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!
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!