At the age of just 31 I have not only been married and divorced, I’m also engaged and planning a second wedding!
Whilst it’s not something I usually talk about it, I wouldn’t say I am in the slightest bit ashamed of it either.
People and circumstances change. That’s just a fact of life.
My first wedding went through many stages before the ‘big day’. So many ideas, hopes and dreams for what I thought was going to be full of happy memories.
It was expensive for starters. Something we swore it wouldn’t be. I come from a big family on both my mum and dads side and we’re all pretty close. I was very aware that the lack of an invite to even the most distant of my cousins would cause huge offence and it was something that really played on my mind, causing great anxiety. Couple that with the fact we opted for a very DIY day, which in theory was supposed to make things cheaper (which in my experience just isn’t true) and it was just a mess of financial troubles and broken promises of a debt free aftermath.
I would also say that such a big wedding invites a lot of opinions into the mix, something that really grew with each passing day throwing my dream into chaos.
The day itself was nice enough and I know that many of my guests have fond memories of time spent together as a family but it just wasn’t what I really wanted and I should have been strong enough at the time to voice that.
Actually I shouldn’t have gone through with it at all to be honest and I genuinely feel like the size and cost of my wedding had a lot to do with why I didn’t walk away. I couldn’t back out when so much planning and preparation had gone into it, could I? When so many people had spent their hard earned money on travel and accommodation to be there and support me.
Long story short, a big wedding isn’t for everyone. It certainly wasn’t for me.
Thankfully my future husband is on the same page and this time we have opted for a small and intimate affair full of personal touches. I’ve come to realise that I don’t need hundreds of people around me to make the day special. Lockdown has actually shown me the opposite.
I must stress that there really is no right or wrong way of doing things, these are my own experiences and I know that there will be plenty of people out there who will disagree.
If you have the funds then I know it’s possible to have the best of both worlds so I’ve put together a list of pros and cons to give you a better idea of the wedding you think might appeal to you more.
You will (hopefully) only do it once so why not go all out. If you can’t be all kinds of extra when you’re a bride then when can you?
You’ll get to spend time with all of your friends and family under one roof (which if you have a huge family like me can be a difficult thing to organise usually!).
Better choice of location. In my experience there are loads of gorgeous venues that cater to large weddings that would look silly with a smaller group.
The expense. Surely that money could be put to better use?
Outside input. The more people who are involved the more likely you are to receive unwelcome and unwanted opinions.
Time and effort spent organising. Between work and everything else most people have to deal with right these days do you have the energy for such a huge task?
Everything can be organised and paid for fairly quickly.
You can rock up in your jeans if that’s what you want. It’s your day after all!
More money to spend on the honeymoon.
Family politics. Will you be able to deal the fall out because great aunt Mildred or your neighbours cat hasn’t made the cut?
Sometimes a party isn’t a party without a crowd.
Possibly regretting not having that once in a lifetime chance of the ‘fairytale wedding’.
Like I said, there really is no right or wrong answer and it will all come down to your feelings as a couple.
The most important part of any wedding is the love and respect you have for each other.