My Wedding, My Way!

10:43 PMDollie DeVille

Okay, it's about time I started filling you all in on my wedding planning. So, this is the first of hopefully many wedding posts. Sometimes I don't feel like talking about it, and making a fuss and all, and then I realize that this is the only time in my life I will be engaged and planning a wedding- so I better start relishing it! 

Now, you may think I would be having a very traditional vintage wedding- Emily Post style. Fancy embellished invitations, engagement party, bridal shower, guest list bursting at the seams, 4 course sit down dinner, dancing to a full band, cake smooshing, and a big send off.......

But it may surprise you to find out that nothing makes me want to barf more than that idea. Insert finger in throat -Gag! I guess in this way I am an Offbeat Bride. While I love the vintage lifestyle, I am still a modern gal. I have tattoos, curse, drink, work for my own money, and already live with my fiance (for 5+ years now) and own 1/2 of the house we live in. So, you can see how the modern white wedding doesn't really suit us or our lifestyle. 

I am not a princess. In case you didn't know I am not a descendant of the royal family. Therefore, I don't need to act like I am a princess. I have not been dreaming of my wedding since I was 3. I didn't sketch my wedding dress and make a sample menu. I don't want to wear a tiara, sit in a horse drawn carriage, and have trumpet blowers. Not that there is anything wrong with brides wanting that experience, but I don't want that experience. 

While I am normally a big ham and like to be in the spotlight, I don't want to be the center of attention on my wedding day. I don't want to walk down an aisle on my fathers arm and have him give me away. I think this tradition of a father passing off his daughter to the man who asked him for her hand in marriage is disgusting. The tradition harkens back to the days when women were possessions of men, first the father's and then the husbands. While I  like to joke about such things, I am under no mans thumb. My father is not "giving me away" and no, my fiance did not ask my father for my hand in marriage-he asked me and I said yes without consulting anyone else. My father and I don't have the best relationship, but we are working on it. I figure he won't be too upset because he got the "White Wedding" experience with my sister, whose fiance did ask for her hand in marriage-barf. 

I don't want to exchange the most meaningful words ever said in front of everyone I know, or kiss in front of everyone while they try and take pictures. I am not big on PDA in general. I don't want to make my vows a three ring circus. I don't want aunt Bessy fake crying to act like she cares so much about our union. I don't want Cousin Bill complaining that the $50 plate he didn't pay for was cold. I don't want Grandma Jean complaining about the loud music. 

It is not only my wedding that I feel this way about. Most weddings I have attended make me uncomfortable. Most of the time I am sitting there waiting for it to be over, wondering if I should gaze at them and smile or if that is creepy. This was especially bad when I actually have to be in the wedding party, standing up there in some ugly dress, wondering if everyone can tell how bored I am. Mostly it is the ceremony that bothers me. I always feel that I am watching something that I shouldn't, some private moment that only they should be privy to. Am I the only one that feels this way? I always like the reception better: dinner, dancing, cake. But it still seems like the wedding couple gets the short end of the stick here. They spend all night running around trying to greet everyone that came and in that time miss eating the diner they paid for! They also rarely get a moment with their new husband/wife, and at the end of the night are too tired for much of any wedding night romance! I can't think of anything sadder. 

While not everyone can fit into any mold, I am noticing a trend to big over the top weddings and quick marriages. I am sure we can all name a couple that spent $25, $75K, or even $150K on a wedding and were only married a few short years. I hear that the number one thing couples fight over is money, so starting your life together drowning in debt can't help. I know the strong relationships can take it, but why chance it? The average wedding costs $28,000. Most couples that forgo the White Wedding say they chose to use that money as a down payment on a house. I already own a home, but I can think of a lot of things that I would rather spend that money on. But, beautiful weddings can be done on a budget if you are thrifty, which is necessary in our case because we are paying for 100% of everything on our own, and not going into debt over a one day event.  

It may seem like I hate weddings, but I don't! I love hearing about people living their dream weddings, getting their dream dress, etc. But that is their dream, not mine. I have known for years that I wanted to marry Zack, but I knew we would never have a White Wedding- that is just not us! But please don't get the idea that I don't want to get married. That couldn't be farther from the truth! I adore Zack, he is my best friend, and I can't wait to be married to him for the rest of my life. 

The fiance is in agreement with me on all of these points, so we have decided to do what WE want for our wedding, with no consideration to tradition. Sorry if you don't agree, but this is how we feel, and last time I checked it was our wedding and no one else's. 

So, what are we doing you ask?

We are running off together! 

We always thought the notion of eloping was romantic. The couples always seem so happy, serene and sincere. Nothing but the two of them, together, alone fully able to express how they are feeling in that moment, not worrying about the other people in the room. It also fits in with vintage nostalgia for me. While there was still huge wallet busting weddings in the 50s, most were more modest and simple-not all the hoopla like today. A lot of young couples eloped, some in an old prom dress, Sunday best, or handmade dress. There is a photo of a 1959 wedding couple on the back cover of the July issue of Reminisce Magazine- She is wearing a homemade gown that cost $17, he rented a tux for $10, they had their reception in the basement and honeymooned with dinner and a movie. Ya know what? They looked so happy and had a long marriage! As my friend Chris once said, "Simple wedding, extravagant marriage". I couldn't have said it better! That is us in a nutshell! 

So, while elopements are not right for everyone, they are perfect for us......except for the spur of the moment part. I am a planner by nature. The thought of waking up one day and saying "You want to get married today?" scares me because it is the only time I plan on getting married and I want it exactly how I want it. I want everything to be my version of perfect. I have had multiple nightmares about being forced into a White Wedding that I didn't want, being pushed down the aisle in a tacky modern dress that I hated, with no hat and no gloves! It was horrible!!! I screamed "This is not what I want!" I cried and screamed more "I don't have a hat and gloves!".  So, as you can see, White Weddings are literally a nightmare for me, but I am most concerned that I get to wear what I want, and that includes a hat and gloves. I am a proper vintage lady and must wear a hat and gloves! Read: sarcasm.

So, we planned out every detail of our running off together, which apparently no longer makes it an elopement! From what we can tell, people would call it a destination wedding, but with no guests. We are really breaking the mold here! 

While looking up etiquette on elopements I read a lot of talk about elopements like they produce lesser of a marriage, and that people who elope are selfish and don't want to share their joy with anyone. Really! If wanting the wedding that I want makes me selfish then I must be selfish! I personally think that forcing me into your idea of a wedding and forcing me to pay for it is selfish! But out of respect for our friends and family who truly just want to share in the joy of our long awaited marriage we are trying to host a local post-elopement/destination wedding party. Say that 5 times fast! We are still on the fence about how we feel about such a party, but we have come to terms with the fact that there is no way around it- and better we plan it then have something we don't want planned for us. We know we don't want a sit down dinner, toasts, or father-daughter dances. We just want music, drinks, and casual dancing. Maybe we will wear our outfits again, show some pictures, and eat cake- but that is as far as it is going! 

So, if you want to say something nasty about my feelings (remember feelings are personal and can never be wrong, only facts can be wrong) on weddings you can just stop reading my blog. If you want to hear more about the Offbeat Wedding I am planning then stay tuned! 

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  1. I think you are incredibly smart... i also thought ALL of those things when we got engaged. So, my husband and i decided not to have a big wedding in Australia and instead go to vegas have a tacky Elvis wedding and attend our very first Viva! Best decision we ever made. Our wedding was about us, not what everyone else wanted/expected of us.

  2. What you described pretty much sounds like my "dream" wedding too! :D

  3. Dollie, you read my mind girl! This is what I have been thinking the last 13 or so months since Sam and I got engaged! We are getting married in one month...yay!

    I work in a high end hairdressing salon and some people just can't comprehend the fact that we are not getting married in a church/park/beach, we are not having a professionally made cake (my 13yr old cousin is making it),or that my wedding dress cost my $180 (thank you etsy!!). I didn't mean to have a budget wedding, it just turned out that way!

    As for the "giving away of the bride"- that wansn't for me either. I have always been an independant person, even as a kid, so the notion of me belonging to someone for them to give me away just doesn't sit right.

    Sam and I have also been togther for a while (6 years and living togther for 4), and I haven't ever really dreamed of that typical "white wedding" either, even though my dress IS white! I know that our day will be just as special as anyone who spends some crazy amount of money, but we are sticking to what WE want, and not what others try to guilt or pressure you in to.

    I know your day will be wonderful, and your marriage will be a long and happy one, because thats what you both want, it's not about trying to impress other people.

    I could go on and on, but what I will say is GOOD LUCK and I can't wait to hear more about your plans.

    x Molly

  4. *~ high five ~* My great grand father eloped to Canada with his sweetheart to avoid going to war.

  5. Fantastic post, I agree 100% with everything that you have said! I have been with my BF for nearly 12 years, and I know that if we ever do get married, we would do it in the exact same way. I also hate big flouncy 'traditional' weddings, vomit. The best wedding I went to was my best friends. 8 of us flew out to Vegas, and they got married at the top of the Strastophere. We then had a meal at the Top of The World restuarant looking over the strip, and then went gambling and for drinks in the Bellagio. They loved it and so did we. No hassle, no fuss, no speeches - just fun! Can't wait to see what you are going to do :))

  6. Fabulous plan Miss Dolly! I was an Offbeat Bride myself. Based on this post it sounds like you've read Ariel's book right? - if not I *HIGHLY* recommend it, it was the only reason I stayed sane when my family attempted to force me into a traditional "southern" wedding. The most important part of your wedding day is staying true to yourself and making sure that you make as many happy memories as you can! Anyways, it sounds like you're off to a great start!

  7. No nasty comments here... I am jealous that I didn't have the same clear vision of what I wanted for my own wedding. I let parents and friends and other outside forces dictate the type wedding that we paid for ourselves. In hindsight... although our wedding was beautiful and it was pretty inexpensive ... I wish is was far more intimate. I am happy to hear that you are doing what suits you. It is a very special day for both of you and I wish you all the best every day AFTER the wedding!

  8. Way to go! You already know my feelings on the subject so you already have my full endorsement! Also, thank you; I don't think I've ever been quoted before, it makes me feel smart.

  9. We did something similar. While we did invite folks (around 40 invites) we knew people wouldn't come as it was a destination wedding and, at the time, our friends didn't have a lot of money. All I needed was my mama and all hubby needed was his brother and we got both, plus a few more. Our wedding on Maui was fabulous, I got the whole white wedding I wanted (for photos, really), but on a teeny budget, as we were already at our honeymoon location and only entertained 10 people. And we're still going strong 14 years later. So bravo - smart choice.

  10. Sounds fabulous! My hubby and I eloped to Vegas in February and I STILL don't want to do the big Happy eloping!

  11. Never is there a better time to do what you want than when you get married. When my husband and I did, we made a lot of concessions because we were the first on both sides of the family to get married (well, for our generation). So it wasn't about us, which was fine. We didn't spend a ton and our wedding was not 100% traditional, but not completely offbeat either. But that was all fine. The worst was that there was some family drama that completely overshadowed the event for me. I'm glad I married my husband, and everyone else seems to say they had fun, but I am still really bitter about it. Elopement = no drama, so good for you.

    A note about vintage weddings... My grandmother got married in in 1958 and wanted a modest wedding complete with a modest dress. Her mother, while a very sweet and kind Italian lady, happened to be the owner of her own custom wedding dress shop. So my sweet great-grandmother basically told my grandmother over her dead body would she have a modest dress. Because of the business and appearances, my grandmother ended up with a beautiful and elaborate beaded Grace Kelly dress complete with a full skirt. Beautiful, but not what my grandmother wanted for herself. And my grandmother was still bringing this up 50 years later when I got married in 2008!

  12. Fabulous! You will love it because it's what you want!

  13. Eloping is the best!! My husband and I didn't have enough $$ or desire to have a big, blow-out traditional wedding. We eloped last June and got married in Ft. Lauderdale. Our Matron of Honor/Best Man were another couple we are super close with and enjoy tiki culture, so we took them along & combined the trip with the Hukilau. I got a great repro sarong dress from J.Peterman for less than $150, I made my husbands aloha shirt from vintage fabric and our friends wore their best hawaiian attire. After the quickie ceremony next to the giant tiki in the Mai Kai gardens, we went inside for happy hour cocktails!

    We had a small brunch a month or so after to be our 'reception' for our closest friends and family. I got cupcakes from Costco and decorated them myself. Everyone had a great time. We probably spent under $2500 total and had exactly what we wanted.

    My only regret was that it wasn't a big surprise when we returned. I can't keep a secret to save my life!

    Best to you and your fiance in planning the wedding of YOUR dreams! It's your day, so do what you two want! :)

  14. I couldn't agree with you more!

  15. Booyah girl! I loved every min of reading this post!!!
    I couldn't agree more that's the way to do it !
    good for you and congrats!!!

  16. Wonderful and romantic! I love the idea! I had a smaller-sized wedding with a vintage style and even though I enjoyed my day, it was kind of overwhelming in the end. I think a lot gets wasted on cakes, bridesmaid dresses, tuxes, renting space, food, drink, renting a band or dj, table settings, decorations, place settings, invitations, etc. Think of the money that I could have saved! I still would want to do a vintage dress or even a war bride suit but not a big to-do. Thus, your ideas are perfect! It's all about you and your guy and that is all you need! :)

  17. I so love the way you write miss dollie!!! and honey it is all about you...and what you want and i love how you want what you want...more brides should be just like you!!!

    I myself eloped with my daddy0 in Vegas baby! But missed the vintage sweetness you spoke favorite wedding i have ever seen was mary deluxes here in blogland just a few months ago...she wore a vintage prom dress matching shoes hat and gloves...and met her man on the sweetest courthouse steps ever.She just wanted to start her life with her and her guy...simply romantic and lovely...can't wait to hear you are married the way you wanna of luck commin' your way doll...pure happiness and a great time!!!! keep us all posted it is very romantic!!! thanks for sharin' kitten


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