Post # 1
Hello bees! I’ve been engaged two weeks and am already finding the idea of planning this weding *so* overwhelming. From the moment we started telling people, EVERYONE asked when we were having it. We just got engaged! Are we really supposed to know already?
Last weekend we made the huge mistake of going to a bridal expo. It. Was. Crazy. The only thing we learned from that experience is that it’s everything we dont want. I hate that weddings have become this show you have to put on for everyone else. That day should be about my Fiance and I, the love we share, and the commitment we’re making. I think we’d be most happy with a smaller wedding, really focussing on what the day is about. The problem is that my family is huge and our guest list is at about 130 with just family and a few close friends.
In the last year four of my paternal cousins got married and I felt like everyone was so judgy toward them and their decisions about their own wedding. Which makes me really sad, because now I find myself wondering what people will say about our wedding.
I just want to marry my best friend without it being a big show and super stressful. Is that possible without eloping?
Post # 3
Sure! Have what you want and is meaningful to you and your Fiance. Don’t have what you don’t want and find stressful or tacky. Be pleasant and firm with those who will make you justify your choices.
I suggest you and your Fiance make a list of the top three things that are really important to you to have, and the three things you really DON’T want to have. Get on the same page with him and then move forward with the day you all want.
ETA: Don’t go to bridal expos. They are craaaaazy. Look around on the Internet for small offbeat weddings that have the feel you’d like. Then only work with the people who have your vision…or, DIY the whole thing to your specifications.
Post # 4
Keep your eyes focused on the prize – that moment when you become husband and wife. All the other stuff is just stuff. When you can get your head around that and be comfortable with it, the other stuff falls into place, I’ve found. My favorite new saying is, “I will not remember what my wedding looked like, but I will remember what it FELT like.” To me, DIY and including sentimental details with our family and friends makes me happy, so I’m flipping the bird to the traditional bridal expo brou-ha-ha.
My “vision” when we started our wedding planning in May 2011 has shifted into what will be our wedding in November. Each little piece slowly fell into place, with lots of serendipity moments that have made me the happiest during this planning stage. Establish what’s important and then look for the serendipity moments that arrive – like when I found out that my bridesmaid’s mom had a wedding cake business and they offered to make our cake for us as a gift. Or when I walked into Charming Charlie and found the perfect bracelet that is identical to my custom designed ring – and it only cost me $12!
Do what you want with your wedding. Do what matters to you and your Groom. When you get the pushback from others who want you to do it their way, be polite but don’t let it get you down. When it does, I’ve found that coming here to this forum and sorting it out with other brides is the best way to deal with the stress.
Your wedding will be beautiful and magical to you and your fiance because it will be yours. Beautifully and uniquely yours. Best wishes!
Post # 5
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
Check out apracticalwedding.com, offbeatbride.com, and brokeassbride.com for inspiration. I agree with you – the Industrial Wedding Complex is ridiculous and over the top. Just say no! I agree with a previous poster – have a discussion with your fiance about the main things that are important to you, and focus on that.
For us, it’s
– being in a beautiful outdoor place
– having all of our dear friends and family there (guest list = 200, yikes!). So, that means cutting back on costs per person (buffet style dinner, just beer and wine, having good friends take pictures and play music rather than paying up the wazoo, Paperless Post invites, 2nd hand dress, etc etc)
As for judgey family, who the F cares what they think. It’s your special day to do whatever you want with it. The joy and celebration will be obvious to everyone, and that’s the most important part. And when you get tired of it, just stop worrying about it. You’ve got over a year so no rush, just enjoy being engaged 🙂
Post # 6
It is completely possible. And yeah, unfortunately, if there are judgey people in your family/extended family, they’re going to say judgey things, but guess what? People who decide to be like that will be like that no matter what you do. And while I’m not against eloping, people make judgements about that too. Nothing to be done about that, especially if you don’t make it your business to worry about every opinion!
I completely agree with the above posts about deciding what your top priorites are and not worrying about all the “extras”. Also A Practical Wedding, that’s a great down to earth blog. Personally, I have avoided a lot of traditionally “bridal” experiences like the plague (bridal showers, expos, bachelorette party, a lot of the pampering and fussing and such… And the ones I have done, like shopping for a wedding dress in a store, have left me cold. Just do what works for you, if you can! I won’t say that my wedding that’s coming in a week is a perfect expression of all my ideals or anything, but I knew I was marrying a slightly more traditionally-minded man, and we’ve compromised and come up with some really great ways to have everyone get what they want.
Post # 7
Check out One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding. It’s great and will help you contextualize your choices.
Avoid all the cliched “unique” things that so many brides do today. It’s become comical how people load all of their interests into the day, like it’s theater production about their lives and not a wedding. You see stuff on here that blows my mind (should my dog be officiant? should we all wear mustaches? should we have a unity tree planting ceremony (I actually saw a photo of that)). Not everything has to be monogrammed, you don’t have to check off faux “traditions,” you don’t have to reconfirm who you are through a party.
Post # 8
I have come to the conclusion that NO, it’s not possible, not without eloping.
Your family has already shown that they are judgmental, and you’ve already seen that wedding planning is commercialied and stressful.
At the same time, you will most likely see that eloping will most likely cause your family to feel exlcuded and judge you also. Isn’t it great?
Post # 9
Thanks everyone 🙂 I’ll look into those blogs. My fiance and I will definitely sit down and make a list.
Post # 10
@MrsDocHorrorShow: Late response, but I wanted to second the recommendation of One Perfect Day. It’s a really good and eye-opening read if you’re concerned about how weddings can be so commercialized. Although sometimes the book makes me want to get married on a streetcorner wearing jeans just to give a big fuck you to the wedding industry…
Post # 11
It IS possible without eloping. Just stay true to yourself and your fiance.
Everyone will fling opinions and requests at you. It took me MONTHS to learn how to politely ignore them, but that is what you have to do. This is YOUR DAY, not theirs. Think about it — if you catered to every single person’s different opinion, you would literally never be able to make any decisions and nothing would ever get done.
And yes, stay away from bridal shows. I so desperately wanted to go to one, so I did, and I literally felt like throwing up afterwards. The mass of people, the wasted paper fliers, the ridiculous spending — it was too much, to say the least. When I saw booths for holographic photography, liposuction, and live animal entertainment, I knew I was in the wrong place and people were just looking to show off.
That is NOT what me and my fiance are about and it is NOT what our wedding will be about.
It’s required extra research, LOTS of time pouring over the Internet, and many, many, many referrals from friends and family, but we are slowly but surely accomplishing a wedding that will mean something to us — not society.
Post # 12
I know what you mean. We went to a bridal expo and hated everything there. Not a word of exaggeration – we didn’t even come out with one good idea. It was so unromantic, over-the-top, and more than everything else, such a business.
Someone used the phrase “factory wedding” on another thread the other day and I thought: that’s exactly what I hated about that expo.
We have no idea what we’re doing for our wedding yet, but I’ve already decided it won’t have the “factory wedding” vibe, regardless of other people’s expectations.
Post # 13
all you need is you, your groom, and a marriage certificate. everything else is extra.
my advice: 1. do what you want, don’t do what is “expected.” 2. if family or friends disagree, who cares!? they won’t remember in five years. 3. bridal expos, magazines, and tv shows are no good, it is bridal commercialism at its finest.
i 100% disagree with the people who say you can’t avoid the wedding industry without eloping. it’s totally possible!