The following post is from staff writer Melissa Batai
In the last two decades, weddings have gotten as bloated as McDonald’s super size meals. Weddings used to be a simple affair where the couple got married and had a quiet reception at the bride or groom’s parents’ house. The cost was minimal, and the event was low-key.
Gone are those days. Now, a wedding can involve hundreds of guests and a fully catered reception complete with an open bar. Some couples even pay for a bus to transport the guests to a secret wedding venue. The more over the top the wedding, the better for some couples. Of course, with all this pomp and circumstances comes a huge outflow of cash.
But what if you don’t want the big wedding or the huge outlay of cash? What if you want a simple, low-key wedding but your family wants the large wedding? What do you do?
It’s unfortunate that so many family members get vested in the bride and groom’s wedding. Ideally, things should be done the way the bride and groom prefer, but that rarely happens. Instead, the engaged couple often spends much of their time running interference between what other people want.
If you want a small, simple wedding but family members want otherwise, consider these alternatives:
1. Have a destination wedding and invite just a handful of guests. Of course, many people can’t afford to travel to have a destination wedding, so consider just inviting the bridal party and you and your spouse’s immediate family. This will be much more intimate, and you’re likely to have a stress free wedding.
A few weeks later, have a big reception. Now that the pressure of the wedding is off, you can just enjoy celebrating your marriage with your family and friends.
2. Have a small wedding first and a large wedding later. This option lets you have a small, meaningful wedding first and a bigger bash later. My husband and I had a big wedding with his family and their friends a year after our initial wedding. While the event was still nerve-wracking, knowing that this wasn’t our “real” wedding took some of the pressure off.
3. Simply refuse. Ultimately, this is your wedding, and if you really don’t want a big wedding, you can simple refuse. Of course, since there is no compromise here, you’ll likely offend some family members and may have to deal with the fall out for a few months (or years, depending on your family members).
Hopefully, you only get married once, so you should be able to have the wedding you want. However, everyone close to you likely feels they should have a say in your wedding, so if you take a different path than they would like, prepare to meet some resistance.
My Question for You
Did you have a wedding you didn’t want because you gave in to familial pressure? What strategy would you suggest for someone who wants a small wedding but is getting pressure from family members to have a large wedding?