One of my favorite blog, A Cup of Jo, recently posted the sweetest small wedding ever. It reminded me so much about our wedding two years ago. It was simple and sweet and stress-free – just an amazing day focusing on each other.

I am a sucker for low-key and small weddings – they are personal, intimate, and hold the best memory over years. They can be done tastefully on a low budget and with minimal stress. Lots of our friend got married in the past a few years, and all of them had traditional, big weddings that involve a year or two of planning. Reception halls, catering, big dress, flowers, cake, photographer, bridemaids, and parties after parties leading to eventually the big party. It works if all the friends and relatives live reasonably close. But in our case it would have been a disaster – both of our families are overseas, and in different countries. e just moved cross the States, so all of our good friends live in the other coast. No matter where we planned to have our wedding – China, Poland, or California, we would have to fly 2/3 people internationally, with language barrier, plus visa issues.

Then how do immigrant family usually do it? Their way of dealing with weddings is to have two weddings, each with one side of the family in their home country/location. The wedding couple and their parents are the only ones who fly around. We could potentially do it, but it doubles the cost of weddings, and would have made wedding planning a living hell. Only thinking about these made us feel stressed.

When we actually sit down and talk about marriage, we asked ourselves, what kind of wedding do we want to have? And our answers were surprisingly straightforward – not at all. We just want to get married.

We do not want to be the center of attention. We do not want our date to be restricted to when we can book some venue. We do not want to spend the first day as a couple entertaining others.  We wanted just us, being silly and happy and give our full attention to each other.

So the decision is made – we are going to a courthouse and get some photos afterwards. To simplify things, we only told friends afterwards, but we called our family first. All our families were amazingly supportive. Except hubby’s mom who really wanted to be here with us, none of our family insisted to present at our wedding. So all the sudden, we were able to plan any wedding we wanted. So … we sat down and planned it in one evening!

Every decision became so easy when there were only two people to satisfy. And it was so amazing to find out that we were so aligned together. When? ASAP. Hubby’s 31st birthday was in a month, so we decided to do it on the last day in his 30s. Where? We have no choice but to go to a certain courthouse serves our district. Court house of course. How much time off? His birthday was Friday so we decided to take Thursday off for the wedding and his birthday off so we could have a four-day weekend together. Rings? We are both strongly against diamond industry so we went on Ebay and bought two black tungsten carbide bands for $30 + free shipping. We also did not want to kill flowers on our wedding day, so we ordered a small artificial bouquet off Ebay as well. Hubby already had formal attire. And we booked a local photographer for an hour. $200 and two hours later, we had everything we wanted for a small wedding. It felt incredible – like we fell in love all over again while picking everything together. The connection between us was the very reason we wanted to marry each other. 🙂

The following week we got the marriage license during a lunch break and I got my dress from Macy’s for $80. We had nothing to do for the wedding except waiting for it to happen! The morning of our wedding day, my mother-in-law and I went to a hair salon to blow dry our hair. We did not say anything about the wedding until we got there and everyone in the store got so excited and did our makeup for free! It felt crazy and wild. 🙂 After getting our hair done, my mother-in-law and I waited at the curbside for hubby to pick us up. We joked that if he had have run away, he could have reached Virginia by then. So we just started laughing. Hubby was terrified to see his mother and soon-to-be wife laughing by the curb with tears running down our face with our eye liners. LOL. We all started giggling in the car while driving to the courthouse and it is the best memory ever!

We also brought our dog to the wedding – we wanted her to be in our photoshoot after the wedding, and more importantly, she had very bad separation anxiety and we just did not want to go home to shredded pillows. Of course she had to wait in the car, and it is July. So hubby left the air conditioning running with the door locked, ran into the court and told the judge “our dog was in the car please marry us as quickly as you could”. The judge was not prepared for such rush so he married us in two minutes – it was so ridiculous  and this was exactly the man I wanted to marry!

After a quick exchanging of “I do” and the rings we went to a nearby lake and took our first photo as a family. We called our family overseas, and everyone was happy for us. Then we went to our favorite brunch place and had pancakes for lunch, went home and napped until dinner time- it was such a perfect day and we would not have it any other way.

I often hear people ask married couple “what would you do differently if you got married again?” I guess I would like to have my parents there with us, so we could have had some nice family photo together. I am sure that my mom would have loved that. It was also a perfect opportunity for our parents to meet each other – something still yet to happen! But other than that, I would totally have it exactly the same way.

If you have had your wedding, how would you do it differently? What was the best part of it to you personally? If your wedding day is still yet to come, how do you want it to be?