For a girl who can't make decisions easily, picking a location for your wedding is extremely hard -- especially when you and your fiancé are transplants. I am from Massachusetts, as are most of my family members and friends. Andrew says he's "from the USA" because it is easier than explaining he grew up in Connecticut, California and Texas and has always summered on Cape Cod. Most of his family lives in the northeast. We have college friends along the entire east coast. There is no central location for everyone. This is a serious problem because one of my major concerns during the planning process is making sure this event is easy for our guests.
I think most people assumed Andrew and I would get married in Boston or on the Cape. I feel like since I haven't lived there in 10-plus years, I am removed from "home" and we are now just "visitors" there. Plus, I never found a place growing up where I thought, 'This is definitely where I will get married.' I envy those girls. Massachusetts hasn't been an option from the start, yet two months after putting a deposit down on our venue, I was still getting links to venues in Boston from my mom. She was only trying to help.
My family is fortunate to spend Thanksgiving in Aruba every year. Initially, I thought that would be the best place to get married. I've been going almost 25 years. I know the island really well and I already started to make up itineraries for our guests. If people have to travel for our wedding, we may as well make the trip worthwhile. Relaxing on the beach with all of our friends and family sounded like the perfect weekend. Except, the more we mentioned our idea, the smaller our wedding got. We realized that by having a destination wedding, as awesome as it sounded, we would be eliminating a lot of really important people who we could not celebrate without. So, after much deliberation, Aruba was ruled out. (But I'll tell you, it is looking better and better as I get deeper into the planning process. If you are thinking destination, do it! And invite me.)
Next, we started looking at St. Michaels, Md. It is such an adorable town. If you have never been, take a weekend or day trip -- I highly recommend it. We dragged Larry and Peggy (my parents) down for the day. We saw some really great venues and some not-so-great venues. I fell in love with a property on the water where it was literally a house and a tree. It sounds silly now, but while I was there, I imagined all those awesome outdoor wedding pictures with lights strung in trees and the long tables out in a field. Gorgeous and seemingly effortless, but absolutely not feasible for a wedding of 200 with a bride who is creatively impaired. Does that wedding reception actually exist? I would love to get an invite.
The last place we visited in St. Michaels was beautiful. Guests could stay on the property. There were multiple options for both the ceremony and the cocktail hour. The venue looked new, clean and bright. Lastly, the hostesses gave the most professional tour and presentation I had ever encountered –- we were served fresh-baked brownies and homemade lemonade by a chef on the edge of the property during our tour, for crying out loud! I was tired and hungry and I was sold. I was ready to book.
Then, I started panicking about transportation. Ninety percent of our guests would be flying in to Baltimore, and then would have to rent a car and drive to St. Michaels, then rent a hotel for the weekend. What an expensive pain! If I were invited to this wedding, I would gladly go but I would probably complain a few times along the way. Plus, Andrew was vehemently against my idea of having his groomsmen shuttle people from BWI.
After countless encounters where I was told, "It is YOUR wedding. Do not worry about anyone else," and, finally, letting go of my requirement to make everyone else's life easier, Andrew and I decided on Baltimore, and we could not have made a better decision. No coin needed.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun