Are we parents yet?

The Clements’ IVF Journey

Getting married April 24, 2009

Filed under: Frustrations — Aria @ 11:33 pm

I’ve talked to Cody a bit about getting married.  Our options come down to one of three things:

A: Holding that much smaller wedding at the little venue in our budget.  This isn’t so desirable.  Sure, I’d get to design a wedding dress and we’d have our first dance, but it would mean cutting our guest list down to about 20 people, including ourselves.   The only way we could fairly do this would be to not only cut children, but to cut the spouses of the people we want in our bridal party and hold a raffle for the remaining few spots after counting us and his parents, their significant others, and his brother.  I can’t handle the thought of telling deal friends that they didn’t make the cut, or to tell one of my bridesmaids that her husband can’t come.  This option would hurt a lot of people.

B: Putting the wedding off until 2011 or 2012.  Neither of us is very comfortable with this idea.  If something were to happen to either of us, the other wouldn’t have any legal right to even be in the hospital room.  And having children, these legal rights become even more important.

C: Going to the courthouse and just doing it.

Going to the courthouse followed by a “wedding” in a few years really doesn’t cut it for me.  That “wedding” would really be just a play.  “Do you take this man to be your husband” just isn’t right after being married a few years – I already took him as my husband!  I am truly against this idea that is now becoming known as “getting weddinged” (sic).

Whenever I read on wedding forums people complaining about how “little” their parents are giving them, I wish I could reach through the computer screen and slap them really hard.  The ex-friend of mine who thins her parents should be giving her more that $30,000 needs a hard hit with a clue-by-four.  These people are complaining about a privilege and are ungrateful brats.  What will be gifted to us for our wedding?  Nothing.  Those on Cody’s side who might have already did for his first wedding, and I’ve got no one.  I don’t even think we would get wedding gifts, same reason.  I would be extremely grateful for any phone calls we got after a quickie ceremony that weren’t to badger us for not magically making the money appear from thin air to have the special event, but rather well wishes.

I’m really not sure what else we can do though.  I mean, even having a wedding with everyone we want to invite and having it be a very casual event in jeans and with cake and punch won’t work without somewhere to have it, and that’s our problem.  The lowest-priced location we’ve found that’s big enough (which does happen to be on the beach, as I’ve always wanted anyway) is still too expensive.  $3,300 for a venue is really extremely reasonable, but more than our entire budget.

It really is a “take what we can get” thing at this point.  But at the end of the day, we’ll be married, no matter what kind of ceremony, so I’m working on talking Cody into just going to the courthouse and just doing it and getting the getting-married part over with so I don’t have reason to dwell.  I think it’s going to be nothing more than beating a dead horse to keep trying to find ways to make a wedding work, a lot of effort for nothing in the end other than to ultimately do what I’m going to try talking him into now.  Not having a wedding isn’t a real loss in the scheme of life, and I know that, even if it is one of those things most people get to have, and many see as a rite of passage, or a milestone, a great memory-maker.  But I can fabricate my own memories!

At the end of the day, married is married, and I am a shallow, terrible person because I can’t help but have some disappointment that a wedding just isn’t something I can have.  If we can’t realistically afford it, then we can’t.  So the sooner we can just get married, the better, but it’s gearing up to be a hard-sell.  He’s just really not happy about the idea of our wedding being a civil ceremony on some random weekday.  He know that this would mean going down and applying for a license, then waiting for a justice of the peace to be available since the times aren’t scheduled, and then an unpersonalized quick little ceremony.  It’s nothing pretty, but it gets the job done.

If there are any suggestions for both talking him into this and to get him to be somehow okay with it, I’d like to hear them please.

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8 Responses to “Getting married”

  1. jewelssparkles Says:

    I can’t remember what time of year you’re getting married, but if the weather is nice, what about a picnic wedding (or to keep it fancy, a catered picnic wedding… catered lunch foods/afternoon tea on a buffet table in a park with white blankets & pillows to sit on? Or a backyard BBQ? Or even still have the beach wedding & just have a beach picnic?

    Or if you don’t mind being a bit creative, what about a community hall? Or (bear with me here), even a school gym? I’ve seen some *really* lovely pictures of gorgeous weddings in very unexpected places that ended up working out *really* well! Catering could be DIY or you could find a local caterer… or even a spit roast company!

    There’s so many levels of in-between that it doesn’t *have* to be mega fancy wedding vs courthouse.

    Check out these pics:
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3034/2667143413_c9fcfd2b08.jpg?v=0







  2. emkj3606 Says:

    If I were you guys (and not just because it’s pretty much what we did), I’d do the courthouse “ceremony” now and then rather than having a for-show wedding, do a vow renewal and reception on a milestone-ious anniversary. We ended up “rushing” into getting married because I was pregnant and on one level it didn’t seem right to me to say “my boyfriend and I are having a baby”, but also because it was really important to me that Bryan be my default health care proxy/automatically get custody of our son if something happened to me/etc. The original plan was to do a showy wedding soon-ish after he was born, but we decided that really wasn’t worth it to us and are planning a vow renewal/reception and probably a honeymoon for our 5th anniversary.

    And, honestly, our little civil marriage was really nice. I got a new dress and all our family came and while it was on a weekday we were able to schedule it so it wasn’t just “get the license, wait around, have a bored JOP read the lame standard vows”. We actually had the county clerk officiate for us, and then we went out to lunch at a really nice place afterward as a little “reception”. It wasn’t what I originally thought I’d want for my wedding, but when it was happening/once it was done, it really felt like the best way to go considering our circumstances. 🙂

    Good luck getting it all sorted out!

  3. hayeswoods Says:

    Why not take some of the money you have aside and drive to Vegas and have a small ceremony with just the two of you? It’d be more romantic than a justice of the peace and you can have a mini-honeymoon too. That way you’d still have some extra money for the babies, but you also get to have some nice wedding memories.

  4. kam0520 Says:

    why not have a courthouse wedding, then just have a reception/party type thing for your friends. You can still have your dress and the “party” type thing. I know alot of people have done that and it’s alot less stressful. And you mommy-to-be need as little stress as possible!

  5. Aria Says:

    I’m really not a fan of Vegas. Been there twice and didn’t care for it very much either time.

    Karolann, we’d be faced with the same problem we are now – space to have that reception. Our hoped-for plan was a ceremony at the Santa Barbara courthouse, which is just insanely gorgeous, followed by a reception for our family and friends, but the largest space we’ve found in our budget is far too small. If we took everyone to a restaurant, there’s no polite way of giving each person a limit on what they could spend in ordering, so this could end up very bad if our bill came out to being more than we could afford. We don’t know anyone with a backyard big enough, and other public-owned venues (the lowest cost venues there are) I’ve looked into cost even more (the place that’s perfect is a public-owned venue).

    If we did anything more at all than something quick with Cody’s parents and their SOs, then we would either have to hold a lottery for who we could invite or be forced to pick and choose between our best friends, and hurting friends who don’t make the cut, even if the cut is a raffle, isn’t worth it.

  6. Aria Says:

    Emily, that default proxy status is exactly why we don’t feel comfortable waiting a few years. At the same time, a vow renewal wouldn’t have the same excitement as a wedding. No first dance with a new spouse, no cutting of the wedding cake together, and veils and the white ball gowns are just way out of place.

    I’ve looked into it at the courthouses around here (and these fuckers are dingy and gross). You get the license in the morning and do have to wait for a justice to be available. That’s the option. They don’t schedule times, so you have to be there waiting. I’ve looked into it, and it would be boring. I guess the “best” thing about the local courthouse is it’s the cleanest of the courthouses I’ve been in in the area (a lot of fathers’ advocacy has seen me in many courthouses and courtrooms), and it’s the one where the Scott Peterson trial took place (and I was down there one of those days, and Amber Frey looked like a clown).

    If anyone in Cody’s family can make it, I’m thinking of getting lunch at Olive Garden or something, or an early dinner, whenever justice gets around to us.

    No matter what, there’s going to be a measure of disappointment about this. We thought the venue we could afford was large enough, and proceeded with tentative planning. I’ve even tried on wedding dresses to get an idea of what kind of general style I’d like (Cody went with me one of those times, and he likes asymmetrical designs). I’ve made my veil already. We knew what kind of food we wanted, and had narrowed down first-dance songs, and have looked into wedding cake designs. We knew we were going to have to skip photography though. That was just never something we could afford to have. There was a lot of anticipation and excitement built up over this, and now I feel it was a bunch of wasted time.

    So at some point today, Cody’s supposed to find out what days he’s off this next month, pick a weekday for it to happen, and call his parents to let them know the day and that we’d appreciate if they could make it up.

  7. When my Dh and I got married 23 years ago this next weekend we didn’t have much money either so what we did was have a very small gathering at the Judges office(ask if this can be done there) with us in wedding clothes and we threw a reception afterwards for everyone else. We started the party at 7pm so no food was needed, had several kegs of beer but had an open pay bar meaning if someone wanted something else they paid for it themselves. All we paid for was the bartender, the room rent, our clothes,flowers which were minimal, and the cake. I think back then we spend around $600. We do have photos and memories so it doesn’t have to be huge to be nice. Another option might be you scout out if any of Cody’s family has a nice backyard where you could hire a JP to come and marry you there?

  8. Aria Says:

    We’ve looked into parks, and the fees are simply outrageous. As in we’d be spending more than having it at the art center, which is a community building. I looked into the school gyms (yup), and it requires a ton of clearances and extra insurance, and would also be expensive.

    No one we know has a backyard big enough. We’ve thought about that already.

    The plan already is to self-cater, a pasta bar buffet. No matter where the wedding is or even if we were gifted thousands, we want the pasta bar. It’s simple and guaranteed to have something everyone likes. Different pastas, different sauces and add-ins, some salads, and garlic bread. Maybe some lasagna rolls. Best part? I could make the lasagna rolls! Like the day before to help me pass time, and then someone else can cook it.

    The problem is a fucking venue we can afford that’s big enough and that doesn’t have thousands in fees and other things to pay for with it. The art center rental fee includes tables, chairs, the dance floor, etc., all set up.

    The judges at the courthouses here don’t allow people in their chambers unless part of a court hearing and it’s needed, such as when talking to a child. It’s a security issue nowadays. I’m not sure there are going to be judges anywhere that allow this. The chapel there is what we’d have to use, and, sorry, it’s really ugly and tacky, like someone just picked a random room and threw plastic flowers in it. I’m not looking forward to my wedding being there, and won’t allow pictures.


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