Wednesday, 19 August 2009

my hundredth and a new quandary - papa don't preach?

Well my lovelies. This is my hundredth post! I can hardly believe I have been participating in this fabulous world for so long! I am so happy that so many of you lovely people take the time to stop by on a daily basis. Hugs all round please!

Well, why have a I been away for so long? This is the crux of my new quandary! Tis a real humdinger and no mistake. Let me take you back to the beginning.

So when Bean and I first were thinking about the wedding we were worried about the idea of a hoopla. Hence my need to call the whole event a hooplow. Some may think that a blog is a way of creating a super hoopla extravaganza out of a wedding but I see it as a way to bounce my ideas off superbly creative people and to contain my madness! Indeed I truly hope my wedding is not the best day of my life. Definitely in the top 10 but not at the top!

Anyhoo, my parents (read the matriach) offered my a sum of money to put towards a wedding or general futureness. After a long debacle (see quandary posts!) we both decided we that we wanted to celebrate our wedding with more than a civil ceremony. It just seemed a little more "us".

Fast forward to this weekend when we visited my parents. All was fine and dandy we were talking about different places in Northumberland. My mother was jokingly moaning about the distance and then my father suddenly declared, "at least I won't have to come...I think it's all a ridiculously wasteful extravagance...wanting to be a celebrity for the day." Taken aback? Yes I was too.

Now you must think my parents have a loveless marriage or are divorced? Nope quite the opposite. Yes the argue, they both know exactly how to rile each other up but they have been married for over 30 years now. They are currently searching for a house in the south of France in which to retire. Yes, my parents eloped but, as I have just found out, it was mainly because they could not really afford a "normal"* wedding. Could he really be jealous? No - he's just not that type of guy.

Furthermore, has he not met me before? When in his crazy head has he ever thought I would want to be like a celebrity? Nothing could be further from the truth. I loathe the whole celebrity culture. I despise the fact that mindless untalented vessels are wooed by sycophants with more money than sense. He knows I love eBay and Bean and I will always find the best deal and would always prefer quality over quantity. Hence the smaller guest list?

It is truly unfathomable to me and my mother. Yes he is known to be a little contrary and want to "fight the man" and I guess in this case the wedding industry complex (WIC)! Maybe I thought as his only daughter he could help me fight the WIC? Maybe he fears "the speech"? Granted he is not known for his public speaking but is often the life and grumpy soul of the party. In any case, surely all he needs to do is say that I look better than usual, welcome Bean and his clan to the family and tell everyone to have a good time?

Yes, the money must be the issue. Yet my mother tells me it is mostly her money that "we" would be spending and she is honestly happy to use it for a wedding. Known to be a little demanding, she promises that the money would be ours to spend. She only asks that I would invite 8 friends. However these are dear family friends who were already on my side of the list.

My parents are not rich but they are not poor. My mother wouldn't offer the money if they couldn't afford it.

So please can anyone shed any light on this humdinger of a predicament? Do you sympathise with my father? Am I being unreasonable? Please let me know. Phew it's nice to be back! As thanks for listening another toe is dipped into the stream away from anonymity with my father's old beardy self!

*whatever normal is?


  1. Oh dear. I'm so sorry he said that and can't get past a wedding being an extravagant, wasteful event rather than a warm and loving way to celebrate with important people in your lives.

    You're not being unreasonable, I would be hurt if my father said the same thing too. Knowing you from your blog, you are definitely not the I'm a princess and want it all type!

    Can your mom talk to him and let him know this is an important event in your life and that he should be there for you? Perhaps once he realizes how much it means to you he'll loosen up?

  2. it's funny that you wrote about this today. i just had a long conversation with my friend who is getting married and is having similar issues with her family/his family/the whole money thing.
    i'm sure you're not being unreasonable!! it might be great to talk to them both again. as them what -- if anything -- they want to contribute to for the wedding and let them know you have no expectations.

    i think sometimes emotions get the best of everyone involved in a wedding (as much as i thought mine would be drama-free!) and people tend to say things they don't really mean.

    it will all work out and i'm sure your dad will be so excited on the day!

  3. Likely, he is nervous about the wedding because you, his only little girl, will truly be going out into the world. Money/extravaganza/etc is easier to express than father being nervous about his only daughter getting married. He also probably did not mean for that comment to sound the way that it did and doesn't realize how hurtful it would be sound to you. I bet if you take a few minutes to talk with him about how it means to you to be able to share that day with you dad, he will come around. What is he going to let another man give his only daughter away? I don't think so.

  4. My dad did something very similar when we announced we would be having a destination wedding. I think i also had to do with the fact that it was my mother's money paying for it, even though my parents are also married still, he has always reacted negatively to things he can't afford to pay for himself.
    After I let him know that my wedding was not about spending money but a chance for our family and friends to share in the day, he began to come around. Let him know how important his support is, no matter what his feelings may be privately.

  5. dads have odd ways of handling emotion. i chalk a lot up to that.

    and also, when i read your title, i thought you were preggers. whoops.

  6. Oh Anna, I'd have been just as confused and upset if my Dad had said that to me, completely without warning I presume, and without provocation. If you can stand to, I'd talk to him again yourself at first, rather than through your mother. Chances are, I imagine, if your mother felt that way too at the time she'll have had a little word in his ear anyway about how you were both rather upset at what he said and why on earth doesn't he want to be at your wedding day? Perhaps hearing the words come from you will galvanise him into a nicer course of action, or at least you can find out what his real feelings on the whole thing are. I hope it sorts out for you :)

  7. It will blow over. Your father is being a remarkably bad communicator about his wedding anxieties and unfortunately said a very hurtful thing. He will be there. He did not mean that the way it sounded like he meant it.

  8. First welcome back! Second, I am sorry you had that experience - Dads can sometimes be funny with how they handle emotions. I don't really have any advice except to say it will work itself out - it always does. Once you speak to him about it and tell him how you feel I am sure things will be much better.

  9. Ouch, sorry. I am in agreement with accordions, I think he is just being a bad communicator and letting his anxieties get the best of him. I am sure that he did not mean it, and in fact is probably already regretting it.

  10. Whoa. I did a double-take and had to read your paragraph 3 or 4 times before I could convince myself that I'd read what I read, and that your father really had said he wasn't going to your wedding. I can't imagine how that must have hurt. Heck, *I'm* stung, and it's not even my family.

    I agree with A. as well -- he'll be there. I wonder if he was trying to be funny or sarcastic to mask his anxieties, and ended up blurting out something really hurtful instead. I also agree with your assessment that the money must be the problem, and if I had to guess, I'd guess that he feels like you want or expect or "need" more money for the wedding, and is feeling uncomfortable that he doesn't have it. Hence the comment about how it's all a wasteful extravagance anyway, he's trying to convince himself that it's OK. (And, of course, it *is* OK. But sometimes it's hard for us to accept emotionally what we know intellectually.)

    I think Annie's strategy of explaining that it's not about spending huge amounts of cash, it's about celebrating with your loved ones, is a great one. Tell your dad that the celebration will be warm, personal, and low-key, and that you're not planning to rent any elephants or turn yourself into a princess-for-the-day. Remind him that he knows you better than that. I'm sure he'll come around.

  11. Wow. Yes, taken aback is an understatement, but I can't help but think he is just panicking and this is his way of freaking out and blurting out whatever nonsense first came to mind. Even just from this post, he doesn't seem the type to burst into tears and beg his baby girl not to leave him, but maybe that's how he's feeling? I think we all generally underestimate how the "dads" feel when it comes to weddings.

    And if he doesn't get his act together, maybe you should gently remind him, too, that you're lucky to have this moment together as father & daughter. He shouldn't want to miss it for the world. I agree w/ all the PPs...just have a 1-on-1 with him. I'm sorry you have this hurt. You don't deserve it!

  12. yes yes yes yes... all these comments are bang-on. there isn't really much for me to add, except I am SO sorry that you're having to deal with this. It's really awful, sometimes, what weddings bring out in people. With a daughter like you, I know your Dad must be a wonderful guy, and it sounds like he is just having a difficult time expressing his feelings. I would definitely advocate talking to him about it - even if he is unable to express himself adequately, just knowing that he's hurt you and you're feeling so utterly confused by his comment will spur him on to do some thinking on his own. If he's anything like 99% of the men I know, he'll figure himself out in due time and be able to speak more clearly about it. Besides, no father likes to hear that he's hurt his precious daughter's feelings!

    So happy you're back - and don't worry, it will all come out in the wash.


  13. unreasonable? absolutely not. i'd be hurt and slighted too if my dad said that. we may not see eye-to-eye on a lot of topics, but that reaction would have hurt my feelings. but maybe he's like my dad and thinks he's funnier than he really is. i can see my dad saying something like and chuckling to himself. wow, i just rolled my eyes at that thought. lol.

    i'm sure he wouldn't miss your wedding for the world.

  14. I agree with most of the comments, you are not being unreasonable at all. I would also be upset if my Dad had said that. Im sure it will be ok in the end and he probably didnt realise what he was saying. As talda said, im sure he wouldn't miss his daughters wedding!

    Oh and whoop whoop whoop for 100 posts!

    Oh and we are also inviting some of our parents friends since they are all giving us some money for the wedding. Like you, I do know them all and most were on the list before they asked anyway.

  15. I love all the cute childhood pics you share with us . . . keep 'em coming . . .

  16. Huh. Interesting. I'm sorry your Dad said that. You're definitely not being unreasonable. Give him some time....maybe he's just not comfortable being part of an 'elaborate affair' and doesn't realize that b/c you're planning it, it will be a FUN affair.

    Happy 100th post!

  17. Wow thats a hard one. Personally no matter where I get married in a registry office or a huge extravaganza or the small wedding I'm planning, I would have to have my dad with me. I almost cried when I read what he said, it would break my heart. maybe you need to tell your dad why you are having a day, (my reason: to start our married lives surrounded by love ones that want the best for us and people that are great examples and support, so they can see and hear our love and promises so when rocky patches come and they will we have a network of people to remind us of the promised we made that day and the love we had for each other. not to mention this is a big moment you want to celebrate, bigger than a birthday or house warming you would party for those why not this)

  18. I had an almost similar experience with my father, who about two weeks before the wedding refused to come, I was devastated and he knew it. The big problem was that we hadn't talked to each other about his role in the wedding and what I wanted him to do. I would talk to your father about this, explain to him how much you want him to be there and how you want him involved. Hopefully this will help resolve the issue. My thoughts are with you, this is a tough one.

  19. i'm sure it has to be a misunderstanding, right? maybe you guys should go grab ice cream (or whatever works for your relationship) and say that you were a little confused by his comment. if he was serious maybe ask him to reconsider?

  20. i'm sending you hugs from afar. xox

    it's crazy how such a joyous event can stir up such profound sadness, isn't it?

  21. That must have been hard to hear, so sad but maybe he just wasn't communicating correctly, or maybe he was stressed out about the money since you mentioned that your parents are currently looking for a retirement home. You are not being unreasonable at all! A wedding is something very personal and very important in someone's life, through your blog you can tell that your wedding is about being with your family & friends and celebrating love and not about being a celebrity for a day, so if I know that all acrross the world wide web that I am sure your dad who knows you and loves you, knows that as well - he must have just been stressed some people end up saying things they don't mean when they are stressed. Hope it gets better.


So, I really love all the sweet and/or informative comments that you lovelies leave. Yet if you feel the need to be unnecessarily rude or offensive I will delete your comment and not feel bad about it. So just be constructive alright! Hugs to all you wondrous others.


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