‘Cancelling my wedding reception a month before the big day was the best decision I made.’

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It’s time to be brutally honest and come clean to those 150 guests who received my abrupt “the reception is cancelled” phone call exactly one month before my wedding day.

Mum, apologies in advance if I offend you. I still love you to death but you made that month leading up to my wedding super difficult. As did a lot of other people, in which I will get to.  

My now-husband proposed to me in 2014 and we were married last November. The good news, is that we made it through the wedding and came out stronger on the other side. The bad news is it was one of the most horribly stressful experiences of my life, and I will never ever get married again.

"It took me two years of being engaged to even begin thinking about planning the wedding." (Image: Supplied)

From the beginning, I wanted to elope as I have never really thought about a big wedding let alone ever dreamt of having one like a lot of other girls I know. It took me two years of being engaged to even begin thinking about planning the wedding. The pressure from everyone came roughly a month after Brad popped the question. “When is the big day? Have you started looking for a dress yet?” This went on for months until it turned into “Why haven’t you started planning your wedding? You are taking your time, aren’t you?” If you were one of those people hounding me with questions – you suck. Anyway, finally, I started to plan the wedding. It started off fine, we were taking our time looking at venues. We decided we would have the ceremony in our local church and the reception at my in-law’s property in Menangle. So, this meant, doing everything myself. From arranging a marquee, finding a caterer and literally everything in between. Hello stress!

I probably should mention that I work full time and travel around the country each month producing Supercar events. So, trying to fit a wedding in amongst all the working and travelling just added to the stress.

Somehow, I managed to pull all the pieces together. I even had the dress! But at what cost? My mental health was suffering, I was stressed and anxious all the time. My skin was breaking out. It also put a huge strain on my husband and my relationship. We were fighting more than ever, about everything and anything. I wasn’t sleeping and was spending most of my time in the office where I didn’t have to think about the wedding.

LISTEN: The woman excluded from a bridal party because of her weight...(Post continues after audio.)

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One night, as I made my regular commute from the office to my home, I thought to myself, “Why the hell are you stressing over a wedding that you didn’t even really want in the first place?” Then it came to me. I was 100 per cent doing this wedding for all the wrong reasons. I didn’t want a huge party. I wanted to marry the man of my dreams the way I wanted and not the way society told me to. So, when I got home, I told my husband that I couldn’t go through with this big wedding as the whole thing was so fake and it wouldn’t make me happy. Being the amazing, genuine person he is, Brad told me to do whatever made me happy and we agreed that we will cancel the entire reception.

Yes, we lost a chunk of money, but it was worth it!

We spent a week calling everyone and telling them that there would be no party after the wedding. That we were still having a ceremony but that was it. We told everyone we did not want gifts, that we just wanted their company for the ceremony. We basically said, if you could take 45 minutes out of your day to watch us say our vows, that would be great. We did not explain why, because we felt it wasn’t really anyone’s business. Of course, the rumours spread, but we ignored them. Most people were amazingly supportive and understanding. My mum started with the waterworks because her last born wasn’t having a traditional wedding, but she soon got over it.

The minute we cancelled the reception, I felt an instant weight lift off my shoulders. I felt like me again. Not this crazy, obsessive, controlling Courtney that I was the past few months. It was an amazing feeling! My relationship with my fiancé was instantly better, we stopped fighting, and I just felt a whole lot happier.

Our wedding day was perfect. We were married at St Mary's Towers, and straight after Brad and I, along with a couple of our closest friends, got a car into Sydney and had cocktails at Opera Bar. That was it! I changed from wedding gown into a casual dress and sat with my closest friends drinking cocktails and chatting. No speeches, no first dance, no throwing of the flowers – nothing.

And I don’t regret it for a second.

My advice to anyone going through the struggles I went through? You certainly aren’t alone. Weddings suck. And you aren’t crazy for not wanting the big party that everyone else has. Do what makes you happy and never forget what’s important!

How did you make your wedding 'your own'?

For more from Courtney Love, you can visit her website here.

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