When we're planning our weddings, it can be easy to get caught up in the pressure to plan the wedding of somebody else's dreams. The truth is, the control is largely in our own hands. We have to enter into the process consciously. Of course there will be lots of conversation, conversion, and compromise needed. But at the end of the day, the vision, values, taste, and preferences embodied in our weddings should be ours, not everyone else's.
Books like One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding or this article (thanks, Sophie!) can be get places to turn to for a reminder that there are real economic forces at work trying to persuade us to have more and more expensive weddings. The truth of the matter is that the things we purchase for our weddings may or may not be connected to our more authentic reasons for getting married: community, connection, commitment, and fun. The choice is ours, and we can make those choices consciously.