Getting Through a Wedding When You’d Rather Just Elope

You’ve found your soul mate, and you want to be married. But getting married isn’t part of your plan. You’d just as soon skip all the shopping headaches and the hassle of listening to endless advice on how to make your big day exactly like someone else wants it. But you know there will come a time when you’ll regret not having some kind of wedding celebration. So you’ve decided to bite the bullet and have a real ceremony and reception. Here’s how to pull it off without a lot of needless stress and expense.

No wedding party. Maybe a Best Man and a Maid or Matron of Honor, but that’s it. No more worries about someone’s feelings being hurt because you didn’t ask them to be part of a cast of thousands at the altar.

No rings. Your marriage is just as legal without them. There’s no law that says you have to spend two months’ pay on a fancy diamond. Imagine the honeymoon you could have with that same money. Best of all, a honeymoon can’t be lost or stolen, and you’ll make enough memories to last a lifetime. You can always buy rings later if you want.

No white gown. Who’s kidding who? You’re not a virgin anymore. If you want to have a grand wedding gown, then do it. But you’ll be no less married if you choose a simple tea-length dress. Maybe something colorful to express your unique personality.

No guest list. Throw an engagement party for your closest friends, and treat it as your big celebration. No giant banquet hall to rent. No schedule to keep. Just party until you all get exhausted.

Mom and Dad want the big reception, so let them plan it. We all know that the fancy reception is often a way for the parents to show everyone how rich and successful they are. So let them know that they can book the reception hall and choose and invite all of the guests they want to impress. You’ve already had your party with the people closest to you, so you don’t have to have any expectations for the big reception. Just show up and mingle with everyone for awhile, then let the reception follow its own course.

No wedding vendors. If you’re just having a simple service, you don’t need a hair stylist or makeup artist or planner. You don’t need thousands of dollars of flowers, or favors, or photo booths, or even a professional photographer (of course, you’ll graciously accept if your parents insist on hiring and paying for all of those people).

Social media essentials. Instead of scouring the web for the grandest fashions and décor, search for words like “budget wedding,” “rustic wedding,” “Bohemian wedding” and so forth, for simple, inexpensive wedding inspiration.

Make it about the experience. Share your love story with your loved ones, in your vows, your speeches, your music. Perhaps display some pictures of the two of you during your courtship.

Your families and friends will remember your wedding for the time they got to spend with the two of you, not for the prime rib and Dom Perignon. So don’t sweat it. It’s just a party you’re throwing for your friends. And at the end of the day, you’ll be alone with the most important person in your life. What could be better than that? 

© Fourth Estate Audio, 2016 – Jay Congdon is president of Fourth Estate Audio, a professional Chicago DJ and Chicago Wedding DJ company. 

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