Wedding Planning With a Traveler’s Mentality
I’m pretty sure I know when I crossed the line.
Jared and I were in the kitchen, making dinner, after an intense week of ok-let’s-do-this-and-make-some-wedding-decisions. We are now in a wide-open expanse of time that we have been calling ‘after the marathon,’ but in technical terms should probably be referred to as ‘the future.’ Or, perhaps, ‘life.’
It’s during this time that we agreed to actually plan our wedding. To do things like pick a country (done), a date (done), and a venue (done). These things, while not easy, turned out to be manageable but exhausting.
Even though we don’t want all the things that come with throwing a wedding, we do want some of them. And those things cost money, something we came to terms with.
But our wedding energy was wearing thin.
I was chopping kale (I swear we’re not hipsters, I just like kale. Not that there’s anything wrong with hipsters.) and Jared was opening a can of beetroot.
“Hey,” I said. “These should be our wedding colors – kale and beetroot.”
Then I snorted laughing at how funny I was while Jared fixed me with a glare.
“Too far?” I asked.
“If there are ‘colors’ at our wedding, I don’t want to know about them,” he said. “And they are not kale and beetroot.”
Apparently there are only so many planning details a groom-to-be can handle.
The not-so-wonderful world of weddings has been a real kick in the teeth in some aspects. For the first year and a half of our engagement, we talked about how we didn’t need twine-wrapped mason jars or an ice cream truck or any of those elements that make a wedding a Wedding. We just needed us, our friends and family, tasty food and decent beer. We wouldn’t spend crazy money and the whole thing would be just right.
Then I started exploring options. I contacted every venue on the island of Oahu (Spoiler: the wedding’s in Hawaii) and collected PDFs of price lists and amenities. I gasped at the prices – $7 for a Bud Light? And then I have to pay taxes and gratuity? – and rejected locations until I was left with…nothing.
I guess throwing a casual party for 50 of your nearest and dearest isn’t free, after all.
The weird thing was, Jared and I were the only people who found this surprising. Everyone else thought that spending thousands of dollars on a celebratory event was totally normal.
Jared’s co-worker, Sheila, figured out what our problem was.
“You’re still thinking like backpackers,” she said.
It was an epiphany. We’ve been traveling for so long and stretching our dollars that we forgot how to splurge, even with our parents’ help. I mean properly splurge, not a “let’s spend an extra $4 for the 5-hour bus instead of the 9-hour” kind of splurge. The kind of splurge where you lay out some cash for a celebration for our two sides to come together on a palm-strewn island in the Pacific.
Once we made the basic decisions, something changed for me. I started to get excited. After 18 months of not thinking about the wedding, excitement is a welcome emotion.
We’re finalizing the details with our venue now; the proposed date is in September 2014, so neither of us will have to think about the wedding for a while. While Jared will probably be happy to take a break, it doesn’t mean I won’t be thinking about it – now that I’ve realized having a wedding can be fun, I’m looking forward to planning.
Just quietly, if anyone has any beetroot- or kale-colored decorations, I might know someone who can take those off your hands.