As some of you may know, I got engaged this past October. It's been an incredible three months of celebration and love – mixed with a healthy dose of planning and decision making. Initially, Chris and I were going to elope. "The wedding industry is a sham!" We said. "They'll take all of our money and time!" We proclaimed. "We'll do something cool and different!" We boasted. We aimed to sneak around the system, and happily get married in a very low key, just us, simple way. It wasn't until we started making the guest list that we had a change of heart. Here are the rationales that took us from elopement to big city wedding in just a few short weeks.
1. It's not a day, it's a year
When I think about wedding costs, I hear the resounding words in my head: "It's ONE day, how could you spend all that money on ONE day!?" What I've come to realize, however, is that it's not just one day. It's one year of preparing, celebrating, creating, scheming, planning, loving, anticipating, sweating, crying and enjoying. All with your partner, family and friends. Other than having a child, it may be one of the biggest creations you will ever achieve in your lifetime.
2. When else will you have the excuse to throw a killer party?
Yes, I am going to pull some YOLO on you. Sorry, but it's true! Sure, you can take the money and run away together, elope and travel. While that does sound appealing - there's something so much greater about having everyone that's ever mattered in your life in one room, partying it up and celebrating the start to your new, solidified partnership. You will likely never again have the excuse to hire a DJ, a photographer, a videographer (if you so choose) and go all out. Yes, primarily, this is the day you are getting married and binding yourself legally and lovingly to your life partner. But secondarily, this is the day you will PAR-TAY like its 1999 and never look better.
3. Your family and friends should be celebrated, too
Family and friends are the reason we are who we are today. Sure, the bride holds the spotlight – but in my opinion, this is the time to take a look around and relish in the love spewing out from every angle – the relationships you've successfully formed over many years, the family you're fortunate to have, the life that you've created thus far; and the life that's to come supported by all of the smiling faces in that room.
4. You Can Still Do it On a Budget
If you're lazy, your wedding will cost you. If you are strategic and know how to barter, you can actually do this for a reasonable price. Want that Trolley for $200 less? Ask for it for $400 less. Think the ceremony fee is too high? See if they'll waive it for you. Are those $15 chiavari chairs worth it? Let them know that you can get them for $3 elsewhere. People WILL help you stick to your budget and they do want your business. Shoot for the stars and end up on the moon, my friend once told me – and in this industry it's a smart idea to bargain.
And there you have it, just a few reasons to reconsider that elopement package. What do you think? Do you want a big wedding?