I remember back in high school, my friends and I would sit around the lunch table and ask each other about our dream weddings.
We’d fantasise about what people would call the biggest day of our lives over sips of iced Milo and bites of oily canteen food.
One of my friends wanted her wedding to be in a garden, with roses surrounding her and fairy lights hanging above.
Another drew inspiration from an article she had read online about a couple’s underwater wedding.
As for me, I had always wanted a beach wedding because my aunt had one in Penang, and it was beautiful.
Meeting the man of our dreams and walking down the aisle towards him in the dress of our dreams was something that got us excited about the future.
I even designed my dress in my mind – high-low hem, strapless, no laces.
It felt magical at the time. But now, I am a working 25-year-old who’s been to her fair share of weddings and who’s facing the realities of a world far removed from dreamland.
So I have decided I do not want a wedding when the time comes for me to get married. Here are seven reasons why:
1. I Have No Money
From the perfect venue right down to the perfect pair of earrings to go with the perfect dress, weddings have to be perfect.
Depending on how extravagant the wedding is, it is no surprise for Malaysians to spend around RM100,000 on the occasion.
While I’m still years away from my ideal age of marriage, looking at my bank account now, I’m wondering how I am able to save that much.
Sure, I’ve heard of people taking out loans for their weddings. Others had their parents pitch in.
But as someone who refuses to owe anyone anything, borrowing money is a big “No” for me.
Besides, weddings can sometimes seem like a public display of wealth where people constantly try to outdo each other.
From big ballroom dinners at fancy hotels to garden luncheons with performances by Chinese acrobats, I cannot afford to compete for ‘Wedding of the Year’, nor am I interested in doing so.
2. Even If I Did Have Money, I’d Spend It Elsewhere
You might be thinking, “Okay, but you do know that you can have your wedding on a budget, right?”
Sure, we’ve heard of people who have kept it simpler and had their weddings for RM10,000 or even less.
Of course it can be done but to me, a few thousand ringgit is still money that I’d rather spend on travelling.
I find it more meaningful to see the world with my special someone than spend a night parading around, greeting guests, and barely having the chance to eat a dinner I paid for.
If not on catching the Northern Lights in Iceland or wandering the streets of Rome, my future husband and I could use the money on our new home.
We could use it for the down payment or a higher-quality mattress to rest on each night, side by side as Mr. and Mrs.
3. Weddings Are Expensive for Family and Friends Too
Weddings are not only expensive for you. It’s expensive for your guests.
None of my friends are married yet, but I’m looking at people going to four weddings a month and I’m wondering how they can afford the red packets.
At a minimum, the red packet rate for KL weddings is RM100.
With the many financial commitments we have today, from paying rent to car instalments, RM100 is quite a lot for a dinner.
To me, this puts pressure on guests and, in a way, alienates those who cannot afford it.
Apart from red packets, many other things result in unnecessary money spent: suits and dresses, matching accessories, and even a trip to the salon or nail parlour.
4. I Am Not Big on Traditions
By that, I mean I don’t really understand them. And in all honesty, nor do I care for them.
There’s the exchange of gifts between the bride’s and groom’s families, the loud firecrackers, and not forgetting the elaborate tea ceremony where you kneel before the elders to receive your red packets.
Forgive me, but I do not see the need for such practices. To me, it is all a show put on for tradition’s sake.
5. I Am Not a Fan of Socialising
I’m your textbook introvert.
Growing up, I used to avoid parties because I was sure I was going to be the loner kid in the corner.
Today, I’d rather stay in and watch Netflix than go out with my boyfriend and his friends.
They’re nice and all, but I still find it hard to strike up conversations with people I am not close to and more often than not, I’d stay quiet until someone asks me a question.
I just can’t help it.
So it would almost be like a living nightmare if I had to go from table to table, drinking and socialising with guests, half of whom I might not even know.
Imagine how much energy that would take!
6. It Is So Much Stress
Ever heard of the term ‘bridezilla’? Yeah, I don’t want to be that.
Weddings take months and months to plan. Even if I were to keep it simple, as a bit of a perfectionist, I might not be able to handle the planning.
I still have to find the right dress, hire an affordable yet skilled photographer, work out seating arrangements…What else?
I have to send out tasteful invitation cards, think about decorations, choose flowers — the list goes on!
I doubt the unavoidable disagreements among my partner, my parents, and me, and countless sleepless nights deciding between two similar shades of white, is worth it.
7. It Should Be About the Marriage
If you really think about it, why do we have weddings?
I’ve been to weddings of people I’ve never spoken a word to in my life. Yet, I’m there at the supposedly most special day of their lives.
How special can it be when you’re sharing it with strangers?
At the end of the day, it should be about the union of two people in marriage, and what you have with the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with.
It should be about the special bond you hold, and not the dress you’re going to wear or the flowers on the table.
With all that said, I do understand the joy that comes with celebrating your marriage with the important people in your life.
So when the time comes for me to get married, I would choose to have my closest family and friends present at my Registry of Marriage.
Small, simple, and sweet. No frills, no fuss. I can’t say for sure how my parents and especially, my future parents-in-law would feel about a wedding-less marriage, but I’m hoping they would understand my choice.
After all, if there’s no wedding, they wouldn’t need to worry about dowry.
Isn’t that a win-win?
Do you prefer a large, lavish wedding or a quiet, simple ceremony? Let us know in the comments!
For more stories about weddings, read My Friend Was a Bridezilla – and It Almost Ruined Her Wedding and The Day I Decided to Get Married (Beautifully) Under RM9,000.