Post # 1
I have had a clinical anxiety disorder for about 9 years. Big social events trigger this. When we first started planning our wedding (May 2015), we thought we’d like to do a courthouse ceremony and small get-together at a restaurant.
It somehow morphed into:
- inviting 50 people (a small wedding to most people, but large to us)
- booking a $5000 venue
- booking a $4000 caterer
- all the trimmings that come with an event like this (decorations, invites, rentals, dresses, etc.)
Today, I woke up and realized I don’t want any of this. The thought of an event like this, spending all this money for just 4 hours and having to entertain people that are not necessarily THE closest and most trusted people to us, sent me into a meltdown. I mean, seriously—sobbing, wheezing, pulling out my hair. We want to go back to the original plan— courthouse ceremony and small restaurant get-together with only our closest family.
If we cancel, we will lose $4500, per our contracts:
- lose $3000 deposit on the venue
- lose $1500 deposit on the caterer
- Not to mention the stress of making sure our photographer, officiant, and cake will be okay with changing to a different location and potentially different date
The thought of wasting this money, rescheduling everything, and having to explain the change to people causes me further anixety. We are 9 months out from our planned wedding. I don’t know what to do. Do I just go through with it as planned?? Do I just lose the money? I know I’m the one who has to make this decision, but I don’t know what to do.
This topic was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by gromble.
Post # 3
gromble: I get it! I also got roped into starting to plan a 50 person wedding, then I freaked out. Now we’re having 12 people watch us get married in a park by my dad- then we’re going to a restaurant. I’m so happy, it feels much less stressful and I was really dreading the big day when it was more elaborate. It sucks that you will lose money (we didn’t lose anything), but maybe it’s worth it? Since you have anxiety maybe your FI could make all of those awkward phone calls? I used the explanation that we were only inviting immediate family, once you really narrow your group it’s hard for people to get super offended. Good luck!
Post # 4
- Wedding: September 2014 - Merritt Winery
gromble: First, take a breath! I was feeling similar to how you are. I was feeling HUGE anxiety and suffered some panic attacks. Every day, I asked DH if we could cancel and go smaller scale. If you truly want to cancel, you will have to be ok with the money you will be losing. We did not cancel. Our wedding was on the smaller side, about 87 people. I can tell you for 100% positive, that all of the anxiety I was feeling leading up to our day completely went away on the actual day. I didn’t notice anyone BUT my hubby. I thought for sure I was going to be a mess standing in front of everyone…the thought of all eyes on me was frightening. As soon as I saw him standing at the end of the aisle waiting for me, they literally melted away.
Post # 5
gromble: if you think this stress is bad, wait until a week before your wedding, I can’t imagine what that would do with your anxiety. The wedding day is completely about you and your FI professing your love and starting your new lives together, make it a hundred percent about you. Whatever makes you happy on the big day, do it! You want to look back on your wedding day with happy memories, not with the feelings of anxiety you are fearing. Losing those deposits is a small price to pay for a lifetime of happy memories of your wedding done the way you wish! If you have a FI who is willing to cancel those bookings and work with you to have a smaller wedding then you should definitely go for it!
Post # 6
I understand! You know, if you’re freaking out now it will be even worse on your wedding day, standing in front of everyone. That’s a lot of money to lose, but most people spend WAY more than that on their weddings anyway, so it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Since it’s in May 2015, I’m assuming you haven’t sent out invitations? If you’ve sent out save the dates already you could probably just let everyone know in person or in a casual conversation that you’ve decided to switch the plans, just do a small ceremony in a courthouse because that would be more comfortable for you.
Something I hate about weddings is how commercialized and “showy” they can be; which is fine if you’re into being the center of attention. Nothing is wrong with that, but now everyone feels like they need to have a huge fantastic wedding in order to be normal, even if it’s not their thing. If you’re comfortable losing that much money, then you might as well cancel the big wedding and just go for courthouse vows. 🙂
Post # 7
gromble: Given your stress and anxiety over the situation I would cut my loses and go back to the very small courthouse wedding, better yet, plan a trip with just your FI and get married.
Over your lives together $4500 will be nothing, but you’ll always remember your wedding day. Having 50 people there is clearly not what you want, and it’s just going to get worse as the date approaches. Do what makes you two happy. 🙂
Post # 8
Thanks all, for your encouragement.
We did the math.
- If we contnue with the planning, the “big” wedding would cost about $18,000.
- If we cancel and do something small, it’ll cost about $11,500 total—$7,000 for dinner, dress & suit, officiant, photographer + $4,500 spent on lost deposits
- So the smaller event would save us about $6,500 in the end.
BUT it’s hard to justify spending $11,500 on just courthouse + restaurant. That’s the part I’m struggling with.
Post # 9
Have you confirmed w the vendors that they will actually keep the deposit? they still have 9months to fill the spot, maybe try pleading with them?
Post # 10
gromble: I have generalized anxiety disorder, too (as well as depression and OCD), which is part of the reason we’re eloping. I’d be so uncomfortable with a bunch of people seeing our vows – such an intimate moment. Like you, we’d originally planned a small-ish (like 40 prson) wedding. It was going to be about $5,000 and in a lovely public park near our house. Before we booked/paid for anything, though, we realized that neither of us was into the “traditional” wedding trappings, so we decided we’d have a quickie Vegas wedding.
Have you thought about having a tiny ceremony first (elope somewhere private but beautiful near you – a park, the beach, etc), then using the venue and caterer for a party? Losing so much money would be really upsetting.
Post # 11
gromble: First off, $6500 is nothing to sniff at, you can fund a whole IRA for that! Second, I think you can do a smaller event for way less than that, how many people are you expecting? Are you renting out a whole restaurant? I ask because we’re getting married in NJ, right outside of Manhattan so it’s pretty expensive and we’re spending around $3,000. My dad is going to officiate (he’s not a minister, he’s getting the online certification). We’re getting married for free in a public park downtown, everyone will just stand around us. We have a photographer for 2 hours, which is more than enough, the ceremony will be like 20 minutes. Then we will do pictures with the whole wedding in the park for about 30 minutes. Then FI and I will do pictures for an hour downtown and stuff. Then we’ll all meet at an excellent formal french restaurant in town. Since there’s only 12 of us we’re just doing a normal reservation, not renting out the whole space.
Post # 12
swonderful: my FI agrees with you that we could probably do it for less than that too. It’ll be about 20 people. We’ll have to do a little more research.
To answer another bee’s question– the contracts say the deposits are non refundable, so we don’t have high hopes, even though it’s 9 months out. But we’ll certainly try.
I’m honestly still having second thoughts though. wasting all that money makes me feel sick.
Post # 13
What about keeping the venue and caterer but just having the less people? We havd a minimum number of people to attend, aka set price minimum for the event, and if we get less then we still have to pay the minimum. Could you work out something like this with your venue and caterer thus not losing the deposits and not spending the extra 7000?
At 11000, 4500 is a lot to throw away.
You may already also consider planning for your anxiety on the day and keeping the plans as is. That is, treatment like virtual reality facing your fear to help prevent the anxiety.
Post # 14
gromble: if the venue could fit 50, then it’s intimate enough for 20. Unless they have food minimums that are significantly greater than the restaurant,go to the courthouse and then have the reception there.
Post # 15
OzGirl: We thought about that—keeping the venue and caterer but having less people—but it doesn’t really help that much with the expenses. Knocking 20-30 people off the list saves a little in per-plate costs and chairs, but not really all that much compared to cutting the venue, caterer, decor, all of it. Because there would still be the “production” of it all, having to rent chairs and tablecloths and setting up music and all the nonsense that we’re trying to avoid. Simply gathering at a restaurant would cut out all of it.