Why I Chose To Give Up My Dream Wedding

Are you planning a wedding but couldn’t justify all the expenses that come with it? Do you have to save up a lot to be able to afford your dream wedding, and have started to think that a smaller and simpler one might be the way to go? Relax; that’s perfectly fine. And to be honest, you’re not the only one! Today, I am sharing with you why I agreed to have a simple wedding.

I am not going to deny it; just like most women, I’ve dreamed of my own wedding since I was a kid. I’ve always wanted an intimate sunset beach wedding where I will be wearing the classiest body hugging gown with delicate lace and bead details; while walking down the aisle with my bare feet touching the sand, as a very good friend of mine sing some of our favorite songs. And then we would exchange our vows as the sun sets, in front of our closest friends and relatives. Then we’ll celebrate and party under the stars after the ceremony. I always thought this is how I’m getting married; that is until I got into a long distance relationship with my then-boyfriend.

Why I Agreed To Have A Small Wedding

The discussion about having a small and simple wedding came out of nowhere. One afternoon while we were talking over Skype, my then-boyfriend asked me “Would it be okay if I couldn’t give you the wedding that you’ve dreamed of?”. Without a doubt in my mind, I said “Yes!” Sure, he’d told me before that he’s going to file a petition so that we can be together; but to be honest, it didn’t cross my mind (or I didn’t assume) that he’d want to marry me since he just got out of one. But you were probably wondering why, for someone who’s very unprepared, I agreed to a simple wedding. The answers are pretty simple.

Because I Love Him

It was pretty clear to me. I love him and I know in my heart that I want nothing else but to spend the rest of my life with him (yes, it’s possible to know that after being in a relationship for only a few months). I’ve been in several relationships and I know deep inside that he could be the one I’ve been praying for since I was younger. The one with whom I finally felt bliss, security, and contentment with. And if getting to be with him forever means that I’ll have to marry him in an alley with me wearing the simplest tee, jeans, and flip flops; then, I’d gladly do it.

It was pretty clear to me. I love him and I know in my heart that I want nothing else but to spend the rest of my life with him. I know deep inside that he could be the one I've been praying for since I was younger. And if getting to be with him forever means that I’ll have to marry him in an alley with me wearing the simplest tee, jeans, and flip flops; then, I’d gladly do it. A relationship and love quote from Why I Chose To Give Up My Dream Wedding

Don’t get me wrong; I am not settling for less than I deserve. After everything I’ve been through, I know better than to settle for what I know I should have. I FINALLY found myself a man who loves me and treats me the way I deserve to be treated. One who’s willing to do things for me without any complains because he knows they’re going to make me happy even if he doesn’t want to. It just so happened that this great guy wouldn’t be able to afford my dream wedding at that time.

Should I give him up knowing that he’s the perfect man for me in the hopes that the next one will be able to give me the wedding that I’ve always dreamed of? While I may be able to find a guy who’s a better fit for me, it’s also possible that I’ll find someone who’s not even half as great as him. And even if the next guy is definitely so much better than my then-boyfriend and will be able to give me my dream wedding, I still don’t think that will work because my heart already belongs to someone else. Because when the heart chooses, there’s no way you can change that. So the answer is simple – No way! When you find someone (or even something) that makes you perfectly happy, there is no way you are settling!

Because I Want To Be Practical

I didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a wedding dress that I’d only get to wear once. And I also didn’t want to spend a huge chunk of our money that we’d spend numerous months saving up for just for one night to celebrate our union. I don’t have anything against those who have done this or who plan to do this; if this is what’s going to make you happy, then by all means, go ahead and do it. As for me, I found what’s going to make me happy and it’s him.

I’ve seen a lot of weddings that are as lavish and dreamy as they could be, but the couple would end up separated months or years after. Extravagant weddings don’t guarantee you’ll live happily ever after. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how grand your wedding is; what matters is how beautiful your married life is going to be, and how happy you are in it. And that is what I wanted to have.

Extravagant weddings don’t guarantee you’ll live happily ever after. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how grand your wedding is; what matters is how beautiful your married life is going to be, and how happy you are in it. And that is what I wanted to have. A relationship and love quote from Why I Chose To Give Up My Dream Wedding

Of course, our marriage isn’t perfect at all. Like most couples, we’ve had arguments. And at some point, I’ve even doubted how much I want this marriage to work. But at the end of the day, our love for each other and our commitment to make it work is what saved us.

Because I Have To Enter The United States Through A Fianceé Visa

Since we were in a long distance relationship for 2 years, he had to file a petition for me so that I can stay here, in the United States, with him legally. With that, I had to enter the U.S. through a Fianceé Visa; and that entails getting married within 90 days of my arrival here which was another factor why I couldn’t have my dream wedding.

Given that 90-day deadline, it really made it very challenging to have my dream wedding. There is no way that we’d be able to save up to afford a beach wedding here in the U.S. in time for the wedding, let alone get tourist visas for my parents and some of my friends so that they could be part of our special day. Not to mention that my husband isn’t really good with planning (I do all of the planning) so it would be a struggle to plan an out of the country wedding while I was in Manila.

Yes, we could have gotten married in the Philippines where everything’s so much cheaper and everyone that I would want to be a part of it will be there; but that would just make the process of getting here in the U.S. so much longer. The simplest and fastest way for us to be together was through a Fianceé Visa.

Our Simple Wedding

couple simple wedding

6 years ago, we had our wedding on a Friday afternoon in February, in a lawyer’s office. I was wearing a white sheath dress with a black ribbon which I specifically chose because I’d be able to wear it again after the wedding, and paired it with one of my old sandals that I had brought with me from Manila. We exchanged our vows in front of his family and best friend; I didn’t have family nor friends with me. The party after the ceremony was done in his uncle’s house (it was also his uncle’s birthday).

Our wedding wasn’t dreamy nor magical as I’d hope it would be but it was definitely one of the happiest days of my life. Knowing that I’d start a family and grow old with him gave me such bliss that no extravagant weddings can ever dampen. Before we got married, we had talked about the possibility of me being jealous with others if I see them get their dream wedding. Since we got married, I’ve seen a lot of weddings of friends and even celebrities who are known for dreamy and magical weddings; but I’ve never felt even a slight tingle of jealousy. That’s how I know that I was very happy and at peace with what I chose to have.

We did talk about making my dream wedding come true down the road when we are financially able. But now that we have 2 kids and have been paying for daycare for both, I know that it isn’t going to be anytime soon. And since life always happens, I also know that my dream wedding may not happen at all, and that’s absolutely fine with me. As long as we’re happy, our kids’ needs are met, we continue to have a fun and loving home, and we do what we need to do to keep our marriage strong, then a simple wedding was really all I needed.

As long as we’re happy, our kids’ needs are met, we continue to have a fun and loving home, and we do what we need to do to keep our marriage strong, then a simple wedding was really all I needed. A relationship and love quote from Why I Gave Up My Dream Wedding

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Do you find yourself thinking maybe having a small wedding is for you? This woman's post will tell you why she chose to give up her dream wedding. It's a mix of love and practicality. Click on the image to learn more.

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  • I liked this piece. You’re right … it’s really about the two of you and the love you share. I’d been married before and it was the whole big wedding … and I thought it was WAY overrated. When my current husband and I got married, he asked me in February, I said yes and we got married at the end of March. I was seven months pregnant with our second girl, we got married outside on the beach where we’d had our first kiss (his idea, I wanted to get hitched at the courthouse). It was literally 32 degrees, windy and sleeting. We were wearing blue jeans and hiking shoes. He had his best friend there, I had my mom. And you know what … it was perfect. Mattered more to me than the big wedding I’d had in my early 20s.

    • Awww! That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Rachel G

    Awwww! I love reading this story–the marriage matters so much more than the wedding, that’s for sure! We recently had our 6th wedding anniversary, we had a simple wedding with our families and friends and I wouldn’t change a thing. My sister is getting married this summer and is being very budget-conscious in her planning–she has a lot more time to plan her wedding than I did, so I think it will be more personal, but also not extravagant at all.

    • That is true; it really is all about the marriage. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Kimberly @ Berly’s Kitchen

    It’s so much fun to dream of a big fancy wedding, and I love looking at wedding photos to get ideas. In reality, it’s not practical for most people. Small wedding can be beautiful, too, and just as special.

    • I agree! It’s always fun to dream and look at other people’s fancy wedding. Thank you!

  • Robin masshole mommy

    I definitely did not have the wedding I dreamed of when I was a little girl, but do you know what? It was way more expensive then I realized it would be when I was young. I am very happy with my wedding and that I didn’t spend a fortune on it

    • Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Momma To Go

    Beautiful, honest piece! I did have the big wedding but being married for almost 10 years I know the most important thing is the marriage

    • That is so true! Thank you for sharing!

  • My wedding sounds very similar 🙂 Our engagement party turned into a wedding and both my husband and I were so grateful because we don’t enjoy the planning and the idea of spending so much money while he still needed to go through medical school was insane to us!

    • That is so sweet! Thank you for sharing your story!

  • I can definitely relate to this!! Practicality and love are the most important!!

  • you have a lovely story! I ended up spending way too much on a wedding dress that I will never wear again… well my mom got it for me as a gift, but still. It sits in my closet unworn and lonely. I say cheap wedding and nice honeymoon .

    • Awww! That was so sweet of your mom! Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Prettyshei

    Am I the friend who you foresaw to sing at your wedding? Lol

    • Yes, you are. 😀

  • You have such a beautiful story. I didn’t spent a lot of money on my wedding day either. My husband and I said to each other, the money we spend on the wedding we could use it for a house or honeymoon. So we did a simple wedding.

    • That is a great idea! Thank you for sharing your story.

  • I relate to this so much! We aren’t married because we chose to have children first (he’s older than I am so we wanted to make sure we had our family first) and at this point the money will never come rolling in and if it ever does, it goes straight to our baby girl. I never pictured it..
    But for me it is perfect.. And a wedding will come eventually. Great post Belle xo

    • Awww! I agree, even with us, all the money coming in goes toward the kids and the daycare payment. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Victoria Schneider

    This is such a heartfelt posts. I love that. We did not spend a lot on a wedding, but I still wish we would have just got married the two of us somewhere and used all the money to start our future.
    Thanks you for sharing!
    victoria | http://www.thesoutherntrunk.com

    • Awww! That would be beautiful! Thank you for sharing your story!

  • I love this! I too had a small wedding (40 people) well tbh I had 2 weddings (complicated Wedding Laws stuff between UK & Canada) but We didn’t feel it was practical to have a huge wedding that cost a fortune and for just one day – There are far more practical things to spend that money on; home, car, rent etc…

    Ellie
    http://www.scotchadstilettos.com

    • That is so true! There are far more important things to spend the money on. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • What a beautiful day! I think the idea of a huge wedding can often overshadow the why of the wedding. This was a day about your love, so sweet!

    • That is so true! Thank you!

  • Great piece! I want to elope some day!

    • That would be great! Thank you!

  • Wow you have such a great approach to it.

    Cristy
    http://www.happyfamilyblog.com

  • I didn’t get to have a wedding but one thing I realized is that it is about the love you have. Sadly mine is ending but I wish you every bit of luck. What you’ve written here shows the love that you have for him. Keep that love strong. Congrats to you two.

    • Awww! So sorry to hear that! Thank you for sharing your story though.

  • Although not quite the same situation as you, my husband and I had a small budget for our wedding so I gave up on a lot of things I had been dreaming about for years. However, it also forced me to get a little creative with the budget (found my dress on Ebay!) to still make it beautiful. You looked gorgeous and many blessings for you and your husband 🙂

    • I guess smaller budget really does that to you. Thank you and thank you for sharing your story!

  • Such a sweet and honest blog post, I loved reading it! I just had a big wedding last May and I can tell you I definitely wish I would have made some changes to make it smaller. You made the most perfect and right decision for you guys! CONGRATS!

    x – Leah
    http://www.ellemaebloom.com

    • Thank you for sharing your story!

  • I had two small wedding ceremonies ( circumstances), 6 people each. For one I wore a wedding dress, and my dad got a chance to bring me to the altar. We could not afford a photographer, and 10 of our friends could not show up (short notice). It was the best day of my life, still! Letting go of perfection is hard but it is so freeing. Thank you for sharing such personal thoughts!

    • Thank you for sharing your story!

  • loveyoumoretoo

    This is all so very true. We are wedding photographers and smaller more intimate weddings are always some of our favorites. In the end YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED and that is all that matters. 🙂

    • That’s really great to know! Thank you!

  • I’m so glad that even though you didn’t have your dream wedding, you got your dream man. It seems like you two have discussed the important things and know your future will be more meaningful than any big day. Congrats on the years to come full of happiness for the both of you!!!

    Danielle | FollowMyGut.com <3

    • He really is my dream man! Thank you!

  • I have never been obsessed with having a massive wedding. If I do get married I will probably just go to a vintage place in vegas. That photo of you two is adorable
    xo
    http://www.laurajaneatelier.com

    • That’s awesome! Thank you!

  • I love that you have your focus in the right direction. I really didn’t know that there was the 90 day part of fiance visa’s and I totally don’t blame you at all for wanting to do it in the quickest way. When you really love someone it’s hard to wait. Especially when you aren’t able to see each other physically. You guys are such a cute couple!!!

    • That is so true! Thank you!

  • awwww girl you are so right! at the end of the day, you and him forever is all that matters! and having good pictures for the memories hah!

    xoxo
    Victoria
    http://www.agallonofglitter.com

    • That is so true! Thank you!

  • Love your perspective! And you two are super cute, super happy faces on that pic!

  • Small weddings are absolutely just. As nice as big ones. It’s great when the people who really care about your wedding are in attendance, and not just people looking to party.

    • That is so true! Thank you!

  • I had a beautiful, small destination wedding. But, you know what? Since having our son, I feel like that day wasn’t complete because he wasn’t there—isn’t that silly? I write this to tell you that I am all about having a anniversary/vow renewal with your children present! It’s never too late to have a dream ceremony and make more special memories with your family:)

    • That is actually our plan. I can honestly understand why it would feel incomplete. Hopefully, in the near future we’d get to do it. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Thank you for sharing your wedding story. I had a small wedding too…about 110 guests. It was basically what we could afford while still being able to get the stuff that mattered to us for that day. I remember cutting out the limousine bridal car and having sheet layers of cake in the backroom room (bec. we could not get a tremendously large cake). But overall because I planned it and the details we wanted was there, we were able to still have it as our dream wedding.

    • Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Love this and totally agree. Weddings are about so much more than all of the things that are done for show! Love should be all that matters. When you look back, you’ll be thankful that you didn’t have a big wedding that ruined your wallet!

    • That is so true! Thank you!

  • I like that your number one reason is because you love him. If you love someone you don’t need a huge wedding. I didn’t know that you had to get married within 90 days of getting a fiancée visa, that’s really interesting.
    I would keep my wedding simple too, you don’t need all of the big things, you just need the person that you love.

    • That is so true! Thank you!

  • My brother’s wife came through on a fiancé visa and it totally came quicker than they expected so a quick, intimate wedding was perfect for them! You don’t need a big wedding to show everyone how much you love each other! So happy for you! Congrats!

  • Weddings are incredibly expensive and unfortunately not everyone can have the wedding of their dreams.
    I think the most important thing is to truly love the person you are getting married with.
    Great post!
    Vanessa x | http://www.springlilies.com

    • That is so true! Thank you!

  • Hannah

    I love how honest and open this was. And I totally agree with everything you said. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • I had to do the same thing! It just made more since on our situation. I’d gladly do it again! 🙂 The only thing I regret is not having pictures of the courthouse ceremony.

    • Thank you for sharing your story.

  • I agree that marriage is way more important than a wedding. After being married 12 years, the wedding makes very little difference on our overall happiness and well being. A great post with honestly. Thanks for sharing!

  • Good for you. A wedding doesn’t have to be “dreamy or magical.” It’s just a day. But what’s important is the bond between you and your spouse.

    • That is so true! Thank you!

  • “Because I love him” that is all that matters. Such a beautiful piece. I have always wanted a small wedding and beautiful honeymoon!

  • I love this! A girl can fantasize about the perfect *dream* wedding all she wants, but at the end of the day, the wedding really isn’t what matters. When I was planning my wedding, I had to remind myself of that the entire time. No matter what happens, when I go home that night, I’ll be married. I may not have the perfect ceremony, perfect venue or perfect shoes, but in the grand scheme of things that doesn’t matter. I loved my wedding day because It was the day that I married my best friend. And that’s what’s important!

    • Awww! That is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your story!

  • I think that this is great. I know that I’ve had times in my life where I thought that I wanted things to go a certain way but they ended up going a different direction. Sometimes the unexpected road is good too!

    • That is so true! Thank you!

  • evans267

    Such a beautiful story! You are absolutely right that being together is more important than a lavish wedding. I wish you many years of a happy life together.

    April | http://thebluehydrangeas.com

  • Honestly, who needs a fancy wedding when you have everything that you need to get married, like a loving fiance. I think it’s nice that you chose a smaller wedding, it just means that it’s more intimate and less crowdy, less people to deal with so you can focus on each other. I loved reading your story!

  • I love your attitude! You totally prioritized correctly and it seems like you are reaping the blessings! Congrats!

  • I love this! I was actually the one who wanted a small wedding, and my husband convinced me to have all of our friends and extended family there. Either way, it’s a special moment to celebrate your lifelong commitment. So much hype is made about the wedding, when the focus should really be the marriage!

    • That is so sweet of him! Thank you for sharing your story!

  • This is a great post. I really enjoyed reading it! I wish you all the happiness!

  • Wonderful post and your reasons on right on track in my opinion. A wedding is poof gone in a split second. A marriage is for a lifetime. Thank you for sharing.

  • babiestobookworms

    The important part is that you are happy with the person you are marrying. All of the frills won’t matter when you are happily married!

  • Great perspective! My wedding wasn’t big, but it was lovely. Still, in hindsight I could have made it even simpler and it would have been great.

  • All that really matters is that two people are embarking on a life together. My wedding wasn’t small by any means but it wasn’t big and expensive either.

    • That is so true! Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Meredith from Mommy in Leggings

    You two are so amazing! I agree with all of your points!!! We also had a small wedding–we got married in Alaska, just us and our parents!!! 🙂

    • Thank you! I bet a wedding in Alaska would be beautiful! Thank you for sharing your story!

  • lovelysilvia

    I’m not married yet but sometimes I catch myself thinking about a small wedding instead of my dream wedding. So many of your reasons is exactly what I think about.

  • I enjoy reading your story…cheers to you both .

  • layersofchic

    hey bella, very interesting and thought-provoking post. From a practicality standpoint, I totally agree that one wedding day may not be worth all the money if you could use it for something else and you both agree. But my question with your post is why was it that your boyfriend asked you if it is OK if he couldn’t give you your dream wedding? Is it expected in Filipino culture for the groom to pay for the wedding? I am curious as I believe these days it is very common to split the costs or for the bride to pay for the wedding since the groom pays for the ring. Would love to understand more.

    • Thank you! Yes, it is part of our culture as Filipinos that men pay for the weddings. But since we’re living in modern times now, some couples would normally share all the expenses which I was willing to do anyway. I guess he just wanted to pay for everything since he earns more than I do. I was earning in Peso and whatever I make then was nothing if you convert it to USD.

  • My wedding was simple as well. We were broke graduate school students. Now that all my friends & colleagues are getting married & Isee how much they’re spending Im kind of glad mine was simple lol.

    • Lol! Thank you for sharing your story!

  • ruthieridley

    I loved this story. You are so brave!

  • Anita, Maurice Mckaney

    It is so much better to prepare for the marriage than to prepare for a lavish wedding. I applaud you for doing this. My now husband and I met online and I understand falling in love so quickly. We had an average size wedding and it was ideal. We have been married for 15 years now and I wouldn’t change it.

    • Thank you! And thank you for sharing your story!

  • tinajohnson2

    Honestly, when I think back to the silly things I spent money on for my wedding, I’d say that many of those things were such a waste. I commend you for being practical. Your future is much more important than spending thousands of dollars on a dress you’ll wear once.

    • Thank you! That is so true!

  • I love this Belle! We were really conscious about planning for our future and cut a lot of stuff from our wedding. I think it’s awesome that you focused on practicality and celebrating love rather than the money sucking stuff that won’t matter in the long run!

  • My husband and I started planning our wedding when we quickly realized we needed to keep it simple. We didn’t have families that really pitched in, so it was up to us. Still, we made the day special and that is what counts!

    • Thank you for sharing your story!

  • I think too many people put too much importance on the WEDDING. It’s a big day, so you should have fun, have a wonderful dress and you family with you, but it’s a day that starts the celebration of your marriage not a day that your marriage will forever celebrate. I had a small, very quickly thrown together wedding as well….I also had three months to plan, but for different reasons.

    • That is so true! Thank you for sharing your story!

  • I had a much smaller wedding than most of my friends, and I STILL WISH we had just spent an hour at the courthouse. Less work involved, less drama and hearing complaints. And really weddings don’t make the marriage, the couple does!

    • It really is the marriage that matters. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • I really loved this article. You are absolutely right – sometimes it’s the person you are marrying that makes the day worth it – not all the fancy bells and whistles. I never understood people who put themselves into debt for one day.

    • That is so true! Thank you!

  • I love how you looked at the situation, and chose to forgo your dream. I didn’t have a big wedding, and honestly I don’t regret it. So what my wedding would never be on the cover of a magazine?! We love each other and didn’t need to spend a fortune on showing people.

    • That is so true! Thank you!

  • Very nice post, i also prefer small, intimate wedding with just family and close friends, it is not about celebration it is just about love xoxo

    https://theninebyivana.blogspot.com/

    • Thank you! It really is about love!

  • A big dream wedding would be nice but when it comes down to it, you two are what matter. Small, intimate weddings are sometimes the best ones!

    • That is so true! Thank you!

  • I love this. I had the big dream wedding and while I am super happy with the memories of it I can totally understand how it financially is ridiculous to spend that much money for 1 day. All that really matters is that you are getting married and the love for each other. Also, as you get many years into marriage no one even cares how you got married. It reminds me of the breastfeeding vs formula feeding debate or natural birth vs epidural debates. Once your kid is over 5 no one can tell or gives a crap how you had them or fed them. Actually if you were to bring it up you would get weird stares but when you are in the moment (ie. engaged or have a new baby) that is your whole world and you can’t see the bigger picture which is the relationship you have with your husband. 🙂

    • I agree with everything you said! Thank you!

  • I got married just about one year ago. I will say it wasn’t my dream wedding but I made it work. We rented out a small hall and made it look amazing. I found some amazing deals which I think is why I started my blog lol. I was so proud of myself. We made it work and on budget.

    • That sounds like a beautiful wedding! Thank you for sharing your story!

  • If I had the chance, I think my husband and I would go back and decide to do a much smaller wedding. We didn’t go into debt, and I paid for almost the entire thing (he was just graduating college), but we could have used that money for something better down the line.

    • Thank you for sharing your story!

  • What an amazing story! I love how you talked about having peace and not being jealous later on in life.

  • Simple is better! I agree! My husband and I had a small wedding and it was perfect.

  • I love your outlook on your circumstances of needing to give up your dream wedding for a more simple ceremony. It’s not so much the dream ceremony, reception, or dress that matters but the man you married. He needs to be the man of your dreams, otherwise no matter how fancy and dreamy that the ceremony and all the other stuff is the marriage won’t work.
    I’ll never understand those who go into so much debt over one night!! It makes me sick just to think of it.
    In closing, welcome to the US, although it sounds like you’ve been here awhile. My grandparents served a mission a few years ago in Cebu and I also have a close friend who migrated to the US with her parents when she was a child.

    • I agree to everything you have said! And thank you! Yes, I’ve been here for 6 years. 🙂

  • Beautiful sentiment in this post. I love it. Congratulations on your wedding and your new life together.

  • We also chose to forgoe spending thousands of dollars on a wedding and kept it simple and romantic. In the end I’m really thankful we didn’t overspend because now we are in a great financial place in our life. Plus in the end all that matters is that you’re married and happy! 🙂

    • Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Love this! I am planning a wedding and can see how it can quickly get out of hand!
    Xo,
    Alexandra Christine Blog
    http://www.alexandrachristineblog.com

    • Thank you! Good luck with your wedding!

  • I am sure so many people look back on their wedding day and regret spending all of that money. I had my dream wedding, on the beach, and got a weeks vacation at the same time! It was so cheap since we did it in the off season and people are still talking about it – almost 10 years later!

    • Awww! Sounds like pretty much my dream wedding! Thank you for sharing your story!

  • it’s so important to look at the big picture and do what is in your heart. There is so much money that goes into a wedding and something people don’t even realize that you spent money on. I think its awesome what you did and honestly i wish i did the same.

    • That is so true! Thank you!

  • Jennifer Marx (JenuineMom)

    After spending a lot of time and money on a big wedding, I can attest to the fact that the size is not a measure of its success. I am now a big fan of small weddings … or even no weddings. Getting married no longer holds the same appeal it did when I was younger.

  • I think sometimes we can forget that a wedding is really about the bride and groom not all the guests. A wedding should be they way the bride and groom want and if a small wedding is what makes you both happy then that is great! It’s better to save that money anyway and put it to better use.

    • That is so true! Thank you!

  • This post is so cute! Congratulations! At the end of the day, it’s all about you and him and the commitment you are making. That’s the big part. Everything else is just fluff and it’s okay that you didn’t do that. 🙂

    • That is so true! Thank you!

  • The Everyday Mom Life

    I think we often forget that the wedding it the beginning of the marriage and not as important as the marriage itself. We spent a ton on a big wedding and I would have rather put it towards a house…now.

    • That is so true! Just put the money for far more important things!

  • I really loved my wedding but I’m the grand scheme of things it really is just one day. The marriage is what is for a lifetime and what really matters. I love your perspective and the fact that all that matters is spending the rest of your life with the man you love.

    • That is so true! Thank you!

  • mrsdoingmybest

    All that matters is that it was perfect for you! It sounds like you all made the best choice for you! Plus 90 days would have been stressful! Most important is the marriage :).

    • That is so true! Thank you!

  • val

    sounds like you had some great reasons for going for practicality 🙂

  • Ya’ll are beautiful!!! I agree….. why spend a fortune on one day?? I know couples who are STILL paying off their wedding.

  • You guys look great on your big day! We did a small wedding too, and for the same reason. Its all about you and your love and your married life, money doesn’t buy happiness. But Big wedding, small wedding, as long as your together.

    • That is so true! Thank you!

  • You look so happy in your wedding picture! Great piece.

  • I love your story about the wedding! I had a small wedding too, also because of a “visa issue”, but I really enjoyed it and it was a wonderful day for both of us and for our little son too! In the end, love is all that matters! 🙂

    • That’s awesome! Thank you for sharing your story!

  • This makes SO much sense, too many times I see women getting caught up in their dreamy wedding only to realize later they only got married for the wrong reasons, they got married to “get married” if that makes any sense. You know how some girls dream of their wedding since childhood (that wasn’t my case, I always said I would not marry, I was wrong!) and so they grow up with this ideal wedding… and when times presses they put “The Wedding” above everything, even above their feelings. What you’ve done is not only smart and practical, but also shows how much you love your husband, how real is your love, and this is something unique and to be cherished forever ♥

    • That is so true! Thank you!

  • I’m with you! Well, 50% anyway. See, I never dreamed about my perfect wedding. Too much of a tomboy, I suppose. HATED being in my sisters’ weddings. The 50% that is with you is that when my turn came, I really didn’t care what kind of wedding it was. I was literally wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Las Vegas, not much planning you know! But Hubby and I are coming up on our 10yr anniversary and I have no regrets about not having a “real” wedding.

    • That sounds awesome! Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Thank you for sharing your experience. As a kid I never had a dream wedding in my mind. When I got engaged, my now husband and I were definitely on the same page. We had a civil ceremony in an iconic location and with only our immediate families and it was perfect. We did not have to worry about how to finance an elaborate wedding and we were able to go on an amazing honeymoon.

    • Your wedding sounds lovely! Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Great post, Belle! I especially love the first two reasons.

  • certifiedpastryaficionado

    Love this post! So glad you didn’t let outside pressures push you to have a wedding that you didn’t need. You do you! And you did!

    • Of course, there are far more important things to spend money on. Thank you!

  • Loved reading this Belle! Some people get caught up in a “big and perfect” wedding but that’s not what a marriage is about! It’s so nice how open and vulnerable you are, great read!

    Lauren | http://www.basicbabelauren.com

  • I had a simple wedding at my in laws front yard. But my mother in law has some rad decorating skills so it turned out exactly how I dreamed it would. In reality whichever way you go it will be your dream wedding because as long as the man you chose to spend the rest of your life with is there then that is really all you need!

    • That’s awesome! That is so true! Thank you!

  • What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing your insight. The marriage is the most important, not the all the pomp and circumstance of a big lavish wedding.

    • That is so true! Thank you!

  • What a sweet story of you guys! I love that you said yes and were able to see past the wedding to the life that you wanted to have!

  • What a sweet story! It’s not the wedding that matters; just everything that comes after. You made the right choice!

    • Thank you! It really isn’t. 🙂

  • My husband and I both have huge families so I always envisioned a big extravagant wedding. Well, when it came down to it we ended up having a ceremony with just the two of us and our kids. It was the best decision I’ve ever made! I wouldn’t have done it any other way!

  • Amber

    I love that you are writing on this! My husband and I did a destination elopement and now as a photographer, my favorite gigs are elopments. They are so meaningful!

  • toughcookiemommy

    I actually decided to forego a big wedding the second time I got married and it was the best decision I ever made. It allowed us to focus on our relationship and save money.

  • Stephanie Flores

    How sweet belle, we are planning to have a bigger wedding sometime in the future. He knows that I want that but we have also discussed just going to the court house. But we have also just been so busy with kids and working that we’ve kind of put it all on hold for now.

  • Yulissa Rosario Santiago

    This so sweet and I agree with you of we truly love our companion will choose to stay with him no matter what. I did almost get the wedding pf my dreams. But looking now back to that day I now would prefereed to get a simple and beautiful wedding with closest family and use that money to travel.

  • This is so great. I think it’s more important to have the person you love, and to not be stressed about money so badly starting out, than it is to have a big wedding.

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