Just because my wedding is big doesn’t mean it’s over the top

We are inviting more than 300 people to our wedding. That’s just how it worked out. We both come from giant extended families, and we are lucky to have a lot of friends. Many of those people have children, which has caused our list to balloon.

Family + people who are as close as family = 347. Some people consider this exorbitant.

Last week, a coworker was telling me that she had 30 people at her wedding.

“That sounds so lovely!” I responded.

Apparently my response assured her that I too was going to have a petite wedding because she continued:

“I don’t get why people feel the need to have more than 100 people at their wedding. It just becomes a circus. You end up just feeling lost because half the people there don’t actually CARE about you.”

My response:

You see, the backlash against the whole “Wedding Industrial Complex” has produced a movement against big, fat weddings. Take a little stroll through Jezebel’s sub-blog “I Thee Dread,” and you’ll find commenters railing against any wedding that isn’t a courthouse ceremony with just the bride, groom, and the minimum number of witnesses required. While small weddings are considered “lovely” and “classy” (god I hate that word) and “meaningful,” anything else is a waste of money (“You could buy a HOUSE”), an attempt to show off (“Do you really NEED hundreds of people there?”), and a pathetic spectacle deserving of mockery (“Big weddings always end in DIVORCE!”).

As I’ve explained, I secretly covet a small courthouse wedding. But I also want the people who molded us into the people who fell in love with each other to be present. That’s a lot of people.

What’s weird to me is that people assume that weddings with more than 70 guests are automatically lavish, over-the-top affairs. My family’s Christmas parties have more than 70 attendees, and we have a great time drinking coke, eating fried chicken and playing cards. Big, loud, fun family gatherings are normal to me, and, while my wedding will be more formal (and expensive) than a holiday gathering, it’s not like I’m going to want a nine-story cake, a seven-course meal, elephants, and ice sculptures of the bride and groom.

And, by the way, why do people have this holier-than-thou attitude towards people who might WANT elephants and ice sculptures?

Tell me: How big was your wedding? Did anyone give you crap about it? And, small-wedding people: Did anyone give you crap about “Your Most Important Day” not being “big enough?”

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