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What do you think of small weddings?

(57 Posts)
FrowningGlory Mon 07-Nov-16 13:41:14

People who've had small weddings! I'm interested in hearing from you...

Bit of background; I got engaged a few years ago to someone that turned out to be horrible. The whole thing left such a bitter taste that I pretty much gave up on the idea of marriage. However, I've been with current DP a little while and every now and again we talk about what it would be like to be husband and wife and how special it would be (he had a terrible divorce after 15 years of marriage, so he was at first hesitant too - he's 18 years older than me for reference). It just seems to come up quite a lot...

I would actually really like to marry DP - he's extremely kind, very funny and interesting and sexy. We have a really, really good time together and I think we'd make each other very happy. I feel completely calm and safe with him and we talk all the time about a future together - where we'd settle down, what our house will be like, trips we'd like to go on etc.

Much as I would love to be his wife I'm struggling with the idea of the wedding a bit....for a few reasons:
1) I lost my mother recently and the idea of having a wedding without her makes me feel a bit sick - almost like it's impossible for it to be good without her. I thought maybe I could invite her best friend (who I like), especially as her best friend's husband is good friends with my Dad so he'd feel less lonely...
2) No offense to anyone intended here! But I think some of the weddings I see on social media, well almost of them really, look like something I'd hate to do! It's cool if that's what works for them but it seems to me that weddings have moved so far away from what I thought they were that if we did it on a really small scale people would almost be disappointed..?

Just out of curiosity I went on a Bridal Magazine website and looked at their 12 month time scale to-do list for weddings and was slightly horrified.

It includes things like 'Get your teeth whitened', 'Attend third wedding dress fitting', 'Attend make-up trial session'....

This kind of thing genuinely brings me out in a sweat!! Do you think this is what people expect? I've only been to two weddings so I don't really know.

My ideal wedding for me is literally something like....20 people...just a nice dress (not white or anything), DP in a nice suit...quick ceremony then just a big lunch in a nice pub afterwards. No disco or anything. DP feels the same - he's very, very laid back and would sooner people just relaxed and had a chilled time than anything too ceremonious. The only thing we might clash on is the amount of people as he's got SO many friends and comes from a big family.

I definitely don't want a hen-do, (saw something online the other day about a 4 day hen weekend where everyone had two sets of matching outfits and a rigidly scheduled timetable every day - is this a thing? Who can afford this??) blush

I supposed DF would do a speech (because I'll have trouble stopping him tbh - he loves giving speeches!!) but other than that, just everyone having a big dinner and a bit of a laugh.

Also definitely wouldn't spend the night before away from him!!

Can anyone tell me about their expectations/experiences of little weddings and what they would expect to be paid for at a wedding (I'm thinking food and drink but also maybe cars and hotels if it's only few people?)?

By the way I know DP hasn't actually asked me to marry him yet!! smile But he is completely transparent and I feel as though he might fairly soon, and I'm just trying to work out how I feel about it, rather than having 5 seconds to decide if he does actually pop the question!!

Thanks everyone.

TheNaze73 Mon 07-Nov-16 13:44:08

Small intimate weddings are great. If it works for you & your boyfriend then good fit you.

I'd query why you are waiting to be asked if you are this set on it though. It's not 1954 smile

Good luck & do exactly what works for you two

FrowningGlory Mon 07-Nov-16 13:47:56

Hehe I've joked with him about that before because I was the one who first asked him out and said 'I love you first'! I literally blurted them out by accident! So maybe I'll surprise myself confused

DefinitelyNotRuth Mon 07-Nov-16 13:49:57

We had 28 people at our wedding, including us. Planned it in 10 weeks and it cost £5000 including 10 days all inclusive in Mexico!
We got married at the local register office ( which is beautiful), then went for afternoon tea at a hotel that was near a local landmark that was special to us. Ended by 6.30pm then straight to Heathrow for our flight the next morning. It was perfect!

noeffingidea Mon 07-Nov-16 13:51:26

I've been to 2 small weddings as a guest, loved them both.
As to what was paid for, pretty much everything. At both weddings we had a lovely meal with plenty of wine. Thats one of the advantages of having a small wedding - the fewer guests, the more you can spoil them.
Your plan sounds lovely and if thats what you both want then stick to it. Don't be pressurised into anything bigger.

FrowningGlory Mon 07-Nov-16 13:51:45

That sounds smashing ruth! I'd love to go to Mexico. Afternoon tea is a lovely idea - I'd never have even thought of that.

Motherfuckers Mon 07-Nov-16 13:53:12

The best weddings I have been to were under twenty people. One on a beach and one in the local Indian restaurant, and my own was just me and him. All of them felt really special and were far more interesting than those identical, formulaic weddings that many people have.

Goingtobeawesome Mon 07-Nov-16 13:53:53

I got married with less than 40 guests and 30 odd were dh family and we didn't have an evening do as he didn't want one. Married at 12, photos then meal. We left by six. Friends went home. Family went to PIL house. All good.

NoncommittalToSparkleMotion Mon 07-Nov-16 13:55:00

I'm all for relaxed, happy and love filled weddings. Size doesn't matter wink

Wedding magazines put that stuff in there because they make money from the bridal industry. Telling people it's not a big deal what you wear would put models out of a job!

Do what makes you happy. (And it sounds like you are!)

CoughingForWeeks Mon 07-Nov-16 13:58:28

OP, your small wedding sounds perfect to me. It should be about what you, as a couple, promising to be together forever. The rest is just window dressing. I'd hate to do the whole big wedding thing, not that anyone ever asks me sad

wideboy26 Mon 07-Nov-16 13:59:26

I've been to a wedding that was exactly how you describe and it was great! The couple were both 40-ish and neither had been married before, but they felt too old for all the usual things that supposedly make up a good wedding. She wore a suit and hat and he wore a smart suit too. About 20 of us then went to a restaurant and ate and drank and chatted and laughed for several hours. For me that was far preferable to church wedding, hang around for ages while photos are taken, proceeed to reception, queue up for ages to be greeted by bride and groom, have reception and speeches, kill a few hours before evening guests arrive, then endure disco and dancing and drinking when conversation is impossible over loud music. Would you really want to spend £20-30,000 on that?

SwearyGodmother Mon 07-Nov-16 14:00:43

We had a small wedding with 35 people including us and the vicar. It was lovely. What inspired us though was even lovelier. We'd been to the horror of a wedding show in Battersea Park and seen so many things that we really didn't want and just thought fuck it and walked across the river for lunch. Not feeling inspired we went to Pizza Express which is opposite the Chelsea Register Office. There was a table of about 20 next to us who we realised we're there for a wedding breakfast - everyone was relaxed, happy and clearly enjoying themselves. The children were having a marvellous time in particular, with no fidgeting or whinging during the never ending meal you normally get. It seemed so genuine and lovely it still warms my heart to think of it.

We ran with this a little - a normal high street dress and a restaurant but it was a bit more "weddingy", it was lovely but theirs was better!

FrowningGlory Mon 07-Nov-16 14:02:35

wideboy that sounds so lovely - really fun and nothing to get to stressed about. I have a bit of trouble with getting panicky and the idea of 100 pairs of eyes staring at you as you enter a church seems insurmountable. I'd end up hating the whole thing!

hmm Might have a nice cake though smile

Kr1stina Mon 07-Nov-16 14:02:57

How long have you been with him? You said " a little while " .

And you do know that you don't have to wait for him to ask you ( since it's not 1950 ) ?

I'm thinkning about the advisability of marriage rather than the details of a wedding. I know you didn't ask but hey ho it's Mumsnet . We are not known for sticking to the subject .

sonlypuppyfat Mon 07-Nov-16 14:03:53

I had three people at my wedding, my mum and dad and his mum. We had a nice meal after and then some champagne back home. We even took our own photos. It was the best wedding I've ever been to

Honeyandfizz Mon 07-Nov-16 14:05:44

We went to stbxh friends small wedding a few years back. It was a December wedding, bride was pregnant and they did not want any fuss. Register office midday then they went for a quite lunch with immediate family, on the evening we all met up in a lovely indian restaurant and had a buffet style type meal. There were around 20 of us and it was just lovely, very intimate and just what the happy couple wanted.

On a side note I had the big wedding and whilst it was ok if I were to ever get married again I would do the same as you, very small not much fuss and people that I actually liked there!

FrowningGlory Mon 07-Nov-16 14:06:12

Kr1stina Are you joking? (Genuine question; can't tell)

FrowningGlory Mon 07-Nov-16 14:07:23

puppyfat I was thinking that own photos are probably just as good! Someone I know had 3000 pictures taken of their wedding - wow!

Thatwaslulu Mon 07-Nov-16 14:09:01

We had a small wedding, mainly because we were skint and it had to be a registry office do anyway as he was divorced, but only had close family and godparents at the ceremony then a social club reception with friends invited. It was relaxed and unpretentious and just our style. My wedding dress cost £150 and the most expensive thing after that were our rings which we had made in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham.

I think it's best to go for something that suits your style and feels authentic - if you don't feel comfortable with a big production and makeup trials, etc, then don't do that! It's your special day and you are inviting people to share your happiness at being married, don't worry about the pressure of doing things because magazines tell you to. Don't forget those magazines have a vested interest because they sell advertising space to the companies who promote the additional services...

Mouthofmisery Mon 07-Nov-16 14:15:10

I'm with you OP. Been engaged for 2 years and the thought of a wedding on a large scale fills me with horror. My partner is more open to it. He was married before and wants to "better " that wedding in a way. We went to view a wedding venue near us and when the man showing us round mentioned the brides dressing room and make up room I had to leave. My partner continued with the tour but I felt so uncomfortable. It just doesn't compute with me! I want to go to a registry office and then out for a meal and then it's done. I don't particularly want anyone other than our parents there as I don't get on with brothers wives etc. There's just better things to spend money on too!

HummusForBreakfast Mon 07-Nov-16 14:19:28

I would really recommend NOT to look at those magazines.
It took us 7 months to irhanusethe wedding.
I went to the shop for the dress twice, once to chose it, once to pick it up.
I went to the hairdresser the day before, did my own make up.
Etc etc
Our wedding was just as nice as any other wedding!!

What makes a wedding nice is, IMO, when people feel welcome to the wedding.
You don't need to 'be perfect' and looking like a model in a catalog. You dont need to have your teeth withened and what not.
You find everything else to be 'just so' and perfect and coming out from a magazine.
It's your life. But something to be put on display.

JellyWitch Mon 07-Nov-16 14:19:44

We had 60 people (immediate family and close friends)- village church and hall. We drove ourselves to church and walked up the aisle together. I did a short "thank you for coming speech" and friends all helped out with photos, cake, invites, music etc. It was budget, personal and non stressful. Second wedding for us both.

Do it your way and ignore the magazines!

Simonneilsbeard Mon 07-Nov-16 14:23:11

My husband and I eloped. We went to Gretna, it was just us and some witnesses. I loved it! It was intimate and something special that was just for us.
We told the families when we came home and had a meal and a bit of a get together.
Huge weddings to me are a bit ridiculous..people tend to get worked up and stressed out over details that ultimately don't matter and forget the important thing, the actual marriage to the person you love!
Do it the way you wanted and don't worry what anyone else thinks x

beela Mon 07-Nov-16 14:25:40

We had me, dh, ds, 2 friends and their 3 dc at our wedding. It was perfect. Got married in a registry office - v relaxed - and then went for a champagne afternoon tea at a posh hotel.

One of our reasons for having a tiny wedding was the same as yours - only 1 surviving parent between us and the full works would have felt wrong without the right relatives to give away and do speeches / sit at the top table.

It took 3 weeks to organise and cost under £4k including rings (engagement and wedding), dress and suit, and a weekend away.

At the end of the day, if you don't want a full on bridal magazine cliche wedding then you don't have to. Do what works for you.

5moreminutes Mon 07-Nov-16 14:26:30

Do exactly what you've said you'd like to do - it sounds just right.

We wanted to be married but didn't especially want to have a wedding too.

Sometimes we wish we had just gone to a registry office with 2 friends, but my sister got married without family around which my mother made a big deal about being fine with, but then mentioned pointedly more than once that she "couldn't bare it" if another of her children did that (she's a master of emotional blackmail, but I hadn't really wised up to that back then).

We had a small wedding - we spent the night before together, we had breakfast together, we went to the ceremony together (my dad hired a classic car and drove us there as I didn't want to be "given away") we walked in together, we walked down the aisle together, we left together. We already owned a house together and had lived together 4 years, doing it differently made no sense to us.

We had the reception in my parents' garden.

The only thing I regret really is being guilted into having the wedding in my mum's beloved church when we are both atheists - it made a bit of a mockery of everything I think. We did it for her because we were trying to make her happy despite not doing the huge white wedding with her in charge of the guest list as she wanted, but when the wedding is talked about she goes on about how she made sure we had everything exactly the way we wanted it and didn't try to insist on the things she wanted - like flowers and inviting 973 second cousins and great aunts who I hadn't seen since I was 3 months old and friends of hers I'd never met at all, or perhaps once in passing in the aisles of M&S when I was 12... (though she did try to force our hand by telling people they would be invited when she knew we were only inviting immediate family and then suggesting we would cause upset if we didn't send invites as they'd be expecting one... She knows we are not Christians (she and I fought about i all through my teens) but doesn't see or acknowledge the gesture we made in getting married in her beloved church, so I often wish we'd never bothered and had had a civil ceremony only.

Do it your way.

I got my dress on ebay - it was lovely grin We gave a friend a good camera to take pictures and asked if anyone else could send us pictures if they took any.

BIL and his wife had a huge wedding and left the guests to do a full afternoon professional photoshoot "on location" and has thousands of photos and his wife left him before they had the final prints...

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