Topic of the Day: Weddings!!

The Graduate Wedding Scene

This is the time of year that I would normally be doing Wedding Week here on DW. Well, guess what? I forgot all about Wedding Week until just this minute and don’t really feel like making it a big thing this year. Some of you are now popping open the champagne and screaming, “Hells yeah, bitches!” but, before you get too carried away, I’d like to dedicate this single post to all things wedding-related. Think of this as a condensed version of Wedding Week, where we can discuss wedding trauma and drama and joy and fun. (You can still pop the champagne though.)

Are you currently planning a wedding? Feel free to vent your stress here. Are you in a wedding coming up? Let’s hear about how the bridesmaid or mother-of-the-bride is driving you nuts. Invited to a wedding where you’re likely to run into an ex you don’t want to see? We’ll talk you through it. Still reeling over never receiving a thank you card for the $200 gift you gave your brother when he got married two years ago? Feel free to bitch. Still paying off the wedding you had back in 2012 for the marriage that ended last year? Oh, girl. Still angry about that wedding you went to where there weren’t enough chairs for the guests (oh, the shame!)? What about wedding gifts? What were the favorite ones you received or the best ones you gave? If you could do your wedding over, what would you change (maybe the groom…?) and what would you keep the same?

It’s Wedding Week Day on DW. Go!


  1. jamie5015 says:

    It’s a perfect day for this! My wedding is in August and I just found out a few hair-pulling-out things:

    1. The party bus we scheduled for our joint bachelor/bachelorette party burned to the ground!!! So we have a much smaller one now (can’t get anything bigger on 6 weeks notice in the summer) and are bumping up against a real RSVP vs. space issue.
    2. My cake guy (no, I didn’t yet have a contract with or money down. My bad.) is now longer able to to do our cake/desserts. He will be in Mexico for the entire month unexpectedly. So I’m scrambling to book someone else, and fast.

    Other stuff is really coming together, like dress alterations, photography, invites, food (sort of). But I’ve got some other big things hanging out there and the above items just about blew my lid.

    1. If you are scrambling for an alternative cake option, my husband and I went to a local bakery and got 6 or 7 three layer round cakes – we had a cake buffet! There was plenty for everyone (and people had flavor options), they were beautiful, and it was much more cost-effective. Just a thought in case you are having issues finding a back up!

    2. Yep, we did the local bakery with cupcakes, and our awesome florist put it on an inexpensive pedestal with fresh flowers. Beyoootiful!

      1. jamie5015 says:

        I’ve contacted one of the alternatives that the chef gave me. He’s someone my dad has a professional relationship with, so hopefully that will expedite the conversation. Luckily the reception is casual, so a mix of desserts from another vendor is a very valid option. We weren’t looking for a huge cake anyways. I’m not SUPER worried… just want to get it nailed down now.

        Actually, I wouldn’t mind a pie buffet. ๐Ÿ™‚ Fiance doesn’t love pie as much as I do!

      2. My SIL had a cheesecake buffet. It was so yummy. And they had a mini regular cake for them to cut.

      3. snoopy128 says:

        My bf’s cousin had a pie buffet. I don’t love pie, but it was a good. Satisfied my need for dessert, gave people options, and really fit with who the couple were. My bf’s grandma actually made all the pies (with help). It was really great.

        So I think a dessert buffet or a collection of the same type of desserts would work really well.

    3. We went with donuts! Went so much smoother, and we got a bunch of flavors. For 85 guests, we ordered 120 donuts, plus one huge donut for us to cut. Only had like 5 donuts left afterwards. Total cost, $180.

      1. I really love this idea! Especially because wedding cake, to me, never usually tastes that great. But donuts always taste great (as long as they are fresh).

      2. Mine was stupid delicious but I was fortunate enough to have it made as a gift from a close friend who can really bake. It was a simple chocolate mud with white sugar fondant but super moist. She even handmade the toppers; a dumbbell for my super fit husband and a teeny tiny softball glove, ball and bat for me. She even inadvertently made the glove for the proper hand for a lefty. Hardly any was left and we gave some to the bar staff after it was over and they raved about it too.

      3. My now-husband and I are really dessert obsessed–we had a cake from a less expensive bakery that I loved (and if you’re in the DMV area and need a wedding cake lemme know and I’ll pass on the info! I actually looked forward to the free 1-year anniversary cake they offered the entire first year of marriage haha) but we also had the venue do an ice cream bar instead of whatever dessert was included w/ the meal, and then at the end of the night we had a donut bar from our fave local donut place and let people put them in to-go bags to take with them. It sounds like a lot, but it ended up being cheaper than just 1 cake from the fancier bakeries in the city! I think we spent more time thinking about the food than any other aspect of wedding planning…

  2. So… you guys remember that white dress with the red flowers I posted on the dating thread and derailed the conversation? Well, I’m back to square one. It did not fit even a little bit and couldn’t be altered even a little bit. My slender frame was swimming in fabric. SUCKS! Because I really liked it.

    Now, I’m thinking about doing the RTR unlimited for just a month because I have two weddings in June and the guy’s birthday dinner. One of the weddings is a small town wedding and I can wear any simple summer cotton dress (seriously, people will show up in shorts, I’m not being rude). The other will be fancy.

    Or, I might just wear the same lace, black dress I’ve worn to three weddings thus far since those were friends weddings and this is family.

    1. Avatar photo veritek33 says:

      This may be no help whatsoever, but i work part time at TJ Maxx and this is the time of year we get really cute spring and summer dresses just about every day. Have you tried looking there? I pounce on the Calvin Klein dresses because they look good on my figure but we always have tons of brands and they fly off the racks because of the prices! Either way, sorry the red one didn’t work out, that one was super cute!

      1. TJ Maxx FTW! I get almost all my work dresses there and I’ve gotten a ton of compliments. And some of the dresses I originally got for work (mainly because of the price) have totally doubled as wedding wear. I’ve also had luck at Marshall’s and I have hopes for the Nordstrom Rack that’s going into my neighborhood soon.
        Thanks for the reminder, ver, that it’s the time of year to update my work wardrobe at TJ…

      2. Avatar photo veritek33 says:

        Absolutely! My main job in politics requires me to dress up quite a bit so I buy A LOT of my work dresses and suit pieces from TJ. The discount I get doesn’t hurt either ๐Ÿ˜‰

    2. snoopy128 says:

      Nordstrom is having their half-year sale…I’d check it out!

      Or RTR…especially with 3 June events

      1. I thought the half-year sale was in July? I’ll have to check it out.

        Ver – I wish I was better at stores like Nordstrom Rack and TJ Maxx, but I suck at them. I’m not good at looking through clothes. Like, not good at all. I try though! And I’m usually unsuccessful.

        I’m not even really that great at department stores either. If I were to go to, let’s say, Nordstrom, I’d need a sales person to bring clothes to the room for me. It’s weird because I am good at small boutiques. I think I get overwhelmed in most stores.

      2. Avatar photo veritek33 says:

        Oh I understand kt. If you’re not willing or able to sort through all the crap at discount stores you can easily get overwhelmed. It’s easy for me because I know what’s new and what’s been there forever and sometimes I take that for granted!

      3. I’m so jealous of the people who are good at it! Seriously. I walk in and stand there staring like “What?!? This is impossible!!!”

        My cousin is super good at it and she’s always so stylish.

      4. Have you checked out It’s way less stressful than going to the actual store. And they even have a formal dress section.

      5. snoopy128 says:

        I’m the exact same way! Even H&M can be overwhelming for me sometimes. I hate asking for help, but I do best in stores where you can just say to the sales girl “I’m looking for an off-the-shoulder top with sleek lines, not in black and they come back with like 5 options for you.

    3. Prom season is over, so those style dresses are all going to be on sale in most stores. I’ve found some interesting stuff there.

  3. snoopy128 says:

    Bitch of the day- my cousin is getting married in two weeks and likes to communicate through: her wedding website, a group facebook message AND a facebook group. It’s a smaller wedding (35 or so people). I get that there are general messages everybody needs to know…but she also uses the group communication methods to ask individual people questions (i.e. asked my cousin about his food allergies, about which he is pretty sensitive). I also don’t need to be sent a group message about the menu (which we were also told about on the wedding sites where we RSVP’d AND picked our entree)….etc.
    Bride + groom do not coordinate their posts (i.e. groom posted last night, bride posted this morning…on basically the same thing). Anyways, considering it’s a small wedding…and probably half the guests are family, the easiest way would have been to spread info through the family (the uncles on my side looooove the gossip and would spread the word) and friend groups.
    /end rant! I am actually very excited to attend said wedding. I have a dress picked out to wear but am going shopping today for black strappy wedges and potentially a second option for a dress since it’s pretty casual and I can re-wear any dresses I buy on my upcoming summer vacation.

    ALSO- DW shoppers- I have a request- if anybody finds a dress that’s not too $$ that looks like this:
    And you can get it in Canada, hit me up with the links ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m lusting over it, but cannot justify Alexander Wang

      1. snoopy128 says:

        THANK YOU!

      2. snoopy128 says:

        Ugh. All of the ones I like are sold out in Canada. All.

    1. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:
      1. snoopy128 says:

        Thank you, Wendy!

        I got the Mango one in the darker blue pattern!

      2. You are really good at this!

      3. Avatar photo Moneypenny says:

        Wow, if I ever need help finding a dress, I know who I’m asking!!

  4. Last year was the year of weddings in my world, thank goodness it’s calmed down a bit! Also, I’m so glad I’m never planning a wedding again. It wasn’t even that bad in comparison to the horror stories I’ve heard, but I’m so glad I only had to do that once. had basically the best most exhausting and expensive weekend. My sister did recently tell me she thought we paid about 50% more than we did.
    On a separate note, I’m not going to my cousin’s wedding this year. It’s the weekend before a major holiday, the only holiday my family regularly gets together, so I had to choose between that and a nice weekend with my parents (didn’t have enough time off to do both this year). I chose my parents, no regrets. And if my aunt cusses out anyone in the family for not coming (at one point in my wedding planning she cussed out my mom) that’s on her.

  5. I’m just happy that I only have one wedding to go to this year, after going to 6 last year, 2 of which I was MOH in! And I’m friends with the groom at this wedding, so no showers or bachelorette parties! And the wedding is in Portland, ME (which I love) over Labor Day weekend so we’re making a long weekend out of it.

    1. Ahh, see two of my best guy friends have weddings this year, so I thought I was getting out of bridal showers…..WRONG. I got invited to the showers for BOTH brides, and the registries were very expensive. My best girl friend and I ended up going halfsies on the registry gifts since she was also invited to both, and we still have other weddings and baby showers to attend! Don’t get me wrong, the brides are lovely people and we enjoyed ourselves at the showers, but as I’m sure everyone can relate, those extra things add up quickly. And we don’t have unlimited budgets. If only…

      1. Eek! Yes, those things do really add up. I’ve only met the bride once, so I escaped ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. MacGuffin says:

        I always thought any female guest invited to the wedding is also invited to the shower

      3. Maybe that’s what some people do, but that’s not how it went at my bridal shower – I only invited family and people who lived nearby enough to get there in a few hours’ drive.

  6. So I had a family wedding recently (husbandโ€™s cousin). It was in a very expensive area over a holiday weekend (read: two night minimum) 6 hours from where the majority of family came from. The hotels that were reserved were at 300$/night for one room with one queen size bed(sharing a room with another couple isnโ€™t a great option for us just because of some specific medical needs, nothing extreme, just usually an annoyance for other people). I adore the couple and really wanted to go to share in their joy. I wasnโ€™t thrilled with the hotel costs, but we had over six months to plan and in the end I decided that my love for the couple outweighed the costs. So then came the gift. Normally I try to do $200 from my husband and I. Between the hotels and the travel costs I just couldnโ€™t swing it, so I did the best we could do which was $150.
    I ask you DW readers, what would you have done? Stayed home and just mailed a gift, should I have done smaller gift, larger?

    1. I think giving a smaller gift is fair, when you have to travel further or if the accommodations are expensive.

    2. chopsticks says:

      I’m getting married in Seattle this summer, which is a destination wedding for everyone attending (literally no one lives in Seattle). My fiance and I absolutely do not want our guests to feel obligated to purchase a gift after spending the money to travel to share our day with us. We did a small registry and a honeymoon fund because we have gotten requests from our guests for registry information, but I honestly hope our guests do not feel like they have to purchase us anything additional (and we will write a note along those lines on our wedding website). So I think that your $150 gift is more than generous, and I hope your friends see it as such!

      1. We did the same – put a registry on the site (and also suggested donations to the shelter where we adopted our cat) but really didn’t expect or need gifts. I would have felt really awful if our friends/family thought they had to shell out beyond just traveling to the wedding, and even more so if they didn’t come at all. If a person has limited funds, actually showing up means so much more than a material object. (I’ve also never understood the “pay for your plate” rule. How is a person supposed to know how much their dinner cost? There are so many factors that go into it! I never had any idea until we started planning a wedding.)

    3. Definitely spend less on the gift. We had relatives and friends travel to our wedding and we told them we didn’t expect a thing after they’d already shelled out to attend. You as a guest sharing their joy should be more important than a gift.

  7. Ah, wedding day!! YESSSSS!!!
    I’m getting married in July – and I’m up to my neck in wedding crap! My recent bout of annoyingness is with the invitations and RSVPs – Not only did I have to fight my in-laws for the guest list (seriously, waiting until the LAST possible minute, all while having to listen to them tell me how behind I am!) I am finding out that people’s names were spelled wrong! Addresses are all wrong (so far, I’ve gotten 4 invitations back!) And,oh! we forgot to include these people!!!
    All of this went through check after check after check, I finally get the “all clear!” and this shit happens. When I brought it up to my mother in law, she said “oh, of course! His name is Dante, not Daniel, but he goes by Danny!” (I DON’T KNOW THESE PEOPLE!!)

    To top it all off, my fiance today says that he needs to take a mental health day because he’s just been SO BUSY doing wedding stuff, while he hasn’t had to do nearly as much as I’ve had to do. Where’s my mental health day??? (Does complaining on Dear Wendy count?)

  8. Ugh can I complain about the people having a Friday wedding…Labor Day weekend! And that my boyfriend is a groomsman so that’s two days I have to take off work, at a time when EVERYONE wants to take off work. I’m just so annoyed about it, probably especially because I don’t know the couple…

    Add that to the Friday, December 30 wedding we have aka my single busiest day of the year (Non-profit Development person!), and I’m already over all of his friends getting married.

    I know it’s cheaper for the couple to get married on a Friday but damn that’s a lot of PTO they’re expecting their guests to take.

    1. I have always hated weddings on Friday – We were invited to one once that was on a Thursday! A formal wedding on a Thursday!

      I understand that people want to save costs, but I think that if you want to have your huge event, you need to consider your guests’ circumstances. Taking 2 days off work isn’t feasible for some people!

      1. Man, a Thursday?! That’s crazy. I’m counting my blessings now!

      2. Sorry, I got married on a Tuesday. Because I was broke and saved about $3000 that way. But 90% of our small guest list traveled into the state for the wedding, so it wasn’t a huge deal.

      3. snoopy128 says:

        My cousin (who communicates by facebook group message) is having a destination wedding on a Thursday. They did it to save money and keep the guest list small.

      4. A guy I used to work with had a destination wedding on a Wednesday. I have no idea how he swung it guest-wise, it looked beautiful though.

        I also went to a wedding once on a Sunday. It was a lovely time but I was starting a new job the next day so sadly couldn’t cut too loose.

      5. zombeyonce says:

        Is Sunday a weird day for weddings? We had ours on a Sunday. It actually was a decent amount cheaper than Saturday, but it was also nice because people didn’t drink as much since they had to work the next day (I’ll admit I did that on purpose to both save money and keep the rowdiness to a minimum).

    2. Yeah, I’m not down with Friday weddings either. I think I’ve only been to one, it was the Friday of Labor Day weekend and most of the guests were local, but still.

    3. SpaceySteph says:

      We are invited to a Friday wedding and a Sunday wedding this year (different weekends). I know it’s cheaper but, yeah, it’s difficult to travel for. But, you know, unless it’s like your really close relative, you can skip it if it doesn’t work. Over on APW they always say a wedding invitation is not a summons, you don’t HAVE to accept.

    4. snoopy128 says:

      What is the feeling around here on a long-weekend wedding, period? Apparently some people are annoyed their long weekend is used up and it is considered “rude” to use up someone’s holiday long weekend.

      1. jamie5015 says:

        As a previously married person, my first wedding was on a Friday. Ceremony was around 5pm, reception immediately following. Mostly local guests.

        This go round: Wedding (private ceremony for immediate family and special out of town guests) is Saturday afternoon and big ass reception for about 250 on Saturday evening. Many more out of town/state guests. Optional party on Friday night and Sunday morning – but more out of fun and hospitality than anything else. No formal invites, no RSVP, just bbq/brunch.

        I haven’t been invited to a weekend long wedding, but I figure it’s up to individuals if they can attend (or want to). When you ask for a lot of people’s time and money, you have to accept that some will have to opt out.

      2. dinoceros says:

        I don’t really have an opinion. If someone feels that strongly about their weekend being “used up,” then they should decline. I think there are benefits and negatives. A benefit being that your entire weekend isn’t used up and you still have time to do other things. I have more annoyance when people plan them around holidays, but I guess my own advice should apply to that, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

      3. I used to not really like them but now I don’t care. I would probably try to avoid it myself if I were planning a wedding. But as a guest, I’m not someone who has set plans (like going to the beach every Memorial Day), so I don’t mind. This year I have one Saturday of Labor Day weekend and we’re turning it into a long weekend in Portland, ME, which is a fun place to visit. I’ve also been to weddings on the Sunday of Memorial Day, the day before July 4th (this was actually a Tuesday!), and the Friday of Memorial Day weekend.

      4. ele4phant says:

        Yeah, I don’t like it.

        But by the same token, I’d probably bitch about being asked to use up some of my vacation time if it was held on a non-holiday weekend, so I guess there’s no pleasing me.

        Maybe it’s that it seems to obligate people much more to go: Getting to say “Oh sorry I have no vacation time! Sorry I can’t be there” is an easy way to decline a wedding invite your not interested in and not come off looking like a bad guy.

        If the couple picks a holiday weekend, that excuse goes away and a lot of people have to be honest about the fact that they’d rather just not go; or they don’t say anything and go and feel resentful.

      5. ele4phant says:

        It could also be that lots of people have well worn traditions for holiday weekends – often times involving their own family. If you hold your wedding then, you may be asking some guests to choose between you and their own family, which some may resent.

        In an ideal world, people would only be at your wedding if they genuinely wanted to be there, but our society has a lot of implicit guilt built in that just perpetuates without anybody pushing things individually. The couple will feel compelled to invite people they otherwise don’t care if they come or not because there are some unwritten rules that they *should*, and guests feel this pressure that they should go to a wedding they don’t really want to because they just *should* go.

    5. I’m going to a wedding that’s Wednesday through Sunday. It’s an Indian wedding, but still. I’m getting there on the Thursday and I think I’m missing the mendhi party, but I can’t take 3 days off work!

    6. I had a Friday wedding this March. Overall, not too bad. It’s pre-wedding season, and I gave people plenty of notice. We knew some people couldn’t make it. But at the end, nobody wanted to leave, and we had to gently remind people to leave because of rental hours. It was simple, dress was business casual and not formal, and had bbq and donuts. So overall, worked out great.

  9. I have a question-so my friend from high school is getting married this July. My ex and I had been together for about four years, and I was the one who intruduced my ex to my friend who are now business partners.

    About a year ago my ex and I broke up and I have successfully managed to avoid seeing him at any wedding functions (I’m a bridesmaid, he’s a groomsmen) I’d like to believe I am over him and I can be civil with him but I don’t know and I’m not going to ruin their day.

    But I don’t know how to react if he brings a date (I’m single and not planning on bringing a date) and I don’t know what I will feel if I see the man again.

    This wedding isn’t about my/our drama and I’m going to do my best to make there be none but I’m worried what if there is. Any tips?

    1. Be cordial and say hi, but don’t get involved in any long conversations with your ex. Surround yourself with the other people at the wedding that you know. Maybe you will meet a cute guy to dance with. Don’t let your ex potentially bringing a date ruin your fun time.

    2. Wendy (not Wendy) says:

      This is completely within your control. Just keep that in mind. It doesn’t matter how you feel when you see him; don’t show it.

      Do you have a good friend there besides the bride who you can ask to check in with you? Someone you can blow off steam with quickly and in private if you get emotional or upset?

      You are capable of being civil to your ex. It’s on you. I loathe my ex, who is a terrible person and I hope never to see her again, but if I ran into her at a wedding or any other context where my actions might affect someone else, you’d see a damn good acting job of me treating her like she’s someone who just came into my shop (polite, formal, not personally invested).

  10. inkyboots says:

    I’ve got to get this off of my chest – before my wedding, I invited (or so I thought) my MIL to join me, the bridesmaids and my mom to get our hair and makeup done. I guess it came across as me asking if she wanted her hair and makeup done, rather than just hanging with us that morning. She declines.

    Day of the wedding rolls around and we’re having a grand old time. MIL stops by to say hello, we have a nice big hug, I ask if she wants to stay but she leaves and ends up doing a TON of extra work on the venue (got extra flowers, set up all of the centerpieces, stuff she really didn’t need to do).

    I found out months later that she was extremely upset that I hadn’t invited her to hang out with us. I thought I had asked but I guess I didn’t word it the way I thought. My MIL is one of the sweetest people in the world and we’ve never talked about it, but I still feel guilty when I think about it.

    This was almost two years ago, and I don’t think she holds any resentment (we have dinner with them once or twice a month) but auuuuugh the crushing guilt!

    1. pamplemousse says:

      Omg, just apologize! If she didn’t want to express her hurt feelings then b/c she felt it was petty, she’ll feel better knowing you really wanted her there and so will you.

  11. SpaceySteph says:

    Aww no, I love Wedding Week!

    When my husband and I got married, we registered for a bunch of kitchen stuff. I love so much of it, use it all the time, and have really made an effort to think of the people who gave it to us when I use it. A heavy-duty wok, a stick blender, and a good knife set are among my favorites. My husband and I cook together almost every night, so those gifts really do get used.
    Least favorite: the ice cream attachment for the stand mixer. It’s really easier to just buy ice cream.

  12. Avatar photo MaterialsGirl says:

    I tried drybar on Saturday! I really liked my hair (it ended up being the MaiTai) but I may try the blowout just once before I go for it in San Fran. Dress is all set and friend-approved. Wedding bands we can pick up this week. Flowers, check. Witness, check. Photographer, check and paid! Just need shoes for both of us. and work not to be insane

    1. snoopy128 says:

      Hooray, how exciting that it’s all set!

      1. Avatar photo MaterialsGirl says:

        I know! I’m so excited ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. When is it again? I want to see pics!

      3. Avatar photo MaterialsGirl says:

        Leaving on June 9th, wedding is June 10th.

        I told my gramma and she is amazing. Very happy for me.

        I’m planning to tell my parents this weekend. Everyone send me some positive vibes. I’m gonna need it

      4. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Good luck! If it’s not going well, just tell them that Addie has met the guy and approves. That should make them feel better, no?

      5. Avatar photo MaterialsGirl says:

        I’ll pre-email photos of him holding your babypray

      6. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        oh oh oh, tell them that’s YOUR baby. They’ll freak out. When you say just kidding but we are getting married, that news wont’ seem like such a big deal. I’ll give you $10 if you do that. Please???

      7. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        ^ honestly, best advice ever given!!!

      8. Oh my god, that would be so funny. Do it!

        I’m sending you super good vibes MG! Good luck!!!!!

      9. Avatar photo Moneypenny says:

        Very exciting! Good luck, MG! I’m sure it’ll go great.
        Also I’m secretly happy you’re getting married in SF, because it’s awesome. (also, great photo ops.) Hopefully the weather will cooperate!

      10. Avatar photo MaterialsGirl says:

        I’ll have to send one along to Wendy to post ๐Ÿ™‚

      11. Avatar photo Moneypenny says:

        Perhaps we need an SF DW group to go throw rice? (Kidding, kidding. I swear! ๐Ÿ˜› )

      12. Avatar photo MaterialsGirl says:

        whoho! that would be so funny ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. TheRascal says:

    I am getting married in July. My bridal shower and bachelorette were this past weekend and I am now just getting over my hangover.

    1. Nice! What did you do for your bachelorette?

      1. TheRascal says:

        Dinner, dancing, and late night bars in Brooklyn (where I live)! It was perfect.

  14. Avatar photo Stonegypsy says:

    Things I learned from my wedding:
    1) Know what you want before you start planning things and booking things.
    2) When someone tells you that you have to do any particular thing “because that’s just what you do” it’s probably bullshit
    3) If you start feeling anxious for some reason you can’t quite put your finger on the second you get engaged, and it just gets increasingly worse the closer the wedding gets, you may not actually want to get married.
    4) Weddings are freaking expensive and I’m definitely never having another one.

    1. Avatar photo veritek33 says:

      The older I get the less I want an actual wedding. Like I used to dream about a huge wedding with tons of people, super formal. Not anymore! After working at David’s Bridal in college and watching all the drama that goes on around weddings, I’m thinking a simple courthouse or backyard wedding sounds divine and WAYYYYYY less expensive than a traditional wedding with all the trimmings.

      Maybe if I ever meet a guy I want to marry I’ll change my tune, but for now? Low key and casual and tiny sounds perfect. Especially after reading your list! ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Mine was low key and casual (my dad wore jeans – good for him!) and it was sooooo fun. We still had a venue and food and music and dancing and free drinks and cake but we didn’t make it ‘weddingy’ and brought the whole shebang in under 5 grand. I can’t recommend it enough. And funnily enough I ran into a friend a while back who told me she’s having her wedding at the same venue because ours sounded so great. They have a baby and didn’t want to go too nuts but they are still having a lovely rooftop bar wedding and saving thousands.

    2. Man, I hear you on so the wedding industrial complex crap. I called bullshit on so many of those things that make no sense to do except that it’s expected for weddings. I’m so glad I dealt with the blowback at the outset, but I can totally see how easy it would be to get pulled into those things.

      1. Avatar photo Stonegypsy says:

        I had never ever thought about what I wanted in a wedding, and didn’t know anything about it. The only person I really had advising me was a friend of mine, and she had completely bought into all of the ‘should’s for her wedding and had absolutely loved it, so I just went along with it.
        About 3 months into planning (after we had signed contracts and paid deposits) my (now ex) and I sat down and actually started thinking about it and talking about it and realized that it wasn’t really what we wanted at all. That we’d both prefer to just get married at a courthouse and take our friends/family to dinner or something. But when we read our contract we realized it was too late, that we not only would have lost the deposit but would be responsible for the full amount. So we just.. kept going. And wasted thousands of dollars on a (admittedly very lovely) party neither of us particularly wanted.

      2. I want a simple wedding. Maybe at the courthouse (which will mean it will be during the week) or the cultural center, or a park. I then want a small family dinner. What I’d really like is to invite immediate family, my grandma and the people who live near me who I see on a regular basis. I probably can’t do this because aunts and cousins who live farther away will get there panties in a bunch. So, it will have to be immediate family only.

        I also don’t want an engagement ring or a shower or any of that stuff.

        The guy and I have discussed it and he’s on board as he’s had the big wedding and doesn’t want another. Also, we’re saving for a house and would have to pay for most the wedding ourselves, so SMALL!

        Really, I just want a happy, low key day in a pretty dress with the person I’m going to spend the rest of my life with.

        I might spring for a photographer to capture the day. That would be the one indulgence.

      3. Avatar photo veritek33 says:

        Can I just say I think it’s wonderful you two have talked about marriage? I remember when you first started dating and you wouldn’t refer to him as your boyfriend for the longest time. I’m very happy for you, Ktfran ๐Ÿ™‚

        And as a photographer – spring for the photos ๐Ÿ˜‰

      4. Ahh. Thanks ver! Marriage. House. Finances. Kids. We’ve talked about it all. And I’ve turned into a sap. For the first time. Ever. Gross.

        If we go by our current leases, we are about a year away from everything. If I break my lease, it could be any time. But I think we’ll wait it out since kids aren’t in the future.

        As an aside, I sort of but not really drunkenly proposed to him while I was at my cousin’s bachelorette weekend in Charleston.

      5. snoopy128 says:

        Say WHAT!
        Woohoo. Did you sort of, but not really, follow up with him afterwards?

        Way to slip that into this thread ๐Ÿ˜‰

      6. Avatar photo MaterialsGirl says:

        ktfran, i definitely say spring for the photographer. That’s what we’re doing. And i had the whole dilemma about the cultural center and it being in town and who should i invite crap. Hence San Fran. Oh and getting it at the cutlural center is an exercise in dealing with the city of chicago. they don’t have anything on the website, good luck with someone actually answering the phone, so you would have to go together to get you license (good for 60 days) and then check the calendar to see if you have any saturdays in the next 60 available for one of the 10 slots they do on ‘select’ saturdays

      7. Which is why I’ll probably go with the courthouse. Although the guy did some electrical engineering work at the cultural center. And the woman who now runs our Chicago and all of the Midwest offices use to be a City planner. There’s maybe connections? Actually, I know people we work with are well connected, I’m must now sure how well.

        Anyway, in Charleston, a cousin and I were walking around looking at the old beautiful homes. The three plus story mansions with huge porches on each level were gorgeous and I thought “man, it would be awesome to get married in one of these.” So, I took a photo of my favorite. That night, while completely intoxicated, I texted a photo to the guy saying I want to get married here. He said sure, when? And I replied that I booked it for next June. The next morning, I told him I was pretty drunk. He figured as much. But now we just joke about it.

      8. Avatar photo MaterialsGirl says:

        I LOVE this story!

        Your connections will probably help you out a ton, actually. They could at least give you an idea of whom to talk with and what Saturdays are being considered. I opted for NOT the courthouse since I got divorced there. Bad juju and ugly.

        Anyway, screw it! Get married now! Join in on the fun!

      9. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Aw, I’m now going to call this guy your FIANCE. So, where do you and your FIANCE want to get a house?

      10. Maybe South Loop. Maybe my neighborhood. Our options are open.

        MG, might as well, right? I want something quick anyway…. And yours does sound AMAZING!

      11. I think I’d seen the crazy go down enough times with weddings (here and in real life) that even though I didn’t have specific ideas for what I wanted really, I did have an idea of what I didn’t want. Well, we did know what cake place we wanted because they’re our favorite. The rest was a whole lot of opting out.
        It’s so sad to see my friend going through wedding planning right now because she did have ideas of what she wanted and the families are basically beating all those down to the point that nothing about her wedding is what she wants.

      12. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        ugh this is what is really bumming me out right now about my best friend’s wedding. she is totally going back on the years of bitching/griping/cynicism we have always had for the wedding industrial complex bullshit of all of the other weddings we have attended. she is now having now one, but 2 showers which is ridiculous for more reasons that I can get in to here. I just hate it… I feel like I expected more from her and she just pulled a 180 for the traditional wedding shit because people say she “has to” do it this way. They aren’t 100% doing the thing bc they are being super frugal about it, but still. It just annoys me. The older I get and the more weddings I am in/attend, the less I want to have a wedding at all. A few of my favorite weddings have been the really small ones I have been invited to, just family and immediate best friends usually followed or preceded by simple, laid back parties with all of the people not invited to the wedding.

      13. snoopy128 says:

        Yeah, I feel like I’m going to have a hard time keeping my head on straight and not getting pulled into things. Luckily the bf has a good head on his shoulders (and can stand up to his mom who will pull for a lot more of the ‘traditional’ things). But I forsee a lot of discussions about why we want to do something (with “I just want to” being a good enough reason for some of them).

        For example, we though it might be nice just to do a bbq when we get engaged to celebrate with people and share our happiness. But then how do you avoid all the “engagement party” bullshit that tags along? Like, please don’t bring me a gift, just show up and have a good time with me.

      14. Avatar photo Stonegypsy says:

        If you send invites, you could title the event “This is Not An Engagement Party – come eat BBQ”

      15. snoopy128 says:

        I like that!

  15. I have two weddings to attend this summer/fall. For the first, I’ll be nearly 5 months pregnant, and the second I’ll be 7 months! This is my first pregnancy and I have no idea what my body will look like at either point. Guess I’m going to have to do last-minute shopping for both, since I don’t want to shell out for a dress that I can’t fit into when the time comes.

    I have to say, though, ever since I got married I’ve LOVED weddings! Planning my own made me appreciate all the work that goes into them, I think it’s super romantic, and every time I attend one I’m just thrilled that I didn’t have to plan it myself!

    1. SpaceySteph says:

      I bet people will cut you some slack in the dress department because you are pregnant and nobody wants to buy a $300 maternity gown that they will get to wear for like 2 things and done. Assuming they are on the cocktail attire side, you could probably find a cute empire waist dress at Target (I always accidentally wander into the Maternity section and really like something then have to back away slowly when I realize where I am) that would be doable for all but the most formal of weddings.

      After planning my own wedding and spending so much time and thought and money on the details, I now make a special point to notice the details– centerpiece, placecard, etc.– at weddings I go to. I always try to find one small, not-obvious detail to tell the couple like “hey, I loved ____” so they can know someone noticed and appreciated their little details.

    2. for_cutie says:

      Pea in a Pod! My husband bought me a beautiful dress as a surprise when I was pregnant, to feel pretty. It is so well made. I’ve kept it through 2 pregnancies, post-pregnancy and can even wear it when I am not pregnant. It’s still in my closet – 5 years and counting. Their dresses are not cheap but worth the investment because they are made to last through all of the stages.
      Looks like they are having a 30% dresses sale too!

    3. stickelet says:

      I went to a wedding this past weekend. One of my pregnant friends wore a dress she already had and then belted it above her belly. It was adorable.

      1. I have a dress from Anthropology that would probably work for the first wedding. It has an elastic waist and was always a bit big. Thanks for the idea!

  16. Living in Utah, we were legally obligated to have an ‘open house’ reception after the wedding (well, not legally but my MIL offered to pay for the whole thing and threatened to kill us if we didn’t have one). This open house reception is where you invite everyone and their dog to come, say hi to the wedding party in the reception line, have some buffet food, and leave. Most people spend about 20-30 minutes at the reception. My MIL invited 400+ people to this reception, 90% of whom I haven’t seen in the 10 years since. For the most part, these people were lovely (aside from the questions about how soon we were going to have babies – I was 21 for fucks sake).

    The thing that confused me most were the gifts they got us. Not that I’m ungrateful, just confused and I feel you guys might get a chuckle out of it. The most interesting gifts, in no particular order, include:

    1) A check for $8.32. I really wonder how they came to that value. They liked us more that an $8 gift, but not enough for a $9 or $10 one?

    2) A homemade, ceramic status of Jesus. We’re not religious in the slightest, and apparently they give the same statue to every couple they know. He’s currently living atop my friend’s beer fridge.

    3) A card table and chairs set (you know the kind: That one has actually been incredibly useful, but here’s the strange part about it. At least 10 different families went in on it. I can only imagine the conversations that went into planning the gift. My thoughts are people just threw their spare change into a pot and had one person go out and buy something with the cash the accumulated. I wrote literally the same thank you card 10+ times, only changing the names on the top.

    1. snoopy128 says:

      That’s hilarious. People are so weird about gifting.

      Anybody else with really weird gifts they got?

      1. I got a water pitcher that I’m reasonably sure my workmate stole from the boardroom

    2. Another Jen says:

      OMG! I received a homemade praying Jesus nightlight for my wedding. Creepy as hell. The marriage ended, but the nightlight lives on. It was one of the few jointly owned items I insisted on keeping.


    3. AndSoItGoes says:

      I’m dying to know a whole lot more about that $8.32 check.

      1. It’s never been explained. It’s not like the number has any significance to anything (like if you got money equal to your age as a kid from an uncle). My best guess is that they started writing out a check for something else, but didn’t need it so they used it for us instead. Or maybe they budget $X for wedding gifts for the year, and $8.32 was equal to X divided by the number of weddings they were invited to? I’m open to other speculation.

        To make it even more mysterious, they gave Othello’s sister $15 when she got married the previous year.

      2. AndSoItGoes says:

        “I’m open to other speculation.”

        This does seem like the sort of mystery that wants to be solved, especially since we now know that (1) they are able to write checks in round numbers and (2) they gave more money to another family member.

        The story of this check has layers. ๐Ÿ™‚

      3. zombeyonce says:

        That’s something my grandmother would do. She budgets out a specific amount for grandkid gifts every year and everyone gets their check for $14.28 or something like that.

      4. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        My guess is whoever gave the check is SUPER FUNNY! I gave a check for $101 as a wedding gift once. Because I wanted to give more than everyone else who gave $100. I’ve also given $123.45 as a gift before. For no real reason.

    4. Hahaha!! The check, that’s amazing. I am also curious about the significance. And…I’m sort of thinking I could really use that card table set…

  17. I was just thinking of how I have a wedding etiquette related question, and I come back from lunch to see this thread. Hooray for good timing!

    I am not planning a wedding and probably won’t be for at least another year or so (depending on how things go with current bf, we shall see!), but I have a curious question which I’d love some perspective on:

    Are you obligated to invite the people whose weddings you’ve attended?

    For the last 6 years or so, on average, I’ve been attending 3-4 weddings a year. Some were family/close friends, and inviting them is a given, but a bunch of coworkers invited me to theirs, as well as other acquaintances such as college friends. Over the years I’ve been lucky if I see some of these people once a year. I switched work departments so I don’t see these coworkers regularly but we’re all still in the same building so we still occasionally run into each other and chat.

    Again, not planning a wedding anytime soon, but I am curious as to how some of you prioritized your guest list. I am well aware though that there probably is no “one size fits all” kind of solution, but when that time finally comes I’d love some advice on how to justify giving an invite to a new friend as opposed to an old coworker I haven’t seen in a long time but I went to their wedding.

    1. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

      My friends and I have decided that if the wedding falls in the same year, or like within 6 months, yeah you should probably invite them. Family, probably should invite. Other friends who you went to their wedding 3 year ago and are no longer close with, no.

      I think proximity is really key when invited people to weddings. Also, I think when people are planning weddings they think everyone just wants to attend, a lot of times it is an obligation people feel they have to attend and it is kind of hard to say no to. So, if someone you worked with 2 years ago invited you to their wedding but you barely see or talk to them, do you think they would even *want* to attend your wedding? Give up a whole weekend of the summer or another nice time of year to attend… probably not. I don’t mean this in a mean way but I don’t think that is an obligatory invite.

    2. You’re not obligated to invite ANYONE to your wedding. It’s totally up to you.

      1. THIS!

      2. I like both these answers! Very fair points.

        Lianne, it’s funny you mention the lack of obligation to invite anyone, because i came across this Dear Abby column that deals with precisely this issue. I thought she had a fair answer, tho if I were the bride I wouldn’t invite those people either.

        Also, saw your post below regarding your own wedding experience, and it sounds like you made the healthiest decisions you could’ve made for yourself. Couldn’t have been easy but props to you for doing what you needed to do. Hope that this next “visit” with your mom doesn’t blow up into too much drama.

      3. I mean, of course there is the whole “etiquette” factor, but I say fuck it. If you’re paying for your wedding make it what you want. Invite who you want. It’s about you and your SO, no one else. People are SO CRAZY when it comes to weddings and I don’t feed into crazy – hence, not feeding into my mother’s drama ๐Ÿ™‚

        And thanks. She makes it easy by putting in absolutely no effort. She was supposed to come to my bridal shower, but at the last minute didn’t show up and her excuse was that she had a leaky drain. I was livid and hurt. So when we had our legal wedding ceremony the day before we left for Mexico, which we invited a very small group of people who couldn’t attend the real wedding in Mexico, I didn’t invite her. She was pissed and had the audacity to yell at me about it. On Christmas. After I hadn’t spoken to her since. I hung up on her.

    3. I think about this too, as I’ve been to about the same number of weddings as you over the pat few years, and I’m hoping to get engaged to my boyfriend sometime in the not-too-distant future. There are some people whose weddings I went to 6 years ago but we don’t really hang out any more, and I might not invite them because I have newer friends from the past couple of years that I currently spend time with. Then some people, I don’t really hang out with any more but would probably still invite anyway, like my former housemate because we lived together and I think she would want to be invited. I think it depends on your relationship with the person, but I think it’s fine to not invite people that invited you, if it’s been more than 2-3 years and you don’t really see them any more.

  18. dinoceros says:

    I cannot handle people who don’t send out Save the Dates or at least give people a heads up that they will be invited. I say this as someone who has traveled from out of state for all but one wedding I have attended. I had two friends in the past two years (from the same friend group) who failed to do so and then got mad at me when the invitation got lost and I didn’t RSVP.

    The worst example was when a friend (who I hadn’t talked to in two years) asked me for my address. I figured it was for a Christmas card or baby announcement. Eight months later, I move. Friend comments on my move on Facebook. Seven months after my move, I get an invitation in the mail that had been forwarded from my old address. A day later, I get a rude Facebook message saying I need to RSVP. I look at the invitation and realize that it took a month to go from my old address to my current address, so I received it with 2-3 days to RSVP. I told her what happened and politely declined, and then she never spoke to me again. But really, even if I had gotten it a month earlier, it was too late to book a flight for a wedding during the holidays.

    Morals of the story: Use Save the Dates. Especially if you have friends who are coming from far away. Don’t ask for addresses until you actually plan to use them. If you see a friend has moved, then assume their address has changed.

    1. snoopy128 says:

      Yeah, I don’t really understand the wedding etiquette that states that invites shouldn’t go out a certain amount of time in advance. I get that Save the Dates are a good placeholder to give people a heads up, but as a type-a planner-type person, I’d like more details before I go booking flights or time off. What’s the harm in sending invites with plenty of time to spare?

    2. Also, along this line. If you’re the brother of the bride, or close like the aunt and uncle, have received a save the date and then moved, let the bride know! My brother and his wife up and moved without warning and I had to scramble last minute with the printer to get his address changed!

    3. ele4phant says:

      Oh, you would’ve hated me. I didn’t even send out paper invites, much less save the dates. Email, phone, and website only!

      To be fair, my husband wanted as minimal of a wedding as possible (we had a three month engagement and originally wanted to invite just parents and one friend each) although our family pushed it to be a little bigger. We pretty much invited only invited people who lived in town, and for those we invited that did travel from out of town we called them individually and sent out individualized emails with the itinerary as soon as we firmed up our plans.

      1. dinoceros says:

        Haha, I have no attachment to paper invites or save the dates. In fact, I misplaced an invitation for a wedding this weekend and was wishing very hard they had a wedding website so I didn’t have to ransack my apartment to find the address of the venue.

        I just want advance notice that I’m invited, no matter phone, email, carrier pigeon, smoke signals… ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Our wedding invitations have petered out. We have two this year, both family. One is in D.C. for A’s cousin and the other, in which I am a bridesmaid, is my brother’s wedding in Buffalo.

    The thing stressing me out is that my mother is going to my brother’s wedding. She didn’t come to mine, which is totally fine – one of the reasons we had it in Mexico is that we knew she would most likely not come since she doesn’t fly and the drama would have been too stressful for me. But she’s apparently booked a hotel for my brother’s wedding and this will likely be the first time she will meet our new baby, since I am not currently speaking to her. I’ve told her repeatedly that if she wants to have a relationship with me or my growing family she needs to get sober and get into therapy. She has made zero effort to do either. I am at peace with my decision, but I really wish I didn’t have to deal with her at all. So that’s my “wedding” story ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

      Ugh, I’m sorry, that sucks. But just remember, that seeing her and even being cordial and letting her see your baby doesn’t mean she’s back in your life or that you are opening yourself to a relationship with her. It just means that you are kind enough and confident enough to not make your brother’s wedding about you (or about your mom) and to behave like a mature person who is above the drama.

      1. Thanks, Wendy. That’s a great point. Her seeing my baby and me doesn’t mean she’s back in my life. Keeping that in mind will help me tremendously!! And honestly, anything could happen between now and then and she may not come after all. I am going to be there for my brother and his wonderful fiancee.

    2. I’m sorry you had to go through that Lianne, but it sounds like you handled it amazingly–pretty much how Wendy is always trying to tell letter-writers to handle similar situations ๐Ÿ™‚ You’re a great person for supporting your brother and his fiancee, even though it’s not a comfortable situation to be in.

      1. Thanks! I haven’t actually handled it yet, but I think it will be fine. My husband is the best support person, so I know with him there, I will manage my stress just fine ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. GertiethDino says:

    I’m pretty much done with weddings – my streak continues however – every wedding I’ve been to, the couple has later divorced (albeit 2). Both sisters (married in 2011 and 2013) are getting divorced this year. I am the wedding omen of doom.

    1. AndSoItGoes says:

      Oh no! Just remind yourself that correlation does not imply causation. ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. I have two friends that are engaged, but one isn’t getting married until September 2017 so we haven’t really done any wedding stuff. The other one keeps coming home to find her fiance alone with their child, barred out. She’s also 90% sure he’s cheating on her. But she still mentions wanting to go wedding dress shopping. No thank you. She hasn’t worn her enagement ring in a few months and consistenly tells people she’s single, but I think she’s having some issues letting go of the whole wedding fantasy. But they’ve been engaged for 2 years now with no date set, so hopefully they don’t decide now is the time to move things along.

  22. snoopy128 says:

    Ugh. Can I also say that since I’ve been doing a little wedding-related searching on pinterest (like what to wear to my cousin’s wedding)…..the number of ‘related pins’ about ab workouts has tripled. TRIPLED.

    1. Cheer up, after the wedding it turns into conception-problem fixing related ads.

      1. snoopy128 says:

        Haha. Thanks, that made me laugh for some reason.

  23. We only have one wedding to attend this year! Our oldest nephew is getting married next month in Colorado. I’m actually really excited to take my daughter to hang out with all her aunts/uncles/cousins/cousins once removed or whatever the kids of the cousins are called (I can never remember). My in-laws are all really fantastic people so I’m looking forward to seeing them. I’m doing RTR for a dress and having it shipped to my MIL/FIL’s house, so no need to worry about packing it! I love RTR. I think we’re finally at the point where almost all our close friends and relatives are paired off, so I think there will be a big slow-down on weddings. Whew!

  24. Avatar photo Moneypenny says:

    I find weddings to be fun to attend and I also love hearing about everyone’s plans! I’m only going to one this year, in about a month. It’s for a family friend, and I’m looking forward to celebrating. It’s funny, she keeps asking if I want to bring a date (My parents are going, and I’m single), but I keep telling her that I don’t mind at all being solo- even though she doesn’t know where to put me at a table for dinner. (It’s ok, I really don’t mind being at the kids’ table…)
    I personally feel like having a small wedding, outside, somewhere like the Shakespeare Garden or the Presidio. OR have an awesome reception inside a museum or something. That would be cool. (I’m not actually planning my wedding, but of course I have my own mental Pinterest board going.) ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. I have friends talking about holding a destination wedding in Hawaii next year. I really hope they do! It’s surprisingly cheap from Australia and we aren’t including it in our September US trip. She’s rather anti-wedding though so she could also up and elope on everyone. That’s literally the only wedding I might have in the near future since my own in 2013, how boring.

  26. I enjoyed reading all of these comments, good or bad! My fiance and I just announced our wedding date, June of next year! We are one of the last of our circle of friends (and last of the siblings on both sides) to get married, where we were present to each and every one of their weddings. Now some of those couples over time now have kids, and we never missed one of their birthdays either! We just hope they will be there to honor our day!

    We actually chose a venue that offered packages with everything included. Everyone has had their own advice (what to do and what not to do) and we have politely taken it all. Instead of adding stress, we decided on the package for the wedding so it would be a lot we wouldn’t have to worry about! Of course I won’t be naive and know I will have some stresses. I am just blessed to have so many friends and family to look up to for questions and concerns about my own wedding!

    1. dinoceros says:

      Congratulations!! I worry a little bit about being last too. One of my friends who just got married chose not to have bridesmaids because she said that “by now” everyone is sick of it. Assuming I get married at some point (but wouldn’t be for years), I hope that people aren’t so sick of weddings that they don’t want to come or don’t want to be in the wedding party if I chose to have one. I also have moved a lot, so I feel like the friends with families are probably not going to be interested in traveling. This is the only situation where I am a little sad to be the last single person of my friends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *