Why Not?

It's the holiday season, and that means that we're spending time with all kinds of family members and friends- most of them new to one or the other of us. And the questions? They're rolling in like the tide.

Just like when the moon is... However is is when the tide is in.

Among the many questions we hear about our love story, the most common theme is WHY DIDN'T YOU INVITE ME TO THE/WANT A/HAVE A WEDDING?!

Trust me when I say that is a tough question to answer on the fly! There is no better travel agent for a one-way guilt trip than an offended family member.

We knew that we'd have questions to answer, though, so we've been preparing for it. And while we never, ever wanted to hurt people we love by excluding them from our nupitals, when we looked at the pros and cons and applied them to our situation, we did what we felt was best for us. By deciding to have a very small, simple, family-only wedding, we eliminated some very big headaches. And we couldn't be happier.

I'm not going to lie, we still feel badly about having to exclude so many people. It wasn't an easy decision, either - it took some intense pros-and-cons sessions, y'all. In the end, these are the issues that influenced our decision the most.

In handy list form for your viewing pleasure, because I'm nothing if not organized. Or, you know, list-crazed.

1) Timing was [supposed to be] of essential importance. When we married, D was on target to be leaving for boot camp within a month or so. And we wanted to be married before that happened. Romantic, right? Kids in love these days, I tell you. Plans were delayed later, but by then, we were already married, and we weren't interested in undoing it. ;)

2) I have expensive taste. No, really. Show me a fashion lineup and I guarantee my favorite outfit will be the most expensive one. What can I say? I'm distingushed like that. ;) I've also been through dozens of friends' weddings and helped plan many of them, so of COURSE, I had a definite idea of what I'd choose for every detail. And when we weighed out the cost of a glamorous, elegant wedding, especially one that stood up to my tastes, starting out our marriage with that extra cash in our pockets instead of in debts we incurred seemed a lot more important.

3) We were resistant to the pressure to produce this experience that many people would attend only to judge or, even worse, out of fear that they'd otherwise be committing a horrible social faux-pas. Weddings are widely critiqued, hated, loved, feared, and gossipped about, and we wanted none of those things for our day. We didn't want to be compared to every other wedding, either - and as much as this point may sound like paranoia and/or babble [it may be at least one of those things, I'm just sayin'] it was an important factor in our decision.

Why attempt to produce an over-the-top, one-of-a-kind wedding experience when we're not interested in impressing anyone? We just wanted to start our lives together, not wow guests with opulent displays of tradition.

4) Stage fright. Or, more precisely, an intense need for privacy. When it came to sacred vows to each other and God, binding us together for eternity, the thought of hundreds of people witnessing the most important promise I'd ever make, and my ensuing display of emotions, was daunting. Why does everyone need to see that? I mean, really, it's no one else's business. Or so I told myself when we were making crucial decisions to axe the fairy tale nupitals for a much simpler 'I do'.

When it came down to it, our immediate families and very best friends were the only ones present. Would we have enjoyed having a little more room for extended family to share our moment with us? Yes. But in the tiny facility we used, that just wasn't possible.

5) It's easier to slight everyone and apologize for it, than to offend some people because they were excluded while others weren't. This looks like a really cowardly sentiment when it's all typed out, but we knew that friends and acquaintances would be a lot more understanding if we excluded everyone than if we picked and chose only some of them to invite.

If we had been able to access unlimited funds and extended lengths of time to plan the perfect wedding, our story might have been different. But we didn't. And we don't regret our decision.

After all, we're in it for the marriage, not the wedding. ;)

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