An Unplottable Wedding?

In the last post, I mentioned that picking a date was much easier than picking a location for this little party of ours, and yet the date-setting process sounded a bit involved. How on earth could decision making be any more complicated than that?

potenti

Screen capture from Google Maps

There’s an awful lot of dots on that map, neh?

Tradition states that the wedding should be held in the bride’s hometown. This is pretty practical advice if the bride hasn’t moved far from her hometown and if the groom’s hometown is nearby. “Hometown” normally means this is where all the couple’s friends and family live or at least are from.

Not so much with us.

Technically, my hometown, the city where I was born, is the southernmost dot on this map—Mobile, Alabama. A significant portion of my parents’ families live there still—including one of the flower girls for our wedding and her older brother, the altar server for our wedding.

I may have been born in Mobile, but I spent most of my life in a much more northern dot—Roanoke, Virginia. (Spent a few years in central Kentucky before moving there, too.) I made my lifelong friends in Roanoke, the girls that helped me fight my way through the horrors of middle school and fly relatively below the radar in high school. Roanoke is where my family met the priest that will be marrying us, the role model that became my Confirmation sponsor, and other wonderful families we want to invite to the wedding.

I went to college just down I-81 from Roanoke at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia (the dot that’s practically on top of Roanoke’s dot). At Tech I picked up another bridesmaid, and she and one of the friends I’d made in Roanoke snagged husbands by the time we were done with our engineering degrees. I grew up in three different states, and though that’s not really a whole lot compared to military children, I can’t really call any of the towns my family has ever lived in “home.” When I think about “going home,” I think about going to Blacksburg.

Mr. Potion, on the other hand, is from one of those western dots—Little Rock, Arkansas. His parents and many of his family members live there or close by. He went to college at Louisiana Tech University in the dot just south of Little Rock, Ruston, Louisiana. He met some of his best friends there, including groomsmen, his best (wo)man, and the extremely talented photographer who shot our engagement session.

After graduation, I, like so many other Hokies, snagged a job that brought me to Northern Virginia. Because we’d been talking about marriage for so long at this point, Mr. Potion saved his pennies and moved here less than a year after I’d settled in. (Those two NOVA dots are the places we live now.) We both have friends and coworkers here (and in DC and Maryland).

So what’s that red dot on the map?

The summer after I started my brand new big-girl job, my dad got a new job that moved my parents and sisters to Alexander City, Alabama. The older of the two, my maid of honor, is finishing up an art degree at the University of Montevallo, and my baby sister lives with my parents in Alex City.

Before my family moved, I had always assumed I’d be getting married in Roanoke. This turn of events tossed a wrench in the works, so by the time Mr. Potion proposed, I was warming up to the idea of a DC wedding. Every Sunday at my new parish, I’d picture myself walking down this aisle and was dreading the idea of paying DC wedding prices on my modest barely-out-of-college budget.

And then we talked about it.

During the same conversation in which we picked a date, when I was still finding myself distracted by my brand new bling, we had a rather long conversation about exactly where we were going to get married—a discussion I’d never thought was necessary because I’d pretty much made up my mind already. This was the first conversation we had where I realized that Mr. Potion is not the “traditional” groom the Wedding Industrial Complex (WIC) tries to sell us—the uninterested groom who has no opinions on anything wedding related except for where to go for the honeymoon, who answers the question “Which do you prefer?” with just a grunt, if anything. Mr. Potion is just the opposite of that—in this instance (and in some others), he didn’t even need me to present options before he made his opinion known.

Hive, my groom has a brain and a heart, and he’s using both just as intensely as I’m using mine in this wedding-planning adventure.

So anyway.

Mr. Potion asked what I thought about having the wedding in Alexander City. The question caught me off-guard a bit, but he had good points.

That red dot is (roughly) in the middle of all the other dots on that map. In all honesty, the people we are most concerned with having near us on The Big Day are our closest family members, and Alex City is reasonably close to those most important people. Because our friends and family members are so spread out, this wedding is going to involve considerable amounts of travel for pretty much everybody, no matter where we have it. In addition to Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Virginia, we want to invite people who live in DC, Maryland, Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, New Jersey, North Carolina, Arizona, Texas, Missouri, California, and Washington, among other places. Although we absolutely do not expect all of our loved ones to make the effort to be there with us that day, we want to make it easiest on, well, our parents. Plus, he figured I’m going to need my mom’s help throughout the planning process, and it would be easiest for her to help if the majority of our vendors are where she lives. (Oh how right he was on this one!)

IMG_928

Photo courtesy Emile Frey

So…that settled it! When we finalized the date with our parents, I talked to my mom about what she thought about having the wedding at the little church where they are parishioners, and though she was taken aback at the idea, Mr. Potion’s logic prevailed on her, too.

Red dot it is!

How did you decide where to get married? Are your friends and family scattered across the country like ours?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Potion

Location:
Herndon, VA
Wedding Date:
November 2012
Add a comment

comments

  1. Guest Icon Guest
    busylizzy111, Guest @ 9:29 am

    Awww, you’re a hokie! I spent a wonderful time there as a visiting scholar. Love!

  2. Member
    MsVoyageur 1384 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:10 am

    Oh gosh we’ve had a really tough time with this one. I grew up on the East Coast, and that’s where most of my extended family live. However, we moved to Seattle when I was in high school, and I went to college there, so my parents, as well as most of my best friends, live in Seattle. Right after college I moved to Houston, where I met my fiance. He was born and raised here, so his family and all of their close family friends live here. We decided to have the wedding here to make it easier to plan, since we live here.

    However, now we’re having big problems with the guest list! Not too many people can fly into Houston on my side, so my list is small – just closest friends and family members. My fiance’s family, on the other side, have invited just about everyone they know – at least 75% of the guest list is their side! It definitely hurts, and I wish we had had a destination wedding so it didn’t feel like it was just a wedding for their family.

  3. Member
    coyote 1687 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:17 am

    Wow! I love that there are so many places that are special to you guys, but that sounds like a perfect compromise for you and your guests! We did it the traditional way and are getting married in my hometown, even though that’s not where I live anymore! :)

  4. Member
    ticket 501 posts, Busy bee @ 10:43 am

    Props to Mr. Potion for a great idea! Hope planning from afar is going smoothly so far.

  5. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 11:20 am

    I don’t blame you for not wanting to deal with DC prices, I’m still getting used to how crazy they can be! Sounds like you two found the perfect location for your wedding :)

  6. Member
    mdove07 8 posts, Newbee @ 11:36 am

    You went to Tech! I went there for undergrad and I’m still here for grad school! It’s great to see a Hokie bee! (I’m c/o ’11)

  7. Member
    Mrs. Dragon 814 posts, Busy bee @ 11:44 am

    We had a similar train of thought when it came to picking our wedding location! I’m so happy we’re having it in my mom’s town because she has been able to help us out so much.

  8. Member
    FutureMrsSpencer 526 posts, Busy bee @ 11:48 am

    We went with price. We knew we was staying in NJ and we needed to find a price that we were comfortable with. The only thing that I feel bad about now is that when we booked our venue, I had not wanted to get married in a church. Within months of booking, I joined a church and have become actively involved. I love my church and my church family and can’t see myself getting married anyplace else. So now we have a ceremony space and venue that is 30 minutes apart.

  9. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:30 pm

    Welcome, fellow Hokies! I graduated in 2010!!!! I still wonder if we should’ve gotten married in Blacksburg at the Chapel.

  10. Member
    blonde17jess 1290 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:49 pm

    We’re going with where we live now, since my immediate family is relatively close by, and lots of others have to travel cross-country to be here regardless. That way, we can hopefully help host some people for the weekend they are here and make things easier (as much as we can with so much traveling)!

  11. Member
    potion 223 posts, Helper bee @ 2:36 pm

    @Future Army Wife – I would’ve loved to have gotten married in Blacksburg (not at the chapel tho…I’ve never been a fan) but a Tech-themed wedding wouldn’t have been fair as Mr. Potion isn’t a Hokie

    Also, herp derp, I finally figured out how to comment, so my apologies for being unresponsive to you lovely commenters!

  12. Member
    bracelet 1419 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:50 pm

    What a great way to choose your location!

  13. Member
    FutureMrsDunning 39 posts, Newbee @ 3:22 pm

    wow, you guys put a lot of thought into your location. It makes me feel lucky our choice was so easy since was are both local to Sacramento. Good job you guys with some tricky logistics.

  14. Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 2:35 pm

    I’m sooooo behind (my wedding is in 9 days), but I wanted to add my voice as another Virginia bee. I totally understand not getting married in NoVa. I love it there, but it’s expensive for all…unless guests stay in Tysons (not for the faint of heart with the metro construction!) or Dulles.

    We have loads of DC brides coming down to Charlottesville these days because it’s a Ted less expensive.

    A quasi- destination wedding sounds wonderful!!!

  15. Guest Icon Guest
    Alejandra, Guest @ 8:22 pm

    A fellow Hokie!! Soooo cool!! :)

add a comment

Find Amazing Vendors