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We only had centerpieces because it was included in our venue in our formal-ish wedding. We DID splurge and get porcelain TARDIS and Death Star cookie jars because I was not into the whole flower thing and I wanted our personalities to come through (they went home with our wedding party...PLUS their actual gifts).
But really, I would have skipped them and crossed them off the budget if the flowers weren't included.
Unless you or your FI are Native American or pagan:
If I went to this wedding and saw this integrated into an otherwise Christian ceremony, I'd probably walk out, tbh. It would be like a Wiccan coven using a crucifix to represent the god next to a chalice for the goddess on an altar: not only does it not fit, but it's incredibly disrespectful to borrow a portion of a religion without respect for what it signifies.
In this case, blessing the 4 directions tends to signify that the gods/divinity are everywhere, in a pantheistic, nature-centered religion. It also acknowledges the divinity of nature, as opposed to the divinity of a god which is removed from it. This is diametrically opposed to Christianity as I learned it.
I know paganism isn't as heterogeneous as Christianity, and there's a place for blending religions, but I don't think this is it.
I'm assuming your mother kept her name because she's a feminist. I did the same, for that reason.
One of the most important (IMHO) feminist perspectives is that women individually decide what is best for themselves. Want to skip kids and work? Awesome, me too! Want to be a stay at home mom? Awesome, you do you!
Same thing for names. Pick the name that works for YOU. Think about your identity and what YOU want your name to mean. Choose that. Then thank your mom for raising someone who makes her own choices, even when others are trying to persuade her otherwise.
*edited for typoReport11
I'm not sure if anyone has addressed this, but something I would have liked to realize at 22 or 23:
You're an adult. You're doing an adult thing by getting married. It's between you and your FI. Your parents may want something for you, but too bad. Did you choose a major based on what they wanted, or a career? Why should they choose the kind of wedding you have - something you'll (hopefully) only get to do once.
"No" is a complete sentence. You can say it to your parents. Unless they have strings to pull (paying for bills or whatever), all they can do is be upset, and then get over it. If they do have those strings, well, maybe getting married is the right time to cut them and start paying for those things on your own.
You're WAY better off telling your parents no, eloping (or having a small ceremony with just them, and then going out to a small dinner for 6 after) than spending thousands of dollars that could go to what YOU want it to go to. You'll literally save over $4k to travel with, and you'll be asserting your independence as young adults creating your own family.
PPs have other things covered, but I had a similar situation in that H is not comfortable with math or finances, whereas I'm an analyst and make us spreadsheets for everything. (He's learned in the past few years, but we both know where our strong suits are. On the flip side, I never have to pick up the phone even to order pizza if I don't want to, because he's a total people person.)
Anyway, one thing that helped us was to talk about thing in terms of the guest list. We paid for everything ourselves, and our cost per person was $150 (with tax, tip, etc.). So often I would say something like "We shouldn't go out to dinner there; it'll cost half the price of a wedding guest" or "The difference in price between those two DJs is the same as 4 wedding guests". It made things concrete for him, especially in the last couple of months when we really had to be mindful of our budgets and he was struggling.