The Messy Business of Weddings

Today I want to share a little bit about our wedding with you all, and this post is actually quite hard to write. I’m going to try to keep it real here, so I hope you all can go with the flow and pardon me this one day of bridal driven insanity.

Matt and I are getting married this summer and I absolutely could not be happier. Matt makes my life better, he makes me better, and I truly believe he makes the world better. But here’s the thing- never in my life have I ever wanted to be a bride. I want to be Matt’s wife. I want to spend the rest of my life with a man I could not have even dreamed up. I do not want to argue with people over napkin colors and chair sashes. Get the difference?


Matt and I had to find a compromise between my dream wedding (which would be to secretly elope) and Matt’s dream wedding (which would be about 160 people large). This was difficult. We went back and forth for about 5 months trying to see each other’s point of view. We talked about it daily. We never argued about it, which I think is fantastic and really telling.

Our original guest list was 160 people. YIKES. We nudged it down to about 126. Which I still felt was HUGE. It is now officially 30-35 people. So basically this means that some people will be angry. Here’s my thoughts on that:

  • It is Matt’s and my wedding day and we should not be bullied- by each other or others. Matt is not forcing me into a wedding I don’t want and I am not forcing him into a wedding he doesn’t want. We met in the middle.
  • It saddens me (and Matt) that we will disappoint people with our decision to have a small wedding. But it doesn’t sadden me enough to spend $10,000+ on a five hour party we do not actually want. Additionally, what a lot of people don’t know/don’t realize about me is that I have SERIOUS anxiety when I’m in crowds. Even crowds of people I know very well. So honestly, having even just 35 people at our wedding is going to be a challenge for me. It’s a challenge I’m happy to meet because it’s all people I love and care about, but a challenge nonetheless.

The hard decision being cutting 130 people from our guest list. (Also, I love Batman)

To get to our final decision Matt and I toured 3 different venues. We toured a bitchin’ museum, a traditional country club, and a cozy little inn. All of them would have been lovely and all of them would not have cost less than $10,000. By the third venue tour even Matt was on board with me: It was ludicrous for us to spend money we don’t have, or money our family has worked their entire lives for, on something we were not both 100% on board with. For some people a wedding is something they’ve always dreamed with, and to them I say rock on, go for it. But that’s just not our thing. But you know what IS our thing- spending that crazy amount of money on a once in a lifetime vacation instead.

So without further venting/rationalizing/explanation here’s our plan thus far:

  • We are inviting parents, grandparents, siblings, sibling families, and a few other very choice people (30-35 people total) to a short ceremony at the place where we first met. I have asked my brother to marry us because I feel like if we’re doing something small and intimate there doesn’t need to be a stranger present.
  • We are then inviting those same people to join us for a nice sit down dinner at a very lovely restaurant. A lot of Matt’s family lives all over the country and they don’t get to spend a lot of time together, and I’m looking forward to us all sitting and eating together as a family without a dj, flashing lights, 100 other people, and my fear and anxiety around crowds. I’m very excited to spend quality time with my family- both sides of it. 🙂
  • If anyone wants to come to our house after diner for coffee and more dessert they’ll be more than welcome to. If anyone is staying in a hotel and wants to come to our house the next morning for brunch they’re welcome to. Our door is open and there will be homemade cupcakes and cookies. mmmmm.
  • We are DEFINITELY saving and planning for a honeymoon/1 year anniversary trip to Australia! For the same price as the 160 person 5 hour wedding we can go down under for two weeks. HOW CAN YOU PASS THAT UP?! This idea was actually how Matt and I found our compromise- I could have a teeny tiny wedding and Matt could pick anywhere in the world for our honeymoon.


So that was a bit of venting for today…. actually, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would come out. But I did edit it at least 5 times over the past two weeks….



13 thoughts on “The Messy Business of Weddings

  1. that is awesome! if people are upset that they’re not invited, then they are just selfish. have you thought about sending out cards or something saying basically, thanks for being in our lives but we’re choosing to do something more intimate? that way they know they’re still loved, but you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to please other people.

    also, where did you two meet? are you getting married on the FSU quad? 😛

    • we are getting married at the new gazebo courtyard at fitchburg state! they closed off highland avenue from mara village down to the end, made it a courtyard with picnic tables, and added a gazebo. it’s super cute 🙂

  2. Go with what you want. The people who love you will understand. My husband and I were in the opposite corners (I have a very, very large extended family; he didn’t have a large number of family who would be able to travel). He told everyone I was forcing him to a HUGE wedding when the guest list hit 30…one of his friends actually took me aside to explain I should agree to hold the size of the wedding down to a reasonable number of guests as he and his wife had done — 500 was a nice intimate size for them! (You should have seen his face when I explained the size of the guest list that was driving his buddy crazy). We ended up with about 75 people there and had a blast. But I’ve a number of friends and family who have had just a few folks there (and we were not on that list) but I’ve never been hurt by it: it is so personal that it doesn’t even dawn on me to question it at all.

  3. Good for you! Weddings can be very stressful and expensive- even getting married at my grandparents house and serving BBQ chicken on paper plates cost more money than I could have believed, and the day flew by in such a blur that I barely remember ANY of the details.

    I think this is the smartest decision you can make, and such a good precedent for the people in your life. From the start, you and your husband are doing the things that are best for YOUR family (which, from now on, is you and Matt and anyone else you bring into the fold) as opposed to stretching yourself for others expectations. As time goes on, those expectations get louder and more challenging to balance, so being strong and putting your family first now is so brave and wonderful. I’m so happy and excited for you! And can’t wait to see a snapshot or two of your sweet little ceremony!

    • thank you! we looked into backyard stuff too– feeing people is CRAZY expensive :). And you’re right- Matt & I are embarking into our own new subdivision of our family, and especially in the beginning it’s important to focus on us.

  4. Your plans are perfect. Your day will be perfect. I’m so excited for you. Aaron and I had a very similar experience for our wedding. We only had 20 people at our ceremony, and our “reception” was a really nice dinner. It was perfect for us. And i KNOW there were people who were offended, but I never see those people or talk to them, so honestly, it was fine. We put all the money we saved toward our down payment of the house, and I’m SO grateful we did. Good luck with your plans lady!

  5. Stephanie, You are a very smart girl. Love you and Matt! I support you guys and your decisions all the way. Kristin

  6. Girl, I totally agree with you. I have NEVER wanted a big wedding. I got kind of twisted into one that was 100 people large, when I wanted it to be me and Nate in Vegas. There are so much more important things to spend money on to help you guys start your life together than a party. I mean, there’s people that spend more on weddings than I did on my HOUSE.

    It’s just not worth it to me. I’d rather put all that money towards a trip or a baby’s college fund or something.

    Preach it. I agree with you.

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