YES, you’re not alone, and I’m hoping you figured something out. To all of the other girls who have arrived at this post because you are also not thrilled about all of this–here’s a story in solidarity.
I actually woke up in the middle of the night a few weeks ago with a very clear thought: “I’m not excited about my wedding.” I thought about walking around to all of the guests one-by-one in my wedding dress, talking to them and thanking them for telling me I look pretty. It wasn’t fun; it was awkward. I thought about not being able to get my bridesmaids’ super-nice gifts. I thought about the cost of our hair appointments. I thought about worrying about drunk drivers (we were planning to use UberEVENTS, but I know some people would drive anyway). I thought about how every woman I have talked to says they wished they had a smaller wedding, or no wedding, or at the very least, that they were so exhausted they could hardly remember it. I thought about how the dress I liked was $1K pre-alterations and I had dreams of buying a used on for less than $500.
I thought about how we had already cut out the cost of a DJ, the cake cutting, a champagne toast, an officiant (my brother would do it), liquor at the bar, a florist, and a planner, and our project cost was still at $16K pre-tips and pre-surprises. I thought about how I still didn’t fully understand where that number came from even though I’d gone over the list a thousand times (venue $3K, catering $6K, ceremony chairs and decor $1K, speakers and sound equipment $500+, photography $1.5K+, guest transportation $1K, day-of hair and make-up $1K (9 bridesmaids + 2 moms + 1 grammie), reception decor $500+, favors $100+, bridesmaids and groomsmen gifts $1K+, kids table $100+, a small cake $100+, etc., and my FI and I hadn’t even gotten dressed yet.)
And I still have over a year until the date. The reality of what I can really afford has hit me hard, and the idea that a reasonable budget means simple centerpieces, mediocre photos, boring food, and mediocre presents for my bridesmaids makes the whole thing seem completely undesirable. If I am going to spend all that money, I want something amazing. If I can’t have somethign amazing, then I don’t see why I’d bother to have anything at all. I think a lot of brides go through this moment, and I think a lot power through for the sake of others.
My FI and I just decided we will probably just have a ceremony with our parents and throw a party at a local bar/restaurant later instead of go through with this full-blown wedding. The cost of the wedding venue we wanted will pay for over half of the food and wine at the bar for the same amount of people. We are still technically deciding, but it will take nothing short of a winning lottery ticket to make me go back to that plan.