Family Matters
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reality check

Ok, this may be confusing.

We just found out my DH's cousin is getting married this August in Michigan, and DH really wants to go.  We were planning on going out there this summer anyway because my DH's 100 year old grandmother died this past winter, and they are having a memorial service for her at some yet to be determined date in July or August.  MIL (its MIL's mom who died) is pretty much in control of when the memorial service is.   MIL is in Boston, DH's brother is in NYC, and we live in CA, so everyone has to travel for both the memorial service and the cousin's wedding ( the cousin is on FIL's side of the family, not MIL's).  FIL is also in Boston, but divorced from MIL (why DH's cousin is inviting MIL to the wedding after the nasty divorce that MIL and FIL went through is beyond me, but whatever).

 Obviously, for DH and I it would make the most sense (in terms of money, time, etc.) to have the memorial sevice on the same weekend as the wedding, so we only have to fly to MI once (we can't take off work for this).  BIL and MIL are now thinking its a great idea to have the memorial service the weekend before since BIL and MIL always spend a week in Michigan each summer anyway.  They are now expecting us to fly out two weekends in a row, because (1) it might be "too emotional" to have the wedding and the memorial service in the same weekend, and (2) the bride and the bride's mother (DH's aunt on his dad's side, so not related to DH's grandmother) have expressed an interest in attending the memorial service.  DH and I are still pushing to have the memorial service on that same weekend (wedding during the day on Saturday, memorial service on Sunday), but I don't think MIL will budge. 

DH feels he needs to be there for both events, so he's not willing to tell his mom that if the memorial service is not on the wedding weekend, we won't be able to make it.  I said I will only fly out there once (if I have to chose, it will be for the wedding), and that if DH feels he needs to go out twice, he can go on the memorial weekend without me.  DH is pressuring me to go to both, because I have a non-existent relationship with his mother (long story, but she was so horrible DH cut her out of our lives for over a year, but she's back in, but only phone calls once a month) and he thinks that if I don't go, it sets a bad precedent, and gives her exactly what she wants, which is a chance to pretend I don't exist. 

So, if you've made it this far, please let me know if I'm right in this, or if I should suck it up and go to both weekends.   

Re: reality check

  • I don't think your MIL is obligated to plan a memorial service for your convenience.  A wedding and a memorial service in one weekend sounds exhausting, frankly.  You and your husband need to back off about that.

    You haven't really given a reason that you don't want to go to both, other than it's inconvenient.  That's fine, but if it's important to your husband that you attend both events, I don't understand why you'd make such an issue of it.  Why is it such a big deal?

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  • I'm sure you have thought of this, but could you make it a vacation week for both of you and do something fun Mon-Fri, for your vacation?
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  • Thanks for the responses.  With regard to why I don't want to go to both, it would mean for each weekend taking a red eye friday night, get in at 5am Saturday, go to the event (wedding or memorial service), staying the night in a hotel, then flying home the next day.  So, lack of sleep, inconvenience, and lots of money (flights are usually about $450 each, so it would be $2000 just for the two of us to fly there both weekends, plus car rental and hotel)are the reasons I don't want to go both weekends.

     As for the question about making it a vacation, I don't have any vacation time left this year (we already planned things, not knowing about this wedding), and DH works on a TV show, so he only gets time off when the crew isn't shooting.

  • I disagree with pps. ?I think it is pretty ridiculous to expect people to trek out twice to the same location in a single summer for family related activities. ?My suggestion would be to hold the memorial service on the Monday or Tuesday following the wedding (or Thursday before), thereby compacting the dates to optimize the events for everyone's benefit.
  • image liza0828:

    I don't think your MIL is obligated to plan a memorial service for your convenience.  A wedding and a memorial service in one weekend sounds exhausting, frankly.  You and your husband need to back off about that.

    You haven't really given a reason that you don't want to go to both, other than it's inconvenient.  That's fine, but if it's important to your husband that you attend both events, I don't understand why you'd make such an issue of it.  Why is it such a big deal?

    I tend to agree. Doing both events in one weekend sounds really hectic, and your MIL doesn't HAVE to do that just because it's convenient for one person (you).

    Still, I do understand and appreciate the inconvenience and money factors. Have you discussed those with your DH? What's his take on that?

    I think if it were me, and this was important to my husband, I'd suck it up and go both weekends.

  • Would you want your wedding to take place the day after/before a loved one's funeral? I wouldn't. Honestly, I can see that becoming one of those nightmare posts on the Knot: "Help! My family is planning to have my grandmother's funeral the day after my wedding!"

    Yes it sucks to have to fly out twice but that's life sometimes.

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  • I was in this situation.  It sucked.  It put me in the position of being the "***" who was upset about a memorial service being held the day before her wedding.

    DH's grandmother passed away in November.  Our wedding was in August.  DH's grandfather didn't want to do any type of service and his grandmother didn't want one either.  Around June FIL announced that grandpa was feeling really depressed about grandma's passing and he was thinking about doing a service.  And, because most of the family was coming out for the wedding, it ONLY made sense to do it immediately before our rehersal-the day before the wedding. 

    In my case, his family is from Chicago, that is where grandma died, where her Rabbi, family, and friends are.  We live in CA.  But, FIL wouldn't budge. The best I could do was get it moved to the Thursday before our Saturday wedding. DH supported me, but you can only protest a funeral so much without looking like a complete ***.  It sucked that I was put in that position when anyother time would have worked.  My FIL also has to be the center of attention, so that contributed to my reluctance to have a funeral the day before my wedding.  I get that "IT" is n't all about me, but my wedding day is.  It is the one day that IS in fact about my husband and me.  They could have planned to do the service any other time, in their home town, but they chose to do it right before the wedding.

    I acutally made one of thos posts on the Knot, just to make sure I wasn't being an irrational bridzilla.  I was assured by the board, my friends and family that I wasn't.  And, it was a mess.  People got really emotional.  I'm so glad I was able to get it moved to 2 days before the wedding and not the day before.

  • Suck it up.  There are a number of reasons why scheduling a memorial and a wedding in one weekend would be a bad idea.
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  • I agree that a wedding and a memorial service in the same weekend is not ideal, but these are not the same sides of the family. ?Except for MIL, BIL and DH, no other family members from the bride's side will be there (the bride and her mom expressed an interest in going, I think to be nice, since they only met DH's grandma a few times, and who knows if they'd even be free the weekend before the wedding to go to a memorial service). ?I've pretty much decided to not go the memorial weekend and just go to the wedding. ?DH is talking to his mom tonight, so we'll see what she has to say.
  • Are you even being serious? Why are you so important that people should plan a WEDDING and a FUNERAL in the same weekend so that you are not inconvenienced by having to take a red eye? Maybe sacrafice two of your weekends for two VERY MAJOR events in other people's lives.
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  • OK, if you can't afford to go to both then pick one and go to it. I do think it is ridiculous to ask people to fly in on two separate weekends. ?If you were within driving distance I would say go to both.
    Personally, I would probably go to the wedding. ?Both of you can go by the grave site and pay your respects with MIL the weekend of the wedding. ?

  • I would be pissed if family decided to have a funeral service on the same weekend as my wedding because it was convienient for TWO people. 

    So, don't go to the wedding if it is that important for you to go to the funeral. Don't screw the bride and groom.

  • Have you looked at flights on southwest.com?  Even Orbitz or Cheaptickets.com?  They usually have cheaper flights and if you are able to fly early in the morning or late at night, or even on a Thrusday or Monday.  $450 seems ridiculous for a plane ticket, make sure you shop fares, look into any airports in the surrounding area.  You could also ask about having family pick you up/drop you off or could try to stay at someone's house.

    For you DH's sake, if I had to go to one, I would go to the memorial service.  He might need you to have a shoulder to lean on.

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  • So the entire world has to stop because of a cousin's wedding?

     This is a wedding of a family member on the opposite side of the family (FIL) while the memorial service is a member of MIL family. Since there are only 3 people involved in both events it would make sense to have it on the same weekend.

    I could understand people getting upset if it was the same family and all the same people were there, but it is three members of the family that all live out of state. It really would be more convenient to have it the same weekend.

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  • image babygirl809:

    I could understand people getting upset if it was the same family and all the same people were there, but it is three members of the family that all live out of state. It really would be more convenient to have it the same weekend.

    Convenient for whom?  Not for the MIL, who is actually PLANNING THE SERVICE.

    This really has nothing to do with the service, or the wedding.  The OP just wants everyone to agree with her that her MIL is an a-hole.

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  • image kmlluvnmh:
    OK, if you can't afford to go to both then pick one and go to it. I do think it is ridiculous to ask people to fly in on two separate weekends. If you were within driving distance I would say go to both.
    Personally, I would probably go to the wedding. Both of you can go by the grave site and pay your respects with MIL the weekend of the wedding.

    This.  I understand that a memorial service and wedding in one weekend would be crazy, esp if the bride and groom were leaving for their HM that sunday or monday.  but asking family to spend $2k for 2 weekends is also ridiculous.  I say do exactly what PP suggested: go to the wedding, and visit the family member's grave at some point while you're there.  If your DH was especially close with whoever died, then maybe he should go to the memorial, if not, save yourselves the time and money and skip it. 

  • DH is pressuring me to go to both, because I have a non-existent relationship with his mother (long story, but she was so horrible DH cut her out of our lives for over a year, but she's back in, but only phone calls once a month) and he thinks that if I don't go, it sets a bad precedent, and gives her exactly what she wants, which is a chance to pretend I don't exist. 

    Ditto the others - dont' push them to have it the same weekend. This isn't about you.  However, absolutely beg off on going to the Memorial service.  I do think it's a lot to expect you both to fly out both weekends.

    However, to the above quote, I personally think your DH needs to seperate the issues here.  Yes, tehre are issues w/ you and his mom - but the Memorial service has nothing to do w/ those issues, and it's NOT setting a precedent. 

    There WILL BE TIMES in your lives that the two of you will have to divide and conquer.  The fact that his mom wants to pretend you dont' exist does not mean that now the two of you have to do EVERYTHING together w/ her!  And not going to one event w/ her doesn't mean you have to now miss out on every other event that she'll be at.  There is no precedent to be set here.

    Also- if things were so horrid w/ her that DH cut her out, now that she's back, he now wants to revolve all your decisions around HER?  That makes no sense either!

    Living your lives the way they work best for the two of you is the right thing to do here.  The more you bend to her or allow the problems w/ her to make your decisions for you, the more power you are giving her.

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  • I think it's unreasonable to push for both events on the same weekend for your convenience.  Who wants their wedding clouded by a funeral/memorial service?

    But it's up to you both to do what you are able to do.  If it were us, we would go to the wedding and if dh felt it was important to also go to the memorial (and it were not a financial hardship for us to swing both trips), I would urge him to go alone and send my regards.  Reasonable people understand it's expensive to fly out for events two weekends in a row and it would be okay for you to skip the memorial.

    I also think that memorials are for the living and unless it's really important to your dh to make the memorial, it would probably be okay for him to just go to the wedding.  He will presumably see everyone at the wedding anyway.

    I hope my take is not callous.  If it were me and it was my grandparent and my family wedding, I would go only to the wedding and 'splain to the family that I can only swing one trip.  Unless I was unusually close to the grandparent and it was important for me to be there for the memorial.

    If it's personally important to your dh to go to the memorial, he should go alone.  If he's making two trips because of pressure from his mommy dearest, that would bug me because money has to play a role as well.  Three plane flights in two weeks can be expensive.

  • I think having a memorial service and a wedding on the same weekend is a terrible idea. ?That is way too much in one weekend, Plus, when are you proposing they have the memorial service, the same day as the wedding, sunday when everyone is tired and hung over? ?Both of those options are awful. ?The only people who would served by that arrangement are you and your DH. ?You can't take any time off? ? ?
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