Despite the global economic downturn, it seems that weddings are in some ways immune to the recession. As the Daily Mail revealed recently, the average cost of a wedding has risen to a staggering $27,000 (£17,300), an increase of over $8,000 (£5,100) on the average cost back in 2002. The study, which was undertaken by Brides magazine, also revealed that more couples are paying for the wedding themselves rather than relying on the generosity of their parents to foot the bill for the big day. This represents a total of 36% in comparison to just 29% five years ago.

Many newly engaged couples find they are suddenly bombarded with huge expectations for the big day. Suggestions of grandiose venues, fabulous caterers and fashionable florists from well-meaning friends and relatives can start to influence the couple’s plans. With so much pressure on brides and grooms to make their wedding day special, it is little wonder some couples think they have to spend thousands on making it special enough, but is it all really necessary? What is better, a grand affair or an intimate afternoon?

The Big Wedding

There are, of course, many reasons to have a big wedding and nobody should be made to feel guilty for splashing out if they can afford it. Big weddings can be a chance to reconnect with long-lost family and friends as the guest list will be bigger. It can also be a great amount of fun to have a huge party just in your honor and there will definitely be more presents for the bride and groom!

On the other hand, planning such a grand affair can be very time consuming and a lot of stress for the couple. By involving so many people in your plans, there will inevitably be certain people who want to have a say in how things are done, so be prepared for confrontation and debate over everything from the guest list to the table decorations.

When you invite everyone, you need to consider long-running feuds, as well as the potential to cause arguments if you don’t seat people carefully. Figuring out your seating plan will be like solving a Rubik’s cube and with so many people to feed and water, you can bet the bill is going to be huge.

The Small Wedding

If you decide to save the pennies and opt for a smaller, more intimate affair, your wedding day can be much more focused on you as a couple, rather than on pleasing hundreds of people, most of whom you hardly know. Stress levels leading up to the big day will be dramatically reduced and you can ensure you spend your wedding day with the people who mean the most to you.

Don’t be fooled into thinking there aren’t downsides to small celebrations. The biggest one is surely the fact that dear old auntie Rose will strike you off her Christmas card list for not inviting her and of course there aren’t quite as many gifts.

Whatever you choose to do for your wedding day, make it right for you as a couple. Impose some of your own personality on the day. Make plans your own. Try not to worry about what other people think. Once all the guests are gone, all there will be are the two of you and your memories, so make them good ones.

This guest post was written by Francesca, a British blogger who writes on behalf of the University of Liverpool. She recommends visiting their site – http://www.liv.ac.uk/hospitality/weddings-civil-ceremonies/ – to find a great wedding venue in Liverpool.


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