When I saw the title of your essay I wondered if you were going to be talking to people like me who are the non-industry non-commercial side of the wedding business. You kind of sort of are, except you don’t know I am here. So let me introduce myself.
Small weddings, intimate weddings, weddings that cost what you want them to cost are what I do. I have done weddings for as little as $50, and I would not do that again. Essentially I offer a destination wedding, here on top of the most active volcano in the world, complete with honeymoon stay and super fine photography for what many couples pay just for a couple of nights in a resort.
So my main point here is yes, you can have a sweet runaway wedding on a slim budget and yes you can do it without inviting the world. You can still have a party back home for your friends and avoid the wedding costs that are high because catering. Because flowers galore. Because live band. You know the drill. That hairdresser who comes out and does you and your wedding party and charges double the salon fee is not ripping you off. That person is charging you for being out of the salon all day for you, for packing their car and driving maybe a couple hundred miles to your venue and back, for working twice as hard and spending money maybe even for a hotel room because after a ten hour day it is a bad idea to get in the car and drive two more hours. Weddings are very hard work.
The main message really is this, if you want to avoid a commercial, run up your credit affair, Just Don’t. Celebrate intimately. Remember the photos because this is the one time you are going to do this. You might not be that couple who wants their photo on the living room wall, but you will want those pictures to look back upon right away and forever.
Here is what a wedding ceremony really is. It is a blessing upon you. It calls down the positive energy that is free floating and attachable to your union. It registers with the cosmos (not just your parents) that you intend to spend your life with this other person. It is powerful. It is ultimately one of the very best life experiences you will ever have, when that person you are marrying is your true life partner. And I think we are in agreement on this, Meg. And thanks for reminding couples they do not have to empty their bank accounts to make everyone happy.