I love weddings. I want a HUGE, extravagant experience! That is if the day should ever come. However, I do not believe in spending your life savings; but shedding some coin isn't a terrible thing.
In the end though there is nothing wrong in doing the ceremony small and intimate. Every penny saved from the ceremony can go toward a house, a college fund, old age. I've seen people drop half a million just to say "we had our wedding there!" In the end... there... wasn't all that special.
A wedding should be personal to the two most important people of the day. Big or small, who cares, just be happy.
Redditor u/the_original_Retro wanted to discuss the path to the chapel of love, in miniature, by asking:
People who got married without having a big wedding: when you look back, was it the better choice? Do either of you regret not doing something bigger for the day?
Small doesn't necessarily mean cheap. A small experience can be just as expensive as a rave blowout. So let's discuss ideas...
Save the Pennies...Season 1 Wedding GIF by NBCGiphy
"Absolutely no regrets. You always have the option to do the party/celebration for your anniversary/vows renewal etc down the line. We never felt the need though. Spend your money on something else forget the pomp of a big wedding. It's a disgusting industry in my opinion. My pair of pennies anyway."
To Be Happy...
"We paid about 2 grand total for our wedding, we married in a tiny little registry office which was nice and clean and the lady who married us was lovely, it wasn't a big venue but it was big enough for our close family and friends. We rented the suits and that was the most expensive item, we got the bridesmaids dresses online for cheap, they all looked really nice and my wife looked lovely, her dress was second hand from eBay."
"We found a bus museum and hired an old London bus for an hour to drive the people from the wedding to the party. We didn't have a reception and a sit down meal, instead we booked a local club that had a nice big room, we got a family friend to do a buffet for all the guests."
"It was a really great day, the wedding was nice, my wife was happy, lots of our friends and family attended, there was plenty of food and the drinks were cheap at the bar in the club we picked, I couldn't have been happier with how it turned out."
No Need for 1K!
"I told my husband when we were getting married. His mom told him my ring needed to be no less than like 2 karats or something insane. I told him when we went ring shopping, "you can spent $1k. If I even THINK you spent over that. I'll say no." Money can go to rent, a nice dinner out, be saved, etc. The wedding and everything related to it, I told him, do we really NEED that? I was from a poor family, he was from a much more wealthy family. It was a VERY hard adjustment for both of us."
"Not what you asked but, I wanted a small wedding. Just immediate family and a couple friends at my parents' home with a BBQ and water fun after. My mother insisted on the big deal. I hated it. The day was a torture for me. I regret giving in every time I think about it. The only part I am glad for is that I got married. I don't have any wonderful memories of the day itself. I let my daughter have my wedding dress for a costume. It brought me more joy at Halloween than it did on my wedding day."
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"Waited over a decade to get married. Covid let us get married over zoom without dealing with the messy logistics of an in person wedding. Also a lot cheaper. Covid is a great excuse for people that want small or non existent reception."
Awww... that all sounds lovely. I still want big, big. big. But that is me. Covid did teach us all a lot about small and intimate being enough. Love doesn't need a crowd.
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"My wife and I got married on a Monday night, at a church, with a handful of people there. We then had the "formal" (tuxedos, wedding dress, groomsmen and brides maids) church wedding and reception about 5 months later."
"We had to do this because we were living together and Rev. Killjoy didn't approve of that. He made us get married immediately or he wouldn't marry us on the date my wife wanted. We've been married 32 years and we both agree that neither wedding was necessary. An elopement with a small get together later with those most important to us would have been preferable for us."
"This question really interests me because me and my fiancé are getting married next February and we've actually gone from "big party" to "small gathering of intimate people" since we first started planning it. Mostly because neither of us is exactly "social". He's an introvert and the idea of a big party with people who we rarely see slowly became nauseating to us. I mean."
"The wedding is supposed to be a celebration of love with the people who actually know and cherish the couple. Not a "show off" event. I come from a deeply traditional family with big weddings and this has been a topic of "discussion" lately. So knowing how you guys feel after is actually helping. Thank you! :) Edited to correct spelling."
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"My wife and I went on a trip and got married at a resort destination just me and her. We both didn't want the huge formality of a wedding day and the cost as well. Not to say we didn't have gatherings. We had a big party at our place prior to the trip."
"Then we hired out a few tables and a side room at a fav local restaurant and had a big dinner with my extended family. Finally as part of the trip we went back to visit her family and relatives overseas and had a similar dinner/gathering. We did a rough calculation and the cost of a big wedding was more expensive as the big trip and the x3 dinners."
"Ppl from both sides of the family seemed happy as they didn't have to spend a whole evening at a reception and/or attend an afternoon ceremony. A lot of our friends seemed happy either way, appreciated the casual party at our place and didn't feel the need to get all dressed up. Also the trip was basically our honeymoon."
"Friend of a friend"
"I think my husband and I had around 15 people at our ceremony, afterwards we got to have a NICE sit down 3 course meal with everyone in a private dining room of a fancy hotel. THAT was beautiful, and it was just. everything we needed. THEN we came home and had a reception and it was the biggest waste of $ and time. I wish we had saved the money and just had another intimate sit down catered dinner with family and CLOSE friends."
"None of this "acquaintanced" "Friend of a friend" etc. Granted everyone else said the reception was "so much fun", but both SO and I wanted to leave before it even started. OR I wish we had just saved the money from that and gone on a hot vacation, just the two of us."
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"My wife and I are so glad that we had a small wedding (cost us about $700 total) and it was perfect."
"My brother's brother-in-law paid $30,000 for his own wedding and she left him in less than year (and they had been together a really long time before that). The only people who really benefit from large weddings are the people making money off of them. Keep it small."
"We spent our days with our loved ones. Immediate family for the wedding. Small parties of family/friends in our respective home cities to minimize travel for people, and we honestly got to see more people who we wanted to spend quality time with in a more intimate sense."
"Then, we spent our money for ourselves. Took a trip and stayed in a cabin in the mountains of Tennessee. Then went to Thailand and China and had a wonderful trip. We got married for us, and had our celebrations for us. The wedding industry is such a predatory and money pit of an industry."
"No disrespect for people who do it for work, but when you get married it should be about how you all want to celebrate your love and lives together. If it's a big wedding, have the best big wedding and the best day. That wasn't us and we don't regret our choices one bit."
Let's just do it...
"We went to Vegas for another friend's wedding and snuck off and did ours on the low low, best thing we ever did. We'd arranged it with her parents, as she was an only child there was no way I was not letting them know. It was so cool we did a whole road trip from Vegas to San Francisco, and didn't tell our friends until about half way through the trip. So our wedding was an overseas trip we had budgeted for previously already plus the cost of licence etc 7/5 thoroughly recommended."
"It's not even about the money. It's the time, energy, aggravation, and general PITA of organizing a wedding. Her family lives here on an island in the Atlantic, my family is far away, what time of year are we going to do this, what venue, who likes eating what, can't do it on that day cause Aunt F**k Face is busy, can't have it here because Uncle Dirt Bag doesn't like to travel, what will you mom thing if he doesn't show, who gets to sit here, did you find someone to make a cake, what about all those looser relatives that you only met once in your life, what kind of religious bull do you want."
"Blah blah blah blah, all stuff I don't give a crap about. I've got better things to do with my time than to show off, be nice to, impress, and worry about others. $75 and married with two witness in front of a Justice of the Peace. To be fair to everyone no one was allowed to attend."
"What did we do with all the money we saved? Well, we travelled to some interesting countries, down payment on a house, and I didn't have to sell my nice car. After telling people of what they did they usually say, 'that makes total sense, I wish I had done that'. 0 regrets. But maybe I am jaded in life."
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"Me and the wife eloped to Gretna, just the two of us on a two day stay, came home and arranged the party two weeks later. Unfortunately it was the day before the first lockdown and only 45 folk turned up, we had a ball."
When We Were Young
"We were kids (18 & 21) so we had no money to throw a big party even if we wanted to but we loved our wedding. We invited people that are still in our lives and got to spend quality time with every single one of them during the party. No drama, no drunk uncles, 5 years later everybody still laughs and reminisces."
"Really no hate or judgement towards people who had/are having a bigger event. My brother had a big wedding and we had so much fun! Just stay true to yourselves - it's a day that you - and not cranky aunt Hilda - will remember for the rest of your lives!"
"Wife and I spent less than a thousand all in (her dress, the rings, dinner for the immediate family, favorite aunt married us on the beach for free at sunset) and bought a small house instead of having a large service and reception that neither of us wanted. Had a lot more fun doing that than attending any of my cousins (or siblings) fancy wedding extravaganzas that dumped them or their parents into a massive amount of debt."
good for them...
"I've been with my wife for 21 years and we've been married 14. We had a Courthouse wedding with her mom and my dad. After the ceremony we went to lunch at my wife's favorite restaurant and then went back home to our apartment. All together the whole thing cost maybe $200 with license and judge. And nobody in either family (she's an immigrant so her family here is fairly small) really cared. I hadn't really seen any of my extended family in years prior so I really had no idea how to contact them about a wedding anyway."
"After all this time together me and the wife never once regretted not going through the hassle and expense of a big wedding. We both see it sort of pointless but not necessarily bad. If someone wants a big wedding then good for them. If someone doesn't the same sentiment exists: good for them."
"As a consistent guest to weddings, I can happily say that the best and most memorable weddings for me are the smaller affairs. While I get the reasoning behind larger weddings, they seem to be more narcissistic affairs that either pay little heed to the celebration that involves the union of two people, or are affairs that have been pressured by other, narcissistic, members of the family."
"Smaller affairs on the other hand, celebrate the family and friends you have chosen. "The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb" if you will. I have always felt happier, and in response more loved, when invited to a smaller wedding. Plus the parties (and food) tend to be better due to the lack of gravitational entropic personalities!"
BeautySunset Beach Wedding GIF by Tayla McGrath ProjectsGiphy
"Wife and I got married on the beach at sunset with about 20 people there. No regrets at all. Pictures are beautiful."
All by 10
"My wife and I got married in the town we lived in when while she was in school. We didn't have much money and did everything for less than $5k. Because of the distance only a handful of people from her family came and it was mostly my parents, siblings, and extended family. If we were to do it again I'd either have it closer to home so more of her family could have attended or just invited fewer people overall."
"The budget was fine, though we could have spent a little less and been perfectly happy. Honestly the whole day was a blur and I wouldn't have even noticed if half of my extended family who was there hadn't attended. Some out of town friends wanted to go out for drinks afterward but we were so tired we just went home and fell asleep around 10pm."
Love is love. No matter what, let your day be for ya'll. Spend a million, spend a dollar. Invite ten, invite ten thousand. Just have the ceremony you want.
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