In the thick of the wedding planning process, as my then fiancé, and I began adding up costs and going over our budget many doubts started to cross both of our minds. Was the wedding we were having really worth the price tag? Considering that the average cost of a wedding in the states in now well above $20,000 it’s easy to think about how that money could buy you a car, pay off student loans, pay the down payment on a home, or allow you to travel the world.
I fully support and understand any couple whom opts out of a big wedding, or any wedding at all. It’s not for everybody. And I was one of those people for a long time that thought I might be one to opt out too. But now, almost 2 months after the fact, I can say confidently, that I wouldn’t trade our wedding for anything. Here’s why.
1) You only live once.
I know this idiom is one that often justifies a lot of stupid decisions, which is NOT a concept I a huge supporter of. However, every day I am growing older, and as I do, I realize more and more that life is short, and you only get one shot at it. Doing what it takes to create experiences and memories that you will cherish and remember your whole (short) life is, actually, worth it.
2) Relationships are better then things.
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE things. I love nice things. But I don’t love nice things more than I love my friends and family. The bonds that are made, strengthened, and fortified on your wedding day are non-exchangeable. I would take the love I felt from my friends as they stood by my side, from my father as he walked me down the aisle, from my husband as he said his vows, from my parents as they “gave me away”, over a new car or some fancy clothes any day.
3) I don’t wish I had done anything differently.
Weddings are really cool in that they are a two way street. On one hand, you are celebrating one of the happiest moments of your own life and asking your friends and family to celebrate YOU as well, but on the other hand, a wedding is a way to give back to your friends and family. There is nothing else like a once in a lifetime party that you throw for your loved ones, and that your loved ones throw for you. It’s a time when you can create any experience you want, and probably the only time ever you will get all the people you love in one place to share that experience. Yes, it is worth the stress.
4) It really changed my relationship with my husband.
Yes, Nick and I could of said our vows alone together on a desert island (and that would have been an incredible, life changing experience) but I have to say, there really is something to this whole tradition of declaring your bond and commitment to marriage in front of all your loved ones. I’m not the religious type, so I don’t really identify with a spiritual reason to this tradition, but it’s much like AA or Weight Watchers (I assume.) When you declare your intentions and love for another human being in front of all of your friends and family, it suddenly becomes not just a promise to one person you love, but to every person you love. You are vowing to every person in your life, and that you care about, and are acquainted with, that you are committed to this one person forever. It is a moment that really transforms your relationship. It’s not magic, but something truly does change from that point forward.
As a beginning wedding planner, this is important for me to share because I believe in the process of what I do, and I’m so lucky and wouldn’t trade my wedding experience for anything.