Each week, the Quintessentially Weddings team helps solve your wedding questions...
THE WEDDING GENIUS: TO ELOPE, OR NOT TO ELOPE?
‘I am dreading planning our wedding: my mum and our big families are putting pressure on me to hold an enormous, decadent wedding and to invite every last second cousin twice-removed. I know this sounds mean and ungrateful, but it is filling me with resentfulness. Frankly I just feel like running away with my fiancé and having the intimate day we really want with just him and me – after all, that’s what it’s supposed to be about. He is nonplussed, and says he just wants to marry me, but I don’t want to risk casting us out from our respective families’ affections like some naughty children who’ve snuck off and scoffed the Christmas dinner or something so there’s nothing for anyone else to eat, or alternatively, not really enjoying our day because we've upset everyone’.
Quintessentially Bride: Oh dear, it’s such a shame that the planning of weddings is so riddled with what one should and ought to do – it becomes almost a comedy of manners. As we get older too, the more weddings we are going to have been invited to (and likely enjoyed), and the greater a sense of ‘repaying’ the hospitality. Whilst eloping is admittedly a swoonfully romantic thing to do, and does refocus the wedding on you and your groom, do you really want to deal with the years of dirty looks and depreciating slurs, or upsetting those you probably love very much for the sake of a few people, the odd batty Auntie who won’t like your dress and demands you don’t want to succumb to? Hopefully, most of us only get married the once, and it is likely your mum just wants you to have the amazing day she feels you both deserve. It is likely born of love, rather than her being a mumzilla seems to be the opinion of the team here.
Eloping is admittedly making something of a comeback, but the other trend is towards more discretion and almost a ‘Secret’ wedding – Caleb Followill of the Kings of Leon wasn’t told when his wedding to model Lily Aldridge would be as she decided to keep it schtum, knowing he would tell the world, and then they would have to invite it! Perhaps it’s more a case of strategically refining your wedding so that it is still very much your day, and has intimate moments? But by being hospitable and making a few concessions to keep people happy, you will be amazed at how close you can get your wedding to being the stuff of your dreams.
You say your mum has put pressure on for you to hold a ‘decadent’ wedding, and whilst there is the matter of those that pay the piper calling the tune (are she and your father are paying?) perhaps you could gently explain that this does not fit with your personalities or wishes – that real luxury now is about time, good food, good company and the little things that make a big difference. Maybe you could allocate some specific jobs to her which she can make more ostentatious – sourcing the wine, for instance, or table plans, making the cake or choosing the floristry.
You could also look to meet her and your families halfway, by having an intimate ceremony (the bit that really matters) and then a more generous reception. Just make sure you set aside a few 10 minute slots for you and your new husband to be together on your own – a private glass of champagne in a room, perhaps, or take a little tour in your wedding car with just the two of you, the chauffeur and the stars.
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Whilst we are sorry we cannot respond personally to all dilemmas, we will attempt to bring together and highlight the most commonly arising or enlightening issues and guide you through your wedding woes, offering help with inspiration or ideas.