Monday, June 23, 2014

Guest Lists and Other Wedding Things

That's our city permit that says we've booked our venue!

When Kourtney and I first got engaged, we felt a lot of pressure to have a big wedding. Suddenly people were coming out of the woodworks, asking if they were invited, asking what they should wear (and we didn't even have a venue or a date set).  We truly wanted to invite everyone we knew and we wanted to have a huge party! However, we began to realize that planning a big wedding was simply beyond our abilities (financial, emotional and physical). We really began to feel the pressure.

Then my uncle died. And everything was put on hold.

We had been anxious before that time, but we were still convinced that we could pull it off. After his death I personally felt like I couldn't do ANYTHING (and I didn't want to)-- I stopped taking classes, I didn't have a job anymore, I woke up often thinking that staying in bed was the best effort I put in for the day-- so we told everyone that we were putting our wedding plans on hold. Kourtney and I talked about a lot of options: maybe we could just go to city hall by ourselves and have a courthouse wedding followed by burgers and fries, or we could wait another year and have enough money to afford a big crazy wedding extravaganza like we thought everyone expected from us. But honestly, none of the alternatives really met our expectations. We didn't want to get married without our families. And we didn't want to wait another year to be married to each other. So we went back to our original plan to get married in the fall. Pretty soon after making this decision together I began to feel that familiar pressure of having to invite so many more people than we could afford, and making decisions that would maybe make guests feel better, but weren't what we were looking for in a wedding. 

Easter weekend, as we were driving to Turlock to visit family my grandmother asked me about the wedding. I lamented about how I felt like we had to make so many compromises, and how we just wanted to do something with the family to take the pressure off but felt obligated to have a big to-do. She asked me, "What do YOU want?" She really got me thinking about what I actually wanted for my wedding day. I wanted something that wouldn't put us into debt, that was kid friendly, and low key-- and she kindly reminded me that it was our day and it didn't really matter what other people wanted because it wasn't their wedding. Imagine that! We get to be in charge of our own wedding!

So we totally revamped the wedding planning. We picked a date, booked our venue, started making real decisions about what we wanted and didn't want on our wedding date. Some of the decisions were hard to be happy about-- we cut our wedding guest list by about half (!), which means there are people that we would love to be there aren't because we simply don't have the room at the venue. I worry about hurting someone's feelings by telling them that they aren't invited. But other decisions were easier to make, like not having alcohol (I had not problem NOT paying for the additional deposit to do that). 

I think the biggest difference between now and when we first got engaged is that we thought we had to do all of this planning alone. We were unwilling to ask for help. Now we have family who has volunteered to plan the wedding with us, and talking with them puts me at ease-- and also helps both of us figure out what exactly we want for our big day. Now that we've book our venue, bought our invitations, and sent out save-the-date emails, it's starting to feel real. We're getting married. The day is quickly approaching! One hundred and twenty-seven days to go.

The Walker-McCrary wedding is back on!

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