because of a phobic fear of flying she may have originally intended to attend the wedding, but as the date approaches become paralyzed by the fear. Should this be the case, compassion rather than derision is in order. People without such fear cannot understand how much this particular phobia impacts lives. The mother could be wracked with guilt and shame and absolutely miserable at the thought of missing her son's nuptials.
If her decision not to attend is for other reasons, it is a matter to be dealt with between her and the groom. Anyone else who becomes involved in this situation is risking triangulation which will further damage the relationship between the two.
We are all different people and should try to refrain from assuming we fully understand someone else's mind and motives. Rather than judging her, I would see if there is anything I could do to support the groom as he deals directly with his mother and any issues with which she may be struggling.
Rev. Ann Fuller
I agree completely with Rev. Ann. I'd also like to suggest that perhaps there's another way she can attend the wedding if she's phobic about flying -- can she take a train or drive to Florida and book a 3-day cruise to wherever the wedding is being held?
I understand your desire to keep this a happy occasion for your daughter and future son-in-law, but aside from being supportive of them as they work through this, the real issue is between the groom and his mom and they need to work it out without anyone else getting into the mix. I truly hope they can find a happy resolution.
Marti Barton, Officiant
If conversation between the groom and his mother establish that she really wants to be at the wedding but cannot attend for reasons such as those suggested by Rev. Fuller one option would be for groom's mother to travel via alternative means such as those suggested by Officiant Barton. Even this form of travel may also just not be practical for the same reasons (or reasons very similar to those) Rev Fuller suggests.
Assuming that the bride and groom still want to have the Destination Wedding as opposed to perhaps getting married locally and having a destination celebration I would suggest considering employing technology to bring the family closer together.
Specifically, I would suggest broadcasting the wedding live on the internet
to family back home... and possibly even having a link from family back home to the wedding. Technologically, this is not that complex to do. Depending upon how much the venue wants to charge for internet hookups, video equipment and a videographer this may or may not be expensive. Ron
Ronald G. Shapiro, Ph. D.Education By Entertainment
Assuming that the bride and groom still want to have the Destination Wedding as opposed to perhaps getting married locally and having a destination celebration I would suggest considering employing technology to bring the family closer together. Specifically, I would suggest broadcasting the wedding live on the internet to family back home... and possibly even having a link from family back home to the wedding.
What a fabulous idea!
Rev. Ann Fuller
June 23, 2011
Update:Groom's mother (and father) are going to the wedding! After grooms mother found out her best friends were going she decided she will go. Whatever it takes...just happy for the couple.
June 23, 2011
I think that the bride and groom have the right to a destination wedding of their choice regardless of what anyone else feels would be best.It is their day and there should be no regrets. Giving in to the mother in-law sets a bad tone for the future of this marriage. Having said that, I think that the cruise idea is a great one. Also the mom may want to consult her physician about taking a sedative in order to fly. There are many safe options. As a mother myself I wouldn't care if they put me in a semi-comma I would not miss the wedding of one of my children.
Very pleased that it worked out. Excellent news. Ron
Thank you for providing an update. I'm so glad to hear it is all working out for the best.
Rev. Ann Fuller