1.30.19 1

Where In The World Is The Sowers-Benfield Wedding?

True Life: I sang the post title in my head to the theme of “Where In The World Is Carmen San Diego.”

Also true life: we had the hardest time picking a place to get married.

Like, so overwhelmed with options that I froze in place and rocked in a ball.

Originally, I was set on Napa. It was the place. I had even planned the Save The Dates: an outline of the state of California with a heart on top of Napa, with the text “Come for the Wine, Stay for the Wedding.” It was perfect. Until it just wasn’t. I can’t decide if it was the cost-prohibitive nature (Northern California ain’t cheap) or the struggle with catering, but something was simply off. So then we looked into New York. The hustle and bustle, the incredible venues, the plethora of vegan options … but that didn’t seem to fit either. We looked at Aspen, at Jackson Hole, at Savannah, at Mexico. One night, around 2am, I woke up in a panic, and then spent the next two hours scouring venues across the world. I stopped when I caught myself looking at a spot in Switzerland. 

Folks, I had it bad. That very first decision was proving to be the one that was unraveling me, and I couldn’t go down like that. I was supposed to lose my mind with the details, not during the search for the most basic of wedding necessities. I thought I’d end up demanding that the peonies in the centerpieces perfectly match the color of my left eyeball, not sipping Jim Beam in the corner of a dark room, listening to Patsy Cline, sobbing because I couldn’t manage to even pick the state from which my marriage license would be issued.

I have a gift for hyperbole — or “exaggeration,” or “dramatics,” if you will — but you probably know this already.

So as I’m lamenting the paralysis of indecision to my parents, my mom says, jokingly, “Look, if you can’t make a decision, we’ll load everyone up on the Thursday Allegiant flight and take them all to Vegas.”

… and then I paused.

… and it dawned on me.

For all of my overthinking, my globetrotting, my Knot searches, my binders, my Excel spreadsheets and Pinterest boards, I’d somehow completely overlooked the most obvious choice. The city that is a literal wedding factory. The place known for … well, basically everything. Over-the-top, bedazzled, Elvis-impersonating wedding goodness. And I just knew.

On March 30, we’re getting married in Las Vegas.

Lest you think we’re pulling a Britney Spears Chapel O’Love blue jeans quickie (and hey, to each her very own), allow me to assure you we are not. While we’re incorporating some of the glitz and chintz that makes a Vegas wedding … well, a Vegas wedding … this is a classy affair, damn it, and one I intend to plan only once. 

Once settled on a location, we faced the daunting task on nailing down an actual venue. Suffice it to say, when a city is known for churning out weddings, the options are wildly varied and numerous. Once we weeded out the fifteen-minute revolving-door spots, we filtered through another fifty or so. Like we said in the very beginning, we had some specific items on our Must-Have checklist, and finding a place who could cater to those was no small feat. Surprisingly (at least, surprising to me), many venues placed an upcharge to serve an entirely vegan meal, which makes approximately zero damn sense because we’re taking out lobster and replacing it with mushrooms, but whatever, it’s “trendy,” and like any “trendy” tag, you can place a premium on it (see also: paleo, keto, gluten free). 

In the end, we had to give and take with our Must list.

  • We took the entirely vegan meal (and without the upcharge, PTL!), but we’re leaving the pups in Arkansas. It pains my entire soul, but (1) I don’t think they’d do well on a flight, and (2) the Strip isn’t really pup-friendly (especially for a little old lady dog that coughs in your face to go outside at least twice a night). We have a great, trusted friend is unable to attend because of a test, and he is staying with my pups and my parents’ dogs until my parents get back.
  • The venue is intimate and beautiful, but we don’t have easy access to an outdoor space.
  • Our chosen vendors are LGBTQ-friendly, but the cost is creeping up a little (as I’ve heard it tends to do).

Another one we had to struggle with was Dale’s littlest. A few years back, Lil’ Bit was diagnosed with autism.  After the grownups involved sat down and talked it out, we all made the ultimate decision that it might be a little bit too much for her. The lights, the sounds, the crowds, the plane, the unfamiliar setting, the unfamiliar people, the unfamiliar food. The smallest of changes in routine have the potential to upend that little girl’s world, and this trip would be a two-hour time change on top of everything else. Even if her mom accompanied her, we decided that it would simply be too hard on her. Which is, admittedly, a little heartbreaking. It gave me a glimpse into this new world, my new life, a (smalllllll, y’all mommies don’t throw hands) dose of the parenting world: making a decision different from what you first wanted because it’s better for the kid. The upside? We’ll come home and do it all again (albeit, much smaller) and let her parade her happy little face down an aisle as a flower girl. 

And two parties are pretty much always better than one party. It’s science. I think.

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  1. Jordyn wrote:

    I’m so happy to hear you chose a location. Las Vegas gets a reputation for crazy spur of the moment weddings but my Aunt got married there and her wedding was so stunning, sophisticated and fun. I cannot wait to hear more about your wedding planning journey! I just love that you were set on a destination and giving your whole guest list a party & vacation!

    Published 1.30.19