How do I even wedding?
September 10, 2015 9:52 AM   Subscribe

It's been a few years since the 2nd edition of weddings for dummies on the green, so I'm here to ask for the 3rd edition, I guess.

I'm engaged. Yay! But... Halp! How do I even wedding? Besides "do all searching from incognito browser windows", what are my best ways to wade into this battle with the Wedding/Industrial complex? I've read some of the previous wedding-planning questions. Also, I've found Offbeat Bride already, but it looks like the oft-previously-referenced Indie Bride site got eaten by HuffPo. Neither of us has ever planned a wedding before, and neither my girlfriend fiancée nor I have done a lot of "what my wedding will be like" daydreaming about colors/themes/patterns/etc, so on the one hand we don't have a lot of preconceived ideas but on the other hand we don't have much idea, yet.

We're planning on sitting down over the weekend and starting to talk through some of this, but I feel like I'm not even at the point of knowing what questions I should be asking.
posted by rmd1023 to Society & Culture (28 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
People I know have really liked A Practical Wedding (and the book of the same name).
posted by mskyle at 9:55 AM on September 10, 2015 [8 favorites]

Second that. I think A Practical Wedding is a pretty great, LGBTQ-affirming site. They do features on "real weddings" that provide lots of inspiration.
posted by pinetree at 9:56 AM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Third-ing A Practical Wedding, especially the book!
posted by rebekah at 9:59 AM on September 10, 2015

(I did suggest that we could subvert the 'bridezilla' trope and go with "kaiju" as a wedding theme. Raar!)
posted by rmd1023 at 9:59 AM on September 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

The big wedding sites like The Knot have pages that help you calendar out every task you need to complete between now and W Day. We found this really helpful as it brought up lots of stuff we hadn't thought of, and then helped us place due dates for those tasks on our calendar. I recommend doing that first. (It's also funny to see some of the stuff other couples find to be essential wedding tasks that we thought were ridiculous and have no plans of including.)

Second, in some locations you may really need to reserve a site immediately before you lose options. Check out city and regional park owned properties for lower prices.

Looking at wedding photography and wedding blogs will give you lots of ideas for style and things to include in the actual day.

I'd say just remember, you can actually do whatever the hell you want! I mean, check out Mexi Trek Wedding! Even as a life long iconoclastic, anti-authoritarian cynic, I feel a lot of pressure to like, rent those wedding chair covers that I personally find ugly and useless. Even seemingly alternative vendors will say stuff to you like, "This is the most important day of your life" when trying to pressure you into expensive packages you might not really want. Identify what is most important to the two of you and stick with it!

And finally, be prepared for stress and conflict in this process. Avoiding this stress and conflict is impossible. It's how you handle the conflict as a couple that matters.
posted by latkes at 10:06 AM on September 10, 2015

Nthing APW, for a good place to get started go here on their site and scroll down to the flow diagram. It sets out what to think about first, which is useful.

Basically, once you have your date, figure out where, roughly how big, and how much you want to spend. Then start thinking about what it's gonna look like and how you're gonna do it.

And CONGRATULATIONS! I'm where you are right now, just ahead in the planning stakes, and it's pretty fun. The figuring-out-budget bits are tedious but the rest is cool. Don't make more decisions than you have to early on - you'll settle into it over time and figure out what feels right as you go. And unless you're attached to it, screw tradition - do it your way as much as possible :)
posted by greenish at 10:08 AM on September 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Thirty-Something Wedding is good for mining ideas no matter your age. The age label on the blog essentially serves as a signifier that the Wedding Industrial Complex (the wicked WIC of the west) has no power here. And that you and your fiancee should plan your wedding in your backyard with a Star Wars theme, if that's your dream.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 10:15 AM on September 10, 2015

Remember above all that a wedding is a party, not a theatrical performance. So think about what kinds of parties y'all might want to throw as a starting point for thinking about what you'd want your wedding to look like. Suave and elegant? Casual and intimate? Raucous and joyful? Sweet and charming?

The best piece of wedding planning advice I ever got was to pick three things to really care about down to the last jot and tittle, and decide that for everything else, you're going to trust your professionals to put something together that will be plenty good enough. In my case, my three things were my dress, the ceremony, and the music; I spent probably weeks choosing music but I approved the first menu the caterer sent over, and the only instructions I gave the florist were "This is my budget and this is what color my dress is. I like tulips." Getting out from under the expectation that every single aspect of the wedding had to be the Best Most Perfect Thing saved us a ton of money and stress.
posted by KathrynT at 10:15 AM on September 10, 2015 [6 favorites]

For us, we started with 2 questions. When do we want to get married? Who do we want to be there? We wanted to be married quickly - I think it was about 14 weeks. That meant some compromises in who was able to attend (travel, cost).

After you pick when and who, then you can worry about venues and officiants and flowers and food. It seems that many people make decisions about venue and then have everything revolve around that. If the venue isn't available for 2 years, then you're waiting 2 years. Or it only holds 25 people so you limit the guest list - seems like the wrong way to do it.

As KathrynT mentioned I picked 3 things... honestly I no longer remember what those three things were, but it did greatly reduce my stress.
posted by 26.2 at 10:18 AM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Here are my bits of advice:

1) Get a rough guest list together first, before everything and anything. This includes asking your immediate family who they expect you to invite (if that's going to be a fight, have that fight early rather than late). Nearly everything for a wedding is priced per person or dependent on knowing how many people. When you start calculating costs per-head, you might feel more comfortable leaving some people off your guest list. Then, try to do yourself a favor and select a venue that can accommodate slightly more than your guest list (and if you fall in love with a smaller venue, cut your list mercilessly). I have seen a lot of last-minute stress around being 10-15 people over the max, etc. It's really not worth it.

2) Do seriously consider not having attendants (or just having one each). For some people this is a really important part of their event, but I have seen more unavoidable drama around wedding parties than anything else. You can still ask important people in your life to take on certain roles and responsibilities, they just don't necessarily all have to wear a coordinated costume. We did this and still managed to have our siblings do readings and our close friends organize parties and toasts.

3) As Kathryn T mentioned very astutely, decide what's important to you and worry about that first of all. The stuff you don't care so much about you can either do without, try to cut costs, or allow someone else to make decisions about (this is great for people in your life who want to 'be involved.') I do know people who really fussed over stuff that wasn't even that important to them. It's a lot of energy to spend on stuff you don't care about.

4) Just get comfortable with the idea that the whole thing is probably going to be more expensive than you expected. I think a lot of people do themselves a disservice by grumping over every last cost and deciding all their vendors are taking advantage of them because Wedding Industrial Complex. In some cases, paying slightly more for a service gets you more in the end. For example, we went with a slightly more expensive caterer but we ended up avoiding being nickeled and dimed in other aspects - for example, we didn't need to hire a day-of coordinator because they did it all, we didn't need to rent these ridiculous platters that the dessert maker wanted to charge us for, and we didn't need to rely on guests to do a bunch of extra stuff for us. There are ways to cut costs for sure, but make sure they really do cut costs and don't just shift them around.
posted by vunder at 10:36 AM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Not weddinging (is that even a word?) is always an option. We hit your state of overwhelmed pretty quickly and decided to screw the entire thing. We ran off to Hawaii and got married, with about 30 of our closest friends in attendance.

And by closest friends, I mean random strangers in the park that day that decided our wedding was a spectator sport. A consultant that worked for the park planned everything. We pretty much just had to show up on time, which we failed at because of traffic. 30 minutes late to our own wedding!

24 years later I can say I've never regretted the way we did it.
posted by COD at 10:39 AM on September 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

Congratulations! When we were planning our wedding, we found a planning spreadsheet from one of those bridal websites (not sure which one, sorry). It listed out everything you could possibly pay for as part of a wedding ("must haves" according to the website, of course) and we went through it line by line deciding what we wanted and what we didn't want to do. For example, we didn't want bridesmaids and groomsmen, so we cut all those sections out of the sheet.

It ended up being a pretty good tool for prioritizing our wants and keeping track of costs.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:43 AM on September 10, 2015

I'm a big believer in the "pick three things" approach mentioned above. I also think it's important to focus on the fact that this is YOUR wedding and not your parents' wedding, not Aunt Matilda's wedding, and not anybody else's wedding. So decide what that means to you, and work from a position of trying to get a wedding that reflects you as a couple and your values.

My wife and I are both from different parts of the country, so we had a small-ish (50 person) wedding up at a big house that we rented in the mountains that had beds for everyone, and we invited everyone to stay with us for a 4-day weekend. It was outstanding, and allowed us to spend lots of time with our 50 favorite people, and allowed us to introduce them to each other. Then we did receptions in both hometowns to involve everyone else. It wasn't a particularly traditional approach but it reflected us as a couple and what we valued, and even setting aside the wedding itself, it remains one of my favorite weekends ever. So if Blowout Picnic reflects you as a couple, do that. If 10-person beach wedding suits you better, do that. If all goes as planned you'll only do this once, so take some time and do it in a way that is meaningful to you.
posted by craven_morhead at 10:55 AM on September 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

First: Guest list. 10 people is way different from 100, regarding venue, food budget, etc.

Around half to one third probably will not show, if many of your people need to travel. If they REALLY need to travel, half is probably optimistic.

Second: Venue. Local or distant? In your city has a lot of advantages. Church, meeting hall, scenic spot, museum ? Budget is a sharp concern here. Also again consider travel expense for your guests... if you care about them :)

Third, food. Food is important :D

Fourth... everything else? Invites are probably the only thing pretty essential I left out. Maybe an officiant. People like having photos and videos, usually.

My wife picked venue, food, and her dress.

If you have someone who likes planning, they can be a huge help.

Also, don't spend a ton of $$$. Its not, in my opinion, really worth it. And have fun! :)
posted by Jacen at 11:09 AM on September 10, 2015

I say this as someone who is not in favor of "the wedding industrial complex" and who planned my own very basic traditional wedding along with my now-spouse (we both have professional event planning and budgeting experience-- peice of cake, right?):

posted by zennie at 11:17 AM on September 10, 2015

I did suggest that we could subvert the 'bridezilla' trope and go with "kaiju" as a wedding theme. Raar

HELL YES. My simple suggestion: pretend you're planning a party where you and your bride-to-be are the center of attention, then everything is fun.

My wife and I had a vague mish-mash zombie/monster theme. We made our own save the date cards, and we re-used the doodly little monster face on our invitations and wedding glasses. My wife loves zombies, so we had a graveyard cake as the main cake (complete with custom cake topper of us as zombified bride and groom), which was OK with our parents after the cake designer mentioned making a brain cake (serious kudos to her for making a graveyard seem tame). The grooms cake was a volcano with active volcano (I think we used baking soda and vinegar, but there are other options). Our first dance was the monster mash, where my wife danced barefoot (her high-heeled shoes were uncomfortable, but were good for photo ops to make me seem like less of a towering giant) and I wore my red "wedding" Converse (I've since worn them to a few other weddings). We even talked about changing our last name to Monster Monster, but she went with the western tradition of taking my last name for hers. Anyway, we had a blast, and as a bonus ego boost, some friends who went to three other weddings said ours was the most fun.

The basic checklist:
  1. Couple to be married
  2. Officiant
  3. Location
The basic plus:
  1. Guests (invite who you both want to invite, ignore obligations and old family grievances, this day is for you two)
  2. Save the date notices, and the (more) formal invitations (you could probably get away with email for all this, but you might like to go with something physical for a reminder for you and your guests)
  3. Photographer or videographer (of all the things to spend money on and be picky about, the photographer is it in my eyes, because you don't want to be left with crappy wedding photos)
  4. Some form of music (Rent decent speakers that you can hook up to your laptop, smart phone or tablet, hire someone to be MC and DJ, or go all out and get a band, whatever makes you happy)
  5. Some dessert you both enjoy (cake is not necessary), with enough for everyone
  6. Food for everyone (if you go with traditional catering, make sure they can bring food to your location, or can cook there; or throw a pot luck! People might call you cheap, but it could also be a lot of fun)
  7. A way to serve that food, and clean up afterwords (both the food service - plates, glasses, and utensils - plus clean-up, which are not always included with catering, especially if you get some restaurant that is used to more casual catering of parties, and not "formal" events)
  8. Alcohol (you both can pay for it up front, or you can let everyone buy their own, but the toast is usually something you two pick up)
  9. Shuttle service (if your location is somewhere with limited parking, or remote enough that you want to encourage people to carpool and/or let them imbibe and get back to their hotel safely)
  10. Party favors (little trinkets like mini kaiju, commemorative champagne flutes or little candles, mix CDs, photo collages, or something of the sort for people to take with them - totally optional)
Locations can be a hassle. Mention "wedding" and the costs can increase, so as soon as you know roughly when you want to be married and how many people you think will attend, look around. Also, certain venues will limit your options on food and drink, and how you power any music. Hotels often require you cater (including alcohol purchase/service) through them, so that can increase prices greatly. And depending on the size of your gathering, the venue and local ordinances, you might have to hire security.

From our experience, we got married on a Sunday around 10 AM, so some of our religious friends and family could attend local services and still get to the wedding, and we saved a bunch of money on the location rental. We wrapped up the planned events around 2 PM, so people could travel that same day. We chose a nice little building with an outdoor garden with an arbor-type structure for the wedding, and plenty of space inside for guests, food prep, the DJ and whatnot.

Regarding a wedding planner: I think who you both are, where you want to get married, how much time you have, who you have supporting you (emotionally and/or financially), the size of your wedding party, and how much you care about getting everything Just Right can determine if a wedding planner would be a benefit to the process. If you're concerned about the details and timing of the day, if you have a huge party, and/or you want to get married in a popular location with high competition for wedding services, a wedding planner would be great. But we survived with the two of us, our parents, and a select few family and friends at various outings (dress shopping, cake tasting and discussions). My wife's parents had gone through the wedding of one of their daughters before, so they had some ideas about what did and didn't work that time (the biggest was the photographer, to be honest - good friend, mediocre photographer).

Final suggestion: while you should meet and greet your guests after the wedding, make sure you have time to do that AND eat food before it's cold, or worse, all gone.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:23 AM on September 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Around half to one third probably will not show, if many of your people need to travel. If they REALLY need to travel, half is probably optimistic.

Hm, we had about 75% show (local-to-us wedding, out of town families) - would have been more if we hadn't done it after the start of the school year, which limited some of the out of town family. I went through every person on the list and estimated the likelihood they would come and then figured it as a percentage. My estimate was off by 3%.
posted by vunder at 11:28 AM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

My best advice is to pick a location first. This will help narrow down your other decisions. For example, if you're not picky about a date, their availability will give you an idea. If they only work with a certain caterer, that's another decision you don't have to make. If it's a place that does a lot of weddings, they will usually have an event planner on staff, and that person can help guide you in the other decisions. They will know and recommend the best DJs and bands, florists, bakers, etc. Getting firsthand recommendations is a lot more useful than trying to google everything.

The other advice I can give (although I'm not sure my wife would agree) is to relax. You'll get so far into planning little details (napkins, seriously), and at that point, you just need to realize it doesn't matter that much. For me, as a Catholic, the only detail that really mattered was the priest telling me we were married. Everything else is supposed to be fun.

Best wishes, and congratulations!
posted by kevinbelt at 12:11 PM on September 10, 2015

I have slightly different advice from everyone else here. The "new" kind of wedding is generally described as "a proclamation of your personal identities and values as a couple". And that's great! The standard cookie-cutter wedding is ripe for rearranging! And you should obviously have a kind of wedding that is meaningful for you and your wife-to-be!

However, please don't take it to mean that every single detail must absolutely reflect who you are as people and your values. ("Do pink hydrangeas in milk glass or wild flowers in pebbles better reflect us as a couple? God, why must we make these decisions?") If you honestly care deeply about certain details, and if they're fun for you to plan, you guys go right ahead! But unfortunately in my milieu, I've seen people getting just as much flak from the "non-traditional" side as from the "traditional side"--so free yourselves not only from the "not traditional enough!" mindset, but also from the "not unique and radical and personalized enough!" mindset.
posted by Hypatia at 12:21 PM on September 10, 2015 [5 favorites]

If someone else cares about something n-thly, they get to take care of it.
For example, my family wanted me to have a cake. I did not care. My sister took care of it as a present to us. It was perfect.
My family also wanted us to have a nice "reception." I picked a restaurant within walking distance of the courthouse and told my dad, he arranged lunch, and that was that.
It probably helps that our wedding included our immediate families, Mr. Meat's granddad, and that's it.
But yeah, give other people jobs. I handed the other sister a list of "these are the pictures I want taken, ID people for photographer, here."
posted by Ms Vegetable at 12:33 PM on September 10, 2015

Some friends got married at the bar they worked at, hired a baked potato van and had a friend DJ. The bride wore a fancy frock and some Converse. It was one of the funnest weddings ever, and they could have a LOT of people attend because they weren't worried about £50/head fancy dinner.

Some of my other friends have a bit of a festival organising background, and their wedding was suspiciously festival like, down to the guests all camping in a field.

I LEARNED that if you plan a party that's roughly similar to the kind of party you might normally have, rather than aiming to replicate parties that imaginary fancy people have, it's cheaper, a lot less stress and just as much fun. Unless you are a fancy person in which case, I got nothing.
posted by emilyw at 1:46 PM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

First things first:
- Money - who's contributing, and what's the budget going to be like? Parents pitching in / completely footing the bill?
- How many people to be invited, ballpark figure, i.e. everyone's invited! vs. closest friends and limited family. Family expectations must be considered.
- Church? Justice of the Peace? Wedding Commissioner?
- When?

Second string of conversation:
- weddings you have been to/heard of, what you liked/disliked about them.
- Hopes and dreams for this wedding (esp. wedding attire and party)
- likely family expectations to be accommodated
- who can be counted on to help, and for what (very important in low-budget situations)

If your fiancée doesn't Pinterest, she should start... very helpful for keeping a running list of ideas, for sharing with friends/family.
posted by lizbunny at 2:00 PM on September 10, 2015

I got married last spring, and the big things that needed planning for us were:

1) Venue
2) Food and drink
3) Officiant
4) Photographer
5) Music
6) Invites
7) License
8) Dress

My advice is to get the venue and date first. Often, they'll have food and drink vendor requirements. Once you've got the venue and date, send the invites. We used a google form to keep track of responses and thank yous. If your venue doesn't include food and drink, figure out what your budget is for them and try a bunch of caterers. An officiant is pretty easy — either whatever faith representative you want or someone who seems able to speak in public and available. If you end up getting married in LA, I can do it. Otherwise, some other MeFite or a friend. Universal Life Church has requirements that are pretty nebulous and are legal in all states. You'll usually need to apply for a license between 90 and 30 days in advance — check with your county to be sure. Ask around for a photographer; track quotes. We found it much easier to get a photographer explicitly as a work-for-hire, meaning our contract granted us the copyright to the photos, so that we could print and distribute them as we like. Find a friend or friend-of-a-friend who is a reliable DJ. As for the dress, plan to work on that 60 to 30 days before the wedding to give time to have it properly fitted.

The real secret as far as I can tell is to delegate delegate delegate. Think about what decisions you're making, but for the most part, get people whose taste you trust and just empower them to make decisions. One last bit of advice: Keep telling yourself that the goal of the wedding is to end up married, so as long as that gets done you'll be fine no matter what else goes wrong. Having that as a simple mantra will help relieve a lot of the stress over fiddly details that you won't remember anyway (seriously, most married people remember surprisingly little from their actual wedding in terms of flower arrangements or whatever — you'll remember your wife, your family, having fun, but it's a giant whirlwind and compared to actually marrying the person you love, who the fuck cares if you accidentally sat Uncle Jim next to Cousin Nora?).
posted by klangklangston at 3:40 PM on September 10, 2015

1) When do you want it.
2) Who do you want to be there.
3) What sort of ceremony do you want.
4) What sort of celebration(s) do you want.
5) What sort of budget do you have.
posted by kjs4 at 8:51 PM on September 10, 2015

I got really good answers to my own Weddings for Dummies question in 2013. Here is what worked for me:

1) decide about how big a wedding we wanted to have, guestwise

2) pick a venue that could accommodate this

3) realize it is okay to really not care about most of it and enjoy the freedom of "eh, whatevering" a lot of decisions

4) accept help from people with very very specific tasks and allowing them total ownership. My mom took charge of the flowers after a 1/2 hour meeting with me and the florist and set them all up with her sisters. She was thrilled to help and pay. His brother officiated and came up with a very short ceremony. My brothers had a few easy, specific things to pick up. My sister kept me company while I got my hair done. My good friend handed out tram tickets to our guests at the base of the mountain. Nobody felt overwhelmed and everybody liked us still when we were done

5) this option is not available to everyone, but: pay people to care about the things we did not care about and do the things we did not want to do. One of the reasons we picked a slightly fancier venue was that there was a person whose job it was to guide us through everything and make sure nothing blew up day-of. We would have found a wedding planner, probably, if we hadn't gone with the dance venue.

6) realize that, after the ceremony, it is basically a big party. A party should be fun for everyone. At the end of the day, we figured that everyone had fun and went back to their hotel rooms full and happy and a little drunk if they wanted to be, as did we, and even if it wasn't totally traditional or indie and handmade or what everyone expected, it was right for us and everyone else was along for the good time.
posted by charmedimsure at 9:47 PM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

I will also recommend A Practical Wedding - the website is great but can feel overwhelming at first; the book is fantastic because it's a short paperback and especially the first couple of chapters really walk you through this stage you're in right now.

My advice based on planning a wedding this past year.

1. First, come up with your serious non-negotiables. For most people this would be budget (could be big or small, but you want to have a sense of what you're working with) and guests (presumably certain guests will be non-negotiable unless you want to elope; make sure to have parents/siblings and anyone else you NEED to be there in on selecting the wedding date). Specific to guests, one of the first things we did was sit down and make up a spreadsheet of the people we really wanted there at the wedding. Until we did this, we were thinking "Oh, a smallish 50-person wedding would be lovely!" Yeah, turns out we both have huge families and hadn't quite realized how huge until we sat down and wrote down all the names. :) So know who you really want there to make the day special -- for us, it was worth it to have a big wedding even if it felt less "intimate" because all of those people were really important! Another thing I might put in this category is doing a general inventory of the amount of family/friend (non-monetary) help you think you'll be able to leverage. We were able to skip a lot of traditional wedding vendors because we have family/friends who really wanted to pitch in (and who we knew were skilled at what we were asking them to do). Obvioulsy this is more/less available to different people and also your community's skill set will vary (in our case, bake delicious cupcakes = yes!! but pro-level photography = no, we will hire someone!) Sometimes just hiring someone is easier/less stressful if you have the money to throw at it, so consider that as well!

2. Think about what things would be most important to you about a wedding. It's okay if you don't have strong feelings about lots of things that other people obsess over! For us, venue was most important to me (I had dreamed of getting married at a certain location since I was a kid), photos were most important to my fiance, and food + getting a specific officiant for our ceremony were really important to both of us. So we made our plans around those four things. This helps a lot. Yes, you will still have to make decisions about how you word your invitations and what chairs people will sit in, but it helps a lot to be able to think back and say -- we've got the important stuff that really matters covered, so as long as we do actually invite people and do actually have a place for them to sit, the details don't really matter. We had lots of things that didn't go perfectly -- some iPod DJ'ing snafus, a floral mess-up that resulted in an amazing bridesmaid re-making my bouquet at the eleventh hour, etc. But those four priorities happened, and so our overall vision of the day was what we wanted.

3. It can be fun to look at mainstream bridal publications/websites/Pinterest if that is fun for you. I resisted for a long time because I was like "WIC is evil! Must not conform!" But you know what -- at least for me, it was a blast to drool over $5000 dresses I would never be able to afford and laugh at people's weirdly staged bridal portraits. If looking at some of this stuff floats your boat, I say enjoy it -- just keep in mind your priorities you want for YOUR wedding.
posted by rainbowbrite at 7:06 AM on September 11, 2015

Oh, I'm not averse to dipping into the well of the wedding industry if it works. Just warily, so I don't get flooded with advertising that will annoy me.

I figure a big part of coming into your own taste is realizing "not everything that's popular or mainstream is good", and part of it is realizing "not everything that's popular or mainstream is bad."
posted by rmd1023 at 6:01 PM on September 11, 2015

update: So, after a few months of futzing about, we realized that for various reasons we wanted to be married during a particular science fiction convention coming up soon, which gave us the options of "three weeks out" or "a year and three weeks out", so we essentially pulled a wedding out of our hats in less than 3 weeks. 20 guests, a friend to do the officiating (which in MA meant we nearly missed the deadline for him applying for his 'one day you get to perform this marriage' certification), an unused function room from the convention organizers, and reserving the private space at the restaurant in the same hotel. We still need to schedule a bit reception-type party for later in the spring where we can invite all the people we want to celebrate with, which is its own challenge.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:00 AM on January 13, 2016 [4 favorites]

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