- 4 years ago
I’m engaged as of April!!! Yay! And now for the dreaded wedding planning.
My fiancé is from Germany. All of his family lives there. Most will not be able to travel to the states for a wedding. We’re both living in Chicago area. It’s where we’ve made our home and where all of his American friends live, all of our college friends live and where all of our coworkers are. My Mom lives in Boston area where I grew up and where the family church is. My Dad lives in Miami area with his whole side of the family. He and my grandparents are likely not able to travel due to health conditions. Also it just isn’t worth the trouble trying to get his side of the family and my mother’s side all together in one room for a night without arguing.
This is what we’ve agreed to:
July of this year: A “legal” marriage at the courthouse (my fiancé is going through the citizenship process and his lawyer advised we “get this part done” since we have so much ahead of us). Very simple dress, single rose, done. We’ll have an informal bbq reception type event in Chicago to share our union with our college, work and church friends here. (We wanted to have a summer BBQ anyways so this really isn’t too much extra.) His parents and two older sisters will be visiting and present in the courthouse
January 2015: A formal winter religious wedding and a reception in Germany with his family (where his Dad will walk me down the aisle!) so that we can share the moment with them. His mother and 5 sisters (aka my German bridesmaids) are being an amazing help with the planning! His Godfather owns the lodge so we are getting this at a huge venue discount. His family absolutely insists on making the traditional family food for the meal, and on covering the costs. We just provide the cake.
April 2015: A small intimate beach wedding where my dad can walk me down the aisle. We’ll have one attendant each and about 30 people for a buffet style dinner. My aunt is being amazing basically being our local event planner.
October 2015: A fall themed wedding with my mother’s side of the family (her turn to take me down the aisle). My uncle owns a historic museum outside of Boston so we are getting a free venue and a huge catering discount for the reception following the wedding at the church where I grew up. Our local pastor will be doing a vow renewal for us. My older sister and Maid/Matron of Honor is also being a huge help with event planning.
December 2015: We’re taking a honeymoon over Christmas, just the two of us. No location planned yet but we’re excited just to relax and spend time away for just the two of us. (And not to overshare, but this will be when I go off birth control so we can start trying for a family. We’re not starting until this point because of planning)
All of our families are on board with the plan too! And the various attendants are very ok with the fact that they are not all attending each event.
Also, I have an AMAZING brother who is self-employed with tons of frequent flier miles. He is helping out with some of the flights as his wedding gift. We travel a ton for work and family too so we already have the rest of the flights covered. My little sister is a professional bridal designer/tailor/seamstress so we are designing together and all of my dresses together will be about the cost of one designer dress at a salon.
My fiancé and I are very fortunate people that we are financially well off enough that we can afford this, with the understanding that we are taking a lot of frugal steps and we have amazing people who are helping. We’re also fortunate in that our jobs are self-directed and we have been afford the time off for weddings, travel and planning. We’ve themed all 4 weddings very differently so they feel different and it doesn’t feel like putting on a show. And years of obsessive organization skills are definitely making life easier on me!
So, if you’ve made it this far, what’s the problem you ask? We want to have one conversation with someone that doesn’t revolve around weddings. Don’t get me wrong, we are beyond excited for everything coming up and so incredibly thankful to have this amazing adventure. We wouldn’t give up one of these events (we’ve talked and agreed). We know we should be enjoying this season of life, but we feel like all that we are anymore is a future bride and groom. We are getting daily calls from different venues and vendors. When family calls/skypes, all they want to take about is wedding seasons. Every work meeting people are bringing up my weddings. Same for his work. Every Sunday at church. Book club. My evening class. His soccer club. Every friend. All the time. Ever. I went shopping at the 24 hour market yesterday at 4 Am just to get away from it all. Sure enough, my coworker was there getting diapers, “Hope the wedding didn’t wake you up!” Ahhhh. It’s too much! We know that they’re excited but we still have a life outside of our weddings. We’re on the verge of putting on a tshirt that says “If there’s something to say about the wedding, we’ll tell you. Stop asking.”
How do we stop the insanity without seeming ungrateful??