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A Simple Wedding is Gracious and Charming

Updated on July 3, 2011

A Wishing Well Wedding?

I received a wedding invitation recently to a “Wishing Well Wedding”. “Well, what on earth is this?” I thought. Turns out, this is a wedding where you’re just supposed to skip all the dreary gift giving and give the couple money instead.

I couldn’t believe it! I looked it up online and found out that this is something people do now. You can find templates and scripts to help you hit up your friends and relatives for cash for your wedding. I find that totally unbelievable!

Another thing I find unbelievable is weddings where the bride assigns duties to the guests so that she can have a big lavish wedding without having to pay for any help. I went to one like that a few years ago. The invitations all had chore assignments included.

In my opinion, this kind of thing is never alright. Yes, the wedding day is the bride’s special day, but the guests at a wedding are just that - guests. They are invited to share in the joyous occasion, not provide it or pay for it! Expecting them to chip in donations or help with the catering is just way out of line! Putting that expectation on the wedding invitation is just jaw-droppingly uncouth!

An Intimate Wedding to Remember!

Title: Intimate View ~ License: Attribution-NonCommercial License ~ Photographer: Wayfaring Stranger
Title: Intimate View ~ License: Attribution-NonCommercial License ~ Photographer: Wayfaring Stranger

But, what if you are a poverty stricken couple?

Don’t expect to have a big lavish wedding. Start living within your means on your wedding day. This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and it won’t be beautiful. Just adjust your thinking to make your wedding and reception the kind of celebration that is not so demanding financially.

There are many ways to save money on a wedding, and most of them are charming!

  • Have a modest church wedding and hold a simple cake and punch reception in the church meeting hall.
  • Have your wedding in your own home or the home of a relative or friend with a nice, shared dinner after.
  • Have your wedding in a garden in spring with a simple, hand-picked bouquet.
  • Limit your guest list to close friends and family and have a party at a later date to celebrate with friends.
  • Buy your gown second hand, or if you are able, make it of a simple design.
  • See if one of your relatives has a vintage wedding gown stashed away that might fit you.
  • Make your own wedding cake if you are able or enlist the help of friends/relatives who bake.
  • Ask musical friends to sing and/or play the music, or failing that, play your favorite CDs.
  • Exchange simple gold bands.

These ideas may take a little effort and the assistance of friends and relatives, but it is the kind of assistance that is usually gladly given and that will help the preparations for your wedding become part of the celebration. When you enlist the aid of your friends and family in simple and undemanding ways, you are building happy memories that will be shared for generations.

An Enduring Promise!

Title: Hands of Love ~ License: Attribution-NonCommercial License ~ Photographer: Wayfaring Stranger
Title: Hands of Love ~ License: Attribution-NonCommercial License ~ Photographer: Wayfaring Stranger

Create a joyous occasion!

Your wedding day should be a joyous occasion that everyone can take part in unselfconsciously and in a way that makes them feel good. Remember that the point is that you are joining your life with the life of the one you love in a promise that you will care for one another for the rest of your lives.

Extend that care to your guests in your wedding preparations and on your wedding day. Just as “no man is an island” , no couple is an island. As husband and wife, you will need the support and help of your family and friends for the rest of your lives. Start out on the right foot by asking them for simple, genuine help that not only supports your own desires, but also strengthens your bonds with them.

Sending an invitation to a huge, elaborate wedding that you can’t afford, accompanied by a demand for funding and a chore assignment list will not accomplish this!

If you have your heart set on a big, lavish wedding but just can’t afford it, remember that you can always plan to renew your vows at a later date - say, your 5th, 10th or 15th anniversary. You can also add a gorgeous diamond ring to your simple gold band at that time. Set yourself a goal for the time when you want to have this special event and invite your friends and family to share in your joy in great style - with no strings attached.


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    • SallyTX profile image

      Sally Branche 4 years ago from Only In Texas!

      Thanks for the smart comment and the shares! ;D

    • jtrader profile image

      jtrader 4 years ago

      I know people who have done 1 and 2 -simple wedding as part of a church ceremony, etc and it worked out quite fine. My husband and I had a simple ceremony and it was beautiful. I know there are people who wanted a lavish ceremony but that's tough luck for them. Sometimes it's one member of the couple who wants to spend like there won't be bills the next day. Better to set the trend early.

      Voted up and useful!

    • SallyTX profile image

      Sally Branche 6 years ago from Only In Texas!

      Thank you, Janikon. I agree, unfortunately, I couldn't decline since it was a relative, so I just had to on go along and help serve drinks to well over a hundred guests!(And nobody even tipped me!)

      People come to weddings to share in the happy event. I think weddings have become far too much like entertainment spectacles. This attitude distracts from the warmth and sincerity of the event.

    • janikon profile image

      Stuart A Jeffery 6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      That's insane - a chore card attached to the wedding invitation? If that's not a reason to decline your friends 'happy' day I don't know what is, it's one thing to have the bridesmaids and groomsmen perform duties for the happy couple (they willingly agreed to it) but asking the guests to perform tasks, as well?

      Somewhere Emily Post is beating the lid of her coffin in opposition. My friend recently got married in a small ceremony, one she had in replacement of her big dream wedding because she couldn't afford it at the time - she realized she just wanted to get married and didn't need the bells and whistles (or ice sculptures) to do it.

      Those performing a wishing-well ceremony should take a page from her book.