Monday, August 27, 2012
Just getting started.
Long-time reader, first-time writer. My boyfriend of 2 and a half years proposed last week in Ireland. I'm ecstatic, and would love to be married in June of 2013.
The biggest conundrum I'm facing right now is where to have this event: My parents and extended family are all from Oklahoma, but I was raised in Brooklyn until High School when their divorce was finalized and I moved back to OK to be with my Mom and stepdad. My fiance is an Irish Catholic West Point graduate from Yonkers, NY. His whole family is either in Ireland, or within 45 minutes of West Point.
We both agree that a wedding in the Catholic Chapel at West Point would be beautiful. It would mean a lot to him, and it would also honor his service and put our (foreseeable) future (as he will deploy and we will move around quite a bit in the next 15 years) in perspective for my family. And as we'll have people coming from Ireland, and friends from D.C. (where we are), it'll be easier to convene everyone right outside of NYC.
I have to admit though, it stings a little that my family will have to travel for this event, but his (immediate) family will not.
No matter where the big event is, I really want to exchange vows and celebrate on my grandparents' property in Oklahoma. One generation up, my grandparents have set a lovely example for me in what marriage, commitment and family should be. I spent every summer there as a child, even before I moved there for H.S. Originally, I was thinking we could just do a hippie ceremony with family and friends that wouldn't be able to make it out to West Point, and then do the big shindig in NY.
But then I started pricing things out. My Mom and Stepdad are very generously giving us 40,000. I can put in another 10,000 (fiance and clan are handling the typical groom's family stuff - the rehearsal dinner etc). My Father is sick, and may not be able to contribute anything. To my shock and horror, $50,000 seems to buy extremely little in the Hudson Valley! Going with the conventional rule of only spending 40% on the reception, we have our pick of tacky bridal factory places -- and that's about it. Why spend that much for such a cookie-cutter experience??
As for what we originally envisioned, we want to boogie all night with our nearest and dearest (capping it at college friends and extended family puts us in the ballpark of 200 or so guests). Live band, open bar for the Irish folk (who apparently always drink wedding venues dry), with really heartfelt touches throughout. We also hoped for a rockin Irish rehearsal dinner, and lovely day-after brunch.
I'd be over the moon with a wedding at my grandparents' house - but I know how lovely, important and convenient West Point is. Even my parents in Oklahoma are worried about having the big celebration there - as Irish family and DC friends might not be able to come.
Please help me make sense of all of this! A feast for 25 in NY, and big celebration in OK? Bite the bullet on the tacky stuff because that's the most convenient?
Welcome to wedding planning! It sucks.
First off, don't go with the "conventional rule" about anything. Who says you should only spend 40% of your budg on the reception? The same ppl who think you should spend 10% on flowers, 10% on attire, and 10% on a wedding coordinator.
YOU CAN SPEND YOUR BUDGET HOWEVER YOU WANT. Spend 40% on booze if you want to.
But I can't answer the where question for you. You and your future husb need to sit down and make the hard decision about which location means the most to the both of you. Either way, wherever you do the thing, there will be friends/family members who just can't make it.
Did I mention wedding planning sucks?
Lover's Eyes locket courtesy of The Met via c ktnon via Michiko M + even*cleveland