Post # 1
I got engaged early last month and have been stressing out non-stop about the wedding. My fiance and I have a low budget, not because we don’t have money, but because we don’t want to spend a ton of money on “one day”. I couldn’t care less about having a wedding, I just want to be married to him. He wants “something”, which I totally understand.
Ever since we got engaged, my dad has been stressing me out about everything wedding related: telling me our budget won’t last, who to invite, the works. He comes from a big Italian family and originally expected me to invite at least 100 people from his family. That’s not counting Jay’s family and our friends. I told him no and that I was only planning on inviting his siblings and my grandmother. He isn’t too happy about that but I don’t care.
Last night, Jay and I decided that we would rather elope by driving cross country and getting married somewhere like San Francisco and then having a small dinner with our immediate families when we return. We both got really excited about the idea and our friends are being really supportive about it. I called my mom tonight and told her about our idea and she said that it’s our choice but she would like to see us get married. I really love my mom and don’t want to upset her. While we were talking, I told her that if I HAVE to have a wedding, I don’t want my dad’s family there. Maybe just my grandmother (mainly because I’d never hear the end of it) and no one else. I don’t really have a relationship with any of them. They’re the types of people that make you feel terrible when you don’t come to something, but when you do go, they make you feel terrible because they don’t even talk to you.
Now I’m thinking there are 2 options: elope cross country style and have the small dinner with our immediate families OR have a small wedding with just my grandmother from my dad’s side. We have such a small budget that I want to spend the money on people that care about us, not people that feel entitled to an invitation. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Post # 3
Perhaps pick to have a small wedding a few hours from where you guys live. There were a lot of people I didn’t want to have to feel obligated to invite, so we decided on a semi-DW (4.5 hours away). All of our immediate family and important people are coming, but people we hardly know/didn’t want there aren’t invited. When they ask, we just tell them it’s an intimate affair and leave it at that. You can also have a small wedding in the town you live in, but I chose the 4.5 hours away because there are some pushy relatives that would’ve shown up anyway had I had the wedding closer.
Post # 4
Have the ceremony that will make you and Jay the happiest. The ceremony is about the union of two people, not anyone else. I honestly wish more couples would have the ceremony they want and not buckle under to family pressure. If you want to have a small intimate ceremony with only his and your closest relatives then do it. But if you want to do a “destination ceremony” to say SF then arrange it so you can drive, fly or sail there and have the elopement of your dreams. Do what is right for you.
Post # 5
elope and have who you truly want.
who are these people? where do you want to be married and where do you want to celebrate?
then later maybe your dad can host an at-home reception for his huge family + everyone else.
i have a huge family too and im thinking about how to do this.
i want to have 20 people max for an intimate wedding: parents, siblings, best friends, and 3 sets of aunts/uncles i adore. 10 guests for him, 10 for me. that’s it.
a couple weeks later, announcing it on fb with pics + “we eloped! please join us for a dinner to celebrate!” and doing like a super informal bbq + game night to which my mother will invite 100000 people.
i have a friend who didnt announce her beach elopement with words at all–just uploaded pics on fb that randomly popped up on my screen. i thought that was cool.
Post # 6
Can you “elope” but invite your mom, etc. to come with you & then have the dinner afterwards? Or could you perhaps include your mom as one of the witnesses (I assume you have to have two)? Or perhaps you could stream a video of the ceremony live? Or just record it & give it to your mom?
Post # 7
I love all these suggestions, they’re so helpful!
I love the idea about having my mom there as a witness but it’s the same old situation of “I can’t invite X and not Y”, which is part of the reason we don’t want a wedding.
My dad and his family are 100% Italian, so every celebration is a huge lavish affair. My dad is also extremely materialistic and very much into appearance and that is exactly the opposite of how Jay and I are. Eloping as part of a cross country trip totally fits our personalities and I hope people will warm up to the idea.
We’re planning to have a send-off dinner where we have a wedding cake and a photographer take pictures of us with our families so they feel like they had some part of the wedding. That being said, I only want immediate family (mom, dad, step dad, 2 sisters, brother, + Jay’s 4) and don’t want to invite my dad’s 6 siblings with spouses because then it’s a wedding!
Post # 8
So happy for you!!! Sounds like a great idea!
Post # 9
@Melissaah: I would just like to say you’re not alone. I live on the other side of the world and have the exact same issue 100% Italian and my parents recently divorced and I don’t speak thint dads side. I think I’m going to do the same. Private wedding just us two. I could be wrong but weddings are about the union of two people who love each other. No large sum of money, big party or ceremony will enhance that. My mum is now saying she wants to be there. I felt sad and guilty at first but theN again the only time I feel truly happy about “the wedding” is when it’s me and my man. Every other senario makes me tense and upset. You can’t please everyone. Our parents had their day now it’s our turn. good luck with it all!!
Post # 10
@Curious-gal: It DOES sound like we’re in a similar situation! Either way I look at it, someone is going to be upset, so I’m trying to figure out the way to make everyone less dissappointed. Good luck to you!
Post # 11
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone!
I told my parents of our plan to drive cross country and get married by ourselves and have a reception and they weren’t too thrilled. It’s been really bothering me that they won’t let me have the wedding I want, despite the fact that Jay and I will be planning a reception once we return for family and friends. We’ve really thought it through and don’t want to have a public ceremony so we’re going to go ahead with the private option.
Anyone have any thoughts on how to make my parents happy for me?
Post # 12
I would secretly tell your grandma (and any other guests you really want there who would need to plan ahead) that you are planning on having a really small wedding with just say 10 people so it’s almsot like eloping, while still telling everybody else that you are still thinking about plans. Then the tuesday before the wedding say, “alright, if you can make it the wedding is saturday. See ya there!”
Post # 13
I would go for the smaller wedding. I feel the exact same way about dumping a bunch of money into one day and getting the same results as the next couple who goes to a JOP and you are already stressing about it! You probably won’t enjoy it so much if are thinking about how much you are spending because you are being practical. Whatever you do will always be special to you. The day you become husband and wife will stay in your memory forever! Good luck!!
Post # 14
To me, the guest list and the people who showed up–that was the MOST IMPORTANT part of the wedding. Because really, a wedding with no witnesses is not a wedding at all (legally or religiously, but also in my own mind).
You need to do whatever it takes to make sure the people you DO want there are there and the people that don’t matter aren’t invited.
I agree to that a semi-destination wedding is great. Find a venue so small that if people thought they could crash it, they wouldn’t fit.
Have a ceremony–even a tiny one. You know you want your mom there just as much as she wants to be there. There are some really great posts on WB about intimate weddings (5 to 25 people or so, depending on the poster).
Post # 15
Honestly what you are describing is the experience I was having. Didn’t care about all the wedding stuff, just want to be married, family dramz. We are eloping now and I have to say I feel so relieved. I did feel slightly guilty but it’s about YOU not everyone else. Please yourself…not everyone else. Do what makes you and your future husband happy!
Post # 16
I think we’re going to elope, but tell everyone beforehand, so it’s not a complete shock, and then hold a reception afterwards with around 50 people. My parents won’t be happy but this has been ripping me apart and I need to do what is best for us. It’s too bad that people are fighting for what they want and what they think we should want, instead of actually listening to us.