"If i could do it all over again, I would've eloped"

I've heard several brides tell me that the number one regret they have from their wedding was the wedding itself. Why is it that so many people feel this way? Shouldn't they be happy that they got the wedding of their dreams? The wedding they've been planning since they were young?

Too many people, too expensive, too much stress.

I've been to enough weddings to know that they're sometimes more catered to the guests and not the couple. This probably isn't what most people think of when they're planning their dream wedding. It's actually probably not what you want to hear.

But let me just show you some numbers to give you an idea of what a wedding requires.

Let's take a look at prices

The *average* cost of a wedding in California is $39,000

Here are some averages of the larger expenses.

(This isn't including other costs that are required for a wedding.)

Catering: $4,000

Photography: $2,000

Venue: $6,000

Wedding Cake: $500

Wedding Planner: $1500

Flowers: $1500

Hair and Makeup: $300

DJ: $1000

Now, for an elopement or a micro wedding, the budget is way more flexible. You have more control over how much you spend and what you spend it on. There's really no accurate averages for expenses, but I do know that the cost of a marriage license is $61 in California. So it'll be at least $61!

Let's talk about your "why"

Ok, so we've looked at the practical side of large weddings. Now let me explain some deeper reasons a smaller or more simple wedding might be right for you.

Micro weddings and elopements are innately more intimate. Whether it's just you and your boo, or you're surrounded by immediate family or friends, there is more focus on you.

No distractions, no crazy wedding party drama, no stress.

Doesn't that sound like a dream? To be surrounded by only the people you want- and to be able to focus on getting married? To only focus on being present in the moment? Now that's priceless.

the wedding industry shift

As a wedding photographer, I've experienced different sizes of weddings. And let me tell you, the smaller it is, the more intimate it is. And isn't that kind of the whole point of a wedding? To celebrate the union of two people coming together.

My whole life I dreamed of having an elaborate and large wedding production. At least 200 guests, amazing florals, and a huge dance party. My sisters and I have seen every episode of Say Yes To The Dress and have planned out our wedding days already. The venues, that colors we want, what song we'd walk down to the aisle to. It's just fun to think about! And I know we're not the only ones.

As I've gotten older and worked as a wedding photographer, my dreams of a big wedding started to shift. Elopements and micro weddings have become more acceptable, even mandatory, because of COVID. A big wedding just isn't my personality, and it doesn't reflect my fiancé and I very much. We know a lot of people are going to disappointment and maybe even confused, but at the end of the day, it's not their wedding.

If you feel any hesitation about planning a large wedding, I encourage you to think about the reasons you're having it. Is it to celebrate your love with your community, or is it to give into pressure and expectations that are thrown at you. Every bride and groom is different. Different personalities, tastes, cultures, so there's no "one-size-fits-all" for weddings.