When my fiancé and I first got engaged, we knew that we wanted our wedding to be inexpensive, above all else. As we started trying to plan our important day it became readily apparent that our goal was not going to be easy to achieve.
We’ve discussed how we would like our wedding to be several times, and luckily, we both wanted the same thing; a private, meaningful ceremony preceding a simple reception for our closest friends and family. When we started our planning process by reading some wedding blogs and attending a wedding show, we were a bit taken aback to find that what we wanted was far from the norm. We began taking turns pitching elopement ideas to each other in an increasingly more serious tone. While this would have been perfectly ideal for the two of us, we didn’t feel like breaking our mothers’ hearts and disappointing our families who were looking forward to attending a proper wedding.
During the next few months we toyed with several ideas that would eventually evolve into our current (and final) plan. My fiancé liked the idea so much when I finally stumbled across it that he enthusiastically set a date, which we had also been trying to pin down since the first days of our engagement. We have decided to have our wedding ceremony at City Hall in our hometown, with our immediate family and small wedding party in attendance. Afterwards we will have our reception at my fiancé’s father’s vegetable farm, just a few minutes out of town, where the rest of our friends and family will join us. Our ceremony will cost us a whopping $425 and our reception budget has been set at $1500. This will be easily attainable with several professional chefs, florists and various other creative types in the family. Celebrating with an informal “garden party” atmosphere, will help us to save money when it comes to our attire and décor, as well.
When did weddings become extravagant displays of money and status? When did a woman morphing into a “bridezilla” become an acceptable behaviour? And when did the wedding become more important than the marriage?
It’s getting to the point that couples are expected to go into debt for their wedding. Anyone who has ever tried to price out their dream day and has seen the quote from the typical wedding vendors knows that everything ‘wedding’ is outrageously overpriced. And why is this? Because we will pay it! It’s the one day where everyone says to themselves, and shouts at others, “It’s my day, I’m going to have what I want,” no matter the cost.
It’s time to take a stand. If we refuse to hand over our life savings for something just because society tells us we are supposed to, maybe prices and societal expectation will return to something a little more reasonable. I like to think that my fiancé and I and not the only ones who would rather invest our money in a future for ourselves, with things like a house and a few additions we would like to make to our new family unit over the coming years. If our wedding is remembered for how much money we spent and not for the love that we shared with each other and with our guests, I will feel that I have done something wrong.
I’m not a princess, I won’t be a princess on my wedding day, and I won’t be a princess the next day either, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.