How Big Should Your Wedding Be?

I had the opportunity to answer a question on Quora today and I wanted to share the question and my answer to the question, and some advice for all of you spouses-to-be. The question posed was:

My future in-laws want a huge wedding and want to spend a lot to keep their 400+ guests happy. I want a simple wedding because I care more about the marriage than the wedding. Their idea of the wedding is financially straining on my family, because what we saved up is not enough.

My answer was:

Jon Turino, Wedding Officiant (2015-present)

 “Weddings can be incredibly expensive if not properly planned. I think 400+ guests — unless you live in India — is going way overboard. You and your fiance will be going forward in your lives together and your responsibilities to your future in-laws are minimal. If they want to pay for the wedding, you might acquiesce; otherwise going into a large amount of debt to satisfy them is a very bad way to start your new married life.

There are dozens — or more — checklists available for choosing wedding guests. Close family, close friends, close coworkers, people who might be upset if not invited, etc. Beyond that list there is no reason to spend $100-$200 — or more — per guest just so the in-laws can impress their friends.

You don’t mention how your fiance feels about this situation so I suggest that you two have a serious conversation about what you and he want and how you view the situation together.”

My advice is:

If you want to start out right then start with your guest list. Then get the event planner/coordinator who can help you find a venue that fits that list and your desires for a theme and location. Then you’ll want to get the caterer, the DJ/musician(s), the photographer, etc. And, if you are the bride, don’t forget the dress! And don’t forget to book your officiant early. He/she will probably be the least expensive, but most important, person you choose! Find out more at http://yourminister.org/the-ultimate-wedding-checklists-list/.

As always, your comments are welcome anytime.