Our big church wedding 1983

Our big church wedding 1983

When I was young, I dreamed about being married, and not so much about the wedding.  My own wedding planning included a year of preparation, an enormous amount of  money, and plenty of tears as I tried to please everyone.

We had a huge church wedding and reception and I remember sitting there thinking that I didn’t know half the people there. Well of course, half of them were related to my husband, and that’s understandable; but it felt like our celebration was filled with people whom I barely knew.  So many of them were distantly related, or friends of our parents, and I remember eating dinner wondering why I felt left out at my own wedding. And although our wedding was romantic and I married the man of my dreams, it felt like more of a show than a real celebration of our future life together. And was it stressful.  What I remember most about the day was the things that went wrong, the people who got mad at each other, and the necklace I lost.  I vowed I’d never repeat the process.

Now that my boys are adults, we talk as often as they’ll allow about what a wedding would look like for them. I’ve encouraged them to consider a destination wedding, one where just their closest friends and family attend (if anyone), and one in which they’ll be surrounded in love and the celebration will be as special as they are.  A few months ago we discussed a Walt Disney World Wedding after a trip to the park, but recently talk has moved to more exotic locations.  My oldest is pressuring us to get our passports because he loves to travel the world and he wants to share it with us.

One of the most recent locations we’ve been exploring is Costa Rica.  In all his travels, our oldest son hasn’t gone there yet.  The destination I’d like to visit is Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.  It’s an area that has great temperatures year round (not too hot) and so many gorgeous places to explore.

Santa Teresa (Costa Rica)

Santa Teresa, Costa Rica – Image by Jaqme via Flickr

Why Costa Rica? Because it’s a stable democratic country that’s amazingly eco-friendly, they have fabulous weather year round, it’s a reasonable travel distance from the US, the accommodations are spectacular, and it’s within the budget of most engaged couples and their families.  Plus, Costa Rica is a popular vacation destination, so they cater to groups and have tons of family-style accommodations available, exactly the type of location that’s perfect for an intimated family wedding.  Then the couple can enjoy their Costa Rica Honeymoon and all that the area has to offer, while the rest of us take a little vacation and enjoy the amazing sites.

Now, we just need some fiance’s for these two and we’ll be set.  I only hope the other parents will consider not pressuring the kids into a big, traditional wedding and let them do what makes them happy.  Conversely, if the boys and their future mate decide on a wedding with all the trimmings, I’m going to be a great future mother-in-law and support them.  But I’m secretly hoping they don’t.   Heck, I’d rather have an intimate wedding in the backyard than go through the stress of a huge event.  For me a wedding should be about joining your lives together and not just putting on a big show.

To watch my boys get married in an amazingly gorgeous location like Costa Rica would be fabulous, but I’ll settle for them being happy no matter where they decide to tie the knot.  And in the interim, we’ll be celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2-1/2 years, we might just have our own luxury second honeymoon in Costa Rica. Who says a girl can’t get her dream after all? Now, we just need to get those passports!

Do you regret your wedding arrangements? If you could do it over, how would you change it?


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