A Celebration of Two Days

I know for many brides-to-be the first thought on their minds upon receipt of that shiny diamond ring is of the dress. Will it be silk? Lace? Strapless? Tea length or full length? Mermaid or ball gown? For me, my immediate thoughts were of venue options and how I could work our wedding into a full weekend celebration that would leave me feeling all warm and fuzzy with memories of times shared with family, friends and loved ones. Among my friends, I’m roughly in the middle of the pack to get married, assuming most others get married as well, meaning I have been in and/or attended a lot of weddings in the last few years. This past summer, between August and September, wedding obligations took up five weekends over a short six week timespan. I’ve been there, done that, tasted the fondant covered cake and knew exactly what I did not want out of a wedding. (Cake with fondant being one of those!)

Somewhere along the way, long before I had even met M, I fell in the love with the romance of a multi-day wedding. Even as a guest I’ve always felt weddings are too short for all of the many reasons to be celebrating. Really? One day? That’s all we get as brides? Says who? Personally, I’m not buying it. While I did not start our planning process with the intent to have a two-day wedding, it took all of a few weeks of crafting rough guest lists and budgets before it seemed to be the perfect solution to ease my fears. My fears, as they were, revolved around spending one day so crazed and rushed trying to greet and make comfortable so many guests that I would scarcely have time to live in the day myself. Quite frankly, I could not justify spending any kind of money to feel like it was all over in an instant. Especially because M’s entire family is either out of state or lives in the far southwest corner of the state a good 5+ hour drive away, I found myself considering it almost rude to ask people to travel so far to hardly see us at all, especially in these economic times.

From here, the idea just kind of evolved and before I knew it, I did not know much about the wedding aside from the fact that having a two-day fiesta was absolute top priority. The original plan was for a Friday ceremony for immediate family, grandparents and wedding party only to be followed by an intimate, formal dinner. We would then spend Saturday during the day frolicking about the gorgeous 1000 Islands with our friends and family from out of town, showing them the area we love so much before hosting a kick-your-shoes-off whopper of a beachside barbecue that evening for a much larger group of approximately 150 – 175 guests. Things have changed a bit as we’ve moved along. We are now inviting a larger group of family to Friday’s ceremony, approximately 50, to be followed by an intimate and less formal champagne reception with a great selection of hors devours. Saturday we have kept with the same sightseeing plans during the day, but that evening we’ll be holding a rather formal reception for our original group of 150 – 175.

Selecting venues for all of the aforementioned events has been a bit of a bear, but things are finally coming together beautifully. Next week I’ll tell you all about the fantastic venues we have finally decided on after months of research and contemplation.  In the meantime, I encourage you all to think outside of the box and determine what defines a fabulous wedding in your eyes, not in the eyes of what everyone else before you has done. A two-day wedding is proving to be a lot of work (no really, it’s a lot of work!), but I know it’s going to be fantastic and the perfect opportunity to relax, celebrate, make new memories and never have to use the word whirlwind to describe our wedding. For me it allows us the perfect opportunity to focus on the things that mean most to us and at the same time allows me to wear my dress twice. You’ll never hear me complain about that one!

A little foreshadowing for what’s to come next week…

Sackets Harbor Battlefield
{Sackets Harbor Battlefield}

1000 islands
{Navy Pointe Marina, Source}

the 1000 islands
{The 1000 Islands, photo by Ian Coristine}

boldt castle 1000 islands
{Boldt Castle, photo by Ian Coristine}