Dating Advice

How to Convince Your Girlfriend to Have a Court Wedding Instead of a Traditional Wedding

(a beautiful city hall wedding from Green Wedding Shoes)

This post again is in response to last week’s post inviting anyone to submit general questions. Thanks for everyone who submitted.

Why it’s hard and sometimes impossible to deter a woman

First, I want to point out that for some women, there is NO convincing them not to have a traditional wedding.

The reason for this is that many women DREAM of their wedding from a young age.

Taking that away isn’t just taking away one day, but an expectation that she has held onto for the majority of her life.

Maybe she’s already even envisioned her dress, what her bridesmaids would wear, her colors, being on a beach or in a garden…

One thing’s for sure, she never envisioned this “dream wedding” in a court house.

Even more so, she may already have collected things for the wedding.

Scary thought huh?

Make sure she cares more about the idea of being MARRIED to you and not having a WEDDING with you

Guys who are reading this may be thinking, Wow, what if I’m just the guy to fit that role of husband JUST so she can have her dream wedding?

That’s definitely something to contemplate.

You want to find out BEFORE you tie the knot whether or not you’re just filling a role or if she really truly does love you.

Another reason why a traditional wedding is important to a woman

Some women do want a traditional wedding, not so much because they’ve dreamed about it all their lives (which, there’s nothing wrong with that), but because it’s a significant event WORTHY of a significant amount of attention.

They don’t want the day to feel like any old day, hence all the fanfare, the pictures, the every little detail that goes into it.

They want all the people they love to bear witness to this day, to share in the celebration, because it IS a big deal, two people becoming a NEW family unit, and two families becoming one.

She may feel it essential for her father(or another significant male) to give her away as a sign that from one umbrella of protection, she is being transferred to another umbrella of protection.

It may also be important to her that the wedding is done by a religious leader and that God is mentioned in the vows.

A father walking a daughter down the aisle with loved ones in view is a significant metaphor for this new change in WHO is this woman’s protector and provider.

Daddy’s no longer in charge of that; he is publicly “giving his daughter away” to a man for him to take on this responsibility as the woman’s protector and provider.

That’s a BIG deal.

So, before I show you how you can convince your girlfriend that you should have a court wedding instead of a traditional wedding, I want you to see the significance of having a traditional wedding.

Traditional weddings

Now, the bad news about traditional weddings?

As you may already know, they can be QUITE expensive.

I’m talking money that could be going towards a down payment on your first home.

I believe the average American wedding costs $25,000!

Nate and I did ours for $6,600, which was STILL above our planned budget, but way below the national average.

It’s funny because both one of my best friends and I didn’t want a traditional wedding but her (ex) husband and my husband both wanted a traditional wedding.

My husband wanted my father to walk me down the aisle and literally “give me away,” and he wanted our families to be present.

Because weddings can be so expensive, I see why many men would rather go the route of a court wedding.

Convincing her to see the benefits of a court wedding

The key to delivering this message to your girl friend is to make sure she knows this:

You want the day to feel significant, and you want her to have all the beautiful things she envisions…

Basically you don’t want to be the reason she doesn’t get her “dream.”

BUT, is there a compromise? Explain how amazing it would be to have that money go towards something like a down payment on your first home.

Or if you don’t have that kind of money, explain,

    “Do we really want to start our marriage with this kind of debt, just for one day of extravagance?”

Ask her, when she thinks of her dream wedding, what are elements that she TRULY doesn’t want to compromise?

Maybe she doesn’t really need the bridesmaids.

But maybe she really wants to spend on the dress.

This whole process is going to be about compromise.

-finding a way to provide her the significant details that she dreams of, and eliminating the things that are “just for show,” or “just to impress other people.”

Because honestly, at the end of the day, if you can’t compromise on this, and if you get the feeling that she wants this big shin dig “just for show” or “just to impress other people” then just know that this could be the beginning of a very SPENDY life, a life with a woman who doesn’t truly value the important things like love, like the fact that this is a commitment for life of two people that love each other, and those frivolous details don’t mean much as long as you two can be together forever.

But again, you want to send this message with the message that you WANT to see her happy, you WANT to give her what she dreams, but there has to be a way to do this without being unwise about spending money.

Maybe she never dreamed a court wedding could be “significant” or “beautiful.”

But it CAN.

Watch this video with her. It’s a beautiful video of a court wedding:

And your job here is to open her eyes to another possible dream that she may not ever have been exposed to. So take a look at “city hall weddings” or “court weddings” in a google or pinterest search. Show her how beautiful, elegant, and memorable a court wedding can be.

Her dad may not be able to give her away (something you may want to find out from the city hall/court) but your closest friends and family can still be there to bear witness.

A wedding can be as expensive or as inexpensive as you make it. Don’t be tied down to a “traditional” or even a “court” wedding. Make it your own, something you both will remember and cherish.

This couple made the cutest video of their wedding on a BIKE!

My suggestion is that you encourage her to get the dress of her dreams (if that is one item that is VERY important to her- or whatever element is important to her), and I HIGHLY suggest if you’re going to spend money anywhere, it’s toward the most amazing photographer you can find.

I highly recommend Max Wanger or Nani Oei (our wedding photographer) because after it’s all said and done, after every guest has left and all you’ve got is a memory, at LEAST you’ll have amazing pictures that will live on with you and for your kids and for your grandkids.

To me, that is a WORTHY investment in this occasion for that reason.

Same thing with video.

So, to sum it all up, you must…

1. Instead of making her feel like you want to take her dream away, your goal is to enlighten her to another possible dream, showing her that a court/city hall wedding can be beautiful and significant.

2. Give her the financial benefits as well as the benefit of not being stressed on her wedding day because you’re keeping it simple.

3. Encourage her to find her dream dress and find out what elements of her “dream wedding” are most significant (those things she does not want to compromise).

4. Tell her you are more than willing to spend for an amazing photographer and videographer (and state the reasons).

5. And above all, you want to distill her fears that having a wedding in city hall will be insignificant and not as beautiful.
Make sure she knows that you want her to have her dream wedding, and you want her to be happy.

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I love thinking about the intricacies of dating, love and life. I share my tiny lessons in the hope that it helps you as you navigate the dating world.

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  1. Bio Chemist

    This is all nice and dandy advice, but its only about convincing a woman to have a courthouse wedding. I’m a woman trying to convince her accountant fiance to have one… and failing miserably. All that money down the drain for 1 single miserable day will never make sense to me… what a waste!

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