Getting over wedding disappointment

by Erika Torres


After a three-week engagement, Eric and I had a small courthouse ceremony and a 50-guest reception in my parent’s backyard.

At the time, I was fine with letting a lot of things go, because I knew we would have our “real” wedding when Eric returned from Air Force training. (Long story short: Eric never left for the Air Force).

As time has gone by, I’ve sort of let the idea slip out of my head of redoing our wedding the way I would have really wanted.

We celebrated three years in April, and while I have no qualms of having a second wedding (people who remarry other people have another wedding, why can’t I have another wedding to marry the same person?), I’m still having a lot of doubts.

For our one-year anniversary, I really tried to do a church vow renewal but all the work and the costs were a serious impediment. We were too broke at the time to even entertain the idea of doing another wedding.

Now that we’re more financially settled, we could definitely save up for a “real” wedding. But now I’m wondering: do I even want to?

The thought of plucking down thousands of dollars for one day just makes me extremely squeamish. There are so many other things that we could use that money for, such as

At the same time, I am kind of sad that I didn’t get the wedding I wanted. While our small ceremony and reception was very beautiful (it really was), there were still a lot of things I feel I missed out on.

I didn’t have the wedding dress I dreamed of, I didn’t get to have my dad walk me down the aisle or get married in a church. I didn’t have a sit down dinner, or a champagne toast, or even a wedding cake. We sort of had a first dance…?

Some of these things are more superficial than others. The bottom line it comes down to is: I want a wedding, but I don’t want to pay for it.

I guess we could all say that for a lot of things, huh?

It may not have been the wedding of my dreams, but I do love our story.

I love our marriage, I loved the actual act of getting married and I remember the way I felt on that day and how I seriously knew it was the happiest day of my life.

There are moments in our lives where we are filled with so much love that you feel you will burst. Our wedding was one of those days.

Why do I keep focusing on the materialistic aspects of that day when I am beyond happy with the purpose of our wedding, which was to actually get married?

And if I did do another wedding, I know that I would be so preoccupied with the budget that it still wouldn’t be the wedding I dreamed of. I would be so worried over dollars and figures that I have a hard time imagining myself actually enjoying it.

How could I possibly devote thousands of dollars toward one day in my life, when we’re working so hard to save up for a house?

I think I need to let the wedding dream go…but you best be damn sure I’m going to have a huge ass baby shower.

Do you have any wedding day regrets? Anything you would change or would you do it exactly the same way?

Photo credit: SarahElise.


Englchen March 11, 2022 - 10:42 am

Our wedding was a disaster. My family and friends couldn’t attend the wedding as it was too far away. We were not allowed to serve alcohol, play music, or light candles. Our cake had no dowels, so my maid of honor put toothpicks into the cake to hold up the tiers. The ceremony was short but nice. MIL wanted family pictures taken afterwards, which took 2 hours. We cut the cake and where whisked away to have our wedding pictures taken a block away. When we got back everyone was gone. Most of the food and cake were untouched. No conversations. No laughter. Nothing. We received a few modest wedding gifts, but mostly cards with money in them, which didn’t even cover the cost of my maid of honors dress. We received more money from my mother, who couldn’t attend, then the gifts and money combined from the attendees.
I didn’t expect much, I just wanted to gather people, have fun, and dance through the night.
If we would have known what we know now, we would have eloped and had a nice vacation instead. We wanted to do another wedding with my family and friends, but that never happened either.
That being said, I have the best husband in the world and even though we had to master some tough times and working in different states for several years, we are still going strong and love each other dearly. I can’t imagine to be with anyone else.

Nuffsaid January 19, 2020 - 1:21 pm

Well our wedding is 7 months away and I’m already disappointed with how its going to turn out. Apparently, my husband to be is an introvert, a very strong one, so he is NOT comfortable being the center of attention. So he wants a private wedding. I’d be happy with a small one, maybe 10 or 15 guests but no, he wants a PRIVATE one. Witnesses max. So I see no point in pulling out my dream wedding dress, decorating the place or having a reception at all.

I can’t force him to settle for a small one at least cause he’d still not be comfortable on our day, he just won’t be happy and that means it won’t be a fond day for us both.

Years of dreaming of having a nice big wedding with friends and some family, then deciding that maybe a nice small one will do, pick only the most important people, now.. no one’s invited. Sigh… I’m trying to get over it, and he’s trying to cheer me up, but its not easy getting over years of daydreams and planning just to delete your dress from a cart and tell everyone that its gonna be a private one.

I just have to accept that things just won’t go my way and that at least I’m getting married to the man I love and will make some nice memories after the ‘wedding’ day.

Andrea Morrison-Boice September 26, 2018 - 1:22 pm

My entire wedding party and guests left my wedding reception at 6:30pm and we had a DJ until midnight. I didn’t get the wedding reception I dreamed of with lots of dancing etc. It was devastating and my heart breaks everytime I think about it.

Erin Williams March 24, 2017 - 10:50 am

I agree, having a decide between a big wedding and small wedding can be one of your biggest regrets. But, I think it’s a good test to see how you and your partner decide on what is best for your family. Thanks for writing.

Mrs. E September 21, 2016 - 7:35 am

I know this post is a little old, but I decided to share a bit of our story anyway. 🙂 Haha.

I am very happy with our actual wedding, which we’re coming up on our first anniversary at the end of this month. It was up in the mountains, at a really small chapel, with only 5 of our closest family and friends. “Closest family and friends” leaving out my parents, considering they were the reason we decided to get eloped in the first place, because they were not supportive of our relationship at all. My father kept telling him and I both lies about each other in attempt to get one to break up with the other, but luckily, we both understood how crazy the man was (and is – he’s been abusive as long as I can remember). ANYWAY. I’m happy with how it turned out, because we both wanted a very intimate gathering anyway. BUT we never had any type of celebration after the fact, and didn’t really even get to announce our marriage because once my parents found out they went off badmouthing the both of us to the rest of the family and everyone else. Because of that we’ve decided to throw an anniversary party/”reception” type of event down the road, most likely at 5 years or so, with a pop-up vow renewal. This way family from out of town can come in, and we can re-announce it in our own special way. Cheesy/bad taste or not – I don’t really know what the consensus is on this, everyone on the internet has something different to say about it – it’s the right thing for us and I’m very excited about it. Our life together so far has been wonderful and I can’t wait to show that to others in our own way.

If you’re in a similar boat, wondering whether you should do a vow renewal party or not, I encourage you to go ahead and do it if it’s right for you! Of course everyone’s situation is different, so I can’t TELL you what to do. But I can definitely encourage you to not lose hope just because you’re worried what others will think! Do what’s true for you.

Amita January 6, 2016 - 1:27 am

Thank you for the comments. Circumstances cause me to do a Court marriage but I’m going to do a small wedding at a B&B a few months later I was worried about who would attend but now I don’t care. I just need photos video flowers and cake and maybe a limo. Every one has expectations for my wedding

Sabrina May 29, 2015 - 8:47 am

My wedding was at the courthouse. My hubby and I had been dating for 15 days when we decided to get married, we knew each other much longer than that. I knew my family and friends wouldn’t approve, and his family doesn’t really want anything to do with him, so we went to the courthouse and got married. I regret not planning it out and taking our time, simply because I wanted that one day that was about the two of us and everyone seeing how much we love each other. Once I told my family we were given hell for over a year. Now my family sees how happy we are, but I still regret not having something a little bigger. To have a beautiful dress, nothing expensive, to put my daughter in a pretty dress, for my husband to dress up and look like a million bucks, to have family and friends there smiling at us and for my daddy to walk me down the isle.
We have thought about renewing our vows but that never seems to happen because we have bills and 5 kids running out of shoes, and jobs, and so much that the only time we spend money on relaxing is when we go camping for a weekend and we sleep the whole time.
I don’t regret marrying my husband when I did, just wish I would have taken a little more time to do it a little bigger.

Brigid December 20, 2013 - 7:08 pm

We got married in Tahoe with immediate family and a few friends. I wore an off white 2 piece skirt,/top I wore to work. I won my cake at a bingo game and had sparse flowers-‘bouquet and baby breath in my hair. Never had any family wedding showers or even a reception. Both set of parents did not offer any financial help nor did we expect it. I was naive and had no expectations. Looking back I wish I had had a real wedding with a gown and all. My son just got married and had a small event with 115 guests at a lovely golf course. We contributed over $5000 as did her parents. They had 2 showers and a beautiful reception with a wedding cake, catered dinner, DJ dancing with all the trimmings.

I recommend anyone getting marrow to have some special event to remember and to feel special. I never felt special on my wedding I guess because I had and continue to have lowered expectations for myself. If you don’t you will regret it.

Tarie December 1, 2015 - 9:30 pm

Agree, you can’t redo what wasn’t done the first time, you will never be that young again and in as good physical shape with all the beauty of a young bride. We have few really poor pictures too. So no real memories to share with our children. I feel I missed out on something that should have been special. Worst of all my inlaws proposed we get married. Never had a proposal from my irreverent husband who treats me like trash who has been an alcoholic and misused prescription drugs for years. I look forward to the day I go to the Lord my Savior who has given me peace.

V November 9, 2013 - 11:30 pm

I got married in a simple court ceremony to my then boyfriend of 5 years. Not because we were ready, I was still in college at the time, but because I was going to be deported. We are still married, going on to 4 years now, and I love my husband very much. However, I feel like I missed out on so many rights of passages.

It didn’t help, that I really didn’t have any family to support me during this act. My dad was not in the picture, he was the main reason why I was in process to be deported. For the day of the ceremony my mom had a hard time finding the location of the ceremony site, which caused an argument between my sister and mom. My reception was at a restaurant, where I stopped another argument between my mom and sister.

My husband did officially asked me to marry him before the ceremony. Which made me very happy when he did officially ask. However, when I called home to share the happy news, the response I got was, “that’s nice, now let me tell you what’s going on with me.”

My wedding night was spent at my in-law’s house, since we couldn’t afford a place of our own to move into. And the day I moved out of my house, I was alone. No one helped me move my stuff.

So now, every time I hear someone’s happy wedding story, I feel like I can’t contribute. It pains me to think of my failed wedding attempt. And now I hate weddings. I hate being part of them, and I’m a little jealous of the happy couple with all the support from their family and friends. So then many would say, just have another wedding or a vow renewal. And my response is, why? It’s really expensive and it won’t fix the pain of my first failed attempt at a pathetic wedding. So now I must live with this burden and the pain that is associated with it. Pathetic, right? I know.

Quinn March 22, 2015 - 1:51 am

I feel this so much. There was so much family drama that didn’t need to happen at my wedding, that I haven’t spoken to my family since. Can’t even look at wedding pictures. I cry at weddings for the wrong reasons now. I’m an American, my husband is Australian. We intended to start the green card process for him right after the wedding. My stepmother was the town clerk who issued the wedding certificate. When I asked when I could get a copy ten days after the wedding, she lost her damn mind, called me selfish and self-absorbed in a massive, hateful, relationship ending email. We got an unusable photocopy maybe ten days later, uncertified, full of mistakes. My husband demanded a certified corrected copy after one month, which we got. But then a couple of months later, I double check with the state agency where all the licenses are filed. Turns out she threw out the original copy of what we received, completely redid the certificate with more mistakes, didn’t tell us or let us review it, had the minister sign it again, and filed it. We felt we could not start any immigration process until the marriage certificate was for real corrected. I complained to the selectmen of her town, an ethics agency, the governor, everyone. She just told everyone that we had missed the mistakes, when we were never allowed to review it in the first place. We got it corrected just ten days shy of our five month anniversary. I was three months pregnant. Instead of applying for the green card, we started the immigration process for me to go to Australia. It’s been a long haul, having my son and moving internationally in the same year. But his parents are super supportive and clearly want their grandchild around. Anyway, I’d give anything to do it again over here. I made a lot of sacrifices to make them happy, and now I want something super small that I can be proud of and have a lovely picture.

dojo September 28, 2013 - 6:17 am

We had the courthouse ceremony and 30 people at a small restaurant, where we paid for their meals. That’s it. I don’t want a ‘real’ wedding, and I surely don’t need one.

I think we’re ‘duped’ into wanting them by all the media. All women (almost all), dream of their day to be like a princess, to wear a white dress etc. I am fortunate enough to have a husband who understands there’s more to marriage than a white dress and a party, not to mention I was never ‘bride material’ anyway. We’re very happy with our arrangement, have saved A LOT of money and had a great day with our closest friends/family without the stress of a big reception.

Fel September 16, 2013 - 12:21 pm

I don’t have a single regret about my wedding. We got the marriage license 2 days before (and that was the only money we spent), then arranged for a family friend/minister to meet us in the park and said our vows in front of about 6 family members. I didn’t have a wedding dress, flowers, or a first dance, but we did what worked for us–and we’re now going on 7 years.

hannah September 14, 2013 - 10:44 pm

I totally understand how you feel. I always thought I’d have a sweet church wedding, but instead we had a simple ceremony in front of a judge in a park and I didn’t even have a wedding dress!
At the time I didn’t mind since we planned to have a real wedding later on when more people could come, but of course that never happened. Most of the time it doesn’t bother me, but I do envy friends who have lovely pictures and memories of their special day.
I’m with you on the cost though. I’d rather spend the money on a honeymoon – we never had that either – or student loan payments.

Sanibel September 4, 2013 - 11:10 am

I had a ton of regrets with my first wedding and probably for obvious reasons. With the hubby and I there were no regrets. Sure, everyone can always say they would do things different but the day will never be without that. You can do it 20 times and still always want to change things. I think you will know when the time is right to have your big wedding bash or not.

Alexis Marlons September 4, 2013 - 8:41 am

I didn’t have my dream wedding also since I got married while on pregnant and the marriage was immediate. On the first years of our marriage, I did dream to have my dream wedding someday. But as years pass by, I realized that having a wonderful relationship with my partner and with the kids is far more important than having that dream wedding.

Cassi September 1, 2013 - 1:00 pm

I’d personally prefer to have a really fun vacation that lasts for several days instead of a second wedding that lasts for one, but that is just me! And, why not wait until your 5 year or 10 year to do vow renewals? You have so many years ahead that there isn’t any rush!

Cat Alford (@BudgetBlonde) August 31, 2013 - 1:57 pm

What about setting aside $10k for a vacation/vow renewal at a Caribbean resort or something like that? For that price you can 1. get the wedding dress you want 2. fly your parents and maybe his parents down so your dad can walk you down the isle 3. not have to stress about costs, details, or decisions because a lot of resorts offer packages that are all inclusive. You can have your mom champagne toast you, have an official first dance, and have a killer vacation too. It wont cost as much as the average wedding (25k) and you can not feel bad about spending the money because you love to travel and you get a vacation out of it too.

Tammy August 31, 2013 - 10:58 am

I think a small part of us will always regret something from the past and as we grow older, the memory becomes distant and the regret eventually becomes less pronounced. The good thing is, you can redo the whole thing if you want. But maybe you don’t really regret it, and that’s what is making you reluctant 🙂 Of course, you know yourself best.

Anne August 29, 2013 - 3:15 pm

I wouldn’t do another “wedding”, because you wouldn’t actually be getting married. To me, the true beauty of any ceremony no matter how simple or extravagant, is that it is the act of a bride and groom becoming man and wife.

Plus, the expense of it all! I’m currently planning my wedding, and the costs are already astounding (sometimes I want to just take a sharpie to 3/4 of the guest list and host a small intimate affair). I personally can’t imagine being married already and still willing to spend that much on it.

Sluggy August 29, 2013 - 12:47 pm

Yesterday Hubs and I celebrated out 31st wedding anniversary.
We had a very small wedding without bells and whistles and lots of things could have/should have been done differently.
But looking back 31 years later, none of that matters at all.

Here’s hoping that when and if you are married to your hubs this long, that how much/where/how your wedding day happened will be the last thing from your mind. 😉

Shannon August 29, 2013 - 9:49 am

I wish I would have walked down an aisle. Getting married outside was gorgeous, but I sorta wish I had that church aisle moment. I also wish I would have let go of the worry about the impending rain and been mentally present for my ceremony. There are always little regrets.

eemusings August 28, 2013 - 4:09 pm

Small regrets. Walked wayyy too fast down the aisle, ruining what I wanted to happen with the music (and then it started from the beginning after the ceremony rather than continuing on from whereit stopped). MIL embarrassed us a little by trying to make people give speeches (we told everyone to only speak if they felt compelled to). That we’d reminded everyone to BYO if they wanted to drink, rather than counting on them to read the info on our wedding website. But nothing too big…

Emily aka The Three Bite Rule August 28, 2013 - 2:02 pm

I wouldn’t change a thing. We thankfully had what we wanted and didn’t have lots of stress doing it. I’m an event planner for work so it was a breeze for me. I feel badly for all the people who complain about complying with whoever is paying for it or who don’t know about what to ask vendors, contracts, budgeting, etc. I don’t enjoy being the center of attention so it made me a bit anxious to have so many (100 guests) staring at us.

A housewarming and/or baby shower could be top-knotch if you want the themed experience of planning etc!

Hazel August 28, 2013 - 1:06 pm

Our plan was to get married during hubby’s R&R. So right between him coming home for two weeks after USAF Basic Training and before he left for Tech School. Well they discharged him a week before Basic Training graduation based on medical even though he was capable of doing and passing his physical exams.

So I totally get what you’re feeling right now.

The thing with our wedding was that the only people who ended up showing up was our parents and one of my friends who I’m sure just used it as an excuse to go to Vegas because she never did end up meeting up with me for lunch the rest of the week…

I’m sad I didn’t get the big wedding I always wanted but now I think I’m more bitter that no one cared enough to show up (despite that people I did invite decided to either go to Vegas the weekend BEFORE or AFTER my wedding). So we’re planning on having our “real” wedding on a Disney cruise to France. By ourselves.

monique grattan August 28, 2013 - 8:18 am

My hubby and I got married July 2007. We really started planning January/February 2007. So just in just a few months and with limited cash we tied the knot. We spent about $2500.00 of our own money…however ALOT of money and resources were given to us. It was so exciting! The one thing I regret not having at my wedding was a good wedding planner. Some things were forgotten because we did not have one. However the amount of money we saved because we DIY’s alot of things ourselves was amazing!

I say that you should plan something cool for your five year anniversary. Maybe a destination vow renewal thing? OR…you don’t have to do anything at all. It’s your choice.

Tabitha August 27, 2013 - 10:05 am

Wear a veil to your baby shower! Why not?! 😛

I think most brides probably have at least a few regrets about their wedding day. Or maybe not “regrets” so much as things they wish had been different or more extravagant or whatnot. Every wedding I’ve gone to SINCE my own wedding, I’ll see something and be like, “Shoot, totally should’ve done that at our wedding!” And there are even times when I momentarily wish we had just kept things way smaller and simpler (or even eloped)!

Ultimately, I think you have an excellent financial perspective, and the feeling when you put a down payment on a new house (and even better – the feeling later down the road when you pay it off COMPLETELY) will far outweigh any regrets over not having a more traditional wedding ceremony.

You could also do a big vow renewal at one of the milestone anniversaries like 10, 20, 30… 🙂

Lastly: PLEASE INVITE ME TO YOUR BABY SHOWER. Whenever that is. 🙂

Glenda August 27, 2013 - 8:17 am

Baby shower!??! Are you hinting at something? Congrats!!!1!

Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies August 27, 2013 - 8:12 am

I don’t think I would go back and change a thing about our wedding (we eloped on a boat!), but in general I don’t care much for traditions and formality. I had never been one of those girls that plays dress up and pretends to be a bride or fantasized about a dream wedding, so when the time came to get married it wasn’t a thought. There were 2 people involved with the process (me and Mr PoP), and it didn’t really feel like we should consider what anyone else cared about except for ourselves – so we did it our way! After all, it’s really what comes after the wedding that matters in our book =)

Jaclyn August 27, 2013 - 7:56 am

Ugh, It’s been almost 2 1/2 years and I haven’t gotten over my biggest wedding disappointment – the photographers. They didn’t tell us that we wanted to do too many formal pictures for the allotted time. So instead of suggesting that we cut down our list (which I would have been HAPPY to do – those formal pictures we a pain!) they let the session run over by like an hour. The people at the cocktail hour ran out of food and worse, our reception ended up only being a couple hours long because of the delay. To this day I can’t get over it!

And my $.02 is that you both should take that kick ass vacation, but buy the wedding dress of your dreams and renew your vows in some tropical paradise and make it what you always wanted it to be! 😀

Michelle's Finance Journal August 27, 2013 - 7:29 am

I loved our wedding, but I still want another one. Partly because it was so much fun and partly because some of the things didn’t turn out the way I wanted. I am seriously thinking about having another one not any time soon, but for our 10year anniversary. By then, we better be out of debt (other than mortgage) and have bought a house.

Kelly August 27, 2013 - 5:48 am

We did the exact same thing- very short engagement (because I wanted to get married on 12/12/12), and no money, so we did the court house thing, and then my dad took us out to lunch at a very beautiful restaurant. We wanted to have a wedding on 12/13/14 (yes, I have a thing with dates), but all of his family lives in South America, and would not be able to attend, so then we would need to have TWO weddings. It would just be an enormous expense. I too would love to have pictures and a great dress and a great time, but all of that money for ONE (possibly TWO) night just does not seem worth it! I still would like to have something, but I’ll plan to renew our vows later down the line, possibly at our 5 (or more likely 10) year anniversary.

Emma August 27, 2013 - 4:30 am

I’m currently engaged and getting married in February, and am having a good-sized traditional wedding – church, reception, etc. I know there are so many other things we could do with the money, but it’s also not really my money – it’s my parents, and they have been wanting to throw me a wedding for some time.

Even if it wasn’t my parent’s money, I still think there’s an argument for spending it on yourself, because getting married is a huge deal, and should be treated as such, so I never judge people for spending a crazy amount of money – it’s the only life event you really get to do that with. It can still be a huge deal to you without spending the money, so it’s really a personal preference. If you have a great marriage, that was the point of it all anyways, so whether you spent the money or not you still have the marriage!

Akirah August 27, 2013 - 1:46 am

We were engaged for two weeks, so I totally can relate to this. In two weeks we are having a reception for our one year anniversary, but it’s still pretty different from the typical wedding. Our wedding was absolutely beautiful, but sometimes I do wonder if I should regret our non-traditional approach more. I had a wonderful bachelorette party (with unexpected gifts), but I didn’t get the usual bridal shower. I had one bridesmaid. Dan didn’t have a bachelor party. And while we are expecting 130 people at our celebration many of my closest friends aren’t coming, probably because it isn’t a “real” wedding…and that’s been really hurtful. So all that to say…yes, I get how you feel.

At any rate, I do love how unique our story is. It’s different and quirky. That’s always a good thing in my book.

The Norwegian Girl August 27, 2013 - 12:20 am

I guess that whatever you do, there will always be something you might´ve liked to do differently. But how about like way down into the future when you´ve been married for 20 years and have a nice house, a stable economy etc, then you can do a big fancy renewal!

KendraD August 26, 2013 - 11:19 pm

My husband and I eloped just over three years ago now thanks to short notice orders moving us overseas. On our fourth anniversary we’re going to do a vow renewal ceremony complete with white dress, reception, and our nearest and dearest. For us the desire to share our love and commitment with family and friends trumps worrying about what else we could be doing with the money. I know we’re lucky to be able to do so, but I’m really glad that we are pushing forward with having the ceremony and reception that we both want.

One Frugal Girl August 26, 2013 - 7:14 pm

I wanted a small wedding with only close friends on the beach. My parents told me my grandmothers wouldn’t be able to take that kind of a trip, that they wouldn’t be able to walk in sand, etc. So we decided to get married closer to where I grew up. My wedding was beautiful and I loved the venue, my dress and most of the details. But I did kind of miss that beach wedding, sand in my toes type feeling. I don’t regret what we did, my grandmother died shortly after. My wedding was less about us and more about my parents and in-laws. It ended up being much larger than I planned because the parents on both sides had so many people they wanted to invite. It was strange to meet their friends and some relatives on the day of the wedding. I’ve thought about it and wondered if I shouldn’t have put my foot down about the size, (especially since we paid for it), but at the end of the day I realize it made both sets of parents extremely happy to see us get married and to have their friends and family be a part of our big day. So all in all I think it worked out just the way it was supposed to. I have talked a lot about renewing our vows on our 10 year anniversary with friends at the beach. 10 years is coming up next fall though and now I’m not sure it’s something I want to plan. Maybe I’ll wait for 20!

Erin @ His & Hers August 26, 2013 - 6:08 pm

“Why do I keep focusing on the materialistic aspects of that day when I am beyond happy with the purpose of our wedding, which was to actually get married?” Um, great question–and one I should be asking myself. Not frequently, but more than is obviously necessary, I think about how I wish I could redo dumb things like my color scheme. As if it matters!

Mo' Money Mo' Houses August 26, 2013 - 5:49 pm

Honestly, my wedding was great and beautiful but nothing’s perfect and I kind of wish I eloped or did a small thing instead. And it is totally the marriage that matters not the wedding, but maybe you could do a vow renewal celebration on your 5th anniversary and throw a big party instead?

Erin @ My Alternate Life August 26, 2013 - 5:45 pm

I had a very small wedding for under a grand. I don’t have any regrets, but that may be because I hate weddings. I went to too many as a child, most of which didn’t work out — the whole thing was discouraging.

I guess it just depends where a second wedding falls on your priority list. If you were to take “second wedding”, “house”, “new car”, and “vacation” and number them 1 to 4 in order of priority, where would “wedding” be?

SavvyFinancialLatina August 26, 2013 - 3:06 pm

I feel the same way Erika! We had a tiny ceremony because we were broke. But we said we were going to do one later on in life. Actually, I think we said 2 years to everybody. Well, 2 years came by and went. We have been married two years but we have other priorities, like buying a house, a nice couch, and bed. Oh and of course investing and traveling. I just can’t fathom spending so much money on a day and having no tangible object to hold. Well, of course the nice pictures.
My mom still wants me to have a wedding. She asks me about all the time. I just sigh and tell her it’s really not one of our priorities right now. She gets hurt because I promised her a wedding! Then I realize, if I planned a wedding, I would probably have to please a lot of people. I just don’t want to. I’m happy with my hubby.

CeCe @Frugalista Married August 26, 2013 - 2:57 pm

I think it’s natural to have these feelings. I never in a million years dreamed I’d ever ever have a wedding. I didn’t the first time and I got over it. I didn’t expect it the 2nd time and it was just a bonus that it happened. We did a Justice of peace thing with just us two and then we had the “real” thing later. Looking back I am so so glad that I got to have that experience and I totally feel it was worth it. We had everything planned out as far as time frame for the wedding and we went for it immediately otherwise it may not have have happened. You could still have a giant anniversary party with vow renewal somewhere down the line; which, if you do it big enough it’s basically a wedding.

Emily @ evolvingPF August 26, 2013 - 2:55 pm

I think it’s natural that your desire for a traditional wedding has faded with time and with other goals surfacing. You can now focus on celebrating your marriage daily in the small ways.

We had a very traditional wedding except that we did two receptions, one on each coast. If I could redo anything it would be some edits on the guest list – some people who I had recently met and thought would become good friends didn’t, and some people I didn’t know well at the time became good friends. That and not having it downpour right as everyone was driving from the church to the reception location!

Mostly I’m just glad the wedding is OVER. It is very stressful and time-consuming to plan. Now we just get to be married and awesome, which is way better. You got there just the same with the smaller/hurried wedding and that’s what matters most.

Megan August 26, 2013 - 2:34 pm

I had a beautiful wedding — one with all the little details (think homemade cookie favors, tulle, burlap pennant banners, tissue paper flower balls, twinkle lights, etc. etc. etc.) and when I look back on my wedding I don’t remember the feelings of love or joy, instead I remember the stress and lack of sleep.

I love my husband more than anything and there are so many fond memories from our wedding, but I would give just about anything to have it feel like the happiest day in the world, and in some ways it was and in others it wasn’t. I tried my hardest to let it all go and just take in this once in a lifetime day, but I still couldn’t sit back and totally enjoy it. You know?

Maybe it never ends up quite how you imagine it and you always wish for something a little different?


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