How we ditched our expensive wedding plans to travel the world

Reports say that the average cost of a wedding is 30.000$. Have you ever asked yourself how much traveling a couple can do with that amount of money? We did.

How we ditched our expensive wedding plans to travel the world

There's the big white puffy dress, the flowers, the fancy food and of course, the hundred plus guests you have to invite. And then there's the champagne. Besides the financial part, there's the whole organization. All these days and nights you'll spend planning the best day of your life with your better half. Trying to please everybody -which is a nonsense. Even with only 30 guests: NOT possible. You will NEVER be able to make everyone happy. 

So exciting, yet so stressful and time-consuming. Then comes the D day, where time flies -so much you feel like it was just a dream. When we started to plan our magical day, we just asked ourselves -does it really worth it?

planning a dream life vs a dream day

December 2013. After a couple of years traveling together, we decide to get married before our big move to Hong Kong. As lots of expatriates, first, it was a way to make things easier. Oh, and there was a little bit of love as well. Anyway, we had only 4 weeks and little savings to plan our wedding. For some, it would have been a nightmare. For us? It was a way to make things muuuch easier! Are we really going to plan our wedding in one month? Oh, hell yeah!

Once again, improvisation happened to be the best plan

Guest? 30, not one more. Place? The only city hall that will accept to marry us three days after New Year's Eve. Outfits? Done in one day. Rings? None. Flowers? None. Music? The restaurant's usual Saturday night playlist. Wedding night? A modest little hotel with a view on the Arc the Triomphe. The day after? A brunch in Montmartre, then a flight to Hong Kong. Done, done and done. Now let's get married.

How we ditched our expensive wedding plans to travel the world

As our guests list only included our closest friends and family, everybody was here -even in such a short notice. It was simple, beautiful, and better than anything I could ever have dreamed of. I was getting married to my best friend, what more could I ask for? More flowers? More bubbles? How could that have made the day any more perfect?

Once settled in Hong Kong, we started to plan the "real wedding", the one we promised everyone we'd do once we'd have more time and finances. So began the search for a venue, a band, a dress, a caterer, a date... But somehow it didn't feel right. We were just starting our new life in Asia, and we realized all we could think about was our next trip in Japan. Then in Nepal. How to make the most of our time in this fascinating continent. Nothing could get us more excited than that. 

We soon realized that a traditional wedding would be a terribly time -and money- consuming affair, so we decided to back out our plans and start to write the list of our dreams.

Just out of curiosity -like when you ask yourself what you'd do if you'd win the lottery tomorrow- we asked ourselves what we could we do with all that money and that time. For fun.

How we ditched our expensive wedding plans to travel the world

the bucketlist: what we could do with all that time & money

We sat in our apartment and started to write down all these old dreams we had that appeared like such amazing things to do they couldn't ever become real. We were just starting our life together so the list soon became longer and longer...

Skydiving together >> Done during our road trip in Mauritius
Trekking in the Nepalese Himalayas>> Done, in Langtang Valley
Photographing Bo Kaap >> Done, and fell in love with Cape Town
Learning how to kitesurf (G)  >> Done in Hong Kong + kitesurf trips in Okinawa, Mauritius, South Africa
Do a roadtrip in Canada >> Coming soon !
Skiing in Japow's legendary powder >> Done, done and done during our road trips in Hokkaido & Honshu
Get on an helicopter ride >> Done in Hong Kong
Visit the Little Potala (M) >> Done during our road trip in Yunnan
Go back to New York (M) >> Done and loved it so much
Discover what good sushis really are >> Done in Tokyo
Go on a Robinson Crusoe trip >> Done in the Similan Islands
Swim with manta rays >> Done in Nusa Lembongan
Get lost in Angkor temple >> Done and felt like Indiana Jones
See Tibet, surf in Hawaii, dive in Raja Ampat, see whales in their natural habitat, do the Burning Man, meet the penguins in Antarctica, hike in Chile, and the list goes on... We're far from being done!

What we did instead : living the life

There's no way to be happy AND make everyone happy. Pleasing everyone actually hides who you really are. So why bother let your dreams be dreams? Your ONLY limit is you.

Of course, three years later, our families got it -there will never be a "real wedding". Instead, they see us happy, we've traveled with them in Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Australia and New York. And if we do the calculation, as we mostly travel on a budget, after these three amazing years on the road, we still haven't reached the amount we would have spend on that big day.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.
— Helen Keller