British Expats living in Perth… pressure from family in UK!

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    Hi everyone,
    My fiancé and I just got engaged after 7 years together.3 years ago, we moved from the UK to Perth and although we talked about marriage in the future, I was shocked when he proposed, but delighted, and it seemed to make everything so much more real and special knowing that we were making a decision to be together for the rest of our lives.
    His family were over the moon delighted and nobody asked a single question about the whens, wheres and hows, they were just so happy for us. My family, who I have a rather strained relationship with, instantly wanted to know where we were going to get married and put pressure on us to come back to the UK. My father in particular has never accepted our move here, even though we are now permanent Australian residents, and has never accepted my F because he basically thinks I can do better. We moved here for F’s job and I gave up a good job in the UK to do it… he has been angry with F ever since. I could tell he was trying his hardest not to let the disappointment show when we told him and it has tainted it for me to be honest… I feel like I’m somehow letting him down and I just want him to be happy for me. He is no longer with my mother and has made no secret of the fact he doesn’t believe in marriage… perhaps why I haven’t placed much importance on it myself til now!
    My dad tried to forbid me from spreading our good news throughout the rest of the family until I could assure him whether the wedding would be in the UK or Australia. I called them all anyway and told them I’d let them know as soon as we had decided. My grandmother is 93 and won’t be able to travel and most of my extended family won’t be able to afford it. Dad says I need to think of them, and that everyone will be disappointed if we get married in Oz. But this is where our lives are now and if we got married in the UK, most of our close friends wouldn’t be able to afford to travel either! My mother is trying to act easy about it but has already been asking how I’m going to get a dress without her there to see me try them on, and has invited two sets of family friends over the phone that I haven’t seen since I was a kid… it’s been five days! Honestly, I just feel sick even thinking about it as I’ve realised this isn’t about me and my fiancé anymore, it’s apparently about everyone else. Is this normal?! I’m terrified about all this attention. I was also quite ill last year with depression and anxiety and I’m worried that all of this will set me back again when it is supposed to be a happy occasion!

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    Are there any other expats on here who have some words of wisdom? I just want to marry the man I love and have a nice day!


    Hey there MissBoo, and congratulations on your engagement! 
    I’m so sorry that certain members of your family are putting a dampner on what should be a very happy and exciting time for you and your fiancé. I’m an ex-pat from Northern Ireland now living in New Zealand, and I’m recently engaged myself (to my partner of 7 years), so we have a few things in common (though luckily not your current problem). My advice to you is to decide what you and your fiancé want, and what your budget is, and then stick to your guns. Your wedding is about the two of you, and while it’s lovely to have friends and family around you to celebrate, you can’t make it all about them and what they want, or you risk spoiling the day for yourselves. Seeing you happy should make your parents happy, and in an ideal world, it would. But if not, tell them that you’re sorry, but you have to have the wedding you want.I have a pair of friends getting married in New York this September. They’re having a destination wedding for two reasons – they’re big into musical theatre and wanted to have their honeymoon there anyway, so they’re combining the two. And their families have been quite against their relationship from the get-go, so having a destination wedding forces their parents to only go if they really want to (and are prepared to accept their union), but more likely prevents them from going and spoiling things. When they get back to NZ, they’ll have a party for everyone who couldn’t make it.
    That could be an idea for you, perhaps? Have your wedding in Australia, which is now your home and where all your friends are (I get a very strong sense from your letter that this is where you truly want to be married). Then, when you can, go home for a visit and have a big party for all your friends and family there. You could even wear your wedding dress again! It might be a good compromise that would, at least partially, make those in the UK who can’t make the wedding in Oz feel more included.
    Whatever you do, don’t let anyone take over your wedding. It’s yours and your fiancé’s special day. It is about the two of you. Tell your family that. If they can’t deal with that simple fact, then it’s their problem, not yours. And, if they love you (and I’m sure they do) they’ll come round eventually.
    Best of luck to you :)



    Regardless of the loction you choose, there are ways you can involve friends and family overseas in a meaningful way.
    No matter where you plan to have it, most of the work will probably be done where you live in Australia, so use the internet to your advantage, social media, Skype and Viber are all great options. If your Mum wants to see you trying on dresses, employ your bridal party to film it and either have your family watch live on Skype or send them the video or pictures later on. Using an online file sharing through the cloud or dropbox are great for larger files.
    Weddings overseas take a lot of money, planning and can be prone to things going wrong as it is hard to plan an event when you can’t physically see or try things like food, venues or meeting celebrants. It is a big risk (and not something I’d ever be game for) so it may be something you’ll have to be willing to travel for at least a few times to get the big details settled. Local will be the easier, cheaper option, and if you have to, you can use the money saved from doing it close to home to help contribute to airfares or accommodation for friends and relatives you desperately want there.
    Make it very clear that the wedding is by formal invitation only, you may have to be a little strict with your family about inviting people without asking, and just be honest about how it makes you feel. It is your wedding, it is a celebration of your love more than anything else, that’s all that should matter.



    Hello missboo, 
    im from the uk and have lived in Queensland for almost 3 years, I also moved out with my, then boyfriend, he proposed out here and we had the major task of trying to decide whether to do it here or there. 
    The cost of flights alone to fly home and check out venues and organise the wedding and then to fly again to actually get married was ridiculous, the price of a wedding! And as we are paying for it, we decided to do it here! Plus our life is here now and we have a lot of friends and extended family here! 
    His family in the uk were happy about the decision, (they are a little more comfortable money wise) although his 87 year old grandma won’t be able to make it, she is thrilled for us! 
    My family took a little more time warming up to the idea, I have had to sacrifice a lot of family and friends from the uk, as they themselves have a lot of responsibilities to tend to! My nanna however wasn’t as understanding as F’s was! 
    Its just a case of doing it where you know you and your future hubby will be happy! And coming to terms with the fact that whatever decision you make … Someone’s not going to like it! But at the end of the day it is yours and F’s special day, and you guys have to do it for yourselves, and make peace with the situation! 
    I was so anxious about telling people we had decided to do it here, but we found the majority were happy for us, a lot said we agree, why fly home to do it, where it will probs be cold and rain when you can do it in paradise for less?! 
    The people who weren’t so happy are slowly coming to terms with it! 
    hope this helps!

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