How to Have (Someone else’s) Wedding

I ran into a recently married acquaintance at a birthday party last week. She used to attend my church, but rarely comes now.

After the fun “How did he propose?” “Were you surprised?” “Do you know when you’re getting married?” she transitioned to the Dark Side.

“We got married in a park lodge in Oregon. You should totally do that too.”


Their families are both from Chicago, and they didn’t want a huge wedding, so they decided to get away and spend a weekend with their guests. It gave them a chance to catch up with people and really spend time with their guests.

It also meant a lot of people didn’t come.

If you have to invite a lot of your parents friends that you’ve never met/barely know, I get it (and I assume that was their reality). But it just sounds sad to me. My family is virtually all out of town, so it would make no difference to them if I got married somewhere else (although my cousins have been looking forward to seeing Chicago for ages since they’ve never been). Mike’s family lives about an hour away, so a destination wedding would be the difference between driving and flying, and would probably drastically reduce the number of guests who were able to make it.

And I think that would be sad.

My theory about destination weddings (and kind of about Friday or Sunday weddings as well) is that they pass the cost on to the guests. It’s way cheaper for me because I’m guaranteeing plenty of people will have to get a hotel room. For people who have a ton of obligatory guests that they don’t care about at all (like parents friends and coworkers) this probably makes a huge difference, not just financially but in the feel of the wedding. We don’t have that though–our guest list is family. Our parents are collectively inviting maybe a dozen guests, and we know the majority of them. (The only ones we don’t know are a couple my dad works with and one of my dad’s coworkers new spouses.) They won’t make a big impact on my wedding and if its important to my dad they be invited that’s totally fine with me.

I’m probably also thinking about my friends destination wedding, which I couldn’t attend due to timing (and it was very expensive) because it was during the school year on a Thursday in St. Thomas. Just not possible.

So I can see where destination weddings are right for some people–just not for us. Its very important to us that we get married in a church, by an officiant with whom we have a relationship. And luckily, that is just what we’re going to do.


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