Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Planning Our "Wedding"

In less than 1 month, I'm getting married! I haven't written about it or talked much to anyone about our wedding because it somehow feels secretive. But I'm excited! So here's the story so far.

(not my ring, but the photo of the ring Rob used on my iPhone to propose)
Right after getting engaged, I started thinking about a wedding. Because that's the order of things, right? Proposal, wedding planning, wedding, honeymoon, happily ever after. I never really had a childhood wedding fantasy, so the options felt really open. Within minutes I started fretting about bridesmaids, groomsmen, and who we would all invite. What kind of food would we serve? Where am I going to find a dress?! Where the heck would we have it-- back in Minnesota where most of our family and old friends are? Or should we make everyone travel to us in DC? It seems so selfish to make people spend money to fly all the way out here when we could make it easier for everyone and come to them...

And you can see the rabbit hole that leads to. Emotions get in the way, and tradition takes precedence over what it is you really want. Frustrating!

My fiancé Rob is a scientist. He questions everything, and he researches all possibilities. He's methodical and logical. He pushes me to question everything in all aspects of my life. He doesn't force me to take the most logical route, but he encourages me to think through all the options, choose for myself, and be able to justify my decisions with reasons I personally feel good about.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.~Aristotle

Rob's logical brain is always on, so immediately after he proposed and we went to a nearby Starbucks to grab a coffee and get out of the rain, he started asking questions. He kept reminding me that we can do whatever we want. It's our day. It's our life. Nobody cares as much about your wedding as you do, anyway. Don't let society pressure you into planning and paying for a huge, expensive wedding day if you never wanted that in the first place.

It didn't take long before we decided we don't want a wedding. *huge sigh of relief*

For dozens of reasons that I could go into in depth (but I won't, because I honestly don't think you need to justify all your reasoning to anyone but yourself and your partner), planning and having a wedding just didn't feel like us.

Our relationship feels different than I ever expected Love to be. Sometimes Rob and I will go back and forth, asking each other specific (and true) scenarios like, "did you ever think that one day you'd have a boyfriend who would sit on the floor with you in the middle of your studio condo in the nation's capital, eating oatmeal and talking about going to Hawaii?" Never! These are beautiful, unique moments I could have never imagined. It doesn't make sense to live out some childhood fantasy of a wedding when your relationship is so much richer than that. Rob and I have been cultivating our relationship for eight years. We deserve a wedding customized to us and who we are together, right now.

us in 2006.
elopement is often used to refer to a marriage conducted in sudden and secretive fashion, usually involving hurried flight away from one's place of residence together with one's beloved with the intention of getting married.
Planning our vacation wedding has been weird. Weird because I'm not planning a traditional wedding and weird I feel like I'm "doing it wrong." Logically, I know this isn't true. It's our day and there are no rules for how to have a wedding (besides the required steps for legalizing your marriage). We can go wherever we want, wear whatever we want, and have any type of ceremony we want. But the wedding industry is massive. There are tips & tricks and resources for planning a wedding at every turn. In a way, I feel like I'm missing out on that definition of wedding-- because I am.

But I'm not sad or upset; I'm relieved. All I have to do is think about the process of planning a typical American wedding, and I remind myself why that's not our thing. (Do a Google Image search for "wedding checklist" and feel the horror.) In a way I feel guilty, because I figured out the secret to a happy, stress-free wedding that most people never dream of. I haven't talked a lot about our plans to friends or family because, really, there's not a whole lot to talk about! We're keeping it simple. No drama, no stress.

We're keeping it simple, but more importantly we're keeping it us. We're not throwing all traditions out the window just for the sake of being rebellious. We're picking and choosing what we want to include in our marriage process. We both wanted a ring. I wanted a special dress. Even though we're doing it differently, there's still no wrong way to do it.

the dress.
Next month, just under a year from getting engaged, Rob and I are flying to Hawaii to get married. It's also our "honeymoon" since it's a longer vacation trip. (Although, the widely-accepted tradition of an expensive trip immediately after an expensive wedding still boggles my mind. You have a ceremony to "celebrate" your marriage, right? Why do you then need a honeymoon to "celebrate" your ceremony? It's excessive, no?)

Our theme is Simplicity. Our mantra is Relax & Enjoy. Colors? Hawaiian sunsets and big blue skies. The dress? ...was cheap. Menu? unplanned, but hopefully some yummy vegan restaurant in Honolulu. Number in attendance? just two. 


  1. LOVE this. And you guys. Way to keep it real, staying true to yourselves and doing it YOUR way. It's gonna be amaaaaazing!!!! p.s. Love the dress tease ; )

  2. Colleen//Love+IvyJune 19, 2014 at 9:44 PM

    I couldn't agree more! When I hopefully get engaged cough cough I want to have a wedding that isn't traditional and stressful. Maybe cause I'm at weddings a lot, but I rather have a unique simple day with my concentration just on what the day means. Love your site logo & name :)


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