My biggest wedding regret: don't let someone else pay for your wedding!

Updated Sep 16 2020
Guest post by M. O'Shea
Regret sign from Etsy seller ReallyRatherRude

It's for me to hard to look at my wedding photos, because of wedding regrets. I have many regrets, but my biggest golden kernel of advice to couples is this: Never, never EVER let someone else pay for your wedding.

Not if you're marrying a trust funder, not if your parents are insisting, not if you can't pay yourself. Save up your dollars and have an extended engagement, then use those cold hard Benjamins to have the wedding YOU want.

Why am I saying this?

When you pay for your own wedding, you have complete control over how the wedding goes on. If your mother or your in-laws are calling the shots because you're too broke or you're used to taking hand-outs from your rich parents, guess what, it's technically their show.

My wedding was a nightmare. It was thrown together in 48 hours after my parents decided I was getting married a day early in their house, not at our friend's venue, and our guest list was going from 80 to 20. Because of the short notice and that it was being held on a week night, none of my friends could get off work so they couldn't come. It was me and my husband's family, who I had issues with.

There was no music, no dancing, no fun. This was the opposite of how I wanted it.

So, my parents insisted on paying for my wedding, and they forced me to jump ship on my already planned one for an emergency Bridezilla catastrophe because they held the purse strings.

So, what did I originally want?

I wanted to get married at Cinderella's Castle in Disney World in the summer. My husband vetoed, saying his parents wouldn't come to a theme park for a wedding. So my next step was to go the traditional route for my parent's religion, and get married at our friend's children's camp. I tried to order catering from Freebirds, also vetoed by in-laws. I quickly realized I was going to have to miraculously turn beer into champagne on my meager budget.

I planned a country wedding at my parent's behest and with their dollar. But I had been dreaming about a Disney wedding ever since I learned about them at age 13.

The Lesson?

Bear and I should have saved up money to go to Disney World, or some other place nearby. That way, we would have been in control.
If you're unable to wait to get married on champagne tastes, or even beer tastes, please consider a court house. Halfway through wedding planning you'll be dying to run to one anyhow.

But really, is there any such thing as being in complete control of your wedding?

Remember, wedding regrets are normal. But there's a big way to avoid catastrophe wedding regrets: take the reins.

The best way to not have wedding regrets? Focus on the love of your life.

All in all, I do not regret getting married. There is a big difference between wedding and married. I'm currently riding out the coronapocalypse with my sexy awesome husband who I love very much — and am extremely glad to have married!

 

  1. Do what works for you! I got married with help from my parents, who never took over or shamed me for the money. In fact, I ended up getting a divorce from my spouse in 2016. That being said, my wedding was amazing, and exactly what I wanted, even though the relationship ended. Right now I'm planning my second wedding, which will be about 10 people in my backyard, social-distancing, with everyone else on zoom. My parents already offered to pay for a reception at some future date. I know I'm very lucky to have such supportive parents, and financial privilege. I'm sharing my story so that people can see that there's a different way. I think messages that say "never" or "always" can encourage us to think in all-or-nothing terms, and lose sight of the complexity and ambiguity of life as a human.

    • I totally agree! This is a horrifying story and if anyone is pressuring a couple to accept money for a wedding in exchange for control of the wedding I think absolutely run away! That person does not have the couple's best interest at heart. But it's also okay to accept help that is freely given (and maybe *wanted*).
      While the Fiance and I have a while yet before wedding planning begins in earnest I know any help that comes from my parents come string free.

  2. Sometimes even paying for your own wedding does not get you what you want, I had to plan a long distance wedding so I sent the money to my parents with specific instructions, What I got was my mother's dream wedding and somehow my wedding became all about her with nothing of me in it, I should have just had my wedding in New York City where I lived at the time. Lesson here is to keep a close eye on your wedding and make sure you do not let someone else steal the day from you.

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.

Biz owners & wedding bloggers

Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.