Tuesday, December 22, 2009

10 Good Choices For Us: Part Two

6. Creative guest book
My mom made us a great guest book. We still need to put it all together, but I think this will be so meaningful to have in the years to come.

7. Welcome Dinner
I am so thankful we had a Welcome Dinner to spend time with family and out-of-town friends! We did this the night before the wedding, instead of the traditional smaller rehearsal dinner.

8. Our location
We spent a LOT of time trying to figure out WHERE to get married. This involved me making complex spreadsheets with names of potential guests and a rating system based on how likely they might be to travel to any of our three options (Tennessee, Illinois, or Québec). It involved many conversations with S, my parents, and friends, about the pros and cons of each location. It involved considerations of my various communities of the past and S's community, while trying to come to terms with the fact that NO place would have everyone we loved there since our communities are spread out in so many places around the world. It involved conversations and emails with immigration lawyers, research into Québec marriage laws, and inquiring about costs of potential venues in three cities.

It involved tears.

As this choice became more and more exhausting, we realized that the most practical thing would be to plan the wedding in Québec, where we would be living at the time. And despite the fact that it was so difficult and sad because I knew this would eliminate many of the people I really wanted to come, it felt right in many ways since this is where we met. So...we had it here. And surprisingly, this particular location opened up all sorts of things that would have never been possible with our budget anywhere else, including having a band at the reception. So having it in Québec turned out to be one of the things that made the wedding most unique and most "us." And we were surprised and deeply thankful for all the people who were able to travel to come. Such a beautiful thing.

9. Staying at a nice hotel for our two night mini-moon
We did not have time or money to go on a traditional honeymoon, so we stayed for two nights at The Grand Times Hotel, a hotel here in town that fits our taste. This hotel is amazing and was completely worth the money. I want to go back because it is just that cool. And I think it is really important to get away from your normal surroundings after a wedding.

10. Wishpot Registry
In the US, people do registries. I am not sure it is really a thing in Québec. (Kind of like Save-the-Dates, which caused some confusion on the Québec side about that being the actual invitation. Oh well.) Because I had an international move right after invitations went out, and because we needed things to be shipped to us in Canada, registries were complicated. We almost skipped the whole process because it was that much of a hassle. But married friends told us that we should indeed register. These friends were thinking big-picture-forest for us when all I could see was all the annoying-registry-trees that don't ship to Canada. We had registered online at one place that we thought shipped to Canada, but then we found out: they do ship to Canada...but not for registries. While talking to the customer service rep that explained this to me, I ended up crying. While at work. (On a break.) In a stairway. Sigh. That is what wedding planning during an international move will do to you. What eventually ended up being our best option was Wishpot. Wishpot is great because you can create one registry and choose things from ANY online store to put on it. It simplifies things. People can reserve items on your Wishpot list and then they take care of buying the item on their own. Wishpot did not make me cry.

So, that sums up 10 choices we were really glad we made.

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