Post # 1
I’m in the very early stages of planning my wedding, which my fiance wants to occur in April or May. And my mother, on the other hand would like to have more time to plan. But I’m starting to think that maybe a wedding reception is a waste. I personally have never really enjoyed weddings all that much, and now I’m rehashing of all the bad things I’ve ever thought about other peoples’ weddings. People will now think those things about mine. I’ve thought: The bride and groom can’t dance. This food is terrible. This venue is cheap. This music is awful. This venue is out in the middle of nowhere. The dress doesn’t fit. Why is she still posting wedding pictures on Facebook? I know I know, it’s horrible. Maybe it’s because I’ve only been to two weddings where I genuinely knew and loved the couple. At the others I was either one of those superfluous but obligatory relatives or a plus one.
Some of my single girlfriends at my gym were talking about how they hate weddings and never have any fun at them. One was dreading her friend’s wedding in which she must be a bridesmaid. My cousin’s boyfriend was complaining about how people set their weddings on holiday weekends. I found that website ihateweddings.com and nobodycaresaboutyourweddingbutyou.
Already I sense that no one really cares. I recently called an old family friend to tell her that I was engaged. She’s known me since I was two or three! Her reaction was pretty muted. She seemed about one hair’s breadth away from shrugging and saying, “Eh, whatever.” I also emailed a couple old childhood friends, and they didn’t even call me to say congratulations. I didn’t really expect that they would, because I know they’re busy. But the point is, if no one really cares now, then why would they care in 6 to 9 months after they’ve forked over the money to fly into metro Detroit. And if no one enjoys weddings unless he or she knows the bride and/or groom well, then why are my parents and I shelling out $12 to 20+k for this reception?
I’m not shelling it out to be the center of attention. I desperately want people to have fun and eat well. I’m trying to think of games or other entertainments that would detract from the usual boredom that occurs at receptions. But even if I spend $50k on them, I feel like no one will care. They’ll secretly either think their own wedding was or will be so much better, or think my dress is awful, or wish they were at home in their own houses attending to their own lives.
But there are people I can’t not invite. Like my fiance’s extended family and my extended family. And with them added in, the event somewhat snowballs into this 100-person event where perhaps only 10% of the attendees will know anything about me or care.
Am I just being cynical? Do some people genuinely enjoy weddings? Is a costly, but affordable, reception worth it?
Post # 3
I can count on one hand the number of weddings I’ve gone to, and none of them have been in the last 15 years. It’s frustrating, because I really don’t have anything to compare what we’re doing to how things generally go (i.e. what people expect at a wedding)
Have a wedding because YOU care, and YOU and YOUR FI want to share your joy with those closest to you.
Check your expectations of others at the door. No one is going to be as interested in your wedding as you and your FI are, except for maybe your parents.
Maybe a small, intimate affair with only your closest family and friends who you know in your heart won’t judge you is an option? You don’t HAVE to invite anyone.
I am half way through A Practical Wedding: Creative Ideas for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration and I’ll tell you, when I get thinking I need this, or that, or I’m not doing something “right”, it’s a great book for reminding WHY I’m getting married in the first place and what really matters at the end of the day. I think every bride should read that, and if any of my friends were to get engaged, I’d give them one with a card of congratulations.
My ceremony will be a private affair for family only, with a larger reception to follow and I share your concerns about our reception being “just another party”, only one with big expectations on the part of not only myself, but our guests. To make matters worse, our reception venue is somewhere that we go to pretty much every week and party at, and most of our guests do too, so I really stress about how to distinguish it from every other party we attend there and make it special. I order The Best Wedding Reception Ever! Your Guide to Creating an Unforgettably Fun Celebration and I hope that there’ll be ideas in there that get me excited about the thought of my reception, and inspiration on how to make it fun.
Good luck. There’s lots of people who can relate to how you feel.
Post # 5
I feel the same way. Except for a very select few (parents, siblings, VERY close friends) no one even cares that you (or me) are getting married. That is why I would have something small and not stress too much about the details. When it is all said and done you will have a BIG bill and people will go on with their lives and on to the next wedding!
Post # 6
I have been to a lot of weddings of family and friends, and have always had a great time. I love seeing people I love get married! Not sure why so many people are expressing negativity over it.
Post # 7
@IThoughtItdBEZ: One thing I read early on was that if you haven’t at least considered eloping you are doing something wrong.
What you are feeling is totally natural. You want to have a lovely event that everyone will enjoy and then you realize how much that might cost.
Might I make a suggestion?
Give very careful thought to your guest list. If you control the guest list, you control the party. IMHO, smaller weddings are more fun. The guests get to spend more time with the couple and those who are included feel all the more special. I know small weddings are not for everyone. Just give it some thought and see if you can put together an event that will be a great time for everyone involved.
Post # 8
Personally, I don’t hate weddings but I hate the long receptions. I can think of 1000 better ways to spend my time. Sme people enjoy them though.
Post # 9
Plan a reception that you and your FI will enjoy. You are celebrating your union and asking others to share in your joy. But I do agree that NO ONE will be even remotely as excited as you about it! That’s why we are only spending 3K on ours. 1.5K for a simple little reception afterwards of light refreshments, cake, punch and coffee. And a HUGE pig roast the following day that I KNOW our crowd will enjoy. If you don’t want to get bummed out, focus on what will make you and your beloved happy!
Post # 10
I actually like weddings, but I’ll admit that at my reheasal I kind of looked around and was like “everybody’s here, why didn’t we just make this our wedding?” 11 of our closest family and friends. I think your wedding would suit a very intimate setting, and then you can provide a higher end experience/meal and only be with people who really care to be there.
Post # 11
I love weddings. It’s a big party with good food, alcohol, music, and dancing, celebrating the love between two people I care about. I think it’s absolutely wonderful and I love being a part of someone’s special day!
Post # 12
Just have the wedding for yourself. forget what others think. It don’t have to be perfect. Whatever makes you feel comfortable just go with it. If you seriously don’t feel comfortable with a reception and everything then skip it. It’s ultimately up to you. My parents are actually not too thrilled about me having a whole ceremony and reception since i popped a kid out of wedlock and they are very traditional. We’re asian so me having a kid out of wedlock was really looked down on especially since i was the first out of all my other family members. I seriously can’t recall any of my family members having a kid out of wedlock not even distant distant cousins so sadly to say my family was a little ashamed. They just want me to quietly get married by just signing papers and stuff with no ceremony or reception. That really upset me because my own parents weren’t being supportive. However, my fiance and i decided to go ahead and have the wedding anyways and we really do not care if people are ashamed and don’t want to attend. I have an amazing sister who’s supporting me with my decision and we will just have a small wedding with people who loves us and are happy to see us get married. Hope you go with whatever your heart tells you. Good Luck!
Post # 13
We’re doing small (around 50 ppl) and honestly everyone is at least somewhat excited and supportive. If they weren’t they probably wouldn’t have been in our top 50 (although we’re counting +1’s and who knows what they think).
Small has let us really focus on details and make it special because we know we’re doing it for people we truly love and want to celebrate them + us + our wedding. We are spending quite a lot for the small guest list and it doesn’t feel burdensome. I get nervous things won’t go right but in the end I’m confident everyone will have fun and be very gracious.
Post # 14
Darling, this isn’t about anybody else but you two. Seriously. I think it’s sweet that your mom is excited to plan but be careful because that sounds like someone who will likely want to help with every decision and you need to be firm from day one that you want what you want and you’re not willing to change things for other people. My parents even contributed to mine and I was still able to be firm.
That said, make this something that only you two will LOVE and I bet everybody else will love it too. The boring ones are the weddings where the B&G start including things because they think the have to, because it’s an expectation. There aren’t any expectations. You could get married while you’re skydiving, and then have a BBQ reception. You could get married at the plaza followed by an ice skating reception. WHO CARES? YOU DO. That’s why it will be awesome. My wedding included the things that my husband and I did regularly: camping/cabining in a gorgeous setting, games, food and drink, and a little art thrown in. And you know what? Months later, people are still saying it was the best wedding they have been to because it was different, it was about us and that showed through the details. So if you really only feel like going to the court house and then going to a restaurant, awesome! That’s what YOU two want to do/like. And that’s okay.
As far as people’s excitement, remember that other folks have thier own concern and it might be too early to get excited. Meaning, if you include them with a task (can you help me choose a tart flavor? Will you come to choose my dress?) then they might get more excited. And remember that you get what you give, so don’t forget to support them through your wedding planning process. There is nothing worse than a bride who only talks about her wedding and overlooks that her friend just broke up with her SO, that she just got a new kitten or a new car, or her mother’s health is failing.
And when all else fails……ELOPE. Seriously. Even after the compliments, we both the week after went ‘we should have eloped’ because it was really stressful.
Post # 15
@sruan: That is a perfect attitude to have and I am very happy that you’re going through with it despite popping out a kid first. That is so lame. Like you don’t deserve something special? PSH! 🙂
Post # 16
@IThoughtItdBEZ: I felt the same way you did. We’re having a small wedding and reception and we’re keeping everything short and sweet. There’s no point in us expecting that everyone is going to want to hang out at our reception for hours since we’re not having alcohol so we’re not going to try and force it. We hope that people will stay for a while, long enough for pictures to be taken and for people to eat and chat for a while, but I don’t imagine having anything longer than 3 hours total.
But, all that matters is you and FH.