Frequently when we discuss our own elopement or mention what we are doing with this blog and website we hear, “If I could go back and do it all over again, I would elope.” On the one hand it makes me happy that people are now starting to give small weddings the respect and attention they deserve, but I really don’t want ANYONE to have regrets about the day they get married. We grow up viewing weddings as a fantasy moment, an excuse to show off our wealth, or a passage into adulthood. Well, weddings aren’t really suppose to be about these things. There are some elements to consider when you are deciding what type of wedding you and your partner are going to have, or if you are having cold feet over the type of wedding you have already chosen.
You cannot make everyone happy. Give that up right now. Everyone and their dog is going to have an opinion of how you should do things. People will expect to be invited that you have not spoken to in years. Everyone will expect that you can accommodate them. You can’t do it. The sooner you have this realization and let go of the guilt associated with it the better. It is hard enough to find compromises for you and your partner, nobody else is entitled to an opinion.
Listen to your gut. If something feels wrong don’t ignore it. It may be just a little bit of normal nervousness. If you have that pit in the stomach dread when you are in bed, driving, on your coffee break, you have to address it. If the wedding is becoming a monster that you are losing control of, or it is not living up to your expectations, fix it. You don’t want to seem like a complainer and you don’t want to disappoint anyone. But is compromising your own needs on your wedding day REALLY the time? It’s not. You will be set up for huge regrets later on.
Remember the people on the cake. In the end it’s just you two. The marriage is about you, the party is for everyone else. Often in larger production weddings the couple barley sees each other. Have whatever sized, themed or colored wedding you like. Just make sure the center of the celebration is the couple who are committing to one another for life. Everything else is just a fleeting moment.
The thing is, I don’t want you to have regrets about eloping either. This isn’t an advertisement to push small weddings. You have to think long and hard about your expectations for the celebration, and how they are different or similar to your expectations for marriage. Remember, that is what is all about, the marriage.