Disclaimer: This post touches on our wedding budget. I was hesitant to write about our budget because budgets can span a huge spectrum and are completely personal/individual decisions. However, I feel that our budget was one of the first big wedding decisions we had to make, and I didn’t want to just ignore it. That said, I’ve found weddings of all budget sizes that I love and envy and would be ecstatic to call our own. OK, disclaimer over. Now on to your regular programming.
Planning a wedding. The thought makes me giddy and nauseous all at the same time. On the one hand, I love to plan, and I love to be pretty and surrounded by pretty things. Oh, and I also love Mr. S. On the other hand, our wedding is a BIG MOTHER TRUCKING DEAL. Why?
I am an only child. No other siblings to get “do-overs” with.
I’m the first in a long line of cousins my age to get married. And it’s been five years since the last “kid” in our family got married.
Mr. S and I have been together for 13 years. We have a lot of “shared” people who have been waiting for this day to come.
And so, the pressure is on, along with all the options, decisions, and expectations to consider. Every time one decision is made, another one rears its ugly head before I can even think of congratulating myself on a job well done.
When making certain choices about the timeline or flow of our wedding, I like to imagine myself as a guest. So if you would humor me for a second, let’s try a visualization exercise, everyone:
You’re a guest at the intimate (90-person) wedding of your good friends Rooster and Hen. It’s fun. It’s not formal, but there’s an air of celebration. The ceremony has just ended and the food truck behind the ceremony space has opened. You wait in (hopefully a very short) line, grab your baby back ribs, and go find your seat.
What happens next is where I get stuck. Should we let our guests grab their own spots, or assign seats at certain tables?
While dancing was obviously a huge part of our reception, Mr. Waterfall and I knew that we really wanted to offer a photo booth to our guests. And boy was it ever a hit! It was fun for the whole family.
Flower Girl M with her brother JC (my parents’ godson) and their parents
We negotiated the photo booth as part of our photography package instead of going with a separate photo booth company, mostly for budget reasons. Jesse and Catherine set up the booth, which was completely automated, and our guests did the rest. It was so easy to use that people of all ages were lining up and striking a pose, from our older guests…
Determined to finish our registry, I dragged a less than enthusiastic Billie over to Bed Bath & Beyond to continue the process of selecting stuff. We were somewhat nervous because we heard from a friend that BB&B sends a wedding consultant around the store with you, and after last time’s fiasco of procrastinating decisions, we felt terrible subjecting a total stranger to our indecisive ways.
I’ve already worn a wedding dress. And Mr. S was there—in a tux.
No, I wasn’t a runaway bride—I was a Sweet 16 debutante.
Mr. S and I started dating in the year 2000, coincidentally also the year of my 16th birthday. Sweet 16 parties are (or were?) pretty normal where we’re from, ranging the full spectrum from Knights of Columbus halls to hotel ballrooms. Guess where I fell on that spectrum?
I fully own up to this. My parents graciously offered me a trip to Europe, a new car, or a Sweet 16 party. I chose the party. Looking back at my high school self, I have to admit I was pretty savvy. I knew that Europe would always be there. I knew that even if a new car wasn’t in the works, a used one would be, and I could deal with that. (My dad was the sole driver in our household before I got my license. He couldn’t wait to get me on the road.) But a Sweet 16?? A girl only turns 16 once in her lifetime. To me, the choice was obvious.