Saying NO To A Traditional Wedding

The first week Chris and I️ were engaged we thought we had it all figured out. We had all our wedding decisions made. A date. A venue. A photog. Entertainment. Then BOOM. I️t all fell to pieces and we were back to square one.


Chris was pretty bummed, actually a lot more upset than I was expecting. We never considered ourselves big wedding people. Both of our parents got married in the courthouse. I always figured we would follow in their footsteps. Then I️ went to my first courthouse wedding. I️t was great, but I️ knew in that moment it wasn’t for us.

We didn’t want a big wedding and we didn’t want a courthouse wedding. We couldn’t elope because having our families there was really important to us. We didn’t know what to do.

Being engaged was very overwhelming for me. It is a lot of pressure. You have to be the perfect bride, the perfect host, throw the perfect party and look perfect. There are so many dynamics and so many feelings from so many people. I could not take it. And honestly, I did not have to.


I should probably explain the rollercoaster of emotions I was feeling the first few weeks of being engaged. For the most part I have blocked it out because I was beyond overwhelmed, so I will have to dive deep to relive these memories. For those of you who do not know my dad…. he is a FOBzilla (father of the bride zilla ).

Actual Conversations with FOBzilla.

Day 1. Oh you need to get married here. On this day. blah blah blah.

Day 2. Weddings are so stupid. I am not paying for your friends just to get drunk.

Day 3. So I am thinking a rooftop. What rooftops are available?

Day 4. You should just go to the courthouse. Save everyone the trouble.

Day 5. I think we need to hire a wedding planner.

Day 6. Getting married in your sisters backyard is a great idea!

Day 7. I’m not having a wedding at your sisters house. NO.

There is a time you just need to say “STOP. I. AM. DONE.” I had to shut it alllllll down. I had to say you are the cause of all my stress. I need you to stop.

And that is what I did.

As a geriatric bride and veteran bridesmaid, I know what it takes to plan a wedding. I know the drama, the who do we invite, the unsolicited suggestions and the anxiety that comes along with it. No matter how hard you try, it eventually creeps in. That was not for us.


But we had to get married. So I made a couple of spread sheets and started putting together a bare bones budget of different options. It was still more than we wanted to spend.

So… I started thinking. I have never wanted or dreamt of a wedding. I have always dreamt of going to Africa and doing a safari. The cost to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro was the same as renting a tent for my sister’s backyard. (Not really bc you have to fly to Africa and buy the clothes, but the actual act of climbing was the same cost) Then we started thinking, lets not have a wedding at all!

The more I crunched the numbers the more I was like F this. We are going to Africa.

Making the decision to skip the “wedding” and spending a small fortune on a trip of a lifetime was not an easy one. But once we decided to say NO to the wedding, it was like a huge weight was lifted. I knew we still needed to do something but we could figure it out later.


Of course when I told my FOBzilla we were doing Africa instead of the wedding, he was ALLLL about it. Until the next day, after he talked to his brother, and said Africa was a bad decision and we should go to Asia instead. And that was the moment I lost it. COMPLETELY.

This was about Chris and I and no one else. We would figure out the I DO part later. It was time to plan for AFRICA.


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