I could have sworn we already did this post, but I think I was just remembering all of the times I’ve left really long comments on other peoples’ The Wedding Posts. Too bad I can’t remember where they are so I could just copy them…
We had a big wedding for under 3K. We had an outdoor wedding in the rural Midwest (there was a wooden shelter area in case of rain), didn’t buy a photographer, flowers, favors etc. The most expensive thing was food and drink, but getting a barbeque catered runs under 1K in the rural Midwest and 1K buys quite a bit of champagne. We had JCPenny’s prom dresses and rented tuxes (MIL insisted on the tuxes). Friends flew and drove in from all over and we put them up on the floor of my parents’ place. We’ve been to a couple of similar weddings in Northern CA since then that were a bit more expensive but not terribly so.
For us, the most important part of a wedding is the shared joining of two people together in front of their friends and family– those who mean the most to them. It is a shared day but it doesn’t have to be an expensive day.
As a guest, what most people seem to notice are if the bride is beautiful (she always is), if the couple is happy, if the venue is nice and if the food is good, timely, and there’s enough of it. It’s also nice to be able to catch up with or meet new people at the reception. That can all come at $40,000 or it can come at $500. People don’t remember the flowers or the favors or a million other details that can drive the planners crazy at the last minute. They’re not important.
I have noticed an inverse relationship between the amount of money spent on a wedding and the fun had by guests. Usually that’s because fussy formal weddings are no fun and stressed out brides are no fun. Often the DJ has the music too loud, the photographer is constantly in the way recording an event that didn’t really happen (is the photographer really supposed to come down the aisle backwards before the bride?), and there’s a huge wait between wedding and reception which are in two different venues. Sometimes people are blessed with a wedding planner who takes care of things and everything runs beautifully, but more often than not, the fancy wedding is a much more unpleasant experience than it needs to be. Less expensive weddings just tend to be more relaxed.
The best weddings we’ve been to were simple ones full of love and shared commitment. The ones we’ve left early obviously cost a fortune.
As we’re getting older the weddings we go to tend to be simpler rather than fancy, even among those who have cohabited for years. The couples are paying for them instead of the parents, and our friends in their 30s are more focused on what their wedding means to them (and learning from previous weddings they’ve attended) rather than some external dream of a fairytale wedding.
Side note: If you’re having an outdoor reception… don’t choose shrimp as an appetizer. Wasps like it too much.
#2 chimes in: NEVER have an outdoor reception. They are hateful. Even though #1’s wedding was nice. Not my taste, though.
#1 disagrees: All my favorite weddings have had outdoor receptions (and an emergency place in case of rain). #2 is just scared of the day-star. Possibly allergic.
How was your wedding? What are your favorite kinds of weddings? If you haven’t had a wedding yet, what’s your dream wedding like?