Surprise Weddings

“She thought people would be upset if we didn’t tell them.”

“So what if they get mad!?!? It’s your day! You should do it how you want!”

She smiled and was hoping for that response, but you could tell she was still saddened. The plan had been to invite the family over under the guise of a Mother’s Day garden party, and then announce that they were getting married…once the minister arrived. A surprise wedding. Nothing too over-the-top. Just a simple wedding with some pretty dresses, a small meal, and a little cake. Just the parents and no one else. It sounded perfect.

Little did she know that the application for the marriage license would be announced in the local newspaper. Now everyone knew. And her finances mother approached her saying that the family would be super upset if they weren’t invited. They had planned to have a reception later for the rest of the family, when they had more time and money. Now she felt devastated that she had to put more together.

I told her she didn’t.

Only recently having been a bride, I could warn her of the mistakes. There was an aweful lot of unnecessary expense. I could have and should Ave gone with a simpler dress. I should have done more to save money, like had less decorations and simplified the menu. I honestly should have just done a backyard wedding at my aunts house or something, even a courthouse wedding. Just immediate family. Sent out an FIY card to the rest of the family if I could manage it. Let them know a wedding took place. I could have done without the catering and just went bulk shopping for some appetizers and a small cake. Or just went out to Olive Garden after the fact. I could have done without the gifts, or the bridal showers. I could have done without almost all of it but the paperwork. So I told her to do what she wanted and realize that the whole point of a “traditional wedding” is the expression of status. If she wanted a meaningful wedding do what was meaningful to the two of them, since in the end, it was between them and God anyway. No one else had to matter.

So she did.

The pictures were lovely. Her sister took them. They had it in her father’s backyard with just the immediate family. A small get together with deep meaning and good company. I was so proud of her. The table was a collection of eclectic plates from the thrift store. They ate pulled pork and had tea and finger food desserts. It looked far more romantic than any million dollar wedding could have ever been, and most importantly, it looked like their kind of wedding.

Part of it made me sad, in a way. Sad that I hadn’t listened to my own advice, and that I had put my foot down and done a much smaller occasion. It forced me to realize how much resent meant I had harbored toward ¬†wedding industry. It made me realize how much resentment I had toward myself, for being pretty reckless and foolish with my spending. How much resentment I had toward my husband for wanting such a large event.

I’m bitter about it. Which means now I have to deal with that bitterness. That’s always the hard part of having emotions, you have to take responsibility for it. Now I know the reasons behind why I feel what I am feeling, and I have to deal with them. Realize I had more control over all of the plans I had made. Be angry at no one, but myself for not speaking up. For not putting my foot down. For being afraid of people’s judgement and doing more than I really needed to. None of that was anyone else’s fault.

I really just have to let it go. The money is spent. The day has come and gone. I just have to move on. It’s a silly and superficial thing to be upset about. Which probably bothers me more than the way the wedding went. How much I’m upset about it. How much resentment I feel about it. I don’t like it. I wish I could just instantly stop feeling this way.


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