The wedding planning process has been relatively smooth for me. I’m an event planner by experience and am naturally organized so following a timeline and having a detailed “to-do” list has helped me along the way. I’ve also found a great community online of women who offered real advice.
The emotional aspects have been harder to prepare for, and now that we’re just 40 days out from the wedding, all of the complicated family dynamics that were easily ignored are coming out in full force.
It started at the bridal shower, when my grandmother and cousin RSVP’ed that they would attend, and then didn’t show up and never called to let us know. The weather was bad that day, but every other guest who cancelled at least had the courtesy to pick up the phone and tell us.
I tried to ignore it but it was difficult to be surrounded by Trey’s cousins, aunts, and grandmothers and not have a single member of my extended family there. At least my aunt in South Carolina sent a card.
Today, I received my 1st unexpected “no” RSVP, by phone, from a great aunt who gave no reason. And while I’m not so much upset by this unexpected decline, it’s making me think more and more about the extended family who demonstrate over and over how little a role they wish to play in the lives of my sisters, my parents and myself. Particularly, my paternal grandmother.
In contrast, Trey’s family is one huge, happy group. Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, soon-to-be-in-laws, grandparents- everyone is included in one large group for everything. Thanksgiving in his family includes over 20 people for dinner. Thanksgiving in my family was mostly just the 5 of us, occasionally with my maternal grandparents.
I talked to my Mom about all of this and she had a good point: we (as in, my immediate family) have always reached out, have always tried to stay involved. It’s these extended family members who don’t reach back.
While this has always been disappointing, it’s particularly sad now when I think of the people who have yet to RSVP, and part of me is preparing myself for more “no” RSVPs. I can at least take comfort in the fact that I mailed them an invitation to my wedding. I’ve reached out.
It’s up to them to reach back.