My husband and I got married just six months after getting engaged and a year after we started dating. We felt that we were both ready to start our life together, so we did not want to wait to walk down the aisle.
We realized that If we wanted to get married soon, we wouldn’t have the time or the money to plan something extravagant. I have to admit, I feared I would regret not going all out for a once-in-a-lifetime celebration. Part of me thought not having all the bells and whistles would make for fewer memories and boring pictures. But in the end, the act of getting married was more important to us than all the bells and whistles. We decided it made more sense given our situation to save in preparation for our life together rather than to pour all of our money into a one day event.
We sacrificed many of the traditional wedding customs many couples have. We didn’t have the typical wedding shower, bridal shower, bachelorette party, wedding rehearsal. We didn’t plan a big wedding, big reception, or big honeymoon. By making due with what we had, we ended up creating a wedding that was just right for us.
Instead of spending a lot of money on a new wedding gown, I chose to wear my mother’s dress. It was perfect for our big day, not only because of the sentimental value, but also because it only needed some slight alterations. We chose citrus -themed decorations to play on my husband’s (and now my) last name. It also happened to be very inexpensive. Lemons and limes decorated the tables at our small reception with light refreshments for our close friends and family. The plans that were made in response to financial realities became a reflection of the casual, cozy feel we wanted for our celebration all along.
Even though much of our wedding planning was dependent on our budget, the most important thing was not: the vows we exchanged in front of the people we love. It meant so much to me to hear in each other’s words what our commitment meant to each of us. Neither of us promised perfection, but we both promised that we would always be there for each other. It was deeply meaningful to both of us that my husband’s uncle performed the ceremony. When it came to our wedding, the elements that really mattered to both of us ultimately cost us nothing.
Even though our wedding was very inexpensive, it still was one of the best days of my life. I realized all the things I feared missing out on didn’t really matter to me as much as I initially thought. I didn’t need the flowers, fancy parties, decorations, or expensive dress. All I needed was my husband and that made it the perfect day. Having a simple wedding meant it was focused on the true meaning of marriage: two people becoming one. Instead of making sure the details were just “right,” our focus was on each other.