This is such a hard entry for me to write!
Thanksgiving was, well, a bust. I won't even go into the family drama but there were fights- about everything and anything, between the whole family and between just one or two people. Mr Pug was angered and made comments about how frustrating being around his family was, and that he wished we were just going to Vegas instead of having a big wedding that they would attend. FMIL pushed the issue, as if that was a good idea. Long story short, she told us she was not going to be giving us the monetary gift towards the wedding that she and her partner had promised. (I wrote about it on Weddingbee here since I wanted to vent but couldn't blog until I notified guests... just have to shout out for the support I got from the girls on there.)
Why the "take-back?" It's not clear. It's not that she doesn't "want to," but it seems to be about finances and personal issues. It's not right that she waited until 112 days before the wedding to tell us, after the STD's went out, and after some people had booked flights. Some things were said that made me upset but ultimately, Mr Pug and I had to and have to deal with this. Without the money we were promised, we knew we'd be unable to make ends meet for our wedding.
On his end, there was a lot of anger, frustration. Partly with his family and partly with the stress brought on by the wedding. On my end, there were lots of tears. And a lot of this:
I frantically searched for other options, VFW halls, Lions clubs, anything. I used my master spreadsheet for our reception venue to cut things. Even cutting the decorations and open bar wouldn't make it affordable. Part of it was frustrating though, because of that. Why should we have to pay the 20% and then sales tax on a meal? It makes sense I guess, but in our situation, it doesn't. Finally Mr Pug had an idea, that led to an idea, that led to an idea, and within a half an hour we had it figured out.
Our New Plan:
We are still having our ceremony as planned. Dresses, makeup, flower bouquets, PHOTOGRAPHY, organ playing, wedding party (hopefully!), and the works. After that... nothing.
Now, technically, we are planning to take our family and friends to dinner. But it won't be fancy and it has to be SMALL. We're not really openly sharing this news about the dinner with everyone. Our closest family and friends who can afford to will come to the ceremony, and then after RSVP's come in we'll invite the people closest to us to come out to dinner. It will be somewhat intimate and fun. Best of all, after that, we are inviting EVERYONE to hit the bars with us.
We're also letting people know that we'll have two casual, backyard celebrations this summer: one in Indianapolis, and one in New Jersey. That way, everyone can be involved this summer, and we can still celebrate with our guests. And... I get to plan two fun casual summer parties!
We had this idea on Monday, and then sat on it for a little while. I talked it over with my Mom (aka Wonder Woman, aka my ROCK) and she drafted an email to send family to let them know the change ASAP. I then worked off that and emailed my friends a similar message. Mr Pug will notify his family and friends soon as well, though they are much less affected (effected? whatever) by it as most of them live here or within driving distance. At least then they'll know that most of them won't be attending any sort of meal after the ceremony with us, and maybe some of them can make plans to go out to dinner together or to congregate at someone's house to continue the celebration before the after-party.
It was hard to email my friends... I feel horrible. It feels NASTY to say "oh we're having an intimate dinner after with pretty much just close family and the wedding party" (which I feel like could read as "we're doing something and NOT inviting YOU!") I also feel badly for those who booked flights and now may want to reconsider attending the ceremony, and would prefer to attend one of the summer celebrations. But I guess I can't let myself worry. If people want to come, and people can afford to come, they will. To something. And it will be because they care - which is what matters.
So is this still Miss Pug's "pawfect" wedding? Yes and no. It's not what I dreamed of as a little girl. In fact I haven't read wedding blogs since Saturday, it's too upsetting. A post about "which toasting flutes should we pick!?" made me want to throw the computer in jealousy. But we refuse to go into debt over an event, and we don't want to start our marriage out in debt. We already have student loans! We made a decision, and I'm trying to look on the bright side of things (like, perhaps, a casually Tuscan backyard celebration in NJ with limonata and lemoncello? Oh this is getting good! More planning!)
Up next? My super-wonderful crazy amazing invitation & STD designer Laurel whipped up a new "invitation" for me in like, hours. I can't wait to show you all!