Initially, Mr. Wellies and I planned to have an intimate backyard wedding. Getting married in a traditional venue with a caterer didn’t appeal to us. We loved the idea of celebrating in a backyard with our immediate family and best friends, enjoying food we had cooked ourselves. Instead of inviting 200 guests, we would be surrounded by 20 of our loved ones, spending quality time with everyone.
Image via Katie Stoops Photography
Image via Mike Olbinski Photography
It was a great idea in theory, but once we began to think about the logistics, things started to get tricky. Although our guest list was small, hardly anyone was local. Mr. Wellies and I live outside of Philadelphia, while our friends and family are in New York, Boston, California, and England. Asking our loved ones to take a day off for a weekday wedding and travel such a distance made us uneasy, especially when we realized many of them might not be able to make it. A low turn-out is an unfortunate reality of having a weekday wedding; still, Mr. Wellies and I want to have a traditional Jewish ceremony, and we won’t compromise that by changing the day.
We also couldn’t justify the expense of rentals. We’re paying for the entire wedding ourselves, so spending thousands of dollars on tables, chairs, and linens we will never use again seems impractical. We’d rather put that money toward renovating our new house, instead of focusing on wedding details. The material things don’t matter to us; being married does.
Lastly, there were several family issues to contend with. After the mixed reactions to our engagement, we weren’t getting much support for our wedding, either. Those who knew about the wedding being on a weekday were less than impressed, to put it mildly. Nobody asked about our plans or offered encouragement. Moreover, both my parents and Mr. Wellie’s parents are divorced, and neither relationship is very amicable. New partners don’t get along with old ones, while fights are incredibly common. My parents argued throughout the day of my college graduation; the forced smiles in those family portraits are painful. Under these circumstances, some people would cross their fingers and hope for the best, but Mr. Wellies and I didn’t want to risk the potential drama. The more we thought about it, the more we realized what was best for us: We were going to elope.
Did your vision for your wedding change over time?