Happy Wednesday and I hope those of y’all that are in my area are prepared – snow is coming and this girl is excited! 🙂 As I’ve done the past few weeks, I’m linking up with Jordon and Meredith for Wedding Wednesday. Please show them some love!
Weddings are a 40 billion dollar industry. Read that fact again. 40 BILLION DOLLARS! Most of that money comes from convincing brides (most of whom are not professional event planners and have never thrown a party for 100+ of their closest family and friends) of things that they must do. Bridal blogs, magazines and pinterest are full of tips and tricks and more must dos.
I have loved reading bridal magazines and blogs. I have loved browsing Pinterest for ideas and inspiration. But what I don’t love is the overarching message to brides, which seems to be: “if you don’t have [fill in the blank] at your wedding, it’s a total failure and not worth having.” Don’t get me wrong – I understand that some things may be non-negotiable for couples. But they should be non-negotiable because they are things that are important to the couple, not because a magazine says so.
K and I are seeking to have a beautiful and meaningful ceremony surrounded by our loved ones…followed by the best party we’ve ever thrown. A beautiful setting, fun music and good food are important to us. Flowers, decorations and things like favors are not. And that’s okay. At the end of June 14th, if we are married (regardless of what else may happen on that day), I will deem it a success.
Did you reject the wedding industry?
Totally rejected it! Even wore a black dress. 🙂 Visiting from SITS!
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That’s awesome — so glad to hear you made your wedding yours!
Cher @ Designs by Studio C says
I completely reject it… When I got married, I had handwritten invitations and I wore a short ivory dress that I made. We did what was affordable – no “programs” or other needless stuff! Thank you for sharing!
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I LOVE THAT! We will probably not do programs but may do a big chalkboard sign w/the bridal party. No favors. No menu cards. Thanks for stopping by!
I probably rejected a lot of ‘wedding’ things, not that we didn’t want them but financially other things were more important to us in the long run, like furnishing our home. Its very easy to get overwhelmed with planning a wedding when it seems everyone keeps going ‘bigger and better’
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I think not going into debt for your wedding is a very good reason to reject some things 🙂
Colleen L says
Wholeheartedly agree with this post. If I see one more photographer’s website justify ridiculous price tags by calling your wedding pictures an “investment” I might throw my computer! We’ve decided to call the local college and ask them for recommendations from their photography program for a more affordable option that will still give us great shots. We also were lucky to have a friend who is really good at graphic design, so she did our save the dates and we had them printed at a Fed Ex for $30. There are so many ways to still have a nice wedding without a huge price tag. While I am so excited for my wedding I just don’t see it as something you should put yourself in debt for. If there is something that’s really important to you, then sure go ahead and splurge…but like you said, doing it because some magazine/blog convinced you this is how it should be just doesn’t make sense!
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I know, right?! I found my photographer through an endless search – she lives in PA, so is much cheaper than DC based photogs and I LOVE her pictures. I’m really excited to work with her. That’s nice about the save the dates – will they do your invitations as well?
Mar @ Mar on the Run! says
I am clearly in the wrong business 😉
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You and me both! After all this knowledge I’m gathering, we should put it to good use 🙂
I accidentally did a wedding post today too, so i’m gonna try to link up! Since I had a destination wedding, I think I “rejected” lots! In the end it’s about what the two of you want, not about what some magazine says you need to have! Be proud of your choices! You are going to post pictures after June right? 🙂
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Oh yes, I’ll post pictures post wedding 🙂 Going to check out your unofficial wedding wednesday post now!
Yes yes yes! Even though I tagged you in a pin about favors yesterday… As I was doing it, I actually though about how I feel like favors are an unnecessary extra. It was just a (comparatively) good price for something that tons of people do, but why?? As far as I’m concerned, the favor is getting to celebrate the two of you and your marriage!!
I’ve been struggling with this issue lately. I’m spending what I feel like is a LOT on my photographer, but we love their work and we’re both really comfortable with them and think we’re getting a lot out of it. I’m right there with you on foregoing programs, menus, etc. They can be lovely and I’ve seen people do super cute things, but I hate feeling like I “have to” have all those things to make it a worthwhile celebration. D keep saying that we’ll do it if it makes me happy… but is it really going to make me that much happier to have giant crystal chandeliers and fancy chairs as opposed to putting that money towards the house or something else fun for us?
Thanks for bringing some perspective back to me 🙂 I have no doubts at all that you and K will have a fabulous wedding and life together! So exciting! xo
Good grief. Longest comment ever. Sorry about that…
Megs: I think that it’s totally fine to spend on what is important to you. You’ve decided that a great photographer is important (and I agree) and you should spend on that! I think that if you want favors or programs or the like, do it! But do it because you want it, not because it’s what should be done (which I know you aren’t!). Can’t wait to celebrate you in August!
That is the crux of the issue 🙂 In some ways, I like and would want ALL those things (call me high maintenance), but they’re not the important parts. On an unlimited budget, I would be all about including every detail I like. But I have to live in reality, which is why I agree with your points. The industry can be overwhelming so it’s a matter of deciding what’s important for us and our loved ones who are coming to share the day with us. Can’t wait!
Nicole @ Pink Elephant on Parade says
I am not engaged but I am also not a wedding industry fan despite the immense enjoyment I derive from watching Say Yes to the Dress.
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LOL – that’s hilarious. And yes, sometimes I can get sucked into that one as well 🙂
We were somewhere in the middle of this. We did spend WAY too much money on our wedding, but it was more the food for us. I didn’t care too much about flowers, in fact my bridesmaids just carried 1 flower, not a bouquet. But being an Italian girl, I needed the extra pasta course and the hot passed hors devours and a gigantic dessert bar with every cookie, pastry, fruit you could imagine. Would I do it that way again? Probably 🙂 #SITSBlogging
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Ooooh, I suppose we did. I had a budget that wasn’t huge and had to stick to it. So, we made choices of what were the priority and cut the things that we didn’t have the money for. I loved my day…our day 😉
Love from SITS!!
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So glad to read this post! I agree that the is a lot of money being made on brides feeling pressured to do or have things a certain way. I am just at the beginning stages of planning, but I plan to avoid some of the “mandatory” wedding purchases along the way…
I went for the traditional gown, wild flowers in my hair and mud on my dress. (It rained. A lot.) Married at a bluegrass festival fairgrounds, made my vases out of sticks and coffee cans and bought super cheap dresses for my bridesmaids, but my “maid” of honor wore a tux! A little traditional, but the rest…not so much! Fun day! Stopping by from SITS.
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Cynthia L says
Since I am a gay woman, I suppose I was rejected! Recently I was able to get married to my partner of 20 years. The ceremony was quiet and in a park with the two of us and my daughter. It was special to us. Stopping by from #SITSBlogging!
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that is awesome. congratulations to you and your partner! 🙂
You are SO right. You will be happily married and that is ALL that matters!!!!!
Thanks for linking up!
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Claudia Schmidt says
I never bought into the whole wedding industry. We just had a smallish wedding without all the weird stuff like wearing a garter and throwing a bouquet, but I was older when I got married and it seemed too silly. We basically just threw an awesome party for 60 close friends! You and your fiance seem to have your heads on straight. Stopping by from #SITSblogging!
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Thanks Claudia – we are trying hard to stay true to what we want and not to do something just because we “should.” It’s saving a lot of money and stress!
We ran off to vegas so yeah…we rejected quite a bit of it….
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Coco (@Got2Run4Me) says
We got married young and on a very tight budget. Since we’re still married 25 years later, I say it was a success! 😉 Seriously, the stress of planning the “perfect” wedding can’t be a good way to start your life together.
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Amen to that!
Delia @ Blog Formatting says
Our wedding was exactly as we wanted it and my hubby and I planned it and arranged it all, no wedding planner or anything like that.
It was wonderful and we remember that day even now (we’re celebrating our 18th anniversary this year :)) Great article, Courtney!
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Wow that is a lot of money! We paid for our wedding by ourselves and I had an awesome wedding for our budget! So many women go crazy!
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Denise Gabbrd says
Totally agree—do what makes you happy, and to heck with the rest of the nonsense. The wedding industry is pretty well out of control, and honestly I think young couples would be better off saving where they can and using extra money towards a house.
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Yvonne Chase says
I agree with this 100%. Put that money towards a house or towards paying off debt and start your marriage on a clean financial slate with a zero balance.
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The great thing is that it is entirely possible to have a wonderful wedding on a budget that is reasonable. We are really excited to do just that 🙂
Diana Griffith says
I think it’s interesting what is considered a must have and what isn’t. It definitely varies between what the magazines/blogs tell you and what family members think. I think I had a fairly traditional wedding, but my mom coming from a traditional Catholic background called it quirky. My grandmother had never even been to an outside wedding (ours was by a lake). So normal or must have is soooo different to each person.
Dana Renee says
I’m waiting for the snow too! Hoping work is canceled. We also rejected the industry for our wedding. We prioritized the things that were important to us and filled in the blanks with great DIYs and vintage and thrifted items. I did just about everything myself and we had a fabulous affair on budget. It can definitely be done!
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Cynthia @ You Signed Up For What?! says
I picked and chose what I wanted to do, which traditions I wanted to follow, and how we wanted to have it all happen. It’s your wedding – whether you play into the industry just follow your own heart.
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DB Landes says
When my husband and I got married, we made our own traditions. We made it unique and we went way outside the box when we planned it. We had daisies and pinatas, a grand cake and bbq. I also wore a white brides maid’s dress for my wedding gown. It was wonderful and on our terms. We also got tons of compliments on everything and how much fun it was. Reject the wedding industry and go with your gut, girl! I am visiting from the SITS comment love tribe.
PS. I live in Loudoun County, VA… not too far from you and I am lovin’ this snow fall!
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Thanks for weighing in — your wedding sounds great! I am LOVING this snow day 🙂 Enjoy it!!
Clarissa Hooper says
The hubby and I actually eloped– we spent something like $50. Didn’t make the parents too happy but 10 years later nobody cares and we don’t have a debt from wedding expenses to pay off! One thing I do regret though- we didn’t nearly get enough pictures!
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So well said! For our wedding, we did do quite a few things that were just because it was ‘expected’, and later regretted it. All that matters was our love, our vows, our promises, and the friends and family who shared it with us. #SITSChallenge
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Yvonne Chase says
I reject weddings period! Stopping by from #SITS
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Rachel G says
Seeing as we hired no professionals except a photographer…and I wore a white dress that wasn’t specifically a “wedding dress” and my husband just wore a suit from Express…I’d say we definitely took the route of avoiding the “industry” and going our own way! It worked out, it was what we could afford and felt comfortable with, and I wouldn’t have done anything differently. 🙂
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We’ve been looking at venues recently and I’m pretty horrified at the prices for weddings. And we’re only having family as guests! I might not have this wedding at all if the price equals a down payment on a condo.
I definitely reject!
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Samantha Angell says
In some ways, I didn’t follow the traditional wedding, but in others I definitely did! I designed my own Save the Dates, invitations, programs, etc…skipped the favors. Used flowers from the farmers market. I wanted a traditional-style wedding, but refused to spend the average of 28K on it- and I came in at about half that! To me, like you said, the important thing is being married at the end of the day.
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