Post # 1
I am a waiting bee and have had a lot of time to think about my future wedding. I am struggling after realizing how stupidly expensive things are. My parents are giving me a very generous amount, so it’s not that I can’t “afford” the venues I love, it’s that I feel like it is such a waste to spend that much money on simply being able to walk in the door. Add in all of the other expenses and everything could be done for a few thousand over what I want to use (saving 1/3 of it as my parents said I can dictate the money however my FH and I like), but the thought of it makes me feel guilty it’s all just so showy to me.
Where I’m really struggling is here: like I said, I feel, honestly, almost disgusted by the amount of money it takes to plan a wedding, but I still want to have one. Meaning, I want to plan something, get a dress, suit/tux, my sisters as my bridesmaids, etc But, I have no idea how to achieve this goal. My guest list is made up of mostly extended family and parents friends and I’m toying with the idea of a destination (Where though! I don’t want to do a warm place as I am not a big beach girl and FH grew up in the beach so we could simply do it there- we decided to choose a place that’s neither my home nor his, though) and only inviting who would have been in the bridal party plus family. But then I get sad thinking about my girlfriends not getting ready with me which i silly I know (with a small wedding I wouldn’t want half the attendees to see me before walking down the aisle).
Sorry for my poor articulation of this. I have so many thoughts going on in my head.
Post # 2
catqueen92 : Perhaps you could plan a smaller more intimate backyard wedding? If you do not have a home that could accomodate 50-60 guests, you could look into renting an air bnb? I looked into that for my wedding, but with a much l;arger guest list it didnt work out for me.
You could do fun BBQ foods, catered or done by family and friends, still get to have your dress and suit, fun dancing and getting ready, while still keeping the cost more affordable.
Think BBQ buffet foods, beer and wine and maybe a signature cocktail and keep the decor simple like string lights. I think you could plan a totally stunning and fun wedding that makes you happy and gives you everything you want!
Edit: to say you could even do a smaller guest list if you wanted, I just picked a random numer!
Post # 3
I feel you, Bee.
I just want to get the people I care about together to celebrate with us and to witness our vows. But when my entire family has to travel to attend I feel like doing something super low key is a shitty way of saying thank you for coming… Like, I would feel like a dick asking them to fly across the country and use their vacation time to ahve a BBQ in our back yard. Not to mention how cramped it would be. But once you start needing to book a venue the costs multiply like crazy… Now uyo need catering and a liquor license and bartenders and servers, and if I’m gonna spend the money to do all that then I’d like to make sure it’s actually *nice*.
And yeah, I was a wedding. I want the dinner and dancing and speeches. And there is nothing wrong with wanting that, but I am constantly going back and forth about what we should do because every option is expensive not just for us but for our guests and I was to be a good host.
Sorry, no advice here. Just commiseration.
Post # 4
I feel that. We decided to do a super low key ceremony with just essentials and do a bigger reception delayed by a year. This way we dont feel like anyone is being excluded and we also dont feel like we have to do anything that isnt what we would love. It also takes a lot of the pressure off about the “day of” reception can be more fun and less rushed
Post # 5
I felt very similar about the money…I just didn’t like the idea of spending sooo much on one day. Yes it is an incredibly special day…but why does that mean it needs to cost thousands of dollars? We wanted a special day that we would remember but we didn’t want a wedding. So we planned out a day that felt special to us, ignoring as best possible what everyone would expect our day to be.
Neither of us likes to be the center of attention so the biggest thing was that we didn’t want it to be large in attendance. In our state you need an officiant and two witnesses. My husband’s parents have both passed away and so the man who is closest to his father also is ordained so he married us. My mom was my witness and my dad and sister were also present. Then, my husband’s best friend was his witness and his wife was also there. We covered the requirement and added a few more important people and we felt like that was plenty. We didn’t have bridesmaids/groomsmen…we were married out in the woods so our 5 family/friends just all stood off to one side and watched us become husband and wife.
I could never stomach spending thousands on a dress I would wear one day so I found a skirt and shirt I loved online and ordered those for around $150 total I believe. My shoes didn’t matter because my skirt was floor length and we were married outside in cooler weather so I just wore little tennis shoes underneath that were never seen anyway. I bought a pretty headband and did my own hair and makeup. I also crocheted a cardigan to wear with my dress as it was cold in the evenings in early April. My husband wore dresspants and shoes he already owned and we purchased a simple black buttondown shirt for him to wear.
The only thing I knew I would spend money on was a photographer. I wanted the photos to remember the day and I wanted them to be of high quality. One huge bonus of the small ceremony we did was that it was much less expensive for a high end photographer for less than 2 hours one afternoon than for a full blown wedding. She ended up costing about $600 for the ceremony photos and then about 40 minutes of photos after at the edge of a gorgeous mountain. I believe we ended up with around 75 photos total.
I was not planning on getting a bouquet…I didn’t feel it was necessary for the day we had planned. My mom insisted I should have them and in the end I’m glad I did because they were beautiful. It was $120 I believe for the bouquet and she threw in a matching boutonniere, which my husband did not want but my dad loved and it made him feel special. Funny thing…we did the entire ceremony and as we were walking back to the cars to drive to the second location I could see the bouquet sitting on the seat. I had forgotten it! We laughed a lot about that. But…I really wouldn’t have held it through the ceremony so it was fine. We used it in the pictures at the next location.
We started the morning with a sunrise hike to our favorite spot with me, my husband, sister and dad. Then we came home and made “wedding waffles” for breakfast. Then me, my mom, sister and my husband’s best friend’s wife all went to get mani/pedis while my husband, dad and his best friend went off to play some disc golf and go bowling. Then we all went home to get dressed and made the drive over the mountain to the location where we met the officiant and photographer to do the ceremony and take a few photos, about 20 minutes total. Then we drove through town (stopped in town at the cemetery to pour a beer over my Papa’s grave, we were married on his birthday) to the mountain edge and took beautiful photos at what our photographer called “the golden hour” for about 40 minutes. As we left we all stopped at the gas station and had some gas station hot dogs and now every time we stop at that gas station we say we’re back at our “reception venue.” Some people may think the dinner part is gross…we absolutely love that memory of the day!
We made our day exactly how we wanted and we will forever be grateful that we chose to go our own unique route. I will never regret it. There was NO stress and NO drama and it was solely about the love we had for each other and becoming husband and wife. Make the day what you want it to be. Sorry for the long post…hope it helps in some small way.
Post # 6
catqueen92 : You could do a smaller more intimate wedding in a brewery or a restaurant. You could still have the cake cutting, food and drinks if that is something that you want. You could accommodate 50 – 60 guests. You don’t have to have a huge extravagant wedding. My sister got married on the beach and took pictures on the beach. We went to a local restaurant and had the reception there. We made reservations ahead of time and I decorated the room ahead of time. There wasn’t any dancing but she did have a wedding cake and did cake cutting. It was still nice and intimate and everyone was able to enjoy themselves.
Post # 7
I don’t have any advice but came here to say that I totally understand and feel the same way you do! You’re not alone.
Post # 8
sboom : this is exactly how I feel. I just want something low key to celebrate. And it’s not even about the money really, it’s just that I don’t really want a party of 150-200 people.
Also, I probably feel this way in part because I have already been married and that wedding was a shit show of epic proportions. Ugh.
Post # 9
Just buy some nice outfits, but yourself a bouquet, book a registrar at the courthouse, invite your nearest and dearest along, and take them to a local restaurant for a nice meal afterward.
if you want a bigger crowd, so a low key BBQ, or a day reception with homemade made food etc..
You can literally do whatever you want – on whatever budget you want.
Post # 10
sboom : I have travelled all over for all sorts of weddings, ecause I love weddings and I love the people getting married.
If guests want to travel they will.. but they’re also not the Queen. They don’t need a red carpet or bells and whistles. If they want to – they will come. Just let them know what to expect..
Post # 11
catqueen92 : I get it. I am about to get engaged and i can’t even wrap my mind around how annoyed i already am about the wedding planning. I feel like If i don’t do the whole wedding thing with the wedding shower, and inviting all the people etc. I only get one chance to do that. But on the other hand no matter what i feel like I can’t win. Anyone else feel like that?
If i go the inexpensive route and try to do it outdoors i have to worry about a tent, and warmers, and trying to fit it in before Winter comes. And how much diy i will have to do to cut costs.
If I do a destination wedding will tons of people not come?
I want family and friends to celebrate with us but im honestly scared about the emotional blow back of certain friends who might not come, or cousins I am close to not being able to attend and how upset that would make me, and the impact it would have on those relationships. Because it seems to happen A LOT around weddings that friendships break up, relationships with friends implode and my best friend since high school purposely pulled away when i got into my current relationship out of jealousy and i don’t see a way back from that.
Feels like whatever you do you lose. And spending a crazy amount of money would just leave me with a bad taste in my mouth. I am also dealing with it being my first marriage and my boyfriends second marriage and all the silent worry that comes with that. the questions like, am i asking too much for a wedding shower when people already got him gifts for his last wedding? But that isn’t my fault, this is my first wedding i should have a fresh chance at it all. Internal dialogue is rough hahah.
Post # 12
I had similar feelings. I still wanted a really special and memorable day (ie. courthouse and restaurant was out for us) but I also didn’t really want a big ‘proper’ reception.
It was semi-destination (same country, but a short flight/8 hour drive away), in a beautiful countryside location with an outdoor ceremony, everyone dressed up & we planned a whole day that culminated with a 5-course dinner in a private dining room of a castle.
Turns out having a special day is still pretty expensive, so we had to keep it (very) small.
I guess my point is that there is a middle ground between very ‘low key’ and full on reception but you have to get a bit creative.
Post # 13
catqueen92 : My husband and I felt the same, we were paying everything on our own and it just didn’t make sense to use $30K that we could put towards a home, on a wedding.
We ended up going to the courthouse w/ friends and family, I still wore a wedding dress, had a bouquet, we had a photographer. We went to dinner after, had a party the next day with about 70 people. We still spent more than I would have liked, but about a third of what we would have done going a more traditional route.
There are definitely ways to have a less expensive wedding, you just need to figure out what your “must haves” are. And of course, what your fiance wants!
Post # 14
butternutter : haha yeah it sounds super easy… But then when you actually start looking at venues and options reality hits…
Post # 15
catqueen92 : I’m not much of a wedding person but fiance really wants one so we’re having one and inviting 100 people. We could spend more but we refuse to spend so much on a 1 day celebration. We’re having it at a church but other free or cheap venues include: parks, backyards, etc. We’re DIYing and it’s been way less stressful than I thought it would. We also have some relatives who are helping us DIY so if you have a few people to help decorate or wants to bake or cook then that’s a bonus. Just do your own research and you’ll see a wedding doesnt have to cost $20k. Keep it a fun family affair and don’t try to turn it into a circus act and itll all be fine. We’re spending less than $2k.