Tag Archives: decisions

weddingmoon.

9 Oct

My fiancé and I don’t have a huge wedding budget.  Of course we’re grateful for whatever my parents contribute.  We figured we could subsidize the money we’re being given with our own savings, and so we pushed the date back by a year to give us more time.  The idea here was that a cheap wedding isn’t worth it, because even a cheap wedding is expensive for what it is.  Crappy food, lots of uncomfortable people, tired traditions, and…to prove what?  No.  If I was going to have a ‘traditional’ wedding, i.e. in the states with the traditional format of ceremony/reception, it would have to be classy.

Doing my internship at a museum, I see the wedding setups frequently.  I’ve always loved museums, history, and artifacts.  I’ve always wanted to work at a museum.  Some of my greatest memories took place at the Louvre, British Museum, and countless others.  They are the happiest places on earth to me.  So it naturally follows that I’d want a wedding at one.  I saw a photo of a couple that recently got married in the Egyptian hall at the Penn Museum. As soon as I saw that photo, I knew that I would never be satisfied with our initial plans to get married at a hotel by our alma mater.  Although new and beautiful, that venue has no character and certainly didn’t say anything about us as individuals.  No.  Nothing can compare to the drama and history of the Egyptian hall.

The problem with changing our plans is that our budget (even with us adding to it) wouldn’t get us the Penn Museum.  I suspect.  See, I didn’t even check pricing because it would just be masochistic.  We can’t afford it and I know it.  Now there’s another dilemma.  If I can’t have the wedding of my ‘dreams’ with our budget no matter what, do I really want to subject my fiancé and I to an entire YEAR of scrimping and scrapping so we could grow the budget even minimally?  No.  I love my friends and family, but working an entire year for one day just isn’t practical to me anymore.  And this is the moment I realized I was either seriously depressed or just plain growing up.  A and I have been on our own for going on three years, doing it mostly alone.  We don’t have inheritances, parents who pay rent for us, impossibly high-paying jobs, and to top it all off, since I’m in grad school we’re only adding to our debt.  How can we make it worse for ourselves?

Does anyone know where I’m going with this?

Destination wedding.

I’ve used it as a punch line for wedding planning jokes since both of my parents got remarried in Vegas.  It’s been the fall back idea.  And everyone laughs.  But maybe this isn’t a joke.  Maybe this is the only option.  This way we could have a wedding in a beautiful backdrop, have someone else do all the organizing for us, and even stay for a honeymoon (which we couldn’t afford if we did the big-cheap wedding).

As soon as I started to seriously consider getting married on an island at an all-inclusive, I felt a huge weight off my shoulders.  I felt genuinely relieved and excited. And A was all for it.  Both my parents seemed ok with it. too.  The next day, though, my mom started to get worried – was this what I really wanted?

Well, no.  I want to get married at the Penn Museum with ancient history at my back.  But that’s impossible.  If I can’t have that?  I want this.  I want Jamaica, St. Lucia, Antigua.  It’s right for her to wonder and question.  That’s her job as my mother.  No matter how unexpected, though, I think it’s the only responsible decision A and I could make for ourselves.  The wedding day is fleeting.  The debt is not.

Most importantly, no matter what kind of a wedding day we have, it will always end in a marriage.  That’s what it’s all about.

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