Let me start right away by saying this is purely me venting. This is not a ploy for sympathy, this is not a pity party. This is a vent session. 100%
My wife, Libby, and I officially became married on Feb 6th, 2018. We recently celebrated 1 year together. It is April 2019 as I write this.
We did not have a wedding and apparently that blows peoples minds!
Heres the thing: we did not skip the wedding to be all secret-y and hush hush, we did not skip the wedding because we did not want people around us, and we certainly did not skip the wedding because we just did not want one.
We wanted one. Nothing crazy, nothing massive, nothing ridiculous, and nothing out of this world, but we did want one!
We even had a decent plan, a rough number of guests, a venue in mind and my idiot friend was going to officiate. It was going to be something like a Sunday afternoon brunch buffet wedding. Future newlyweds: Sundays are one of the cheapest days to get married and buffets eliminate the need for per plate seating. Maybe this helps 1 couple.
Then the issue revealed itself:
THAT SH*T COSTS MONEY!
Money we simply did not have.
We failed to have a wedding because we could not afford to have a wedding. Plain and simple.
Heres the thing, nobody owed us a wedding nor was anybody required to pay for it. I understand that. Thats fine. I am not holding a grudge because theres no grudge to hold.
My boss, out of the goodness of his heart, literally reserved the venue for us. It was one of the most generous things a non-family member has ever done.
However, a lot more goes into a wedding than a venue and the costs were simply still too steep.
My mother offered significant help as well, but it still was not enough to cover food and drinks, because those prices are jacked up when you mention “wedding”.
Im serious when I say this: We had the guest list down to less than 25 people.
STILL, it was too expensive.
Could we have gotten married in a backyard or the beach or whatever? Sure. We did not want to. Nor should we have had to SETTLE for a wedding that would STILL cost us thousands of dollars. I have a lot of student debt. We did not need to add to it.
I want to remind the reader that this is NOT sour grapes about not having a wedding. Weddings cost money, money we did not have. Thats it. This story begins in the aftermath.
Once more, there is nobody to be mad at! This was NOBODY’S fault!
Libby and I got in more arguments than you could ever imagine over things that were out of our control and it was killing us BEFORE we were even married! I thought the whole “never get married” thing was supposed to happen AFTER you got married!
Long story short, we “snuck away” and got married when we finally came to the realization that a wedding was simply out of the realm of possibility. But we still wanted to get married. We kept it quiet for maybe 2 weeks until we officially started telling everyone.
Now that we have context; we couldn’t afford it, help was offered but simply not enough to cover costs, we refused to go into further debt over it, blah blah blah, now the story can begin…
Within days we got a 70/30 reaction that still holds up today.
30% “Thats so y’all, you guys made the right call by skipping the wedding”.
70% “Whaaat, Why would you not want a wedding?”
In both scenarios, 99% of people assumed we had the resources for a wedding but simply said “no”.
Which could not be further from the truth.
However, the most common reaction was something along the lines of “you guys got married? No wedding? Ok.” Little to no congratulations, almost offended or even thought we were stupid for not have a wedding.
Me: “We did not have the money”
Others: “Well you make it back in gifts”
Me: “You still need money to have a wedding”
Others: “Oh, I guess”
I cannot be more serious when I say that Libby and I wanted a wedding, a small wedding, but a wedding nonetheless.
The reaction/lack of happiness we received and cold shoulder reactions and even “why wouldn’t you have a wedding?” dumbfounded reactions have simply come to a boiling point for me, personally.
The feedback we got for lack of wedding was astoundingly negative and we both experienced it separately and together. We were almost pointed and laughed at for not having a wedding, regardless of the reasoning as to why.
To this day, there are many people I hold near and dear to my heart that have NEVER once said congratulations. And it is not really necessary, I guess, but if we paid for them to get drunk, they would have. It puts things into a crazy perspective.
Libby and I wanted a wedding. We wanted one so bad!
The blatant ignorance to LACK OF F*CKING MONEY has blown my mind!
When you tell friends, family, acquaintances, etc that you couldn’t afford it, the IMMEDIATE response is to offer solutions THAT COST MONEY! We did not, nor were going to settle for a wedding we didn’t want that may cost less, but WOULD STILL COST MONEY!
We refused to have a piss poor wedding that we would still have to pay for, just because other people wanted us to have a wedding. Side note: Piss poor weddings also cost money.
We have had people that are almost angry we did not have a wedding.
We have had people thinking we are stupid for not having a wedding.
We have had people think weddings are free and act as if we should’ve had one regardless of finances. One instance a response to me saying we did not want to go into debt over it was “well, thats kind of what you do.” Shut up.
We have had people disappointed we didn’t have a wedding. Regardless of whether or not they said it, the feeling was very tangible.
But in a VERY small percentage, we have had people generally happy for us. People that say “who cares what people think? I am happy for you!”.
Things like that mean SO much.
Again, this is just me venting. Im not looking for pity or sympathy. I just need to get this off my chest.
The amount of negativity a couple can receive for NOT having a wedding is something I was incredibly unaware of until we experienced it. People think you’re selfish, dumb, bad decision makers, etc. When in reality, we just could not afford it.
If you have had a wedding funded by others, more power to you. If you funded your own wedding, more power to you.
If you failed to have a wedding due to finances, I understand. I understand so much!
1 year later and this has eaten me up enough to blog about it. Such a millennial move!
To sum this all up: Who cares if you have a wedding or not? Did we want one? Of course, but we didn’t. Thats that. It’s over.
If you are struggling to afford a wedding and thinking about opening credit cards and going into debt and worrying heavily about not only finances, but what others think, my advice is simple:
Do what YOU BOTH want.
Now, more than ever, I have come to the realization that a wedding IS about everyone else. Yes, it is “your” day but everyone wants a say in what you do or do not do.
Why celebrate those that do have weddings to the highest degree only to chastise and cast aside the ones that were not financially able to do the same?
If there is some person or couple that may have experienced a similar situation, please share this, tell your friends, put the link on instagram, twitter, reddit, facebook, tumblr, wherever!
Let them know they are not alone.
I’ll wrap this up by saying that I love my wife and my life with her. She is my whole world even when we are annoying the hell out of each other.
If you do feel the need to be negative to those that don’t have weddings, my question is why? Whats the point? How does that benefit you?
Just be happy for people.
God, now I sound like a tye dye wearing, gross beard having, man bun wearing, skinny hippy. Bleh!
For those of you that were generally happy for us, thank you,
Those that were not? F*ck off.
Libby, I love you