We've created a list of what I think are fairly reasonable, flexible requirements:
Sunday of a holiday weekend
Less than a year engagement
Afternoon event with appetizers, desserts and champagne
Accessible by public transportation
Really, that's it.
But every option we find that fits all of these requirements will either cost double the very generous budget that we've set for ourselves or will require a lot of elbow grease on the part of our family and friends on the day of the wedding.
Neither of those options is acceptable to me. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of a DIY wedding: full of community and barn-raising good cheer. But community building is hard. And I just don't want to coordinate it.
I just want to promise some things to this man that I love in front of the people that love me and then celebrate a little. By all accounts, marriage is hard. Why can't the wedding be simple and easy without the food costing $18,000 dollars?
I get that figure from a small article in Chicago Magazine this morning that described a first-person account of a wedding that sounded exactly like what I envision our wedding will be like, including interfaith dietary needs and some of the venues we have considered. This was in the first 3 paragraphs. Then, she started throwing around the cost of a couple quarters of grad school around as a "steal" for appetizers and a non-traditional cake (savings of $750) and I began to despair.
I absolutely know that perseverance and creativity will overcome this particular adversity but DAMN GINA, can one little wedding really be this hard to sort out?
I have spent seven years cultivating a balance and a peace that relies upon looking at my life and asking myself deeply, "Is this hard work exciting enough to keep it from being a chore?" It's a question that kept me from going to grad school before I was ready, that allowed me to move to an island for healing, that kept me from staying too long on that island, that allowed me to say "yes" when Jacob asked me to do the hard work of considering his needs in all of the rest of my decisions.
All of the options we have found so far have seemed exhausting. One venue would require wrapping every available railing in tulle and lights to counteract the dark red carpeting or to pay a professional "fabric and lights" designer to make it look like a high school prom. Another has a $15,000 food minimum. A third sounds great when a friend who works there described it but has a full voice mail box and won't respond to my emails.
Oh, and I lost my phone.
And I moved last Tuesday and all my stuff is still in boxes piled around me.
And finals are in two weeks.
It's possible that everything else in my life is a chore, which affects my ability to discern my available energy for this whole wedding thing.
Jacob and I continue to spend our days giggling on the couch so I guess that until that is affected, I can keep going.
But planning a wedding still kind of sucks.