- 8 years ago
- Wedding: June 2011
So I had a wedding revelation yesterday that I wanted to share, because in 1 day, I’ve gone from being a completely stressed out bride-to-be essentially dreading anything wedding-related to someone actually excited (even giddy) about my wedding. Oh, and just to be clear, this is not in any way intended to be a commentary on other people’s choices. We should all have the wedding we want- free of other people’s criticism, ‘advice’, snide remarks, etc.
So, when my FI and I got engaged back in March, we decided that our ideal wedding would be a simple, somewhat non-traditional event with our closest friends and families. But then we started thinking about the logistics of a guest list (if I invite ‘X’, I have to invite ‘Y’), and checking out wedding websites and locations, and before we knew it, our vision of a small wedding had transformed into a 100+ person, $15-20K affair at a costly outdoor venue. Luckily, our parents offered to help out with the expenses, but $15K is definitely not something we take for granted, so the thought of spending that much money led to serious stress, along with the thought of having to arrange for caterers, musicians, table favors, bridesmaid dresses, and the 100 other little details that I’m sure you are all well aware of.
But, we were resigned to the choice, and even thought that it was what we wanted despite the fact that we were completely stressed out by the whole thing. After all, this was what you did when you got married, and there were all sorts of reasons that we “couldn’t” do what we originally wanted to do. We couldn’t not invite ‘X’, we couldn’t not have musicians, we couldn’t have it in state ‘A’ instead of state ‘B’.
This all changed yesterday, when we hit a roadblock with the venue we were about to book that would mean the vision we had created of an afternoon picnic wedding would no longer be possible. For the first time since starting (and getting swept up in) the planning process, we took a step back, and thought again about what we really wanted. Despite constant suggestions by friends/family to elope, we didn’t want to get married without our parents and a few close friends present. But really, when it came down to it, the current plan was the ‘offend the fewest # of people’ plan. Compared to the stress and anxiety of this least-offense plan, all of the original “can’ts” didn’t seem so important anymore. After all, it’s our wedding, and we should be able to enjoy our day, as well as the year leading up to it.
So, the new low-stress, high-happiness plan is the following: We’re going to have a small (<20 people) ceremony with our immediate family and a few close friends at a somewhat distant relation’s gorgeous house right on the water. They had previously offered the location, but we felt like we would be imposing by bringing our 100+ closest friends/relations to their house, and it wasn’t in the right geographical location for the majority of our 100+ person guest list. But with <20 guests, its a perfect location for a intimate ceremony. Plus, it’s free, saving us $5000.
After the ceremony, we’re going to go out to dinner at a restaurant that holds a special place in my FI’s family’s history. Reserving a table or even a room for 20 guests should not be hard, people can order and drink what they want, and the cost will be exponentially less than the typical cost of a catered wedding dinner. So for far less $$ and stress, we’ll actually get to spend time with the people we hold dearest (and we had already decided to skip the whole dancing aspect of the reception, so no loss there).
Furthermore, we’re going to have a Sunday wedding so we can spend all day Saturday with the people closest to us, and turn the wedding into a weekend event. And since a family member getting his justice of the peace certificate is going to perform the ceremony, we’ll have even more flexibility regarding the weather.
At some point after the wedding and honeymoon, we’ll have casual parties at my Mom’s house and my FMIL’s house (in different states) to celebrate with friends and family not at the ceremony. Will some of these people be offended that they are not invited to the ceremony? Probably. But, I’m hoping that by explaining our reasons for keeping it small, and celebrating with them after the fact, we can keep any hurt feelings to a minimum.
The more I think about this new plan, the happier and calmer I get. I’m so glad we hit a snag with the venue, because otherwise, we would probably have just plowed ahead with the original plan. As things stand, I can’t wait for the wedding, and am even looking forward to dealing with the massively-reduced ‘to-do’ list. All of a sudden, it seems like the focus of the wedding is the fact that my FI and I are getting married, which, ironically, had become a minor formality of the previous plan.
So I apologize for the long post, but this is just such a relief that I wanted to share it with anyone else considering a simpler day. Best of luck to everyone in your plans, whatever they may be!