Post # 1
After a 2 year engagement; and two failed attempts to book our hall (all because of money and budget woes) DH & I planned an intimate NYC Hall (marriage bureau) wedding with 30 close friends & family with a dinner we hosted afterwards. Now 6 months later; I’m starting to regret not doing the BIG wedding…
Everyone I talk to that had big weddings (100+ people with full reception) says if they could do it over again they would have done what we did because of all the money they spent and the stress. Mind you these are not people I really know personally just that I meet at functions and talk wedding. ALL my family that has gotten married in the last 15 years have had small destination weddings just them and their husband. (My sister eloped in Jamaica; but then later had a small 45 person reception-we have too many people to invite to do this)
I was in love with our plan to just have an intimate ceremony and dinner b/c it saved us a TON of money; and it allowed us to keep our guest list to those we actually really wanted; instead of people we HAD to invite. But now 6 months later; I can’t control the sadness I feel sometimes when I see a wedding commercial; pictures on facebook or another site of someones wedding. I guess what I’m regretting most is not having the wedding reception. I was thinking this morning and almost in tears that we should have just booked the hall and dealt w/paying for it no matter how hard.
On the flip side; some months $$ is so tight for us with all our bills (we bought our house 3 years ago; both have cars; student loan debt; small credit car debt). I couldn’t imagine how we could have come up with $30K to have the wedding we would have really wanted and for the fact that it would have been over in under 7 hours. We have big families; so our list couldn’t have been any lower than 175 people and with NYC prices there was no way getting around dropping between $25-$30K for a wedding L
I just can’t seem to control my flip flopping emotions. One day I’m glad we saved so much money and still got the same end result (We’re married); and then another day; I’m so sad that I never had the big wedding I had always imagined.
I even was telling DH this and he says that he loves the way we did it and doesn’t have any regrets; I told him how I felt and the sadness and he brought up the money that it would cost that we just don’t have. He said quiet honestly that he would do a big reception but that he really wouldn’t be able to afford it. So I guess that means I’d have to come up with the $$ to make my wedding dreams come true…
And besides isn’t it too late now? In my heart I tell myself maybe we can celebrate one of our anniversaries down the line with a big reception and even vow renewal. Maybe holding onto that thought will make me feel better? In 5-10 years when we’re in a better place financially?
I just can’t seem to bottle these feelings anymore. If I did try to plan a larger wedding for us; then will that make me feel better? What if we plan something for 3 years from now and then I spend all that money and don’t feel it was worth it?
I’m so tempted to start looking into halls again to see what prices i can get for 4 years from now! IF they can even do that to start planning a 5 year anniversary party.
ETA: that we weren’t given ANY money from our families 🙁 Not even offered $1k to help book a hall and get us started w/payments so it would have all falled on us…
Post # 3
We were in a very similar boat (ie: not sure what we wanted) and we ended up picking the wedding route.
Can you identify WHY you are sad you didn’t have the reception? What did/do you want the reception to be for you? What did you you not get at the small wedding that you think the larger reception would have?
Perhaps if you can hone in on the whys behind your sadness, it will help you through the process.
I’m happy to help you think through it more fully… I know it’s hard to sort things out when the emotions are so strong.
hugs to you.
Post # 4
Just remember…the grass is always greener on the other side! Your sentence, “Everyone I talk to that had big weddings (100+ people with full reception) says if they could do it over again they would have done what we did because of all the money they spent and the stress. ” is key…just keep that in mind! I really hope that you are able to find peace with your wedding, and just keep the important things in mind!
Post # 5
The sadness I feel about missing out on the wedding “reception” is the big party. The dancing; having my 1st dance w/my Dad. Having ALL our family there. That’s really about it. Outside of that we had everything else (ceremony; cake cutting; photo session; honeymoon). I think it’s the big party. Oh and the big wedding dress. When we were deciding on what to do; I did have 3-4 appointments at bridal boutiques so I tried on lots of big gowns (and have the pictures). But just the thought of being in a full wedding gown (when else in my life would I wear a big dress like that).
The restaurant where we hosted our dinner had AMAZING food; so I don’t miss possibly not being able to eat at our wedding.
Post # 6
@NYCBride2011: Aww I am sorry you are feeling this way. Maybe you can do a destination wedding and invite everyone? My sister rented a lodge for the weekend and it cost $3000 to rent. It was a place that you had to bring your own sheets and towels but was very nice and had a pool. It helped her keep their costs down and gave all my BIL’s people a place to stay. They paid for catering for the wedding reception only and everyone was on their own for the other meals. It is about 2.5 hours from you. http://www.rockofhoreb.org/index.htmI know you could probably have a very nice wedding there for under $10,000. The other thought I had is could you not use a church hall for much less? I think $30k for a wedding is obscene. My blowout wedding will cost me $8k and i am having twice as many people. I have been debating going much smaller but I was afraid I would have the same regrets as I am such a people person and love crowds.
Post # 7
OMG 2nd chance 8K?? I want to live where you live-NYC is SOOO expensive and the minute a vendor hears wedding dollar signs appear in their eyes!
We’re really not trying to spend $10,000 to have another wedding. If we could find a nice hall that we could have a “vow renewal” or anniversary party for under $5k in total that would be ideal. Just not sure how feasible.
At the same time; maybe my small wedding regret will pass and life will just go on. I should accept that the wedding chapter of our life has passed; and focus on the future; married life; babies etc.
Post # 8
Just think of all the thank you notes you don’t have to write.
Post # 9
We had a reasonably small 50 person wedding and I don’t regret it one bit.
I guess I’m in a slightly different situation than you because I never dreamed of having a big wedding the first place, but I loved the fact that we were able to spend a decent amount of time talking with each and every one of our guests and didn’t feel like we were being run off our feet all night. Planning the thing was stressful enough; on the actual day I wanted to be able to enjoy my own wedding, and with our reasonably small number of guests, that was possible.
But if you want the big reception, there’s no reason you can’t have a huge anniversary party a few years down the road. You’d have 4 years to save up, so I think it’s totally doable. This would also give you a chance to sort out your feelings a bit more and see if, in four years, this is still something that’s important to you. If it is, then plan away and party your butt off in style! If not, you’ll still have a nice fat savings acount, and that’s never a bad thing.
Post # 10
the reasons you shared are definitely understandable.
If I can shed more light on some disappointments that came with a heafty pricetag – my biggies for our reception was dreaming of my first dance w/ DH my entire life. I love to dance, have dreamed of what it would feel to be in my husbands arms, etc – and wanna what? it sucked! DH was soooo nervous and I had trouble focusing on the dance and blocking everyone else out. I was totally floored by the experience. I also did a first dance w/ my mom – but instead of focusing on me, you’d think she was the one getting married. It was like it was a mother/daughter dance with her as the daughter. Again – not to say that would have been your experience – but, two very important elements I thought would be memorable were anything but.
And, while I understand there’s only a day to wear a wedding dress – it seriously depresses me now. I have this gown that sits in my closet. A very, very, very expensive closet taker. I haven’t even gotten her cleaned yet, because I refuse to put her in a box (like I’m EVER going to wear it). I can’t even get myself to sell or donate it. It’s ridiculous.
It’s easy for me to use this hindsight now – meaning, while we ultimately made decisions we’ll have to live with – there were downsides to having a reception (namely the cost and drama involved in planning) that you were able to avoid.
I know it’s hard to live with regret and the what-ifs. The best advice I can give you is to focus on the things you enjoyed about your wedding day experience so that when you find yourself getting sad about the ‘what if’s’ you can fall back on the positives of the event you experienced.
Post # 11
- Wedding: January 2012 - Wynn Las Vegas/Bouchon Bistro
I am really sorry that you feel that way! I think if it’s just the big party aspect of the wedding that you regret — not the ceremony or the food or the company — then I think your idea of throwing an anniversary party or a vow renewal down the road is a good one.
I am having a small wedding as well. Sometimes I worry about not having the same huge reception as many of my friends did; however, I remind myself of all of the reasons that we decided to go in a different direction. (And money is an extremely significant one!) I also remind myself that we are going to be surrounded by the people we love on a day where we pledge our love to each other. That’s what it’s really all about.
Post # 12
And thanks for sharing your suggestions and own personal stories!! I agree; the grass isn’t always greener; and Oracle like you said; i might have these visions in my head of first dances and wearing my wedding dress. But nothing is guaranteed. I could have had all of that and then been disappointed.
I always feared DH’s friends would have gotten him drunk at the wedding and IF that had happened i would be writing about how i spent $30K for a wedding reception and everything that went wrong that day!
Post # 13
I feel like a lot of people have regrets, and maybe you’re putting all yours in the “small reception” category, but I think if you had had a big wedding, you might be regretting that now. I think it’s only natural to look back and think about what you could have done differently, especially in comparison to others. I was so happy with my wedding, and it was literally the most amazing day/weekend of my life thus far, but when I see photos that my wedding planner posts on facebook or see pictures of things other people have done, part of me wishes I had incorporated different things. The fact is, you only get to do it once, and your story is the “small, only the people you love the most and have money left over” thing, which is wonderful. Feel free to have anniversary parties, etc. but just enjoy the story of your wedding day. I think in the long run you’ll be happy with it, at least as happy as you would’ve been with anything else.
Post # 14
I think Emily Gilmore (the grandmother) had this feeling on Gilmore Girls. Yes, I am referencing a television show. I think your feelings seem reasonable. Why not save up and see how you feel in four years? You might find at that point that you don’t need the anniversary party anymore, and if you do voila! Then you can have that party then.
Post # 15
My husband & I had a very small wedding with only 20 or so people! It was small, intimate & alot cheaper. We don’t regret a thing! It was just the way we wanted it.
You are married to the man of your dreams & not in debt over doing so! Keep that in mind anytime those thoughts come to your head. 🙂
Post # 16
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
I think that saving up for an anniversary bash where you can renew your vows is a great idea. I already informed Mr. LK that we will be taking a fabulous 5 year anniversary trip somewhere and renewing our vows, just the two of us.
Mr. LK and I briefly flirted with the idea of throwing a huge, casual bash this winter to celebrate with all of the people we chose not to invite to our small wedding. We’ve had such an outpouring of love and support from people who we did not invite, that I felt like maybe we had robbed some people of a chance to celebrate with us. However, thanks to a very wise friend, I realized that my post-wedding planning energy was being misplaced. Why was I wanting to spend time and money to throw another party when I could be using those resopurces to nurture our family? The people who support us and are happy for us will be supportive and happy regardless of whether or not we throw another party. But teen LK will not want to hang around us forever. Time is passing quickly and we need to savor it while we can. So, since we didn’t take a honeymoon, we are planning a family vacation for this spring instead. We, as a family, get to plan something awesome, and my planning itch is totally satisfied.