Tomorrow will mark one month since Dale and I got engaged. Which seems bananas. While we’ve been going over how we’d like to celebrate, we haven’t made any firm plans regarding the date or location (though we’ve narrowed location to two places). I think we really wanted to enjoy the excitement of getting engaged before we jumped into the overwhelming greatness of wedding planning. Honestly, we’ll still be sitting on the couch, and one of us will say to the other, “Hey, remember that time we went to Alaska and got engaged?” It’s still so surreal to me, and I’m glad we took a little time to revel in that.
BUT THEN WEDDING STUFF OMGGGGG ♥♥♥♥♥
If you took a look at my Pinterest boards, you’d probably find that they haven’t been updated in quite a while, and the tastes and styles of a twenty-seven year old are night and day from those of an almost thirty-five year old. You’d immediately note that chevron is not nearly as cool as it once was (le sigh), and that I want something more traditional and formal than I ever thought I would. The details can really get overwhelming sometimes – the style of dress, the style of the party, the type of flowers, what money should be allocated where, etc. Instead of trying to jump into specifics right away, Dale and I decided to make a list of what parts of the celebration would be the most important to us, and this is what we’ve come up with:
- That we be able to serve our family and friends an incredible vegan meal, cake included. Both Dale and I are vegan, and for our wedding, we don’t want to serve anything animal-based. We recognize that most of our guests (read: probably all of them) are not vegan, but it’s hard for us to deviate from our strongly-held beliefs in this area. Plus, at what other time will we have the ability to show those we love that plant-based, ethical food can be as delicious as mainstream food?
- That every vendor we use be LGBTQ-friendly. This was a non-negotiable for us. We refuse to give a dime to anyone or any company that discriminates based upon who one loves. To us, that completely contradicts the purpose of marriage, and it was something that we were wholly unwilling to tolerate as we start our lives together.
- That we be able to include my animals. No brainer. Those two little idiots are my children.
- That the venue be an intimate setting. We’ll probably have around 100 guests. We’re both in our mid- to late-thirties, and neither of us desired a large wedding. With that in mind, it would be silly to book a ballroom with forty-foot ceilings and a capacity for 400 seated. Ain’t nobody wanna look at their own wedding pictures and think, Well damn, it looks like we threw a party and nobody came. Plus, we want everyone to feel cozy and included, and that lends itself to a smaller venue.
- That we have access to both an indoor and outdoor space. Even though we’re looking at getting married in February/March, we want the ability to be outside. What can we say, we like the cold air in our lungs.
- That we not do it in Northwest Arkansas. This was probably going to be on my list anyway, but Dale made an important point: as a wedding photographer, he felt like anywhere he got married around here, he’d kind of feel like he was at work. Which is fair. He’s basically been the go-to guy for weddings for a while.
- That we keep it fairly inexpensive. Look, we’re both working folks with great jobs, but we have a lot of dreams — we want to buy a house, continue to travel, add to our family, etc. — so for us, it doesn’t make sense to spend eleventy billion dollars on a single day.
- That we have incredible pictures. I mean, duh. The groom’s a photographer. I really did myself a disservice by marrying the guy I wanted to shoot my wedding, but que sera sera, this is the life I’ve chosen 😉
From there, we can easily exclude venues and caterers and any vendor that isn’t fitting the bill. No pets allowed? Cut. Want $60,000 just to stand on your floor (yes, I’ve actually encountered that)? Nope. Wouldn’t happily bake a wedding cake for everyone? Get the hell out. Now that we’ve set some perimeters, everything has become so much easier to figure out, not necessarily with what we want, but what we don’t want, and that’s arguably just as valuable. By process of elimination, we’re getting there, and I hope that at the end of this weekend, we can have a location and venue nailed down.
Which is so exciting. Like, holy shit, I’m actually getting married.
I’ll tell ya what, though, no matter where we end up, I really like this color scheme:
Look at that. A decision. From me.
Does not even compute.