Surprisingly, this is a common trend. Your beau proposes to you, and one part of the couple doesn’t actually want a wedding. What do you do? Well, we’re sharing two similar real-life situations, offering up some pithy expert advice, and then mapping out different routes to take to get your engagement off on the right foot culminating in a wedding that suits everyone’s desires.
Scenario #1: Fiancé Doesn’t Want a Wedding Reception or Big Wedding
I need advice. My fiancé doesn’t want to have a wedding reception when we get married. He just wants to go to city hall or have a really small ceremony with immediate family only. I have always dreamed of having a big wedding where all my friends and family come out and celebrate our big day. I pictured my wedding dress and having my first dance and starting my life with the person I love and all that wonderful stuff.
We’ve fought a lot about this subject and can’t seem to get past it.
His reasons for not wanting to have a wedding are because of the cost (he doesn’t want our parents to pay for a wedding when they could help us buy an apartment instead) and that he doesn’t want a lot of his relatives to attend because they don’t get along and he says just getting married should be enough if we are in love.
I understand the point with the cost, but we would get most of it back because I already know that everyone on my side would give money (tradition).
It makes me very very sad that he doesn’t want a wedding and I feel like I can’t change his mind. This would be a first (and only) marriage for us. I feel like I can compromise to have a wedding that is smaller scale but I still want a reception, but he’s not budging.
Expert Advice via The Wedding Expert
“The money is maybe not the real issue here although some people could see spending money on your home as a very practical alternative to a big wedding and still be symbolic of starting your life together. Perhaps your fiancé is one of those people.
Either way, you both have very different views on the matter and being able to compromise, as you suggested, on perhaps a smaller scale wedding but at least something that has some of the features that are so important to you such as the reception will be the key.
Arrive at the Same Conclusion Together
Whatever you decide together is the right thing, the important thing is how you arrive at what you can both be happy or content with. Remember that all of your marriage together will be about how you can reach compromise and talk about issues that you may have very different takes on. It is important that you be clear and assert your position but also that you suggest that what is required here is a middle-ground position.
Have a Neutral Third Party
Maybe you even have a neutral third party who could help you plan a wedding that would be a good compromise. I’m sure there are a lot of resources even on this site, that would be helpful in terms of helping you plan a lower budget affair.
The Importance of Compromise
If your fiancé is completely unwilling to compromise, that would be a red flag because it is an indicator that this may not be so much about the wedding (the issue at hand) as it is about him needing to do things his way.
Really emphasize that compromise is the only option here and given that you had such high hopes and a clear vision of your wedding day, which he doesn’t, perhaps you can suggest ways in which you would be willing to scale down, in order to get the ball rolling and encourage him to see that you are willing to compromise on something so very important to you. Perhaps this will motivate him to do the same.
Whatever you do, don’t completely compromise everything that is important to you because this is a short road to resentment and a really unhealthy way to start out your lives together.” – The Wedding Expert
Scenario #2: Fiancé Doesn’t Want a Wedding Ceremony
My fiancé told me last week that he doesn’t want a wedding. He wants us to go to the Justice of Peace. This isn’t what I want. He doesn’t have a good reason why he doesn’t want a wedding. It’s not about the money. What should I say or do?
Expert Advice via The Wedding Queen
“Talk to him. You should tell him how you feel about this and try to work on a compromise that works for you both. Maybe he doesn’t like being in front of a lot of people or feels overwhelmed by the costs. It is a good test too because it makes a relationship a lot easier if you both try to accommodate to what you both want.” – The Wedding Queen
4 Ways To Talk To Your Fiancé About A Potential Wedding
Address Your Concerns
There should be no walking on eggshells with your fiancé. Address your concerns, sensitively and respectfully, about not having a wedding. But give him/her the floor to express theirs as well.
Make sure to consult with each other and make decisions together – not for each other. Decide what the wedding could be before you make any definitive decisions that involve buying things or putting down deposits. Don’t plan things as you go along, plan them out as you move throughout the process together. This may make everyone feel more comfortable committing to a larger plan.
Let Him/Her Pick Choose
The honeymoon destinations, reception hall, the church, allow him/her to feel involved and give him/her the option to feel better about the bigger plans. Giving the one with the apprehension a few more reigns to hold onto could be the leeway they need to feel more comfortable about moving forward with a grander event.
Offer DIY (Money-Saving) Ideas
Do a bit of research and show off some savvy planning ideas. These ideas could be everything from catering on your own to DIYing all of the floral arrangements and decor. This not only will save you money, but you can do these things together, as a couple.
Think About Alternative Wedding Plans
Your compromise doesn’t have to be to have a big, expensive wedding. If one of you wants the traditional event and one doesn’t, for whatever reason, an alternative wedding selection may be the best compromise. A smaller, closer-knit affair or a theme that speaks to your hobbies or loves (Carnivale, Medieval Renaissance, etc) could be a way to gauge more interest in the main celebration!
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