Wedding Woes

Family and Friends are Disappointed with Simple Courthouse Wedding

warren604warren604 member
5 Love Its First Comment
edited January 2021 in Wedding Woes
Hi everyone,

My fiancee and I are in the middle of planning a very simple wedding. To illustrate the situation for you, I have taken a job abroad, and made the decision to get married to my girlfriend of five years to ensure that she would be able to accompany me. With all of the paperwork that we need to fill out to make our move, we were left without much choice other than to hold a small courthouse wedding, and we plan to have this ceremony in a matter of weeks. 

While most of our family and close friends have been extremely supportive, some feel that we are making some mistakes. As you might expect, some our family and friends are displeased with the fact that they won't able to attend an actual wedding ceremony. While I fully understand those concerns, I still feel that we are making the right choice. I took the time to look into what it would cost to hold a ceremony for everyone to attend (in the ideal world without paperwork deadlines or COVID-19), and I've come to the conclusion that we really couldn't afford it anyway. My fiancee and I are in our early to mid twenties, and we just don't have the money to sink into party planning and venue rentals. 

Additionally, I've received some feedback about our intention to have our ceremony without sending out announcements with the intention to solicit gifts. Given that we are planning a civil ceremony, we don't feel like it's appropriate to expect gifts from any of our friends or family. While I certainly appreciate the gesture, we have most of the basic items we need already, and we wouldn't be able to take a bunch of gifts with us when we move anyway. 

To make a long story short, I can understand some of the concerns regarding our intentions. I still am confident that we are making the right choice given the current circumstances. If anyone has any thoughts about how to effectively communicate with some of these relatives, I would greatly appreciate any feedback.

Cheers. 

Re: Family and Friends are Disappointed with Simple Courthouse Wedding

  • Hi everyone,

    My fiancee and I are in the middle of planning a very simple wedding. To illustrate the situation for you, I have taken a job abroad, and made the decision to get married to my girlfriend of five years to ensure that she would be able to accompany me. With all of the paperwork that we need to fill out to make our move, we were left without much choice other than to hold a small courthouse wedding, and we plan to have this ceremony in a matter of weeks. 

    While most of our family and close friends have been extremely supportive, some feel that we are making some mistakes. As you might expect, some our family and friends are displeased with the fact that they won't able to attend an actual wedding ceremony. While I fully understand those concerns, I still feel that we are making the right choice. I took the time to look into what it would cost to hold a ceremony for everyone to attend (in the ideal world without paperwork deadlines or COVID-19), and I've come to the conclusion that we really couldn't afford it anyway. My fiancee and I are in our early to mid twenties, and we just don't have the money to sink into party planning and venue rentals. 

    Additionally, I've received some feedback about our intention to have our ceremony without sending out announcements with the intention to solicit gifts. Given that we are planning a civil ceremony, we don't feel like it's appropriate to expect gifts from any of our friends or family. While I certainly appreciate the gesture, we have most of the basic items we need already, and we wouldn't be able to take a bunch of gifts with us when we move anyway. 

    To make a long story short, I can understand some of the concerns regarding our intentions. I still am confident that we are making the right choice given the current circumstances. If anyone has any thoughts about how to effectively communicate with some of these relatives, I would greatly appreciate any feedback.

    Cheers. 
    Stay firm. You are making the best choice for you and you fiance. They will get over it.

    FWIW, I got married 2 weeks before my DH left for his new job abroad, I joined a couple months later after once he got visas and things situated. We had been already been planning our wedding so it, thankfully, went on as planned but we were ready to scrap the whole thing and do exactly what you are doing.

    Our trip home last summer was cancelled (obviously) but we were planning on having a big bbq/family&friends reunion. I know it isn't the same as a wedding but it would give your friends and family something to look forward to.

    On the gift front, cash makes an excellent gift. Don't let them give you gift cards because, from my experience, they won't work in your new country. (I am assuming you are coming from the US. EU countries might be better about this)
    VarunaTTshort+sassyei34OliveOilsMom
  • Yes be firm in your decision to have your courthouse wedding. However, I see no harm in sending announcements to close family and friends if you want. It doesn't matter if you have a civil or religious ceremony, you are still married. Announcements are exactly for this type of situation. As @missJeanLouise, cash is an excellent gift and often that is what people give for wedding gifts.  Best wishes for your wedding and marriage.
    VarunaTT
  • You are creating your new family and must do what is best for it.  I think it sounds like you are, so validated.

    Announcements after the fact are standard and not a gift grab.  Just make sure to send them out promptly (I think the "etiquette" standard is supposed to be the next day, but I think as long as you stay under a month or two, you'd be fine).
    MissKittyDangershort+sassyei34
  • You're making the best choice for both of you.

    Does that make people less disappointed for not being able to celebrate you both? No and honestly, there's nothing you can do/say to change. We've all missed out on stuff that nothing can be changed about it.

    But agreed with @VarunaTT keep announcement in a timely manner and it won't seem like a gift grab
    short+sassy
  • I think your all's plans sound perfect for what you need.  If I'd had an unlimited budget and time, I would have liked to have invited more people also to my wedding/reception.  But I didn't, so I only invited 30 guests (pre-pandemic).

    Generally speaking, no one is entitled to a wedding invitation.  They will get over their disappointment.  The next time it comes up, you can say something like, "Due to the quick turnaround because of my new job abroad and COVID safety concerns, unfortunately, we were not able to invite everyone we would have liked to."

    You don't have to send out announcements, if you all don't want to.  Announcements are not solicitations for gifts anyway.  I'd also recommend you all don't register anywhere.  If people ask, explain that since you will be moving abroad soon, you all do not want any gifts.  It would be rude to say "we only want cash" (I know that is not what you are angling for), but that will tell people that you don't want physical goods and if they still want to give a gift, they will probably give cash.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • FWIW - nothing says you have to hire an expensive venue and the places you're looking may be higher end than you realize.  A casual "Cake & Punch" reception that lasts about four hours from start to finish during a non-meal time on a weekday (since most courthouses won't schedule weekends) shouldn't break the bank at all and venue costs are going to be minimal right now because the events market is tanked and hotels are shifting to more of a "survival mode" than anything else.  Fancier hotels are still going to be expensive, but a lot of places that aren't "all-inclusive" or full service, you can call up to rent out a room for that type of thing, bring in a cake from Sam's/Costco/etc. along with water/punch/juice/soda in containers, cut it yourselves (using gloves) with paper plates and plastic silverware without breaking the bank, have everyone there, the ceremony too, and keep it under $500 (someone to officiate would be the majority of the expense!).  

    What you have planned is fine though - it's just tossing out there an idea that many forget is even an option that lets people "have their cake and eat it too!"..  
  • @MesmrEwe there is a pandemic. People should not be gathering now.
    charlotte989875banana468OliveOilsMomMissKittyDanger
  • Pardon my language, but too fuckin' bad. 

    Your plans sound lovely. People can feel however they want, but it's not their wedding, it's not their money, and it's not their life. I recommend responding to any of these comments with "I'm sorry you feel that way" and subject change.  

    You don't owe anyone an explanation and you sure don't owe them a wedding. In my experience, people who act like this are rarely placated with logical explanations. Rather than trying to get them to understand why you're eloping, focus on getting them to understand that it isn't up to them. 
    charlotte989875OliveOilsMom
  • Don’t communicate any more to them about this. You’ve mad your decision, it is final, they don’t have to like it. 

    Congrats!
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