*Warning-rant post, long, with no pics-but if you're wondering what the heck my problem is lately, this will tell you!
Doesn't make sense to you? Ahh, you must not have planned a wedding in 2011. In a horrible economy, where it looks like everyone is trying to save money by doing everything DIY (Do It Yourself) the wedding industry is currently driving brides (aka me) bananas by making us feel inferior if we don't go out in search of vintage everything and make your own crap-and get this, spend thousands of dollars on a 4 hour party (what happened to the bad economy issue people???). Sound cynical? Well at this point I am certainly getting there.
When we got engaged back in August, we had a simple plan. Or so we thought. We'd get married at the beach in Duck, NC where we met. We'd rent a beach house and invite our closest friends and family. We'd marry on the beach and have an intimate reception following at our beach house. Sounds simple, right? We actually thought it would be so simple, that we could go ahead and marry by the end of October (aka, now). We set our sights on October 22, 2011 and off with the planning we went. Why so fast? We just want to be married-and we thought it would be simple! We started researching right away-we knew right off that we'd have Hollie D. photograph-we love her! We knew it would be in Duck, NC. We were interested in the same pastor my good friend Ashley had for her wedding. Then came looking for the beach house. Figuring out the food. Figuring out who would get to stay in the beach house. Random issues came up immediately-you have to have "event insurance" to even have a reception at a beach house, even if you're only having 30 people there. You can't really get around it, because someone will notice the 30 cars blocking up the street around your rental. Catering was more than we wanted to pay. Everything became more than what we wanted to pay. I spent hours and hours scouring wedding and photography blogs looking for ideas-and all they gave me were feelings of inadequacy. Countless brides having a $20,000 budget for their DIY wedding. Excuse me, if you are doing everything yourself and making your decor out of doilies from the dollar store, then why is your wedding still the price of a decent car? What the hell is going on here?
The anxiety continued to build. Not only was the stress of just the planning becoming too much, but very little of our friends and family even seemed excited or the least bit interested...making us wonder why would we spend thousands of dollars on something very few people seemed to care for in the first place? There have been more nights I can count on my 2 hands where I've been up until 5am reading blogs and researching ideas. Beach wedding. Photobooth. Caterer. DIY decor. Tick-tock, tick-tock. With time not on our side, we pushed the date back again. April 21, 2012. That should be enough time right? Well it's now late October-we have a photographer and my dress, the rings are on order (they have to make mine in my size, it wont come standard and they can't size it...) and this is all that is done. That's it. We have no place. No idea who would be there, who would perform the ceremony, what we'll eat after...BAH! Now we are starting to get the questions-where will it be? What do you guys have left to plan? (um, everything?) We also hear things like "I can't wait till your wedding, it's going to be sooo fun!" only to think in my head, we only planned on inviting 25 people at the most, what about all these other friends and extended family that thinks they're coming to a big shindig? How do we tell our friends and family that are looking forward to a big party that we want nothing more than to elope?
GASP? Did I just say the "E" word? Yes I did. I've thrown it around countless times in the past month or so to friends and close family-and the response is usually not pleasant. We are met with a lot of "you can't do that! You have to have a party" What people don't realize about Darren and I-we are not party people. I like throwing events for other people. Don't get me wrong. You need a baby or bridal shower? Call me, I'll throw it for you and do a darn good job. Throwing a party for myself-especially a wedding? No thanks. The issue here isn't that I don't like weddings. I LOVE WEDDINGS. I've been obsessed with this wedding stuff since I was about 12 years old. Yet, the older I get, the more I realize, the big wedding with the fancy flowers, huge cake, 200 guests, expensive reception-they're just extra. They're just fluff. Unnecessary. In the midst of this planning frenzy there have been a few times when I have an epiphany at 4am and think, I don't want this! This freaking out all the time is for the birds! This is not what our wedding is supposed to be about! This is not what I care about. What I care about is Darren. I want to be with him, forever. All that matters to me is we set aside a day to express our love to each other, get married, and have a few pictures to document the day. That's it. I don't need 200 people there. There only needs to be two people there. Darren + Jen. Hollie too, since she has the camera. The rest? That's just extra.
Hollie shared a great blog post with me the other day after one of my many wedding freakouts. The following was taken from Jonas Peterson's blog. If you've read the post this far, you should stick around and read this part, because it is by far the best part. He sums up what I've been screaming in my head for months now, but I've been too afraid to say it. The wedding industry has become a beast that can't be tamed by most, and people are getting lost in the details-and I am here to tell you that I REFUSE to do it. I couldn't have said it better myself: