Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Who Needs Tradition? (The Reason Behind The Plan)

As some (okay, most) of you know, JB and I have actually been planning this wedding since July. The following paragraphs will explain why.

Earlier this year we started talking about getting married next year. Me, knowing how long it takes to plan a wedding and wanting to have a date with some kind of significance, suggested we look at dates and start figuring out a budget. I mean, we bought a house together and had already talked about marriage, so why not start planning? Who needs a ring?

We decided on July 23rd. It happened to be a Saturday (bonus!!) and since July was the month of our first kiss (awwww) and 23 has been a highly significant number in our lives, it was a great choice. We started looking at venues and figured with the bit of help we would get from my parents, and our tax return, we could make something happen.

Anyone who knows us knows that I am the planner in this relationship. JB is just along for the ride and doesn't make a big deal out of a whole lot. He will definitely say something if he is not on board, which is great, but luckily my ideas aren't that crazy and we have similar tastes. Needless to say I was not surprised at his response when after a day of me watching Platinum Weddings I suggested we do a destination wedding instead. He was totally on board. We figured that since we couldn't afford a wedding and a honeymoon, we would just throw it all together and invite those that wanted to join us, provided they paid for their stay. Not only were we having a wedding, but we were giving our guests (who most likely wouldn't take one otherwise) an opportunity for a couples vacation.

Most of our friends loved the idea, but of course my step-dad thought it was selfish of us to make people pay to come to our wedding (we weren't requiring people to attend, what's the big deal?). After looking into it more and getting pretty set on the idea, a wrench was thrown into our plans. One of JB's good friends, Uwe (they met when he was a German exchange student at their HS), sent us an email on Father's Day. He had proposed to his girlfriend and they were planning to be married on July 16th, 2011.

In Germany.

Since this friend has been to the states for all of the other weddings, JB's friends decided that when the day came that Uwe finally tied the knot, they would all be traveling to Germany for it. Obviously we couldn't afford to go to Germany and have our wedding the next weekend in St. Lucia, nor could any of his other friends that had originally planned to go. We figured we had a couple of options. We could wait until 2012, which I don't think either of us wanted to do, or we could figure out a way to afford a wedding before we left for Germany and use that as our honeymoon.

We decided that the only way could even consider affording it, was to cut the guest list. Our initial guest list for the wedding was 160 people. Any bride knows that the most effective way to cut the cost of the wedding is to reduce the number of people you invite. The issue that caused me the most anxiety was upsetting the people we didn't invite. I have friends from all different areas of my life and most of them have significant others, not to mention a large family, so the numbers add up quickly. I wanted to have a guest list that anyone could look at and say "Okay, it makes sense why those people were there." and avoid the whole "I can't believe so and so got invited and I didn't." issue. Of course that will probably still happen, but now I am at a point where I just don't care. So, by inviting immediate family (parents, siblings, grandparents) and closest friends (aka those that know more about my life than what I post on Facebook) we were able to cut the list down to 65 people.

Am I sad that I won't have my aunts/uncles/cousins/other good friends there with me? Of course. But my financial sense takes a hold of me in this situation. Hopefully if they are as good of a friend as I think they are, they will completely understand. Especially if they have had a wedding themselves. And those that don't get it, will figure it out when they finally do get married. More power to you if money is no object, but that's not the case for us and we have to make sacrifices in order to keep ourselves out of debt and save our future marriage.

So, with our newly chopped guest list, we (read I) started researching venues around the Sacramento, Placer, and Tahoe areas back in June. It was pretty discouraging since the price triples for everything once you mention the word "wedding", but I was finally able to find a venue that fit our needs and our budget. Not to mention it's less than two miles from our house. JB and I went and met with the coordinator and we loved the space and the price, and over an early dinner in their restaurant we decided to go ahead and book it.

We need to leave for Germany on July 6-7, and the holiday weekend was already booked, so we went with June 26, 2011. So much for sentimental value, we need convenience (Although it turns out that June 26th is the day my mom and dad started "going steady". Not sure what to make of that since they have been divorced for 27 years). Since we have such a small number of people, we only need half of the ballroom, so she only charged us half the facility fee. The ceremony and reception will be just steps from one another, which is another bonus as we will avoid transportation costs. We have also booked the photographer, selected most of the other vendors, and I ordered my dress last weekend. It was actually the day before JB officially proposed. Nice timing :)

So, as you can see if you made it all the way through this post, we are saying to hell with tradition...for the most part. We signed the purchase agreement for our house before ever having lived together, let alone being engaged or married, and we planned the wedding before the proposal. Big deal. We are still going to end up in the same place, maybe better.


Unknown said...

Well, whether or not I make the guest list "cut" I am so very happy for you two and I understand completely that weddings are super duper expensive. I wish you two nothing but the best. You know, you could throw a wedding "party" after you get back from Germany at your house or even at a resteraunt or club for those people you could not invite but still want to celebrate your wedding. Just a thought! :-)

Mrs. Awesome said...

Do whatever makes you happy. Not based on what makes other people happy. :)


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