November 9, 2014, a day that started out with my closets gal pals at a mimosa filled brunch, followed by an afternoon of makeup, hair, and oh yes, our wedding! Our wedding was a destination wedding in St. Thomas, USVI, which included a very short guestlist of 20 people. 30 invited, 20 were able to attend. It was magical, but simple, and very minimal effort put in by myself. Just how I wanted it.
We both knew when getting married, having a big wedding was not in the cards. We kept our guest list extremely exclusive to our immediate family and closest friends. Oh and also, the former POTUS and FLOTUS, who sadly weren’t able to make it. No extended family or bar acquaintances, or my dad’s boss’s boss. I’ve never really understood why people feel such an obligation to invite certain people, but to each their own!
I personally love being guest at a large wedding with a wild dance floor, but planning one…that would be a no from me! The logistics, costs, and lengths people go through for their weddings is delusional in my opinion. Most of the small things that cause stress go unnoticed by guests anyways and people often tend to lose touch of what you are actually celebrating! You often hear a recently married couple say, “We’re just so glad it’s over!” That is certainly no way to start out a marriage.
Planning our wedding was simple, stress free. I honestly sent the wedding planner a few inspirations from the beloved Pinterest, which was boho themed, and called it a day. There wasn’t the need for extensive planning and decorations when you have an island as your backdrop. As for my dress, I skipped all bridal stores, and went straight to the internet. Have ya’ll heard of BHLDN? It’s Anthropolgie’s wedding line and nothing short of uh-mazing. My dress was shipped to me within a few days and voila, we simply just had to show up. Was our cake exactly how I thought it would be and turn heads? Not necessarily, but no one is going to remember that. Did I meet our photographer while in the elevator headed down to get married? Yes, but the photos still turned out great! When planning a wedding, try to focus on the bigger picture, rather than the small touches. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re trying to please 200+ people, when the day is ultimately about you and your spouse. My main tip would be to forget about what everyone else thinks and do your thing. I wouldn’t have had my wedding any other way. Wait, yes I would. If Barack and Michelle showed up, that would have been clutch.
I requested no showers or bachelorette parties because it just becomes too much! We were already asking people to basically take a vacation, during hurricane season mind you, the month before the most expensive time of the year. My sister and mom insisted on a “Girls Night Out” which is, well, a bachelorette party, but I kept it to a night out in the city, no gifts, no games, just a dinner, dancing, and a plethora of drinks! As far as showers, we didn’t need anything. We had both lived on our own for several years and we already had everything you need to fill a house. We certainly didn’t need to replace my already fairly new spatulas, crockpots, and mixing bowls, with just newer versions just because it’s standard to have a shower. Plus if we felt we needed anything, we could certainly buy it ourselves. I love getting rid of things that no longer serve me, so a multitude of duplicates I already have would be unnecessary!
Envision what you want for your day, and plan accordingly. If all of the traditional stuff doesn’t suite you, simply don’t do it. You will have a lot of opinions from outsiders during this time, don’t listen. Do you. You have permission to ditch all of the following with zero guilt:
- Bridesmaids & Groomsmen
- Flower Girls & Ring Bearers
- A wedding website – the people attending your wedding should already know the story of how you met!
- An extensive guestlist
- A large budget. Remember it’s one night. According to the knot the average wedding costs around $33,391.00. Gulp. I honestly don’t know the exact costs of ours because the costs of the vacation and flights was all mixed into one lump sum of money, but it certainly wasn’t even close to that number.
- Other people’s opinions – What other people think of you is none of your business.
If the most stressful part of our wedding was trying to organize a 20 person seating chart, then I think I succeeded in planning out a Free As A Weed wedding. This page is to remind you that you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to because it is what is common. Almost 4 years later, my dad still reminds me how calm he remembers me being on my wedding day. If you know me, calm isn’t my strong suite. I’ve stressed out more about backyard BBQ’s than I did our wedding planning. But I think that says a lot. We kept it to exactly what we wanted. Keyword being we.