Why A Small Wedding?
Haven’t blogged in a while because I have been extremely busy, but I just got married recently. Last April 3, 2017, to be exact, which fell on our 5th anniversary as a couple. We were supposed to get married on the same date last year, but we sort of got really busy with our work that it was already March when we realized we only had one month left. We moved the date to one year later, but we were planning to elope with only my younger sister and my husband’s younger brother as witnesses. It was October 2016 when my sister reminded me about the impending marriage (“Ate, di ba dapat nagsisimula ka nang mag-plano ngayon???“), so we actually had 6 months’ worth of budgeting. We basically booked everything in October (did nearly all of it online) and forgot about it, until the videographer and my sister (“Ate, bat wala pa sa FB events ko, need to file leave!”) reminded us two weeks before the wedding.
The elopement did not push through because the hubby felt guilty about not asking for our parents’ permission. We informed them, with much anxiety, around December. Anyway, people kept asking why we didn’t invite many guests. I think Filipinos generally couldn’t wrap their heads around the notion of a real intimate wedding. The Filipino idea of an “intimate wedding” has a minimum of 30 guests. Heck, a lot of people here think a wedding with 100 guests is intimate. If you don’t believe me, just do a search on “intimate wedding packages” and see for yourself, haha. We had 10 guests, with just a bit of room to feed the suppliers. Apparently, a few people (who are not even family) found this disturbing.
I didn’t think we had to explain ourselves (I’m 40 and he’s 32! We should be able to do as we please, diba?) so here are our reasons.
We are introverts.
I am INFJ and my groom is INTJ. I never had a debut for this very reason. We are uncomfortable with the idea of sitting on an isolated throne overlooking our royal subjects. We wanted to be seated at a long table with our family, with me facing my husband instead of sitting beside each other. Our dream wedding is an intimate affair. We both have phone anxiety, too. So the thought that we’d go around talking to various wedding suppliers is the stuff of our nightmares.
We were on a tight budget.
And when we say tight, we mean that ₱60,000 to us is already over budget, and telling us that ₱400,000 is typical of a “budget wedding” will give us heart attacks. We both belong to a highly unstable industry, where one company could close down and hundreds of people could lose their jobs. We felt it would be too capricious for us to hold a big celebration when many of our colleagues can’t find employment. That and the fact that I’m an entrepreneur means only one of us is making money (him). The rest of my funds go into paying salaries and making sure projects run. We weren’t able to invite Senshi.Labs‘ artists and programmers, but they got paid. So even if I’m actually enjoying a decent wage as a ranked professor, most of my salary goes straight into my development studio. Fellow business owners who start from scratch would understand this feeling. [2023 Edit: the studio is no longer functioning as a commercial one, I turned it into a hobby of training interns so they can be sent to their future employers with ease. I became a full-time Benildean faculty in 2018.] Don’t get me wrong. I love attending weddings that have all the bells and whistles (and mostly because I’m just a guest, not the center of attention). If someone else is willing to shoulder our wedding expenses, I wouldn’t mind a big wedding and I actually wouldn’t even interfere with the planning (or the guest list that might have people in it that we hardly know). Har har har.
One other thing: We don’t want to pay for a big wedding and then end up with tons of debt right after. We know that is going to put a strain on our relationship. So while we were setting aside funds for the wedding itself, we were making sure that we still had savings that we could later use for investments.
Guest lists are always a dilemma.
We had very limited money to go around but we also wanted to make the day really special. The biggest chunk of the budget usually goes to the reception. I actually wouldn’t mind a potluck wedding, but the hubby protested. So the best way to make the experience memorable was to pare down the guest list. It was simple really: keep it down to immediate family (and maybe two friends because we just found out on the day itself that witnesses shouldn’t be related to the couple, so we ended up asking our photographers to stand as witnesses). People — usually very young office mates who have no idea how much of a headache it is to plan guest lists within a budget — would ask awkward questions about wedding invitations. I’d know this because once upon a time, in my very early 20s, I was one of those people who never even thought about the cost of each plate when I asked, “Where’s my invitation?” I could totally punch young me in the face if I ever hear her ask this question to anyone again.
We wanted something simple but beautiful.
I actually posted a status about things I don’t want in my wedding: doves/butterflies (animal cruelty yan ha), bouquets, couple dance (or any activity that puts us in the spotlight in the middle of so many people), entourage, principal sponsors (because we’re old), themes. We wanted a relaxing dinner, in an elegant setting, where we can mingle with everyone at the table because we’d be super comfortable in their presence. We can probably party hard when we celebrate our 7th anniversary as a couple, but for this, we wanted no frills. I actually suspect that if we do celebrate a Catholic (big) version of this wedding, it will not be as classy as our first wedding. Because classy for 200 guests = $$$$$. [2023 Edit: Well, we had our Catholic wedding. It still had a small guest list. HAHAHA!]
We got what we wanted on that day, with a few bloopers here and there. I’ve also gotten some messages asking me how we managed to pull off a small wedding (hint: don’t tell anyone you’re getting married until the last minute because abundance of time makes plans change drastically). I’ve written a supplier evaluation, which will be published in this blog after we’ve received the last of the deliverables. Until then, you guys can check out some of the wedding photos here.
UPDATE: Breakdown of costs has been posted here.
Preps, Ceremony, Dinner: The Legend Villas
HMUA: REAL Make Up Artistry Studio
Photography: Quirky Creatives
Videography: gawin.ph (Main Sequence)
Solemnizing Officer: Rev. Rudrich Viloria
Legal Coordinator: Twinkle Roxas
Bride’s Engagement Ring: Etsy (AerLuna)
Groom’s Engagement Ring: Amazon.com (Gabriella Gold)
Wedding Rings: Amazon.com (Sabrina Silver)
Invitations: DIY (templates from GreetingsIsland)
Bride’s Outfit: Lazada
Groom’s Outfit: Lazada