Post # 1
A little back story: my fiancé and I have been engaged for 5 years and have set the date 3 times. I have never known what kind of wedding I wanted nor was I ever that girl that thought about how I was going to get married… The first date we set and thought we would have a huge wedding (we both have huge families) spend tons of money that we don’t have and that would be that, well once I started to get more involved it was just too much and besides it being way to expensive it just wasn’t fun trying to make decisions and I realized the planning wasn’t for me. We lost $500 that we put down on a reception hall and just stopped planning all together.
A year later we set another date and decided it was going to be small and simple and then I realized this was almost as difficult as what we were going to do the first time, because trying to find an inexpensive way to plan a wedding and keeping the guest count low is pretty tough. Nothing was set in stone, but our thoughts were to have a ceremony and picnic type reception in my parent’s back yard…well my dad got cancer and it was just something that I didn’t want to have them deal with while going through everything else. We really didn’t know if he was going to make it and I thought the last thing they needed was to worry about planning a wedding at their home…needless to say it was put off again and while I do want to marry the love of my life I couldn’t help but feel relieved to not be planning at the time.
After months of going back and forth we decided against a court house ceremony mainly because there are too many people that want to be there and figured everyone would at least want to go have dinner after words and it would still cost us a nice chunk money anyways, might as well have a small ceremony and lunch reception. We have now set another date for April 9, 2011, we’ve put down $250 on a reception hall and I am starting to feel again that pressure of not wanting to make all these decisions again. Trying to keep things cheap and yet still nice, losing weight, finding a dress, keeping the guest list down, deciding on music, readings and food blah blah blah , you all know the list goes on and on. To the point that I want to say forget it and just go to the courthouse anyways and if the families don’t like it too bad. I guess what I am getting at is how did you ladies know that this was what you wanted to do? How did you know that planning, paying for and dealing with a wedding was something that you really wanted to do verses going to the courthouse and keeping things very simple? I am so torn right down the middle, have made pros and cons list, have gone back and forth and I am so afraid of making a decision then later wishing I had gone the other route. My finace is fine either way he has had the big wedding once, I have never been married he just wants me to be happy and I don’t know what will make me happy? Am I crazy?
Any input you can give would be greatly appreciated.
Post # 3
Honestly I am in the same boat as you, I thought at first a wedding for us would be rdiculously huge as both families were(are) huge. Not that that is what we wanted, but we kind of just thought that would be what we would have to do.
So then we started playing with the idea of a small afternoon wedding, and even that is mega stressful (espeially because we are worried about offending people who don’t get invited).
I have been at the point of just not wanting to do it because of the stress for a while. But when I actually sit and think about it, it would be nice to celebrate with our nearest and dearest.
I think what did it for me was just taking time and really thinking about what was and wasn’t important. My new train of thought is that if it is more stressful then it is worth it is gone ( in regards to little planning things) and if it is more expensive than I think is reasonable it is gone (or we find a decent but cheap alternative), and that has helped me cut back on the stress monster.
My partner has the same attitude, big wedding (as long as it is not ridiculously costly) sure! Courthouse? Sure! No preference either way, as long as we end up married — so not helpful when I can be so indecisive!
Post # 4
Our wedding was planned around only what we were comfortable with. For example, we’re not comfortable expressing feelings in words in front of lots of people, so we knew that we wanted to only have our immediate families at our ceremony. That meant that hiring a church for a day would be a bit overkill so we said that we would do a registry office ceremony (the equivalent of a court house ceremony for you guys). We decided on a Sunday wedding because we wanted DH’s colleagues to be able to have the option to come and that is the only day they were all definitely able to get it off. We don’t dance so we had an afternoon canapés reception. Things like that. What I would do is think about how you and your FH are most comfortable. Do you both like to be in the outdoors? Maybe a ceremony in a local park is more up your street. Once you start to get one or two things down you’ll find that things are a lot easier than you think.
Whatever you do, don’t overthink it. Leave wedding planning for a couple days if you have to and then go back to it with a fresh mind. It’s amazing what a break can do sometimes.
Post # 5
We knew we wanted our ceremony to be a destination because we didnt want a lot of people there and its a great reason not to invite anyone!
But I always wanted the big reception so we are having a “big” reception when we get back. But when I say big I only want 60 people.
Post # 6
For me, once I knew we’d be getting married I couldn’t help but think about the moments and events that I wanted: Going dress shopping, getting my hair done, walking down the aisle with my Dad, cutting the cake with my love, our first dance…from there, I was able to fill in the gaps. Who was there? What did my dress look like (it’s not white OR ivory)? What kind of wedding did I WANT to have? Then we decided to pay for it ourselves and ignored everyone else.
Post # 7
We went back and forth on this topic. At first we were going to elope and then have a party. After much thought, I realized that I really wanted a ceremony in front of people (won’t bore you with details). Groom is okay with it, so now we are having ceremony and reception.
Post # 8
We wanted to do something very small but we also wanted to include our families since we’re very close to them. Mine is about 18 people, his is around 70. At that point we realized that we needed to rent a venue so the wedding evolved from there.
We figured since we were inviting nearly 100 people we might as well invite our friends beyond that the rest of our wedding just consisted of what I believe is good hosting. It was easier at that point to pay a caterer so we ended up with most of the typical wedding accouterments (decor, cake, favors).
Post # 9
Well, I knew I wanted to have a wedding b/c my hubby wanted one. I wanted to elope! He wanted a huge wedding with all of our friends and family, so we compromised and had a small wedding here. It wasn’t the planning that bothered me, it was standing up in front of all of those people. If you dont want a wedding and your fi doesn’t care, there’s no reason to have one.
Post # 10
I never thought about what i wanted for my wedding until i met my husband! But once we started thinking about it i knew i wanted it to be in my hometown and that i wanted to have a bunch of family and friends there. We chose of venue 1st and then everything else came together. We chose the venue because it is a landmark in our town and because of how beautiful it is. It was important to pick somewhere that represented home for us. My mother had always wanted to get married there and couldn’t afford it back then so she threw her dream wedding for me- the only daughter 😉 Another thing that helped a lot was that we helped plan my cousin’s wedding 3 years ago. We used the same florist, baker and other vendors that did a good job with her wedding.
Yes it is a lot to think about for a wedding but you don’t have to include everything in the typical wedding in yours. Since you have a smaller group what about having the tables set up for dinner and people will sit there for the ceremony also. So you have a quick ceremony and then the fun starts. Or have the reception at a restaurant so there is less decorating and things to think about. Take time to envision what you want the day to be like, who you want to be there, the place and mood etc. Also look for places that are beautiful in themselves so you don’t have to worry about decorating much!
Post # 11
Honestly, I am wrestling with the same thing as you. I know I don’t want a courthouse wedding…but I also don’t want a big, elaborate wedding either. I just spent the last 9 months of my life planning my sister’s wedding and I don’t want to go through that again. Plus the idea of hundreds of people listening to the vows I wrote specifically to Fiance just doesn’t appeal to me.
However, since Fiance lost his mom this year, we both realize that our plans for just the two of us to get married in Jamaica wouldn’t be fair to his family so we want to do something.
Right now, my tentative plan is to do a wedding and reception for 50 people max…less would be great. The wedding would be at his dad’s church (FFIL is a pastor) and the reception at a local restaraunt that has a private dining room that could accomodate 50 people. We already have our clothing, accessories, and rings so we would only need decorations, cake, and photography.
I told my sister…since I planned hers…she can return the favor =)
I will say that what I learned from planning my sister’s wedding is to start early, be flexible, and plan in little chunks. When it gets overwhelming…put it down and take some time to do things non-wedding related. The farther you get along in the process, the more you will discover that some of the “must haves” you compiled in the beginning are no longer wanted.