Post # 1
Hi all, technically a new bee but I’ve been stalking these boards for months now. So my fiancé and I have been engaged since September and we’re originally planning on a May 2020 wedding. However, we’re both younger (24), we’ve been on our own financially since we were seniors in college and although we have good paying jobs now, weddings are still expensive and we don’t have the luxury of living at home to save money or getting any financial help. My parents covered 3 years of college for me and won’t be able to contribute anything, and his family isn’t well off financially and also won’t be able help.
When we sat down, we agreed on a smaller wedding and spending around 10k, which have saved as it is right now. However, the venue we love alone was $4500, and catering bumped that to basically our budget. There’s obviously time and room to save in there, but we’ve talked about it and all we really care about is the special time between us. I want the white dress and the personalized vows and the romance, but I feel I could get all of that without feeling like I’m spending thousands to basically feed our friends and family and have them see how much we love each other.
The more we’ve talked about the more we both like the idea of being able to spend that money on flights anywhere we want, getting married and then just having our honeymoon there. I just get torn on if in 20 years I’ll look back and regret not having the big fancy party with all our family there. Not to mention the heart attack my mom had when we told her we weren’t having a wedding party and how “untraditional” we are, I can’t imagine what she would say if we eloped, even though a big part of me really doesn’t care because it’s not her marriage or wedding, but I feel I’d never hear the end of it. Did anyone who eloped every worry about regretting it, is that a sign it’s not for us?
Post # 2
We had briefly discussed eloping but I worried we’d regret it. We ended up having a larger wedding (about 120 guests) and I’m honestly glad we did. It was an amazing day we will both never forget and it was nice to get our families and friends together. We aren’t super close to our families or get to see them very often (esp extended) so it was a nice reason for everyone to be together. We got married back in September and I still look at our wedding album periodically. I love having those memories and photos of family who will eventually pass (it sounds morbid, but it’s true…grandparents, great aunts, etc)
Post # 3
jujubee27 : I was in a similar position where we considered eloping but ended up having a small traditional wedding and it was amazing! I don’t regret it one bit and neither does my husband. Having all of the people who love us in the same room to celebrate our union was so special and worth the money to us. (Btw we spent smartly and saved where we could, so this isn’t an argument to overspend or go into debt for one day.)
Just pointing out- There is nothing wrong with eloping or having a larger wedding, but there are many other options in between these two. You could have a 10, 25, or 50 person wedding, only host immediately friends/family at a restaurant, or do a family destination wedding like on a cruise. There is so much more available to you than just elope or throw a huge, expensive wedding.
Post # 4
We did not have a wedding (or a honeymoon). We bought a house. Don’t regret it one bit. We just informed family of what we were doing with about one month warning and asked if they’d like to have a dinner and celebrate with us. It worked out fine. If it’s what you want, don’t float it as a hypothetical, state it as a definite and include phrases like “we appreciate your understanding”.
Post # 5
I think no matter what you do, you won’t regret it, because you made the decision together. I’m sure for every bee on here that wanted to elope and happily decided against it…just as many eloped and were happy with the choice (or wish they had!).
Like PP said, there are a lot of options in between, too.
Personally, I’m having a giant 350+ person wedding in October and we were just saying yesterday that we wished we eloped . Congrats bee and good luck with your planning!
Post # 6
I had a smaller (but upscale) wedding with 65 people, and I would have rather eloped and saved the cash. I agree with PPs there are many options in between the blowout giant wedding and just the two of you. If you want your families invovled I love the idea of a courthouse ceremony and then a nice lunch afterwards!
Post # 7
My fiance and I started out trying to do a simple wedding about 60-70 guests. We researched a lot of venues to have a nice wedding but still be in a budget we felt comfortable with.
But then the more we talked about it we felt the same – this is about US and we have many other things we could use that money for. A nice honeymoon, a bigger house, etc.
So we are doing an immediate family only ceremony at a lake near our house. We will get to dress up, its intimate, and we are hiring a nice photographer and taking everyone out to eat after.
We also are using some of that money on a nice tropical honeymoon and towards buying a bigger home in a couple years.
We could have afforded the wedding, but it also seemed like a waste to me. I dont need to put on a show of our love. Hes my favorite person in the world and I would be happy if it were just him and me. He really wanted family there so we agreed on that. We get married July 4th and Im super excited. We get all the things we want without blowing a huge amount of money.
If you regret it in 5 or 10 years you can always do a big vow renewal! 🙂
Post # 8
I was up for eloping but my husband wanted the big party. I did really enjoy the day and don’t regret anything, but it was expensive. I think I probably would have regretted not having my Mom and best friends there at least.
I agree with the pp who said there are lots of options between eloping and a big wedding. I know a couple who got married in Mauritius with only their Mom’s as guests. I know another couple who found a restaurant with a private room (no hire charge) and hosted 30 friends/family after going to city hall. And another who had a finger buffet in her MIL’s garden for about 60 people.
Post # 9
jujubee27 : We had a big wedding, and looking back, we wish we had just had a small ceremony with immediate family in a beautiful location. The big party that everyone left early from, the wasted food and drinks, etc were not worth it. We had lots of no shows, and people who left well before our first dance.
Post # 10
We eloped last July and I honestly don’t feel that I’ll ever regret it. I still wore a white dress, we had a little cake and champagne and a photographer. We actually said our vows on a hike so we dressed up later for the celebration and photos. I think I post this on everything but we eloped in Colorado where you can officiate your own ceremony so it can truly be just the two of you. My sister also got engaged and is getting married in September and I just went with her to a dress appointment over the weekend, and while it was fun it was also quite stressful for her, and that’s only one of the things on her list of planning. She makes me laugh because she’s annoyed that she’s spending all this money on a wedding and would rather be re-paving her driveway. I guess it’s just priorities and like you said, we were much happier having our ceremony between us and then having an extra awesome honeymoon!
Post # 11
- Wedding: October 2018 - NC
I had a wedding and I kind of regret NOT eloping. It would have been so much cheaper and less stressful. If we had majorly downsized our wedding and just had a photographer to make sure it was documented so we had something to look back on, I think we would have been happy.
And we could have used all that extra money towards a longer honeymoon, or towards a down payment for a house.
Post # 12
We did what it sounds like you want to do…and I LOVE every aspect of our day and will never regret it. The day was drama free, simple, romantic and soooo full of exactly what the two of us wanted. We said no thank you to everything everyone/society tells you a wedding day needs to be and made it our day. We celebrated our love with the absolute closest people we know and became husband and wife. Here is a link to some photos from our day: https://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/pro-pics-back-and-im-in-love/
We started the morning of our wedding day off with a short hike to watch the sunrise with my dad and sister and then came home and had “wedding day waffles” for breakfast. Then, the guys (husband, my dad and my husband’s best friend) went off to spend the day bowling and playing disc golf while the girls (me, my mom, sister and my husband’s best friend’s wife) went and got mani/pedis, a nice lunch and picked up the flowers and came home to get ready.
We drove up to a spot on the mountains above our house in the woods and had a very intimate and romantic ceremony lead by my husband’s closest person he has to a father figure. It was my husand and I, our officiant, my mom dad and sister and my husband’s best friend and his wife, plus our photograper…so 9 people total. We wrote our own vows and it was so lovely. We just stood out in the woods with the evening sun shining down on us (after a day of partly cloudy and chances of rain). Then we took a few family photos, drove 20 minutes across the small town to another edge of the mountains with a gorgeous view (after stopping at the local cemetery to pour a beer out for my grandfather as we married on his birthday) and took “golden hour” sunset photos!
Here’s approximately our budget:
My outfit: $150ish between the top from BHLDN and skirt from Etsy
His outfit: $20 button down shirt – the rest he already owned
My bouquet: $120 (not necessary but it was beautiful and I loved having a place to add in a pin of my grandfather’s and my husband’s late father’s bowling ring to the handle)
Photographer: $500-600 (MUCH less than a full priced wedding and the only thing I KNEW I wanted was lovely photos)
All in all we spent below $1000 and it was the best day ever.
Post # 13
We are eloping to Italy, to an island I spent the favorite part of my childhood. I will get to reconnect with friends I haven’t seen in 20 years and share a location that is such a big part of my heart with my closest friends. I never wanted the stress of a large wedding and both of us preferred to spend our money on travel then a larger wedding. So we are spending 11 days in Italy and Paris. Still having a dream wedding dress, hair and make up done, and vows with a nice meal after. You have to just listen to what your heart wants for that big day. I personally love that I am looking forward to my dream honeymoon and dream wedding location with my best friends and no family drama.
Post # 14
OP, we are highly considering a small wedding…whether it be in the city we live in or a destination wedding with just a few close family members.
I was and still am open to just eloping and doing our own little honeymoon trip, and just having some backyard party later to celebrate with a bunch of family and friends (theres a lot). BUT I have thought of possibly thinking later down the road how we shouldve had a wedding. So if we do somethinig, it would be with a handful of people somewhere. It will be more intimate.
Post # 15
You can elope and then you can have the wedding later when both ready. We may get married at the city hall and still have a small wedding later. Or we may have the official small wedding. I know weddings can be very expensive and that is why we are doing a small wedding. After the ceremony, we may just have the reception at a restaurant and just call it a day. We just want our family to celebrate our unity. This is our second marriage.