Our son got married last August. The wedding was beautiful. It was very simple compared to many of my friends. They didn't want to go into debt for the wedding, and we're proud of them for that! They rented an art gallery...one room. So the wedding ended and the reception started right away. The wedding was totally them!
One of the things that has changed since when we got married, is that there is a whole pre-wedding process. People go in before the wedding and set up. Conversely you need a tear down crew. Hair and makeup are a process that begins hours before the wedding. Cakes are works of art. If TV shows are to be believed, brides spend months shopping for the perfect dress. Budgets must be significant (we didn't pay for our son's wedding, so we don't know).
When we got married, we didn't have TV shows that gave us wedding expectations. The internet didn't exist. And I didn't have any friends who had already gotten married. All I had was a budget of $1000 which would be about $3500 today (according to an inflation calculator I used). That included the wedding, reception, photographer, my dress, my sister's dress, my mother's dress and my dad's and brother's tuxes.
I tried on 1 wedding dress. It was $600. Obviously I couldn't spend that much on a dress. So I made mine (for $80) during my spring break weekend. I sewed for 20 hours a day for 3 days. I prayed that it wouldn't fall apart on my way down the aisle. I swore my mother to secrecy. There was a spot of blood on the headpiece, where I pricked my finger while sewing on the lace appliques. I didn't know to bustle the train, so when Mom took the dress to the cleaners, it had footprints on it!
We got married on the same day that we graduated from college. That meant we had the chapel for about 2 hours (graduation day was back to back weddings). We had 2 floral arrangements for the altar and 6 pew bows. That was all the decorating we did. Oh, and my bouquet. We took the floral arrangements with us to the reception.
I probably should mention that we graduated from college in the morning, moved out of the dorm in the afternoon and got married in the evening.
The hotels in the area were all full because of graduation, so we had one hotel room for our family of 5. I got to the hotel room 1 hour before we had to leave for the wedding. I had 15 minutes to do my makeup and get dressed. I couldn't find my contacts, so I went through the wedding blind. Actually that's not so bad because you're always on someone's arm.
Back in the day, sit down dinner receptions weren't the norm. We had appetizers, punch and cake. No tables and chairs. We had a great photographer. I figured that the day after the wedding, I had my husband and pictures. I wanted good pictures!
And the piece de resistance was that there was gas rationing in 1979. Many of our guests couldn't get a tank of gas, so they couldn't come.
2015 will be our 36th wedding anniversary. And all of the things I just told you are great stories from our wedding. So...if you can't afford the wedding of your dreams, don't worry. Because you're still married. And in 36 years it will be the wedding of your dreams.
Feeling blessed, how about you?