Some people seem to think that weddings and prudence cannot go together. A wedding has to be BIG ... even if there's no money to pay the bills for the froth and flash.
I've heard tales of young couples maximising their credit cards just to pay for one reception at a hotel because they wanted to impress people. But will their financial troubles later on impress those same people? I've even heard of grooms borrowing money from Ah Longs (moneylenders who charge extortionate rates in exchange for no-questions-asked loans). What on earth happened to the common sense normally found in every human being?
What is the point in looking impressive for one night and suffering for countless years later?
What is the point in borrowing money you cannot pay back from moneylenders (and risk broken limbs) or money from relatives (and risk broken relationships) or money from colleagues (and risk losing support at work)?
For a Christian, the most important part of the wedding should be the MASS. Where the couple promises their troth to each other in front of God. That is where the emphasis should be. Then afterwards, guests can be invited to a small brunch or a big dinner (depending on available budget in your own pocket, not someone else's!).
If a relative complains, saying that one should throw a big bash to uphold the pride of the clan, then ask that relative to sponsor the big bash that is so important for the pride of the clan. If one is lucky, he may fork out a few thousand.
Then the couple can focus time, energy and resources to the creation and maintenance of a strong family.
But I understand, what may seem to be a simple Math problem is actually a complicated emotional issue. It may take a strong personality to withstand the perceived expectations of society. Well, one will need a strong personality to face enraged Ah Longs and upset relatives, won't one? So would it really matter in the end?
I suppose it's a matter of 'Choose Your Poison'. Die by 'Conservative Wedding Memories' or by 'Exciting Financial Ruin' :P