Tag Archives: wedding

i lied.

2 Dec

Two papers and one final exam between me and winter break.  And so much has happened in the interim!  We begin:

  • I have extended my internship at the science museum until May, and am adding Marketing to my repertoire.
  • I changed my hair.  A LITTLE BIT.
  • A and I travelled to Jamestown for a huge family Thanksgiving and I could hardly tear myself away.
  • WE PICKED A WEDDING VENUE.  And it’s in Pennsylvania.  Say what?!

The last two bullets are both biggies, so I’ll save the third bullet for a different post.  Had to gush about finding this venue.  First, while I was fixated on the Penn Museum’s Egyptian Hall for a while, I remembered that, actually, mansions are quite beautiful, as well.  And unlike large archaeological collections, mansions can pop up anywhere.  Including central PA!


The venue is called Lily Manor, a large property that fell to disrepair less than a decade ago.  The fabulous Olga L. and her husband bought it five years ago and renovated it to its current fabulously luxuriant state.  Olga and her family live there, but eight of the suites are used as a bed and breakfast.  In addition to renting the mansion out for weddings, Olga is a talented, full-service wedding planner and interior decorator.  I loved every square inch of this house!

Each room is a different color with rich upholstery and mirrors.  Oh the mirrors!  If I had an unlimited decorating budget and, well, a HOUSE, I would have decorated it exactly the same way.  Exquisite.  The top floor holds the Paris Room, among others.  Maybe that gives a better idea of how perfect this house is for a wedding.  And the wedding party gets the entire manor the entire day of the wedding. I’m giddy just thinking about how the photos will turn out!

As for the wedding planning, it’s so nice to have acquired Olga with mansion because a planner was definitely not in the budget.  But she is so creative and so helpful and has already given my centerpiece consultation and music and photography references. OH AND DID I TELL YOU – They have their own catering on site, and they refer to themselves as foodies.  We’re having a Tuscan-style sit-down, family style (passed) dinner.  I’m really out of my mind with excitement and A loves it, too.

Being situated in central PA and NOT Philadelphia makes this extraordinary location within reach of our budget, which we’ll have to add to, but at least we feel like we’re getting what we really want for our money.

NOTE: Both photos were taken in the permanent pavilion attached to the house.  The manor is surrounded by fields, great for photo ops, too.




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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