The Important Details

by Alice

I’ve read a lot about the Wedding Industrial Complex (WIC) and how its expectations make weddings expensive and difficult, and make happy, reasonable couples turn into bride/groom zillas. So I knew from the beginning to try to avoid those snares.

But the truth is, with or without the WIC, weddings are just hard, and they will present challenges to the happy couple.

We want a big wedding. Not big as in fancy, over-the-top, designer big. I just want a lot of people there. All 113 people on my mother’s guest wish-list are very near and dear to me. My fiance’s mother has 9 brothers and sisters, so his family list is about the same if not longer. I went them there, I want our friends around us, and I want children to attend (what’s a wedding without kids swirling on the dance floor?).

I want it to be a Catholic wedding. (We’re both Catholic, but I think I feel more strongly about this than he does.)

And we’d like to be married next Spring.

That’s about it. Bring on the paper plates, mis-matched decor and a friend-made wedding dress. It’s the people who make the party.

But my expenses just to make this thing Catholic already add up to an unbudgeted $700 with a lot of strings attached. Including: the wedding must be at least a year after the engagement. What?! So we found a venue that had an opening during one weekend next May. They were booked for June, booked for July. We sure squeezed that proposal in on time.

Then I find out that my sister’s high school graduation is on the very same weekend. She’s a maid-of-honor. And she’s my sister! Not to mention that my mom’s family had a baby boom in 1993, so I have three cousins who might also have graduation that weekend.

Expensive? You betcha. Challenging? Umm…yes. But it’s challenges like this that force us to think about what is important. High school graduation. Important. My sister’s presence at my wedding. Super Important. Following the year preparation requirement, even if it means we might have to wait until August/September 2011? Suddenly a Catholic wedding is not so important to me. (Maybe a Thanksgiving wedding this year would be nice, hehe!)

Here’s to tough wedding planning that helps us grow, that makes us choose, that bridges the gap into adulthood. And although I’m a sucker for staitionary designs and cute bridesmaid dresses, here’s to realizing and focusing on what’s important to us, and just not every little detail that the WIC throws at us.