There has been a lot of talk on the internet lately about the beauty, the simplicity, the to-the-core-ness of a small, intimate weddings. And I love intimate weddings, they look lovely. But all this praise being heaped on the small wedding makes some of us big-wedding girls feel a little self-conscious. We feel guilty about our large budgets, about our beautiful dresses, our delicious, expansive, expensive food.
So I think it's time somebody went to the mat for big weddings.* And I don't mean the "your parents made you invite 400 people" weddings. I mean the weddings where you simply were so excited that you couldn't wait to share your joy and awesome party with everyone you know. The weddings where your parents generously offered to foot the bill, because they could, and because they wanted to. The weddings where you invited your whole damn neighborhood or office or family because well, it was the right thing to do.
Small weddings have a place. But so do big ones. There are small-wedding people and big wedding people, and I think the message that every indie blog out there is trying to send is simply, "you have to do what is right for you, and you have to respect that what is right for you might be wrong for someone else." I don't think big weddings are better than small weddings, but I think that big weddings get derided in the BIC because people equate big wedding with magazine-worthy wedding, or brides who become so obsessed with the wedding that they forget about the marriage.
So why are we having a big wedding? Because we are likeable people who like other people. Because we both tend to stay in the same geographic areas. Because we like our families. Sure, some of my 14 cousins and their 10 spouses and 8 kids could have been cut from the list. It is totally acceptable to cut family from your list if you aren't close or don't like them. But we went to the beach for a week with my cousins. And had a blast. We have our own listserv. We call each other just to chat. So the cousins are in. As are their parents, aunts and uncles that I regularly chat with or send emails to. Aunts and Uncles that have supported us in our relationship are on the list. Because we want them there.
So what about our friends? Our friends is where we had to make the deep, painful cuts. And we still wound up with 150 people on our guest list. I have friends from high school, from college, from law school, that I still hang out with and keep in touch with and I cannot imagine celebrating our marriage without them. If Maryland wasn't such a great state** our friends would stop settling down here after college and we would have fewer friends. Our friends have been wonderfully supportive of us as we have struggled to figure out our relationship through college, through working, through law school, through this beginning of the rest of our lives. They are who we will raise our children with and who we will call for help when we go to buy a house. The long and the short of it is that these people matter to us, and we wanted to celebrate with them. So we're having a big wedding. It doesn't make us better than anybody, but it also doesn't make it less than people who choose to have a small wedding. The fact that we are sharing this day with more than a hundred people does not make it any less meaningful.
We're trying to keep it simple, but the nature of a big wedding makes it more complicated. So we do the best we can - we pick vendors we love, we skip the things we don't like or don't understand, and we spend as little or as much money on specific things as we are comfortable with. Sometimes I wish we were having a small wedding, sometimes I wish we would just elope, but mostly, I'm very happy with this choice that we made and I know that a big wedding is right for us.*
Are you having a small wedding or a big wedding? Do you wish you were having a smaller wedding or a bigger wedding? Why or why not?
*I'm defining big wedding as 100+ people.
**Unless you're gay.
***This does not change the fact that I am very surprised that most of our guests are totally pysched to be coming to our wedding.