How to say ‘I do’
Elope, destination or big wedding
Dreaming of a big church wedding with hundreds of guests, or does a beach wedding in sandals fit your style? Maybe you’ve even thought of running off to say “I do” in a romantic elopement, just you and your groom.
Whichever route to marriage you decide to take, here are a few of the ups and downs you’ll encounter along the way. Elopement If you’re overwhelmed by the thought of a large-scale wedding, or your budget just won’t allow it, whisking the two of you away to tie the knot just might be your best option. Make sure to call your parents and siblings beforehand or immediately after, to alleviate hurt feelings, advises Everafterguide.com. Once you return from your nuptials, you can send out wedding announcements, and maybe a photo or two, to let everyone know your happy news. Your elopement can be as fast and frugal as a trip to your local courthouse, or can entail a weekend getaway to your favorite resort. Expect that an elopement will cost about 10 percent of a traditional wedding, according to Everafterguide. For a grander affair, wrap the wedding and honeymoon together for a trip to your dream destination, just the two of you. You’ll need to meet all the legal requirements of getting married, so make sure you have made appropriate appointments and have all your legal documentation in hand. Couples who choose to elope can still choose a traditional wedding reception at home, according to wedding etiquette expert Peggy Post. You can wear your dress again, have a wedding cake and create a bridal registry, but it should be done in the immediate weeks following your wedding. Destination wedding For a smaller, more intimate setting with fewer guests, a destination wedding may be just for you. Your guest list will immediately be chiseled down, which is both a pro and a con to this kind of wedding. How will you feel if your grandma isn’t able to get there, or will you be more relieved that you don’t have to make so many guest list decisions? Even if your wedding guest list is small, you can still have an after-party when you get home. Many of the details of your wedding can be handled on-site by a wedding planner, making your wedding much easier to plan. However, you still need to know the laws and regulations of your “I do’s” in a different country, before you go. The honeymoon of your dreams can also be the location of your wedding, keeping some of your travel costs and logistics down. Your exciting destination can also be unique and fun for your wedding party and guests.
Destination weddings are usually less expensive than traditional weddings, but not by much. According to The Knot, an average domestic destination wedding in 2016 was $27,840, and international was $25,800, compared to a traditional wedding average cost of $32,641. Traditional wedding You may have dreamed about walking down the aisle of a church on the arm of your father ever since you were a little girl. If that is still your dream when it’s time for you to get married, then you’ll probably enjoy all the hoopla and planning that comes with a large, traditional wedding. Most large weddings take at least a year to plan, starting with a venue and all the vendors that come together on the big day. Having a large venue gives you an opportunity to invite extended family and friends, even old high school and college friends and co-workers. But you also have the problems and costs associated with a big guest list.