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Don't Want a Traditional Wedding

Group Therapy: I Want to Get Married, but Don't Want a Wedding

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

I want to get married, but I don't really want a wedding. This article made me wonder whether there was any point of a traditional engagement in this case? My boyfriend suggests looking for a ring whenever we pass a jewelery store, but I've always felt kind of silly about it . . . Is that really necessary? So I have a ring, and I'm officially engaged and then what? Sign the papers? Plan an elopement? I guess I'm just looking for thoughts and ideas from those who have taken a wedding-less or less traditional route.


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RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 5 years
I agree with everyone else, do exactly what you and your future husband want on that day! You sound very reasonable, and that's great. I'm going to guess your fiance doesn't want a huge celebration, either? My husband and I got married in a very small circle as well. We called it a reception. We didn't have any party or anything for our engagement at all, and at our wedding we wore fancy clothes that we already owned, neither one of us cared how much our rings cost, and we had a small potluck dinner with our closest friends and family later. (Maybe 30 people). You can make a lot of things yourself, as far as decorations and food go. See if you can find friends and family who can help. Just treat it like a dinner party or something.
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 5 years
I agree with everyone else, do exactly what you and your future husband want on that day! You sound very reasonable, and that's great. I'm going to guess your fiance doesn't want a huge celebration, either? My husband and I got married in a very small circle as well. We called it a reception. We didn't have any party or anything for our engagement at all, and at our wedding we wore fancy clothes that we already owned, neither one of us cared how much our rings cost, and we had a small potluck dinner with our closest friends and family later. (Maybe 30 people). You can make a lot of things yourself, as far as decorations and food go. See if you can find friends and family who can help. Just treat it like a dinner party or something.
meggyme meggyme 5 years
I know that my cousin and his wife eloped and basically told all their friends and family, we're eloping in Vegas on this weekend, if you want to come, great, otherwise, it's no big deal. It's a very easy way to do it so that people can celebrate with you if they REALLY want to, but if they just want to go to a wedding for the reception then they'd just stay at home.
lenaknight lenaknight 5 years
I'm in the same boat as you. I won't be engaged for a while & feel it will seem pointless to do the big ceremony by the time it comes to that. Personally I don't even feel need to have family at ceremony, just want to go to some beautiful outdoor place and have someone officiate with bare minimum of people. I'm trying to decide if should even get an official wedding ring or just keep wearing engagement ring for rest of life.
lenaknight lenaknight 5 years
I'm in the same boat as you. I won't be engaged for a while & feel it will seem pointless to do the big ceremony by the time it comes to that. Personally I don't even feel need to have family at ceremony, just want to go to some beautiful outdoor place and have someone officiate with bare minimum of people. I'm trying to decide if should even get an official wedding ring or just keep wearing engagement ring for rest of life.
BiWife BiWife 5 years
Including rings, my hubby & I spent maybe $600 on our wedding. My dress was an after-prom sale affair, which I chose bc I was young (only 21) and the big poufy or slinky "wedding dresses" just weren't me. My dad married us with a dozen immediate family members attending in Garden of the Gods (free, since we didn't require seating or their pavillion). My in-laws took everyone out for dinner at a nice restaurant, and we later met our friends at a local bar to celebrate. It was a party from sun-up to long after sundown on a complete shoestring budget.Our biggest deviation from tradition was our vows - there was no mention of deity or monogamy. We chose old Celtic vows that focused on choosing each other every day & being partners in life. I would recommend that over writing your own vows - most of us aren't writers/poets, so it sounds more like a toast than wedding vows.
BiWife BiWife 5 years
Including rings, my hubby & I spent maybe $600 on our wedding. My dress was an after-prom sale affair, which I chose bc I was young (only 21) and the big poufy or slinky "wedding dresses" just weren't me. My dad married us with a dozen immediate family members attending in Garden of the Gods (free, since we didn't require seating or their pavillion). My in-laws took everyone out for dinner at a nice restaurant, and we later met our friends at a local bar to celebrate. It was a party from sun-up to long after sundown on a complete shoestring budget. Our biggest deviation from tradition was our vows - there was no mention of deity or monogamy. We chose old Celtic vows that focused on choosing each other every day & being partners in life. I would recommend that over writing your own vows - most of us aren't writers/poets, so it sounds more like a toast than wedding vows.
kimmieb124 kimmieb124 5 years
I also never dreamed of a big wedding. We did a destination wedding with only immediate family and our closest friends. It was less than 20 people total. It was exactly what we wanted and we only shared our day with the people we care about the most. My husband has a huge extended family and some of them griped about it, but we didn't care and they got over it. I have another friend who went to Vegas with one other couple to get married and another who went to a justice of the peace with just immediate family. Their families got over it, too. I have other friends who went the huge traditional wedding route, but they wanted it that way. It's your wedding and you need to do what works for you.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 5 years
I attended a wedding last summer where the couple drove up to the mountains with bout 15 friends and family members, found a secluded spot, were married by a close friend (you can become an ordained minister through the internet--it's really easy), then threw a BYOB barbeque in their backyard. I think they spent like $300 on the whole thing but got to spend their moment with the people they were close to.
stellaRuby stellaRuby 5 years
My husband and I had a really simple wedding in front of a gorgeous courthouse on a Tuesday afternoon. We invited close family and friends-under 20 people. We hired an awesome wedding photographer for photos during and after the ceremony and then met every back @ my parent's house for a reception. It was perfect.My husband did give me an engagement ring because we were engaged, but we did not exchange wedding bands @ the ceremony.
stellaRuby stellaRuby 5 years
My husband and I had a really simple wedding in front of a gorgeous courthouse on a Tuesday afternoon. We invited close family and friends-under 20 people. We hired an awesome wedding photographer for photos during and after the ceremony and then met every back @ my parent's house for a reception. It was perfect. My husband did give me an engagement ring because we were engaged, but we did not exchange wedding bands @ the ceremony.
GregS GregS 5 years
Close friends of mine had a Justice of the Peace (town mayor) perform a simple wedding at his parent's house with just immediate family and friends. Very simple and laid back. Guests all brought food and beverage so it turned into a potluck, too. They did have a cake ordered. It was a blast!
kittkatt07 kittkatt07 5 years
I am planning on going the nontraditional route.My fiance and I have been anything but traditional.I even picked out my engagement ring!I didn't mean too but I saw it while my fiance and I were out one day and knew it was meant to be. :) I never wanted a big wedding either.I am planning on a small beach wedding in Cape May,NJ.Afterwards,having the reception at a nice beach rental.There are also websites for intimate weddings and off beat brides.I agree with the others and do what feels right for you.There are no rules set in stone of how a wedding should be.Be creative and do what works for you!Good luck!
Vanonymous Vanonymous 5 years
I totally understand where you're coming from. I always felt weird b/c, growing up, I never dreamed of having a huge wedding like my sisters did. I got engaged last month. We already had a two week European trip planned for July so we decided we would get married in June and have that be the honeymoon. We're having a family-only ceremony (which still is 50 people b/c my family is huge), followed by a reception for friends to join us for drinks and hors d'oeuvres. All of this is happening at my parents' house. My sister is making our wedding cake (for about 100 people) and my other sister is doing my hair. I bought my dress on ebay (a J Crew wedding dress NWT). Anyways, my point is, you can keep things laid back and low cost, but still provide a good time for everyone. It's turned into something bigger than I planned, but it was important to my parents that I have an event for the family to celebrate us. They told me numerous times, the marriage is for the couple - the wedding is for the family. I may not completely agree, but I see where they're coming from. Hope that helps!
starbucks2 starbucks2 5 years
I've always felt the same way. I never dreamed of a big wedding. I just want to be married to the man I love. We are gonna be having a wedding this summer, because many people would be pissed if we just eloped. We won't be paying much of it, so I'm fine with it. If our family wasn't taking care of the financials I would never spend that much money on a party! Just think of the vacations and shoes you could by with it!
missmaryb missmaryb 5 years
I went traditional and it was nice and all. I'm divorced now and if I ever do it again I want something simple and romantic, including only the people who matter the most. I think that you should just follow your heart. Don't let anyone make you feel badly if you don't have a big wedding. It's your relationship, your wedding. Decide with your fiance how you want to do things and enjoy it together. Good luck.
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