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Planning a Wedding When You Don't Want One

How I Planned My Wedding When I Didn't Actually Want One

I was 23 years old when I met my now-husband, Tim. A week after our first date, we were at boyfriend/girlfriend status. It did not take long before there was no refuting that I wanted to keep him forever.

The first time the topic of a wedding came up, one of us was pretty dead-set on eloping. That was me. Tim's response being a prompt, "Really?"

Years earlier I had decided I wanted to elope. After being a bridesmaid so many times already, I had seen enough weddings to know it wasn't something I valued highly. Marriage I valued. But the wedding itself? Not so much. Of course, my mom repeatedly told me I would change my mind and want a big wedding.

But there I was with my boyfriend I was soon going to be engaged to, and my sentiment remained that a wedding was not something I wanted or needed.

Marriage is all about compromising, not for the sake of peace, but for the sake of love. If you love someone, you want them to have what they want. I wanted to give Tim a wedding because it was important to him. It was not an easy thing for me to give, but I did it because I love him.

One of the biggest difficulties for me while I was planning our wedding was not having anyone who understood how I felt. I really honestly didn't want to have a wedding. Everyone I talked to told me I would be happy once the wedding day came, that I would feel different. I needed someone who understood what it was like to plan a wedding you didn't want to have. Hopefully I can now offer that comfort to women in the same position.

There are definitely some key things to consider in the wedding planning so it does not become a painful process for you and your fiancé.

1. Be Open About Your Expectations

Really open up with each other about what you want your wedding day to look like. Without knowing each other's expectations for the ceremony and reception, you can very easily start planning two different weddings in one. Both of your hopes for your wedding day matter, so you need to vocalize your separate visions for it and find out how to incorporate both expectations.

2. Get Your Family on Board With What You Want

Make sure your family knows the idea you two have created for your wedding day early on. Parents, especially moms, love to be involved in the wedding planning and if you have not given them a clear picture of what you want your wedding to be like, you may find yourself swimming upstream in conversations with them which could lead to hurt feelings, and you don't want that. Talking to them early on about what will make you both happy to have (and not have) on your wedding day will ease a lot of stress.

3. Don't Feel Pressure to Expand Your Guest List

Not every aunt and uncle and distant cousin you have ever met needs to be present at your wedding. If standing up and getting married in front of a bunch of people fills you with anxiety, make sure the people you invite are people who really matter most to you that will continue to be in your and your spouse's lives. I was talking to someone recently who was saying how small their wedding was with only 100 people. I replied, "Oh, we had 60 people at ours."

4. Prepare For Last-Minute Disasters

Embrace that things will go wrong. I was planning to wear my mother's wedding dress that my friend was redesigning for me. Ten days before the wedding when the dress was finished, I tried it on and just knew it wasn't the dress. After many tears of stress were shed, my maid of honor and I went and bought the dress of my dreams exactly one week before my wedding. Unfortunately you can't control everything; there will be hiccups and disappointments in the preparation. But accept that some things are out of your control and there will always a solution that can be found.

Image Source: Bonnallie Brodeur
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