How do you decide what type of wedding is for you? Failing at this wedding thing

posted 3 months ago in Beehive
Post # 2
373 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - State Park

My gut after reading is that you aren’t going to be happy with spending the money unless you find something that really clicks for you. 

Could you “elope” but with parents only and your best friend each? So no “other woman” or dad/son problems and you still have people there to be excited with? Or elope somewhere exciting you’ve always wanted to go with just your 2 best friends as witnesses – that doesn’t sound anticlimactic at all! But might not work for you if you’re extroverted and really want to celebrate with a group. But remember that you do an elopement like that and still get a dress and a cake and go out dancing if that’s your thing! It doesn’t have to be “just” elope.

What about a true destination wedding? I know they don’t jive for a lot of people but if you’re already looking at your guests going some distance then maybe go big? 

My concern for you is that you’re not jazzed about the best “traditional wedding” plan you can come up with, and that you’ll very likely go over budget to do it when you’re (smartly!) not cool with spending money that way. I think you’ll regret spending the money more than you’ll regret not celebrating big with your family and friends. 

Post # 3
453 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

justalittlebee46 :  I think you should keep searching for inspiration on what you would really like. You two have taken your time and shouldn’t settle when it comes to your wedding. When I say settle, I mean just do something to do it over doing what is really you. My wedding advice is to be unapologetically you. 

A 4 hour reception isn’t your bag. No worries. Look at restaurants that might have space for small receptions. One near us does a full 4 course dinner with open bar for 50 people at 3500 in a private dining area of the restaurant. The decor is already done. It includes dessert, so you can skip the cake. No room for dancing = no dj, so you can socialize with your guests (the one thing we keep getting complimented on is how social we were with our guests and no our joy made it the happiest, most fun wedding many of our guests had attended. Did we eat dinner? Nope. But we talked and danced with everyone while expressing our gratitude that they could come. It made the event. ) on a more personal level. The fluff honestly does not matter.

Another thing is you can totally have your cake and eat it too. We really wanted to elope. 10 years like you and we felt Elvis or Sandals would be more us. But we didn’t want to exclude our family as we knew we’d regret it. So… we had a friend who ia not ordained in any way do the whole ceremony but we were legally married at 1057 am that day. The marriage clerk basically had us call him the day of the wedding, asked if we wanted to get married still, we said yes, and he said “by the power vested in me and in the state, you are married” all over speaker phone. We also opted for a non traditional thing by staying together the night before and he saw me up until the mua and hair stylist arrived. The house has pocket doors, so we closed off the formal rooms for the ladies while the guys took shots and got ready in the kitchen and den. It made it so easy on the photographer and everyone. I would not change one moment of that day. We were still so excited and joyful, but any nerves were gone. Plus the first look was still amazing as he had no idea what I would look like. So, you can totally “elope” while still having the ceremony/reception with everyone present. 

Again, don’t stress. Anything you do will be magical just so long as you keep the joy with you and remain true to yourself. 🙂

Post # 4
779 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

You don’t have to spend a lot for a memorable wedding. Ours was an elopement ceremony with no guests. We had a photographer, his assistant, and the officiant. It was a beautiful location and we got lots of pics. It was memorable because it was the two of us in a beautiful place and we were getting married! We paid about $1000 for everything (dress, tux, flowers, photography, etc.). When they say you should do what you want for your wedding, that also means do what you want for your pocketbook! One thing I realized after looking at wedding ideas is that there are so many options and so many different ways people get married. 

Post # 5
1633 posts
Bumble bee

I’m going to admit that was tl;dr.

But here’s the thing.  A wedding is one day in a lifetime of days and events.  The purpose of the day is to end it legally bound in marriage to another human being and  if you want to share that event with people you love then treat them to a nice meal to thank them in sharing your day.  That’s it.  That is all it has to accomplish.  It’s a dinner party.  You aren’t solving all the ills in your life or the world with this party.  It is not the definition of you or your lifetime.  It is not your enduring legacy.  If that one day defined your existence then that’s a pretty sad existence.  So long as you have done the one or two things required of the occasion – get legally married and and host your guests if you choose to have them with food and drink – you’ve accomplished your mission.  Everything else is fluff that you can make as little or as big as you want.  It just has to be a nice day to share with people – not the day to end all days.

Post # 6
283 posts
Helper bee

What the PPs have said. *huge thumbs up*

I feel you here. I went through this for 2 years! 

Ideas we seriously considered, and I spent days researching:

  • Baseball themed wedding at the ball park, since that’s where we met (way too much $$$)
  • boat cruise with ceremony/reception all-in
  • local golf courses
  • venue like the Shrine club + catering
  • DW in the Caribbean
  • Screw this, let’s just go to Vegas
  • Oh screw that, let’s just go to city hall

“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.)

Noooooo! Please don’t make that decision for them! <3 

“I fear having guests drive several hours away and be forced to get lodging.”

Their choice! 

We decided on city hall (ie court house) and hitting a nice restaurant afterward – somewhere with a private room. It turned out city hall was closed the day we booked off, I couldn’t change my time off, so we’re doing it in a back yard instead, same budget. The whole wedding will cost us about $3000. No DJ, just background music; no cake, just a pool party vibe. We didn’t expect anyone to travel, but one of FI’s brothers, who lives 2 time zones away but was going to be here on business, is flying his wife and son here to be a part of it. I’m really humbled by that.

Let them decide! We were always honest from the get-go that we wanted a low-key, lower-budget wedding so we wouldn’t go into debt. If someone’s only going to your wedding to see a $20,000 Broadway production, shame on THEM. Do what YOU’RE confortable with. 

Good luck and have fun. <3 

Post # 7
3329 posts
Sugar bee

You won’t be happy committing to spending that much money for something that isn’t your style. There are plenty of options that aren’t a typical evening reception and that don’t have to cost $15,000.  Have you considered a morning wedding followed by brunch? An afternoon tea party? Whatever you decide, don’t settle for something you don’t want. You’ll figure this out. 

Post # 8
208 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I was just like you and I found I was very very picky when it came to where I wanted the wedding. FI cared but was not as picky as myself. I seriously searched hours and hours for the perfect venue but everything where I live was either a golf-course or hotel. I was starting to think I had to settle when I found my dream venue. Yes, guest will have to drive an hour away but if we figure if our guest really care then they will find a way. 

My advice, just keep researching and brainstorming ideas. I would make a list with your FI on ideas you would consider and all the pro’s and cons. Remember that the guest are there for YOU not for a day of entertainment. Also, we booked on a weekday and saved tons of money there, so traveling we figured people will probably have to book the day off anyways! Even to those who don’t come, then fine, its our wedding and this is what we want. 

Don’t stress! You will find the perfect place just keep looking! Good luck!

Post # 9
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2018

I agree with pp that you have every right to be picky. If you aren’t into a traditional wedding or a wedding that will cost an arm and a leg, my two favorite websites have been OffBeat Bride and A Practical Wedding. I would start by checking there for inpriation and see what stands out to you. 

Post # 10
3026 posts
Sugar bee

justalittlebee46 :  This is how we decided what wedding my SO and I want. First, my SO is from Europe and for me to have any kind of legal status there, we need to get married by a government appointed personnel initially. So, we are having a wedding ceremony by a judge by the beach in the US first. It will be very tropical-style, casual and quite small compared to other weddings. There will be around 60-75 people with a laid back outdoor reception afterwards .

Then on a later date, we will be having a second wedding ceremony in Europe in a Catholic Church. This one will be more traditional (the classic white wedding I guess) with a formal indoor reception, dancing, etc. There will be more guests of about 125-150 since my SO knows more people than me. 

I did not have any particular vision initially. I just figured we would do one casual and one formal since we are having 2 ceremonies. You should do what suits your personality and discuss it with your SO. 

ETA: And I wanted to add that the ironic thing is although our civil wedding in the US is more informal and has much less guests, I think it will be more expensive than the second one LOL 

Post # 11
994 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

I get it fellow bee! I did not grow up dreaming about my wedding. I barely thought about it. Then you get engaged and a lot of the planning typically falls on the woman because we are supposed to have dreamt about it our entire lives. All of a sudden, you have all these decisions to make and have a “vision”, or a “theme” and colors!

DH and I agreed we wanted a small wedding of no more than 50 people and we didn’t want to spend more than 10K total and that included EVERYTHING meaning my dress, rings, etc. We had no theme, no vision, no wedding colors. What we wanted was a beautiful intimate ceremony and reception where everyone got to eat some great food and have a good time. We ended up having our ceremony at a beautiful location and rented private rooms at a lovely restaurant with low food and beverage minimums. Our ceremony was short and sweet, the food was great, everyone had a good time and got in a little dancing in.

You absolutely do not need to spend 15k or even 10k. Do what makes the most sense for you, your FI and the guests that you truly want at your wedding. Don’t feel like you have to follow wedding norms and traditions. Keep the parts that make sense to you and ditch the ones that don’t fit in. There’s no one way or right way to have a wedding. Keep it simple and remember to breathe…it will all work out in the end.

Post # 12
371 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2017 - Combermere Abbey

I don’t know if your budget would allow but you seem like you would benefit from having a wedding planner. The right one could steer you in the right direction and take off all the stress of managing your wedding.

Otherwise elopement is also a great possibility! 

Post # 13
651 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

 It helps to envision you and your FI exchanging vows and build up things from there. When you imagine that where are you? What type of dress are you wearing? Approx. how many people are there? What time of day is it? Etc. Then you can start to narrow down what you truly want. 

I am sure you can do your wedding for less than $15k. My wedding is costing $11k and we are hosting 105ish people at a historic mansion. You don’t need things to be expensive for you and your guests to have a great time!

Post # 13
483 posts
Helper bee

I have to say, that’s pretty selfish of your parents to say how heartbroken they’d be if you didn’t include their extended families 😒. It’s your wedding, not theirs. Do parents seriously not realize the undue stress they cause when it comes to this sort of thing? Why don’t you just elope with immediate family only? You will still have your loved ones there to celebrate with you and you won’t have to worry about all the other stuff that is already stressing you out (and you haven’t even started planning yet!). Then you can use that 15 grand to save for your house if you want.

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