Tomorrow it will be four months to the day until the wedding. On the one hand, I feel like we’ve already accomplished so much, and the rest is mostly details that will get figured out in time. On the other hand, part of me is completely freaking out that everything isn’t done already and I so do not want things to be last-minute. Then I think about the people who have planned their entire weddings, start to finish, in four months (or less!). Then I think about how glad I am that we’ve had a reasonably long engagement, because if we tried to plan everything in such a short period of time I might go insane.
One of the things I wanted to focus on, going into this wedding, was to make decisions with some meaning behind them. We’re going local as much as possible with food, doing a lot of things ourselves, and paying people to work so our friends/family don’t have to. The big crafty project I’m working on normally requires paper, lots and lots of paper. I’m attempting to complete the entire project using solely recycled material (namely, old calendars). That way, it will look a little different than similar projects done by other people, and also we won’t have killed any extra trees. As it is, weddings are pretty paper-heavy – we saved some paper by sending out save-the-dates via email, and I think our thank-you notes will be on recycled paper. Dan’s outfit is one he has been planning to wear for his wedding since long before he even met me. So yeah, a lot of the things we’re doing are meaningful to us – down to the wine and beer we’ll be serving.
I’ve blogged before about the place where we’re getting hitched, but I haven’t written much about why it’s a meaningful location for me. When we first got engaged I never imagined we’d be able to get married there because I had no idea there was such thing as “member sponsorship.” My best friend’s parents have been members of the place for the entire time they’ve known me, 26 years, and I spent many childhood days playing there. It was a little more rustic back then; the door to the men’s locker room was right behind the bar, and the bathrooms were just cement walls and floors. We’d spend hours swimming in the lake, and I have a memory of the first time I managed to swim out to the platform and how tired I was when I got there, staying on the platform until I felt like I could swim back. There’s a picture in an album somewhere of my sister in a bathing suit and orange life vest, about to go canoeing around the lake with some family friends. When friends had birthday parties, sometimes we’d head over to the club to play on the playground or build sand castles. Several of my friends in elementary school lived in the neighborhood, so we pretty much had free access to the place.
I don’t know if I can describe how happy I was when I found out my best friend’s parents would sponsor us, to allow us to have our wedding at the club – and not only that, but so much of the things we needed were included in the low member price. We don’t have to rent chairs or tables, glassware or plates or silverware. Our caterers don’t need to bring coffee urns. Not only are we supremely lucky that we get to use this place, not only is it beautiful (how could it not be, with a lake, and a beach, and a lawn, and the old trees, and the hills behind?), but it’s a place that has true meaning to me, something that makes me think of happy childhood days. After hearing about what difficulties my sister had in finding a venue for her wedding, and after tons of internet research to figure out if there was even a place in the county we could afford to have our wedding, I am just so amazingly grateful that our venue worked out the way it did.
Of course, not everything can be meaningful. We picked our photographer because he takes great pictures, we like him and he’s giving us a great deal. And our cake is going to be cake that tastes good and doesn’t cost $10/slice, because a) we can’t afford that, and b) who needs fancy cake? Still, I think we’ve done pretty well so far. Our officiant is a good friend, our rings will include a symbol that holds meaning for us both, and the playlist for the reception is comprised of great songs that we like, have meaning, and will be fun for dancin’. It may not all coordinate or match or be the same shade of mauve, but it’ll be fun and it’ll be ours.