Wedding or No Wedding?

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ButterflyKisses... Posts : 2 Registered: 10/30/11
Wedding or No Wedding?
Posted: Oct 30, 2011 4:20 PM

I'm having difficulty deciding on having a wedding vs. eloping and any advice would be appreciated.

My fiance has been married once before, but I have never been married. He said the choice of what to do is 100% up to me. I said I didn't really want a wedding and he seemed somewhat relieved and said his very large wedding before was stressful to organize, etc.

I know my mom would be completely DEVASTATED if I do not have a wedding. She was even upset about my cousin choosing not to have a wedding, but for her own daughter to skip out on having a wedding would be even more upsetting.

Maybe I have seen too many wedding shows, but to me it's a circus that makes a mockery of what a marriage is really about. The average cost of a wedding is $30,000, which I can see how having a nice wedding can add up quickly, but I just can't fathom spending anywhere close to that on something that will only last 1 day. I also feel like saying vows to my FH is a private, intimate moment for the 2 of us and I just don't feel keen on having an audience.

I would be happy to just go to the courthouse and make it official, but I don't want to hurt my family, and I also don't want to regret anything later. It would be nice to dress up and have pictures.

I've considered maybe just having immediate family only come to a resort in Mexico for a small beach ceremony, or going on a cruise. His family is spread about the east coast and mine is spread about the west coast. So the idea of just having a dinner to celebrate or something like that seems difficult when you would be expecting people to fly several thousand miles to join you.

Does anyone have experience with destination weddings or any ideas for a small/simple ceremony? I feel really lost on what to do.

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Aunt Posts : 794 Registered: 12/31/10
Re: Wedding or No Wedding?
Posted: Oct 30, 2011 6:20 PM Go to message in response to: ButterflyKisses...

Dear BK,

You seem to be concentrated on extremes:

-Giant $30k wedding with all the trimmings
-Tiny wedding at the courthouse with just you and the groom and legally required witnesses
-Destination wedding in Mexico with just the family, but still thousands of dollars in airfare, hotels, etc.

How about a happy medium?

Where do you live, right now? East Coast? West Coast?

Plan a small wedding where you live.

Make up a provisional guest list that consists of:

Parents
Grandparents
Siblings
Other Close Relatives (favorite cousin, etc)
Really close friends
Associated spouses, sig others, life partners and children.

For a bride and groom that each have one married sibling, two parents and two living grandparents, that comes to twelve people. Add in a couple of friends and maybe a kid or two and your talking about twenty people, or so.

That's not a huge crowd. That's doable.

Next, look for a suitable venue. For 20-30 people you might be able to get a private banquet hall at a local hotel or restaurant. You could have the wedding in the banquet hall, then the servers would switch the room over from a wedding set-up to a banquet set-up. Serve dinner, have wedding cake, a few mushy toasts, then call it a night.

Alternatively, you could scout out local churches that might have a small chapel that could be available at a low price.

You could wear a nice white dress or inexpensive wedding gown, have beautiful photos, get your mom off your back and not spend a fortune.

Something like that could come in around $5k.

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ButterflyKisses... Posts : 2 Registered: 10/30/11
Re: Wedding or No Wedding?
Posted: Nov 2, 2011 6:34 PM Go to message in response to: Aunt

Thank you for your input, I appreciate it. Unfortunately we both have very large families, many siblings and with many kids. We live in Florida, but I have family in Washington state and his family lives in Maine, and New York. I feel bad just having a dinner, which is what I prefer, when people are spending so much time/money to get there. This is why I was considering somewhere like Mexico since it would be extremely expensive for our families to travel to a ceremony no matter what. I'm just having difficulty deciding what's best when neither of us really want a ceremony.

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Aunt Posts : 794 Registered: 12/31/10
Re: Wedding or No Wedding?
Posted: Nov 2, 2011 7:43 PM Go to message in response to: ButterflyKisses...

Dear BK,

Ok, let's reconsider.

If you invite people to an event, like a wedding, it is there decision to attend or not attend.

Why feel bad because someone else makes a positive decision to spend their money to travel?

Here is my suggestion, very similar to what I said earlier:

1. Plan exactly the event you want. Big, small, ceremony, no ceremony, whatever.

2. Make up as minimal guest list as possible, considering your large family. Parents and grandparents only?

3. Invite 'em.

4. Wait to hear about accept/decline.

5. Go for it.

As to inviting people for just a dinner, so what? That's your event. If they want to spend more time in Florida (or whereever), that's their business and that's their money and time to spend. Why should you feel bad? If I'm you sister and I love you and really want to be at your wedding, I'll figure out how to do it, even it means flying on Friday, seeing you get married on Saturday and flying home on Sunday. My money, my credit card, my business.

Besides, your family might plan a mini-reunion independent of your wedding plans. Hmm.... wedding on Saturday, family dinner Saturday night, wave Bye Bye to Lovebirds as they leave for their honeymoon.

Sunday everyone (minus Lovebirds) gets together at City Park for a big family picnic and gabfest.

Sunday evening/ Monday morning, everyone flies home.

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KaitheyMartin Posts : 10 Registered: 9/13/11
Re: Wedding or No Wedding?
Posted: Nov 7, 2011 7:16 AM Go to message in response to: ButterflyKisses...

I agree with the idea given by Aunt......Your responsibility is to invite them and itís their decision to attend it or not....Let them decide that they want to spend on a simple wedding with just a dinner or not....And if they accept your invitation then donít think about their expenses because they chosen to spend it not you.....Just invite only close family members and friends and see how many of them sent RSVP yes and then decide how you want....Just make it very simple.....

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kate_m Posts : 10 Registered: 12/14/11
Re: Wedding or No Wedding?
Posted: Dec 14, 2011 5:28 PM Go to message in response to: ButterflyKisses...

The wedding should be about what you want as a couple, not what you feel obligated to do. Plan out what will make you happy, and invite the people you want to be there. If you're going for something non-traditional, let them know so they can make an educated decision about whether to attend.

Oh, and if you feel bad about the expense of travel consider requesting "no gifts" or something similar in your invites.

Edited by: kate_m on Dec 14, 2011 5:28 PM

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Aunt Posts : 794 Registered: 12/31/10
Re: Wedding or No Wedding?
Posted: Dec 14, 2011 5:45 PM Go to message in response to: kate_m

Dear Kate,

"Oh, and if you feel bad about the expense of travel consider requesting "no gifts" or something similar in your invites. "

You never allude to gifts in an invitation. A person can look at their own budget, the cost of travel, their relative affection for you and make up their own mind about a gift.

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kate_m Posts : 10 Registered: 12/14/11
Re: Wedding or No Wedding?
Posted: Dec 14, 2011 5:57 PM Go to message in response to: Aunt

I know plenty of people who put their gift registries in their invites, Aunt. Maybe I've just been invited to rude people's weddings.

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Aunt Posts : 794 Registered: 12/31/10
Re: Wedding or No Wedding?
Posted: Dec 15, 2011 10:03 AM Go to message in response to: kate_m

Dear Kate,

"I know plenty of people who put their gift registries in their invites, Aunt. Maybe I've just been invited to rude people's weddings."

Just because everyone else around you acts like a greedy gimmee pig doesn't mean you have to do the same.

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