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To plan a very cheap wedding? Or should I just not get married at all?

(53 Posts)
honeytea Sun 05-May-13 18:34:13

I am not sure if my wedding plans are unreasonable or not. I think they are probably unreasonable and I don't want to cause offence so I feel like it is probably best not to get married at all.

Me and DP got engaged last year and plan to get married next summer, we have a ds who is 4.5 months and not a huge amount of spare money.

Both me and DP have huge families, if we invited just our parents and siblings (+kids) it would be close to 50 people. We live in DP's home country my family are in the UK, we would have the wedding in the country where we live now.

My plan is to hire the local barn, it is converted into a party location and it has seating for 200 people (along with plates, glasses etc) we would have the ceromony in the gardens of our apartment complex.

We were thinking of saying to the guests that instead of bringing a gift could they bring a dish of food, nothing fancy just a salad or a few muffins, we would buy some basic foods and basic alcohol. We wouldn't ask the UK guests to bring any food as they would have the aditional cost of travel/hotels.

We would make it clear that we would not be offended if our guests were unable to bring anything.

The other option would be to wait but my grandfather is well and able to travel now but he has an illness which makes it unlikely that he will be able to travel in 3-5 years time (the time it would realistically take for us to save up the money to have a wedding meal for the hoards entire family)

There are no legal reasons to get married, we live in a country where the majority of couples get married when their children are a little older.

I wouldn't be flouncing around in a 3 grand dress whilst eating food that our guests had provided everything would very much be done on a tight budget.

Is this a very rude idea?

It wouldn't be rude in the UK, it would be just fine, but it might be in your current country - sound out a sympathetic mature female member of DH's family.

Are you sure there are no legal reasons to get married? You need to look into the details to see whether it would be risky to wait a few years - what would happen if DH ran off with another woman/got hit by a bus?

Errm obviously that's DP, not DH, given the subject of the discussion blush.

Nelly000 Sun 05-May-13 18:47:49

Just get married with a couple of witnesses (parents?) and don't have the party?

JollyOrangeGiant Sun 05-May-13 18:49:05

We got married with the two of us, DS and two friends as witnesses. Very cheap. Nobody complained either.

Bobyan Sun 05-May-13 18:49:34

Sounds great go for it!

Flappingandflying Sun 05-May-13 18:50:37

Ask one of the female relies on his side. What does your MIL think? I think it's fine as you go to a wedding to celebrate something not for a free meal. If either side of parents are horrified with the arrangements then they need to cough up to provide better. The other alternative is that you marry just you and parents there.

HollyBerryBush Sun 05-May-13 18:52:50

I'd do it you way - we had a wedding with over 300 attendees and it didn't cost a fortune, everyone helped and piled in with favours. We just wanted to get married with a out family and friends, not rival the national debt.

HollyBerryBush Sun 05-May-13 18:53:16

*with our (not with out!) family and friends

fritteringtwit Sun 05-May-13 18:53:42

Your wedding = your choice.You get to decide what's reasonable. If guests dont like the idea, they dont have to come.

Me & DH eloped to the carribbean. The (hopefully) lifelong commitment is the important part, not the wedding day/party.

WafflyVersatile Sun 05-May-13 18:56:56

Would you and your DP be happy with that wedding?

It sounds absolutely fine to me. smile

Would the UK family be able to find accommodation easily?

themaltesecat Sun 05-May-13 18:57:27

Just get married.

honeytea Sun 05-May-13 18:59:58

Thanks for the feed back, I am glad it isn't a really bad idea!

MIL is unfortunatly crazy, but DP's sister thinks it is a nice idea, I have been to a couple of weddings here but both were small.

The idea of doing it just me, dp and maybe our parents would be nice but if we don't invite my grandparents we might as well wait and save up for an expensive wedding.

I am the oldest grandchild and the only one anywhere near the marriage stage so it would be their only chance to be the grandparents at a wedding.

The country where we live has the option of officially living together and that has the same legal implications as husband and wife.


NynaevesSister Sun 05-May-13 19:01:12

Wow I love it! Sounds like a fab wedding to me. I'd be thrilled to go. Sound out your relatives on both sides. Say you are wanting to do this now so your grandfather has the option of coming (check with him first just in case). See what they say. I wouldn't find it rude if it was all up front.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 05-May-13 19:01:23

Don't plan your wedding to please other people. And don't waste a load of money you don't have.

We had a very cheap wedding, local registry office, then back to my mum's for buffet in the garden, about 20 guests.

I hate being the centre of attention, a big wedding would have been my worst nightmare.

whosiwhatsit Sun 05-May-13 19:02:15

Your idea sounds absolutely lovely to me!

honeytea Sun 05-May-13 19:02:58

Me and DP would be really happy with that wedding smile

I wonder if there is a polite way of wording "if you don't like the idea don't be offended just don't come, or just come and don't bring a dish"

We live near a big hotel so my family would be able to stay there.

WilsonFrickett Sun 05-May-13 19:04:05

Sounds lovely to me, but I do agree with checking carefully that it won't offend any cultural 'hosting' expectations in DP's country.

BastardDog Sun 05-May-13 19:04:36

Sounds like a wonderful idea to me, but I got married on a very small budget.

About 50 guests which was immediate family and close friends. Reception held at our house. Guests asked to 'bring a bottle' to the reception rather than a wedding present so that covered the alcohol. My dress was made by my sister. My mum made the cake. My mil paid for the food, which was just sandwiches and snack foods ordered from a local cafe. My brother in law provided the wedding car. A friend did the photos. Bridesmaids outfits were paid for by my other sister. All of these things were in lieu of wedding presents.

We borrowed garden furniture from the neighbours for extra seating.

All dh and I paid for was the church fees and the flowers.

It was stress free, as well as debt free.

I say go for it.

Blending Sun 05-May-13 19:05:26

Personally I think it's a lovely idea.

A lovely personal wedding, which doesnt get you into unnecessary debt, and people can make a contribution to the actual day itself rather than a 3rd toaster you don't need.

You need to think of the logistics, and perhaps closer o the time split the dishes into catagories of whos bringing what. Nothing too elaborate just sweet, savory and vegetarian...or you could end up with 50 cheesecakes!

Good luck with your plans!

MrsLettuce Sun 05-May-13 19:07:18

YANBU. It sounds like a lovely idea!

(have you seen this? THis is nice too)

BackforGood Sun 05-May-13 19:07:19

Just how many brothers and sisters do you each have, for 'parents and siblings' to come to close to 50 ? shock

CMOTDibbler Sun 05-May-13 19:10:17

It sounds lovely, and I'd be delighted to bring something, or paypal an organiser some money to buy a dish if I was coming from overseas.

I think you would need someone to volunteer to co-ordinate the food - then people could call/text/email them about what they were bringing and they could suggest substitutes if that 'category' was full.

pointythings Sun 05-May-13 19:17:02

I think it's a lovely idea, but I second coordinating the food so that you end up with a nice range. Go for it!

Sounds great - I think you have a lovely attitude to it all, thinking about your Grandpa, and how you wouldn't expect people travelling to bring something. You sound very thoughtful of everyone.
Friends of ours had a tea party afterwards in their garden and asked some of their friends to each bring a cake instead of a pressie. Was Lovely thanks
If my DD gets married (one day) I think I'll be suggesting a picnic afterwards, with everyone bringing their own hamper/contribution. Maybe it's cheeky, but not everyone can afford a massive wedding banquet. And some home style can be very charming I think. Those that matter won't mind as they say (Those that mind don't matter) Hope you have a lovely day .... was a great thread on here one time to plan a wedding like this ... smile

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