My husband and I eloped in our hometown. My sister was the witness and we had a pool party with our immediate families afterwards. We got take out and cupcakes and wine. It was a fantastic day and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I had a big wedding a few years ago and did not enjoy it. My brother in law, on the other hand, had a small wedding due to covid and it was so calm and beautiful. Looking back I wish I would’ve had a smaller one.
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.
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!
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.
Had ours at a BnB. Parents, Siblings, and grandparents…so like 10 total people. We had a 2 week honeymoon in Clearwater, good down payment on a home, and got 2 kittens immediately after.
No drama, no debt
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.
Let me give you the other side… me and wifey wanted to get a simple marriage ceremony. Either of us didnt have much money saved.
Our families overrode that..what happened was a 5 day fiesta that fed and entertained about 800 of our combined extended family, post which we didnt have anything left, my sisters put in more money than i would have earned in an year, her father had to take a loan for their side.
So the toll of this 5 day extravaganza was about 3 years worth of salary.
Till this day i wish we could have used a fraction of that money (literally 10%), it would have gone a long way in helping us settle.
Specially as that was just before Covid 19 f**ked the economy
My husband and I eloped in Scotland and then spent a week in the highlands for our honeymoon. It was probably the happiest week of my life. Our only witnesses were our photographer and her partner.
I’ve had a big formal wedding and a small courthouse wedding. My personal opinion, the big wedding was a huge hassle. My parents took out loans to pay for it and they were in debt for a few years. There was a lot of pressure to do it all ‘right’ – fancy invitations, rehearsal dinner, expensive dress, catered meal, open bar, big cake, flowers everywhere (and my MIL got into a fight with the florist over the bill). It was exhausting and not fun.
My second wedding was at the courthouse with 2 friends and a couple family members then we had a cookout/bon fire party in our back yard. It was awesome. We spent $15 on some basic invitations that specified ‘no gifts, just come celebrate with us.’ My new MIL bought a random cake at Walmart that ended up being ammo for a food fight, we grilled steaks and chicken, provided a big cooler of beer and soda but most people brought their own beverages. No pressure. No stressing over centerpieces or wearing pinchy shoes. Was it trashy? YES. But it cost about $150 and everyone had a great time.
More importantly, I knew right away that the first marriage was a mistake but was ashamed to back out after everyone involved put so much into it. The second wedding was us being ourselves with our real friends and we are still happily together 13 years later.
I think big weddings are a huge waste of money. My husband and I decided to get married on Thursday and got married on Saturday. Just immediate family and a couple of close friends. Never regretted it. Been married 41 years.
Small wedding is great. Got married with about 40 people. All close family and friends. We went to a wedding two months before with 150 people. Terrible. Way too big overblown and crazy expensive. A small wedding is great, and the day after you’re still just as married as you would have been if you spent thousands more.
My ex wife and I got married in the back yard of Paul Walker’s Uncles house. It was by far the biggest house I have ever seen. We had the music playing while she came down the isle, flower girl, best man, maid of honor, everything. Well she ended up cheating on me with her boss 6 years later and I heard from other people she had not been faithful for our entire marriage.
When I remarried we did it in the courthouse. We took pictures and went to dinner with her family. Yes, it was not as fancy, but we both agreed that we would put all our efforts into a beautiful honeymoon.
I guess what I am trying to say is that it does not matter or should not matter where you get married. What does matter is who you are getting married to.
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.
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.
I eloped abroad with only two witnesses (one who married us and his girlfriend) we had a fantastic time walking around a new city, exchanged vows in the park and were already at our honeymoon destination.
Had a fantastic week, saved a ton, had a reception thrown by parents. No stress, no overwhelming attention, just a sharing of vows by two people which we felt was what was necessary. Hit ten years a week ago.
We got married 6 years ago. We had a smallish outdoor wedding. It was absolutely the better choice, and my husband and I will always feel this way. The only thing we regret is inviting the judgemental family members who made snide comments about the secular and non-traditional nature of our wedding.
I regret not having a bigger honeymoon. The wedding itself? Absolutely not. Small doesn’t have to mean impersonal; we had a lovely time with a small group of family members doing a few activities around town, went to the courthouse for the wedding, then all went to a restaurant after. Not expensive at all (some guests, instead of a wedding gift, chipped in for dinner, which was nice of them), but memorable and fun.
But do I wish we had gone somewhere bigger for a honeymoon, made it more of a bucket list type trip.
Not my experience, but some good friends had a small wedding then had a huge 25th wedding anniversary party. I was at the latter, not the former (didn’t know them then). Small suited them 30 years ago; big suited them 5 years ago. If you’re worried you’ll regret not doing something bigger for your wedding, know that that isn’t your last opportunity to have a big party celebrating your relationship.
This summer I went to a couple of medium-sized “first anniversary parties” for couples who had had very small weddings during the first summer of COVID.
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.
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
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.
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 [damn] 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.
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.
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!
got married very young age about 25y ago. Her parents gave us a budget of $700 but said we could keep any extra. (they wanted it close to them so that why they sported)
Photographer was friend, did all couple shot before we got married (just put rings on and faked it), venue was friend of friend property in foothills of a mountain near stream with like an old gazebo. Tux and Dress were rentals, hairdresser was bridesmaid… food was mostly hundreds of little custard tarts.. other simple finger foods. No alcohol, just tables and friends and family and talking… ceremony was quaint, but memorable.
No regrets at all.
Zero regrets. We got married in our favorite park by a JoP. Didn’t send out invites just told everyone the date and time and told them to show up if they could. Did like aFB announcement too.
We were super shocked with the big turn out and it was people we never expected to show. It was an amazing experience as the guest list was a surprise.
After we got married we went to the bar we first met at and more people showed up. It was a crazy fun night we still talk about.
Looking at my NEW car. Yep, it was worth spending that money on something that is USEFULL.
I know people who took loans for wedding party. Nothing like starting a new life path with a loan to pay, yay!
We spent under £1,000 all in, for rings, my dress, shoes, registry office wedding fees, venue hire (room at the back of a pub), sound system hire for the dancing, and buffet for 100 guests, presents for our mothers & a nice bunch of flowers for the lovely lady who made our cake as our wedding present.
I made my dress and we did our own buffet, just made some bowls of salad and bought a ton of sweets, cakes, crisps, dips, bread, spreads, snacks, etc which friends helped us lay out. Had pizza leaflets in reserve but they weren’t needed, we had boxes of food left over (we spent about £300 on food).
Don’t regret not having a bigger event at all. For both of us getting married was more about the marriage than the wedding.
I mean, yes, I’d have liked to have a gorgeous dress that I’d never wear again, a beautiful castle wedding venue, huge party with tons of food & flowers, etc. but I’d also like to have the £30,000 – £60,000 or whatever it would cost, and in fact, if I had it I’d rather put it towards a house or something than blow it all on one day!
The most important thing was to get married to each other and to celebrate it with friends, which we were able to do. We weren’t trying to keep up with the Joneses, or prove anything to anyone, we just wanted a fun day to share with the people we care about.
Maybe it’s a factor that we married in our thirties and had both heard far too many horror stories of people who spent an absolute fortune on their weddings and were still in debt for them when they got divorced.
If we ever win the lottery or something then I’d consider doing a big party and a vow renewal for some big anniversary, but I’d also worry that it would jinx things. I guess I’ve always had a subconscious superstition that the more expensive the wedding the worse the marriage.
We got married last year in the Maldives. Just the two of us. It was a moment we shared together which I will never forget and always cherish.
If going for a big wedding is your thing, go for it. For me personally though I would not have wanted it any other way!
Interestingly all the married folk I’ve had conversations with since, mentioned that they would also have preferred doing it this way, in retrospect.
Each to their own though
No. We got married while on holiday abroad. No family. No friends. Cost a ridiculously low amount. Found the witnesses at the hotel we stayed at. Got married in the gardens outside. Had a drink with the minister by the pool afterwards and enjoyed the rest of the day swimming etc. Beach party we attended that night was our “reception “. Don’t regret a minute of it. It was our day. No family squabbles to deal with.
We had a planned elopement. Just us, photographer, and person who married us. We spent money on flowers, photographer, and wedding dress… It was perfect.
I have no regrets and never dreamed of a big fancy wedding. I think back to my sister’s wedding where all these random people..friends/coworkers of my parents that my sister didn’t even know. I didn’t want that and neither of use like being the center of attention and having to make small talk with people we don’t know.
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.
Husband and I had a very small wedding. Around maybe 50 guests, it was extremely casual. It was more like a BBQ.
I didn’t do the tossing of a bouquet nor that weird thing where the groom goes for the garter belt.
We did have a DJ, and the wedding cake was tropical themed. Some guests wore Hawaiian shirts.
We rented a hall, and when the time was up, everyone went back to my parents house for more drinks and food.
I was told for months after people had the best time.
We didn’t spend a lot of money, as we had bought a house less than a year prior.
You don’t need to empty your bank account to make the day enjoyable for you or your guests.
My husband and I eloped on the beach with my then 2 young sons and 2 hired witnesses. We then spent the week at theme parks.
Would do it again in a heartbeat. No question.
Not one iota ( is that spelled right?)
We spent 500 bucks to get married then road roller coasters all over Vegas and ate sushi in a fancy place. We had so much fun and save a lot of money
Seven years ago me and my husband married in my villages church and we had a small reception for our 15 guests at my parents beach house. We are introverts and even this much attention was a bit much. Honestly we where not intrested in the wedding we where more focused on being married.
We didn’t have a big wedding, less than 10 people were in attendance. We don’t regret it at all.
A lot of people spend so much on a wedding it could be a down payment on a house or the cost of some college degrees.
It’s not about how big or expensive, it’s about making a memory that can last a lifetime.
Maybe do something you’ll always remember AND save enough money that will change your lives?
My husband and I spent a few days trying to plan a large wedding when we both said “forget this, lets just go to the Justice Of The Peace”. It was just us with our mothers as wittiness.
We have been happily married for 7 years and we have never once regretted our choice.
I have no regrets. My original dress would have cost more than what we ended up spending on everything for the entire day when we eloped. Our parents were with us and it wasn’t stressful. We had a party a month later that also wasn’t stressful. What everything was adding up to when we were planning a big to do wouldn’t have been worth it for one day of memories with us just starting out. We were married at a Scottish inn we try to get back to on our anniversaries, we went hiking and zip lining that weekend and had massages the morning of our wedding. So flipping easy going.
We had 33 people at our wedding, it was glorious and we think of it often and fondly. We are also told it’s the fave wedding of many of our guests.
Half of the guests were immediate family (parents and siblings and spouses), the other half our closest friends. One of my grandmas was pissed but whatever – we kept it small intentionally so that we could pay for it (about $12k total, including renting little houses for all our guests nearby), which meant we didn’t really have to listen to anybody’s opinions but our own. Ha! Families, man.
We also didn’t pay for a photographer – we assigned two friends as “videographers” on their iPhones for the ceremony and reception, and then handed out three instant cameras for everyone to take Polaroids throughout. We then scanned our favorites and had a custom “book” made for us and our guests as their post-wedding thank you.
(ETA: I know a lot of people say the photog was their best investment, but I wanted to provide a different viewpoint – we don’t regret not having a professional photographer at all. YMMV)
It was very DIY (my FIL cooked lobsters in huge pots in the backyard during the reception; we had a table of booze and two self-serve frozen drink machines: pina colada and margarita).
I highly recommend it.
It was great! On wedding day I got up early, bought flowers and made my own bouquet. My dress was $300 from Dillards. Got married at the courthouse with both our parents, his brother and my aunt. Had lunch at local pub.
Went home and took a nap. Hung out in my dress playing video games until dinner were we met all our extended family at a Golden Corral.
I have now dyed my dress pink so that I can wear it for other occasions.
We got married at a friend’s neighbor’s home in Henderson (Nevada, USA), then all five of us went out to eat at the Bellagio in Las Vegas (we kept on our classic wedding dress / tuxedo). We had fun gambling and made back more than we spent all together on everything.
It was a great time nearly 20 years ago – with only one regret being that the bride’s father could not come over from Ireland to be with us. We made up for it by going over often.
Absolutely do not regret. We had 17 people at ours, only parents, brothers and sisters, and their families. It’s more often that people will say “I wish we would have done something more intimate like you”
My wedding was just myself, husband and the clergy. After that we went back and lived our normal lives. For our honeymoon we went to hawaii and was able to invite MIL & SIL (Cost of plane tickets, gas, airbnb and food for 4 people was only 4k). Money better spent to spend time with people we actually care about.
Looking back I do not regret it because to me weddings are a waste of money. It blows my mind that people spend 20-100k to feed 100+ people (some of which they don’t even know). Also weddings are stressful to plan. Why would i want my best day to be stressful and expensive?
I eloped. We were young & the marriage only lasted a couple of years. TBH I sometimes forget I was ever married. Planning a big wedding might have stopped us from getting married at all, which may have been a good thing (not because anything bad happened; it’s just a pain in the ass to deal with divorce paperwork & a judge), but it definitely would have upped the embarrassment factor when we got divorced. I’m glad it was just us, makes it easier to leave it in the past. Sometimes I think about marrying my current boyfriend (my first marriage was twenty years ago) & I like the idea of it also being small, maybe just us, the officiant, & whatever witnesses are required by law (in our state, you need two). I really do not enjoy weddings at all, I think they’re boring, there’s always some kind of bulls**t drama, wedding cake usually tastes awful, I don’t like having to dress up, I hate mingling with other people’s random friends & relatives, & I think the entire wedding industrial complex is a huge scam. So there’s no reason I’d want to subject anyone to all that nonsense on my behalf. I decline all wedding invitations I receive (though I send a gift).
We did a “post vaccine wedding barbeque” at my mother’s house. My wife is also an introvert, there were about 30 people there – only people we actually wanted to spend time with.
We tried to make it more about all finally being together rather than centered on us, which worked nicely! My wife also did all the cooking as she’s a chef, and having something to do was really helpful for her anxiety – not that everyone has that gift haha. My brother did the music, we borrowed stereos from a friend, other friends made some flower arrangements (although we didn’t ask) and my mom’s yard is huge, gorgeous, and free. Outfits from Express and online, got one tailored for like $75, and we can easily wear them again.
Whole thing was probably $2k and we made it all back (and more) in wedding gifts. It was absolutely perfect, and we saved so much for a down payment on a future house or honeymoon!