I’m getting married on Saturday.
No big deal, you guys.
Back when we were first planning our wedding, the hardest part was deciding where to do it. We obviously wanted to try to get married in NYC or around it, since that’s where we live and that’s what we love but oh, YOU GUYS, I don’t know if you’ve heard but New York is a little expensive?
Sample conversation from wedding planning:
ME: Oh okay, so that’s $15,000 and that includes…
HORRIBLE PERSON: The venue.
ME: Alright. So food, booze…
HORRIBLE PERSON: Nope. Just the venue.
ME: Oh. So. That includes…
HORRIBLE PERSON: The space.
ME: Ooookay. So if I wanted to feed people…
HORRIBLE PERSON: Dinner starts at $150/person.
ME: Including alcohol?
HORRIBLE PERSON: No, just dinner.
ME: Can you hang on a second while I throw up?
It became clear after many similar conversations that we couldn’t afford a New York wedding if we wanted to invite all the people we wanted to invite. I don’t know if you’ve heard but I have a few relatives. (4 kids in my family, parents each one of 7, 45 first cousins! High five!) J also has a large family and an admirably huge circle of friends and we sadly had to say goodbye to New York as an option.
So we opened our search elsewhere. After throwing some ideas up against our extensive list of Do’s and Don’ts (e.g./Do not make people fly into an airport and then drive 10 hours and then get on a donkey to take them the rest of the way), we settled on a place near and dear to our hearts: the beach! Specifically, Amelia Island, Florida where J’s parents own a beach house and where we travel a few times a year to swim in the ocean and go for bike rides under Spanish moss.
It was affordable, easy to get to, personal to us (both J and I grew up loving the ocean) and lovely.
It’s been tricky to plan a wedding far away from home but we’ve had a ton of help and it’s been really fun to attempt to create a memorable weekend experience for everyone. All I wanted was a raw venue so I could make it feel like us and I could get as far away from the types of places where all the weddings look the same. I’m pretty thrilled with how it’s coming together which feels like a huge relief considering the wedding planning process in general has been more stressful for me than it has been enjoyable.
Since we took the wedding out of town, we’ve had a lot of people decline which was to be expected. I prepped myself for the disappointment, realizing that to take it personally would only upset me. Kids are back in school and summer is technically over and it’s hard to get on a plane if you’re elderly or sick or have little babies or just a busy adult.
What I’ve realized though is that the disappointments have made me ten times more grateful for the people who are showing up. I’m overwhelmed, quite honestly by all the people I love so much coming from all over to celebrate with me. Tom is flying in from Los Angeles and Alayna and her husband will be there though they are grieving and my friends Dan and JK and 6/7ths of my improv team, compromised of actors and artists who will light up the dance floor and be generally ridiculous.
It’s the sweetest and the loveliest and I’ve cried many times thinking of it.
I’ve been in Florida since Sunday, taking this upcoming week to finalize last minute details and spend some time with J before people start arriving and things get crazy. The wedding is Saturday at the sweetest little chapel followed by a reception at sunset at a lovely space on the marsh side of the island with huge windows and Chinese lanterns over the dance floor. My dad is giving a toast in his ridiculous Brooklyn accent which is sure to delight everyone, as long as the Southerners can understand him. (J is from Nashville, Tennessee.)
I’m thrilled to have a party.
I’m even more thrilled to marry J.
There was a time in my life when I did not believe a person so wonderful existed. There was also a time in my life when I did not believe a person so wonderful would ever find me.
I’m so lucky to have been proven wrong on both counts.
I love you, J.
Let’s get married and lay on the beach for the rest of our lives.