“So you’re newly engaged, YAY!” This is how most of the bridal letters, automated responses from vendors, binders and checklists start out. Most women are so excited to plan “their big day”. Pick just the right flowers, do hydrangea or lilies look better with the succulent arrangements? Pick just the right venue, do I want modern and industrial or rustic and woodsy? And even more, just the right dress, do I like empire waist or do I prefer A-line ball gown? They discuss the minutia over snacks with their fiance, that is usually busy doing other things and quite frankly, usually couldn’t care less. She sweats the small stuff. He lets her yell and freak out.
Take this image. The one I’ve vaguely drafted for you above and flip the bride-to-be and the groom-to-be. Yep. Got that image? That’s my life, more or less. If I had it my way we’d go to a court-house then have some BBQ style reception in someone’s yard and celebrate in the most understated and quiet way possible. It MIGHT cost us a couple hundred dollars. That sounds nice, doesn’t it?
Not my reality, although it is my happy place. I have been Googling, emailing, scheduling, and then when I’ve Googled myself against a wall, I Bing search every Michigan wedding venue known to man. Guess what I’ve found. If you want to get married in a barn you’re going to pay approximately $7,000 just to reserve the place. This doesn’t include the things you need like chairs, tables, food, etc. I grew up in a barn before it was cool to be married in one. I feel cheated out of the experience I want because I owe student loans. I have student loans so I could get to this point and now I can’t enjoy it because the loans suck the life out of me. Anyway, I digress. Then I switch gears and start looking at the same tacky cookie cutter reception halls that have the same HUGE chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and that’s going to run me about $50 a plate, before open bar. And lets face it, do I seem like the type to put myself through all of this torture to have a dry wedding? Nope. Not happening. Neither is Steve.
I’ve asked him if we can just elope, run away, hit up the local court-house and he said “no”. He needs a wedding, with food (and open bar) and music so people can dance. Well that’s just cute. I have been met with everyone else’s excitement for me which I’m grateful for. However, from those that are closest to me I get their ideal wedding for me projected at me in excited shrieks and squeals, “I see you in a tea length dress” or “These are the colors you should have your bridesmaids dresses in!” and “So you’re thinking a simple dress?” … Insert long silent pause… I don’t know what I want. I have been engaged since August 22nd. I can tell you what I don’t want… but there’s no point because it isn’t what is going to happen.
We have one day a week we can go and see places together and it’s Tuesday evenings. So far 3 of the 4 Tuesdays in September are booked to see places and I can’t even tell you if I’m excited about any one of them. Our time is running short, our budget even shorter and my patience is the shortest of them all.
It’s in times like these that I think about how similar I am to my father. With his second marriage he and my step-mom ran off to Nashville and spent a long weekend there just the two of them. How romantic, right? They did what they want, she wore an adorable white sun dress and my dad wore his jeans, boots and a plaid shirt. It was so perfect. I am so envious of their decision. My other half wont hear of it. But I think that just sounds perfect, cheap and only what matters is left. Them being together.
Does anyone have fun doing this? Is this really a thing? It’s no wonder that the wedding industry is full of scams making young women feel like they need to pay $10,000 for a PLACE TO RENT FOR A DAY and then follow it up with a few more thousands for a white dress they will wear for one single day! Anyone want to plan this? Do this? Enjoy this??