Surprise Christmas Wedding?! Am I Crazy?!

lauren870December 2, 2009

My Fiancee and I have been engaged since February 2009 and have been together for 5 years and have been best friends for 10...we are both 27...

We ALMOST got married in August 2009 but many random roadblocks prevented us from doing so...

I am SO ready to be married to him and we have no pressure from anyone to have a huge wedding, so the thought of eloping has occured to us...

The stress of planning and having a wedding is a little too much for us and nothing is feeling "right"...I am thinking about surprising our families when they all come for Christmas this year with a wedding!

Everyone we would be inviting to our actual wedding is from out of town and the only people that would be here for the surprise x-mas wedding is our close immediate family (not to mention that his sister is my maid of honor and my brother is his best man).

I already have my dress and my Finacee has a nice suit we would just get married at the court house and have a nice dinner afterwards. no frills, easy, cheap and simple...

Part of me is worried that I will regret not having our close friends here for the shindig and that I will miss out on that whole "bride for a day" thing...We have many wonderful friends who have had weddings big and small and all of them say that they would "elope" if they had to do it over again...

Our families are perfectly fine with this and it is really just me wondering if i will regret the big hoopla someday?

Anyone have any words of wisdom or advice?

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gellchom

I think your plans sound nice and lots of fun. Stop polling your friends; everyone is different, and a big wedding doesn't have to be WRONG for a small one to be RIGHT. If it feels right to you, then go for it. It will feel special, whether it's big or small, I promise -- it's your wedding day.

If you go for the small wedding and someday wish for a big event, then have a big anniversary party.

Reading between the lines of your post, though, it seems to me like you might really want a bigger wedding, but you feel self-conscious asking for it since neither your fiance nor your families seem to be lobbying for it. If that's so, then all I can say is that not telling your husband what's in your heart is no way to start a marriage! And guess what -- for all you know, he and/or others are feeling the same way and will be grateful to you for taking the lead and saying, "You know what? I'd like to have a wedding after all."

Would including a few more friends and maybe having a venue other than the courthouse, with a few flowers, sort of make it hit critical mass for you?

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 12:26AM
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sweet_pea10

I agree with Gellchom. If this seems right to both of you, go for it. However, if there is any possibility of regret later - regret that couldn't be handled with a reception for friends at a later date - then perhaps you should expand on your idea and make it more than a trip to the courthouse, yet keep it simple with a dinner and not an elaborate reception.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 6:51PM
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duckie

It sounds good for the most part, however I have a purely practical question. When exactly do you plan to get married, and who will be available to be there? If your family is coming in from out of town for Christmas, will they be in town during the hours that the courthouse is open? I know that each of the terms "married at the court house" and "Christmas" can have multiple meanings. I think (and oh boy could I be wrong!) that you want your close immediate family to witness your vows, not just be treated to the celebration dinner. Be sure to figure out these logistics.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 7:51AM
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sweeby

That's just what we did -- and it was the most wonderful stress-free wedding! Took all of two hours, maybe four and a few phone calls to plan...

We found a nice restaurant with a beautiful location and decor -- one that does catering and special events -- and chose December 23rd, since that was the night they had available. There were about 25 people total, so we had the ceremony upstairs in one of their party rooms (a judge or Justice of the Peace performed the ceremony there) and a fabulous dinner afterward in one of their private dining rooms. The place was already decorated for Christmas, so no extra decorations were needed. Our cake was one of their 'standard' desserts -- a gorgeous hazelnut truffle cake (the best-tasting wedding cake ever) and our guests were able to choose from a pared-down menu of items the kitchen could pull off easily for 25 on a 'regular' dinner night. I have NO regrets!

With this year's calendar, the 26th or 27th would be great... And you have just enough time to plan ;-)

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 1:18PM
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joann23456

That sounds like a wonderful wedding to me, as does yours, Sweeby. I do agree with Gellchom and Sweet Pea, though, that if it's not what you *really* want, it's not a great idea.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 4:38PM
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oilpainter

A small wedding can be just as nice as a big extravaganza. In fact I'm in favor of small weddings. We had one ourselves.

I don't think you'd miss all the hoopla(and expense) of a big wedding. I certainly didn't. I do think you will miss not having a special day by not planning anything and going for a quicky at the court house.

If I were you, I'd look for a nice place to have the ceramony and a small intimate dinner with your families and a bouquet for you. That would be all the planning you would have to do, and it would be a lovely wedding. The Christmas season is perfect, because most places will already be decorated.

I'd take sweeby's suggestions and run with it. If she has no regrets and I have none, you won't either.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 6:41PM
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gellchom

It is certainly true that small weddings can be just as lovely and meaningful as large ones.

But one kind doesn't have to be WRONG for the other kind to be right, too. The opposite of "small wedding" is not "big extravaganza." There is no need to insult other people's choices in order to justify our own. Anyway, there are large but understated weddings and small but extravagant ones.

It's not the kind of wedding we like that is important, it's the kind of wedding SHE wants. If the thought of a courthouse wedding followed by a restaurant dinner, without her friends and relatives beyond immediate family is not what lauren truly wants -- and I suspect it isn't, or she wouldn't have been posting -- then she needs to accept that and either change her plans or come to terms with them.

I'm glad you have no regrets. But everyone is different. I don't want lauren to feel childish or selfish if she does decide to wait a bit and have a bigger event.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 12:27AM
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oilpainter

gellchom:

Please no offense was meant. Some have must a large wedding and that's their choice and there is nothing wrong with that if that's what you want.

I think you must have had a big wedding to take such offense. That was your choice and more power to you, but don't scorn us because we saw things differently, than you.

My words came right from the OP. She wondered if she would miss the hoopla--her words. I only reassured her she wouldn't

    Bookmark   December 16, 2009 at 7:02PM
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silversword

I had both ;) my first wedding was a huge shindig with many many bridesmaids, 200 guests, gorgeous location, catered dinner, special cake, two bands.... etc....

My second wedding was a very intimate affair, 20 guests, all family except for my best friend and his best friend.

If I were to get married again, I'd elope. Come back and throw the party after, without all the stress. It's YOUR day. If you think you might regret not having a big wedding, have the big wedding. Remember that you will not be able to fully enjoy it because your bridesmaid will be crying because she's not your maid of honor, your groomsmen will drunkenly flirt with your sister, your mother will be mad because the flowers didn't show up, your husband will be stressed and frazzled because you are, you will have to "glad-hand" so much it won't be about you and your new DH it will be about Aunt Sally who has a shellfish allergy and has to be rushed to ER... you get the point. A wedding is a poor excuse for a party.

DON'T forgo a wedding if that's what you really want. You can't go back and do it again. Even if you do "do it again" like me :) This is it.

But, if I were you, having gone through what I did and done it two different ways, I'd get married, small ceremony, and have a nice party later for all of your friends. You'll be more relaxed and you'll have more fun. JMO.

Congratulations!!!!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2009 at 1:56PM
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