Why You Might Regret A Shotgun Wedding

January 11, 2019  |  
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shotgun wedding ceremony

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Planning and carrying out a wedding is no small feat. It’s stressful, time-consuming, emotionally draining, and can bring out the worst in people—it even breaks some couples up. So, it’s no surprise that some couples would just rather not have a big wedding. But, as far as wedding planning breaking couples up, can I just say that…those couples were headed for a split either way. Planning a wedding presents a couple with a challenge, to be sure, but it’s important that couples can overcome challenges together. I can promise you life will throw harder things at your relationship than wedding planning so at the very least, you should be able to survive that. Now, if your resistance to planning a wedding has nothing to do with fear that it will break you up but you just don’t want one…maybe reconsider. Not everyone has to have (or can even afford) a massive, $50,000 wedding. But even something small—all your friends in your yard for a BBQ and witnessing of the vows—can be very satisfying. Meanwhile, having a shotgun wedding can leave you feeling disappointed. Here are reasons you may regret having a shotgun wedding.


You deprive your parents of the joy

You will likely break your parents’ hearts. Even if you invite them and it’s just you, them, and the person ordaining the ceremony, they’ll still feel sad. Most parents dream of throwing a real wedding for their child. You just stole that from them. You may think this is my day and not theirs—but that won’t put off the deep sadness you may wind up feeling, when you see their sadness.


No gifts

People tend to give wedding gifts if there is an actual wedding. The gift is sort of the ticket a guest pays for the open bar and dinner they’ll receive. If friends and family won’t get that, they may not give you a gift. You could miss out on thousands of dollars in goods and cash.


But you’ll give gifts

Don’t forget that even if you don’t have a wedding, you’ll still attend many. You’ll shell out thousands of dollars on gifts for other peoples’ weddings. Then you’ll find yourself thinking, “Damn. I should’ve had a wedding so they’d pay me back in gifts.”


Barely any photos or video

The documentation will be minimal. You may not care now but, as you get older, and friends, your kids and your grandkids, want to see photos or video from your wedding, you’ll be a little embarrassed to show them what you’ve got. Which is nearly nothing.


Missing those out-of-town visitors

A wedding provides an opportunity for all the people you love and perhaps barely get to see to come together. Friends and loved ones from around the world might show up for your wedding. It’s really the only time in your life all of those people come together. But you don’t get that if you have a shotgun wedding.


Your in-laws may resent you

Your in-laws may wind up resenting you. They can feel as if your desire for a shotgun wedding represents your level of love and commitment to their son—which seems low when you marry in a Vegas chapel, with eight other couples in line behind you waiting to do the same.


What about grandma?

If you have any grandparents left, it’s quite possible the only reason they’re still holding on is to see you get married. I’m sorry if that’s dark but I know of a lot of grandparents who said to their grandbabies, after their weddings, “Now I can happily go.” Are you going to take that away from granny?


People forget you’re married

Having a wedding is about much more than just the wedding day—for the months leading up to it you’re taking engagement photos, having showers, sending out announcements, and posting social media photos about the wedding planning. People get it—you’re getting married. If you have a shotgun wedding, people tend to miss the fact that you got married. They still consider your husband your boyfriend.


Maybe your love deserves more

You may wind up feeling like you dishonored your bond with your partner. It’s large, deep, life changing, and transformative. Doesn’t it deserve more than a 15-minute ceremony at a courthouse?


You only get one

You only get one wedding (hopefully). This is your chance to have a huge day that celebrates your love. This is your chance to have everyone you love celebrate your union. You can’t really decide, later, that you want a re-do on your shotgun wedding. Nobody will show up.


It’ll be a sour conversation point

You want the topic of your wedding to be one that provokes smiles and tears of joy. But, instead, it may be a sour point of conversation for the rest of your life—at least with family. If an innocent outsider asks about your wedding day, the table will grow awkwardly silent.


It’s embarrassing for your parents

It is a bit embarrassing for your parents to tell friends who ask them (constantly, I assure you) if you’re getting married, that you already did—and didn’t have a wedding.


Your friends miss out

Your friends want to celebrate you! They want the bridal shower and the bachelorette party. They want to help you seal save the date envelopes. They want to be bridesmaids.


Wedding anniversary?

Celebrating your wedding anniversary will feel a little…sad. You won’t reminisce on some magical day. What will you talk about? The cold cement walls of the courthouse?


You may feel you cheated yourself

You could just wind up feeling like you missed out on a life milestone. At the end of one’s life, a person has flashbacks of important moments—the wedding usually stands out—and you won’t have that.

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