Are traditional weddings a waste of money? Is elopement the way to go? Background inside.
We both liked the idea of eloping, but didn't. We did, however, insist on doing only what we wanted to. We didn't stick to any silly traditions or etiquette that we didn't want to, find meaning in, or think was expensive. In short, our wedding was what WE wanted it to be.
We got married on the National Mall, at the DC War Memorial. That's important because it only cost is a $92 permit for our venue. We had only 35 people (including us), so we had our reception at a beautiful restaurant in DC. That made it very affordable. Our honeymoon was at Yellowstone, so since its a National Park, it cost us $50 to be there for a full week.
We had tons of friends who stepped up to provide free things...photography, music, alterations, print shop for our invitations, etc. It saved us thousands, and we walked away 100% debt free.
It is possible to have a beautiful traditional wedding, if that's what you want, and keep it affordable.
PM me and I can give you the link to our wedding site.
I'll add: I asked my husband the other day if he was glad that we had a wedding, after we both thought for so long that we would elope. Both of us are happy that we had a wedding...both for ourselves and because our families and very closest loved ones were able to be there with us. Maybe we would feel differently if we had ended up in debt though!
Regardless of what we choose, we won't go into debt. We both have a savings and a good jobs. He's moved in so now we are BOTH saving about $900 a month just in living expenses. The money spent on a wedding could very easily be spent on a deck for my house which we will use almost daily!!! We love being outside in the backyard with the puppy!
You are one smart lady! When we thought about eloping, we were going to come back and throw a big party for those who would have been there with us. That idea still sounds great to me! Maybe blow that money on a great new deck and throw a backyard party.
Oh we are getting married in Thailand for 1/5th the cost. Both of us are taking a month off to go over. Even with that honeymoon included, it would still cost less than a wedding here sans honeymoon. About 10-20 people will come.
That sounds awesome!!!
I'm super excited and much more up my alley. Going to work a day at an elephant rescue. Take a cooking class. Visit night markets. Relaxing on beaches. Hope to Cambodia to visit Angkor Wat. Hiking. Eating street food. Paddle boarding in caves. Taking a long boat to random islands. So excited. Vacation of my dreams! On the way back we will stop in Tokyo and spend two nights since that's our layover, no sense in not stopping there! Gonna be amazing.
Wow...that may be my dream vacation too! So happy for you guys!
Two of my sister's had weddings where we wore regular dresses and had a BBQ. One had a traditional one. Two are still married after 35/33 years. The other divorced. (He was cheating on her)
It's a ridiculous waste of money. Instead, have a backyard BBQ with family and friends. (If you don't have a backyard, ask a family member or friend).
You'll save about $5000-$30000. You can use that on a down payment on a house.
😕 That is a tough one, but you are -as they say- "a grown-ass woman" now. In every possible way you are or have left home. You're awesome amazing and wonderful and Your Own Person. More importantly, sounds like your absentee father is an ass.
You said you try to take care of him without losing sanity. Keep your sanity on your wedding day and do not let him control you or your fiancé that way.
You can do this.
He actually had the nerve to say we need to cut the honeymoon and put that money towards a wedding. 😂😂 I mentioned the flight was free for miles and most accommodations in Thailand and Cambodia are extremely reasonable. $120/night for luxury accommodations. $20-29/night for a mid range place.
I can see why eloping is appealing 8)
It's all about what you believe is a waste of money. Personally, I love traditional weddings. I'm Greek, so the thought of a non-traditional wedding baffles me. Most (not all) Greek weddings are usually big events with many people and much drinking and dancing! These are deep traditions that I do not plan to abandon. Just my two cents.
It's a major thing me and my girlfriend disagree about. I don't think it's worth it, but she wants two!! A traditional "western" wedding, and a Pakistani wedding 😰
Oh wow!!!! Yeah I'm tossing around be a traditional ($20k-$30k) vs eloping ($5k). Regardless I'm getting a decent photographer bc that's one thing that is a must regardless. Lol. Even if I got married in a paper bag.
Is there a way you can artfully and tastefully combine both into one ceremony? Draw elements of both than y'all love and create your own reflective of you as a couple vs individual identity?
It's all meaningless, anyway, and a HUGE waste of money. Just throw a small ceremony for the parents and take her on a honeymoon somewhere special.
Well there's also the part she wants to have one over here and one in Pakistan for her family. I'm all for the traditional Pakistani one, but the "western" one man, I just want something small that my immediate family and a few important grandparents can see. And same on her side, something small. We've got time. We're only 18 😂
Do you plan on getting married any time soon?
It'll be a few years at least, but I don't imagine I'd want to wait any longer than we have to. I'd like to get married young, maybe when we finish university. Only God knows
Congratulations!!! Based on what I saw below, it's already been said but do what is right for you and make it a day that will bring you nothing but joy.
Thanks Dawl. I'm much more of a BBQ with crabs, maybe with a low country boil in my backyard. Plus I can invite more people and have a general better time since it wouldn't be so crazy and stressful trying to make everyone happy. My family is very opinionated as to what my wedding should look like.
Elope on the Beach. Have one of your witnesses live stream it.
Fly to Thailand - be newlyweds in love 😍
Have a reception when you feel solvent.
And the only "expectations" that matter are YOURS.
Everyone keeps telling me that but I was raised that my feelings came in second to the family wants. Only girl with a father of the silent generation who believes a woman is second to a man.
see my response above 8)
It's an individual choice, a financial choice, or a ho hum choice. It's a waste of money if you need it for something else!
The deck and stuff aren't actual needs. They are strong wants and desires. Investment wise it makes more financial sense. My fiancé doesn't care either way. He says his family will understand, be slightly disappointed, but will understand.
Fly to Vegas or somewhere similar with a few close friends for the wedding, then have a party for the whole herd a week or two after you get back. Or just skip the party. It isn't about anyone's expectations or wishes, it's what the two of you want to make it special for you (and only you). End of story.
Guess you don't watch "Say Yes to the Dress " Marathon on the so called " The Learning Channel".
Lol! I knew the answer! But weddings whatever the size are a personal choice. Guess when was the last time I watched my sons expensive VCR video (chuckle) or thumbed thru the parents wedding Album I got? The scale of choice is zero or one!
Based upon this, do a simple civil ceremony and just plan a reception at a local park or something.
Yeah family expectations mean traditional wedding. My fathers already complained we have a hold at a venue an hour away. Plus if we have a wedding 85% of guests are coming in front out of state or country. So the expectation would be wedding wedding.
You should do what makes you happy now and what will make you happy in the future.
Family is important to us so we had a large family wedding. Our wedding was pricey (we both worked a full time jobs and part time jobs to pay for it). For us, it was worth it and we look forward to planning another party like that one for other big events (we wanted to for our 10 year but life got in the way).
For our friends a destination wedding was the right choice as they don't really like their extended family. They had to deal with less gifts and only a few people at the wedding rather than a party, but it was perfect for them.
We both have well playing jobs and can afford a wedding without trying. We don't want to pay all that when we have other things we want to accomplish. My mom has passed and I'm not really close to my other family members. The thought of having a traditional wedding without my mom makes me cry. Even planning one has become overwhelming. My friends have become my family, but they want whatever I want. If we elope we plan on doing a backyard party after we get back in Va for my family and our friends and then one back in Ohio for his family.
I love your backyard party plan. It sounds like it's what you'd enjoy the most. Take out the stress and enjoy your engagement. Congratulations!
Just do that. It was a death in the family with my friends' wedding too. You don't want your wedding to be upsetting. Make it what makes you happy.
So I'm engaged and planning the wedding. Even basic and low key, we are still looking at a decent price tag (we aren't getting, asking, or expecting financial help from our families for the wedding). I already have a house and a lot of home projects my fiancé and I want to do. We'd prefer to use the wedding money to build a deck, install new kitchen countertops, build a shed, etc.. Invest into the house and something we use daily vs a few hours.
This means we would just elope to Thailand (our honeymoon destination - we have frequent flier miles so the flight is taxes only). It's an 1/8 of the cost as well for my exact dream wedding (barefoot on the beach). However, I worry about family expectations, letting everyone down. Worrying that I might want that first dance with friends watching and celebrating
Do what is important for you, but don't underestimate the importance of family.
My main issue is having a traditional wedding without my mom (she passed 3 years ago). I'm not close with my father (he isn't a nice man nor a good father - though I do my best to take care of him without compromising my sanity). My father has already given his unsolicited "suggestions" (aka demands) for my wedding (certain food, no DJ, no open bar, type of wedding dress). You name it he wants the exact opposite of what we want.
Next, you do what makes you happy. If it were me I'd do the beach wedding. You'd still get to celebrate with family at a lower cost. I think you also need an upfront conversation with your father. If he doesn't like it, too bad!
My parents eloped and they loved it. If it were up to me I would save money and elope. It sounds like you want to do alot to improve your home, so I would say do that.
Flip flop when I first read the question I though "oh elope is cold". But when I read your situation you sound like a very smart couple who knows whats important and what they want. I think your idea is great and the best of both worlds and you get to reap the financial benefits far longer than a cocktail hour and a 5 hour dinner.
@chicken. Thanks, we try to be smart and are making smart financial decisions as a couple. We both do well financially and see my house (I bought before I met him) as the better financial investment. We love being outside with the dog, so a deck makes sense. The counter is original to the house and is in bad shape PLUS looks like 80s sponge paint Formica. A nice clean white counter would brighten up the place so much. People who know me well know I'm not a center of attention type person and expect me to walk in one day saying "hey I got married". Hell I was engaged for two months before I told anyone (we wanted to tell our families in person first). If my mom was still alive, I'd have the wedding bc I would want that for her. Not having her by my side thru this is heartbreaking (another reason to elope).
I completely understand. A wedding in my area is double digits and many couples spend years trying to pay it off. I look forward to hearing more about your wedding👍🏻