You desperately want to get married, but planning a wedding during a global pandemic is, well, still not fun. Maybe you’ve postponed it (maybe even multiple times), rescheduled it, or downsized, but if you’re just plain done with the constant change of plans, here are some suggestions of things to do instead of having a big wedding.  Personally, I’m a huge fan of the elopement or intimate microwedding instead and I’ve got five things for you to do with your money instead of holding that massive wedding. And it should go without saying, regardless of your plans, don’t forget the champs!

Lake Tahoe Boat Elopement

Go on your dream trip together.

Take two weeks or a whole month off of work and travel the world. You don’t have to plan every day, even. Take your time and find places you enjoy, stay there awhile before moving on to your next destination—maybe a quaint bed and breakfast on a houseboat in Ireland, a river cruise in the South of France, a wine tour in New Zealand, or a long meditative retreat in Thailand. Better yet, start your trip with your elopement, or elope while you’re on it and enjoy that extended honeymoon you wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise!

Go skydiving together.

Nothing says “I want to spend the rest of my life with you” like taking the big jump. If you’re a thrill seeking couple, this one’s for you. Don’t just look at your nearest skydiving academy, though. Check out destination jumpsites. You can make a trip out of it, and the photos and video footage of your jump will be rad. I don’t recommend trying to exchange vows and rings mid-jump if you’re newbies.

Take a sommelier certification course together.

After my own heart! There’s nothing more romantic than sharing the histories and personal preferences of wine with someone you love. Taking a Level 1 (and maybe even Level 2, if you’re go-getters) introductory certification course. They’re offered in-person and online, and although you have to pass an exam at the end, the pressure is off knowing it’s all about the experience.

Buy a house.

If you’ve been thinking about buying your first home together, why not now? And why not instead of a wedding? Plus, once you’re settled in, you can have a housewarming party + mini wedding celebration. Already have a home together? How about an investment property or a vacation home? These might sound like big commitments, but starting your marriage off on a financially responsible foot sounds more logical than blowing it all on one, big day, if you ask me.

Give your space a makeover. 

Maybe buying a house feels a bit extreme, or you’re just not into that kind of commitment. Giving your current space a complete makeover can be just as satisfying. How ‘bout that backyard hot tub you’ve been wanting? Or fancy bathroom jet tub? Maybe new countertops and appliances, or a wall mural. If you want to revamp your space but don’t know where to start (Pinterest can be overwhelming, and what even is “Farmhemian” anyway?), check out a virtual interior design service, like Modsy or Havenly, that takes the guesswork out of what to buy, where to put it, and what exactly your style is.

Tahoe backyard microwedding

If you’re still wanting to celebrate with friends and family, put a couple thousand aside to host a nice, small dinner celebration at some point.  If you want to downsize to a micro wedding to celebrate with your nearest and dearest, I have some tips here and if you do want to plan a big event regardless, here are three things you should consider in the post-pandemic wedding planning world. I love photographing events, and remember, I fly free so my rates are always all inclusive regardless of the location!