Wedding Brain Dump

I know I promised I wasn’t going to be all gushy about wedding stuff, and I think that so far, I’ve done a pretty good job of not talking too much about wedding planning.  However, I’ve just got to get this off my chest.

Recently, I had an epiphany:  I don’t want a big wedding.  I don’t even want a medium-sized wedding.  Ever since we got engaged, I’ve been saying over and over again how I have zero interest in wedding planning, but I was still trying to force myself to do it.  Why?  Mostly because it’s what you’re “supposed” to do.  You’re supposed to have a wedding, and invite all your family and friends, and have the cake, and the bridesmaid dresses, and the flowers, and boutonnieres and place-settings and a DJ and a first dance and all that crap.  It’s “expected.”  And I was stressing myself the eff out trying to be something that I’m not, and do something neither Ben nor I really want for ourselves.  We just want to get married.  Look nice.  Take some nice pictures.  Have a nice dinner.  Nothing fancy.  Nothing expensive.  And we want to be ACTUALLY MARRIED sooner rather than later–like before Christmas soon.  And then have a big, raging BBQ reception/celebration some time next summer.

I shot my parents an email last week, so that my dad could try to finagle a sort of enhanced elopement-style, immediate family only wedding during the off-season at the Inn he runs, maybe between the end of “leaf peeper” season and the beginning of the holidays.  I figured this would be welcome news, considering that my parents are currently recovering from their own recent move, and because my dad’s job has been very stressful lately.

I think I broke my mother.  She texted me oh-so-casually the day after I emailed them with some variation of “surprised by your change in wedding plans, but happy.”  Um… what plans?  We never had a plan.  We’d been kicking some ideas around but hadn’t gotten anywhere near any formal “plans.”  Of course I didn’t say that.

I explained we just wanted to be married ASAP and on the cheap.  “Are you sure that’s what you want?”  Yes.  “This day is all about the bride, so if it’s about cost we’ll help as much as we can.”  Well, actually, it’s not all about the bride.  Society may make it out that way, but Ben definitely gets to have a say–an equal opinion in what we chose to do (or not do).  Especially because we’re planning to pay for most of this ourselves.  Of course I didn’t say that.

I simply said that we didn’t want the stress of planning a wedding.  “Dad and I can do all that.  Don’t cheat yourself out of something because of money or stress.  This is the most meaningful day of your life.”  First of all, you guys can’t plan my wedding.  Dad works full time and you’re a walking talking stress ball–wedding planning is the last thing I’d add to your plate.  And if I’m not willing to plan my own wedding, I’m certainly not going to pawn it off on my parents.  Secondly, I’m not “cheating” myself out of anything.  I DON’T WANT A BIG FANCY WEDDING.  Thirdly, this is not the most meaningful day of my life.  I mean, yes, it’s momentous and huge and wonderful–I will be embarking on a life-long adventure with my partner.  But at the end of the day, the how isn’t what matters.  Whether we had 100 guests or 10 won’t matter.  We’ll forget what the cake tasted like, and we won’t remember what we ate for dinner.  All that matters is that at the end of it, we’re hitched.  I don’t want to spend my wedding day playing hostess, running around and greeting everyone and observing all the social niceties–I want to get drunk and hang out with my husband.  Plus, we’d rather save all the money most people spend on wedding hoo-ha and put a down payment on a house next year…  But of course, I didn’t say any of that.

Really, Mom, this is what we want.  I’ve never been one of those girls with a fantasy wedding planned out since I was 5.

I know she only wants me to have everything I could ever dream of, but it just makes me laugh because it’s so 100% my mother that I can’t even be frustrated.  And thankfully, she has three other daughters who will (hopefully, maybe) someday tie the knot and fulfill her obvious desire for a big, frilly wedding.

All you married folks, did you go all-out for your wedding, or did you keep it small and simple?

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23 thoughts on “Wedding Brain Dump

  1. charissarunning says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with you. Weddings should not be so stressful and they should be about you getting to be YOU 😀 I think a lot more people are starting to branch out from the traditional wedding ideas and I love that!

    My boyfriend and I are thinking that our money would be put to greater use in buying a house as well! Why spend $20,000+ on a wedding (one day of your life) when you can put that towards a house to live in for the REST OF YOUR LIFE! That idea is so exciting to me. We would still love to have a wedding one day, but we’re focusing on the house first so that we could maybe even have a cozy little backyard wedding just with family and close friends.

    Anyways, the point is, you do you and don’t worry about what other people say or want. It’s your day (and Ben’s!) and make it your day however you want! Good luck with the future house hunting! 😀

  2. kebe51 says:

    LOL this is too funny because been there, done that! Ugh there was at least a dozen times when I begged my fiance to let’s just go elope. And the main reason? My mom. I’m the first child who got married (my sister is in NO rush to do so), the amount of times “I want” came from her lips was ridiculous. The wedding was definitely larger than I needed/planned (big fat Greek wedding-dad fortunately paid), but at the end of the day, my husband and I made all the decisions. We chose the venue (which my mom hated), we chose the photographer (that my mom didn’t like), we chose the DJ (my mom really wanted a band), we chose the food (which my mom actually was ok with, after some protests…the food was REALLY good) and me and my husband spent 90% of the night on the dance floor having a blast! We regret NOTHING from our wedding day! Actually, that’s not true, we regret not having a videographer to record all the awesome fun we had…seriously, I warned all my friends ahead of time, you want to spend time with me at the wedding, I’ll be on the dance floor. That’s exactly what I did.

    Bottom line is you’re right. It’s YOUR wedding, it should be what YOU want. It may be hard, but you gotta be firm with your mom and do what you and future hubby want, after all, like she said, it’s all about you, therefore it should be all about what you (and he) want. 🙂

  3. Healthy Simple Smart says:

    So happy for you! I am the same way, I don’t want a big wedding (nor do I have the $$$$ for one) and you completely have the right mindset. You want the MARRIAGE not the wedding. I come from a line of elopements (my sister, my parents, and both their parents) and no divorces! When it’s the person that gets you excited, not the party, that’s when you know you’ve found a winner! (In my humble opinion)

    Also I know far too many women who did have the money for a big wedding and had one and wished they had kept it simpler and put the money towards something else. Kudos to deciding what was best for you two 🙂 So happy for you!

    • DarlinRae says:

      Thank you! We are really, really excited. Ben mentions pretty frequently how he can’t wait to be married, and he’d marry me tomorrow if we could do it. I think I’ve got a winner 😉

  4. veryrach says:

    This post is FANTASTIC! I love your honesty and opinions. I never understood the big deal about huge weddings with humungous price tags. Like you said, it’s about you AND your fiance (WHY do people say it’s the bride’s day???) I’ve never had a fancy wedding planned out in my head either so I completely understand how you feel about all this. Good luck with everything! Don’t be afraid to post about more wedding woes if necessary 🙂

  5. SuzLyfe says:

    Here what I have to say. Your wedding is about you. You should have the people there that you want to have. You should wear what you want to wear, eat what you want to eat, dance how you want to dance, and have there who you want to have there.
    This is your wedding.Have fun with it. We neither went all out or bare bones–we met it in the middle, met our families in the middle, and had the time of our lives.

  6. greenmountainlife says:

    I totally understand dude, well maybe not because I’m not engaged or anything BUT I just feel like a wedding should be about you guys and that’s that. If that means big so be it, if that means a small gathering in the backyard then do it up. My best friend got married last summer (like the big fancy one put on by the parents) and nobody but her closest friends and family knew that they had already gotten married 6 months prior in their backyard. I do think they were happy with their decision to do the big wedding after it was all said and done but I know they were both just pumped to be married regardless.

    • DarlinRae says:

      Haha, that’s awesome! I actually went to a surprise wedding once–we were invited to a backyard luau that turned into a backyard wedding. It was awesome! Maybe we should do that…

      • greenmountainlife says:

        Oh my god this couple I know did that a couple of months ago and everyone had an absolute blast! You should think about it;) I always thought I would do a destinationish wedding that way the numbers would automatically go down haha… big family problems.

  7. prettylittlerunner says:

    ok… so we started planning the all out bash of the century and it was approaching the 80k mark. It was just getting too insane so we decided to bag it and then go to Jamaica. We had the best time in Jamaica it was stress free, beautiful weather and the small group of us who went STILL talk about it.

      • prettylittlerunner says:

        I mean do I wish I had the big fancy wedding? some days…but everything was becoming a fight among the families… it wasn’t fun anymore… that’s why when I help plan my befriends wedding I made sure to keep as much of the rubbish behind the scenes as possible and I wanted her to enjoy her day bc while it’s not the most important day of your life it is one of the most remember-able moments….

  8. piratebobcat says:

    Good luck to you, I hope it works out…and that your mother gets put back together. Our wedding was hard because it was in Ohio and we live in Texas. But it was fairly simple – that said, nothing about weddings ever are – so many details, like napkin color. Sheesh!

  9. dgobs says:

    Oh, Rae. This post is pretty much EXACTLY what I would have written had I been blogging two years ago when we were planning our wedding. Drew and I wanted something tiny… city hall with our parents, maybe an elopement, with a big party for everyone afterwards. Totally chill, no one would feel pressured to come/dress up/buy us things, everyone could just be happy and that would be great. Right? Nope. My mom was okay with that plan, but no one else was. Drew’s side of the family was especially adamant that we have something bigger, because “no one will fly a cross the country (Drew’s fam is mostly in California) just for a party… they want to see you ACTUALLY get married and then have you feed them.” If it’s supposed to be OUR day then why do we get less say than everyone else?!

    We ended up having a small wedding in our backyard, with about 60-70 people, mostly family, mostly people Drew’s parents made us invite. All we wanted was to get married, hang out with some people we love, and dance a little. It ended up being a bit more than we wanted, but I think we managed to keep everyone as happy as possible (one thing you learn as you plan/host a wedding… there will always be someone who’s not happy and it sucks but you do need to stick up for what you want and people will get over it!) and our budget wasn’t too crazy. We managed to throw it all together in about 3 months too, so you could totally pull something off before Christmas if you wanted.

    Drew’s sister kept saying to me that while, yes, technically, it is the couple’s day, it’s more everyone else’s day – for the parents who’ve been thinking about this day for however long and dreaming great things for their kids, and for everyone else because really, I think everyone means well because they just want you to have a wonderful day. But like you said, it’s not the greatest day of your life, it’s just the start of the adventure!

    I’m rambling WAY too much because it’s past my bedtime and I have a lot to say on this topic, but basically – stick up for yourselves and make sure that what you want does happen, but also know that if you want to try to keep the peace, you might have to let people fancy things up for you. My advice – decide with Ben the things that you’re absolutely unwilling to compromise on, and then it’s much less stressful when people offer to do or buy or organize things for you that fall out of that scope. Also, if you feel like it, read this book: http://www.amazon.com/Practical-Wedding-Affordable-Meaningful-Celebration/dp/0738215155. It put a lot of things in perspective for me! Ok I’m stopping now… sorry for the massive comment and GOOD LUCK with all this! 🙂

    • DarlinRae says:

      Thank you so much for the insight! Thankfully, Ben’s parents and sisters are SUPER on board for the small, simple thing. I haven’t had a chance to talk to my folks and sisters in person yet, but I’m willing to bet once they understand that this is in fact what I want and I’m not being strong-armed into anything by Ben (this is his fear, not mine!), they’ll be on board. This text conversation with my mother was just so ridiculous I had to vent.

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