Author Topic: Poll: Did you elope? If you could go back in time, would you? Were people angry?  (Read 23451 times)

Spork

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I am the kind of person that cares a LOT about offending others / hurting their feelings.

This can be an admirable trait: you're a caring person.  But also remember the bottom line here is that this is your celebration, not theirs.  It is they, not you that should be worried about hurting your feelings.

bogart

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No, and no.   And no, since we didn't ...

But, though not from my case, I'll tell you I have friends who married in her European home country (traditional wedding, traditional celebration, but could easily be replaced by a more contemporary celebration of the union if that's what appeals to you and/or what you can afford, while still welcoming everyone you want to include in whatever geographic region you pick) and then came to the US, his home country, and held a celebration of their marriage (not a wedding, as they were already wed) here.  I will note that they in fact invited everyone from the US to the event in Europe, but not many went (however, a few did).  I thought it was nice that they invited everyone to join them at the actual wedding, but also let people know that those who couldn't or opted not to travel would also have a closer-to-home opportunity to join in the celebration.  So maybe something like that could be adapted to your circumstances?

nawhite

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... I also think you're right - I could cut down 200 people to 100, but then I ask: what's the point of inviting 100 people, possibly/probably spending a fair amount of money on food and drink for ONE HUNDRED PEOPLE, if doing that is going to upset the 100 I didn't invite? I figure, keeping it small (like 20 people) and intimate will at least lump the 180 people that didn't get invited all in the same category. If I invited some cousins and not others... eeps. I think that would bother people more than not being invited at all. Maybe I'm wrong? Man this gets stressful fast.

I am the kind of person that cares a LOT about offending others / hurting their feelings. I also don't want to spend more than $3000 on getting married. Because that is CRAZY (to me).

We did not elope but we were in a similar situation to you. My family lived in New York, her's in Tennessee, us in Washington DC. She wanted a huge 200+ person affair with everyone we were related to, I wanted to go to the courthouse. We ended up settling on about 40 people in Tennessee because her parents cared more (but paid for less hmmm ... ?)

I learned a trick from theplunge.com (like the knot for men):

The easiest way to save money on the wedding is to cut the guest list. The easiest way to cut the guest list is to start with a small one so you don't have to cut at all. When you are planning, have each of you make a list with the 10 people who ABSOLUTELY MUST BE THERE!!! You each get no more than 10. If your SO says "but I NEED at least 12" say no, pick 10, hold the line. (We used the metric of 'who would we be willing to pay for their flight to come if they couldn't otherwise make it') Then leave those lists alone for a few weeks or months and envision what the wedding would be like with only those 20 people plus you two. Wrap your head around those 20 people and how special the wedding would be and how important those 20 people are to you and how important it would be to share this with those 20 people.

Only then can you start adding people to the list. It is far easier to add people to a 20 person list than to subtract people from a 200 person list. And now that you've been thinking about how special your small wedding would be with your small group, you have less of a need to add your great aunt martha because she wouldn't make YOUR day any more special. "Plus ones" go out the window. Relatives you haven't seen in years don't need invites. Reciprocal invites (they invited you so you have to invite them) are cut. All because you know the 10 people who really matter to you and your happiness.


This trick saved a lot of heartache for us. We ended up with a sized wedding we were both happy with. And we loved that we actually got to sit and talk and eat with everyone at our wedding. DW and her family got the "wedding" aspects they wanted. I got the small size I wanted. Overall it was a great compromise.

lifejoy

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... I also think you're right - I could cut down 200 people to 100, but then I ask: what's the point of inviting 100 people, possibly/probably spending a fair amount of money on food and drink for ONE HUNDRED PEOPLE, if doing that is going to upset the 100 I didn't invite? I figure, keeping it small (like 20 people) and intimate will at least lump the 180 people that didn't get invited all in the same category. If I invited some cousins and not others... eeps. I think that would bother people more than not being invited at all. Maybe I'm wrong? Man this gets stressful fast.

I am the kind of person that cares a LOT about offending others / hurting their feelings. I also don't want to spend more than $3000 on getting married. Because that is CRAZY (to me).

We did not elope but we were in a similar situation to you. My family lived in New York, her's in Tennessee, us in Washington DC. She wanted a huge 200+ person affair with everyone we were related to, I wanted to go to the courthouse. We ended up settling on about 40 people in Tennessee because her parents cared more (but paid for less hmmm ... ?)

I learned a trick from theplunge.com (like the knot for men):

The easiest way to save money on the wedding is to cut the guest list. The easiest way to cut the guest list is to start with a small one so you don't have to cut at all. When you are planning, have each of you make a list with the 10 people who ABSOLUTELY MUST BE THERE!!! You each get no more than 10. If your SO says "but I NEED at least 12" say no, pick 10, hold the line. (We used the metric of 'who would we be willing to pay for their flight to come if they couldn't otherwise make it') Then leave those lists alone for a few weeks or months and envision what the wedding would be like with only those 20 people plus you two. Wrap your head around those 20 people and how special the wedding would be and how important those 20 people are to you and how important it would be to share this with those 20 people.

Only then can you start adding people to the list. It is far easier to add people to a 20 person list than to subtract people from a 200 person list. And now that you've been thinking about how special your small wedding would be with your small group, you have less of a need to add your great aunt martha because she wouldn't make YOUR day any more special. "Plus ones" go out the window. Relatives you haven't seen in years don't need invites. Reciprocal invites (they invited you so you have to invite them) are cut. All because you know the 10 people who really matter to you and your happiness.


This trick saved a lot of heartache for us. We ended up with a sized wedding we were both happy with. And we loved that we actually got to sit and talk and eat with everyone at our wedding. DW and her family got the "wedding" aspects they wanted. I got the small size I wanted. Overall it was a great compromise.

Nawhite, this sounds REALLY GOOD. You have definitely given me some great ideas!!! Question: if you were inviting a friend and they had a long-term SO, would you invite the SO just to make your friend happy? I find it gets tricky there, because some couples I am friends with, and some couples I hardly know the SO.... but I don't want a friend of mine to feel shafted. Thoughts?

expatartist

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I suppose we eloped, though we didn't think/talk about it that way.

We were on an island in Thailand, far from both of our families, and near where we were living at the time. We drove a motorbike 27km (in our silk wedding clothes) from our hotel to a boat to the registry office on the next island. He'd called my parents to ask their permission, and afterwards we called his family to let them know we'd gotten hitched. Witnesses worked at the tax office. We exchanged rings on the beach and he'd written some sweet wedding vows. The paperwork was straightforward, and easier to do than in our home countries.

Since our families are so spread out, his family doesn't travel, and (some of) mine don't talk to one another, we felt this was the best option for us. We were really happy with how things turned out.

dude

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We did the big wedding thing. I wanted small and sweet, he wanted huge....he won. My MIL paid for half of it and invited everyone she had ever known. By the end of the night I was tired of introducing myself to people, and I wish we had cut out half of them. I had a great time and I don't "regret" my wedding at all, and I went that way with it because it was easier than causing conflict over the whole situation with my new in laws. I'd probably still do it again the same way if I had a do over because all I really cared about was getting married to the man I love. But I would have enjoyed a smaller guest list and a more intimate setting.

Oh man, ditto, almost to the letter.  My SO and I had talked for years about just renting out a beach house for the weekend and having a low-cost beach bash with only close family and friends.  But my God, after I put the engagement ring (another story in itself) on her finger and she started planning the wedding, things just snowballed and the Marital-Industrial Complex seized control of her mind.  Before I knew it, we were spending $40K on a high falutin' shindig with 200 guests (many of them extended family on her mother's side -- she's from South America -- who my SO barely knew).  The SO is an only child, so her parents had saved for her wedding for 30+ years, and they kicked in $25K.  I had a really, really  great time at my wedding (surprisingly, because I was sure I was going to be miserable), but not a day goes by when I don't think about how we could have had a small, but great beach bash for $10K and pocketed the difference -- $30-f#%ing-THOUSAND!  ugh.

Elaine

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We're not married yet, basically because I don't want to screw up my fella's school money (I make more than him and it could jeopardize his financial aid). So we're waiting until he's done with school but we've been together for 5 years and already know we're getting married, live together, etc. I was never the type of girl to dream of a big white wedding, we don't have tons of siblings or massive groups of friends so when we started really talking about marriage I couldn't even picture that whole big special day thing. I actually suggested eloping too and I think his words were, "I'm so lucky you don't want that bullshit", or something to that effect. I'm sure he'd do it if I said it would make me happy or whatnot, but I just can't see spending a freaking down payment on a wedding day. We're planning instead on socking away a couple thousand dollars and taking a big trip that happens to include an elopement, so much more worthwhile and romantic. My mom is pretty non-traditional, didn't have a big silly wedding herself, so my parents won't care. I think his family might be disappointed, but they also aren't in any position to help us pay for anything. I figure if not having a wedding is something they can't get over, than it was only a matter of time before they hated me anyway. It's kind of like doing anything counter-cultural, some people will judge and be pissy about it, but it's your life- not theirs. 

rubybeth

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If I invited some cousins and not others... eeps. I think that would bother people more than not being invited at all. Maybe I'm wrong? Man this gets stressful fast.

I am the kind of person that cares a LOT about offending others / hurting their feelings. I also don't want to spend more than $3000 on getting married. Because that is CRAZY (to me).

I did this; invited just a handful of my cousins. I have nearly 30 first cousins on one side of my family alone. So I just invited the ones I was closest to growing up and am still friends with. It helped that one cousin played the music for the ceremony, another was my flower girl, another my ring bearer, another did my wedding video, and the last cousin just brought his wife (children other than our flower girl/ring bearer were not invited). Maybe there were a couple cousins who were disappointed they weren't invited, but they also didn't have to a) spend any money to travel to my wedding, b) use any time off work to come to my wedding, c) feel obligated to buy me a wedding present. I also didn't invite all of my friends/co-workers to the wedding, just a handful. People were really understanding. We just framed it as "we're having a really small wedding" and then people were surprised.

I feel I must repeat: people REALLY don't care about your wedding as much as you think they do. :) If you don't want to spend more than $3,000, don't. Skip the lavish meal and drinks and do hors d'oeuvres or pizza or just dessert something. 

anastrophe

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No, but we had a very small-scale, pared-down wedding. It could have been more minimal, but by most standards it was simple. We also invited many less people than expected to be invited. Some people were angry, but for the most part they were polite about it. One cousin threw a hissy-fit at a family gathering about it, but I decided that was just funny. I could have been upset, but in general, I decided I Did Not Give A Fuck What They Think and had the wedding I wanted to have.

And you know what? It was very nice, and a lot of people were very pleased by it, and told us so generously. Specifically, they have told us they loved it because it was "so intimate" and "casual" and "personal." If we had invited EVERYBODY, they would have enjoyed it less.

Many of my friends eloped. There was some fallback, but in the end, it doesn't matter. People will get over it.

(Also, if you are stressing out about this stuff, I think you should stop reading Weddingbee and The Knot and join the Offbeat Bride Tribe. There you will find all sorts of exciting unconventional ideas, and a lot of supportive threads on how to handle this kind of family awkwardness.)

nawhite

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Nawhite, this sounds REALLY GOOD. You have definitely given me some great ideas!!! Question: if you were inviting a friend and they had a long-term SO, would you invite the SO just to make your friend happy? I find it gets tricky there, because some couples I am friends with, and some couples I hardly know the SO.... but I don't want a friend of mine to feel shafted. Thoughts?

We made the rule on "plus ones" that if they were married/engaged, or in the wedding party (bridesmaids and groomsmen) and in a long term relationship, they got a plus 1 offer. All others, the answer was "sorry, we're trying to keep the wedding small. We'd love to meet so-and-so though, when do you want to come visit?" In most cases, if they wouldn't be willing to come visit us for fun, we probably didn't want to meet their plus-one, let alone pay for them at our wedding.

catmustache

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We didn't elope, but we threw the wedding for fairly cheap (about 3k for 150 guests) and definitely got gifts that we worth the not eloping. The majority of people that attended probably wouldn't have given much or anything had they not been invited. That being said, a big wedding wouldn't have been worth it so if our choices had been elope or spend more money, we wouldn't have hesitated.

A friend of mine recently eloped and people weren't terribly upset by it, if a little suspicious of the reasons for elopement (she got engaged and married within a week). People generally don't seem to care as much as the people getting married do.

NumberCruncher

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Did not elope, but if we could go back in time, we would have eloped.

Felt obliged to have some ceremony for the benefit of family, and ended up with a small wedding. Planned from afar and way too much stress.

cosmie

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I haven't eloped yet, but I'm in the process of planning an elopement to surprise my fiancÚ with. :)

Both of our families have a history of getting eloped, and when we got engaged a few years ago it was with the intention of getting eloped or at most having a ceremony with just immediate family. Her grandmother wouldn't accept that, and took it upon herself to start planning us a mega 200+ person wedding with all of the extended family (most of who we don't even personally know). When the other grandmother found out about this, she decided she wanted to plan our wedding. It caused so much strife that we ended up postponing the whole thing indefinitely, as my fiancÚ is really close to both grandmothers and doesn't want to choose who gets control (and who is going to be pissed at her). She still just wants to elope, but doing that will make both grandmothers angry at us.

We were already planning a vacation this summer to the Caribbean. So I'm using that as cover to surprise her with the ceremony and honeymoon she described back before her family co-opted our wedding. That way we get to elope like we want, but her grandparents aren't pissed at her (since she doesn't know about it). They already don't like me, so I've got no issue taking the brunt of the blame and anger.

Weyfarere

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Did you elope?
No.

If yes, how was the fallout? Any family annoyed forever? Did you feel like you missed out on anything? Were people understanding?
N/A

If no, do you kind of wish you had?
Nope. We discussed it beforehand, but we both wanted friends and relatives there.

Large parties don't have to be ridiculously expensive, though. I think we had around 150 people at our wedding this August, and the total cost was about $4000, including the honeymoon and rings. We just had cake, snacks, and beverages. My husband planned most of the decorations, because (a) he had time and (b) he cared more than I did.

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I got married in April 2013. We did not elope but we originally intended to do so. This was my 2nd marriage (1st spouse deceased) and I really didn't want a wedding with attendants and a lot of fuss. My DH wanted to go to the courthouse and I was fine with that. My parents and grandparents are all deceased; I only have a sister and niece that I'm close to. Also still very close to my former BIL and SIL and their 2 adult daughters. DH has 1 brother and a large extended family. Neither of us wanted the expense of a big wedding and we made that known as well as the fact that neither of us like being the center of attention. However.... his mom is very, very extroverted and loves celebrations. She offered to throw us a wedding and we ended up accepting her generous offer, but it had to go along with our wishes. So we had the wedding on the lawn of her fancy golf clubhouse, reception with buffet dinner, and open bar (paid for by her brother). Including the 2 of us there was 25 people total. I told her what color and type bouquet I'd like, type of food, cupcakes, etc. She did all the planning and paying. All we really had to do was show up! We had personalized vows and a SC paralegal as officiant. It was a quick ceremony with everyone standing around us. The only thing I really wanted (besides my DH) was good wedding pictures. Found a great photographer locally who agreed to give us the raw data photos so that my DH could edit. He's a very good photographer himself but couldn't very well take our pictures. She charged $500 for 4 hours of shooting; we paid for her services. DH and I spent hours choosing all the sappy love songs we liked from the 1960's to present; he used some app and had them all arranged perfectly and played through computer to speakers set up in the reception room. It was very meaningful to the 2 of us and it seemed everyone else enjoyed the music as well.

I am very happy with the way it all turned out. It was relatively stress free for us and we ended up having a lot of fun. We made his mother very happy. They are all great people and I'm happy to be part of their family too.

I think whatever you decide to do, it should be what speaks to you the most and will make you both happy. Remember it's not the wedding that matters most, it's the marriage. Best wishes to you!

lifejoy

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I think whatever you decide to do, it should be what speaks to you the most and will make you both happy. Remember it's not the wedding that matters most, it's the marriage. Best wishes to you!

Congratulations on your marriage! And thank you for this sentiment. I think it really embodies the true spirit of the thing :)

sunflower_yellow

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Newlywed here!  I've got a bit of advice for you...

Advice #1:  You are going to offend someone at some point.  Get over it now so it doesn't cause you heartache later!

...so you say that you're the type of person who REALLY HATES to offend anyone.  Guess what:  as soon as you announce that you're getting married, EVERYONE is going to have an opinion.  Hey, even me, and you don't even know me!  No matter what you decide to do, you're probably going to offend someone.

Some people are going to be offended if you wear a strapless dress.  Some people are going to be offended if they're not invited, while other people are going to be offended if you invite them but say that they can't bring their flavor-of-the-month girlfriend.  Some people are going to be offended if you say that it's an "adults only" event.  Some people are going to be offended if you're not married in a church/ synagogue/ mosque/ city hall.  Some people are going to be offended if you have a female officiant, some people are going to be offended if you don't serve meat, some people are going to be offended if you don't have calligraphy on your wedding invitations. 

Listen, everyone has opinions about weddings.  Having just gone through this myself, I strongly urge you to start preparing a thicker skin...  OR prep yourself for drama. 

Advice #2:  Take the time to figure out (with your SO!) what is *really* important to the two of you, #1 above will get a lot easier.

I remember the first time my husband and I talked about what we wanted out of our wedding day.  Fast forward to 15 months later - we ended up having the wedding of our dreams.  But it was a bit of an unconventional experience (see below) - if we didn't have a clear vision from the beginning of what it would take for us to "feel married," there is no way we could have created the experience that we did.

Repeat after me:  "With my SO, we will determine what sort of experience we need to "feel married."  We will write this down, and we will carry this piece of paper with us at all times when wedding planning and when discussing ANYTHING wedding related with our mothers/ friends/ anyone who works in the wedding industry.  If it's not on our piece of paper, we don't need it or want it."

Advice #3:  Stay away from the wedding industry, including the alternative wedding industry, and make sure you focus on building a marriage, not a wedding.

I heard Offbeat Bride mentioned earlier.  Great site, much better than The Knot if you're looking at doing something unconventional.  But be careful not to fall into the trap of expecting your backyard shindig to look like those glossy pictures.  Remember that those glossy pictures are a carefully edited version of reality.  It's really easy to start putting a lot of pressure on yourself to paper mache' all of your centerpieces as well as make all of the flowers from tissue paper.  It's the same pressure you'll find on The Knot, just in an alternative form.

Likewise, it's way too easy to get sidetracked by DIY'ing everything under the sun and not put in the necessary prep time with your SO for the awesome challenges of marriage.  Do you have a joint financial plan?  Have you discussed whether you want to have children?  Do you practice good communication skills even when you're pissed off at each other?  How about religion and spirituality - are you prepared to support each other in that area of your lives?  Do you have a good understanding of what each of you expect out of marriage?  Why do you want to get married, anyway?  Please consider spending at least as much time on this preparatory work as on planning your wedding, however you choose to get married.

And now, on to your questions.  :-)

Did you elope?  We told people ahead of time that they weren't invited, so not quite.  :-)

Do you regret it?  OMG, NOT AT ALL.  Our wedding day was seriously one of the highlights of my life so far.  I don't want to go into too many details about what we did in a public forum, but it was amazing, meaningful, intentional, and beautiful.  I'm looking at my wedding portrait right now and it makes my heart explode.

Having said that, we did end up throwing a party for about 50 people the week after our ceremony.  Sort of like a reception.  I did it because my husband wanted the experience of seeing our families together, and I wanted him to have that experience.  We rented a pavilion in a state park and had some food and family photos.  Even though it was super casual, it was an INSANELY stressful experience and put a ton of tension into my relationship with some of my relatives.  Overall, I could have skipped the party entirely and not felt that I missed anything.  When all was said and done, my husband agrees that, if the party had been our "real" wedding, we would have felt incredibly cheated, as we would have been stressed out and miserable on our wedding day.

Whatever you choose to do, best of luck as you start your marriage!  Done well, it is an amazing experience.  :-)

P.S.  If you're going to have people attend your wedding, take an additive approach, not a subtracting approach.  Much easier to work up from 20 than down from 200!  I like the advice below about starting with 20 people, leaving the guest list for a month or three, and then returning to it.

anastrophe

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Advice #3:  Stay away from the wedding industry, including the alternative wedding industry, and make sure you focus on building a marriage, not a wedding.

I heard Offbeat Bride mentioned earlier.  Great site, much better than The Knot if you're looking at doing something unconventional.  But be careful not to fall into the trap of expecting your backyard shindig to look like those glossy pictures.  Remember that those glossy pictures are a carefully edited version of reality.  It's really easy to start putting a lot of pressure on yourself to paper mache' all of your centerpieces as well as make all of the flowers from tissue paper.  It's the same pressure you'll find on The Knot, just in an alternative form.

I also agree with this. I specifically recommended the Offbeat Tribe, which is the locked forum associated with the site, because it's full of supportive people who have interesting answers to unusual and common situations. But you should always remember that you're just a person and professionals are, well, professionals. And some of those DIY weddings are MASSIVELY EXPENSIVE.

http://offbeatbride.com/2013/03/one-lowmanship

http://offbeatbride.com/2007/05/your-wedding-is-not-a-contest

daymare

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Ahh, weddings.  I am getting married this summer so this is a topic that's currently on my mind.  I totally feel you on being overwhelmed at the thought of organizing/hosting/paying for a large event.  Spending lots of money is stressful, especially when it's for something so transient ... I think a lot about how I'd love to invest all that money instead of paying for a wedding.

That said, we're not actually eloping (or going to the courthouse), and our wedding will be pretty sizeable: about 100 invited (he has a lot of family, I have a lot of friends).  I dislike wedding planning & all the money it'll cost ... but for me, everything really came down to the fact that we're so mobile now and people you love can and do move (as do we individually).  My fiance and I are from different states, went to a third state for college (same one, but we ran in different circles), then I moved to a fourth city for work for 2 years, and then a fifth city for grad school.  And our friends from all of these places are in different cities now too.  I have friends in Cali that I haven't seen in over a year because of geographic distance.  So I am really embracing the opportunity to get all my favorite people together in one place, which, let's face it, will probably never happen again. 

But of course, the reality is that while all I want to do is get married outside in a beautiful garden, provide guests with food and alcohol, and have music to dance, all of that is coming at quite a large cost (~15K, we estimate), so it's a big luxury and totally unnecessary for getting married.  Just keep that in mind whenever someone says you 'have' to do something -- actually, nope!  Everything is elective, besides the partner, pretty much.  One site to check out is apracticalwedding.com -- it's amazing, thoughtful, and really focuses on marriage and life, rather than petty details of wedding planning.  They talk about things like the experience of having your mother, an alcoholic, get drunk at your wedding, and lots of other thorny and very interesting and personal topics.  Great place to hang out to start unpacking your own feelings towards weddings and marriage.

So I think your issue really comes down to: WHY do each of you want what you want?  Do you want a really small wedding because it's cheap?  Or is it more that you want it to be a super-personal experience?  Does he want a large wedding because it's expected?  Because he wants there to be a lot of love?  Because he wants to share it with a lot of people?

Quote
Question: if you were inviting a friend and they had a long-term SO, would you invite the SO just to make your friend happy? I find it gets tricky there, because some couples I am friends with, and some couples I hardly know the SO.... but I don't want a friend of mine to feel shafted. Thoughts?

So when I started planning, my perspective was very much that engaged/married couples you need to invite the partner (or people who have been together really long-term ... went to some weddings when my fiance and I were bf/gf where the bride and groom had been together less than we had ... would not have been amused if bf wasn't invited.)  So I totally primed my friends in medium-term relationships with the fact that we wanted something pretty small, probably wouldn't be able to give dates, and they were cool with it -- We're only inviting close friends and family, so everyone knows someone, or a large chunk of someones, usually. 

But then I thought about it -- I only want the really important people at the wedding (why focus attention away from those VIPs and put it towards others?), so if a friend was important enough to invite, shouldn't I care so much about them that I want to get to know their SO even if I haven't yet?  So I actually think I will be inviting everyone with their medium/long-term partners.  (Basically, we'll have been engaged for a bit over a year when we get married, so if your relationship was long-term when we got engaged (say, ~1yr at that point), your partner is invited.)

It's actually a great litmus test -- there were some people who I thought I would want to invite, but then when faced with having to invite their partner, if I really didn't want to, that was a great way to realize that I'm clearly not as invested in their personal life as I should be if they're one of my most favorite people.

Good luck!

anastrophe

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Why not invite 200 people and just have cake in the church basement or at a picnic shelter? A lot of people doesn't have to mean a lot of money. It doesn't have to be fancy.

I did feel kind of bad when I was not invited to my cousin's wedding. I thought I WAS important to them, but they were trying to save money. I don't see that size and money have to go hand in hand.

Well, some people elope because they don't want to have a wedding, because they have social anxiety or don't want to plan one or just want a simple elopement for its own right. Having an inexpensive punch and cake thing won't do it then. But it is a good option for people who want to have a wedding and just don't want to be spendy, and I'd like to see more people go that way if it suits them.


lifejoy

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My major issues with large weddings:

-If more than 40 people come, am I really going to get to have nice catch-up conversations with them? Probably not.

-Cost. Sure, I could do a simple cake in a community hall. But if people are spending 10 hours and $800 to attend my wedding... it ups the ante a little. That's just my perspective, but it would be hard for me to invite far away people to such a humble affair.

anastrophe

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My major issues with large weddings:

-If more than 40 people come, am I really going to get to have nice catch-up conversations with them? Probably not.

-Cost. Sure, I could do a simple cake in a community hall. But if people are spending 10 hours and $800 to attend my wedding... it ups the ante a little. That's just my perspective, but it would be hard for me to invite far away people to such a humble affair.

1. Weddings are not the time to have nice catch-up conversations, period. I had 45 people at mine and had catch-ups with exactly nobody. It's just not the right environment for it. Most of the catching up happened at the afterparty/brunch/etc. They did catch up with each other, but I didn't with them--as the couple, you don't really get to sit down much.

2. People can make their own decisions about whether they can afford to travel. Some of my friends who traveled far did not give gifts, but I thought that was fine, they were there! I do think a meal is a good thing to have but there are ways to keep that cost down.

lifejoy

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Very good points!