Keith and I have been in civil partnerships (in CA and WA) for nine years now. We have been planning for some time on getting married on our tenth anniversary, 21 Dec 2012. As we live in the Seattle area, we intended on heading across the border into British Columbia and having the wedding there, although it would have been a little complicated to get our families up there as well. Along comes January and it's beginning to look a lot like WA will soon be able to recognise our marriage. So we're re-thinking the plan and considering holding the wedding much closer to home. But that has its own complications...
We are both atheists, and we both have religious (and supportive) families. We don't want to "co-opt" a traditional faith-based ceremony, and besides, we're already a dozen years or so into our "new life together". So we're thinking of a ceremony built around recognising our existing relationship, and how we connect with our friends and family, and confirming that ten years is just the beginning of things.
That's the easy part, really.
The harder questions are Where? Who? How? and not incidentally, How Much?
Assuming we can have the wedding here in WA in Dec, we need to find a venue. Dec 21 is the Friday before Christmas, which will be a big deal for our families (my family will be travelling from CA). I don't know if we'll have trouble getting a venue for that evening, or if our guests will have difficulty arranging time for travel. And we're not sure how large a net to cast for guests in the first place -- we'd love to have everyone we know attend, but budgets intervene.
I've never done this before, and although we have most of a year to figure it out, the clock is ticking. Where do I start?