Small Weddings Are In

According to The Washington Post, more and more couples are opting to have a small ceremony, or just go to the courthouse and get the job done. As for people “attending” your ceremony, they do it with “likes” on FaceBook.

Not totally surprising as the average cost for a wedding in the U.S. is an eye-watering $29,858. If I’m going to cry at a wedding, that’s the reason right there. And it’s not just the couple and the families who spend all that dough. I figure that every time I get invited to a wedding, it costs me $300 to $1000. After the flights and the room and the gift and the rental car… and then for some reason my wife seems to need a new dress for every third wedding.

For the newlyweds, it’s simple. Think of it as Romeo and Juliet 2.0. No guests = no planning, no politics, no pressure. Plus a whole lot less expense, of course. Who can afford it while shouldering massive student-loan debt, even years out of college? Couple these expenses with rising housing costs in the city, along with car payments, and it’s easy to slip into significant debt. And even if the bride’s or groom’s parents are willing to chip in, many are simply unable to fully bankroll that pricey an undertaking.

You can see the logic. It also makes sense for today’s social norms. A hundred years ago, many family members would be meeting the bride or groom for the very first time at the wedding. But today most couples have relationships for years before they tie the knot. We’ve all probably seen a thousand status updates by the couple already.

You can read the whole article here.

San Francisco City Hall

If you are planning you elopement in the city by the bay, as far as we’re concerned you have exactly two choices. Either plan a trip (or get a wedding planner to do it for you) to the amazing wineries and vineyards of Napa and Sonoma, or check out San Francisco’s tremendous City Hall.

It’s makes an incredible backdrop for you photos, and nothing quite captures the soul of elopement like getting married by the city clerk.

Magalie and Mike elope on the beach

Over  at the Postcards and Pretties blog we find a couple doing it right. Intimidated by the byzantine rules that govern weddings on the Empire State Building, this couple went to a California beach instead and planned small wedding in just eight days:

“It was February 16th when we learned the Empire State Building Observatory only holds weddings for 14 couples once annually on the 14th of February. There went the only site in NYC we could picture ourselves getting hitched. Onward to Plan B…

For Christmas he had surprised me with a mid-winter escape to Casa Laguna in Laguna Beach and we were scheduled to fly out the following week on the February 24th. In eight days I found a stunningly sweet site overlooking the ocean, an Officiant, a driver, the best Laguna Beach florist ever and my wardrobe.  Did I mention I also designed my own ring? It’s astounding what can be accomplished when you put your mind to it.

For me, eloping was a no-brainer because it meant no worries about the guest list or the bouquet toss or anything other than the two of us. For him, the instant gratification and adventure of it all was impossible to resist. At the heart of the decision was a focus on the life journey we’re beginning together.”