Why do relatives feel “entitled” to be part of people’s weddings?

“Weddings are a celebration of love between 2 people,” most would say. But I bet behind that blanket statement, they’ve had a couple of other thoughts cross their mind:

Great opportunity to get drunk on someone else’s dime.

As soon as people hear “weddings” they usually think of the bachelor / bachelorette parties, engagement parties, and other pre-wedding festivities that call for getting shit-faced on someone else’s dime. Where’s the celebration of love when your friends and family are puking in the parking lot?

Can’t wait to see the people we haven’t seen since the last wedding

I know many couples who started out planning a small wedding until their plans exploded out of control. This usually happens when their weddings get taken over by the couples’ parents. Suddenly, their celebration of love turns into a glorified family reunion.

We better invite Uncle So-And-So and Aunt What’s-Her-Face so they don’t get offended

I guess in big families, there’s an unspoken rule that if you were once invited to a wedding, you have to return the favour back to them (?) It’s this sort of thinking that takes the romance out of weddings and turns your celebration into an obligation to your relatives.

Which brings me to my overarching question…

Why do relatives feel they have the “right” to be part of people’s weddings?

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Just because someone is considered a relative of a couple, why do they have the right to take part (or take over) their wedding?

It seems when an engagement is announced, entitlement kicks in and everyone whose last name sounds remotely like the couple’s thinks they have the “right” to be part of their day.

What if the couple doesn’t want a big wedding? What if they want a small ceremony? What if all they want is to sign some God-damn papers at City Hall?

A little about our situation…

We didn’t want the fuss of a wedding, so we did the simplest thing and eloped. But not without a price. The price of having family members disappointed that they weren’t part of our special day.

After we eloped, I put it behind me and we moved on with our happily ever after. I almost forgot about it until I walked into a family party with my in-laws and was greeted with what felt like a drive-by root canal.

The pressure of throwing a post-wedding party coupled with the awkward “you better plan something soon” comments reminded me why I didn’t want a wedding in the first place. Silly me, I thought we had carte blanche authority to decide how we wanted to celebrate our love. But I guess not everyone sees it that way.

Never let someone bully you into doing something you don’t want to do

Now when I hear about couples who are enduring wedding stresses or when I hear about their plans being overhauled by the demands of their parents, I sympathize with them. I really do.

I don’t totally recommend they do what we did and elope – unless they’re willing to deal with the backlash. All I can say is this: Do what makes you happy, no matter what. And don’t let anyone bully you into something you don’t feel comfortable doing.

With any luck, you’ll only get married once. So do it your way.

Lastly, remember that your true family isn’t always blood.

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  1. Hear, HEAR!

    1. Thanks for stopping by. Always nice that other people see my point of view, especially about weddings. 🙂

  2. True said “wedding is the celebration of love between two people”. You can make your wedding as you want rather than thinking about the people who does not matters in your life. There are many couples who want their wedding simple and sobber but because of social showy they can not do so. So, I request them to please listen to your hearts rather than others and do on your wedding what you want.

    1. Couldn’t agree with you more. I know way too many people who give in to what others want for their wedding. Next thing you know, the whole event has become a giant spectacle!

  3. It’s great to find someone so on the ball

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