Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ceremony, Ceremony; Where for art thou ceremony?

Of all the insane details that go into planning a wedding, you would think the reception MUST be the most important part. After all, the minute details just keep coming and coming like the tide rises and it only settles after all of the debt accumulated from planning this single day has come to an end. There's the plated meal for each and every one of your 250 guests that cost $30 each, the centerpieces for 30 tables that cost $150 a piece, the cake, the favors, the dj... The list is never ending, but at the end of the day what really should matter most is the unity between 2 people as husband and wife, and somehow in the midst of all the madness a lot of us brides lose sight of this.

I am a prime example. Immediately after getting engaged I dove into a wedding magazine and didn't resurface until I had at least 700 ideas of what I wanted the cake to look like, which dress I wanted, and the type of flowers I wanted to be in my bouquet. I didn't even stop to think about the actual wedding ceremony and what it means.

About 2 months ago I came to a realization. The entire wedding industry is beginning to remind me of what Christmas has come to be for so much of the world. The significance of Christmas, to celebrate the birth of Christ, seems to have been shoved behind the modern upside-down evergreens in peoples' living rooms. For some of us we still understand and cherish the true meaning of Christmas, but for others it's a bit foggy from the glare of millions of twinkling lights. Whether you're a Christian or not, I'm sure you understand this principle.

We've had our reception location booked for months. I've had weekly conversations with the wedding coordinator at the venue. We also have the dj and the dresses... but no place to have the ceremony itself. Parts of me wish I had pushed my way through the fog coming from the smoke stacks of the wedding industry a little earlier. Maybe then I would have realized that we haven't even talked about having the wedding anywhere but our hometown. Since then, we've found locations all over the country that we think would be perfect to get married at... but then what about our grandparents who are unable to travel? What about the fact that we've already booked the reception venue here?

We've searched churches in our area, and this is most of what we've come up with:
1. My childhood church has an interim pastor and doesn't allow photographs in the sanctuary.
2. A few churches don't allow weddings without a membership or a relative with a membership.
3. 2 churches are way too small for our guest list.
4. One church has the Christmas pageant booked on the same day.
5. Everything else is at least a 15 minute drive (in December) from the reception venue.

We've thought about having the wedding at the reception venue, but there's something that bothers us about sending the guests out of the room and then bringing them back in after the staff rearranges everything. We've also thought about renting a heated tent and having the ceremony in a local park or another scenic area. We researched how much this would cost and the $3,000 price tag doesn't exactly fit in our budget. There's a location at a nearby park that we fell in love with as soon as we discovered it (see the photo on the right), but again.. our wedding is in December and that's highly unlikely. It's a beautiful little spot, but our guests might not appreciate Ohio's December 5 average temperature of 47 degrees.

So our search continues. However, this time instead of being a simple detail I can work out later, our ceremony is at the top of our list of priorities.

1 comment:

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