Question: My fiance and I want to get married, but we don’t want a ceremony. However, there is a certain amount of pressure to have a ceremony for our family and friends. What should we do?
RACHEL'S ANSWER: Well, all weddings involve some kind of ceremony (even a 5-minute one at City Hall!) so it’s unavoidable. But if you don’t want to do a traditional ceremony or religious ceremony, that’s totally fine. Figure out what you do want (to elope entirely, to do the courthouse with just your parents, etc.) and then share your plans with your family. While I can understand the desire to keep your ceremony/vows private, weddings are community events and a big ritual, and those kinds of rituals mean a lot to people. You might be able to compromise by having a reception or party with everyone who cares about you. Ultimately, you have to do what is best for you, but you should do it knowing that your decision might ruffle a few feathers or hurt some feelings. While it’s totally OK to make that choice, you should also be sensitive to the fact that some people might need a little time to get over it. (So you may not want to put the pics of your elopement all over Facebook until you’ve had a chance to tell your family the news that you aren’t having a ceremony.)
KAELLA'S ANSWER: I think it’s beautiful that friends and family want to witness your wedding ceremony. Still, it’s ultimately your decision whether or not you want a ceremony with family and friends. It’s okay that you want to get married privately. That said, given they want to witness your union says to me they care about the two of you very much, and will respect your feelings if you approach them with your honest desire to keep the marriage ceremony between the two of you. Considering this, you may want to consider offering up an alternative to the ceremony. You could have a small gathering with your family and friends to celebrate after you get married. In fact, I had a client that did just this. They were very private and didn’t want a ceremony, but their family wanted something more. As a compromise, they eloped for a private ceremony and then we threw a reception to share with their family and friends.
About our Kaella & Rachel:Kaella Wilson is the founder of Kaella Lynn Events, a wedding planning and design boutique based in San Francisco. She believes the difference is in the details. Whether you’re planning a grand event or an intimate celebration, Kaella combines artistic design with meticulous planning and management to produce a memorable event that represents your style. Follow her on twitter @KaellalynnRachel Wilkerson is a writer and community manager living in sin in Houston, TX. She also happens to be planning her wedding! You can see more of her writing on her brand-new blog The House Always Wins. Follow her on twitter @RachelGettingIt
Need more wedding advice? Read Kaella and Rachel’s previous posts:
- How do you (politely) stop your future in-laws from taking over your wedding planning?
- How do you tell a friend she won’t be a part of your bridal party?
- Is it okay to not allow children at your wedding?
- Should the bride and groom pay for the wedding party’s attire?
- What should I do if my MOH is slacking?
Image Source: Tec Petaja Photography
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