Welcome to re-Prudied where I fix the terrible advice of Emily Yoffe, a.k.a. Dear Prudie, in the dim hopes that the original letter writer will read it and disregard Prudie's terrible advice. Today's response fixes Prudie's advice from an old chat where she advised a mother of the groom to ask her son to include more of the groom's family in his upcoming wedding.
Washington D.C.: My son is now marrying his junior high school sweetheart. My question is should she make some type or arrangement to include some of his family in her wedding plans? Like maybe a flower girl or bridesmaid? She seems to include only her family and friends and my side of the family wish to be included also. How do you ask her to please consider or side of the family? Thanks.
Emily Yoffe: Unless this pair is still in junior high school, presumably she has known your family for years. Before everything gets set, talk to your son and ask him to discuss this with his bride. Explain that a gesture to include your side of the family in the wedding party would mean a lot. She may be oblivious to the hurt feelings she is causing. Then whatever she does — forget it! Do not start this new marriage with your family conspiring to resent her.
Brides. Those bitches just ruin everything, right Prudie? We waltz around in our bright white, frilly dresses, barking out orders left and right and expecting everything to fall into place. Grooms would never act that way because they're all mature, non-materialistic, and too smart to buy into the wedding industrial complex. They'd never get married for attention and fame.
Prudie, I know you're not solely responsible for the misogynistic Queen for a Day bullshit that allows people to walk all over women the minute they assert themselves, but you do a fantastic job of perpetuating it. On behalf of all women everywhere, thanks so much. You make our lives that much brighter.
LW, I'm not sure how long ago you got married, but I'm sure you remember that the wedding planning process is about two people so generally it requires both of their input. Oh yes, I hear you. Weddings these days are all about those crazy bitches Prudie likes to rail on, but the groomsmen have always traditionally been the groom's choice, as they should be.
Perhaps you're not meaning to, but you're grossly assuming that the bride is calling the shots here when in reality the current make up of the wedding party may be exactly what the couple wants. Sure you know her better than I do, but your default assumption here is that the bride is in charge when, as a former bride myself, that may not be the truth. You seriously need to consider that it isn't.
My husband and I made many joint decisions, specifically the no child rule, yet every whiny relative complained to me and not him about it. When I reinforced what we decided, I was labeled a bitch, while my husband escaped scrutiny. It sucks to make joint decisions as a couple yet only 50% of the couple bears the brunt and labeling from judgmental opinions people can't keep to themselves.
Let's say that this bride really is calling the shots here. The wedding remains a joint event regardless. She's not getting married all by herself, right? You need to act like this is a joint decision even if it's not, and you need to treat them as a unit even if you think one being a crazy bitch. Also consider that your son may actually want his bride to be making these decisions on her own, all bridezilla implications aside. With an event that overwhelming, even if it's just a few people, having someone else make minor decisions can be a major relief. (Seriously, napkin color was never a big deal for either my husband or me.)
You have two options: 1) let it go and recognize that the wedding party members resemble the couple's choices or 2) ask them an open-ended question about who is going to be in the wedding. Then listen to what they have to say. Depending on the response and your relationship to the couple, feel free to ask about more inclusion, but if you don't get it, you need to permanently shut the ever loving fuck up. Do not let this decision color anything else.
Finally, LW, since you didn't mention it, I'm assuming that you were talking about having more women included on the bride's side, right? If the bride was banning/selecting groomsmen herself, you would have mentioned it because that's a major detail that works in your favor. If you want more of your female family members as a bridesmaids, flower girls, candle lighters, readers or bridal butt wipers, then you really need to stand down. I understand weddings are all about inclusion and uniting family, or so I heard from all the condescending lectures before my wedding, but if all couples included every single person that other people thought needed to be included, then wedding parties would look bigger than Prince Charles's and Princess Diana's wedding party. Golly, what do you think the wedding industrial complex haters would say about brides then?
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