Since I said yes, a lot has happened! Since many people have asked, and since we’ve made some plans, it’s time for an update.
Have you set a date?
Yes! We’re getting married October 10, 2009. That’s a little less than five months from now.
Are you getting married in Illinois?
No. We didn’t want to plan a wedding somewhere where we weren’t living, and we also didn’t want to have someone else plan our wedding for us (and also spend our money for us). We’re getting married in Alexandria, just a couple of miles from where we’re living right now.
Specifically, we’re getting married at Fort Ward Park. Fort Ward is the site of a Civil War Museum, which is surrounded by beautiful park areas, an amphitheater, and picnic sites. We’ve rented a quiet picnic area with lots of trees and sunlight – but also a shelter in case it rains. In addition to picnics and the museum, however, Fort Ward Park also hosts living history events – and on our wedding day, it will be the site of a living history event about Civil War munitions. That’s right – there will be CANNONS at our wedding (or at least nearby).
Why aren’t you getting married in a church?
My family belongs to an Evangelical Free church, and Shane’s family are Jehovah’s Witnesses. When we go, we attend services a United Methodist church. If we wished to be inclusive and respectful of our families, getting married in a church wasn’t possible.
What’s your wedding day going to be like?
Very informal. When we sat down to talk about our wedding, we had a much easier time coming up with things that we didn’t want – rather than things that we did want. Things on our “not list” included:
- Flower arrangements
- Courtesy invites
We want our wedding day to be fun and casual – a day to celebrate our partnership but also our relationship with our families and loved ones. Because of this, the Big American Wedding – referred to sometimes as a byproduct of the “Wedding Industrial Complex” – wasn’t an option for us. We didn’t want the sort of day where our loved ones spend a bunch of money on travel and gifts to spend the day not really getting to spend any time with us while we go through motions that aren’t really important to us. In addition, because we’re paying for everything ourselves and are planning on a short timetable, we couldn’t afford the whole ridiculous shebang even if we wanted it.
Instead, we’re keeping it small and sweet and inexpensive. We’re going to have snacks and play croquet. We’re going to be married by a friend or family member. We’re not spending exorbitant amounts on clothes or flowers. We’re having our reception at a local restaurant, and instead of a cake, we’re getting cupcakes from the coffee shop down the street from our apartment. The money we spend on our wedding site and reception will go back into the community. We’re keeping our guest list extremely small so that we can spend time with those who share the day with us.
Can I come?
It’s not uncommon to have 200+ people at a conventional American wedding. My sister is getting married in July, and she’s having well over 100 guests. This type of function is expensive to host, and expensive to attend, especially if you have to travel across the country, paying for travel, lodging, meals, and all of that. Because of this, and because of the type of wedding we want to have, we’re restricting our guest list to our immediate families and a few close friends. Our parents have offered to host open houses for us in Cleveland and Rockford later in the year, which will give us an opportunity to spend time with our friends from other parts of the country.
So, in short: please don’t be hurt if you’re not invited to the wedding itself. We’re inviting literally about 30 people, and will do our best to include our loved ones in other ways wherever possible. We appreciate the love and support that we’ve received from all of our friends and family and would have all of you here with us if we could – but we can’t, and we hope you understand.