LONG POST! SORRY!
We got engaged early this year and had already planned for a relatively long engagement as we have to finish renovating our house and it’s expensive to do that and have a wedding! I’ve never had any dreams about what my wedding day would be like but I did always like the idea of no fuss, something non-traditional (we’re not traditional or religious). What I do know is that I want to come back from my honeymoon completely Debt free and ready to start a family. Originally we planned to just go to the local registry office (UK Bride-to-be) with 2 of our closest friends, one of which is a great photographer, then head on a little day tour around our home city with them and our dog, enjoying beers and food together, which is what we love to do with these friends. We would then follow it up with a bigger, non formal party (drinks and food on us) at some point after the event (with no gift expectations etc). The honeymoon would be the big spend and is our priority because we work hard and don’t get to spend much quality time together.
When we ran this idea by family members, my parents were supportive, but it didn’t go down well with OH’s family. They were quick to tell me how it would be done. I asked my Mother-In-Law “whose wedding is this?” (harsh I know, but I couldn’t believe I was being shot down) and her response was “MY SONS”. They demanded that they be the witnesses if we are having anyone present at all. By inviting them we couldn’t then not invite my parents and siblings. (we have very different relationships with our families, and are from very different families, but the expectations always seem to remain the same with weddings).
I suffer with anxiety and I am not interested in an aisle walk with my dad with everyone looking at me, I just want to get married to my man and go on our honeymoon. After entertaining the idea of a ceremony with all the family present I just stopped being excited. It had turned into something I didn’t want. I stopped planning it and I completely lost interest. I think that’s quite sad really given that it’s supposed to be the happiest, most important day of our lives.
After a lazy Sunday mapping out our honeymoon roadtrip (the only thing that brings me joy in this whole wedding scenario) I came across a picture of a place we have planned to visit and there was a bride and groom, just the two of them, stood there in marital bliss. It was a picture from a photographers blog and it was of a couple who had eloped. I thought about this (not a secret elopement but a private destination wedding) and talked with my OH about how exciting it would be for it to just be the two of us, in this really spectacular place, and we suddenly realised that THAT is exactly what we want. A WEDDINGMOON!
So now we plan to fly away, just the two of us, get married (with photographer and videographer as witnesses) and spend a month travelling afterwards. It’s costing us less than a quarter of what we would have ended up spending on a wedding. We’re getting ready together, having photos around some beautiful spots near to where the ceremony is, then going for dinner at a brewery! (we love craft beer). After telling my parents they both said that we should do what ever makes us happy. My mom is even going to still help me make my dress :)… and of the friends I have told (all of my school friends who have been in my life for 20 years), not one of them has said anything to suggest they are upset, just that they still want to celebrate with us afterwards and that they totally get it. That now just leaves the in-laws and the friends we share. I genuinely think we have the greatest friends and though they might be disappointed, I think they will be happy for us and excited. I’m not sure how we are going to get it past the in-laws though, but I’m certainly not letting them stamp on this plan too.
Do what makes you happy- the genuine people in your life will either be happy for you and say it, or be disappointed but eventually get over it. Those that don’t…what can you do? It’s not worth sacrificing your happiness over theirs on the happiest day of your life. Afterall, whose wedding is this?! Good luck with breaking the news- there are some tips in this thread that I will definitely be using, so thanks Bees!