Would we be arseholes if we got married, and didn't invite anyone?

(156 Posts)
Theicingontop Mon 01-Apr-13 19:01:08

We've finally decided to get married, but we don't want the fuss or expense that's associated with a wedding.

No party, no wedding dress, no suit hires... No guests.

We get the feeling that if we invited people who'd be really disappointed to have not been invited (like OH's dad and nana for instance), that we'd piss off everyone else. Kind of a, if you invite some you have to invite them all, situation.

And if you invite hordes of people they'll expect an actual wedding, won't they? And not us just popping into a building to sign some papers, which is what it will be. Anti-climactic and a waste of time, right?

So would we be selfish, unreasonable arseholes for not inviting anyone?

From what I've read on here I'll be doing the majority a massive favour by sparing them the faff of a wedding anyway <hopeful>

If they will be really disappointed I'd have parents, grandparents, siblings and that's it.

DomesticCEO Mon 01-Apr-13 19:03:19

We didn't have anyone at our wedding - they get over it!

FredFredGeorge Mon 01-Apr-13 19:03:58

No-one seemed bothered when we did it...

... go for it, and don't fall for the "yes do it, but have a big party seperately" from people who love weddings, as they really want you to have all the hassle of one anyway.

makingdoo Mon 01-Apr-13 19:04:10

Your wedding so do it whatever way you and your DP like.

My opinion is that whatever you do someone will be upset so just do what suits you both.

Is there a compromise that could be reached? Like immediate family only?

StanleyLambchop Mon 01-Apr-13 19:05:07

I thinkIi would invite parents & Grandparents , siblings if we were close. I could not personally bear the thought of poor Nana being upset!

Gossipmonster Mon 01-Apr-13 19:05:37

We want to do this but can't as we have family and our own DCs who will be massively hurt/pissed off.

We have decided to have a joint birthday party instead and have a surprise wedding during the party.

We figured anyway who can't be arsed to make the effort to come to our birthday party doesn't deserve an invite to our wedding grin

karatekimmi Mon 01-Apr-13 19:05:59

That's what we did, got married in Vegas on holiday. No one really minded too much (other than my sister) saved ourselves a fortune. Your lives, your decision. They have 2 options - get over it or don't!!

SorrelForbes Mon 01-Apr-13 19:06:25

My sister did just that and everyone was ok with it. Their choice. DH and I tried to do the same with just our sisters as witnesses but his DM got wind of it and said shed never forgive us if she couldn't come. In the end we had 10 people there (plus us!). It was 8 too many and I squirmed with embarrassment throughout. I hate people looking at me.

Stick to your guns!

sue52 Mon 01-Apr-13 19:07:23

Would you be able to have a bit of a party after the event to smooth any ruffled feathers?

headinhands Mon 01-Apr-13 19:08:11

We did it on the sly too. DM and DDad don't talk so it was a bit of a 'mare working out what to do so registry office then pizza hut it was for us. Then home to watch Dr Who with a glass of bubbly. Perfect.

bigbluebus Mon 01-Apr-13 19:08:36

My brother did exactly that. He and his wife to be and another couple of friends took themselves off to the Registry office and got married (both couples). They were witnesses for each other. They went to the pub for lunch afterwards. They rang everyone the next day to tell them the news! My Mum was not impressed. My Dad with the Scotch blood was impressed at how much money he had saved in not having to buy my Mother a wedding outfit!

There was nothing anyone could do after the event. They all got over it!
It is your wedding - do it how you want.

My friends did this. At first their families were a little taken aback, but everyone got over it, and they had nibbles in the pub a few months later to celebrate with friends, and a posh meal with parents.

FWIW I would love to get married that way ... can't as OH's family would be hurt that they missed out on free food and booze.

McNewPants2013 Mon 01-Apr-13 19:09:39

There was a lady on here who got married and had 2 MN users as witness's.

Go for it, your wedding your way.

headinhands Mon 01-Apr-13 19:10:02

gossip that's a lovely idea! You have to come and tell us all about it afterwards.

Pandemoniaa Mon 01-Apr-13 19:10:38

Having read the various wedding threads currently running, DP and I were discussing the minefield that is a wedding today. We came to the conclusion that it is a rare wedding which doesn't contain some elements that upset somebody.

I don't have a solution since I'm equally unimpressed by the uncompromising "It's UR day, hun" approach to things either but ultimately, if having a really quiet wedding is the right choice for you then you may need to accept that some people will might take umbrage. But on the other hand, a spot of umbrage may well be preferable to having the sort of wedding that is a complete compromise and not at all what you want. Because yes, when it comes down to it, it is your wedding day.

DomesticCEO Mon 01-Apr-13 19:10:40

Those saying immediate family only, it was my MIL who would have ruined our wedding day so not an option for us sad.

iloveholidays Mon 01-Apr-13 19:10:55

Watching with interest as we're in a similar position... Was just thinking of parents which would be 4 + us and our 3DCs. If invited siblings would be another 5 plus their other halves another 5 plus all their kids another 10! Suddenly already 24 plus us. I think we'd upset certain grandparents and potentially aunts/uncles.

My ideal would be to just have parents and siblings at registry office then go for a meal after with everyone else but I reckon some would still be offended.

I would say do what you want to do but just be prepared for comments/upset.

Congrats by the way!!

LeChatRouge Mon 01-Apr-13 19:12:15

My uncle and aunt got married, didn't invite anyone, just sent a postcard: "Got married today, lots of love" We didn't mind, good for them.

My neighbours got married, didn't even take their children, just them and some random witnesses.

I say it for you, about you and what you two want. Do it your own way.

chandellina Mon 01-Apr-13 19:12:42

It's your event, no one else's, so do what you want. We did it on the sly, my mother wasn't happy but she'd actually done it in a similar way without her parents so it's a family tradition now!

WafflyVersatile Mon 01-Apr-13 19:12:51

It's up to you. If your parents want to throw a party for you later then let them..?

adagio Mon 01-Apr-13 19:13:36

We did a 'just us' number - told immediate family the day before we flew on holiday (to avoid any surprise guests arriving!). Best thing we ever did - had already been living together for over ten years, and the way we looked at it we were marrying each other because we love one another and wanted to, not for a big party for everyone else.

Obviously no gifts etc - I think the family's were delighted genuinely fine about it avoiding expense and happy for us doing it our way. Neither of us are showy people and to be honest being centre of attention for a day sounds like living hell for us both! (thats before you get into costs etc)

We did however get lovely clothes and a professional photographer, so we have the memory captured (and I got to have the type of dress I dreamed of as a child - which I then immediately sold on my return so made half the money back straight away).

MewlingQuim Mon 01-Apr-13 19:14:25

We had 11 in total at our wedding. Bride and groom, 2 sets of parents, siblings and one gran. I would recommend it!

Emilythornesbff Mon 01-Apr-13 19:14:53

If you really feel that very close relatives (eg parents, if you have them) would be deeply troubled then talk to them. You could have the teensiest ceremony, just vows and signing.

Tbh, some ppl would find it a bit of a relief.

Weddings can be very stressful and costly. If you've found a way to avoid these problems then good for you.

<but I'm invited right??>

countrykitten Mon 01-Apr-13 19:15:33

We did this and everyone was fine about it! Just do it.

ForSaletotheHighestBidder Mon 01-Apr-13 19:15:41

Do whatever you want. No matter what you do, someone won't like it.

We were going to go on holiday and get married while away except DH couldn't keep it quiet and told his family, so then we had to tell my family.. So we ended up with 5 extra guests, which was fine but it wasn't what we wanted.

My mother spent the whole couple of days "subtly" suggesting that it wasn't a proper wedding if we didn't have a priest or church of some flavour involved. I spent the whole few days the others were there justifying our choice to do things our own way. But we still did things our own way and I'm glad we did.

longingforsomesleep Mon 01-Apr-13 19:16:02

Not a single relative or close friend at our wedding, which was several thousand miles away so no chance of gatecrashers! We did have a big do when our first child was born though which I hope made up for it a bit. You only have one life - live it for yourself.

GemmaTeller Mon 01-Apr-13 19:16:02

We did this, had been together 20 yrs, didn't want a big wedding and all the stress that comes with it.

My son and DSD were witnesses then we went to our favourite chinese restaurant and had a great meal.

Came home and rang rellies to tell them - one sister made up for us, one sister happy (and secretly glad she didnt have to buy present), one sister said 'about time, who was there?' (reaction just as we thought!) and, listen to this one - SIL answered phone and said 'well, I don't know what your brothers going to say about this!' (reaction just as we thought!) ffs, who cares what my brothers thinks, I'm 50 grin.

Took cakes and chocolates into work on the monday and told the office and also told them not to do a collection or anything.

Don't regret doing it that way for a minute.

Mockingcurl Mon 01-Apr-13 19:16:57

We did that, it was brilliant. No family politics, no hassle at all. Just us. I hate being the centre of attention. No one was bothered.
But, that was 25 years ago and I do sometimes regret that I didn't have the dress etc. However, on balance, I would do the same again.

CandyCrushed Mon 01-Apr-13 19:17:10

Brilliant idea grin. We just had parents and siblings and their partners. There were 11 in total but I think no guests is fine too. You can book yourselves into a fancy hotel and restaurant and have a really special day.
My parents did that and a few of my friends too.

Good luck. thanks

Cakethrow Mon 01-Apr-13 19:17:18


Your wedding - do it your way.
If I ever got married this is exactly how I'd do it.
Secretly, quickly, easily and probably abroad.
My family would understand.

SirChenjin Mon 01-Apr-13 19:17:49

SIL and BIL got married with just DH and I as witnesses and then presented "we got married today" postcards. His poor mother was in bits when they presented her with one, it was awful watching her sad

I think you have to be prepared for some people being upset, but ultimately it's up to you. I suppose the middle ground is to invite parents, grandparents and siblings only to a very low key thing at the registry office - why not invite them out for lunch, and when they arrive tell them that you'll be eating a bit later, all leg it up to the RO, do the deed and then go back and have a nice lunch?

I have to say - as a parent, I'd be quite upset if I wasn't invited to my children's weddings. I understand that it's their day etc etc, but still....

GreenShadow Mon 01-Apr-13 19:18:02

My DSis did this.

Her MIL was away with them, but our side didn't know until they got back.

I wasn't bothered and she only really did it like that as our DM had died a couple of years before and knew the rest of us wouldn't get worked up about it.

mumblechum1 Mon 01-Apr-13 19:18:52

We did it 22 years ago, we invited our 4 closest friends but no family. Everyone was fine about it.

TBH reading some of the wedding threads on here I get the impression that the only person who is actually enthusiastic about a wedding is the bride, everyone else seems to moan when they're invited.

abbyfromoz Mon 01-Apr-13 19:20:10

Ok i can only speak from personal experience...
We had a huge wedding- the whole shabang in Thailand with over 100 guests.
After all of it we spent so much time and money (!!!!) and stress over pleasing everyone that we were left with a few regrets and an empty bank account...
If we were to do it all again we would elope to Dubrovnik (where we got engaged) and have it in a little chapel overlooking the water with no one.

That being said there were 2 weddings which i have felt left a bad taste in my mouth. The first where friends eloped and we were where they were at the time of the wedding and they invited other friends and didn't tell us yet still expected a wedding gift.
The other where my cousin invited select few from our family. Some cousins and not others, some aunts and not others (we are all close and grew up together). They used the excuse that they didn't have the money and wanted to buy a house. (Funny that! Neither did we and still trying to save for a mortgage but hey ho!)
I think whatever you choose, be prepared that some people will not be happy. If you are willing to live with that then do whatever pleases you!

Gossipmonster Mon 01-Apr-13 19:20:16

Think we will get away with it as its second time round for us both - we are making a point of not sticking with any of the traditions that we did the first time round (ie fully intend on spending night before together etc grin).

hazeyjane Mon 01-Apr-13 19:20:17

Dh and I got married with just us, no guests, witnesses grabbed in the carpark. We went away for the weekend to do it, wore jeans and tshirts, drank a half bottle of champagne and ate brownies sat by the river afterwards, went for a pizza and back to our b&b. Heaven. It was a perfect day.

abbyfromoz Mon 01-Apr-13 19:20:31

P.s congratulations!!!

ENormaSnob Mon 01-Apr-13 19:20:58

We did it and don't regret it for a moment.

We did throw a big informal party a few weeks later though. Mainly because we both like a piss up.

YANBU at all - it's your call. Why have the hassle of organising a wedding when you're not even going to enjoy it/want any of it?

And I wouldn't worry about having a party/do/whatever afterwards - you don't have to 'compensate' for anything!

Personally I think it's lovely when a couple is more concerned about actually being married and not just about having a big flash 'day' smile

Emilythornesbff Mon 01-Apr-13 19:23:47

Good point abby
The more I think about your suggestion the better an idea it sounds.

specialsubject Mon 01-Apr-13 19:23:59


And good for you.

Do it.
The type of relative or friend who would be upset at not being invited, would also probably be upset if it was anything other than a full-blown church + massive reception + band type affair, so you may as well do it the way you want to, rather than a compromise where noone gets what they want.

Clary Mon 01-Apr-13 19:24:27

My Bil and his wife got married and didn't even invite my Mil (ie his mum). She seems to not have been bothered.

It's up to you really, I agree you will piss someone off whatever. Don't you want to mark the day with your nearest and dearest tho - ie siblings, parents, kids? Only needs to be a dozen people at Pizza Express if you like.

Can't imagine getting wed and not wanting anyone there. Maybe that's just me. The most amazing thing about my wedding was all the wonderful people who turned up to see us grin

MrsHoarder Mon 01-Apr-13 19:24:37

Also their reaction might depend on whether they want you to get married. If there is a lot of family pressure for you to be married then they might well not mind as long as you tie the knot. Especially thinking of older generations here.

CharmingCats Mon 01-Apr-13 19:25:09

Having had a wedding to please everyone else myself, i would whole-heartedly recommend doing what you both want. It is your wedding.
My mother insisted on 'hosting' mine, which she then referred to as 'our' wedding, including herself in that, as in, 'at our wedding we'll have.......' I still resent it 3 years later to the extent that I do not have any of the photos on display (my parents do) and we do not celebrate the anniversary (my parents do).
Weddings bring out the worst in people because they are so emotive. everyone has expectations and you cannot hope to fulfil them all. don't even try. if I could do it again, I would do what you're suggesting or combine it with a honeymoon somewhere beautiful.

Emilythornesbff Mon 01-Apr-13 19:25:16

A party or reception might give you the same bloody stress as a wedding.

Definitely do whatever feels right.

Ooh, all excited for you now.

OryxCrake Mon 01-Apr-13 19:25:29

We did it a couple of years ago after 25 years together. Our DC were old enough to be witnesses so it was just the four of us. Went for a meal afterwards and it was a really lovely day. We told our parents a few months later...

It was exactly the wedding we wanted and to be honest, our families were just happy for us that we were happy. Nobody was upset that they weren't invited and that we didn't have a 'do'.

Clary Mon 01-Apr-13 19:26:30

Have to say tho if DD or either DS got married and I wan't there I would be rather sad (looking into future somewhat!)

McNewPants2013 Mon 01-Apr-13 19:26:53

I would be upset if I didn't get an invite to my own children's wedding, but that would be my problem and not thiers

PointlessCow Mon 01-Apr-13 19:27:14

We did this. Just us and toddler DD. Two witnesses from the estate agents opposite the RO. I was 20weeks pregnant with DC2.

Went straight from wedding to holiday cottage for a week (after wedding breakfast of bacon sandwiches).

Told everyone after and no-one was upset. Wish everyone I knew did the same <<wedding grinch>>

OryxCrake Mon 01-Apr-13 19:27:34

Should have said - you will absolutely not be being unreasonable or selfish to have your wedding the way you want it. And if you invite nobody, then nobody will feel left out!

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 19:27:46

YANBU! It's your life and your decision.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Apr-13 19:29:54


If anyone isn't happy for you its their problem.
Are you going to tell them though? I think its nice to let folk know. My sister did this and we were all fine with it.

pootlebug Mon 01-Apr-13 19:31:42

We went to new York with our children. Asked a a couple who were applying for their marriage license to be our witnesses. Spent our wedding day in a playground in central park beforehand, nice lunch after then off to the natural history museum. Perfect for us, and if anyone was upset they didn't show it.

bookbird Mon 01-Apr-13 19:31:54

If you're going to do it this way, do it and tell people afterwards. My DH got terribly upset by his DSis announcing she was getting married in 2 months, but parents only. We could see the point if they had loads of siblings, but only my DH and Groom's DSis.

Their relationship deteriorated after that.

YANBU in the slightest. I would do the same I think

sudaname Mon 01-Apr-13 19:41:59

We 'did one' , went down like a lead balloon with one member of DHs family but everyone else fine. We had a night do with a buffet months later , l wore my dress etc etc and invited absolutely everyone so everyone happy

Our problem with 'proper' wedding was similar to yours OP. One of my soon to be ex sils was actually also my best friend so she kinda crossed over the family vs friends only dilemma. Had we just invited friends her and another of my sils also a very good friend so l wouldve wanted them there but obv. also family so then we had to invite whole family aswell(huge). Had we just invited family my 2 sils and l and one other close friend often go out together,each others houses etc. so l would have hated to leave this one friend out, thus opening the friends floodgates. So we had to have all or nothing really - we chose nothing - for the actual ceremony at least.

DontmindifIdo Mon 01-Apr-13 19:43:38

Well, if you don't tell anyone it's happening, do you have to tell anyone it's happened IYSWIM? You could just get married and not tell them at all...

WinterWinds Mon 01-Apr-13 19:46:49

DH and i did this, for several reasons, one was keeping costs down and also didn't want MIL taking over the arrangemets and having an opinion on everything (i feared it wouldn't be the wedding i wanted)

The one that finally did it for me was i hate being the centre of attention and thought of standing in front of so many people saying my vows and having everyone looking at me scared the shit out of me!!

I just couldn't do it

My side of the family was really happy for us. Most of DH's family were fine but MIL procceded to tell everyone for months afterwards that we weren't properly married as she was excluded and took it as a personal snub. But she was a cow and didn't have a good word to say about me anyway!!

If i had to do it all over again, i wouldnt change things

You need do whats right or you, yes people might feel a bit miffed initially but you will probably find that they are genuinely happy for you, this is your day not thiers.

Pandemoniaa Mon 01-Apr-13 19:50:36

If you're going to do it this way, do it and tell people afterwards.

This. Don't give advance notice so that the people who might be upset have plenty of time to mull over it.

MmeLindor Mon 01-Apr-13 19:53:52


If I were to do this, I would get married quietly and then have a really casual party - maybe a BBQ - to announce and celebrate it.

Who would you really want to be there? Is there a neat cut of point, eg only parents and grandparents?

GaryBuseysTeeth Mon 01-Apr-13 19:54:56

Yanbu, go for it.

We got married with 11 guests but for me, it was still 11 too many!
We had the shortest registery office wedding possible, entire thing took 8 minutes.
I think weddings are a big pile of wank, but Dh needed to have his parents/aunts/uncles there etc.

Good luck.

Ilisten2theradio Mon 01-Apr-13 19:57:46

My DB did this.
Both sets of parents were very offended one set lived close by the other set had been visiting until the day before.
I was fine about it if that is what they wanted but both DP's and DB kept on trying to drag me into their arguments. I got very fed up of them both raging down the phone at me about how unreasonable the other one was being.

OP only you know your family and friends well enough to know if they will be this upset.
It is entirely your decision. Just be prepared that it may take some of your family a long time ( a year or im my DB's case) to get over it.

Greenkit Mon 01-Apr-13 19:58:14

My husband and I ran away, with husband s best mate and gf, to Penzance to get married. We did throw a big party when we got back though. Did it all for £1000. I had a dress and hubby a suit.

I'd suggest that if you're going to invite no one, then invite ABSOLUTELY no one. That way, they can't be pissed off that so-and-so went and they didn't.

DH and I did this - didn't tell anyone until afterwards, not even the DCS. We then had a party at home for about 30 close family a month or so later. Still cost us about £300, but much cheaper and more relaxed then a big wedding do.

The best bit was that no one at all knew for 2 days (as we went away for a weekend) and it was our secret smile

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Mon 01-Apr-13 20:06:54

We only had extremely close family and one best friend each. So about 9 guests in all. It was plenty. Nobody who wasn't invited seemed to mind, or if they did, they were too kind to tell us.

A colleague just told people she and her boyfriend were going on holiday, then sent postcards with ordinary holiday messages but signed "Mr and Mrs Whatever"

Do it your way, everyone will have their own views but will get over it eventually if they're not happy. Perhaps take Nana out for a meal or something a bit later on, make her feel she's still special to you.

Theicingontop Mon 01-Apr-13 20:08:54

My family are a bit indifferent towards one another and I don't think they'd be overly offended, at least not for long.

But OH's are close-knit, I think they'd be upset. Especially his nana and his great-grandma who have been nagging us for years to get married. They live inconveniently far, though, so they'd make a huge trip to see us sign a document. We really don't want the fuss of a party, plus by the time it all comes around I'll be heavily pregnant and really not in the mood...

We were planning on telling people straight after. But maybe not saying anything at all wouldn't be such a bad idea. They wouldn't know any different, I changed my name by deedpoll to OH's surname three years ago!

Or is that sneaky and dishonest? grin

MmeLindor Mon 01-Apr-13 20:10:15

Why not visit his gran and great gran, and whisk them off to be your witnesses? Nice meal in a local restaurant afterwards. Done.

LynetteScavo Mon 01-Apr-13 20:11:15

I know somebody who got married, but only told their parents and best friend. Other relatives found out and turned up for the ceremony you couldn't have kept me away, but didn't expect a party. We all went to the pub afterward for a drink. smile

JollyPurpleGiant Mon 01-Apr-13 20:12:35

We did this. Just me, DH, DS and two of our friends as witnesses. Was brilliant. We didn't tell anyone in advance though.

LynetteScavo Mon 01-Apr-13 20:13:53

In your circumstances, I would do it with no family, then make a visit to the old dears and let them know while you are there, stressing that no one was invited. I'm pretty sure they will be pleased for you, and insist on buying you a bale of towels. grin. Old ladies tend to like women to be married when they have a baby.

threesypeesy Mon 01-Apr-13 20:14:11

We were married abroad just us and it was perfect, no stress or tying to please anyone else we had a lazy morning sunbathing. I also loved that our vows are special and just between us!! Do what makes you happy. We also had a large reception a few weeks later for family

Theicingontop Mon 01-Apr-13 20:15:04

Yes, they did tut a bit when we had DS wink

I think they've given up on us!

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 01-Apr-13 20:17:43

Will admit I woud be very upset if DS didnt invite me to his wedding and it would likely cloud my view of hs wife as shows family is not imprtant.

We had a tiny wedding as didnt want a fuss but would not have dreamed about excluding DH's parents.

MechanicalTheatre Mon 01-Apr-13 20:21:21

It is your life. Everyone goes on about family being important - if family is so important you should respect your family member's wishes not to have a big fuss created.

girliefriend Mon 01-Apr-13 20:22:33

My Godmum did this and i was a bit upset as would have loved to have been there but can understand why they did it that way. In the end they invited their parents up and went out for a meal, at the end of the meal they said 'oh and by the way we have decided to get married - this afternoon' grin

It worked for them although I think both sets of parents wished they had dressed up a little bit more!!

MaybeOrnot Mon 01-Apr-13 20:23:02

You carry on. We had 2 witnesses,and a party the day after,for friends and family. That was 30 years ago.

Dawndonna Mon 01-Apr-13 20:24:59

My wedding was us, the kids. Older son was a witness along with his best mate (both 18 at the time) 8 year old ds was best man and 6 year old dds bridesmaids. It was great!

scottishtablet Mon 01-Apr-13 20:25:21

I would be gutted to upset his nana to be honest!

Do they come down at any times during the year- summer or Christmas? You could arrange it all before hand and then spring it on them that morning- say you're taking them to lunch or whatever- so that no one goes to too much hassle and no one has time to be pissed off?

willowstar Mon 01-Apr-13 20:31:05

We did exactly that...got to the registry office 20 mins before our time slot which gave my other half just enough time to find some lovely witnesses who invited us back to their house for champagne afterwards, then we all went out for lunch! It was lovely, just perfect for us. My husband's mum was put out but as I don't like the woman that was a bonus :-)

Jelly15 Mon 01-Apr-13 20:31:08

I would be disappointed not to see my DC getting married but so long as they are happy I would hide my feelings and be glad for them, so I say do it your way.

willowstar Mon 01-Apr-13 20:35:24

Oh and we waited a year before we told anyone. Sounds odd but we had our reasons.

zippy539 Mon 01-Apr-13 20:37:23


You've got to have the wedding that YOU and dp want - parents, GP's etc all made decisions regarding their own weddings and now it's your turn to make the decision re yours.

My biggest regret about my otherwise lovely marriage is the actual wedding itself. We decided we just wanted something low-key - max 10/15 people then meal afterwards. Our mistake was in announcing this two months before the intended date. Next thing we had a guest list of 80 and the wedding had been postponed by four months because otherwise "there simply isn't time to organise everything'. Cue frantic calling up of MC's, florists, cake-makers etc and much muttering about expense. If we'd done it our way there would have been nothing to organise and little to spend but hey ho, we were young and impressionable and ended up going with the flow.

My parents and the ILs had a lovely time at our over-blown wedding but tbh I hated it - too formal, too fussy, too blah. Like a previous poster I don't display any photos (hate them too and also the poncy dress that my DM selected for me). I don't moan about it cos it would seem ungrateful but I really, really regret not doing the whole thing on the sly for a fraction of the price (for a more meaningful experience....)

Almostfifty Mon 01-Apr-13 20:40:44

We did this. Just a couple of pals came along.

Doesn't seem to have bothered many people over the past 25 years...

PuzzleRocks Mon 01-Apr-13 20:49:57

We did it and if he we had to do it a thousand times over we wouldn't change a thing. DH's father was a bit stunned when we told him beforehand but he respected our wishes. My mother, the most amazing mother I could hope for, was happy because I was happy. I know she would have preferred to be there but she never let on because she's not the sort to makes things about her and if possible I love her even more for how she reacted.

Family are very important to both of us but that particularly day was about us and no one else.

I love the joint birthday party idea. Brilliant.

PuzzleRocks Mon 01-Apr-13 20:50:18


olivertheoctopus Mon 01-Apr-13 20:55:58

No, bollocks to everyone else it's your day. We CBA with a massive wedding and initially tried to get away with just us plus best mate and husband as witnesses but my dad was so distraught he couldn't speak to me for 3 weeks so we caved and had 10 close family for the civil ceremony and then cocktails afterwards (wedding was at 5pm) and then swanky meal just for DH, me and the two witnesses. Ticked all boxes and everyone (ish....) was happy.

Nanny0gg Mon 01-Apr-13 20:58:05

I'd be happy if my children wanted a small, private wedding, but I would be very upset not to be at such an important occasion in their lives.

DeepRedBetty Mon 01-Apr-13 21:13:32

My parent's did it back in the sixties, they rang their mothers that morning to tell them to be in Kensington Registry Office if they wanted to see the marriage, then lunch in Soho. My grannies were happily united in moaning about it, but both made it.

whosiwhatsit Mon 01-Apr-13 21:19:26

We did this for a whole host of reasons - the expense, the fact that we have no interest in being the centre of attention, plus we couldn't be arsed to organise a big wedding. Also due to family and friends being far away, travel being difficult for some parents, plus my parents not getting along with each other, his parents not getting on either, and potentially not getting on with each other due to severe religious and political differences. Basically we felt a big wedding would be a nightmare given our circumstances and didn't want to touch one with a barge pole. But we did want to be married.

We had two local friends as witnesses and got married b the registrar. It was lovely, we had champagne (well i did, hubby was driving and doesnt reLly like to drink anyway) and cake and them went out just the two of us for lunch and more cake. We wouldn't change a thing and are very happy with how our day turned out.

My family was absolutely fine with it - relieved, actually, that they would have the hassle and expense of traveling. His family was mostly fine with it but did joke that we were cheating them out of a party! Our true friends didn't mind, either. However funnily enough it was our work colleagues who objected! Not that they necessarily would have been invited to the wedding, but just that they found it I credible we didn't want any fuss made off it. They ended up organising a cake and cha,page and balloons for us, and one of the big bosses begged us to let him chauffeur us in a decorated car to and from the venue. He wanted to wear a driving cap and have us sitting in the back! Because apparently driving ourselves there was a ridiculous idea. It was really nice of them but made us feel a bit strange like we were just being sad and eccentric not to have a "real" wedding. So it's good to see on here that many others were similar to us. We haven't been married long but are ridiculously happy and are so glad we can get on with our married lives without huge wedding debts to pay for.

MechanicalTheatre Mon 01-Apr-13 21:25:23

Nanny, don't you think that it's up to them though? Maybe it's NOT an important occasion in their life or maybe it is something that is incredibly private to them.

Ratata Mon 01-Apr-13 21:26:23

I think it's a bit of a shame not to invite your parents at least. If you have a child and they got married but you didn't get to see it, wouldn't you be a bit upset? I know I would. A small intimate wedding is all very well but if you have a good relationship with parents then I think they should be there for such an important event. Better still would be parents, grandparents and siblings. Close family. Still small and celebrated with those you are closest to. Just my opinion. U

Beatrixpotty Mon 01-Apr-13 21:26:36

I think it is fine if you tell people what you are doing and why..My sister got married abroad in secret and her and her husband came and announced it afterwards,nobody really minded that she wanted a v low key wedding,but parents in particular were upset that they didn't know first.

Ratata Mon 01-Apr-13 21:26:49

Ignore the "U" at the end of last sentence...

Oddsod Mon 01-Apr-13 21:27:49

We eloped, saved a fortune and eliminated stress.

Nanny0gg Mon 01-Apr-13 21:30:01

Of course it's up to them.
But I'd still be upset.

thezebrawearspurple Mon 01-Apr-13 21:33:29

Sounds idealsmile

ChilliJo Mon 01-Apr-13 21:36:36

If OH and I ever get round to it (I want to, he's been stalling for eleven years angry ) this is exactly how we'll do it. I want to be married, I have no desire for a wedding.

Fudgemallowdelight Mon 01-Apr-13 21:38:57

I'd invite immediate family so as not to leave them feeling hurt.

twooter Mon 01-Apr-13 21:39:51

I would be gutted not to be at my dc or siblings'weddings. I would be polite enough not to let them know, but I would still be gutted. I don't believe that all the relatives of people here have been ok with it - I bet a lot have just hidden it well.

If DP and I ever get married I think we'll have this issue, DP has a big, involved family, I have a very tiny quite introvert family, I would want to go far away and spend a couple of days with Dz. and marry whilst there in a romantic hideaway. However I think it will be expected of us to have the whole shebang and I think DP will just go along with that as its tradition. I can't see there ever being a happy compromise...

Anyway, I digress. Do whatever makes you happy OP, it's yours and your partners lives, sod everyone else!

Eggsbon Mon 01-Apr-13 21:41:26

We did it too - just a couple of friends as witnesses and our two children. We told our parents we were going to do it a month or so in advance, as I think they would have been upset to have found out after the event... No one was offended, we had a lovely, stress free day and didn't spend a fortune on one day. DO IT!

Horsemad Mon 01-Apr-13 21:50:07

My sister did this - went on holiday in the UK and got married. It really upset my mum and caused a massive rift.
My mum didn't mind them getting married without family present but was upset she didn't know about it.

FinnTheHuman Mon 01-Apr-13 21:54:42

We did this, we had PIL as witnesses. I had put getting married of for many years as I too hated the thought of being centre of attention.

I panic organising any event and feel sick for weeks beforehand, God knows what organising a wedding would have done to me.

My parents had passed so we thought we would not piss anyone off really.

It also negated having to make the choice of who would give me away after having several tearful phone calls from two brothers both claiming that they would do this.

Anyway, most family coped well apart from one of my brothers who has now avoided talking to me for 10 years. He has never met my DD. No big row or anything but he was disappointed apparently...

Hey ho :-(

Fudgemallowdelight Mon 01-Apr-13 22:03:39

Would you want to be at your own children's wedding? If you wouldn't be bothered then go for it.

grovel Mon 01-Apr-13 22:05:52

Do it.

nokidshere Mon 01-Apr-13 22:18:34

We had a small wedding with just both sets of parents and my sisters. I didn't invite anyone else, including my BILs or their children. Everyone was happy.

If my dh had more family than just his mum and dad we would have eloped alone.

ImperialBlether Mon 01-Apr-13 23:06:21

I would be devastated not to be invited to my children's weddings. I've brought them up alone since they were in primary school and I'd feel awful if they didn't want me there. The way I look at it is that someone has to be there as a witness - if they would rather some random stranger was there than their own parents, we've done something wrong.

I do know they wouldn't want to marry in secret because they're shy etc; even then I don't think it's much of a reason not to have your own parents there.

I can absolutely understand it if there have been fraught relations between you, but otherwise I would be really upset.

Mind you, last time I said that on here I was yelled down.

princesskc Mon 01-Apr-13 23:10:57

My df did this but between him and dsm they have 6 children, they paid for 3 to go abroad with them only telling the other 3 days before they hopped on a plane to other side of the world. Still stings!

But your day op hope all runs smoothly and congratulations. Yanbu.

Skinidin Mon 01-Apr-13 23:19:56

We did and I've never regretted it.
Got married in the front room of the registrar's house in

Go for it!

Skinidin Mon 01-Apr-13 23:21:23

Dunvegan, iPad fail.

Actually I've got three kids and as I hate weddings I wouldn't mind not going to theirs.

magimedi Mon 01-Apr-13 23:33:30

I haven't read the whole thread - but YANBU - just go & do it & save yourselves &everyone else from a whole lot of stress & aggro.

May you be very happy. flowers

MusicalEndorphins Tue 02-Apr-13 00:17:25

You would not be. We decided to just get married with 2 friends for witnesses. Then my aunt told me my dh's parents may like to see their only son get married, and so we invited his parents, grandparents, my mother, one aunt and uncle. Altogether we were a party of 12. We had a city hall wedding then lunch at a nice restaurant afterwards.
I would not be hurt if someone I knew eloped. It isn't about me, it is about them and everyone does not like to throw a big wedding and be centre of attention.

Cheesecakefan Tue 02-Apr-13 00:30:46

I totally agree with twooter. I'd be hurt and disappointed if my dc did this. It'll be better for future family relationships if you consider people.

BitBewildered Tue 02-Apr-13 00:47:54

DH and I had a registry office wedding, with two witnesses (his DM & DSF), changed and took the dogs out for a long walk and finally a lovely meal in a good restaurant. It was perfect.

MechanicalTheatre Tue 02-Apr-13 03:03:33

Braaaaak, some of the replies on here are why I would HATE a family wedding. All this talk of being hurt and disappointed and it affecting future family relationships...it's all so smothering.

MrsHoarder Tue 02-Apr-13 03:37:44

Twooter what I was getting at was that if there are DC/long term cohabiting then the family might be so relieved they've finally got married that the lack of a big wedding could be overcome.

My aunt did this and everyone was so glad they finally had legal protection that they didn't mind not being invited. If I'd done it after 6 months cohabiting otoh I suspect I would have faced a big family row.

IsThatTrue Tue 02-Apr-13 04:11:19


DH and I did this, in Vegas none the less, while on holiday. Not even dcs were there. I had a dress (of sorts not an expensive wedding dress but a beautiful dress that I love) and DH had a suit and we got married on the edge of lake mead at sunset, with the professional photographer as the witness (you only need one in Nevada). It was perfect. Our family did know in advance and thankfully all accepted it. They all saved money (no presents, outfits etc) and we got the wedding we wanted.

I personally wouldn't be upset if my dcs decided to marry without me there. It's all personal choice and if I'd had to have family there I'd probably have not bothered tbh as logistically it would have been a nightmare!

mardyelsie Tue 02-Apr-13 08:35:01

I got married on Saturday. It was me, DH and 3 DCs, BIL and SIL (witnesses), my parents and his Dad, so 10 of us in all. The ceremony took 10 minutes and then we all went to Pizza Express grin We went to the pub with friends in the evening. We had the best day, as it was how we wanted it. To be honest we had a few more guests than we originally wanted, but it was lovely.

Just do what you want, it's your wedding.

popcornpaws Tue 02-Apr-13 11:02:12

No you would not be arseholes for not inviting anyone to your wedding, it's your day to do it the way you want.
You only need to read the other wedding posts on here at the moment to realise why people do it low key!
My wedding was exactly what i wanted, 6 guests, a nice meal, why anyone cares about colour schemes, seating plans, gift lists etc i just don't get it!

scottishtablet Tue 02-Apr-13 11:05:16

I would be really hurt if my family weren't bothered about coming to my wedding.

EldritchCleavage Tue 02-Apr-13 12:32:23

If I did this I don't think I would even announce it afterwards. OP, if it's just for you and your DH, no need for a big reveal that gives relatives a chance to get upset. I'd probably invite only closest family on the understanding that it will be a very quiet low-key do and you aren't going to budge on that.

I agree with those who say it must be a blow not to be invited to or told of your child's wedding. However, some parents are so unreasonable about weddings they do bring it on themselves. At my wedding all three of DH's best friends admitted that, were it not for family issues (divorced and still warring parents, other feuds, pressure to do it a certain way that costs mega-bucks etc) they would probably all have got married rather than co-habited. And I think that's deeply sad.

fedupofnamechanging Tue 02-Apr-13 12:33:37

I really wish I had done this.

As it is, we had a small wedding but fil fell out with dh's aunt, so dh had to drive hundreds of miles the day before, to fetch her. I really could have done with his help that day. Mil wanted the reception at her place, then got in a strop because the pressure was too much. I had relatives there that I could have done without, tbh.

I would have loved for me and dh to go away and do this privately - I don't understand why other people feel they should be there. To my mind it is a private pledge between the two people getting married and it feels a bit too intimate to have that witnessed by others.

With that in mind, I would not be offended at all if I didn't witness my dc's weddings. All I want is for them to marry someone who makes them happy.

I would buy a lovely dress though, if I were you. A low key wedding is just as special as a big, showy one and I think you might like to have had one, in years to come.

daddyorchipsdaddyorchips Tue 02-Apr-13 12:56:49

Do it. My mum and step-dad eloped without telling anyone until six months later and although we were all surprised, that is how THEY wanted to do it, and we got over it!

Pandemoniaa Tue 02-Apr-13 13:32:48

Both my sons are getting married in the next couple of years - one this autumn and the other later in 2014. Now I'd love to be at their weddings and I've no reason to assume I won't be (I'm doing the photography for ds1!) but ultimately, if they really wanted to go to the registry office and quietly get married without any of the family present then I'd accept this as their choice not a rejection of my parenting.

I'd genuinely hate for them to think they had to include me simply because I'd get upset. I want to be there because they want me there.

Theicingontop Tue 02-Apr-13 16:38:34

I think the suggestion of immediate family only is a good one, maybe with emphasis from the start on how non-existent the 'wedding' will really be, so there are no disappointed faces when there are no limos waiting outside to escort them to a reception grin. Something to think about, definitely. Then its their choice whether they want to bother (I wouldn't).

If that would work it would be great. We just want to be married, in the eyes of the law, for ourselves and for our child(ren). No fuss! Cheers for your replies, good to know it's not that unusual.

I would also be upset if one of my kids got married and didn't want to have us there. I wouldn't be upset at all if they had a tiny little thing though.

This thread makes me sad. I hope my kids don't do this sad

Best of Luck icing. Hope you have a lovely quiet just as you want wedding.

GilmoursPillow Tue 02-Apr-13 17:42:39

DH and I were due to get married in a relatively big wedding with his family and friends flying in from overseas.
It got ridiculous and stressful so we cancelled it and decided to go on holiday at that time instead.

We then decided to get married while we were there, with only DD in attendance.

DH's family did lots of tears, my Dad cracked opened the champagne (was cheaper than a wedding) and my Mum got her own back by getting married and not inviting me to her wedding grin

iZombie Tue 02-Apr-13 18:04:28

icing I think you're thinking the right things. Marriage isn't about other people, it's about two people making a social contract with one another. Go to the register office, sign the papers and enjoy the peace of mind it brings. Best wishes!

nkf Tue 02-Apr-13 18:08:35

If you read most of the wedding posts on here, you would get the impression that you'd be doing your friends and family a favour. I suspect they might grumble a bit but I expect they'd be secretly pleased.

Stellarpunk Tue 02-Apr-13 18:29:05

Well I've just had this with my DSil.

I think that on the face of it, those that have said do it and tell later may seem like a good idea. But, said DSil did this and the reality was actually really hurtful.

I don't actually care if they wanted that type of ceremony. What did hurt massively was her announcing it everybody on Facebook. It felt like I was just an acquaintance, someone not worthy of even a heads up phone call. (They got married in NZ). I have known her for 16 years. Its drove a huge wedge between us.

So for me, it was the not telling... But you need to have the ceremony you want. Just be aware that you can't please everyone but family can get terribly hurt.

Oh and congratulations flowers

Stellarpunk Tue 02-Apr-13 18:32:44

Just to add... It wasn't just the wedding that was the wedge.. But it was the final nail in the coffin.

Ho hum.

MushroomSoup Tue 02-Apr-13 18:39:57

I did it. Told both sets of parents the night before - they all came except my dad who said it was 'too short notice' and 'if I'd really wanted him there, I'd have told him earlier'. The rest of the family just laughed. One bro said he was pleased for me but gutted not to have been there. But hey ho they all got over it!

neolara Tue 02-Apr-13 18:41:07

I'm pretty sure I would be absolutely gutted if any of my kids decided to get married without me. Although they are all under 10 at the moment, so I may change my mind over the next 20 years..... (Actually I can't really imagine I"ll change my mind on this one.)

hazeyjane Tue 02-Apr-13 18:50:16

If my children find people that they are really happy with and want to marry them, I honestly will be happy however they want to do it, because it isn't about me, it's about them.

DomesticCEO Tue 02-Apr-13 18:57:45

Neolara, I would be disappointed definitely but gutted? No.

I would be far more gutted if they were stupid enough to spend £20k on a wedding and spent weeks agonising about whether the seat backs matched the bridesmaids dresses tbh.

I'd feel I'd rather failed in giving them a sense of perspective on life.

ImperialBlether Tue 02-Apr-13 19:34:26

That doesn't have to be the alternative though, Domestic. I think small weddings are nicer than large ones, to be honest, and I hate the bridezilla attitude. It's just hard to think that your child that you've spent so much time nurturing would choose not to have you there on such a significant day.

iZombie Tue 02-Apr-13 19:45:04

I honestly don't understand the posts along the lines of 'meee meee meeee, my baaaaaaybe got married/wants to get married/is getting married without meeeeeeee' which is what all the humphy posts are in essence. Dress it up any way you like, but at the end of it, you're putting your happiness above that of your child, which is not what celebrating marriage should be about. It should be about the two folk saying the vows. The only people they need are a couple of witnesses and an official.

DomesticCEO Tue 02-Apr-13 19:57:47

Imperial, no I appreciate it isn't one or the other but having done the "running away and getting married" thing myself it isn't that I chose not to have my parents there, it just became too complicated (sadly cos of my ILs but that's a whole other story).

I would respect my children's right to do what they want and if I was there that would be lovely and if I wasn't that would be ok. I just don't see it as such a big thing - I'm nurturing them to (hopefully) have a happy life/marriage etc, not to enjoy the piss up that starts it grin.

GypsyTart Tue 02-Apr-13 21:01:29

Congratulations! Hope you have a lovely day - low key as you like.
DH and I got married with DH's friend and gf as witnesses in our local registry office. It was short and sweet. (The cd player was chained and padlocked to the wall but that's a minor quibble). I didn't want to be looked at by a room full of relatives. My DF and DM hadn't had a pleasant word to say to each other for over 10 years. My StepM was pretty foul by then and my StepF had Alzheimers. Poor DH's family had to take a hit but it was just not possible to have the circus there too.
We invited them all for a slap up meal - just family - straight after in an attempt to show them we cared about them too. Then threw a monster party for friends and family in the evening in a local pub which is when I finally relaxed.
It was actually a very private and personal moment for me in the registry office. I didn't want to hurt family feelings but it was the right decision for DH and I. I have 2 DC and would wish to be at their weddings, but sort of understand why they might prefer to do it in private. We'll see!

LivingThings Tue 02-Apr-13 22:08:51

We did this. Only people at our wedding (other than us) were the minister, the photographer and the wedding planner. We had been together for ages so it was just a formality really, plus we did it abroad. Everyone was fine with it and we had a family party when we got back.

babyphat Wed 03-Apr-13 00:21:27

Sorry not read whole thread but we did it and it was great! We told family afterwards but there were some friends we thought would be offended, so we just didn't tell them - for years actually! Could you just do it but not tell anybody, even afterwards??

merlincat Wed 03-Apr-13 01:00:49

We had a lovely and tiny ceremony in New York (our favourite city). Just us, the priest, organist and a witness. We did this because Dh is not close to his family (massive understatement) and I really hated the idea of a traditional 'do'. At the time no-one minded and all our friends accepted that it was our choice to make.

I really regret it now though. My mum died a year later (65, too young) and I'm an only child; it would have meant so much to her to see me get married. Of course it's your choice but do think about your parents, I wish I had.

Stellarpunk Wed 03-Apr-13 09:14:26

izombie I think you can still respect your kids opinions but also still feel sad that you weren't there - the two aren't mutually exclusive.

Stellarpunk Wed 03-Apr-13 09:15:39

That's sad merlin and perhaps a wise warning that we don't always know what's round the corner.

2rebecca Wed 03-Apr-13 09:31:26

If my daughter was pregnant I'd rather she got married before having the baby without me there than delayed getting married to have a party and then maybe never get round to getting married and not have the legal protection of being married. To me the being married is the important thing, not the wedding.
The trouble with inviting grannies over for just a form signing is that then various relatives may try and emotionally blackmail you into having some sort of do "because they have come all this way".
You would have to be clear to all concerned that you will not be attending a party (assuming you don't want to) and there will only be a basic wedding to attend, maybe book to go somewhere afterwards so no-one can try and force you to do other stuff.
Alternately just get married and tell people some time afterwards.
I don't understand why grandparents would be hurt at not being invited to a basic ceremony and why some older peaople behave in such an entitled way about other peoples weddings.

Sheila Wed 03-Apr-13 09:49:12

One of my oldest friends got married in secret with 2 witnesses and told me about it in an email as a BTW a couple of months later. I was very hurt, and it has made me question how close we really are.

So if you're going to go down this route then I'd have a party at some point to celebrate and make sure everyone can feel included.

Another friend invited everyone to an engagement party, which was a really nice idea I thought, and provided an opportunity to explain what their plans were.

RevoltingPeasant Wed 03-Apr-13 10:24:38

We did this - ran away to registry office, very quiet day, went back to work the day after, and told our parents/ PILs over the phone that night.

I think my mum was a bit quietly gutted but she was polite enough to simply say 'congrats' and everyone else was just pleased for us.

In our case, DM and DF are divorced and DM is now living with a woman. DF doesn't know this and I didn't want the first encounter to be at my wedding! Plus, it would have been v difficult for one of my sisters to get over (she lives abroad and doesn't have much money).

At the end of the day, for us, the wedding day was not a significant day, so we didn't want to put people out to attend it when for us, it was literally a 5-min ceremony and then going for a long walk by ourselves.

Two things, OP, though - one, you can't expect gifts if you do this. My mum got me a card, and DPILs and DF did actually give us totally unexpected cash gifts - but you can't expect anything, obviously. And two, if anyone is hurt, it might not be the people you think! DPILs are quite traditional and I expected they might be gutted; they weren't at all, but my hippyish, just-out-of-the-closet mum, who got married in a civil ceremony and wore black herself, was.

If my DC did this...? That's way in the future, but I imagine I would feel a bit left out, but then, if they hadn't invited anyone, I wouldn't take it as a personal slight.

HappyDogRedDogToss Wed 03-Apr-13 10:31:20

I think MmeLindor has the answer - go to visit the ones that will complain the most grans for a weekend, do it there (as a surprise), take them out for lunch, job done.

popcornpaws Wed 03-Apr-13 12:45:25

The whole point of doing it yourselves is not to feel you have to have a party or some sort of celebration to keep others happy, it's about you and your partner, not keeping others sweet incase they feel left out.

2rebecca Thu 04-Apr-13 09:38:41

You could just book the reg office decide on the format of service and then phone and let immediate family and anyone you want to know know but make clear there is no wedding party just a simple ceremony, posh clothes, gifts etc not expected, and you understand if they don't want to travel to what isn't a lavish event. I wouldn't do the going to grans thing.
I don't see why the people who make the most fuss if things aren't done their way should be pandered to.

MyDarlingClementine Thu 04-Apr-13 09:53:31

Havant read all but I think your being sensible, if you like and get on with your close family, Id invite them, I think their feelings trump those of wider circle.
My only regret is sweating over inviting the pils who did put downer on it but they only came to ceremony.

We had a small wedding, DIY, and it was fantastic. No sweating over favours, or place settings! It was unique and good fun.

SignoraStronza Thu 04-Apr-13 10:10:34

No, yanbu. I wanted to do just that (with our best mate and her husband as witnesses) as couldn't see the point in a big 'do'. DH's got a brief starter marriage under his belt and I had a dc already.

In the end we compromised and got hitched in a hotel filled by a nice meal with 20 adults and 3 children. For me it was more about 'being married' and I didn't give two hoots about a wedding as such.

Was quite a nice family catch up though, as his cousins were over from abroad and they all got to do some touristy things the day/morning before, as well as an impromptu bit of drinking the night before with dh. In fact, we're thinking of doing something similar every two years (without the marriage bit, obviously). The wedding just provided the reason for a getogether if you see what I mean.

innermuddle Thu 04-Apr-13 10:40:07

I think that you should get married in the way that suits you.
when we got married we wanted a marriage not a wedding if that makes sense. I really hate being centre of attention, and am personally a bit horrified by the pressure & cost of weddings.
DH wanted to do it on our own & tell families after. I felt our families would be upset so persuaded him to a compromise, we had a small wedding with just immediate family (parents, siblings & children) and only told everyone a couple of weeks before the wedding. the extended family were upset by this, in-laws felt excluded from the planning & my family were so underwhelmed most didn't come (I have 5 siblings, only one came!).
the day itself was stressful, I felt self conscious, family were mostly in bad moods. in short my only good memory from that day is the end of it!
we plan to renew our vows with just our children for our tenth anniversary. I wish we had the private day we wanted rather than trying to please everyone.

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