With the wedding season upon us, family expectations and demands often conflict with bridal couples’ wishes.
FEEDBACK Regarding pressure to invite more people, even some the couple don’t want (April 30):
Reader – “It’s the Bride's event, and she should have final say in the guest list.
“As for the immature Mother who stopped speaking to the bride when she didn't invite her “toxic” aunt - tell her to grow up!
“I’d call the mother “toxic” too, for using childish manipulation to get her way.”
Reader #2 – “My second marriage was to a same-sex spouse and the only people invited were people who rejoiced in the union.
“That included some of my work friends, but not their spouses since those few had negative opinions of my marriage and my life choices.
“The wedding was full of love and compassion, not negative and toxic vibes.
“I say to this bride, Stick to your desired small, intimate wedding with people you love. Tell your mother to throw a big party bash later with all the people she wants - at her expense.” (Ellie – a good suggestion).
Reader #3 – “Her mother's behaviour has probably always been manipulative. If she acts like a child then the daughter needs to treat her like one.
“Sometimes adult children need to "parent" their parents. If the daughter compromises, then the mother will do it repeatedly.
“The daughter needs to stick to her wedding plans that she and her future husband had decided on.
“Resentment will build if the mother’s in the middle of their decisions.”
Reader #4 – “My older brother committed elder abuse against our mom, five years before my second wedding.
“We didn't speak again until weeks before the wedding, when our dad was on life support, and subsequently passed away.
“Not long after the funeral, his abuse started again - this time, against everyone in the family… including the things he said about our dad!!
“I’d left an abusive relationship. I was not (and do not) allow people to abuse me. My brother became as controlling and as abusive as my ex.
“This brother was supposed to walk me down the aisle in lieu of Dad. I wouldn’t let an abuser do that. Neither would I let him come to the wedding or reception. I would’ve spent the day being triggered by memories.
“Do I wish that my brother could’ve been there? Yes, but not under those circumstances.
“We only had 40 people at our wedding. Everyone there had been supportive right from our dating period.
“As for incorporating my dad: We are Native American. A dear friend made me moccasins and beaded flowers on them with colours that matched our bouquets.
“There were colours for my husband and his kids, me and my kids, with the flower at the top for my dad.
“The day went off without a hitch and was everything a wedding should be - full of love, acceptance, laughs and, as stress-free as a wedding can be. We were blessed.
“This was over two-and-a-half years ago. My brother and I still aren’t talking, and he’s since written off our other brother from his life. I miss his presence in my life, but not at the cost of my mental health.”
Ellie – Despite different backgrounds reflected here, one major message arises from these readers: Don’t let truly-toxic people ruin your wedding day.
I say, accommodate those who matter most to you, if possible, but draw the line where it’s necessary for your comfort.
Reader’s Commentary on Grandparents’ legal rights (April 16):
“Myself and my ex separated after having a son together. We’d never married.
“I told his mother she could see her grandson only through my ex’s visits. That was his responsibility.
“Eventually his relationship with his mother fell apart and he wasn't allowing her to see our son.
“I respected his wishes.
“I eventually gained full custody of our son. His father’s access became too infrequent for his mother to see the boy.
“Little over a year ago, a law passed in Ontario (where we live) giving grandparents legal rights to access and custody.
“My son’s grandmother served me with papers. We settled our differences through mediation.
“Now she has weekend sleepovers once a month and can have a relationship with her grandson again.
“She’s happy, I'm happy, but most of all, my son is happy!
“The “Sad Grandmother” should investigate her legal rights.”
Tip of the day:
Find wedding-day compromises and solutions that you can accept; reject those you can’t.