Whew. I've finally caught my breath! I wouldn't necessarily say the initial shock of getting engaged has worn off, because I'm not sure it ever will. However, I think I'm finally ready to make my re-entry from lala land into the real world.
Wow, did this happen fast. Sometime in my preteen years I decided that marriage was an outdated social institution and that people who willfully entered into it were kidding themselves. All of the feminist reading I did in the ensuing decade or so helped to convince me that it's also kind of a bum deal for a girl. All of this, topped off by the miserable marriages I have seen family members (read: parents) go through, led me to believe I Am Not The Type Of Girl Who Gets Married. I loved living by myself after college, and thought for sure I'd just be happy as the crazy cat lady in old age.
Admittedly, when I first met CJ seven and a half years ago, the thought flashed through my mind I think I could eventually marry this guy. It was almost like a brain seizure, but it was there nonetheless. And over the almost four years we've dated and almost three years we have lived together, I've learned that life with a partner can, if gone about in the right way, be a perfectly healthy and VERY rewarding experience. He's made me understand what people mean when they say someone is their rock. He gets me. And, although I hate to quote a movie here, he makes me want to be a better person.
So here I am, planning a wedding. My original dreams of having about ten people present while we basically elope and then have a big party when we return have gotten scrapped due to reasons of practicality (my dad has health issues, and CJ's family is giant). It's looking like we're going to end up having a big ol' bash here in Cleveland, which actually makes me happy because we'll be keeping our cash in the local economy. In 45 minutes I will officially begin visiting possible venues... hee hee hee!
Plans in the worksL at the moment we're thinking October or March (October because it's beautiful; March because I have a week off of work, and lots of places give discounts because it's off season). Our budget is small, our tastes eclectic, and our guest list is probably going to be around 150. I'm pretty crafty, but have very limited spare time (thank you etsy! I will find some wedding stuff via you, I am sure). We will have a few dozen out-of-town guests, so the closer to a hotel the better (we;re even exploring the possibility of doing it AT a hotel). We want to do the ceremony and reception at the same place. That's what we have so far.
Anyone who has recently planned or attended a wedding in Cleveland, PLEASE don't hesitate to offer input. I'm quite skeptical of information in wedding websites and magazines; as delightful as they are to peruse they're SO carnivorously trying to drum up business for their sponsors. So I need firsthand, candid advice. Venues? Florists? Caterers? Photographers? Places to buy dresses? DJs? Ways to save money? Please leave comments or email me directly to set up a coffee-and-info-sharing date. :) Thank you all in advance!