Barely-There Affair: What’s Wrong with Having a Small Wedding?

Answer: Nothing. Unfortunately, the family of this bride-to-be disagrees

This week’s query prompted me to look up the definition of the word “wedding.” The dictionary defines it as “the social event at which the ceremony of marriage is performed,” “the act of marrying,” and “the ceremony or celebration of a marriage.” Regardless of how you define it, it’s certainly a milestone between two people who commit themselves to one another.

A Hudson Valley bride asks: “My fiancé and I have been living together for several years, and we’ve finally decided to get married. I thought that marriage was a personal event between partners, so we’ve only invited a few people to share the event with us. Now we’re getting terrible feedback from both family and friends who are disappointed and hurt because we limited our guest list. (We’ve been invited or a part of the weddings of some of these people.) They are “incredulous” (their words, not mine) about not being able to participate in our wedding! I feel we should be able to get married the way we want, not the way they want. What can I do so that my family and friends aren’t angry with me, instead of being happy for me?”

(Answer on next page)

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Dear bride: You’re right — a marriage is a very personal occasion between partners. However, for most people, it’s also a very special occasion to share with loved ones and an opportunity for two families to join together. Would you reconsider your tiny-wedding concept for a moment? You can keep it simple: ask everyone to join you at a favorite restaurant, just for dessert or drinks. If you wish, you can even “formally” invite small groups of people for cocktails at your home. In that way, you’ll assuage their hurt feelings, inexpensively. Remember Ernest Hemmingway’s famous line: “No man is an island unto himself.” I’m sure you have enough love to spread around to your family and friends.

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» Hudson Valley Weddings 2011


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