Big weddings are fun — but they’re not for everyone. Yes, a big wedding may be a beautiful symbol (and flashy showcase) for a couple’s love, but big weddings are also expensive, time consuming and over the top. If you’re in love, but aren’t feeling excited about the prospect of spending your life savings on a party and accommodating distant friends and family, then you should have a simple wedding.
Plan a Big Dinner
The wedding industry is a billion-dollar machine that generates upwards of $70 billion every year in the US alone. Couples spend an average of $32,000 on a wedding which includes expensive attire, overpriced flowers and centerpieces, a DJ, food and more. And this number is only the average — many couples spend more, sometimes as much as $100,000 for one night.
While the memories of a big wedding will last a lifetime, so will the debt. If you aren’t willing to shell out tons of money for a fancy party, you may want to consider doing a big dinner instead. Forget the flowers, the $3000 dress and the DJ — rent out a large space in a restaurant, or secure the patio of your favorite local upscale bar, and host a dinner for your closest friends and family.
While this option isn’t free, it’s much less expensive if you forgo the flashy add-ons of a typical wedding. The space rental, food and drink will be your only costs, and many places will allow you to bring in your own simple wedding decorations. Space will be limited, but that makes for a more intimate experience with those that matter most.
Ditching the traditional white, poofy dress? Check out these looks from Lulu’s.
Go to the Court House
Times are changing, and so are the expectations that couples hold a traditional wedding ceremony. Besides all of the symbolic hoop-la of the big day, the point of a wedding is for a couple to be legally married. The act of marrying someone is actually quite simple, and only requires filing for a marriage license and signing documents. This can be done at the courthouse, and many couples opt for a short and sweet signing ceremony in the halls of their local government.
Host a Simple Wedding in Your Backyard
This option is perfect for laid-back couples who are looking for a low-key yet festive way to say their vows. Backyard weddings are more intimate and less-costly than traditional weddings, and all you need is some DIY decor to spruce up the picnic tables and some yummy food. For the feast, try a pig roast, chicken wings or fried chicken. Sometimes the most casual food is the most tasty!
Without the expense of the space-rental and all the fancy decor of a hotel reception, you will save thousands while still getting to celebrate with friends and family. Throw on a party playlist and ask your guests to wear comfortable shoes for dancing in the grass — it will be a night they won’t forget.Getting married with Kids? Check out ideas on How to Include Your Kids in your Wedding.
Getting married with kids? Check out these ideas on How to Include Your Kids in your Wedding.
Eloping has bad rep — many people may imagine a tacky short white dress or drunken regrets in Vegas, but eloping doesn’t have to be that way. The New York Times reports that elopement is on the rise, and the way that couples are doing it is changing. Eloping is a great option for couples that want to celebrate big with each other, but don’t feel like accommodating the wants and needs of friends and families, or paying the cost of all the expensive fluff.
Gone are the days when elopement almost always meant only that spontaneous trip to City Hall.
Eloping doesn’t have to take place in Vegas, either. Maybe you and your partner met during a study-abroad trip in Greece, or maybe you took a romantic vacation in Puerto Rico the first year of your relationship. The location of your elopement can be any spot that means something to you both, and one that could provide a romantic back-drop to celebrate your love. And what’s more, there are companies who can help you go this route.
Whatever you decide, just know that wedding trends are changing, and many expectations of the last few decades are becoming less relevant. Millennials are spending less on diamond rings (if anything), forgoing the obnoxious dresses, opting for honey-moon experience registries instead of department store registries, and prioritizing authenticity over tradition. Do not feel like you have to have a big wedding. Have a wedding that makes sense for your life, your finances, and your relationship. Have the wedding that YOU want.
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