My FI and I got engaged recently and have been talking about our wedding. We would have to save long and hard to afford a big wedding with all of our family and friends, and it would exceed $20,000 to do this. I'm not fussed on the traditional and suggested we just elope for a destination wedding, as it's all about us making a commitment to each other, not about putting on a good party for our nearest and dearest. My FI seemed happy with this BUT... he's an only child and his parents have been looking forward to him getting married for 30 years. And I know my family and all of our mutual friends are excited for our wedding as well.
So here's the dilemma. Do we try to please everyone and have a big wedding (that will likely put us in debt), or elope and have something small and intimate with just the two of us that won't break the bank, but will break his parents' hearts?
@katlovesjames: Why not have a small destination wedding? It doesn't have to be either/or. Having a destination wedding already will cut your guest list down.
Or do something very small with just your parents and his parents.
Unless the parents want to pay, it is your business whether you have a wedding or not. If they're reasonable people, they'll understand that not starting your future in debt over ONE DAY is the smart way to go.
I had a DW that was only parents, siblings and one friend each. Tiny. I don't see why you can't do that. My entire cost - airfare, hotel, reception dinner, ceremony, dress, rings, earrings, slippers etc. was about $5-6k
Why can't you just have a small wedding? Keep it to immediate family only
It doesn't have to be either/or.
You could have a small destination wedding or you could have a small intimate wedding at home with only immediate family in attendance.
You needn't have a large "blow the budget" wedding just because it's not an elopement or destination wedding.
I think first of all you guys should do it only if you both are on board. Second you elop with just parents and close friends. Or have avery nice wedding with a small guestlist. YOu have plenty of options other then an elopement with just the two of you, unless of course that what you really want.
@katlovesjames: We are in the same dilemma. Eloping and a small dinner afterwards with just immediate family is what we may go for.
Can you not compromise? Elope for a small wedding, and then throw a huge party afterwards to celebrate; not a wedding per se, but a celebration? Maybe get a blessing at a local church if they're wanting to see an actual ceremony?
Why not just invite the parents, or go an extra step and just make it immediate family? When there's a clear delineation like that - people just seem to get it. Have it local, or make it a family trip at a destination.
"Do we try to please everyone and have a big wedding (that will likely put us in debt)"
Keep in mind, that never will you be able to "please" everyone! So it's best to just not even try to do that!
Nor should any couple start out their new life with consumer debt like that! Take some time to sit and think about what feels good for you two, and what you can pay for yourselves without draining all your savings. We didn't pick a location until 5 months afer the engagement. Then it changed again (after the deposits) about 5 times, so it'll come to you eventually!
PS congrats on your engagement! I saw it just happened like yesterday!
@canarydiamond: +1 :]
I have a huge family and if we had a wedding every single one of them would want to be invited. So it is one or the other. My parents aren't in a position financially to contribute and his can only give a little so we'll cop the majority of the cost of whatever we choose.
@katlovesjames: "I have a huge family and if we had a wedding every single one of them would want to be invited. So it is one or the other."
Well you just tell them it's an immediate family (or parents only) only wedding and let them deal! They will get over it should anyone be upset. These same people that will be upset will probably be upset that you eloped, so honestly try not to please everyone.
We had this same issue, he's an only child and I am as well, so we decided we'd just take our immediate family and closest friends (our wedding party basically) along with us for a DW
Are his parents willing to help if they want a big party that badly? I definitely wouldn't suggest going into debt for the wedding!
Maybe after you get back you could host a potluck and just celebrate as a big party with everyone.
@katlovesjames: Small local wedding, immediate families only. (EDIT: and grandparents too).
You say, "I have a huge family and if we had a wedding every single one of them would want to be invited" - this is where you learn to say NO. Whose feelings are more important here, your fiance's parents, who raised him for 20-odd years, or random aunts and uncles who (probably) contributed nothing to raising you except for birthday and christmas presents? The aunts and uncles are just going to have to deal with the fact that you don't want to spend $20k feeding them all.
You guys sound just like us! My FI is also an only child and I have a giant family. We decided to have a destination wedding, we're still inviting everyone, but we know many of my family members wont come because it will be out of the country. If we had it where we live, we'd expect 130-150, with the destination wedding we think about 30-50 will come. Do you think that a lot of people would travel for your wedding? We really wanted something intimate and a destination wedding was the only way we could achieve that without offending people :-)
We've decided to pay for our wedding, but our parents are throwing us a party afterward so those who couldn't travel can still feel included.
I'd just invite parents (and possibly a couple of close friends) if you are worried that eloping will disappoint his parents (since he's an only child). And if others get upset, they'll just have to deal with it. You can tell them you both wanted a private, intimate ceremony. Good luck!
If you feel like only inviting immediate family is not for you, why not have a private wedding, but involve family in another fashion? There are companies that stream weddings live on the internet, which would be an option for you -- I, personally, am thinking of doing this. It's a great way to involve people without all of the travel, money, etc., usually involved in weddings.
If not a live stream, a video would work in general for involving family. In this case, I would create a website with details about the ceremony, your honeymoon, other pictures, and, of course, the video itself.
Thanks for your help bees. FI and I have talked about this for hours and after considering all of your suggestions we've decided to elope at one of the islands a couple hours from us. That way we can do it close to home (easier to organise for me) and if his or my family wish to attend, they're able to, but at their own expense. We have a very limited budget and don't want a big wedding, but at the same time don't want to exclude our close friends and family members (mainly his parents) if they'd like to be a part of our special day. It's not easy trying to please all the people all the time, actually it's impossible, but we feel this will work out well for everyone. Those that really want to be there will be. And those who don't, won't.
@katlovesjames: That sounds good. I just hope the parents can afford to attend. If they can't, I still think a small local wedding is the way to go. Because I think offending the aunts and uncles is preferable to excluding the parents. So I hope what you plan works out!
@katlovesjames: That sounds like a lovely plan! I think an intimate wedding with close family/friends is the way to go for your situation.
@paula1248: His parents can afford it. They've actually offered us $5k to put towards the wedding. And we're not inviting any aunts/uncles/cousins. Just parents, siblings and a few close friends - all up I think our guest list is 35 including children.
@sienna76: Thanks. We think it's the best option too.
@katlovesjames: as I am currently have in people pleaser issues in my own engagement I vote do what you want!
Does your husband want a wedding or just the two of you, do you want just the two of you or a wedding.
I agree with PP and say that if you want people to be there, only have a small wedding or a DW
You can have a lovely wedding for all your friends and family for under $20,000. There are tons of bees who have or are doing it. My own wedding was around $5,000 but looked very elegant. I think it's a myth and a cop-out to say that weddings have to cost over $20,000.
My SO (soon to be FI) and I have discussed this many, many times. He wanted the big wedding for his family, I have always wanted to elope but my mother would be heartbroken. We decided to have a destination elopement, and we are taking our parents and siblings (plus his grandma who is the only living grandparent) with us! Will his many, many (6) aunts be sad they didn't see his wedding, yes... But it's our compromise.
maybe you could do something similar, take just his parents, so that they don't feel left out and heartbroken, and yours. Both sets of parents get to see their child make that commitment, and you don't have to go into debt by trying to please everyone else!
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