I've heard it all as a wedding photographer. Couples talk about how hard it is to plan a wedding with the constant push and pull of the needs, wants and unwanted opinions of family members, friends and coworkers weighing heavy on them. One thing that was said time and time again to me was, "I feel like this starting to become something that it's even OUR wedding anymore."
And that's just it -- weddings are celebrations surrounding two people in love, and it should remain about you and your partner's needs and wants, not the wants of your family or friends. Now, I understand Aunt Gertrude may be reading this and get offended but hold your horses before you get upset with me.
Let's chat about the elephant in the room: your parents are paying for your wedding so you have to do what they want to do -- totally understand! But, set some boundaries. What are some reasonable boundaries, you may ask? It's asking your parent's for compromises on things. For example: If you and your partner are wanting to have a traditional wedding solely to appease your family, chat with them about having a small ceremony, a dinner, and using the remaining money to go and take your wedding portraits somewhere where you and your partner can read your hand written personal vows to each other so it's uniquely your own intimate and fun experience!
I cannot stress this enough to couples who are getting married -- this is your day, no one else's. This is a day you will never get back. This day is about you and your partner and no one else. I understand the importance of not rocking the boat, but stand your ground on things that are non-negotiable. If you're wanting a small, intimate wedding full of personal touches but family wants you to have a big ballroom wedding with a 5-course dinner, it may be time to re-evaluate the ways you'll be able to incorporate what you can to keep people happy, but at the end of the day, this is your wedding and your day. If your parents are footing the bill, well, my words may unfortunately not aid in this situation.
I've heard it time and time again, "I just want to elope so I don't have to deal with all the stress and frustration of wedding planning!" Oh, but my dear! YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN! I made a handy-dandy flow chart to help you and your partner decide what you two should do if this is the unfortunate predicament you're in.
While I understand that the decision to elope is quite not as cut and dry, I will leave you with a little bit of advice that I've acquired through shooting weddings for a living - there are many different ways to incorporate what you and your partner want to do for your special day. Compromising will be the cornerstone to an all-around good experience but above all, stand your ground, and understand that it will be hard. It will be frustrating to explain to your loved ones that what their dreams of your wedding day may not align with your wants and needs of your partner, but in the end, you will be way happier if you and your partner stick to your guns and end up doing what is uniquely yours!
Eloping is fun, it's nearly stress free, and when you hire an elopement photographer like me, I'm here to help plan and capture the most special of days for you and your partner! I'm on your side every step of the way reminding you that no matter what you decide to do, whether it be have a big, traditional wedding or eloping, YOU are in control of your big day!
You got this! Stand your ground and do what you and your partner want to do, elopement or not, make your day uniquely yours!