A woman and her husband decided to ditch their plans for a lavish wedding and spend the money on four honeymoons instead.
Yulia Thomas, who works as a luxury travel advisor in New York City, took to TikTok to explain how she and her husband decided to scrap plans for a $15,000 wedding a few years back in what she describes as their “best decision ever.”
Her video, which was posted under the handle luxexperiences, has so far been viewed more than two million times earning praise and sparking much discussion about the stress and expense associated with weddings today. That was certainly the case for Yulia and her fiance.
She says their families were pulling them “in different directions” when it came to planning the finer points of their big day while she “didn’t want to entertain guests and didn’t care for the [wedding] dress.”
Yulia said she was “very anxious prepping for the wedding” and that it was “nothing like what they show in the movies.”
“It was just stress for me and nothing else,” she wrote.
One day, nine months ahead of their wedding, she and her fiance woke up one morning and decided to do away with their grand plans and simply get married that day without any of their family there.
“We called two of our best friends, I ran to the store and bought a $50 white dress and we were married three hours later,” she said, sharing a picture of her alongside her husband on the day.
They then took the money they had ringfenced to spend on the wedding and booked four honeymoons instead. According to Yulia, the happy couple enjoyed trips to Greece, Italy, Hawaii and Morocco with the money they would have otherwise used on their wedding.
She said that while their parents were “a bit disappointed” they told the couple that “all they care about is us being happy.” Writing in the comments section of her video, Yulia said she felt weddings are generally “overwhelmingly overpriced” and urged others to take inspiration from her own experience.
“It’s your life and you should celebrate it however you want,” she said. Her video can be viewed here.
Her story struck a chord with many either planning their own wedding or looking back at their nuptials with a sense of regret at the money spent on the day.
Jacob Henson praised Yulia and her husband for “having the courage” to go through with their plan. “Our families gaslit us and shamed us and so we spent all our money on the wedding and had to budget for the honeymoon,” he said.
Israel Morales20 said more should be done to “normalize not having a wedding if the couple does not want it” while Toretto said they would “100% prefer this.”
“Entertaining people who will complain about the food, DJ, venue etc. no matter how much you spend just isn’t worth it.”
NA, meanwhile, recalled how she had 300 guests at her wedding but “didn’t have time to sit, drink or eat” and found the whole experience “overwhelming.”
“I like the idea of multiple honeymoons,” tiktoker wrote. “It’s about celebrating 2 people not 100.”
Another user, alexandrakaydem, warned of the potential pitfalls of a big money wedding. “A big wedding doesn’t guarantee a happy marriage,” she said. “I know someone who is still paying off her 30k wedding and she’s divorced.”
Others, however, spoke of the drawbacks to such an approach having experienced them firsthand. Lanipunanni warned: “We did it in a similar way and now my family and friends hate me.” Taryn Faith agreed, recalling how their parents “nearly killed us” and that they were “crucified” by friends and family for eloping.
There were some though, like Alexander Hill, who shared similar success stories. “My parents bailed on their big wedding and flew from England to Barbados and got married alone on the beach,” he wrote. “32 years later they are still happy as ever.”
Newsweek has contacted Yulia for comment.
The costs associated with a wedding do appear to be a constant source of concern and debate on social media and beyond.
For example, one bride was recently branded “cheap” after she allegedly charged a guest for indulging in an extra slice of wedding cake.
Another bride-to-be meanwhile earned the wrath of her guests when it emerged that she expected them to pay $5,000 each to attend her wedding.