- 3 months ago
- Wedding: June 2026
Hi bees- I’ve totally exhausted myself in thinking about what our wedding could or should be. We have been together for almost 10 years and are in our early 30s. We got engaged about 3 years ago, but were also embarking on a grad school/LDR journey so put off real wedding planning. Now we’re ready to figure it out and I am stressed and clueless. I am definitely not looking for a pretty princess moment nor would I consider anything over 100 people. Besides that, I feel very stressed and anxious about deciding what it would be, then commiting all that time, money and effort to it (as well as that of my loved ones).
We found something we thought we might like… a lovely rented property where we could have a backyard wedding. The cheapest I can think of this being is 15k before rings and honeymoon. (There’s also some other headaches with this option as you might guess, like that it would be mini-destination for guests.) We’ve thought of small weddings, but our immediate family makes for an awkward group– for ex, FI’s father’s new wife was ‘the other woman’ and his dad and brother haven’t even spoken in years. He has a son his dad’s never met. While that is surely their problem and not mine, it doesn’t make for my ideal wedding group. If I added people, the next cut off is 20-30 close friends, bringing the total up to 40-50. My parents have expressed how hurt they’d be if I had a wedding and didn’t invite their siblings and my cousins. So that makes it 60-75. That guest list would be ok… but it seems like anything out there I would ask people to travel to be a part of comes with a $15k+ price tag. (I wouldn’t feel comfortable asking ppl to come out for something too scrimpy.) It just makes me feel so stressed out. We are not broke but we don’t own a house and I have student loan debt. I also grew up in a family that isn’t wealthy so it just seems really exorbitant to me to spend that much on a day. Even with all the great deals and a simple approach, etc it just adds up when trying to make 75 people happy, comfortable, well fed, etc. To make my decision making even more difficult, I have always felt that the standard traditional 4-hour wedding reception just isn’t for me. (Great for others, but just not something I would spend the time, money and effort on for that result. Just my personal feeling while I have been to dozens of wonderful touching and fun traditional weddings and don’t intend to knock them at all.)
I believe people that say you just have to do what’s going to make you happy. But what if you have no idea what that is??? Partly we think we could just elope. But is that so anti-climatic and lonely when you turn around and no one’s witnessed it and no one’s there to celebrate with you? We are extraverts and blessed with a lot of people we care about. My parents would be bummed on this also (though of course it’s not all about them).
I feel like the biggest debbie downer. Should we just go w the 15k backyard wedding? I fear having guests drive several hours away and be forced to get lodging. I also just can’t tap into the ‘what i really want’ part, so nothing feels really motivating because it’s not like i can say “yes it’s 15k but it’s worth it bc it’s what i really really want!”
What I actually want… to be married. To make meaningful vows to my fiance. To have loved ones there to celebrate and witness (though the witnessing vows part is intimidating). To do something that feels true to me and I’m proud of. To move on with my life!
We also live several states away from all our loved ones (just moved for a job). My hometown is middle of nowhere, so really few options there other than extremely traditional venues with standard wedding packages. We used to live in a small city nearby and thought maybe we could turn up a spot for a cocktail party wedding but have really struck out on options (it’s not a big city at all).
If you’re still reading, thank you! This is something of a dear-diary, but as you can tell I am feeling quite down on myself and stressed. 🙁 I am normally a very joyful and optimistic person!
Thanks again bees. Any advice is welcome.