Many people have a concept of their dream wedding—maybe a gorgeous ceremony by a lake with all your closest friends and relatives and a reception that continues well into the night. However, not everyone dreams of having a wedding.
If you want to have a wedding, but your fiancé does not share the same sentiments, it can feel like an impossible impasse.
Some convincing arguments to make while you talk to your partner about getting married include: weddings being a unique celebration of love; weddings being a source of lifelong memories; and weddings not needing to be grand and expensive to be unforgettable.
Below are seven reasons why people would want a wedding, which can help you convince your partner to at least compromise with you regarding the celebration. Speaking of compromise, a guide for what to do if your fiancé does not want a wedding is also provided.
Convincing Arguments Worth Exploring for Having a Wedding
1. It is a unique celebration of your love and your relationship.
When talking to your fiancé who does not want a wedding, start by emphasizing that weddings are more than just a formal event. It is a celebration of your love, your relationship, and your journey up to this point.
Weddings mark the beginning of a new chapter of your life—united as a married couple and as one big family.
2. You will create memories of a lifetime.
Weddings are a magical event. A lot of work goes into planning a smooth timeline, creating an itinerary, finding the right vendors, and so on. Couples prioritize the entertainment, comfort, and enjoyment of their guests as much as any other aspect.
Years down the line, you will remember the competitiveness of your guests during games, the scrumptiousness of the food, the romance of the dances, the tears shed during the speeches, and more. Hopefully, no family drama ensues at your ceremony or reception. Regardless, these will all make for amazing stories to tell your children in the future.
3. You do not need a big, fancy wedding.
When talking about dream weddings, most people immediately think about receptions with 300 guests, floor-length gowns, a $50,000+ budget, and so on—in short, a very grand wedding, the type you might see published in a magazine or posted on Pinterest.
However, reassure your fiancé that you do not need all of that. Your wedding is yours. You can have it as intimate, as boisterous, as luxurious, or as budget-friendly as you both want it to be.
4. Weddings do not always break the bank.
Speaking of being budget-friendly, a common misconception about weddings is that you need to spend a lot to have a good time. That is simply not true.
It is possible to have the wedding of your dreams with $5,000, $3,000, or even less. Circling back to the argument above, customize your weddings by prioritizing certain aspects—think food and photography—and doing away with others—such as live entertainment and brand-new attire.
5. It is a chance for your families and friends to get to know each other.
As people say, marriage unites not only a couple but also their families and friends.
Over the years, you may have introduced your close circles and hung out with them. You may have invited them to your pre-wedding parties, too.
However, the ceremony and reception will allow everyone you and your partner treasure—whether or not they belong to your close circle—to socialize, get to know each other, and bond.
6. Planning a wedding is a bonding experience.
The process of planning a wedding can take up to several months. It involves a lot of meetings, traveling to various places, and talking to professionals.
Treat all these tasks as mini-dates. Savor your time tasting cakes, planning menus, choosing your attire, going on photoshoots, and so on.
7. Planning a wedding will strengthen your relationship.
Again, wedding planning can take months. There will be highlights—like the abovementioned cake tastings and meetings with your caterers—but there will also be stressful moments.
Inevitably, you will get into arguments and disagreements. You might not agree on color schemes, schedules, and so on. You have to work through these differences and reach a consensus—or compromises—which will only make your relationship more resilient.
What to Do if Your Fiancé Doesn’t Want a Wedding: Guide and Tips
Have Patient and Open-Minded Conversations
Before anything else, hear your fiancé out—why exactly does he not want a wedding? There is a wide variety of possible reasons why not, including:
- Financial insecurity
- Potential stress from wedding planning
- Fear of judgment from family and friends
- Discomfort with public displays of affection
- Discomfort with being the center of attention
- Complex or strained family relationships
- Trauma from previous weddings
- Environmental concerns
- Conflicting personal or cultural beliefs
- Being at different stages in life
- Having different priorities at the moment (e.g., travel, career, personal projects)
- A deep-seated fear of commitment
- Not ready for marriage (for whatever reason)
Go into these conversations with patience and an open mind. You might feel personally hurt or confused, but try not to let your emotions overwhelm you. Instead, just listen; let this guide you to figure out how to move forward.
Find a Compromise
Once you know the reason, you can start figuring out what to do if your fiancé does not want a wedding. Sometimes, it is all about finding a compromise.
If your partner is conscious of your finances, try to go for a lowkey, intimate, or budget-friendly ceremony. Decide which aspects you want to spend more on and which aspects you could do away with.
If your partner is uncomfortable with public displays of affection or being the center of attention, consider limiting your guest list, eloping, or even having no guests. A destination wedding, though more expensive, will automatically limit the number of guests at your celebration.
You can also exclude certain traditions at your reception, especially those that put them in the spotlight—think the garter toss, any speeches, or groom-focused games.
If your partner does not want the stress of planning a wedding, let them have a minimal role in the process. Hire a wedding planner and work with them.
As you try to work around your partner’s reason, do not forget your priorities and preferences. Find a middle ground that will satisfy both you and your fiancé.
After hearing your partner out, share why you want to have a wedding and why it is so important to you. Besides the convincing arguments listed above, you may have more personal reasons—such as familial or cultural expectations.
If possible, be clear about your priorities for the ceremony and reception; in other words, what are your must-haves? This might make it easier for you and your fiancé to find a compromise.
Consider a Longer Engagement
There is nothing wrong with prolonging your engagement. In fact, that is more practical in some situations.
This can give you more time to combine savings and put together a bigger budget for your wedding.
If you have other major changes or milestones going on, such as a big move or a deployment, you can wait for the right time and opportunity to get married.
Explore Couples Therapy or Counseling
Worrying about what to do if your fiancé does not want a wedding can be a major source of stress and distress. Likewise, these disagreements may also be causing strain in your relationship.
At this point, you may want to sign up for couples therapy or marriage counseling. Talking to a professional will help you find compromises, work through differences, gain healthy coping mechanisms, and overcome the challenges you are facing.
As you discuss your differing views on marriage, your counselor or therapist might also parse out any deeper contrasts in outlooks, beliefs, and so on. It is better to catch these differences early on in your relationship.
Therapy or counseling may also address lingering trauma from past relationships or a fear of commitment, which are reasons why your fiancé does not want a wedding.
All in all, regardless of whether or not your fiancé wants a wedding, participating in couples therapy or counseling is an excellent idea to strengthen your relationship. Ultimately, the goal is to understand each other better.
Respect Their Boundaries
At the end of the day, you must acknowledge your fiancé’s boundaries and comforts. Pushing them too hard or forcing them to have a wedding when they do not want to will only cause resentment between the two of you.
Reevaluate Your Views on Wedding Together
Since there is a fundamental mismatch in the way you and your fiancé view a wedding, it is worth seriously reevaluating your views on weddings and their significance. Moreover, talk about your expectations and priorities as a couple.
Go for an Alternative to a Wedding
With that said, civil weddings are always an option. It does not have to be a spectacle; go to the venue, be married by a legal official, sign the necessary paperwork, and call it a day.
You can find a different way to celebrate your union. Here are some ideas for a new tradition in place of a ceremony or reception:
- A simple dinner with your family and close friends
- Travel to a state or country on your bucket list
- Have a cross-country road trip
- A vow renewal sometime down the line
- Work with a photographer for a photo shoot and post it on social media
- An “afterparty” with a small guest list
- Do some community service together
- Plant a tree or another native plant (also an amazing idea for anniversaries!)
Look Out for the Red Flags
An important but often unrecognized part of what to do if your fiancé does not want a wedding is to look out for red flags. It is one thing not to want a wedding; it is a completely different thing to be hostile or judgmental toward you.
Most of the time, couples can work through these differences. For example, a partner might initially be hesitant to start the planning process but, over time, starts to enjoy it and participate more. Alternatively, you might be able to find a compromise that satisfies both of you.
However, that is not always the case; the differences might seem irreconcilable. Here are some red flags you should look out for during this process:
- Refusing to discuss alternatives and find compromises
- Consistently avoiding the topic of weddings and the future in general
- Dismisses your feelings
- Judges you or questions your desire for a wedding
- Diminishes the importance of weddings for you (e.g., calling it ‘no big deal’)
- Lacks transparency on financial matters or being irresponsible with finances
- Prioritizes his family’s or friends’ opinions and insights over yours
- Continuously makes and breaks promises
- Makes decisions behind your back or without your input
- Guilts or pressures you into making decisions that benefit his priorities
- Shows abusive behavior (e.g., physical, mental, financial)
It is worth stressing that not wanting a wedding is not a red flag by itself; rather, it is how your fiancé handles the disagreement and behaves through it all that is worth observing. His actions and behavior will reveal the health of your relationships and your future.
With that said, if you see these red flags during your engagement, it might be time to look into couples therapy or counseling. In extreme cases, such as the last three bullets, breaking off the engagement might be the best—and safest—choice for you.
Again, it is understandable for some people not to want a wedding. They have their reasons for feeling that way. Do not approach this situation confrontationally. Instead, be kind, compassionate, and understanding.
On the one hand, this can be a challenge that, if navigated well, could make your partnership stronger and better. On the other hand, it can expose unhealthy parts of your relationship, revealing the need for other solutions.
If your fiancé does not want a wedding, work toward understanding why that is the case and what you can do in terms of compromise. Make each other happy; forget about everyone else and what they expect of you.