What is a wedding?

I recently wrote an article titled "My $1,090 Wedding" where I showed couples that it is truly possible to have a wedding on a very small budget. While most couples think that their only options are the courthouse or a full blown extravaganza, I wanted to portray a way to have something in between.  And as an example, I had a one year vow renewal with my husband and listed the cost breakdown in addition to providing photos of how it all went!.

And to my surprise, I didn't get a very great response. In fact, most people weren't the biggest fans of my article and weren't afraid to tell me...

"Kind of misleading, as it was your vow renewal, not your wedding"

"In most cases, the feeding of the wedding guests is the biggest cost, unless you are doing all the catering yourself too, or are simply not inviting any guests at all!"

"You planned a vow renewal on a beach and paid most of your money for the photographer. You had no food, no bar, no venue, no music - just a vow renewal on a beach. Not that there's anything wrong with that, BUT you did not have a $1090.00 wedding."

"I always tell my couples that although a budget is important, you'll never get the chance to do it over again, so make it your day, with the things you want in your ceremony! "

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE feedback on my articles and want to extend a huge thank you to those who did comment on this article, good and bad! I greatly appreciate it and respect that everyone has their own opinion - that is what makes the wedding industry so unique! With less than a year of experience in the blogging world, I get ecstatic when someone let's me know their truthful feedback because I can then learn and grow in order to give my readers what they want to read!

And this time, it was no exception. I truly appreciate every comment I received from that article...not only does it show me that people are listening and truly care about what I am writing, but allowed me to see that I may not have explained everything well enough in that article.

And so, I am back to clarify.

First, I want to show you the Webster's Dictionary definition of the word "wedding."

No where do I see that a wedding has to involve food, dancing, lots of guests, and a party. While it does say "usually with it's accompanying festivities," it is clear that those festivities that the dictionary speaks of, are not part of the definition of the word "wedding." Those "festivities" they speak of are the food, the dancing, etc. that many couples do choose to celebrate after the wedding, but they are definitely not part of the wedding.

Yes, I chose to have the DJ, the dancing, the cake, the sit down meal, 165 guests, favors, and the whole big extravaganza to celebrate our marriage, but does that make my wedding any more real than yours? Of course I love the celebration part, or my job wouldn't exist! But more than supporting my income, I support marriage.

And onto my second point...

Not every couple has a budget to support a reception. No matter how much I want to ride in on a horse and carriage or invite 300 guests and give them a six-course meal, I may not have the funds for this. No matter how much I dream up, my budget will most likely not support everything I want.

And on top of that, not every couple WANTS to have a huge reception following their ceremony. Maybe they have $50,000 saved up but would rather buy a car, or put a down payment on their first house!

So to every bride out there...

Don't let anyone tell you that your wedding is not a REAL wedding, even if you are unable to or don't want to host a reception following the ceremony. Your wedding is about your marriage - it is about a union, a vow, and a commitment to one another. A reception is just a bonus that many couples like to add that day or even sometimes at a later date!

It is far better to go into a marriage with no debt, than to spend $5,000 on a dress you will wear once and spend the next year paying it off. And I will preach that until the day I die.

And everyone who believes differently, is more than welcome to continue believing that. That is a personal decision. However, this article is for THE BRIDE. It is for all of my readers out there who have been pressured into thinking that their wedding may not be good enough - it may not be a "real" wedding.

A wedding is whatever you want it to be. As long as you and the love of your life have made a commitment to one another no matter what beliefs, religion or party you have following, it is 100% a WEDDING.

And don't ever think otherwise :)