So Andrew and I have made a crazy, wonderful, stressful choice. At the beginning of November, we re-evaluated how the wedding planning was going. We had decided a couple of months before that we wanted to have the wedding in Knoxville. We were set on next October for a fall wedding. We had a place in mind that was affordable, large enough for our guest list, and full of gorgeous windows. We had a caterer in mind. Andrew had a musician friend he wanted to hire to play. We were ready to start booking. So what was the problem?
First, a lot of my family wasn’t going to be able to make it, and I’m not talking about second cousins or great aunts. I mean my grandparents, my great-grandparents, and basically anyone who wasn’t my mom and sisters. This became increasingly frustrating and disheartening for me because I wanted these people there and could no longer see why we wanted to throw this big shindig if a chunk of people I loved were missing. Andrew does not have as big of a family that he is in contact with as I do, so it was difficult for him to relate. However, I can be determined (read stubborn) to work with a plan, so I tried to continue on with our original ideas.
This brings me to the second issue. The venue we wanted was terrible with communication. They would not get back to my emails half the time, would only answer some of my questions, and could not be definitive about availability. They seemed very unorganized and uncaring about possibly receiving our business. I tried to set up a time to see the place and explained when we were able to come, and the venue replied with dates and times completely opposite to our available times. We then tried to work with them on scheduling by emailing them some more flexible times for both parties, and they never even responded. I quickly told Andrew I would not trust that kind of venue with our wedding, and we didn’t care for or were unable to swing the other options.
The months since our engagement were piling up, and I became almost completely apathetic about wedding planning. Bride magazines and books sat untouched; Pinterest was only used for recipes. The blog was neglected because there was nothing to say. I cringed when we would hang out with people and hear their questions on what we were deciding. “Nothing,” I wanted to cackle. “We are deciding nothing!” Cue the straitjacket, please. Thankfully, I didn’t do that. I would just give some kind of lame answer and move to another subject.
Then in October I made a joke to my grandmother on the phone about just getting married during the holidays while we were back home. She took it much more seriously than I did as I take anything I said then as the ramblings of a desperate mad woman. A couple of days later, she called me with a list of possible places that we could get married at during Thanksgiving. A lot of these places were newly opened or had not had an internet presence, so I didn’t know enough about them to consider them while researching possible venues in West Tennessee. She had done things the old-fashioned way and called the Commerce office and asked around. She then, bless her, called all of the recommendations and asked about prices, occupancy limits, and availability.
Thanksgiving I knew was not possible, but as she told me all the information, an idea of a December wedding formed in my head. I had spent three to four months struggling to make anything work and did not want to go through this for another year. The thought of only a month and half of wedding planning was instantly seductive.
The clincher came when I was talking to my best friend back home, and she told me about a wedding she had attended the week before in Kentucky. The couple had planned on an April wedding, but on a whim, they decided they were going to get married the next weekend. They called my friend on a Tuesday and were married on a Saturday. They ordained a friend and got married in a pretty park. They wore outfits they already had in their closet. Most of their family couldn’t make it either because of distance, so they just had the people who could.
I thought it was beautiful.
And I didn’t see any reason we couldn’t do something similar.
To bring you up to speed, thanks to my g-ma’s asking around, we have put a deposit down on our venue. It is a restored Victorian house in my hometown that I had never considered because a.) I thought it was going to be extremely expensive, b.) have a small occupancy level, and c.) not provide chairs. Now that we are going to have a rushed planning period and smaller ceremony, reason b. is now acceptable and reasons a. and c. were not a problem to begin with. It will actually be cheaper than the venue we wanted in Knoxville. So Andrew and I are having a fifty-person wedding on December 20, two days after our dating anniversary.
And for everyone who says, “They are crazy! That’s not enough time,” know that I agree, but where there is a will there is a way. We feel a tremendous amount of relief at having a decision to stick to. We have a lot to do, but there are pros to this path we are taking. It has saved a ton of money already. We had to nix invitations because of the time frame, so all that money we would have spent on stationery and stamps can be put into other necessities. It’s also been really nice getting to hear and read responses to our news in real-time. Also, because we are short on time, we are sticking with the basics: Venue, minister, license, rings, attire, photographer, and a dessert reception. Without the big reception, we no longer have to worry about catering a full meal. We don’t need to rent a bunch of linens. Since it will be more of a mingling reception, we won’t have tables. This means no centerpieces. So many savings! I can’t
This choice may not be for everyone, but I did not want to forget the love, not just the love that I have for Andrew but the love I have for my family. This is a good compromise on how to honor both of those loves.
From this point on, the blog will cover how we will pull off getting ready for a wedding in less than six weeks. It is possible! You just have to have priorities. And honestly, even if everything doesn’t go smoothly, which I doubt it will 100%, the important thing is that I am marrying my favorite person at the end of the day.
I hope you continue to keep the love first and…
Keep your fingers crossed for us,