Let me preface this post by saying that I was never one of those girls that spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about marriage and planning a wedding. In fact, when we first got engaged, the idea was to get married in the local courthouse and have a tiny ceremony/honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands. My opinion on marriage it's that it's something more of a legal formality than a rite of passage. I guess the title of my post is somewhat tongue-in-cheek; if you've seen the Ingmar Bergman classic, you'll understand why.
The reason we had a wedding reception/ceremony at all was due to familial expectations and the fact that it would be a good opportunity to spend some time with friends living out of state (and country) that we would never otherwise see. I wanted to keep the wedding small and easy and planned it almost grudgingly, considering the state of affairs - not that we were in dire financial straits but the events over the last couple of months have taught me more than ever about the benefits of keeping a healthy savings account.
We decided that a huge chunk of our expenses would be spent on good food, good alcohol and a lovely venue (the wedding was at a lavender farm). Otherwise, everything would be done on the cheap - I did my own makeup, solicited help from a handful of friends and found a decent photographer off Craigslist. We also did most of our own venue setup and decorations along with making our own wedding paraphernalia. My dress, which was heavily discounted at J.Crew, cost about $200 including alterations (cheaper than a pair of A.P.C. shoes, oh dear!). The two items I did splurge on were (a) a bagpiper and (b) an inordinately expensive pair of shoes. The justifications being (a) the bagpiper represented a sliver of being in Scotland and (b) the shoes are completely reusable!
Looking back, I think it was a little silly of me to have conveyed such animosity towards having a wedding ceremony at all. In the process of freaking out and being stressed, I forgot how important my friends and family are to me. I still think it would have been wiser to have used the money spent on a downpayment for a house - but when all is said and done, at least I have some pretty pictures to look back on and a spiffy pair of shoes to clomp around in at the next dinner party I'll be attending.