Wedding Planning

None of this bullshit! (Kidding---this bullshit was yummy and at my brother's wedding.)

None of this bullshit! (Kidding—this bullshit was yummy and at my brother’s wedding.)

J was very clear with me when we were deciding whether or not to get married: if we got married, he wanted it all. There would be no little lunch in a restaurant after city hall. No barbecue at our house with cookies baked in the kitchen. No cold buffet. Not even a hot buffet. Buffets completely banished really.

No, this will be a wedding with a five-course meal, a dance party, a vin d’honneur with the whole village (okay, not the whole village… just everyone we know).

So I said okay. After all, I’ve actually never been to a French wedding, and I like new cultural experiences. And I knew there were things I wouldn’t go all out on: the dress, the rings (we’re not even sure we will have them), the pre-wedding parties.

The only thing really important to me is to be able to celebrate with the people we love.

So there’s the hiccup. Who are the people you love when you left your home country five (or seven, depending how you count) years ago and most of your American friends have never even MET your boyfriend?

GAH. I am having a hard time with it. I would really like to invite my college friends—but there are so few that I actually exchange e-mails with anymore! Yet these were people I loved and laughed with for four very formative years. Not inviting them practically admits the friendships are over and cuts off a good opportunity to renew.

There probably will be some of this, though I won't wear that hat.

There probably will be some of this, though I won’t wear that hat.

I think and think and think about this. Honestly to really decide, we need an estimate from the caterer, and I have designated J to do that, since he cares more than me about food. So we’ll see how speedily he gets on that (my bet’s on NOT AT ALL.)* But who’s to say that these friends will even come? Would I spend $1000 to go to the wedding of someone I hear from maybe once a year, but who I basically grew into adulthood with? I DON’T KNOW.

(The answer is technically probably not because most people don’t get married during French school vacations. But not everyone is a teacher.)

*J hates making professional phone calls and always prefers that I do it even though he is the native French speaker.


7 thoughts on “Wedding Planning

  1. We did do a cold buffet, but as the weather was HOT HOT HOT, it actually ended up being the better option. People could eat as little or as much as they wanted (most people went for very little), and many were so so happy to see the cold spread. So if planning on the summer, might want to think about lighter courses for your five course meal 🙂 I know I would never have made it. I skipped the cheese we had and had to force down a small piece of cake. At least I was able to enjoy those things the day after when it was cooler and I was hungry again.

    I ended up just inviting some close friends who live on this side of the ocean. For friends (and family for that matter) back home, I just sent announcements. As ours was a bit more rushed, I didn’t want to put pressure on anyone to come. A few did ask if they were invited, and if they asked, I said “Yes” though none of them did end up coming.

    Good luck 🙂

    • I totally dig the cold buffet, but J is really into food and the whole meal is a big deal to him. I also have some friends this side of the ocean who will be invited. I’m sure the stateside friends will understand if they’re not invited… it’s more for ME that I wonder about it.

  2. I think people realize that since you’re getting married in France (and not Paris or the Côte d’Azur), only the closest friends/family are invited. It’s not like it’s a destination wedding with everyone leaving from the same area/country.

    I’d suggest inviting those who you’d be upset if they didn’t invite you to theirs. And those who you know for sure you’d spend the money to go to theirs (or at least feel really really sad if you didn’t have the money to go). I didn’t invite my many cousins/uncles/etc, but did send announcements (also useful for letting people know about a new name/address) and I knew they’d see it was in France and understand why they weren’t invited, though they definitely would have been if we’d gotten married in the states.

    • You’re right, I’m sure they’ll get it! As for the reciprocal weddings… I know I’ll have to (and have had to) pick and choose the US weddings I can go to based on frequency and time of year, and I’ve accepted that. I think I would almost always understand not being invited to a wedding for someone I’ve kept irregularly in touch with, since I’m familiar with the budget involved… but again… it’s more for me that I think about! Thanks for your input!

  3. Keep this in mind hon: No matter WHERE you were to get married you’d have this same quandary, because you are no longer in College Station TX. That’s a good thing! Nor are any of your friends in College Station TX. And THAT’S a good thing! It’s the curse of people who dream big and travel. Think of Louis and Melissa!

    i think it’s a concentrated version of the wistfulness everyone goes through when they realize that real life intrudes on friendships.

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